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

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Old April 3 2014, 07:32 AM   #136
Timo
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Might be the Fleet has a number of workhorse types, and it's advantageous to operate one particular type in one particular... Dunno, region? I mean, it would make sense to use ships of a given speed and range at a zone extending from X to Y parsecs from the UFP core, and slower and shorter-legged ships at a zone closer to home. Or to use ships with a given level of armament and shielding in a certain zone of wilderness, and more/less affordable ships with lesser/higher levels of such in a zone of lesser/higher risk.

Whether these famed "starship captains" get their reputation from their overall versatility, or from one narrow type of mission among the many, or from the zone in which they operate, or something else altogether, it's difficult to tell. But it's easy to postulate fame for commanders of ships that aren't exactly top of the line technologically or size-wise.

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Old April 3 2014, 05:34 PM   #137
CommishSleer
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
There was never an occasion where the Enterprise called for a better or more important ship.
The Immunity Syndrome did have Kirk requesting that a different starship undertake a mission. The Alternative Factor had Kirk asking for addition starships to help in his mission.

The Enterprise was actually sent out on very important missions.
Some yes, but can you imagine a modern day US Navy supercarrier stopping by a small archaeological dig to give two people medical exams, or transporting a bride between planets?

Yeah, the Enterprise and her sister ships seem to be the "work horses" of the fleet, doing all sorts of jobs and not just the glamour ones.
But I don't equate Kirk's ship exactly to the modern Navy. IMO the Enterprise was more equivalent to Captain Cook's ship in the 1600 or 1700's Navy. Where the Captain was on his/her own making decisions, not like the modern Navy where the Captain can pick up a phone and dial up their superiors at any time.
If there were English colonies that needed supplying along the way then Captain Cook would do that maybe.

The thing is though Kirk was given two important missions that could have started interstellar war with the Romulans and Klingons.
And you can say just coincidence or the other more important ships were in the Laurentian system on both occasions or Kirk was lying in his logs or that minor Captains routinely faced risking interstellar war.
If you dismiss the Enterprises' importance then why not once when she was investigating the death of billions in the Deneva or giant amoeba or doomsday machine situations, or in 'Arena' or any other situation when they were in dire trouble didn't Spock or Scott suggest calling on reinforcements, a bigger and better ship to handle the gravity of the situation?

When the M5 was destroying Constellation ships left right and centre why didn't they call up a superior ship to challenge it?

Also why did the female Romulan Commander think the Enterprise was such a prize? Why would its capture bring her such glory?

And why send the delegates to Babel in an inferior ship? Surely a bigger, faster more prestigious ship would be better suited?
And I can't see Elaan of Troyus not mentioning that she was insulted by the choice of the Enterprise if there were better ships in Starfleet.

Still back to the thread's question. I think there's as much evidence to show that Kirk had an earlier command as there was to prove that Gary Mitchell was Kirk's XO in WNMHGB. No canon proof either way.
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Old April 3 2014, 06:24 PM   #138
J.T.B.
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Some yes, but can you imagine a modern day US Navy supercarrier stopping by a small archaeological dig to give two people medical exams, or transporting a bride between two points?
A supercarrier is a modern capital ship, whose services are historically reserved for the top national defense priorities. But in an earlier age far-flung, wide-ranging missions were right near the heart of the cruiser's brief (real cruisers, not the big US destroyers that inherited the name). Before air travel a cruiser was generally the fastest way to transport a diplomat, and was prestigious enough to fill ceremonial requirments. A cruiser assigned to colonial patrol could be a connection to civilization for distant settlers, traders or explorers. Cruisers frequenting foreign ports were a prime source of intelligence for other nations' activities and naval movements. If war broke out, a cruiser on a foreign station could be in position to shadow the enemy's warships or attack their shipping. The weren't the biggest or most powerful warships, but in many was the most versatile and most important in peacetime.
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Old April 3 2014, 09:02 PM   #139
Timo
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

The thing is though Kirk was given two important missions that could have started interstellar war with the Romulans and Klingons.
Umm, what were those?

