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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old March 27 2013, 07:26 AM   #1
Captain Nebula
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ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

I'm watching The Undiscovered Country again and it just strikes me as out of character for McCoy after Klingon Chancellor Gorkon is shot and McCoy is working on him and says:

"Jim, I don't even know his anatomy."

To me, that's not like McCoy at all. I would have thought Bones would have been able to pull a rabbit out of his hat as usual and for him not to be ready for alien visitors and be ready to treat anything from a scraped knee (do Klingons have knees?) to an allergic reaction to the food is just strange. Did Starfleet send them out unprepared? Was McCoy slacking as he got towards retirement? Was McCoy bigoted? Or was McCoy not prepared for Kirk to even ask the Klingons to dinner and never expected to have to treat one?

Is that odd to anyone else?
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Old March 27 2013, 08:46 AM   #2
Ho Ho Homeier
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

Well for decades prior to that, it's unlikely the Klingons shared medical data on their species with Starfleet or had a physician exchange program. However, with a quick scan of Arne Darvin, McCoy was able to determine he was a Klingon. But that doesn't mean he was familiar with their internal organ structure.
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Old March 27 2013, 10:38 AM   #3
F. King Daniel
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

Star Trek VI treats the characters horribly.

-Kirk is suddenly turned into a racist Klingon-hater, totally at odds with the guy seen in TOS and as recently as STV. It's out of character. Remember hpw he treated Kruge and Maltz, so shortly after David's death? He offered his hand to the guy who ordered his son's death. He drank with Klingons in STV.

-Spock graphically mind rapes Valaris in the middle of the bridge, and everyone just watches. Nobody tries to stop him. I pretty much pretend this scene never happened, since the way they played it, Spock might as well have bent her over the helm and everyone else is an asshole for just sitting there and allowing it to happen. Out of character for Spock and everyone else.

-McCoy doesn't know Klingon anatomy. Klingons have been the Federation's #1 enemy for a century, yet the Enterprise doctor knows nothing? No way.

-Uhura doesn't speak Klingon? The communications officer of the Enterprise doesn't know the language of the Federation's #1 rival for the past century? Despite several dealings with them beforehand?

-Spock(again) talks with Jim about them both being old and useless. Spock is half-Vulcan, and wasn't close to middle-age at the time.

And FWIW, this film ignores "Yesterday's Enterprise", which had previously established that the event leading to peace with the Klingons was the heroic sacrifice of the Enterprise-C 20 years prior to The Next Generation. It prevented a war which the Federation would have lost. Compare with the Praxis explosion crippling the Empire, which had no choice but to sue for peace.


Instead of writing a story to fit the characters, they changed the characters to suit their story. A lot of Trek has done that over the years, but never so blatantly as in STVI.
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Old March 27 2013, 11:14 AM   #4
Lance
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

Agreed. Everybody is out of character in TUC.
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Old March 27 2013, 11:16 AM   #5
DalekJim
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

King Daniel wrote: View Post
-Spock graphically mind rapes Valaris in the middle of the bridge, and everyone just watches.
I thought that was a very powerful scene, from one of the absolute best Star Trek films.

Lance wrote: View Post
Agreed. Everybody is out of character in TUC.
I'd say they're more out of character in The Voyage Home. Scotty is mentally ill and Kirk is some type of gameshow host.

I love the TOS movies (All of 'em!) but the crew are out of character a lot of the time. Only II and III really get their personalities dead on.
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Old March 27 2013, 11:26 AM   #6
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
I thought that was a very powerful scene...
Yes. Even if implication is disturbing.

DalekJim wrote: View Post
...from one of the absolute best Star Trek films.
Debateable. Though I get why people like it.
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Old March 27 2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

I don't get the hate. It's got a meaty story (for a Star Trek movie!), moral complexity, social commentary, great dialogue, the best direction since Star Trek II, less irritating humour, wonderful performances and a solid ending for the TOS crew.

All I'd have changed would have been to use Saavik (Kirstie Alley version 'cus she's sexy as hell!) instead of Valeris, give Sulu less screentime and give Chang a bit more depth.

I'd put it up there with the best of the film franchise. Generations is when the quality nose dives.

Last edited by DalekJim; March 27 2013 at 05:55 PM.
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Old March 27 2013, 11:34 AM   #8
Lance
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

As the series went forward the actors seemed to stop playing their characters and start playing themselves. This was never more evident than with Shatner himself, who undergoes a definite shift from "Kirk" to "Shatner" somewhere around The Voyage Home. Possibly even as early as TSFS.

