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Old November 8 2011, 09:15 PM   #6
Captain Tracy
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Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

Thanks AtoZ!, and Great comments guys.

FOXHOT & 7THSEALORD your comments on Character Motivation are really excellent, however that particular subject gets to be a real 'sticky-wicket', with the sketchy motivations and non-sequitur actions, attitudes, and emotions of characters that usually occurs in TOS - I am guessing here - is not because the writer doesn't know how to handle his characters, but I guess it occurs due to the constraints of the format, budget, and how much story they have to tell in 48 pages of script (or what ever the page count is), the Network bosses, and the censors.

It is a GREAT POINT 7THSEALORD,... Many 'hard-as-rock' Officers have 'Gone Native' under less stressful conditions.

Wasn't that the whole premise of the movie 'APOCALYPSE NOW'?

And I guess that sort of proves the case about what you are are saying about Captain Ron Tracy.

It is sad 'The Omega Glory' WASTED so many pages on a story which SHOULD have been one of TOS's finest; and actually showed us Tracy's decent, failure, and corruption and developed the drama around Kirk - being the symbol of 'correctness in Authority' - pitted against HIMSELF, and thereby testing Kirk's convictions and character, as he empathizes and identifies with Tracy's situation and condition, and the Prime Directive (don't mess with the planet more as you get your man), KIRK having to resist being drawn into the whole Kolms/Yangs situation, avoid the disease/contamination aspect - and then having to arrest Tracy (keep the GREAT fist-fight in!) and then help defend Tracy at his Court-Martial,... now THERE IS THE STORY,... sort of an 'Errand Of Mercy' meets 'Court Martial'.

As I said, I think the fault is in the constraints of the medium of TV,...BUT, had they left out the whole 'Fountain of Youth' bit, AND 'The Pledge of Allegiance', and used those pages to portray what I described above, we would not have had the flimsy character motivations and de-railed third act.

And that is why I say in TOS you just have to side-step the whole character motivation thing in some cases, but you should not have to.

Anyway, back to symbols and plot devices,... other interesting Federation folks we meet are:

Galactic High-Commissioner Ferris - 'The Galileo Seven'

VERY interesting character here! This is the personification of absolute AUTHORITY; an invasive authority you resent, but you have to respect. He is an un-movable force with a just cause with logical motivation,... and you are not going to intimidate or push THIS guy around,... your butt is most definitely going to Markus III at the appointed witching-hour; your friends and 'Space Normal Speed' be damned, you know it, and I know it; this guy takes no B.S. and might just 'thump you' if you give him any 'guff'.

Again, Ferris is perfection in symbolism.

Ambassador Robert Fox
- 'A Taste of Armageddon'

Okay, here we have a watered-down version of Ferris, and he plays more just like a typical self-serving, misguided bureaucrat acting under the guise of 'the common good',... yet we know it is all about him and his trophies, so right away, you have to dislike this guy LOL!

So, unlike Ferris, this is authority you do not respect, but are FORCED to obey; which is different than what Ferris personifies,... and if you ever attended a thing called 'High School', you knew these guys as your Principal LOL!!!

Nilz Barris - 'The Trouble with Tribbles'

What a mess this guy is LOL!!! I suppose, as a teenager, Nilz Barris had his underwear flown from the playground flagpole everyday at lunchtime, had his books glued together, and was stuffed into gym lockers; and upon graduation, was voted in the yearbook as 'Most Likely To Receive A Wedgie'.

So here is a guy you cannot respect, even the Powers-That-Be which back him up, do so reflexively, with an unspoken underpinning of being annoyed by this worm themselves.

You know, if we, as a society, just dropped the pretense of law, guys like Nilz Barris would end up being repeatedly shot out of a photon torpedo tube launcher by a group of rowdy Red Shirts every time they could grab him on the lower decks.

Irritation personified LOL! and he is such a wimp, when you do have to cater to his mission and his histrionic non-sense you do so with sarcasm and total disdain,.. like getting gum on your shoe.

I can't even classify Nilz Barris, beyond the perfect wimpy pain-in-the-ass LOL!
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