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

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Old September 4 2011, 09:40 PM   #46
BillJ
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

T'Girl wrote: View Post

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.
This is all supposition as well. We have no idea about planetary population nor do we have any idea who built Vaal.
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Old September 4 2011, 10:04 PM   #47
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

BillJ wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post

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.
This is all supposition as well. We have no idea about planetary population nor do we have any idea who built Vaal.
Fairly often Kirk's actions to break the PD were based on supposition as well...often almost totally without input from others.
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Old September 4 2011, 10:10 PM   #48
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

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.
Thanks Captain, if this works I've got the hang of it.

Wingsley wrote: View Post
Maybe that's what the Prime Directive is about: keeping starship personnel from playing God.
Yes, that is no doubt at the heart of it.



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.
There is that too...

Yes, I think I've got the hang of this

Last edited by Greystone_06; September 4 2011 at 10:11 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old September 5 2011, 01:16 AM   #49
Wingsley
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
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.
We don't really know who built Vaal. For all we know, it could've been the Preservers.

I doubt Scott had the authority to break orbit without Kirk's orders.

The issue of whether the Enterprise crew brought Vaal's wrath upon themselves is an interesting angle. But when Kirk began fretting about his "orders" and how he should disregard them, it was Spock who reminded his captain of their mission to be there.

The Prime Directive wasn't brought up until much later in the hut. And you'll recall that Spock had misgivings that Starfleet Command would agree with Kirk's plans. This seemed to me to be a clear indication that the Federation did leave loopholes in that directive.




The Sigma Iotia incident ("A Piece of the Action") has also been brought up in this thread. Was Kirk wrong? Was the Federation wrong? I'd say in the "present tense" (TOS era), the answer was "no" to both questions. The episode strongly indicates two things: (1: the Starship Horizon's first contact with Sigma Iotia predated the Prime Directive being codified; and, possibly... (2: the Horizon could have herself been pre-Federation. IIRC, the Horizon was never referred to as a Federation starship. It could be that the Enterprise was dispatched to the planet only to take responsibility ("in for a penny, in for pound") for the Horizon's prior interference regardless of who actually sowed the seed.




A similar issue would be "The Return of the Archons". The Starship Archon was sent to Beta III a century before. We don't know what the Archon's mission was and we don't know what the crew of the Archon did at Beta III, but we can assume its mission was exploratory. Whatever the case, the Archon was obviously destroyed. Kirk was sent to investigate. Upon discovering that Beta III was a starship trap much like Eminiar VII, Kirk obviously had the authority to take action. Landru was a threat, and Kirk "took care of business".


None of this should be a surprise. TOS was, after all, a Cold War series and it reflected its times well. Does that make its conventions and philosophies disingenuous? I don't think so. You have to consider the philosophy behind the Prime Directive. Was it just meant to isolate non-aligned planets without question? Why would we assume that? If that were the case, the Federation wouldn't need manned starships to explore inhabited planets.

We don't know all the purposes and reasons behind the Prime Directive. We can readily assume that General Order One is meant to regulate the actions of exploring starship crews, but we can also assume that such regulation also protects the Federation from over-extending its resources. Beyond that, we don't know.
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Old September 5 2011, 10:11 PM   #50
paudemge
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

My limited understanding of the PD during TOS, was that yes, it was so important the entire crew and starship where expendable to preserve it, however, at the same time, most anything that would directly threaten a starship would also be outside the bounds of the PD.
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Old September 8 2011, 06:09 PM   #51
Maximara
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
One point of view would be the prime directive is subject to constant change.
In TOS it wasn't some nebulous philosophy. It was a codified military regulation. General Order #1. It had specific rules for what to do and what not to do. McCoy and Kirk quote part of it in Bread and Circuses.
The problem is TOS was inconsistent with the use of the Prime Directive. If you look at the series by production number this is clear:

"The Return of the Archons" (22) referred as Non-interference Directive to by Spock

"A Taste of Armageddon" (23) ignored to the point the Federation Ambassador insisted on beaming down

"Errand of Mercy" (27) We are about to go to war with the Klingons so we will ignore the Prime Directive for now.

"Friday's Child" (32) Pre-warp culture offered aid because the Klingons also want it. Prime Directive is not even referred to even though it should apply.

"The Apple" (38) Spock again refers to Non-interference Directive and Kirk uses same argument as in "The Return of the Archons"

"Bread and Circuses" (43) quoted at length

"A Private Little War" (45) referred to and then discarded due to interference by the Klingons

"A Piece of the Action" (49) - clean up a mess we made

"Patterns of Force" (52) We fix the mess made by John "Darwin Award Winner" Gill

"The Omega Glory" (54) Kirk's quote conflicts with his behavior in "A Taste of Armageddon"

"The Paradise Syndrome" (58) Neither Spock or Kirk make any reference to the Prime Directive though they should

"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" (65) Again the Prime Directive should come up but doesn't

"The Cloud Minders" (74) Prime Directive? We need that Zenite to stop a plague so forget that noise.

