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

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Old September 3 2011, 06:50 PM   #31
Mr Silver
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Greystone_06 wrote: View Post
T'Bonz wrote: View Post
Please don't post more than 2x in a row. Use the quote function instead and answer multiple posts in one or two posts. Thanks.
I'm not familiar with that function, would you mind just going through it with me?

Thanks Greystone.
Next to the quote button is a button that says "multi quote". Click that button on each post (save from the last one) you wish to quote (if you click them in order, it's much easier!). Once you've clicked on all of them, except that last post you wish to quote, click the normal quote button on the final post and it will take you to the reply screen.

At the reply screen you can split up quotes and answer them how you wish. It's as simple as using the return (enter) key and inputting text as you would anyway.

If you wish to read up on this further (or my explanation may be a bit too confusing!), check out the FAQ at this link.
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Old September 4 2011, 01:55 AM   #32
Wingsley
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

I just love the deliciously polarized rhetoric in this thread. Folks are taking all sorts or pot-shots at TOS and at each other. All the merry while, there are a couple of things conspicuously absent:

Consider the TNG ep "The Drumhead"...

During the inquisition of Captain Picard, retired admiral Norah Satie poses a question, really a polemic, to the captain; accusing Picard of violating the Prime Directive nine times. Picard defends himself, insisting that in each instance his command decisions were justified.

This, coupled with Picard's statement at the end of "Justice", the "no laws are absolute... even life itself is an exercise in exceptions" should indicate that there are indeed loopholes or allowances built-into Federation law and Prime Directive that make overriding such regulations possible.

And in "Angel One", there is the suggestion that the survivors of the ill-fated civilian vessel Odin are not bound by Starfleet regulations, and thus Ramsey and others openly lived among the natives for some time.


Of course, one need not look to TNG to find these instances. Consider "A Taste of Armageddon" and "Friday's Child":

In "Taste", Ambassador Fox orders Kirk to pilot the Starship Enterprise to Eminiar VII, saying "thousands of lives have been lost", and Fox intends to intervene to stop this ongoing problem. Also: Spock suggests the possibility of the U.S.S. Valiant falling victim to the Eminian war.

In "Friday's", Kirk obviously has orders to secure a mining treaty with the inhabitants of Capella IV in order to acquire the valuable mineral Topaline. Again, Kirk is obviously under orders to establish a Federation presence on Capella IV, and in direct competition with the Klingons, no less. There is no discussion of non-interference regulations applying to Capella IV, as if the Prime Directive has been rendered moot.

These instances make it clear that there are exceptions to a strict adherence either written into the Prime Directive, or somehow allowances are made by Starfleet Command that relieve starship personnel of this regulatory responsibility.

Keep in mind that in "Bread and Circuses" we hear Kirk and McCoy quoting what is obviously a passage from Starfleet General Order One, but we by no means have the entire text of that regulation.
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Old September 4 2011, 04:13 AM   #33
T'Grinch
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Thanks.

Captain M wrote: View Post
Greystone_06 wrote: View Post
T'Bonz wrote: View Post
Please don't post more than 2x in a row. Use the quote function instead and answer multiple posts in one or two posts. Thanks.
I'm not familiar with that function, would you mind just going through it with me?

Thanks Greystone.
Next to the quote button is a button that says "multi quote". Click that button on each post (save from the last one) you wish to quote (if you click them in order, it's much easier!). Once you've clicked on all of them, except that last post you wish to quote, click the normal quote button on the final post and it will take you to the reply screen.

At the reply screen you can split up quotes and answer them how you wish. It's as simple as using the return (enter) key and inputting text as you would anyway.

If you wish to read up on this further (or my explanation may be a bit too confusing!), check out the FAQ at this link.
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Old September 4 2011, 04:28 AM   #34
Mr Silver
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

T'Bonz wrote: View Post
Thanks.

Captain M wrote: View Post
Greystone_06 wrote: View Post

I'm not familiar with that function, would you mind just going through it with me?

Thanks Greystone.
Next to the quote button is a button that says "multi quote". Click that button on each post (save from the last one) you wish to quote (if you click them in order, it's much easier!). Once you've clicked on all of them, except that last post you wish to quote, click the normal quote button on the final post and it will take you to the reply screen.

At the reply screen you can split up quotes and answer them how you wish. It's as simple as using the return (enter) key and inputting text as you would anyway.

