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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

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Old September 26 2012, 08:02 AM   #61
Timo
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

But Wesley would never refer to that as his first command, would he? Command, in that sense, has always meant their first ship.
Nope - according to McCoy and Spock both, Spock's first command was in "The Galileo Seven"... However absurd that may sound in terms of Spock's career.

That's perfectly normal real world usage, too. Most commands in the military, or even in the Navy, are not going to involve ships of any sort.

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Old September 26 2012, 10:30 AM   #62
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Taking lines from WNMHGB as irrefutable fact seems a little pointless to me. It was a pilot episode where Spock wore yellow and had "a human ancestor", where Sulu wore blue, and where Kirk had a BFF that never came up again in canon Trek. It's a great episode, but as with most pilots it's not entirely continuous with the series proper.

Before I read about prior Kirk commands in novels and comics, I assumed the Enterprise was Kirk's first command. I guess because of his relative youth compared to the other starship captains we met.
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Old September 26 2012, 11:05 AM   #63
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

There's nothing conclusive that I can remember one or another on screen about the issue, but I just don't see anyway that such an elite command is going to be given to a complete rookie. I can picture a situation where somebody at Starfleet Command takes a shine to a young hotshot and puts his/her neck on the line to get him a command after a sterling performance as captain of a smaller vessel. It's pretty clear that Kirk is very young (compared to his colleagues) and feels a great deal of pressure, but there's nothing that suggests to me that he just went from being a subordinate to a Constellation-class command without punching a command ticket or two somewhere along the way.
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Old September 26 2012, 11:34 AM   #64
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

We don't really know whether the prestige of a Constitution class starship lives up to our speculations and expectations.

Back in Pike's days, the ship seemed to have fewer people aboard and limped back home after suffering, what, seven casualties? The CO also wore much less braid, and didn't think much of himself. With Kirk in command, the ship mainly ran errands, a type of behavior not associated with capital ships in the real world. Perhaps Constitution class ships are famed for being so darn expendable, being always sent to places of high risk, and being commanded by daredevils and mavericks who are a class apart from the more sedate Commodores who command the capital ships. Although if one survives commanding a heavy cruiser, one may advance to command a capital ship eventually...

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Old September 26 2012, 11:48 AM   #65
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Taking lines from WNMHGB as irrefutable fact seems a little pointless to me. It was a pilot episode where Spock wore yellow and had "a human ancestor", where Sulu wore blue, and where Kirk had a BFF that never came up again in canon Trek. It's a great episode, but as with most pilots it's not entirely continuous with the series proper.
And yet we accept the episode as part of TOS' continuity. If something isn't contradicted later on then there's no reason to ignore it.
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Old September 26 2012, 11:53 AM   #66
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Indeed not - because in that case, we have to explain away the contradiction! What could be more interesting and relevant than that?

(Or did you drop a negative from the phrase?)

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Old September 26 2012, 12:21 PM   #67
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Timo wrote: View Post
Indeed not - (Or did you drop a negative from the phrase?)

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Yep, mistype. Now fixed.
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Old September 26 2012, 12:25 PM   #68
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Very little about "Where No Man" is outright contradicted later on, interestingly enough. To the contrary, changes in uniform color are later established to be par for the course; Spock having a human ancestor and speaking of her in very restrained terms is confirmed; and there's every excuse for Kirk never to speak of his best friend again (just like he never mentions his lost loves or killed relatives).

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Old September 26 2012, 12:28 PM   #69
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Timo wrote: View Post
Very little about "Where No Man" is outright contradicted later on, interestingly enough. To the contrary, changes in uniform color are later established to be par for the course; Spock having a human ancestor and speaking of her in very restrained terms is confirmed; and there's every excuse for Kirk never to speak of his best friend again (just like he never mentions his lost loves or killed relatives).

Timo Saloniemi
Unlike today when it seems like so many are ready to spill their guts to practically anybody about everything after knowing them for about five minutes...particularly on television.
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Old September 26 2012, 01:52 PM   #70
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Why would we hear Kirk mention Mitchell again? Sure, he was important to Kirk. But generally our perspective is only seeing the big adventures that take place aboard the Enterprise and not a lot of personal moments. Kirk could mention Mitchell all the time in conversation and we just don't see it because we're watching when there's a crisis and he's focused on the mission.
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Old September 26 2012, 02:23 PM   #71
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Of course, he could talk about his old losses when struggling with new ones. Say, when Sam dies, Jim might think back to the time he lost Gary. Or, if that's too badly in the middle of a crisis, perhaps our hero could again think of Gary, or of Edith Keeler, when wallowing in self-pity after "Requiem for Methuselah"?

It's probably mostly in his personality or upbringing that he doesn't discuss bygone things. In in-universe terms, that is.

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Old September 26 2012, 03:04 PM   #72
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
Maybe this will help ...