Last edited by Maximara; September 8 2011 at 06:34 PM.
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Old September 8 2011, 06:32 PM   #52
T'Girl
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Maximara wrote: View Post
"Friday's Child" (32) Pre-warp culture offered aid because the Klingons also want it. Prime Directive is not even referred to even though it should apply.

"A Private Little War" (45) referred to and then discarded due to interference by the Klingons
Both of these might be case where contact was initially made prior to the Prime Directive as a Starfleet policy, and so continued contact was "grandfathered" in.

"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" (65) Again the Prime Directive should come up but doesn't
Even through traveling slower than light, the ship in that episdode was interstellar.

"The Cloud Minders" (74) Prime Directive? We need that Zenite to stop a plague so forget that noise.
Interesting in that episode, the planet's leader told Kirk that Federation order couldn't override a Federation members governments decisions.

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Old September 8 2011, 06:34 PM   #53
Wingsley
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

@Maximara: There's just a tad less tangible citation of situations and reason, compensated by a heaping helping biased opinion in that list, don't you think?

There seems to be the suggestion that TOS' adherence to the Prime Directive was somehow disingenuous. Why should we accept that when we don't even know the full text (and context) of the directive and how it is supposed to be applied?

It should be obvious that the final judgement of how to apply the Prime Directive rests with three entities: Federation Starship captains, Starfleet Command, and the Federation leadership. That chain of command also reveals the accountability mechanism for Prime Directive.

But in TNG's "Justice", Picard pretty much spoke Roddenberry's overriding philosophy on laws in general and the Prime Directive in particular when the good captain said that "no laws are absolute... even life itself is an exercise in exceptions".
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Last edited by Wingsley; September 8 2011 at 06:35 PM. Reason: typo correction
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Old September 8 2011, 06:36 PM   #54
BillJ
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Maximara wrote: View Post

"A Taste of Armageddon" (23) ignored to the point the Federation Ambassador insisted on beaming down
Not a primitive culture. Prime Directive doesn't apply in the 23rd century.

"Errand of Mercy" (27) We are about to go to war with the Klingons so we will ignore the Prime Directive for now.
I don't think about it as ignoring it. It's more about the reality of the situation. This type of situation may fall under on of the 47 sub-sections Janeway mentions.

"Friday's Child" (32) Pre-warp culture offered aid because the Klingons also want it. Prime Directive is not even referred to even though it should apply.
Prime Directive in mentioned indirectly. We have no idea here how first contact was originally made or by whom. All we do know is that the Capellans seem perfectly at ease with the idea of life on other worlds. The contact with the Klingons or Federation didn't send their world down some catastrophic path.

"The Apple" (38) Spock again refers to Non-interference Directive and Kirk uses same argument as in "The Return of the Archons"
Probably another situation covered by one of those 47 sub-sections.

"The Omega Glory" (54) Kirk's quote conflicts with his behavior in "A Taste of Armageddon"
Not really. Two different civilizations at two different levels of development.

"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" (65) Again the Prime Directive should come up but doesn't
What would you have them do? Blast the asteroid out of the sky to save Daran V? This is where people take the Prime Directive to the ludicrous extreme, based on the 24th century version.

"The Cloud Minders" (74) Prime Directive? We need that Zenite to stop a plague so forget that noise.
Why would the Prime Directive apply to a Federation member state?

The Cloud Minders wrote:

KIRK: I hope so. Ardana is a member of the Federation, and it is your council's responsibility that nothing interferes with its obligation to another member of the Federation.
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Old September 13 2011, 06:35 PM   #55
Maximara
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Maximara wrote: View Post
"Friday's Child" (32) Pre-warp culture offered aid because the Klingons also want it. Prime Directive is not even referred to even though it should apply.

"A Private Little War" (45) referred to and then discarded due to interference by the Klingons
Both of these might be case where contact was initially made prior to the Prime Directive as a Starfleet policy, and so continued contact was "grandfathered" in.
Actually based on the conversation regarding the Federation Starship Horizon in Piece of the Action the Prime Directive went into effect nearly a hundred years ago.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" (65) Again the Prime Directive should come up but doesn't
Even through traveling slower than light, the ship in that episdode was interstellar.
Spock: Captain, informing these people they're on a ship may be in violation of the Prime Directive of Starfleet Command.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
"The Cloud Minders" (74) Prime Directive? We need that Zenite to stop a plague so forget that noise.
Interesting in that episode, the planet's leader told Kirk that Federation order couldn't override a Federation members governments decisions.