In "Balance of Terror", Kirk had no known mission - he just helped out when the RNZ outposts came under attack. He did so in a region of space that had been neglected for a century, and nothing suggested the Enterprise wasn't a continuation of said neglect. Nor was any mission involved in "The Deadly Years". So that seems to leave "The Enterprise Incident", and there's no particular reason why a powerful and valued ship should have been sent on this mission of subterfuge. I'd rather say Starfleet checked the box for "expendable" there...

In "Errand of Mercy", war with the Klingons was reality already, and Kirk's ship was being sidelined, sent to deal with a primitive planet with orders to avoid combat. All the other episodes had Kirk stumbling onto Klingons without any Starfleet preplanning.

..why[..] didn't Spock or Scott suggest calling on reinforcements, a bigger and better ship to handle the gravity of the situation?
We have no support for the idea that calling of reinforcements of any sort, big or small, would be possible in the TOS universe. To the contrary, even calling home base for instructions may take longer than the adventure allows for! So such things tell us absolutely nothing about the relative worth of Kirk's ship. They merely establish that the ship operates outside safety nets - but not that this would be because she's expected to cope, as opposed to her simply being expendable.

When the M5 was destroying Constellation ships left right and centre why didn't they call up a superior ship to challenge it?
What, and ask M5 to wait for two weeks for said ship to arrive? The entirety of TOS stands proof that summoning even the humblest of transport ships is a matter of careful organizing and lots of waiting.

Also why did the female Romulan Commander think the Enterprise was such a prize? Why would its capture bring her such glory?
Because she was the only ship to have fought and defeated Romulans in the past hundred years?

And remember that that bit happened in an episode based on a movie about a lowly destroyer escort, the least impressive of all warships, defeating a submarine. A humiliation in battle need not be the fault of a top-of-the-line enemy supership in real life, so we have no real reason to think this would have been the case in Trek, either.

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Old April 3 2014, 09:23 PM   #140
Greg Cox
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
I've made my points with evidence. The Writer's Guide that GR wrote is not conjecture (it's what he intended) and it's backed up by evidence right in WNMHGB. I don't need to bother repeating it over and over just because some want to cover their ears and yell, "Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah..."
TNG's writer's guide intended Riker to hate Data, yet that never made it into TNG (aside from the novel Ghost Ship, written prior to the series' premiere) and there's no reason the TOS version should be held any higher than that. The dialogue in "Where No Man..." is ambiguous, as others in this thread have shown.

It's far from "nah nah nah nah", it's just an alternate interpretation based on what we've seen.
Voyager's writers guide described Tuvok as an elderly Vulcan who was something of a mentor to B'Elanna. The guide also stated that the EMH would eventually take the name Doctor Zimmerman.

Writers guides, especially in the early days, are just rough drafts that can and will be changed as a series finds its voice. They are by no means authoritative--and are probably obsolete and irrelevant by the end of the first season.

Ditto for pilots like "Where No One Has Gone Before"--which are also best seen as rough drafts, not the Bible.
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Old April 3 2014, 09:26 PM   #141
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Timo wrote: View Post
The thing is though Kirk was given two important missions that could have started interstellar war with the Romulans and Klingons.
Umm, what were those?

In "Balance of Terror", Kirk had no known mission - he just helped out when the RNZ outposts came under attack. He did so in a region of space that had been neglected for a century, and nothing suggested the Enterprise wasn't a continuation of said neglect. Nor was any mission involved in "The Deadly Years". So that seems to leave "The Enterprise Incident", and there's no particular reason why a powerful and valued ship should have been sent on this mission of subterfuge. I'd rather say Starfleet checked the box for "expendable" there...

In "Errand of Mercy", war with the Klingons was reality already, and Kirk's ship was being sidelined, sent to deal with a primitive planet with orders to avoid combat. All the other episodes had Kirk stumbling onto Klingons without any Starfleet preplanning.

..why[..] didn't Spock or Scott suggest calling on reinforcements, a bigger and better ship to handle the gravity of the situation?
We have no support for the idea that calling of reinforcements of any sort, big or small, would be possible in the TOS universe. To the contrary, even calling home base for instructions may take longer than the adventure allows for! So such things tell us absolutely nothing about the relative worth of Kirk's ship. They merely establish that the ship operates outside safety nets - but not that this would be because she's expected to cope, as opposed to her simply being expendable.