2249 - Age 17 - With the backing of Commodore Mallory, James T. Kirk, second son of the late Commander George Kirk, enters Starfleet Academy at the youngest age allowed.
Do we know for sure that this is the youngest age allowed in Kirk's time? I don't recall exactly, but I'm sure TNG said something of the Academy entrence age, though that took place more than a century after Kirk's time at the academy. The--non-canon, of course--TWOK novelization mentions 14 year old midshipmen, which could put a few more years in there for Kirk's career.
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Old September 26 2012, 03:53 PM   #73
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Not really. Kirk, before he was given the Enterprise, could have made it clear to the brass that he wanted Cary with him on his first command.

Or it could have been that when he found out that Starfleet was going to make him a captain and give him a ship, he said he wanted Mitchell along. And since he didn't know the name of the ship yet, he could only refer to it as his first command.
Again -- for the third or fourth time -- while all of that may technically be possible, I'm far from convinced that Dehner would have chosen her words that way in that particular context if that had been what she meant. Something can be technically true but still not be something a character would have any reason to call attention to in a particular context.



Given how young Kirk is, it seems to me that the line is to show that they've been friends non-stop since the academy. They would have had a long history serving together and being friends since then without Kirk commanding.
Well, yes, but there's no reason why he couldn't have had an earlier command. There's no evidence we have that's inconsistent with that view, and it's reasonable to believe he would have.


She may have been quoting Kirk's own words. Besides, Kirk was only 31 when he got the Enterprise, which is quite young. I doubt he'd been captain of a ship before.
Again, remember that a ship's commanding officer does not need to hold the rank of captain. TMoST said that his first command was a smaller ship, a destroyer equivalent, while he had commander's rank.


KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Taking lines from WNMHGB as irrefutable fact seems a little pointless to me.
Again, where is all this counterfactual rubbish about "conclusive proof" and "irrefutable fact" coming from? Nobody is claiming anything of the sort. We're just discussing possibilities. Any reasonable observer would conclude that it's impossible to prove anything about this. It's a topic within a work of fiction that was never addressed except in one ambiguous line of dialogue. Even attempting to cast the discussion in terms of proof is nonsense. Of course there's nothing to prove because the characters and institutions we're talking about don't actually exist. The best anyone can say about any interpretation is that it sounds more or less plausible than another. It's a completely abstract discussion about what might have been the case in an imaginary story some people made up decades ago, pure speculation about something there's virtually no evidence about and never will be. So can we please just relax and stop taking it so damn seriously?



It was a pilot episode where Spock wore yellow and had "a human ancestor", where Sulu wore blue, and where Kirk had a BFF that never came up again in canon Trek. It's a great episode, but as with most pilots it's not entirely continuous with the series proper.
I don't see how any of those represent serious continuity problems. Sulu simply changed jobs, and the uniform designs were changed. (Really, as first officer, Spock should have worn command gold; the producers probably just figured he looked better in blue.) And no character important in Kirk's life was brought up outside the episode in which he or she appeared, because that's how '60s television always worked. And Spock may have simply been reticent to admit how much human blood he had. These are no worse than the continuity glitches that showed up within the series itself.
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Old September 26 2012, 04:11 PM   #74
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
"My evidence is the damned original Writer's Guide which is supported by a spoken reference onscreen. That's worth a helluva lot more than your opinion. And the Writer's Guide is Gene Roddenberry's intent which also carries more weight than your opinion. And I reiterate that these two bits of evidence were never contradicted at any time later."
Exactly. During the original run of the first season fans may have speculated what Dehner's comment was supposed to mean. The Making of Star Trek and/or the original Writer's Guide is in essence the late, but official explanation from the creators (Gene Roddenberry and Bob Justman) that Dehner refers to a "destroyer class" vessel (and not one of the "starship class"), Kirk's first command.
As this has never been contradicted later, we should respect the creators' original visions, IMHO.

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Old September 26 2012, 05:03 PM   #75
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

I can't believe that there is actually a discussion of "evidence" and "proof" going on here about what was Kirk's first command. I love to debate Trek minutiae as much as the next guy but, c'mon, this is a freakin' work of fiction. There is no truth about Kirk's first command because Kirk doesn't exist. Therefore, what we're really dealing with here is everyone's opinion and interpretation, even if that opinion or interpretation comes from Gene Roddenberry or Bob Justman.

The problem here is that if we're going to discuss a work of fiction in terms of what did or did not happen to the characters, we have to all be working off the same frame of reference. This isn't real life where you have scientific laws to adhere to in doing research. This is fiction where we can pick and choose what we go by. Are we going strictly by what has appeared on-screen and nothing else? Are we using supporting documents such as the writer's guide or "The Making of Star Trek"? Are we including novels? How about the animated series? Etc. etc. etc.

And folks here do not seem to be able to agree upon the standard that is going to be used. And until such time as an agreement can be reached on that, these discussions are going to go nowhere. And they are especially going to go nowhere, and cease to be entertaining and fun, if what we end up with a thread of "my evidence is better than your evidence" type posts.

All IMHO, of course.
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