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

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Old September 17 2012, 01:17 AM   #1
Jeffty5
Ensign
 
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

This Lifeboat-esque episode has always held some charm for me. However, after I showed it to a friend last night, although he enjoyed the show, he and I had totally opposite interpretations of the goings-on down on Taurus II…

It’s not the conclusion to the crisis (Spock igniting the remaining fuel as a distress flare was an impulsive and desperate action – eternally debatable if this decision was driven by logic or emotion), it was all the drama in-between that my friend and I disagreed on.

He saw this episode largely as an indictment of Spock’s logical philosophy. He cited Spock’s mini-meltdown during the assault by the Taurean yetis as evidence that the Vulcan approach can’t cope with the rigors of command (Spock, as boulders and spears pound the hull of the shuttle: “Strange. Step by step, I have made the correct and logical decisions. And yet two men have died… I do seem to have miscalculated… and inculcated resentment on your parts. The sum of the parts cannot be greater than the whole.”).

To my eye the rest of the stranded crew (excluding Scotty) seem overwrought and are hindering Spock’s methodical attempts to rescue them more than they’re helping. Most notable is, of course, Boma’s hostile rabble-rousing. Given the time-sensitive, life-threatening situation, it was not simply “illogical” for Boma to demand that Spock preside over Gaetano’s burial – it’s totally insane! Spock was trying to find solutions; Boma et al seemed to be more interested in brow-beating their acting commander than supporting his plans to give them a fighting chance at surviving.

I’m not sure Kirk himself could have done much better with such an insubordinate bunch. For my part, the only failure I see is on Spock’s part is that he didn’t order McCoy to anesthetize Boma, or nerve-pinch the problem in the bud.

So I’m curious what readings other people have of this episode. Did Spock fail? Was Boma righteous or mutinous?
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Old September 17 2012, 01:23 AM   #2
Mr_Homn
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

I think it's a combination of failures on both parts.

For Boma to be such a pain in the ass was definitely unprofessional insubordination..

But if Spock had been Kirk, he would have set him in his place real quickly, the way an human who understands human emotion would. Because Kirk understands human psychology. He'd say something like "I know you're all feeling pain at the loss of our comrade right now, and I am too, but we've got to focus on the mission. We've got to pull together and focus on being alive tomorrow." Now, i'm a bad writer, so those wouldn't be the exact words, but something like that would have helped calm Boma down a lot more than what Spock was doing, which was basically ignoring/dismissing their human emotions completely.

Spock is too unbalanced to lead at that point. It would be like Mccoy Leading, but giving in to panic and emotionalism instead of pure cold logic. Kirk has the balance, so he's the best leader of the bunch.
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Old September 17 2012, 01:46 AM   #3
foxhot
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

Kirk can freely calculate or emote...sometimes both within moments. It may not have been originally intended as such, but Kirk's philosophy is a virtually equal marriage of Spock's and McCoy's. (While Scotty is beyond unique so he's never emulated.)
Still, Kirk isn't particularly big on ''fire to frighten,'' as Spock was. The major problem in GALILEO was that they seemed to forget firing to STUN is far more preferable. Assuming, of course, the multiple creatures could be seen in the mist.
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Old September 17 2012, 02:45 AM   #4
Jeffty5
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

Yes, I suppose that's at the bottom of it: Spock is making the right - or logical - choices, but his management of a panicky crew in a dire situation may be lacking some morale support that they – particularly being human - needed. So the morale of the crew spirals downward.

In that way this episode underscores why Kirk is Captain and Spock is First Officer.

Still, I can’t wholly swallow that the concept that, ‘Kirk is not here, so things fall apart’. If Spock is too “unbalanced” to lead, what of those he is leading? OK, sure, he’s lacking in the bedside manner department, so everyone falls apart? True, if Kirk had been the seventh, it's impossible to imagine the other "Galileo 6" being as unhelpful, but at the same time, not every captain in the fleet can be Kirk. McCoy couldn’t hold the barbs until they were safely home?

Also, why is it that every surviving member of the “Galileo 7” appears on the bridge in the last scene to enjoy a light-hearted laugh at the re-telling of the event, including Yeoman Mears, but excluding Boma? Maybe Boma was confined to the brig? Or sickbay?
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Old September 17 2012, 03:09 AM   #5
JimZipCode
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

Jeffty5 wrote: View Post
To my eye the rest of the stranded crew (excluding Scotty) seem overwrought and are hindering Spock’s methodical attempts to rescue them more than they’re helping. Most notable is, of course, Boma’s hostile rabble-rousing. Given the time-sensitive, life-threatening situation, it was not simply “illogical” for Boma to demand that Spock preside over Gaetano’s burial – it’s totally insane! Spock was trying to find solutions; Boma et al seemed to be more interested in brow-beating their acting commander than supporting his plans to give them a fighting chance at surviving.
I’m not sure Kirk himself could have done much better with such an insubordinate bunch. For my part, the only failure I see is on Spock’s part is that he didn’t order McCoy to anesthetize Boma, or nerve-pinch the problem in the bud.
You're 100% right. The other officers were insubordinate babies, and should all have been court-martialed after returning to the ship. Their behavior was ridiculous. Insane.