When the M5 was destroying Constellation ships left right and centre why didn't they call up a superior ship to challenge it?
What, and ask M5 to wait for two weeks for said ship to arrive? The entirety of TOS stands proof that summoning even the humblest of transport ships is a matter of careful organizing and lots of waiting.

Also why did the female Romulan Commander think the Enterprise was such a prize? Why would its capture bring her such glory?
Because she was the only ship to have fought and defeated Romulans in the past hundred years?

And remember that that bit happened in an episode based on a movie about a lowly destroyer escort, the least impressive of all warships, defeating a submarine. A humiliation in battle need not be the fault of a top-of-the-line enemy supership in real life, so we have no real reason to think this would have been the case in Trek, either.

Timo Saloniemi
That movie you've made reference to is call Enemy Below. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Enemy_Below
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Old April 3 2014, 09:33 PM   #142
Timo
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

...And as one finds out by following that link, the hero ship in that movie is a Buckley class "destroyer escort", the American word for what the British might call a frigate or a sloop, and what everybody else would call fish food.

If something like that defeated "The Praetor's finest flagship", I'm sure that anybody who later captured the little vessel and her skipper would earn permanent first-row seats at the Romulan Colosseum.

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Old April 4 2014, 02:30 AM   #143
Nerys Myk
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

But I don't equate Kirk's ship exactly to the modern Navy. IMO the Enterprise was more equivalent to Captain Cook's ship in the 1600 or 1700's Navy. Where the Captain was on his/her own making decisions, not like the modern Navy where the Captain can pick up a phone and dial up their superiors at any time.
If there were English colonies that needed supplying along the way then Captain Cook would do that maybe.
The point is, it's mission was pretty varied. If you look at the first season you see that

1 The Corbomite Maneuver- Mapping (exploration)
2 Mudd's Women- "Traffic control" (space cop)
3 Enemy Within- Specimen-gathering (exploration)
4 The Man Trap- Routine medical examination. (Federation business)
5 The Naked Time- Picking up a scientific party. (Federation business)
6 Balance of Terror- Patrolling the Neutral Zone. (Military)
7 What Are Little Girls Made Of- Looking for a lost scientist (Federation business)
8 Charlie X- Transporting Charlie to Colony 5 (taxi service)
9 Dagger Of The Mind-Cargo drop at a penal colony (Federation business)
10 Miri-Responding to a Earth style distress signal beyond explored space. (exploration)
11 The Conscience of the King- Unknown, but rerouted to provide transportation for the Karidian Company. ( taxi service and space cop)
12 The Galileo Seven- Delivery of emergency medical supplies/scientific research. (Federation business)
13 Court Martial- Layover for repairs/ inquiry about the death of Finney. (Starfleet business)
14 The Menagerie- Docked at Starbase 11 in response to a request to divert there. (Starfleet business)
16 Shore Leave- Exploring a new planet/shore leave. (exploration)
17 The Squire of Gothos- Delivering supplies to Beta Six.(Federation business)
18 Arena- Responding to a call from the Earth observation outpost on Cestus Three (Military)
19 The Alternative Factor- Scanning a planet and then off to Starbase 200 (exploration)
20 Tomorrow is Yesterday- Heading to Starbase 9 for resuppply. (Starfleet business)
21 The Return of The Archons- Looking for the Archon (Starfleet business)
22 A Taste of Armageddon- Opening diplomatic relations with Eminiar Seven (Federation business)
23 Space Seed- Salvage? (Starfleet business)
24 This Side of Paradise- Checking on Omicron Ceti Three (Federation business)
25 Answering a distress call on Janus Six (Federation business)
26 Errand of Mercy- Preventing the Klingons from establishing a base on Organia. (military)
27 The City on the Edge of Forever- Scientific investigation. (Exploration)
28 Operation: Annihilate!- Trying to save Deneva from mass insanity. (Federation business)
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Old April 4 2014, 10:14 AM   #144
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Timo wrote: View Post
The thing is though Kirk was given two important missions that could have started interstellar war with the Romulans and Klingons.
Umm, what were those?