If you wish to read up on this further (or my explanation may be a bit too confusing!), check out the FAQ at this link.
No worries.
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Old September 4 2011, 04:32 AM   #35
BillJ
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Wingsley wrote: View Post

This, coupled with Picard's statement at the end of "Justice", the "no laws are absolute... even life itself is an exercise in exceptions" should indicate that there are indeed loopholes or allowances built-into Federation law and Prime Directive that make overriding such regulations possible.
This is the point I try to make in every one of these threads. Well said.
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Old September 4 2011, 04:52 AM   #36
CoveSanta
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

^ I also find it interesting that Picard was willing to totally and completely violate the Prime Directive when doing so was necessary to save someone important to him, namely Wesley Crusher. But, OTOH, when it was an entire culture of people who were doomed to certain death, and the Enterprise could have saved them without their even knowing by "bending" the Prime Directive a bit, he was content to make speeches on the bridge and watch them all die. Not sure what that says about Picard...
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Old September 4 2011, 05:43 AM   #37
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

While non-interference is the Prime Directive, active interference would seem to be TOS Starfleet's actual general policy. The Starfleet Admiralty, and the Federation council might not alway see eye to eye, on every matter.

Discussions between the Enterprise D's officers during the episodes Symbiosis and Pen Pals shows that exactly what the Prime Directive means isn't completely clear even among senior Starfleet officers in the 24th century.

The prime directive would seem to be more of a political directive than a carved in stone constitutional thing, it is shown to change over the course of the multiple series, sometimes obviously between adjacent episodes.

Possibly the prime directive is considered part of the Federation membership's collective foreign policy, as various council Presidents and foreign secretaries come and go the Prime Directive get reinterpreted, rewritten and it various sections assigned new and different levels of priorities. When necessary Starfleet Captains receive the latest updates and revisions.

In Bread And Circuses, Spock asked Kirk "Then the Prime Directive is in full force, Captain?" Which suggest that it just might not be "in full force." And determining authority would be Captain Kirk himself. Or maybe Kirk would be the one to have been advised of the most resent update in the never ending revisions to the PD.

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Old September 4 2011, 04:45 PM   #38
Wingsley
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

As I see it, the notion of the Prime Directive boils down to a question of commitment. Either you're going to interfere in a given planet's local affairs, or you're going to avoid doing so. There may be a grey area in-between, but I suspect that STAR TREK's makers (manifest in the actions of the characters) makes one thing clear: grey areas are sticky, and it eventually comes down to that question of commitment... "in for a penny, in for a pound".

I don't see Captain Kirk as an outlaw. The difference between Kirk and Tracey is that while both routinely "play God", Tracey stopped using command judgement and started resorting to his own personal agenda.

Maybe that's what the Prime Directive is about: keeping starship personnel from playing God.
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Old September 4 2011, 05:11 PM   #39
sonak
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Wingsley wrote: View Post
As I see it, the notion of the Prime Directive boils down to a question of commitment. Either you're going to interfere in a given planet's local affairs, or you're going to avoid doing so. There may be a grey area in-between, but I suspect that STAR TREK's makers (manifest in the actions of the characters) makes one thing clear: grey areas are sticky, and it eventually comes down to that question of commitment... "in for a penny, in for a pound".

I don't see Captain Kirk as an outlaw. The difference between Kirk and Tracey is that while both routinely "play God", Tracey stopped using command judgement and started resorting to his own personal agenda.

Maybe that's what the Prime Directive is about: keeping starship personnel from playing God.

not all "interference" is playing God. Dictating to another culture what sort of governmental system they should have leans toward playing God. However, helping a culture to avert a natural disaster or helping to cure a disease is not.
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Old September 4 2011, 05:29 PM   #40
BillJ
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

sonak wrote: View Post
Wingsley wrote: View Post
As I see it, the notion of the Prime Directive boils down to a question of commitment. Either you're going to interfere in a given planet's local affairs, or you're going to avoid doing so. There may be a grey area in-between, but I suspect that STAR TREK's makers (manifest in the actions of the characters) makes one thing clear: grey areas are sticky, and it eventually comes down to that question of commitment... "in for a penny, in for a pound".

I don't see Captain Kirk as an outlaw. The difference between Kirk and Tracey is that while both routinely "play God", Tracey stopped using command judgement and started resorting to his own personal agenda.