Spock's soliloquy ("two men have died," etc) was weird too. Logical decisions can have bad outcomes, particularly in a situation with a lot of unknowns – Spock knows that as well as anyone.

The whole episode is annoying and demeaning.
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Old September 17 2012, 03:14 AM   #6
JimZipCode
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

Jeffty5 wrote: View Post
Spock is making the right - or logical - choices, but his management of a panicky crew in a dire situation may be lacking some morale support that they – particularly being human - needed.
That crew was composed almost entirely of officers, some of them senior officers. They should not need that kind of morale support. It's not like they're all Bailey (from Corbomite). Seriously, this crew is mostly guys who should be supplying that kind of support, not requiring it.


Jeffty5 wrote:
Maybe Boma was confined to the brig?
Appropriate!
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Old September 17 2012, 02:37 PM   #7
Delta Vega
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

If Boma or Gaetano had spoken to Kirk the way they spoke to Spock in this episode, Kirk would have double dropkicked them, and if by chance, the Landing Party survived till they got back to the ship, then he would have Court Martialled them.

Scott was the only officer who performed his duty and obeyed orders as a Senior Officer should have.
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Old September 17 2012, 02:46 PM   #8
Nacluv
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

Delta Vega wrote: View Post
If Boma or Gaetano had spoken to Kirk the way they spoke to Spock in this episode, Kirk would have double dropkicked them, and if by chance, the Landing Party survived till they got back to the ship, then he would have Court Martialled them.

Scott was the only officer who performed his duty and obeyed orders as a Senior Officer should have.
I think Scott also understood Spock more than the others. McCoy gets him, but is often too impulsive, affective and carried away with crises that he cannot settle down and consider the possiblites of Spock's alternatives. Kirk, no matter how emotional, stressed or disoriented could mostly to greater extents digest both the pros and cons of Spock's tactics and therefore make the proper decisions himself.
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Old September 17 2012, 02:57 PM   #9
MacLeod
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

Scotty unlike most of the rest of the Galileo crew works with Spock. Sure some of them might fall within the science department but might have little direct contact with Spock.
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Old September 17 2012, 03:46 PM   #10
ssosmcin
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

I agree that Spock was in the right, being doggedly determined to get them home. The other officers were being ridiculous. Decent burials? Pleading for inspiration? There's a ticking clock and death looming over them and they want to die like "men not machines?" Spock is 100% right about working to increase their chances for survival.

I don't think it all fell apart without Kirk, but it did feel more like a class misbehaving because they have a substitute teacher. Now, we've speculated how Kirk would have handled it. I don't think the behavior of the men would have been the same, because Kirk is human and would have expressed some regret over the deaths. He also wouldn't have suggested leaving two men behind and would have made it clear from the outset that he himself would stay behind so his men could live, if they couldn't get the weight all the way down. If Spock had been able to make that choice logically, imagine who he would have picked. Spock is too smart and his quick thinking might make the difference, so he'd save himself a seat. Scotty - obviously, he's vital. Now it's down to three and Bones is the ships chief medical officer. That buys him a little seniority. Mears and Bomb had less to contribute to their survival in orbit and to the crew as a whole. Now THAT would have gone over great!

Would Kirk have court martialed Boma had Kirk been in command of the shuttle? I don't think it would have come to that. Boma probably would have transferred out, either by his own design or recommended by Kirk. Unless Boma redeemed himself at the end; Kirk is pretty forgiving. In reality, s pointed out, the fact that he isn't on the bridge at the end is telling. Personally, I think he was packing.
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Old September 17 2012, 09:59 PM   #11
JimZipCode
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

By the way, McCoy's behavior in Tholian Web was about on the same level. And for that matter, in Paradise Syndrome too. Unprofessional, non-supportive, inexcusable in a senior officer.
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Old September 17 2012, 10:02 PM   #12
Mr_Homn
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

JimZipCode wrote: View Post
By the way, McCoy's behavior in Tholian Web was about on the same level. And for that matter, in Paradise Syndrome too. Unprofessional, non-supportive, inexcusable in a senior officer.
of course, in both those episodes Kirk isn't there to keep him in check. He always acts like an ass when kirk's not around. (well more of an ass than usual)