In "Balance of Terror", Kirk had no known mission - he just helped out when the RNZ outposts came under attack. He did so in a region of space that had been neglected for a century, and nothing suggested the Enterprise wasn't a continuation of said neglect. Nor was any mission involved in "The Deadly Years". So that seems to leave "The Enterprise Incident", and there's no particular reason why a powerful and valued ship should have been sent on this mission of subterfuge. I'd rather say Starfleet checked the box for "expendable" there...

In "Errand of Mercy", war with the Klingons was reality already, and Kirk's ship was being sidelined, sent to deal with a primitive planet with orders to avoid combat. All the other episodes had Kirk stumbling onto Klingons without any Starfleet preplanning.

..why[..] didn't Spock or Scott suggest calling on reinforcements, a bigger and better ship to handle the gravity of the situation?
We have no support for the idea that calling of reinforcements of any sort, big or small, would be possible in the TOS universe. To the contrary, even calling home base for instructions may take longer than the adventure allows for! So such things tell us absolutely nothing about the relative worth of Kirk's ship. They merely establish that the ship operates outside safety nets - but not that this would be because she's expected to cope, as opposed to her simply being expendable.

When the M5 was destroying Constellation ships left right and centre why didn't they call up a superior ship to challenge it?
What, and ask M5 to wait for two weeks for said ship to arrive? The entirety of TOS stands proof that summoning even the humblest of transport ships is a matter of careful organizing and lots of waiting.

Also why did the female Romulan Commander think the Enterprise was such a prize? Why would its capture bring her such glory?
Because she was the only ship to have fought and defeated Romulans in the past hundred years?

And remember that that bit happened in an episode based on a movie about a lowly destroyer escort, the least impressive of all warships, defeating a submarine. A humiliation in battle need not be the fault of a top-of-the-line enemy supership in real life, so we have no real reason to think this would have been the case in Trek, either.

Timo Saloniemi
Kirk was not relegated to a lowly position in Errand of Mercy.
That planet was the pivotal base of war operations.

If there were these superior vessels in Starfleet, then what did they do?
Patrol the Klingon and Romulan borders? Nope.
Take ambassadors to Babel? Nope.
Supervise their lowly Constitution class brothers in War Games? Nope.
Called on to investigate planetary disasters? Nope.
Help ships/planets in trouble? Nope - never even mentioned. If they can't be called in to help in some big disasters then what use are they (if they exist)?

Hang around Earth or Vulcan to help if planetary crisis occurs there. Accepting the TOS movies - then Nope to that too.
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Old April 4 2014, 02:22 PM   #145
Timo
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Kirk was not relegated to a lowly position in Errand of Mercy.
That planet was the pivotal base of war operations.
...And Starfleet didn't even send one ship, but merely two of its officers, and the ship was forced to flee when confronted?

Obviously, Starfleet's real fighting forces had better things to do!

If there were these superior vessels in Starfleet, then what did they do?
Patrol the Klingon and Romulan borders? Nope.
Whaddaya mean, nope? How could you tell?

I mean, nobody patrolled the Romulan border, because it didn't warrant patrolling. It was simply fenced off for a century. But we never heard anybody say that the Klingon border wouldn't have been patrolled by vast fleets of ships bigger and better than Kirk's - while in contrast, we did notice that Kirk never patrolled the Klingon border in any of the episodes...

Take ambassadors to Babel? Nope.
Whaddayamean, nope? How could you tell?

Or are you postulating, without evidence, that it was an all-eggs-in-one-basket deal, and every single participant in the Babel conference was among the 114 being ferried by Kirk?

Supervise their lowly Constitution class brothers in War Games? Nope.
Uh, "supervise war games"? That's an absurd idea, with no counterpart in reality.

Called on to investigate planetary disasters? Nope.
You mean Starfleet didn't merely have just one ship class, but in fact only one starship, because every investigation we didn't see onscreen is somehow invalid and only those done by Kirk count? That's beyond silly.

Of course, investigating disasters is a job for lower-tier vessels in most eras of naval history anyway. As is the ferrying of delegates, for that matter, as pointed out many times previously.

Hang around Earth or Vulcan to help if planetary crisis occurs there. Accepting the TOS movies - then Nope to that too.
That proves the Constitution is worthless, too, then - as it doesn't do any more of this supposed hanging around.