I'd have accepted the mind rape better if Valeris had been Saavik. Spock's un-Vulcan-like feeling of betrayal at his protege just doesn't have the same impact given we've only just met her.
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Old March 27 2013, 11:41 AM   #9
DalekJim
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

Lance wrote: View Post
As the series went forward the actors seemed to stop playing their characters and start playing themselves. This was never more evident than with Shatner himself, who undergoes a definite shift from "Kirk" to "Shatner" somewhere around The Voyage Home. Possibly even as early as TSFS.
I'd say The Voyage Home, where he's Shatner's bubbly self instead of a starship captain. Undiscovered Country sees him return to playing Kirk, even if the joke about Kirk always having wanted to kiss himself was a joke regarding Shatner's media persona, as it clearly didn't fit the Kirk character at all.
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Old March 27 2013, 12:37 PM   #10
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

Nicholas Meyer is a wonderful storyteller but he lacks a regard for established Trek lore or canon. I'm surprised Leonard Nimoy didn't reel him in more with some of the questionable out of character moments with the TOS crew. At that time they were more interested in reflecting the then current news of the Soviet Union collapse of 1991 more then anything, and they didn't care to address TNG's Yesterday's Enterprise or anything else we knew about these characters from the TOS movies or series. David dying at the hands of Klingons seemed like something that could be mined to create a bigoted Kirk that could move the plot along and they ran with that, despite Kirk not showing that much hatred towards Klingons in any previous movie or TV episode.
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Old March 27 2013, 12:44 PM   #11
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

-Spock graphically mind rapes Valaris in the middle of the bridge, and everyone just watches. Nobody tries to stop him. I pretty much pretend this scene never happened, since the way they played it, Spock might as well have bent her over the helm and everyone else is an asshole for just sitting there and allowing it to happen. Out of character for Spock and everyone else.
Do you realize that you come off as a disgusting sexist bigot here?

Is any confrontation between a man and a woman somehow "rape", unless the woman triumphs hands down, or is ugly, or fails to squeal? Is a woman sacrosanct just because of her gender even if she happens to be a key figure in a plot to kill trillions? What possible difference is there between this scene and the one where Spock brutally forces a hapless male guard to open a door the man doesn't want opened, in "A Taste of Armageddon"? Why didn't the other captives rush Spock and beat him on the head with a stool until he bled enough to realize how monstrous it was to violate people that way?

You really come off as beatifying rape as an institution. Or then diluting the meaning of the concept to nothing, which is pretty much the same thing.

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Old March 27 2013, 05:21 PM   #12
DaleC76
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

[QUOTE=Timo;7858075]
What possible difference is there between this scene and the one where Spock brutally forces a hapless male guard to open a door the man doesn't want opened, in "A Taste of Armageddon"? Why didn't the other captives rush Spock and beat him on the head with a stool until he bled enough to realize how monstrous it was to violate people that way?
...or forcing his Katra into an unsuspecting McCoy, almost costing the good doctor his sanity and/or life.

I've never liked the "mind rape" label for that scene, since it seems to be used solely because Valeris is female. I do believe that there is a bit of sexism in this view, as many are uncomfortable seeing a woman bullied by the powerful Spock. If that was Admiral Cartwright, or one of the other male conspirators, it would be seen in a much different light.
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Old March 27 2013, 05:41 PM   #13
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

You forgot to add that Chekov, a former security officer knows nothing about the Enterprise's weapons alarms or how to conduct an investigation.

But they don't all act out of character - Rand was still an air-head and she cried over Kirk.

Trek has never had a very appropriate approach to telepathic intrusions. Babylon 5 handled the subject far better. But this approach is symptomatic of a lot of American story-telling in the 80s and 90s where interrogation techniques are pretty much torture and abuse. Hopefully the generation of writers who have lived through a decade of CSI might see better ways of getting the truth. I was appalled in Lost when so many of the characters stepped back and encouraged the torture of a man for information when in fact a few simple questions would have sufficed (and eventually did). If Jack Bauer were interrogating Valeris you can bet he'd have had her pinned to a table with a laser scalpel poised over her eye.
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Old March 27 2013, 06:06 PM   #14
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
I'd say The Voyage Home, where he's Shatner's bubbly self instead of a starship captain.
Even though TVH was a comedy, I didn't get the sense that Shatner was camping it up and winking and nudging the way he did in, let's say Airplane II. You're supposed to laugh with him, not at him.

The problem I have with V is that Kirk treats the bridge like it's his personal living room, and the other veterans are his friends, and the rest of the crew are peons. He strolls on with his bomber jacket and just kind of sits down, oh, hum, another day at the office, after having climbed the mountain. I just don't sense that buttoned-down Master and Commander aspect that was there in Trek II, which I think is a core part of who Kirk should be.
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Old March 27 2013, 07:26 PM   #15
F. King Daniel
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Re: ST VI:TUC Out of character for McCoy?

Timo wrote: View Post
Do you realize that you come off as a disgusting sexist bigot here?

Is any confrontation between a man and a woman somehow "rape", unless the woman triumphs hands down, or is ugly, or fails to squeal?
Lolwhut?
Is a woman sacrosanct just because of her gender even if she happens to be a key figure in a plot to kill trillions? What possible difference is there between this scene and the one where Spock brutally forces a hapless male guard to open a door the man doesn't want opened, in "A Taste of Armageddon"? Why didn't the other captives rush Spock and beat him on the head with a stool until he bled enough to realize how monstrous it was to violate people that way?
In those cases, the act wasn't portrayed as a sexual violation. In STVI it deliberately was. Why, I have no idea. Supposedly at Nimoy's behest, although I can't fathom why. Had the prior scenes where Spock forced a meld on another been played in a similar fashion, they'd have been just as unpleasent.
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