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

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Old September 13 2013, 05:47 PM   #61
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
That line is on of the reasons I draw parallels between Vulcan and Japan. After WWII Japan went from enemy to staunch ally and was occupied by US forces for several years after the war.
When you combine that with the Romulans as surrogate Chinese, that makes craptons of sense.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Well they pretty much ignored that line in future TOS episodes as well. Turning the Vulcans into pacifists and philosophers. I think part of that was the time in which TOS was made and Spock becoming a darling of the counter-culture (or a segment of the counter-culture)
I'd never thought of that before. Great point!

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I'm enjoying this thread immensely, but what I just read either reveals that McCoy's knowledge of history is flawed (because he is drunk?) or a continuity problem. Here is the dialogue from "The Immunity Syndrome":

Spock: True. It is also true they never knew what was killing them. Their logic would not have permitted them to believe they were being killed.
Kirk: Explain.
Spock: Vulcan has not been conquered within its collective memory. The memory goes back so far that no Vulcan can conceive of a conqueror. I knew the ship was lost because I sensed it.
I've always found Spock's first line so... awkward. "Logic would not permit them to know they were being killed." That's just silly.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Star Trek had continuity but it wasn't the ridged "every thing counts" continuity that some fans would like. They were more than willing to toss out ideas that didn't work or look for ideas that worked better. The first half of Season One is littered with abandoned ideas. That doesn't make them hacks, it shows they were professionals.

"A foolish continuity is the hobgoblin of little minds".
This. The idea of continuity is what builds the impression of a real universe; changes of a minor nature, in relatively minor amounts, are reconcilable until they reach a certain "critical mass." I believe the makers of TOS understood this, as did viewers.

There are shows which ignore all continuity and realism and do different things from week to week without caring, and shows which make a marked effort towards continuity and realism. TOS was definitely the latter.
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Old September 13 2013, 06:15 PM   #62
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Yes, ideas change - UESPA vs. Starfleet - but a willingness to overlook continuity is not great storytelling. That's all I was getting at. Respect your previous work, think about retcons, and decide when to use them, don't just let new writers change things because they're too lazy or know so little about your world that they just make up things that contradict previously-established 'facts'.
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Old September 13 2013, 07:03 PM   #63
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Just remember that most of what we consider to be TOS continuity/canon/whatever, is the work of Gene L. Coon.....
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Old September 13 2013, 07:20 PM   #64
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Darkwing wrote: View Post
Yes, ideas change - UESPA vs. Starfleet - but a willingness to overlook continuity is not great storytelling. That's all I was getting at. Respect your previous work, think about retcons, and decide when to use them, don't just let new writers change things because they're too lazy or know so little about your world that they just make up things that contradict previously-established 'facts'.
But there's a difference between ignoring previously established "continuity" when a show first debuts and changing a premise once that show becomes more popular. Take M*A*S*H for example. In the first few seasons things were established that were changed later in the series (i.e. such things as Hawkeye's home state first being Vermont but later changed to Maine; Blake's wife first being named Mildred and later changed to Lorraine, and numerous other examples). Most of the early MASH continuity was later changed to suit the writers when the show started becoming popular.

MASH had the distinction of being on the air for 11 years and gaining popularity each year, while TOS was only on for 3, and was NEVER popular in its original broadcast. Unlike MASH, TOS never really had the time to truly nail down how things were actually established in their universe. With hindsight now that Star Trek has become a cultural icon, sometimes we lose sight of the fact that in 1966, NO ONE who worked on the show ever took this stuff anywhere near as seriously as we do.
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Old September 13 2013, 07:39 PM   #65
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

^Never mind that MASH was an 11-year series shoehorned into a 3-year war....

I'd say that continuity with things that actually happened in the series is much more important than continuity with offhand references made in the series.

The "Immunity Syndrome" line blows the alternate theory that I was going to share (that Vulcan had been briefly occupied by an outside force, perhaps the Klingons, and collaboration was an issue). The best way to reconcile McCoy's line with Spock's later assertion is that McCoy was exaggerating. If, per the previous theory, Vulcan had attempted to secede or supported a secession, and the secession attempt was put down, it's possible that Vulcan was never literally occupied or conquered, but figuratively, proud humans like McCoy liked to think that they'd beaten the once-mighty Vulcans.
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Old September 13 2013, 07:53 PM   #66
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

The only thing I'm concerned with as far as continuity goes is that they get the broad strokes right.
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Old September 13 2013, 08:38 PM   #67
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
This Side Of Paradise was produced before Immunity Syndrome. I doubt the idea that McCoy was drunk and couldn't recall history ever crossed the minds of the writers.
The scene is from The Conscience of the King and McCoy is drinking Saurian Brandy. In the episode he doesn't appear drunk but looking at some of the lines he delivered, I might get second thoughts.

MCCOY: Would you care for a drink, Mister Spock? ... Now I know why they were conquered ... Lots of things go on around here that I don't know, Mister Spock. ... Come on, have a drink ... if you won't join me, don't disapprove of me. At least not until you've tried it, huh?

There are other occasions where McCoy isn't that good with history. Given the choice whether to believe Spock in IS or McCoy in CK, I'd rather listen to Spock.

