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

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Old July 4 2013, 04:52 PM   #31
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timo wrote: View Post
TOS also frequently had women who became infatuated with men and subsequently betrayed everybody...
...But themselves. In essence, these "frequent" cases (care to name a second one?) were downright Nietzschean in their unadulterated devotion to themselves. Surely the very definition of a "strong" character?



Timo Saloniemi

As has been said, the big example of a woman who betrayed the Enterprise is Marla McGivers. She deserved prison.

Lt. Carolyn Palamas went pretty far astray with Apollo and then came back to her senses just in time.

Yeoman Teresa Ross never waivered from her duty or her loyalty, despite the immense, macho sex appeal of General Trelane. Ross was a tower of strength.

And not bad looking, either.
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Old July 4 2013, 08:15 PM   #32
Timo
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

As has been said, the big example of a woman who betrayed the Enterprise is Marla McGivers. She deserved prison.
And this makes her a bad role model, why? She's a strong character who gets what she wants, regardless of which side she plays. (Remarkably, nobody got hurt in the episode where she was a leading adversary, as opposed to virtually every other example of human treachery.)

Lt. Carolyn Palamas went pretty far astray with Apollo and then came back to her senses just in time.
Given that she was under truly divine influence, she can hardly be considered any worse than the barbaric Kirk we witness in, say, "Day of the Dove". Both are appropriate examples of how people of TOS do not want to behave.

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Old July 4 2013, 08:49 PM   #33
Timewalker
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timo wrote: View Post
Certainly there was no suggestion that Janice Lester would have wanted to become a starship skipper, so it's quite convoluted to think that the line would refer to the putative obstacles to such a desire.
Except she stated she wanted to be a starship captain, was angry at Starfleet for not allowing women to be captains (if this was only her perception and there really was at least one female captain, surely the other characters would have pointed that out), and at the end, sobbed, "Now I'll never be the Captain...". That suggests to me that she did, in fact, want to be a starship Captain.

In turn, while the description of McGivers may have been conservative rather than progressive in the 1960s, insisting that it still remains conservative is, uh, rather conservative. McGivers was the ultimate Mary Sue: she wrapped two dominating men around her little finger, got to do a little hurt/comfort and rescue fantasy stuff with both in turn, and got exactly what she wanted in the end. This is HBO stuff from today's viewpoint...

Eventually, McGivers got to be the First Lady of an entire planet. If we don't accept T'Pau as the Space Pope, then McGivers is actually our highest-ranking female character!

Timo Saloniemi
Um, yeah. "First Lady" on a dying planet, among a group of people who ALL considered her to be physically and mentally inferior. Yes, I know Khan referred to her as "superior"... but I interpret that to mean he considered her to be superior among the lesser Enterprise females - in that she was the only one "brave" enough to join him. I don't believe for a second he meant she was in any way equal to him and his people.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post


She didn't know there would be a fight. Logically, she was there to officiate a wedding.

Conventional fanfic and even pro novelists have taken the approach that T'Pau is Sarek's mother, Spock's grandmother, and Amanda's mother-in-law (I recommend you read Diane Duane's excellent Spock's World).
In current novel continuity, Sarek's mother is named T'Rama. T'Pau is sort of a great-aunt.
I don't read the current novels, so have no idea who or what you're referring to. Titles, so I can look it up next time I'm in a bookstore?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
TOS also frequently had women who became infatuated with men and subsequently betrayed everybody...
...But themselves. In essence, these "frequent" cases (care to name a second one?) were downright Nietzschean in their unadulterated devotion to themselves. Surely the very definition of a "strong" character?



Timo Saloniemi
As has been said, the big example of a woman who betrayed the Enterprise is Marla McGivers. She deserved prison.

Lt. Carolyn Palamas went pretty far astray with Apollo and then came back to her senses just in time.

Yeoman Teresa Ross never waivered from her duty or her loyalty, despite the immense, macho sex appeal of General Trelane. Ross was a tower of strength.
How could anyone consider that Teresa Ross betrayed the ship? All she did was dance. You might as well say Uhura betrayed the ship because Trelane zapped the knowledge into her of how to play the harpsichord. Sure, she enjoyed it. But when the dance was done, she was all business again.

Timo wrote: View Post
As has been said, the big example of a woman who betrayed the Enterprise is Marla McGivers. She deserved prison.
And this makes her a bad role model, why? She's a strong character who gets what she wants, regardless of which side she plays. (Remarkably, nobody got hurt in the episode where she was a leading adversary, as opposed to virtually every other example of human treachery.)
Kirk nearly died! Marla was an accessory to attempted murder, and you don't think that would make her a bad role model? The fact that she saved him at the last minute doesn't negate the fact that she helped Khan in the first place.

