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

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Old February 11 2013, 07:42 PM   #31
TOSalltheway
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Re: Bones in charge

McCOY is not a leader, not trained to make command decisions. Remember Menagerie ? He could barely give the order to have Spock arrested.
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Old February 11 2013, 09:16 PM   #32
plynch
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Re: Bones in charge

From a writing standpoint, you would really have to contrive something. Rest of bridge crew unconscious and turbolift broken or something. BUT - think how many times Spock has been in command and McCoy is always needling him. Turns out Spock is always right. Now would be a good character development moment for McCoy to realize how hard it is, possibly screw up and recover right at the lost moment or something. (Or better yet, some real loss occurs, but probably not in '60s TV.) This is NOT a bad episode idea, frankly.
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Old February 11 2013, 10:39 PM   #33
A beaker full of death
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Re: Bones in charge

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
I don't care if it makes complete sense and I don't care about what happens in the US Navy. I think it would have fun and interesting to see McCoy in command.
McCoy was in command... of sickbay. He was a Starfleet officer and was perfectly capable of giving an order and asserting his authority when he needed to, including going up against Kirk himself. We saw this many times.
But he was NOT a line officer. Putting him in the chair would've been so much fanwank.
And as we all know, fanwank only gets aired... on TNG.
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Old February 11 2013, 10:56 PM   #34
Robert D. Robot
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Re: Bones in charge

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
.....
But he was NOT a line officer. Putting him in the chair would've been so much fanwank.
And as we all know, fanwank only gets aired... on TNG.
I have been fighting the urge to bring up TNG episode where Beverly is left in command of the ship when the Borg attack. Or when Troi is training to take the test for command. Ugh!

These two individuals have special skills & interests that got them posted to a starship, but -in my opinion- it seems a big stretch that their characters would have the urge to command. They each definitely had skills in heading a department, but this did not give them the capability to (potentially) take a ship into battle.

And just so no one is lead to believe that I am against women in command: Kira, Rachel Garrett, and Captain Janeway were written so to convince me that they were capable of commanding a starship.
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Old February 11 2013, 11:02 PM   #35
kirsten187
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Re: Bones in charge

I think McCoy himself has said that he is not an officer of the line...can't remember which episode though.
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Old February 11 2013, 11:17 PM   #36
foxhot
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Re: Bones in charge

Pavonis wrote: ''You have to recognize when a problem exists to know to give orders to fix it. I mean, sure, McCoy could order Sulu to warp out of orbit or order Scott to "give him more power", but in the end, McCoy isn't needed to give those orders, as Scott and Sulu are far more experienced than McCoy and wouldn't need to be told what to do.''

Except when third season mistakes crop up, and McCoy orders SULU not to fire phasers on inhabited areas of Elba II in WHOM GODS DESTROY. Sulu just says ''Yes, sir.''

OBSESSION makes clear that McCoy is in a uniquely fun position. He couldn't take command if anyone else on ship was alive, but he alone can relieve anybody from command, including the Captain. So it's cool to watch McCoy stick it to Shatner----I mean, Kirk when his boss steps out of line.
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Old February 12 2013, 04:11 AM   #37
Opus
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Re: Bones in charge

I'd suggest reading 'The Entropy Effect' by Vonda McIntyre. Spock puts McCoy in command while he investigates Kirk's murder.
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Old February 12 2013, 02:41 PM   #38
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Re: Bones in charge

Okay.....but did McIntyre have a legitimate reason for not placing Scott or Sulu in command instead? If it's only for friendship reasons, or to keep the Big Three center-focused....
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Old February 12 2013, 04:22 PM   #39
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Re: Bones in charge

foxhot wrote: View Post
Okay.....but did McIntyre have a legitimate reason for not placing Scott or Sulu in command instead?
It's the story she wanted to tell. Isn't that a legitimate reason?
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Old February 12 2013, 06:24 PM   #40
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Re: Bones in charge

From my perspective, the plots and outcomes of stories should originate from the constraints set up from outside the story setting. McCoy is a doctor, therefore not a line officer, and therefore any situation where he ends up in command has to arise naturally in-universe despite the constraints. Those constraints would have to be highlighted and an explanation why a staff officer would end up in charge would have to be given. Breaking the rules to set up a dramatic situation might be done all the time, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

If McCoy can command a starship, despite having no experience and the character having expressed no interest in doing so, then why not have Sulu do surgery, or have Scotty become a ballerina? Those would be interesting stories, too, but why tell them with those characters? Neither Sulu nor Scott have shown interest in those areas. While anyone could write a story where they suddenly do show an interest, perhaps even an aptitude for the activity, why pull something so oddly out-of-character out of nowhere?

Maybe it comes down to whether a person prefers plot-driven stories or character-driven stories. From my perspective, putting McCoy in command would be a purely plot-driven contrivance that would violate the character's personality and history. Since I'm not convinced that McCoy could be a decent commander, I'm sure it would just weaken his character to see him fumble around trying to order other characters around. Further, I can't see him not handing command over to Spock, Scotty, Sulu, or even Chekov at the first opportunity.
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Old February 12 2013, 06:27 PM   #41
The Mirrorball Man
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Re: Bones in charge

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Maybe it comes down to whether a person prefers plot-driven stories or character-driven stories.
I think it comes down to wheter someone prefers drama or worldbuilding.
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Old February 12 2013, 07:26 PM   #42
alpha_leonis
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Re: Bones in charge

Thinking about the scenario for just a moment, I can see the following dramatic-potential moment:

If there is a crisis in progress, sometimes the CO is required to make a decision that requires the death of one of his/her subordinates. (That scenario was actually the premise behind the B-story of TNG's "Thine Own Self" -- Troi had to directly order the death of holographic LaForge in order to receive her command promotion.)

Compare that to the additional responsibility of a Doctor: I believe McCoy mentioned before that he'd taken the Hippocratic Oath, which requires him to do no harm. That would present a conflict of interest for him to also, potentially, order the harm or death of some of the crew to serve a larger purpose.

Just a thought.
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Old February 12 2013, 07:36 PM   #43
Pavonis
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Re: Bones in charge

Does the Hippocratic Oath apply to all the actions taken by a physician, even outside of their duties as a doctor, or does it apply only to actions taken in the course of treating a patient?
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Old February 12 2013, 07:50 PM   #44
Jonas Grumby
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Re: Bones in charge

What is interesting to me is that, in the TNG episodes mentioned above where Beverly is in command and Troi is training for command, it seems the idea was that the way to enhance these characters and give them more to do was to let them do the same things the lead characters were doing, essentially letting them "play captain." I would think a better and more realistic way to let a character grow would be to focus on traits and abilities unique to that character and consistent with that characters purpose and position.

As an example, TOS (and, in no small measure, DeForest Kelley) gave us a vibrant and distinctive character in Dr. McCoy. The character was allowed to shine in many episodes, but never by simply mimicking the role of another lead character. I can't help but believe that if someone had ever come up with the idea of "Hey, let's figure out some way for Bones to be the captain this week!", Kelley would have been one of the first to say, "That doesn't make any sense."
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Old February 12 2013, 07:51 PM   #45
alpha_leonis
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Re: Bones in charge

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Does the Hippocratic Oath apply to all the actions taken by a physician, even outside of their duties as a doctor, or does it apply only to actions taken in the course of treating a patient?
Not being a medical person, I can't say for sure. But I'd imagine a Starfleet doctor would at least apply that oath to any actions she or he takes in the line of duty.
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