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Old November 12 2011, 09:21 AM   #48
jk82
Lieutenant
 
Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices

Commodore Robert Wesley - USS LEXINGTON - 'The Ultimate Computer'. You have to love this guy, he plays a 'straight-arrow Kirk' as good as any of Shatners' early performances. He is the embodiment of 'all the good' qualities in what we envision would be the basic requirement for all standard Captains entrusted with a Starship: Competent, Alert, Decisive, Humane, Insightful, ect.

In a way, he is almost 'too Kirk-like', and in point-of-fact, the whole trick of the plot DEPENDS on this fact of his Kirk-likeness, ensuring that his character, and therefore his actions, are predicable-being driven by his virtues-and therefore he does not, when tested, FRY the Enterprise and it's crew,.. along with Daystrom and the M-5 computer.
I am afraid I disagree with this assessment. Commodore Wesley may have "compassion" at the end as Kirk points out ( Kirk is the one with real compassion: He is just as ready to spare enemies lives, i.e., Balance of Terror, Journey to Babel as he is ready to save his own crew), but he certainly lacks correct judgment by committing a computer on board in a live ammunition war game without sufficient testing and safety measures. His inability to comprehend that a computer might make mistakes costs many fine men and women their lives in a meaningless way. He also ridicules Kirk by calling him "Captain Dunsel". Kirk may act like a dictator sometimes, and points out errors or inadequacies of his men, but he never ever berates or humiliates any of his men (unless it is to try to get them out of trouble, like in This Side of Paradise). Therefore I give Commodore Wesley a very low mark.
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