Lt. Carolyn Palamas went pretty far astray with Apollo and then came back to her senses just in time.
Given that she was under truly divine influence, she can hardly be considered any worse than the barbaric Kirk we witness in, say, "Day of the Dove". Both are appropriate examples of how people of TOS do not want to behave.
Palamas was not under the influence of anything but her own hormones, a pretty face and body (Apollo's), and a mind full of cornflakes (as in stupidity).
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Old July 4 2013, 09:36 PM   #34
Timo
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Except she stated she wanted to be a starship captain
She never stated anything even remotely like that.

was angry at Starfleet for not allowing women to be captains
Not really. She was angry at Kirk for not allowing her into his world of captains. No anger towards Starfleet, for any reason, was ever suggested.

at the end, sobbed, "Now I'll never be the Captain..."
Emphasis reveals what she really wanted. Being captain would not count; only being the captain she loved/hated was of significance.

"First Lady" on a dying planet
...Just like T'Pau. Assuming, of course, that T'Pau ever reached that high a position.

Kirk nearly died! Marla was an accessory to attempted murder, and you don't think that would make her a bad role model?
Kirk "nearly" killed people left and right, too. Why should McGivers be judged by different standards?

Palamas was not under the influence of anything but her own hormones, a pretty face and body (Apollo's), and a mind full of cornflakes (as in stupidity).
Says you. Now who's playing antiquated role models for $500?

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Old July 5 2013, 06:12 AM   #35
Timewalker
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timo wrote: View Post
Except she stated she wanted to be a starship captain
She never stated anything even remotely like that.

was angry at Starfleet for not allowing women to be captains
Not really. She was angry at Kirk for not allowing her into his world of captains. No anger towards Starfleet, for any reason, was ever suggested.

Emphasis reveals what she really wanted. Being captain would not count; only being the captain she loved/hated was of significance.


...Just like T'Pau. Assuming, of course, that T'Pau ever reached that high a position.
Janice Lester wrote:
JANICE: Your world of starship captains doesn't admit women. It isn't fair.
...
KIRK: Captain Kirk to the Enterprise. Captain Kirk to the Enterprise.
...
KIRK: Love? Him? I love the life he led. The power of a starship commander. It's my life now.
...
KIRK [OC]: James Kirk is returning to consciousness in the body of Janice Lester. The Enterprise is proceeding to its next mission, on the course set before I took over command. Now the years I spent studying every single detail of the ship's operation will be tested. With a little experience, I will be invulnerable to suspicion. At last I attain what is my just due. Command of a starship. All the months of preparation now come to fruition.
...
Captain's Log, stardate 5930.3. The results of Doctor McCoy's examination have given me complete confidence in myself. My fears are past. I shall function freely as the captain. I am the captain of the Enterprise, in fact.
...
KIRK: Mister Spock. Mister Spock, my authority has been given to me by Starfleet Command, and only that high authority can take it away.
...
JANICE: No. I am not Captain Kirk. That is very apparent. I claim that whatever it is that makes James Kirk a living being special to himself is being held here in this body.

KIRK: Oh. Well. However, as I understand it, I am Doctor Janice Lester.

JANICE: That's very clever, but I didn't say it. I said, the body of James Kirk is being used by Doctor Janice Lester.

KIRK: A subtlety that somehow escapes me. I assume that this switch was arrived at by mutual agreement.

JANICE: No. It was brought about by a violent attack by Doctor Lester and the use of equipment she discovered on Camus Two.

KIRK: Violence by the lady, perpetrated on Captain Kirk? I ask the assembled personnel to look at Doctor Janice Lester and visualise that historic moment. Can you, can you tell me why Doctor Janice Lester would agree to this ludicrous exchange?

JANICE: Yes. To get the power she craved, to attain a position she doesn't merit by temperament or training. And most of all, she wanted to murder James Kirk, a man who once loved her. But her intense hatred of her own womanhood made life with her impossible.
...
JANICE: Ohh! I've lost to the captain. I've lost to James Kirk! I want you dead! I want you dead! I want you dead! Oh, I'm never going to be the captain. Never. Kill him.

I. Rest. My. Case. Janice was jealous of Kirk, wanted to be a captain, perceived that there was some conspiratorial reason to deny her that, and she chose to blame Kirk. Kirk knew of her desire to be a captain, says flat out that she doesn't merit such a position. After Janice steals Kirk's body, she doesn't crow about being Kirk; she crows about being a captain - a starship commander. She would have stolen any male captain's body to get what she wanted.

