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

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Old November 21 2013, 04:47 AM   #76
Mutoid
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

'The Weight of Worlds' by Greg Cox has a homosexual couple in it.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:02 AM   #77
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

I do hang onto canon pretty hard, even for a story that doesn't deserve it. I can explain things, at least in my own head, that makes most things work together.
I agree that this does work against Trek's optimism, but then Trek is almost as bad in it's erasure of LGBT characters too. Thankfully the novels have done a better job in following up with Trek's legacy than even the current movies in that department.
When I get to the end of my TOS ongoing marathon I'm going to do my best to figure out if I can wiggle around the issue. The presence of female captains in Vanguard, presumably set before this ep, put a lie to the whole thing anyways.
I just watched Mudd's Women, which doesn't involve women as captains, but still gave me a lot to think about on the subject of sexism in Trek. I overall forgive Trek for a lot of these problems, as it was a product of it's time, and ahead of the time in many ways. We do see many women serving in Starfleet, with examples of them having rank and authority,and Roddenberry did want Number One as the first officer, which was pretty bold and daring for the era.
Even with it's shortcomings, the optimistic future of Trek is very important to me.
Thanks CommishSleer for the info! I have that one and am waiting to get to it in my reading. It means a lot to me that the novel line has become so inclusive. I still remember how excited I was when the New Frontier series (which I love) had so many non heteronormative characters as part of their cast, which was really ground breaking at the time. Over the years Trek lit has become more and more inclusive while even the new movies haven't made any progress in that department.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:12 AM   #78
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

borgboy wrote: View Post
When I get to the end of my TOS ongoing marathon I'm going to do my best to figure out if I can wiggle around the issue. The presence of female captains in Vanguard, presumably set before this ep, put a lie to the whole thing anyways.
The easiest fix is to assume that Lester was paranoid and deluded and Kirk was just playing along with the delusion because he knew it was pointless to try to reason with her.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:14 AM   #79
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Christopher wrote: View Post
borgboy wrote: View Post
When I get to the end of my TOS ongoing marathon I'm going to do my best to figure out if I can wiggle around the issue. The presence of female captains in Vanguard, presumably set before this ep, put a lie to the whole thing anyways.
The easiest fix is to assume that Lester was paranoid and deluded and Kirk was just playing along with the delusion because he knew it was pointless to try to reason with her.
Logic? Hmmm, interesting concept.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:22 AM   #80
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

People always talk about the female starship captain stuff when this episode comes up. That I can dust aside pretty easily, writing it off as a nutty characters' perceptions. What bothers me more is the fact that Laster-as-Kirk seems to know all the crew's names. Instead of ""Mr. Sulu, do this" and "Mr. Chekov do that", I'd have preferred for her to have referred to them as "Helmsman" and "Navigator" until the point someone else referred to them by name.

I like stuff like that. I remember in a very old Daredevil comic book, he was in a police station, and some needed info came up on a computer screen. Daredevil basically "tricked" the person into reading what the screen said, which he, being blind, couldn't himself see!
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Old November 21 2013, 05:35 AM   #81
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
What bothers me more is the fact that Laster-as-Kirk seems to know all the crew's names. Instead of ""Mr. Sulu, do this" and "Mr. Chekov do that", I'd have preferred for her to have referred to them as "Helmsman" and "Navigator" until the point someone else referred to them by name.
Except she'd clearly been planning this for some time, so she would've done her research beforehand.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:40 AM   #82
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

That's what I figured too, that Lester studied the crew manifest as least well enough to be familiar with the bridge crew. It really works as a simple but believable explanation.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:44 AM   #83
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

The thing is, unlike a novel, it's impossible to show every little detail with fifty minutes of story on television when you need to keep things going at a decent pace. In a novel you can use exposition or omniscient narrative to explain pretty much everything because there's time constraint.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:44 AM   #84
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Very true, guys, and I agree that this must be what happened. I just thought it would've been fun, and another early, subtle indicator that all was not 'right' with Kirk.

This reminds me of when I was back in school. Every time we'd have a substitute teacher for a class, two random wiseguy kids would always decide to "switch identities" on the teacher. So, as 'Charlie' and 'Steve' would "be" each other, it was great fun for me as it never, EVER worked. Sooner or later, the teacher would call on, say, Charlie, and momentarily forgetting the clever prank, would just sit there as if he were deaf!
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Old November 21 2013, 05:47 AM   #85
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

Oh I think the intention was that there really were no female captains at that time, and there was probably an offical regulation about it. The issue is how well we can wiggle around to distort the intention of the episode because of how sexist and awful it is. It really tarnishes the optimistic future where Earth has overcome prejudice.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:53 AM   #86
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

I think the bridge crew were aware something was off with their Captain almost from the get-go because of his uncharacteristic behaviour. Lester/Kirk was certainly unnecessarily rude to Spock almost right off and in front of the entire bridge crew.

And in fairness it's not impossible that Kirk could address an officer or crewman by their position or rank rather than their name. If he wasn't immediately familiar with a new face it's an easy out when addressing them. He also might use their rank or position depending on circumstance.

To Sulu: "Helmsman, I want a right angle course."
To Lt. Leslie (in "This Side Of Paradise"): "This is mutiny, Mister."
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Last edited by Warped9; November 21 2013 at 06:06 AM.
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Old November 21 2013, 05:55 AM   #87
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

True, Warped9. In the teaser of Spectre of the Gun, Kirk did refer to Spock simply as 'Science Officer...twice!
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Old November 21 2013, 06:05 AM   #88
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

borgboy wrote: View Post
Oh I think the intention was that there really were no female captains at that time, and there was probably an offical regulation about it. The issue is how well we can wiggle around to distort the intention of the episode because of how sexist and awful it is. It really tarnishes the optimistic future where Earth has overcome prejudice.
But you have no clear onscreen evidence to support that notion. Actually that's the beauty of what is on the screen in that they didn't paint themselves into a corner. If they had then this discussion wouldn't be happening.

It would have been nice if TOS had simply shown us (or referred to) a woman of command rank. Imagine if one of the Starfleet Admirals seen on the viewscreen or one of the starbase Commodores had been cast as a woman. What if Commodore Stone, Commodore Wesley or Commodore Mendez had been a woman? That said I don't think it would have been a good idea to have cast Commodore Decker or Captain Tracy or Commodore Stocker as women because I could just see some attributing their erratic behaviour to being female.

Seeing Matt Decker's emotional breakdown is a genuinely powerful dramatic moment made all the more so because Decker is a man of Kirk's breed, position and training. You can just imagine the horror witnessed to break this man. I don't think it would have played as well if Decker had been a woman, at least not back then.
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Old November 21 2013, 06:06 AM   #89
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

I always thought the most glaring mistake Janice was making was how she always referred to herself as captain. It was always "Captain Kirk here," "Captain Kirk out," which most of them, especially Spock and McCoy, should have picked up. Kirk himself usually dropped the rank title.
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Old November 21 2013, 06:13 AM   #90
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Re: No female starship captains in the 2250s-60s?

There's a lot to criticize about this episode, but it has to be said that Shatner's performance sold this idea. His performance as Kirk inhabited by Lester was equal mix of WTF! and brilliant nuance. Equally Sandra Smith was pretty good as Lester inhabited by Kirk.
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