Like that annoying co-worker who acts professional only when the boss is around.

i can imagine mccoy getting bad reports from people all the time, but since he's the captain's buddy and a good doctor he gets to stick around. perks of being in jim's good old boy club
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Old September 18 2012, 02:53 AM   #13
Admiral_Sisko
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

JimZipCode wrote: View Post
By the way, McCoy's behavior in Tholian Web was about on the same level. And for that matter, in Paradise Syndrome too. Unprofessional, non-supportive, inexcusable in a senior officer.
Absolutely. McCoy repeatedly insulted Spock and attempted to bait him into an argument. Several quotes from each episode stand out.

Following the Enterprise's failed attempt to destroy the asteroid: "Well, Spock, you took your calculated risk in your calculated Vulcan way, and you lost. You lost for us; you lost for that planet, and you lost for Jim."

Following the Enterprise's inability to recover Kirk from the interspacially trapped Defiant:"If this crew is to survive, I have to find an antidote to this space you've locked us into."

Following the battle with the Tholian vessel: "You should have known what could have happened and done everything in your power to safe-guard your crew. That is the mark of a starship captain, like Jim."

Prior to viewing Kirk's last recorded orders: "He was a hero in every sense of the word, yet his life was sacrificed for nothing. The one thing that would've given his death meaning was the safety of the Enterprise. Now, you've made that impossible."

"Honestly, Spock, I just can't believe that you'd want Jim's command. But you must know that if you get us out of this, they'll pin a medal on your chest and give you command of the Enterprise."

Following Spock's reply that he already was captain of the Enterprise: "I'd like to remedy that situation."
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Old September 18 2012, 03:46 AM   #14
Gary7
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

JimZipCode wrote: View Post
You're 100% right. The other officers were insubordinate babies, and should all have been court-martialed after returning to the ship. Their behavior was ridiculous. Insane.

Spock's soliloquy ("two men have died," etc) was weird too. Logical decisions can have bad outcomes, particularly in a situation with a lot of unknowns – Spock knows that as well as anyone.

The whole episode is annoying and demeaning.
Agreed, and this is why I never make a point of watching it. Their behavior is just so way out of line. The writer of this episode was probably angling for the "Vulcan in command" receiving discrimination, pushing on the whole "logic" over reason argument. This episode focused way too much on "logic" running decisions.

Spock was inexperienced at commanding in this kind of scenario. While worthwhile to showcase the dynamic, I also feel the writer fell short on credibility for Spock.

McCoy's incessant criticism of Spock bordering on slander is one of the worst aspects of TOS. He's a senior officer, not a country doctor, and must abide by military protocol. When a doctor gets commissioned, they are indoctrinated just like any other officer. Duty and protocol are weighed just as heavily. Kirk knocks him in line from time to time, but man... sometimes he should have come down much harder, slapping McCoy back into reality. Insulting a senior officer, especially in the midst of the crew, is absolutely unacceptable.

Now in dire situations where death seems imminent, it's understandable that someone might crack and lose restraint, but you'd expect that from a junior officer or NCO, not a senior officer.
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Old September 18 2012, 01:04 PM   #15
Timo
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Re: Galileo 7 – Was it Boma, Spock or is it me?

For Boma to be such a pain in the ass was definitely unprofessional insubordination..
It could be argued this was professional insubordination.

Boma was a scientist. If those meekly follow the orders of a superior scientist, they get nothing done. It's as much Boma's duty as M'Benga's to occasionally slap Spock in the face until he reacts the right way. Granted this wasn't the time or place, but it would be in Boma's professional instinct to talk back to the boss, and that's what he'd get paid for (assuming Starfleet believes in salaries).

Decent burials? Pleading for inspiration? There's a ticking clock and death looming over them and they want to die like "men not machines?"
What was the ticking clock as regards the burial?

The shuttle had lost fuel, but there was no dialogue to the effect that the leak would persist and more fuel would be wasted by the minute. The crew lacked supplies, but there was no immediate danger of starvation. The starship in the vicinity would be forced to depart in a couple of days, after which she would be gone for a maximum of six days, and then return to continue the rescue efforts. And the natives could be kept at bay indefinitely as long as our heroes did not loiter far away from each other and from the immense firepower they possessed.

As far as we could tell, Spock could have taken a full day off to write an eulogy, draw a fictional cathedral in the sand, hold a ceremony involving solemn processions and hours-long chants, get Gaetano buried in a proper, carefully prepared six-foot hole, and then get drunk in a merry wake. There was no hurry.

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