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

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Old October 11 2013, 10:52 PM   #16
Melakon
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

It's also apparently the first time either Kirk or McCoy have set foot on Vulcan, and not even Spock warned them of the details of the ceremony before beaming down.
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Old October 11 2013, 10:55 PM   #17
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

George Steinbrenner wrote: View Post
The Umbrella Corporation wrote: View Post
Look at it from T'Pau's point of view. She must have wondered why Kirk would have accepted the challenge. Surely he didn't fancy T'Pring.
Because Kirk didn't want to dishonor Vulcan customs by turning down a challenge? Besides, if he declined, T'Pring would simply have chosen someone else.
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Old October 12 2013, 01:35 AM   #18
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

BillJ wrote: View Post
The Umbrella Corporation wrote: View Post

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Presumably a Starship Captain, a representative of the Federation should know this.
So he's suppose to know the local laws and customs of hundreds of Federation worlds? I think that is a little much to expect of anyone.
I actually agree with this.

But if I was T'Pau I might think that Vulcan was special enough to warrant understanding of its customs. That Kirk (a Starfleet representative) wasn't going to come down and tell them how they should do things on Vulcan - stamp all over their customs and traditions.

Same if Kirk was on Andoria? I would expect him to be somewhat familiar with Andorian protocols. Kirk wants to play with the big boys - T'Pau's not going to let him back out when things get tough (and hes already been given a chance).

And Spock was in no state to explain the 1/1000000 chance of what might have gone wrong in his wedding. He was barely holding it together as it was. And if he had known, Kirk would have still insisted on going to make sure Spock was being treated OK - you know he would. Although of course not agree to fight to the death.
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Old October 12 2013, 01:39 AM   #19
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

^Ummm...a major part of the story was that the Vulcans had been keeping these mating customs a closely-guarded secret. Kirk and McCoy spent half the episode just figuring out what was going on with Spock, there was nothing on record about his condition. And T'Pau was scandalized that outworlders were present at the ceremony.

Did you even watch the episode?
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Old October 12 2013, 11:39 AM   #20
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

The Dead Mixer wrote: View Post
^Ummm...a major part of the story was that the Vulcans had been keeping these mating customs a closely-guarded secret. Kirk and McCoy spent half the episode just figuring out what was going on with Spock, there was nothing on record about his condition. And T'Pau was scandalized that outworlders were present at the ceremony.

Did you even watch the episode?
Did you ever watch TSFS where Admiral Morrow says I don't understand 'Vulcan mysticism' and refuses to help Spock or McCoy. Its no wonder with attitudes like that, that Vulcans keep secrets.

And everyone knew about T'Pols imitation pon farr and Paris made sure everyone knew about Tuvoks pon farr. I know this came later but we are talking about an in-Star Trek explanation.

We all know that Kirk had no idea that it was going to be a fight to the death but T'Pau didn't know that and probably didn't care. It was clear that they were guests of Spock and were supposed to behave like Vulcans would in their situation. Otherwise from her point of view they should have left. Kirk had a chance to bail out and he refused. Was T'Pau supposed to give him another couple of chances? This is the tough way Vulcans live. Kirk was treated as if he were a Vulcan. Just as Stonn would be if T'Pring had selected him as her champion instead. Kirk is supposed to be a Starfleet Ambassador not some back-packing tourist.

Its like me visiting another country and expecting them to conform to my customs and bend over backwards to cater for me. Should I be allowed to drink and take drugs in a country where alcohol is illegal because I'm a westerner and I didn't know?

In this episode the Vulcans did nothing wrong. Unless they're not allowed to have their own local laws. Kirk did nothing wrong. McCoy lied but hey he's human. And it looks like T'Pau forgave everyone by getting them off the hook with Starfleet.
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Old October 12 2013, 12:11 PM   #21
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

OK, part of my response was that I misunderstood what you were saying in this post:

The Umbrella Corporation wrote: View Post
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Presumably a Starship Captain, a representative of the Federation should know this.
While browsing through the thread, I had taken the ambiguous "this" to mean that Kirk should have known about Vulcan mating customs/rituals...which he couldn't possibly have known if Vulcans were going out of their way to keep them secret, which is what this episode establishes. (I don't give a rat's ass what ENT retcons into the mix 40 years later, and everything else happens later...Vulcan attitudes about this apparently changed very quickly, given Spock's own openness on the subject in "The Cloud Minders".)

Upon rereading, I realize that "this" was referring to "ignorance of the law is no excuse." However, you then argued....

But if I was T'Pau I might think that Vulcan was special enough to warrant understanding of its customs.
How could she expect an outworlder to understand customs that she strongly felt weren't for outwordlers? Presumably she was chief amongst those who believed that this part of Vulcan society should be a closely-guarded secret.