Kirk nearly died! Marla was an accessory to attempted murder, and you don't think that would make her a bad role model?
Kirk "nearly" killed people left and right, too. Why should McGivers be judged by different standards?
McGivers was an accessory to the attempted murder of her captain. When did Kirk try to kill his crew, other than when he was split into two halves, and therefore could not possibly be held legally responsible?

Palamas was not under the influence of anything but her own hormones, a pretty face and body (Apollo's), and a mind full of cornflakes (as in stupidity).
Says you. Now who's playing antiquated role models for $500?
Is there some reason for your hostile tone? Do you think that just because I'm a woman, I can't think poorly of a female character I find vapid and easily swayed by the last charismatic male who looks at her? Whatever Palamas is, it's not professional.
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Old July 5 2013, 09:02 PM   #36
Timo
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

I. Rest. My. Case
As you well should, as you have not provided a shred of evidence to support your erroneous original claims or your later ones.

The evidence presented still lacks any phrase suggesting Lester wanted to be a starship captain originally, but was thwarted -or any phrase suggesting she hated Starfleet, for any reason.

OTOH, any phrase suggesting that the starship captain position falling on her lap as part of the body-swap plan would have been Lester's ultimate goal, the one that would satisfy her, can be seen as a mere means-to-an-end situation: she's satisfied at having defeated and humiliated Kirk, and is just reveling in her victory / wriggling in her inability to think of any future course of action.

Lester doesn't take command of a starship from Starfleet. She takes it from Kirk - away from Kirk. She has studied the art with the specific purpose of thus being able to take it away from Kirk. It's all about Kirk, from start to bitter finish, just as her closing cries testify; captaincy is just a means to an end.

McGivers was an accessory to the attempted murder of her captain.
Yes. And in any other show, such a character would have come to a bitter end, justly punished for her impudence (typically by being hoist to her own petard, with the hands of the hero remaining clean). In "Space Seed", she triumphs, her cause justified, her status secured. Which is why she's not a particularly bad or repressive role model for her times, even though she is a criminal.

When did Kirk try to kill his crew, other than when he was split into two halves, and therefore could not possibly be held legally responsible?
Who said anything about "his crew"? Heroes have opponents, who become free game by virtue of standing in the way of the hero. McGivers' opponent was Kirk, whom she defeated, without harming him in the end. Kirk's opponents varied.

Is there some reason for your hostile tone?
I tend to get irritated at people who don't want to see any of the six to twelve sides of the coin even after they are rather trivially presented, is all. Narrow-mindedness in a debate about presenting characters in a narrow-minded way is something of a double irritant; the rest is just classic net debate hubris. But when that comes off as hostility, I have done something wrong, and I apologize - that wasn't quite my intention.

Do you think that just because I'm a woman
...Didn't notice. Honestly.

I can't think poorly of a female character I find vapid and easily swayed by the last charismatic male who looks at her? Whatever Palamas is, it's not professional.
I don't see why professionalism should rank particularly high in the evaluation of a Trek character. Kirk is at his moral best, not to mention at his most exciting, when he defies orders and uses his own judgement.

Lester was crazy; Palamas fell under the influence of a God. There's no room left there for the personality of the character to show through.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 5 2013, 09:27 PM   #37
Timewalker
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timo wrote: View Post
I. Rest. My. Case
As you well should, as you have not provided a shred of evidence to support your erroneous original claims or your later ones.

The evidence presented still lacks any phrase suggesting Lester wanted to be a starship captain originally, but was thwarted -or any phrase suggesting she hated Starfleet, for any reason.
Oh, FFS, I read that whole script, and Janice makes it plain that she wants the life of a starship commander! She doesn't say she wants Kirk's life; she wants a captain's life. If Kirk were to retire from being an active captain and teach at the Academy, would she have done what she did (stole his body) to have that life? I very much doubt it.

McGivers was an accessory to the attempted murder of her captain.
Yes. And in any other show, such a character would have come to a bitter end, justly punished for her impudence (typically by being hoist to her own petard, with the hands of the hero remaining clean). In "Space Seed", she triumphs, her cause justified, her status secured. Which is why she's not a particularly bad or repressive role model for her times, even though she is a criminal.

Who said anything about "his crew"? Heroes have opponents, who become free game by virtue of standing in the way of the hero. McGivers' opponent was Kirk, whom she defeated, without harming him in the end. Kirk's opponents varied.
I don't see McGivers as having triumphed. She had a choice of court-martial or exile. In neither case would she be free to resume her normal life.

McGivers betrayed her captain and fellow crewmembers. The only time Kirk did that was when he was afflicted by the effects of a transporter accident. It wasn't deliberate. All the rest of Kirk's opponents in the series' other episodes are irrelevant to this discussion. We're talking about 'Space Seed' here. And even though he recovered from what Khan did to him, he still could have died. She was an accomplice, thereby making her guilty. I see ZERO "role model" credibility there.