Bob
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Old September 13 2013, 08:59 PM   #68
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
This Side Of Paradise was produced before Immunity Syndrome. I doubt the idea that McCoy was drunk and couldn't recall history ever crossed the minds of the writers.
The scene is from The Conscience of the King and McCoy is drinking Saurian Brandy. In the episode he doesn't appear drunk but looking at some of the lines he delivered, I might get second thoughts.

MCCOY: Would you care for a drink, Mister Spock? ... Now I know why they were conquered ... Lots of things go on around here that I don't know, Mister Spock. ... Come on, have a drink ... if you won't join me, don't disapprove of me. At least not until you've tried it, huh?

There are other occasions where McCoy isn't that good with history. Given the choice whether to believe Spock in IS or McCoy in CK, I'd rather listen to Spock.

Bob
Irrelevant as the line is still from Season One even if I screwed up the attribution. The writers intended that the Vulcans were conquered in Season One and then changed their minds by Season Two. One can rationalize and make excuses, but the writer's intent is clear. Neither Spock or McCoy are experts in the pseudo-history presented in Star Trek they just say what the writers want. Spock's evolution ( and by extension the Vulcans) made that early Season One line incompatible with what he'd become, so they ignored it.
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Old September 13 2013, 10:46 PM   #69
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
There are other occasions where McCoy isn't that good with history. Given the choice whether to believe Spock in IS or McCoy in CK, I'd rather listen to Spock.
McCoy would be unlikely to be knowledgeable about Vulcan history, and to be fair Spock seem to get details of Earth history wrong on occasion.

But there is another possibility.

MCCOY: Would you care for a drink, Mister Spock?

SPOCK: My father's "RACE" was spared the dubious benefits of alcohol.

MCCOY: Now I know why "THEY" were conquered.

In IS Spock seem to be speaking of the Vulcan people as a whole, the Vulcan species had never been conquered by a external enemy. But the Vulcans had a long history of warfare between themselves, surely there must have been victors and loser in their history. And we've seen with Spock and Tuvok that the Vulcan species has racial sub-divisions.

So when McCoy referred to Spock's father's race being conquered, maybe he meant just that? A particular race, and not the entire Vulcan species.

Conquered by a different Vulcan race, and not a external enemy.


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Old September 13 2013, 10:54 PM   #70
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
There are other occasions where McCoy isn't that good with history. Given the choice whether to believe Spock in IS or McCoy in CK, I'd rather listen to Spock.
McCoy would be unlikely to be knowledgeable about Vulcan history, and to be fair Spock seem to get details of Earth history wrong on occasion.

That doesn't really matter, does it? McCoy said Vulcan was conquered. Spock heard him and did not correct him. Ergo, Vulcan was conquered. In a later episode Spock states that Vulcan was never conquered, and no one corrects him. Ergo, Vulcan wasn't conquered. It's a changed premise. Just like Henry Blake's wife's name changing from Mildred to Lorraine. There's no need to come up with any convoluted reasoning for it, it just is. We accept the new premise and move along.
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Old September 13 2013, 11:12 PM   #71
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Dukhat wrote: View Post
Spock heard him and did not correct him. Ergo, Vulcan was conquered.
Doesn't sound logical to me. The whole context of the scene is about Spock trying to motivate the good doctor to join him in his investigation while McCoy wants Spock to join him drinking or getting drunk.
Correcting Dr. McCoy will not serve Spock's goal but rather the opposite.

@ T'Girl

Interesting idea but that would make McCoy more knowledgeable about details of Vulcan history than it usually seems.

Bob
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Old September 13 2013, 11:26 PM   #72
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Interesting idea but that would make McCoy more knowledgeable about details of Vulcan history than it usually seems.

Bob
Well, he does seem to spend a great deal of time and effort to cultivate his public persona of being "just a simple ol' country doctor". But, I suspect that simple country doctors don't usually get to be the CMO aboard one of Starfleet's premier front-line starships. I tend to believe there's a heck of a lot going on in that brain than he wants to let on. The question would be: why?
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Old September 14 2013, 12:53 AM   #73
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

I've feeling the idea was Vulcan was conquered by Earth. So McCoy would be referring to Earth history.
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Old September 14 2013, 04:45 AM   #74
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

One thing I've always felt about the Vulcans, in keeping with the pacifist portrayal, is that they didn't have a fleet to speak of during TOS. This might also explain why Starfleet/UESPA loaned them the Intrepid.

Fits with the Japanese thing, too.
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Old September 14 2013, 11:57 AM   #75
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Re: Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Or we had a few Vulcans (like Spock's half-brother and himself) that disagreed with the conservative attitudes of the majority of Vulcans and pursued a career in Starfleet instead. Maybe there were just 400 of them (and not 430).

But I think T'Girl was really on to something. Spock did not refer to "Vulcans" but to "Vulcan's race".

According to Spock in "Balance of Terror" there had been an aggressive colonizing period in Vulcan's past, thus it stands to reason that we had pre-Surak Vulcan colonies on other planets (e.g. the Rigelians mentioned in "Journey to Babel"?).

There might have been an armed conflict between Earth and one of those Vulcan colonies ("Vulcanian expedition") in the pre-TOS time that would explain quite a lot of the anti-Vulcan resentment we have come to see in early TOS.

Bob
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