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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old September 8 2009, 05:49 AM   #1
Admiral_Young
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Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

Watching the Space viewer's choice remastered marathon on Space and I couldn't help but notice all the times Spock is referred to as Mr. Spock by other members of the crew who are junior in rank to him. They barely call him sir, or Commander. Was this an intentional writers decision by the writing staff? Or just an ongoing mistake? I understand the original Enterprise has something of a "loose" command structure but it bugs me when someone calls Spock Mr. Spock. Even in The Undiscovered Country he's referred to as Mr. Spock instead of Captain or sir.
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Old September 8 2009, 07:12 AM   #2
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

One wonders if it isn't his personal preference. "Just call me Mister. 'Sir' reminds me of my father..."

In "The Cage", the form of address is suitable, because Spock is a junior officer. He even calls himself Mister, perhaps not being all that fluent in Earthlingese...?

Yet in the very next one, "Corbomite Maneuver", the junior Sulu readily refers to his superior as Mister Spock already. Perhaps the early writers were expected to read the script for "The Cage" and derive their cues from there, and they either weren't all that well versed in militaria, or believed that this was some sort of a futuristic scifi thing?

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Old September 8 2009, 07:26 AM   #3
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

I don't know why other crew members lower in rank to Spock, call him Mr.Spock instead of yes sir or Commander, either. Now that I think of it, I always wondered why they did that? Cause after all he is second in command, well from TOS to The Motion Picture he is and later he is Captain. Anyways, I guess I never payed attetion to that kind of thing. I would like to know that question myself, so your question is as good as mine.
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Old September 8 2009, 07:33 AM   #4
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

Perhaps it's a Doctor Who thing: his first name is Misterspock, and "Spock" is just the abbreviated, affectionate form of that.

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Old September 8 2009, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

Could it be an old Navy thing? I'm thinking of the way Capt. Bligh refers to his first officer as "Mr. Christian" throughout Mutiny on the Bounty.
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Old September 8 2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

Even Leila Kalomi called him Mister.
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Old September 8 2009, 12:58 PM   #7
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

US Navy practice until the early 1970's was for commanders and above to be addressed with their rank, lieutenant commanders and below (down to WO-1) to be addressed as "Mister (last name)," or mrs. or miss, or as "doctor" or "nurse" or "chaplain," "father" &c. as appropriate. As we know, Spock was considered a LCdr when the series began, despite his rank stripes, so "Mr. Spock" would be OK by USN tradition.

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Old September 8 2009, 01:49 PM   #8
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

I always felt it was meant more as an informal courtesy more than anything else. As previously stated, perhaps Spock, always trying to make up for his human half, preferred to be as disassociated with many of the human "traditions" associated with his service in SF.
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Old September 8 2009, 02:46 PM   #9
Timo
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

US Navy practice until the early 1970's was for commanders and above to be addressed with their rank, lieutenant commanders and below (down to WO-1) to be addressed as "Mister (last name)"
Hmm... addressed by whom? Everybody, or fellow officers, or superior officers?

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Old September 8 2009, 03:19 PM   #10
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

What a great question. I never questioned the crew addressing him as "Mister" as opposed to rank, and now that you asked it, it leaves me scratching my head!

Does anyone remember how other Vulcans were addressed in TOS or other series?
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Old September 8 2009, 03:20 PM   #11
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

Timo wrote: View Post
US Navy practice until the early 1970's was for commanders and above to be addressed with their rank, lieutenant commanders and below (down to WO-1) to be addressed as "Mister (last name)"
Hmm... addressed by whom? Everybody, or fellow officers, or superior officers?
Everybody officially, though juniors could use "sir" instead. I'll look up the full rules later today.

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Old September 8 2009, 05:21 PM   #12
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

This is a great question and one I have thought of before. I am still not sure what the answer is.
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Old September 8 2009, 05:43 PM   #13
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

Wasn't Gene Roddenberry also trying to show a more informal version of the Navy in regards to Starfleet tradition? Hence the lack of saluting going on. Aside from Kirk, there was very little in the ways of using rank as title. It was generally "Mr. Sulu, Mr. Chekov, Mr. Scott" and so on.

The captain sets the tone of the ship, and considering Kirk was routinely making (or allowing) racial jokes argarding Vulcans on the bridge, I can imagine Kirk was pretty relaxed about forms of address during routine ship's business.
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Old September 8 2009, 06:16 PM   #14
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Wasn't Gene Roddenberry also trying to show a more informal version of the Navy in regards to Starfleet tradition? Hence the lack of saluting going on. Aside from Kirk, there was very little in the ways of using rank as title. It was generally "Mr. Sulu, Mr. Chekov, Mr. Scott" and so on.
That seemed to be the norm, with the exception of Uhura. I think he always called her Lieutenant. He did refer to more senior officers, than him, by their rank with a few exceptions. Looking back, there just seemed to be no general rule for things like that.
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Old September 8 2009, 07:00 PM   #15
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Re: Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

Does anyone remember what Kirk called the Vulcan officer that was supposed to be on board the Enterprise in The Motion Picture? The Vulcan who got killed by the transporter? He meets up with him before going to the meeting and addresses him...anyone remember how Kirk addressed HIM?
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