Basically, all your arguments boil down to "We saw Kirk's ship do it, so it must be teh AWSOM!!ST in Starfleet!". That ain't valid proof for everybody else refraining from doing it, considering how much of "it" there is to be done in and around the Federation. It isn't even a particularly interesting argument on the subject. All we can postulate on that basis is that starships (of all types) tend to operate solo, and extremely seldom trample on each other's toes.

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Old April 4 2014, 06:14 PM   #146
J.T.B.
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Timo wrote: View Post
...And as one finds out by following that link, the hero ship in that movie is a Buckley class "destroyer escort", the American word for what the British might call a frigate or a sloop, and what everybody else would call fish food.

If something like that defeated "The Praetor's finest flagship", I'm sure that anybody who later captured the little vessel and her skipper would earn permanent first-row seats at the Romulan Colosseum.
But to be fair you also have to compare the other side of the fight. If the DE was a minor warship, the U-boat was even more minor, really a submersible torpedo boat, effective against merchant vessels but not other warships, and with about 50 crew compared to 200 on the Buckley. The "finest flagship" of the Kriegsmarine would be a battleship or at least a battlecruiser. So if we continue the comparison as one-to-one, Enterprise would a capital ship, more powerful still than the opposing capital ship. Or we can admit that the matchup in The Enemy Below does not line up one-to-one with the one in BoT, and is more an inspiration that a precisely-followed pattern.
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Old April 5 2014, 03:48 PM   #147
Timo
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

The "finest flagship" of the Kriegsmarine would be a battleship or at least a battlecruiser.
Well, not really. Those would be antiquated fighting units: if the Bird of Prey represented a breakthrough in weapons technology (very literally, as only invisible ships could break through the Earth siege), it would be more analogous to the Type XXI submarine. Not a particularly large or flashy vessel in itself, just like the Bird of Prey wasn't particularly impressive in comparison with the Klingon-style battle cruisers seen later...

Or we can admit that the matchup in The Enemy Below does not line up one-to-one with the one in BoT, and is more an inspiration that a precisely-followed pattern.
Oh, definitely - the movie made no pretense of the old Type VII sub there being particularly important, for one. But it's still a story of dissimilar combat; in Trek, more so, as Kirk doesn't even believe in "submarines" yet as the story opens. If we try to use it as an example of one or the other of these ships being of a specific relative or absolute standing in the respective space navies, we're better off guesstimating the importance of the Romulan ship than the Federation one.

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Old April 5 2014, 04:22 PM   #148
J.T.B.
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Timo wrote: View Post
The "finest flagship" of the Kriegsmarine would be a battleship or at least a battlecruiser.
Well, not really. Those would be antiquated fighting units:
No they weren't. Gneisenau had a service life of only about four years, and Bismarck only about nine months when she met her end.
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Old April 5 2014, 06:10 PM   #149
Timo
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Not antiquated by hull fatigue, but antiquated as a concept. Germany had no use for capital ships after the conquest of Norway, as capital ships no longer were effective as a weapon of the war Germany was waging. It wasn't for nothing that Hitler canceled all the major surface ship construction programs once the war got going: his experts were right about the submarine being the only valid way to proceed.

Which was a pretty radical idea (even after an earlier World War had been fought based on it), and would mesh nicely with the Romulans introducing this invisible ship to change the rules of the game against the superior visible ships of the Earthlings.

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Old April 5 2014, 08:53 PM   #150
J.T.B.
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Re: Kirk's First Command?

Timo wrote: View Post
Not antiquated by hull fatigue, but antiquated as a concept. Germany had no use for capital ships after the conquest of Norway, as capital ships no longer were effective as a weapon of the war Germany was waging.
Well "antiquated fighting units" implies it was the ships themselves that were antiquated, not the concept behind them. But that's beside the point, which is that they were the flagships for the top seagoing commander, so it's not parallel to BoT and The Enemy Below is not much use in determining the relative status, power, role etc. of Enterprise in TOS.

Personally I don't see what's wrong with the "cruiser" Enterprise being equivalent to a cruiser in a pre-aviation navy: Not the most powerful type of ship but close to it, versatile for a variety of missions in peace and war, and a top-level assignment for a full captain.
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