Bob Karo wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I say no. It's more a character as written than acted problem.
I guess what I want is a Kirk who's more a walking stack of text books than a punk.
But do we actually ever see
that guy - Academy instructor Lt. James T. "stack of books with legs" Kirk? No, we don't. He never appears on screen—not once—and the single time he gets a mention by a former pupil, even Shatner's Kirk seems a bit dubious:
MITCHELL: Well, I'm getting a chance to read some of that longhair stuff you like. Hey man, I remember you back at the academy. A stack of books with legs. The first thing I ever heard from upperclassmen was, Watch out for Lieutenant Kirk. In his class, you either think or sink.
KIRK: I wasn't that bad, was I?
What was it about that one line of dialogue? What gave it such a grip on fans that we're still
—forty-six years later—expecting to see that "stack of books" guy from any perspective other than that particular to Cadet Mitchell's seat in an Academy classroom?