Maybe that's what the Prime Directive is about: keeping starship personnel from playing God.

not all "interference" is playing God. Dictating to another culture what sort of governmental system they should have leans toward playing God. However, helping a culture to avert a natural disaster or helping to cure a disease is not.
Would depend on the circumstances. I think the Prime Directive would apply when the damage is self-inflicted.
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Old September 4 2011, 05:42 PM   #41
RAMA
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Anytime a series lays down rules and breaks them continually instead of as an exception is usually when writers back themselves into corners, an example of bad writing. Its no coincidence some of Trek's worst episodes were prime directive breakers.
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Old September 4 2011, 05:47 PM   #42
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

RAMA wrote: View Post
Anytime a series lays down rules and breaks them continually instead of as an exception is usually when writers back themselves into corners, an example of bad writing. Its no coincidence some of Trek's worst episodes were prime directive breakers.
I think some of the series best episodes involved the Prime Directive. Errand of Mercy would be considered a 'Prime Directive breaker' and it's one of the best episodes of any Trek series. A Private Little War and Too Short a Season are both very powerful episodes about the Prime Directive.
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Old September 4 2011, 07:40 PM   #43
paudemge
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

I don't think the Apple is a PD case at all, and as has been mentioned, Kirk did try to leave, but was prevented, so because another highly advanced race has already interfered with these people and now directly threatens with the Enterprises ability to leave we should just up and die because of the PD says we can't interfere. No, I don't think the Apple shows Kirk violating the PD.

Errand of Mercy and Fridays Child, private little war, would seem to be cases where it is nice if we can avoid interfering with the local people, but if we don't' the Klingons will interfere them into slavery, so also cases where the PD would not be in effect.

I don't really think there where many cases where Kirk and company came upon a civilization advancing normally without interference from other highly advanced cultures. They probably did from time to time, but they where just too boring to make an episode out of.
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Old September 4 2011, 08:34 PM   #44
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

From a thread about "Return of the Archons" . . .

" . . . The Apple also had a threat to the E. Does he ever mess with a happy-but-stagnant culture when there's not a threat? "This Side of Paradise" has a threat, right? The stepford colonists are going to make the E crew like themselves.

Darn, it would make a better dilemma and argument set-up between Spock and McCoy if it were a "pure situation" with no contrived threat. Then the threat/suspense would be to Kirk's character, depending on how the viewer sees it. Intervening would make him an imperialist to anti-imperialists; leaving them alone would make him morally weak to those who believe in the need for strife, struggle, and growth.

Somebody write that ep. or novel, wouldja? I'll buy it.
And remember, NO THREAT to the Ent. or plague on Whoziz IV that needs that serum to rendezvous with the USS Ludington in time!

Setup/exposition; proposed way to mess with culture and introduce strife; arguing about prime directive; decision and implementation; denoument; scene of Ent. flying away with Kirk promising a team of advisors.

There, I've done the hard part. Someone take a handfull of uppers like it's Sixties Hollywood and flesh that out overnight."

[Someone on that thread said there is an ENT episode that sort of does that.]
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Old September 4 2011, 09:27 PM   #45
Merry Christmas
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

They beam down ten and a half miles from the nearest village (feeders of Vaal), Hendorff isn't killed until they take their first steps toward the village, at that point the transporters still work (the body is beamed up).

Then the Enterprise start to lose potency in the antimatter pods, but they can still transport up and the ship can still leave.

The real trouble starts after the incident with Spock and the exploding rock, in case you didn't notice, when the planet's natives are feeding Vall, they're feeding it these rocks. Spock is messing with Vaal's food. Only then does Vall shut down the antimatter pods, shoot at Kirk, shut down the transporter, and kills Kaplan with lightning.

Debateably, Scotty could have left orbit at this point. Only later came the tractor beams.

Supposition on my part. At one time the People of Vaal were a technologically advanced species who decided to make a change to a simpler lifestyle, but they didn't want to be completely primitive. So they hung on to a lot of their technology, they just made it automatic. They had weather control, planetary defenses, agricultural control, their medical science had given them long life and perfect health. Over time the original members of this species died and there were replacements or descendants. And they lived a life of peaceful existence until the day that the Federation came and destroyed it all. The Federation didn't believe in their rights, their diversity or their choices.

That's supposition. What isn't supposition is the fact that Vaal didn't build itself, the people of that world created it for their own reasons. In destroying Vaal the Federation (through Kirk) created a entire planet of people, perhaps many millions spread all over that world, who now were actual primitives, and defenseless.

Spock delivers these points to McCoy:

1) Doctor, you insist on applying human standards to non-human cultures ...
2) Another is their right to choose a system which seems to work for them ...
3) Doctor, these people are healthy and they are happy ...
4) What ever you choose to call it, this system works

The second, third and fourth points might be tenets of the PD. The second certainly should be. The people of Vaal were too weak to say no, don't destroy our culture. Part of the Prime Directive that is directly quoted in Bread and Circuses is; "No interference with the social development of said planet." The Federation hardly respected their particular choice on social development.

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