And keep in mind that she also turned around and betrayed Khan. Even if Khan forgave her, do you think the rest of his people would? History has shown that people tend not to trust traitors, no matter which side they betrayed.

I tend to get irritated at people who don't want to see any of the six to twelve sides of the coin even after they are rather trivially presented, is all. Narrow-mindedness in a debate about presenting characters in a narrow-minded way is something of a double irritant; the rest is just classic net debate hubris. But when that comes off as hostility, I have done something wrong, and I apologize - that wasn't quite my intention.
I get irritated at people who can't seem to recognize their own narrow-minded take on an issue.

Thank you for the apology; I appreciate it, because this is certainly not the first time you've taken this tone with me in discussions.

I can't think poorly of a female character I find vapid and easily swayed by the last charismatic male who looks at her? Whatever Palamas is, it's not professional.
I don't see why professionalism should rank particularly high in the evaluation of a Trek character. Kirk is at his moral best, not to mention at his most exciting, when he defies orders and uses his own judgement.

Lester was crazy; Palamas fell under the influence of a God. There's no room left there for the personality of the character to show through.
The thing is, Kirk has the experience and training to have earned the leeway to use his own judgment. Palamas doesn't. And even before they met Apollo, she simpers and wonders why she's there on the landing party... Duh - you're the anthropology officer! Myths are a part of studying anthropology (I know this because anthropology was my college major). Apollo is a mythic figure. Figure it out, woman!

Before she got mesmerized by Apollo's charisma, Palamas was just plain stupid.
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Old July 5 2013, 09:51 PM   #38
Timo
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

She doesn't say she wants Kirk's life
Yet that is the only thing she schemes for. She lures in the Enterprise, sending out a distress signal at a moment of her own choosing. She is certainly not surprised to see Kirk in the slightest, even if she feigns (double-feigns!) disgust. And when she proceeds with the body swap, it is with a tirade of specific anti-Kirk bitterness. Tellingly, it's never "Captain", it's always "Captain Kirk".

The phrase "Love? Him?" is an obvious lie, a piece of desperate self-deception. The scheme with Coleman involved prearranging for moments of gloating over the victim, moments Lester used and wasted, never daring to complete the kill. There would have been no need for such an arrangement had the victim been an indifferent Starfleet skipper.

I don't see McGivers as having triumphed. She had a choice of court-martial or exile. In neither case would she be free to resume her normal life.
Which is a definite triumph, because obviously she hated her normal life.

We learn early on what McGivers wants. Ultimately, that is the very thing she gets, even if it takes some arranging.

All the rest of Kirk's opponents in the series' other episodes are irrelevant to this discussion. We're talking about 'Space Seed' here.
Nonsense. We're talking about the portrayal of women and men in Star Trek. In some episodes, men do things like the ones a woman does here, scheming and betraying. In some of these, the men are portrayed in negative light; in others, positive. This is a rare example of such actions being portrayed as forgivable, uniquely so for a female character.

Much of this of course comes from the positive portrayal of Khan... Which is an interesting chicken-and-egg problem. Was Khan (along with his mistress) portrayed as less than completely rotten because the writer wanted the ending where Kirk basically pardons him (as the character of Kirk would suffer if he let a truly rotten egg go)? Or did the writer want an ambiguous opponent, a choice that allowed him to use the ending? There's no sign that Trek was going serial at that point; Khan as a recurring character would not have been a likely prospect. But it's a possibility, as Trek would soon start to experiment with a recurring Klingon villain (but fail due to actor availability issues), and would eventually reuse Mudd.

A likeable villain the hero admires before a betrayal and still respects after it is a bold move. A likeable traitor among Kirk's own ranks is an even bolder one. Neither Khan nor McGivers is good Starfleet material, but that's not the same as them not being progressively portrayed characters.

Before she got mesmerized by Apollo's charisma, Palamas was just plain stupid.
Umm, upon reviewing the episode, I must say I agree here. But is it fair to fault the character for the same traits Chekov consistently portrays?

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Old July 5 2013, 10:05 PM   #39
Lance
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

I must agree with the guys who said Nancy Hedford. Within Federation ranks.

There are others that might be of a higher status in some broader, Monarchial sense. Elaan Dohlman of Elas was clearly of great importance, but didn't necessarily hold "rank".
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Old July 5 2013, 11:30 PM   #40
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timewalker wrote: View Post
I don't read the current novels, so have no idea who or what you're referring to. Titles, so I can look it up next time I'm in a bookstore?
T'Rama first appeared in a SNW story ("A Girl For Every Star") and then in one of the ENT Romulan War novels (To Brave The Storm), where she is T'Pau's bodyguard.
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