On the topic in general, I think T'Pau's reaction to McCoy's trick might have gone something like this:

"De neural paralyzer is de neural paralyzer...vhat can be done?"
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Old October 12 2013, 12:26 PM   #22
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

The Dead Mixer wrote: View Post
OK, part of my response was that I misunderstood what you were saying in this post:

The Umbrella Corporation wrote: View Post
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Presumably a Starship Captain, a representative of the Federation should know this.
While browsing through the thread, I had taken the ambiguous "this" to mean that Kirk should have known about Vulcan mating customs/rituals...which he couldn't possibly have known if Vulcans were going out of their way to keep them secret, which is what this episode establishes. (I don't give a rat's ass what ENT retcons into the mix 40 years later, and everything else happens later...Vulcan attitudes about this apparently changed very quickly, given Spock's own openness on the subject in "The Cloud Minders".)

Upon rereading, I realize that "this" was referring to "ignorance of the law is no excuse." However, you then argued....

But if I was T'Pau I might think that Vulcan was special enough to warrant understanding of its customs.
How could she expect an outworlder to understand customs that she strongly felt weren't for outwordlers? Presumably she was chief amongst those who believed that this part of Vulcan society should be a closely-guarded secret.

On the topic in general, I think T'Pau's reaction to McCoy's trick might have gone something like this:

"De neural paralyzer is de neural paralyzer...vhat can be done?"
Forget about later movies and series. When this episode was made Vulcans were meant to be mysterious and alien. They didn't share their customs with non-Vulcans. Dead Mixer is quite right. As to what Droxine knows, perhaps the Vulcans just get along well with the folks of Stratos. They both do rather live in The Clouds.
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Old October 12 2013, 12:58 PM   #23
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

The Dead Mixer wrote: View Post
OK, part of my response was that I misunderstood what you were saying in this post:

The Umbrella Corporation wrote: View Post
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Presumably a Starship Captain, a representative of the Federation should know this.
While browsing through the thread, I had taken the ambiguous "this" to mean that Kirk should have known about Vulcan mating customs/rituals...which he couldn't possibly have known if Vulcans were going out of their way to keep them secret, which is what this episode establishes. (I don't give a rat's ass what ENT retcons into the mix 40 years later, and everything else happens later...Vulcan attitudes about this apparently changed very quickly, given Spock's own openness on the subject in "The Cloud Minders".)

Upon rereading, I realize that "this" was referring to "ignorance of the law is no excuse." However, you then argued....

But if I was T'Pau I might think that Vulcan was special enough to warrant understanding of its customs.
How could she expect an outworlder to understand customs that she strongly felt weren't for outwordlers? Presumably she was chief amongst those who believed that this part of Vulcan society should be a closely-guarded secret.

On the topic in general, I think T'Pau's reaction to McCoy's trick might have gone something like this:

"De neural paralyzer is de neural paralyzer...vhat can be done?"
T'Pau was being quite unreasonable from a human perspective. She should have considered that Kirk might not have understood thedparticularly dangerous aspects of the marriage ceremony? Especially after Spock practically begged her to forbid it.

But should she have got rid of the humans as soon as she saw them? Should she have excluded them from the ceremony because they weren't capable of understanding it?

You're quite right about her probably being one of the elders that insist on Vulcans keeping this part of there biology secret. Maybe she realised after this Vulcans were going to die or attack innocent nurses if they kept up the secrecy that by the time "Cloud Minders" came along Spock too was happy to talk about it with relative strangers.

Also T'Pring being the 'property' of the victor seems dreadful.

However if T'Pring objects to marrying Spock during pon farr that virtually means that Spock is sentenced to death so she's got to have a big disincentive to do it.

So they have a gutsy elder like T'Pau controlling proceedings. Spocks life is on the line, T'Pring's freedom. Humans insisting on being there then mucking about isn't to be tolerated. Her priority is Spock and T'Pring not some inconsequential human.

One of the great things about this episode was that it shows that Spock is an alien from a planet with weird/different/sexist culture and customs. He's not just a pointy-eared human.

On the topic in general, I think T'Pau's reaction to McCoy's trick might have gone something like this:

"De neural paralyzer is de neural paralyzer...vhat can be done?"
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Old October 12 2013, 04:34 PM   #24
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

^My take on T'Pau's responsibility for allowing Kirk to put himself in danger is that she gave them every opportunity to leave or back out, but she wasn't going to volunteer any information about what was involved, reinforcing the whole pattern of behavior of Vulcans trying to keep this side of themselves secret.

Her clout as a Federation VIP, which got Kirk off the hook with Starfleet, and the private nature of what was involved, would have protected her from any repercussions for endangering Kirk...and the fact that she had allowed Kirk to get into a situation in which he had to kill or be killed by his best friend, added to the private nature of the proceedings, would have kept her from pushing the matter of Kirk and McCoy having "cheated"...so as far as anybody getting in trouble for this, it was a wash, on to the next episode.

