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

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Old May 17 2010, 09:13 AM   #76
maryh's Avatar
Re: Was Uhura a linguist?

Spock's role in Star Trek was usually two fold in non-Spockcentric episodes: To give science based exposition in an authoritarian manner and to make wry observations or express exasperation about "humanity". In Spockcentric episodes we usually see just how thin his veener of logic and control can be. Plus we see him struggle and even get a glimse of the idea that emotional control and supression may not be as great as it sounds.
I disagree here. I liked TOS because human emotions and values were not always presented as superior or better than the Vulcan logical way. In some episodes Spock's logical approach was better and saved the day other times human emotions saved the day. There wasn't much character development in TOS. Having Spock realize the value of emotions and changing him to embrace his emotions IS a big change, and one that I haven't found as very interesting. The whole ship is filled with emotional humans - we don't need another. His differentness intrigued.

A usual side effect of Spock's control slipping is a fight with Kirk. They've fought more times than any two Trek characters. Tradition should be maintained.
Yes, but the only times I can think of was when he was under the influence of some external factor, spores, plak-tow, psi-2000 virus. Normally he represses his emotions. And there is an appeal in his emotional repression.

This movie is Spockcentric so we get to see him do more than observe and exposit. Spocks appeal goes beyond nerds and the socially awkward. He was a bonafide sex symbol to a lot girls ( and probably boys) of all types and backbrounds. My own sisters, neither of whom could be called nerds or geeks ( I was the family nerd), were gaga over Spock as girls. His romantic appeal is the challenge to be the one to breakthrough that wall of logic and contol. The old cliche that they can be the one to "change" him.
Absolutely. There is no wall to breakthrough in this movie. He is comfortable displaying and having emotions. He's been changed already.

The decisive thing was the blessing of the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, who is in ST XI. "I understood immediately that Zach had a strong, expressive inner life," he related in "Entertainment Weekly". "The role requires it. Spock barely moves."

Why did they look for a character who has an "inner life" yet write a script in which the character wears his heart on his sleeve? One excuse is that the NuSpock has a canvas in Uhura to write on. How can a character repress emotions yet project them? Is Spock now a hypocrite who pretends he represses emotions to others but shows them to her?

I seem to recall young Spock getting into a fight in "Yesteryear" so "stiff upper lip" may not be accuarate for him as a youth in spite of what might have been said in "Journey to Babel."
I'll accept that TAS, wouldn't expect it's target audience to fully understand emotional repression, and perhaps they changed what TOS said because of it's target audience's age.

I didn't know Henry James was a Trek fan. I suppose he would find Spock's conflicting Vulcan and human sides interesting.
He talks alot about Spock:

I agree with him that Spock appeals because of what we don't see but know he is feeling. The NuSpock does not have any allure for me and does not hold my interest anymore. He is basically just another human now. Nothing sexy about him - and it isn't the actors fault.
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Old May 17 2010, 09:27 PM   #77
Nerys Myk
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Re: Was Uhura a linguist?

Yesteryear, in spite of it "intended audience", is still part of Spock's backstory and was even written by expert "Vulcanologist" DC Fontana. So Spock was a scrapper as a kid.

If we're to go "in-universe" I'd look at "The Cage" where Spock is shouting and smiling. Like this Spock, the movie's Spock isn't quite the master of emotional control he would become later. Also, Spock in the movie is "emotionaly compomised", his more extreme actions occur after his planet and mother have died. My recollection is that his action prior to that is in keeping with range Spock has exhibited elsewhere.
BTW,the guy you're linking to is Henry Jenkins. You've conflated him with the author Henry James for some reason. (Subtle didn't work )
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Old May 17 2010, 11:25 PM   #78
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Re: Was Uhura a linguist?


We all know that NuSpock should have been constantly shouting too!!
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Old May 18 2010, 12:14 AM   #79
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Location: England
Re: Was Uhura a linguist?

I dug out my old Making of Star Trek, to see what Uhura's job description was way back when. It says she was a "highly proficiant communications professional" at age 18. It doesn't elaborate on what "communications professional" entails.
It's then goes on to talk about her "female need for the pleasent rountine of Earthbound home"
It does say she sings ballards from "a dozen different planets" which could mean she sings in other languages.

I then dug out Inside Star Trek: The Real Story to get the low down on the proto-Uhura, Communications Officer Alden. It says "one of the group's most respected technicians". Lots of deep info there.

It seems the TOS people never intended or planned for a situation where the universal translator (or Spock's mind meld) didn't work.

IMO, even if not a part of the original plan, giving the communications officer translating and linguistic abilities makes a lot of sense. The UT isn't infallible.
Star Trek Imponderables, fun mashups of Trek's biggest continuity errors! Ep1, Ep2 and Ep3
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Old May 21 2010, 08:27 AM   #80
Captain Robert April
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Re: Was Uhura a linguist?

It might also make sense for the communications officer to be able to field strip a phaser rifle blindfolded and calculate how to do the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, but that doesn't mean either of those skillsets have anything more to do with being a communications officer than being a skilled linguist.

Let me put this as simply as possible.

A linguist is someone who studies languages. How they evolve, the mechanics, etc., etc.

The communications officer is in charge of operating and maintaining the ship's communications gear, keeping up with official codes and protocols, and so forth.

The two professions have very little to do with each other.

If anything, the ship's linguist would be in the sciences division, right alongside Lt. Palomas, studying ancient artifacts and analyzing the inscriptions.
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Old May 21 2010, 10:04 AM   #81
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Location: England
Re: Was Uhura a linguist?

Yeah, what was I thinking having the same opinion as: the people who wrote the Star Trek novels since the early 80's, the actress who played the part, latter-day Gene Rodenberry, the licensing division that allowed the writers to give Uhura translating abilities through times of insane "not a word outside established canon" clampdowns and the people behind the new version of Star Trek.

F'n clueless, the lot of them
Star Trek Imponderables, fun mashups of Trek's biggest continuity errors! Ep1, Ep2 and Ep3

Last edited by King Daniel Into Darkness; May 21 2010 at 12:46 PM.
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