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Old August 20 2013, 11:18 PM   #218
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back?

King Daniel and Greg, I think I understand your points, and correct me if I'm misstating them: You're happy for a character who appears to have overcome a severe handicap, and now he can move on and be a more well-rounded person. He no longer has to be defined by a disability.

I suppose, speaking on behalf of actual people who have ever had even a slight disability and then overcame it, that does make some sense.

But let's be fair: Here's a character in whom some of us have invested nearly a half-century of interest, and one of the reasons has been being privileged to watch him overcome, by fits and starts, a personal psychological disability. He was incapable of expressing romantic love. Oh, he's certainly capable of emotion at some level, and his repression of emotion is a personal, daily choice rather than some missing circuitry. He certainly wanted to express romantic love, as he directly implied in his apology to Christine Chapel.

But even when slightly intoxicated (or the metaphysical equivalent), he was reduced to a babbling puddle of tears. When heavily intoxicated, sure, Jill Ireland became the love of his live in three seconds. Yet the side of his character that was revealed in that episode completely and successfully repressed the part of Spock that was devoted to his duty and that was honorable as a man, in the same way that his "honor-side" had successfully repressed his sexual urges. Only through being humiliated by Kirk did he recover his memory of how to repress the feeling of being humiliated, and his honorable side return.

Now, over the years, various incidents (among them, death and rebirth) gave the man opportunities to reconcile his two halves. And it was good to watch that process happen. We appreciated the "personal growth," to borrow Daniel's phrase.

For a rewritten version of the story to rewind history and say all that personal trauma and trial and reconciliation and doubt and grief were unnecessary, and the right woman's kiss cleared everything up and things are now hunky-dory, is to devalue the previous storyline. It doesn't eliminate it from our history, but it does sorta say, "Ah, well, who cares?"

Put another way: At one level, hypothetically, it might be interesting to have rebooted a character named "Ironside" as a detective who, after being shot, underwent a life-saving operation, overcame paralysis, and now stands upright and jogs every morning. We'd be happy for him if we got to see the recovery process -- if someone were to tell that story and make it interesting and personal. But to presume the story is already told is to cheat the viewer, as well as to effectively declare the recovery process itself (the "personal growth") unimportant.

DF "Mark, Get Me Out of This Flamin' Chair!" Scott
a.k.a. Scott M. Fulton, III
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