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

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Old March 26 2013, 12:18 AM   #1
Gojira
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Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

I was just compairing Kirk and Picard in another thread when I realized that Kirk's actions as Captain needs to be seen in light of the era TOS was filmed. It was the 1960s and it was the decade of when youth began confronting authority and I think that had a great influence on the scripts and how Kirk played his role as Captain. He too would go against authority when he thought it was the right thing to do.
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Old March 26 2013, 01:20 AM   #2
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

It seems like defying one's superiors and getting away with it is a major theme in the whole ST franchise, especially when those to be defied are higher up than the star of the show. It's come up in several of the movies.
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Old March 26 2013, 01:34 AM   #3
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
It seems like defying one's superiors and getting away with it is a major theme in the whole ST franchise, especially when those to be defied are higher up than the star of the show. It's come up in several of the movies.
I can agree with that. I just wonder if that Trek tradition of defying authority was something that was born in the rebelliousness of the 60s?
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Old March 26 2013, 01:47 AM   #4
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

I think it was part of the WWII mind set. Roddenberry and others were vets and no doubt drew upon that when writing Kirk. Citizens turned soldiers with a healthy disregard for authority seems to common theme in WWII set film and television. McHale's Navy, Hogans Heroes and Kelly's Heroes come to mind. MASH, though set in the Korean War, is another one.
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Old March 26 2013, 04:31 AM   #5
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

Gojira wrote: View Post
I was just comparing Kirk and Picard in another thread when I realized that Kirk's actions as Captain needs to be seen in light of the era TOS was filmed. It was the 1960s and it was the decade of when youth began confronting authority and I think that had a great influence on the scripts and how Kirk played his role as Captain.
I'm not sure the zeitgeist had that much to do with it. Youth has been rebelling against authority since before the time of Socrates.
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Old March 26 2013, 04:41 AM   #6
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

scotpens wrote: View Post
I'm not sure the zeitgeist had that much to do with it. Youth has been rebelling against authority since before the time of Socrates.
True. Where the '60s zeitgeist intrudes most obviously is in "The Way to Eden," and Kirk is on the side of the establishment in that one. Also, he rejected the drug culture in "This Side of Paradise." He was right both times if you ask me.
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Old March 26 2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

I think Kirk was in a moderate position in The Way to Eden, he was in authority, but he didn't seem to want to be oppressive. Chekov was the super rigid authority guy in attitudes. Scotty was almost but he didn't have as many lines.

And I agree, I think Kirk was right both times.
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Old March 26 2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

scotpens wrote: View Post
Gojira wrote: View Post
I was just comparing Kirk and Picard in another thread when I realized that Kirk's actions as Captain needs to be seen in light of the era TOS was filmed. It was the 1960s and it was the decade of when youth began confronting authority and I think that had a great influence on the scripts and how Kirk played his role as Captain.
I'm not sure the zeitgeist had that much to do with it. Youth has been rebelling against authority since before the time of Socrates.
True, I remember reading that the 60s was the first time when the rebelling youth became an economic power in its own right and that contributed to a focusing on them within the context of the larger culture.
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Old March 26 2013, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

Dunno about that. You could easily argue the same for the 1920s.

Anyway, Kirk was presented as a hero. To be a hero, you need to be presented with difficult choices. It's just plain dramatic to have Kirk question orders.
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Old March 28 2013, 01:28 AM   #10
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

jayrath wrote: View Post
Dunno about that. You could easily argue the same for the 1920s.

Anyway, Kirk was presented as a hero. To be a hero, you need to be presented with difficult choices. It's just plain dramatic to have Kirk question orders.
True! It is interesting to see the different changes in the youth culture.
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Old March 28 2013, 02:19 AM   #11
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

Damn hippies.
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Old March 28 2013, 03:37 PM   #12
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
Damn hippies.

I think it's interesting to note that the "hippies" were following an insane "guru" The hippies' main crime, like all hippies, is they're stupid but think they're smarter than everyone else. Plus, they're smelly. I got my TOS-RS in smellovision and wow! P U

Actually, that applys to a lot of people.
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Old March 29 2013, 12:08 AM   #13
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I think it was part of the WWII mind set. Roddenberry and others were vets and no doubt drew upon that when writing Kirk. Citizens turned soldiers with a healthy disregard for authority seems to common theme in WWII set film and television. McHale's Navy, Hogans Heroes and Kelly's Heroes come to mind. MASH, though set in the Korean War, is another one.
You don't think it might have something to do with those shows being made in the 60's?
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Old March 29 2013, 12:55 AM   #14
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

Gojira wrote: View Post
He too would go against authority when he thought it was the right thing to do.
Kirk's going against authority during TOS is overblown, that's more a feature of the movies made in the eighties. Kirk during TOS is depicted as a professional military officer, who in fact is obedient to those place in authority above him.

In both A Taste of Armageddon, and The Galileo Seven Kirk disagreed with the civilian officials present, but when they gave him lawful instructions, he followed those instructions. In The Immunity Syndrome he offered reasons why the Enterprise was the wrong ship for a particular mission, but followed the orders he was given.

The only time Kirk blatantly disobeyed authority was in Amok Time.

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Old March 29 2013, 01:01 AM   #15
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Re: Captain Kirk, Authority and the 1960s

T'Girl wrote: View Post
The only time Kirk blatantly disobeyed authority was in Amok Time.

Unless, of course, you count his somewhat "flexible" approach to the Prime Directive . . .
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