Yes but the retroactive description of the Prime Directive would seem to cover this: "As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Star Fleet personnel may interfere with the normal and healthy development of alien life and culture"

Last edited by Maximara; September 13 2011 at 06:51 PM.
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Old September 13 2011, 06:42 PM   #56
Maximara
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Wingsley wrote: View Post
But in TNG's "Justice", Picard pretty much spoke Roddenberry's overriding philosophy on laws in general and the Prime Directive in particular when the good captain said that "no laws are absolute... even life itself is an exercise in exceptions".
Which is ironic as TNG was where the Prime Directive took a turn for the bizarre. It was used to justify letting entire cultures die and seemed to be working on the idea that there was some form a of predetermined goal.

I was NOT happy with what the Prime Directive became in TNG (neither was sfdebris) and don't get me started on the even more totally messed up way it was used in Voyager.
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Old September 14 2011, 05:45 AM   #57
Maximara
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Wingsley wrote: View Post
The Sigma Iotia incident ("A Piece of the Action") has also been brought up in this thread. Was Kirk wrong? Was the Federation wrong? I'd say in the "present tense" (TOS era), the answer was "no" to both questions. The episode strongly indicates two things: (1: the Starship Horizon's first contact with Sigma Iotia predated the Prime Directive being codified; and, possibly... (2: the Horizon could have herself been pre-Federation. IIRC, the Horizon was never referred to as a Federation starship. It could be that the Enterprise was dispatched to the planet only to take responsibility ("in for a penny, in for pound") for the Horizon's prior interference regardless of who actually sowed the seed.
While it is true that the Horizon was never directly referred to as a Federation starship it is implied it was one:

OXMYX [OC]: Hello, Captain. You're from the same outfit as the Horizon?

KIRK: Yes. Unfortunately, the Horizon was lost with all hands shortly after leaving your planet. We only received her radio report last month.

Thought to be fair TOS played very fast and loose with its past even when referencing the time period it supposedly occurred in. For example Squire of Gothos clearly sets Star Trek in the 28th century:

JAEGER: Notice the period, Captain. Nine hundred light years from Earth. It's what might be seen through a viewing scope if it were powerful enough.
TRELANE: Ah, yes. I've been looking in on the doings on your lively little Earth.
KIRK: Then you've been looking in on the doings nine hundred years past.

(Later)

TRELANE: A matched set. Just like the pair that slew your heroic Alexander Hamilton. And Captain, I never miss. (For reference Alexander Hamilton was killed July 12, 1804)

These two statements taken together set this episode c2704. Can you oops they really goofed?
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Old September 14 2011, 03:42 PM   #58
Mytran
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Nah, Kirk was relying on the information provided by Jagger, who clearly wasn't as much of a history buff as he liked to think!
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Old September 14 2011, 04:14 PM   #59
sonak
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Maximara wrote: View Post
Wingsley wrote: View Post
But in TNG's "Justice", Picard pretty much spoke Roddenberry's overriding philosophy on laws in general and the Prime Directive in particular when the good captain said that "no laws are absolute... even life itself is an exercise in exceptions".
Which is ironic as TNG was where the Prime Directive took a turn for the bizarre. It was used to justify letting entire cultures die and seemed to be working on the idea that there was some form a of predetermined goal.

I was NOT happy with what the Prime Directive became in TNG (neither was sfdebris) and don't get me started on the even more totally messed up way it was used in Voyager.
I agree with this
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Old September 15 2011, 12:43 AM   #60
T'Girl
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Re: Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Maximara wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Both of these might be case where contact was initially made prior to the Prime Directive as a Starfleet policy, and so continued contact was "grandfathered" in.
Actually based on the conversation regarding the Federation Starship Horizon in Piece of the Action the Prime Directive went into effect nearly a hundred years ago.
No, dialog says that the prime directive was nonexistent a hundred years prior to the episode, with no mention of when it came into effect.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Even through traveling slower than light, the ship in that episdode was interstellar.
Spock: Captain, informing these people they're on a ship may be in violation of the Prime Directive of Starfleet Command.
"May be" a violation? Spock is perfectly capable of presenting his Captain with definite factual information. Spock's uncertainty could be the result of the prime directive's exact terms being in a state of constant flux.


I'm reminder of the old Epiphany Trek website, the last of it's seven point take on the Conundrum of the Prime Directive was "These rules are suspended for those that make war on us."

Yonada did fire missiles at the Enterprise. A act of war?



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