I suspect that some details of the Vulcan mating customs did get out into the public domain after this incident, possibly initiated by T'Pau, to stop something like this from happening again. Hence Droxine's knowledge. And once it was officially out there, it would have been illogical for Spock to deny it when asked.
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Old October 12 2013, 04:39 PM   #25
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

Could ST Aurora touch on this with it current episode "In Mudd's Eye"
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Old October 12 2013, 05:12 PM   #26
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

T'Pau presents the offer sort of like Monty Hall used to on Let's Make a Deal. "Would you rather return to your ship, or take what's in the box here?" And Kirk finds out the box contains a fight to the death with his best friend.
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Old October 12 2013, 06:51 PM   #27
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

Honestly, what bothers me most about "Amok Time" is that there's a medieval fight-to-the-death ritual still on the books on Vulcan that the Elders will allow to be pressed into service in the modern age.

That's something illogical enough that a magistrate among us funky Earth monkeys in the present day (or even the Deep Dark Sixties) would laugh it out of the room; it's as though someone in my hometown tried to get the local courts to run him out of town so he could be given the horse and shotgun the law still technically promises in those circumstances... and our soberest, most respected judge gravely accepted.

It's also rather illogical for the Vulcans to be so uptight about acknowledging and dealing with the Pon Farr in the first place, but that I'm willing to let go since the shakiness and contradictions in Vulcan claims to "logic" are part of what make their culture feel organic.
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Old October 12 2013, 07:13 PM   #28
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

^ You're comparing Vulcan ritual to civil law. In fact, the culture as presented is much more based on orthodox religion. Under Nimoy's significant influence, the mentality of orthodox Judaism came to be embodied in the way the Vulcans were portrayed.

To go off on a tangent, I'll go a step further: Spock and family perfectly reflect the experience of Jews in America. Let's start with Sarek: though he is "old school" in many ways, having come from a prominent family and risen to a respected post , he is something of a rebel. As an ambassador he spends more time with other cultures than his own. He marries a shiksa. And yet he is supposed to represent the Vulcan people. Is it any wonder he was so cold toward and unapproving of his half-human son, who himself distanced the family even farther from their Vulcan roots?
In Sarek's eyes, Spock rejected his Vulcan upbringing to run off and join Starfleet. Even though this was a logical extension of Sarek's own strayed path, Sarek was clearly tortured by this. Spock, for his part, was fiercely proud of his Vulcan heritage - but was going to live it on his own terms.

T'Pau represented the old guard; the Orthodoxy. Is it any coincidence they cast an Eastern European, with a thick accent, in the part?
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Old October 12 2013, 07:25 PM   #29
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
^ You're comparing Vulcan ritual to civil law. In fact, the culture as presented is much more based on orthodox religion. Under Nimoy's significant influence, the mentality of orthodox Judaism came to be embodied in the way the Vulcans were portrayed.
True as that is (and I think your subsequent comments about Spock and family as a metaphor for Jewish life in America are right on the money), rabbinic Judaism also has a significant juridical aspect and a vast tradition of debate over the law -- and the ability even among the most orthodox to reject laws and customs that do not make sense. (The number of archaic customs orthodox Judaism retains are dwarfed by the number of scripturally-ordained customs it no longer uses.) So for example, you'd think that, given Surak's whole deal was supposed to have been about purging violence through the embrace of logic, this is one particular ritual that would have stood out for that reason.

(Although, maybe Surak and the reasons behind logic hadn't come up yet by this point in the series?)
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Old October 12 2013, 08:12 PM   #30
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Re: Amok Time repercussions?

BigJake wrote: View Post
That's something illogical enough that a magistrate among us funky Earth monkeys in the present day (or even the Deep Dark Sixties) would laugh it out of the room; it's as though someone in my hometown tried to get the local courts to run him out of town so he could be given the horse and shotgun the law still technically promises in those circumstances... and our soberest, most respected judge gravely accepted.
Quite illogical, yes, and yet ... well, there was Ashford v Thornton, upholding the medieval and centuries-abandoned right of trial by battle (in a case appealing a murder acquittal), which the judges had to admit was ridiculous yet still on the books. Granted, 1818 England is not the exemplar of reason that 23rd century Vulcan ought to be, but, much of the point of T'Pring demanding combat was that this was something that was on the books centuries past the point that it still made any sense.

(In Britain the trial-by-battle was finally repealed after this nonsense established that it was still in existence. Perhaps something parallel happened on Vulcan. But the social attitude of the Vulcans not bothering to change part of a ritual ceremony when the objectionable part is just not done anyway feels natural enough to me.)
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