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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

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Old July 3 2013, 01:26 AM   #16
Sran
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
Since you asked for "the highest ranking woman in TOS" and not "the highest ranking (female) Starfleet officer" I´d go with the Romulan Commander in Enterprise Incident: she didn´t just command her own ship, but the whole task force.
I'd agree with this. Another choice would be Kang's wife, Mara, who was also his first officer.

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Old July 3 2013, 03:01 AM   #17
Timewalker
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

T'Pau basically runs Vulcan, so how much higher in rank can you get than a whole planet?
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Old July 3 2013, 03:11 AM   #18
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timewalker wrote: View Post
T'Pau basically runs Vulcan, so how much higher in rank can you get than a whole planet?
I don't think we know that. She might have been in a political office, or she might have been like one of our "reigning" philosophers or religious clerics, who are revered but have no real governing power.
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Old July 3 2013, 03:17 AM   #19
Timewalker
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

She turned down a job on the Federation Council. That, plus her being able to get Kirk out of trouble for being late to Altair, tells me she's an extremely-high ranking politician. Would Kirk have been as impressed by the 'importance' of Spock's family if she was merely a philosopher or cleric?

If Vulcan would even have clerics outside of Mt. Selaya...
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Old July 3 2013, 05:20 AM   #20
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timewalker wrote: View Post
She turned down a job on the Federation Council. That, plus her being able to get Kirk out of trouble for being late to Altair, tells me she's an extremely-high ranking politician. Would Kirk have been as impressed by the 'importance' of Spock's family if she was merely a philosopher or cleric?

If T'Pau was the Vulcan equivalent of the Pope, technically "just a cleric," she'd impress Kirk enough, and Star Fleet Command would not want to get on her bad side for diplomatic reasons.
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Old July 3 2013, 05:28 AM   #21
Timewalker
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

So you're suggesting they don't have separation of church and state in TOS' political system? The Federation Council is a political body.
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Old July 3 2013, 07:44 AM   #22
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timewalker wrote: View Post
So you're suggesting they don't have separation of church and state in TOS' political system? The Federation Council is a political body.
Okay, so she's not the Pope. But both Vulcan and the Federation could have total separations of church and state, as we secular fans would hope, and T'Pau could be a secular philosopher or former official not currently holding any office. She could be a former legislator or a former member of a president's administration.

She could be a justice on the Vulcan Supreme Court, which makes more sense in that she's officiating at a wedding and judges do that.

But I don't think it was ever said that she runs the whole planet.

I can't imagine that a sitting head of state would ever fly out to the sticks (or the Stonehenge) to referee a fight.
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Old July 3 2013, 07:53 AM   #23
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?



She didn't know there would be a fight. Logically, she was there to officiate a wedding.

Conventional fanfic and even pro novelists have taken the approach that T'Pau is Sarek's mother, Spock's grandmother, and Amanda's mother-in-law (I recommend you read Diane Duane's excellent Spock's World).
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Old July 3 2013, 08:43 AM   #24
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

TOS also frequently had women who became infatuated with men and subsequently betrayed everybody to be with them. The TOS writers clearly did not have progressive views on the emotional and psychological integrity of females.

In the first TOS episode there is a female first officer who is strong and grounded. In the last one there is a female who "Should have been happy being...only a woman. But fortunately now she has a man to look after her".
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Old July 3 2013, 09:54 AM   #25
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

TOS also frequently had women who became infatuated with men and subsequently betrayed everybody...
...But themselves. In essence, these "frequent" cases (care to name a second one?) were downright Nietzschean in their unadulterated devotion to themselves. Surely the very definition of a "strong" character?

The TOS writers clearly did not have progressive views on the emotional and psychological integrity of females.
At least these women weren't soulless minions of orthodoxy. "Integrity" is a poor word for describing military servitude and unquestioning following of orders, IMHO.

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Old July 3 2013, 02:11 PM   #26
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Urgh, my least favorite TOS episodes rear their ugly heads. Turnabout Intruder with its notorious line about females not being good enough to qualify as starship captains and Space Seed with that idiot who was completely infatuated with Khan and betrayed her ship and superior officers for his sake.
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Old July 3 2013, 02:53 PM   #27
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

maneth wrote: View Post
Urgh, my least favorite TOS episodes rear their ugly heads. Turnabout Intruder with its notorious line about females not being good enough to qualify as starship captains and Space Seed with that idiot who was completely infatuated with Khan and betrayed her ship and superior officers for his sake.
And let's not forget Captain Pike's wonderful line in The Cage about not being used to having a woman on the bridge.

That being said, let's also remember that TOS was a product of its time, and whatever the personal beliefs of individual writers, story editors, producers, directors, actors, etc...ultimately in order to keep the show on the air, they had to make sure that a 60's TV audience would accept and understand the stories.

I'm not defending some of these attitudes, I'm just being realistic about a 1960's TV show.

It was a huge thing just for their to be women on the ship at all, when the viewing public was used to war movies where the only women were the wives/girlfriends of the leads, or at best, nurses in the base hospitals.
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Old July 3 2013, 03:12 PM   #28
Timo
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

The jury is still very much out on whether "Turnabout Intruder" said anything about women not being able to become starship skippers; whether the writer of the episode intended any such interpretation; and whether it is even possible to interpret the episode that way. Certainly there was no suggestion that Janice Lester would have wanted to become a starship skipper, so it's quite convoluted to think that the line would refer to the putative obstacles to such a desire.

(This in no way suggests that Janice Lester would have been a progressively portrayed character or anything, of course. But as said, the central element of this episode was that she was crazy. The story wouldn't have gotten any better with a more progressive set of legs.)

In turn, while the description of McGivers may have been conservative rather than progressive in the 1960s, insisting that it still remains conservative is, uh, rather conservative. McGivers was the ultimate Mary Sue: she wrapped two dominating men around her little finger, got to do a little hurt/comfort and rescue fantasy stuff with both in turn, and got exactly what she wanted in the end. This is HBO stuff from today's viewpoint...

Eventually, McGivers got to be the First Lady of an entire planet. If we don't accept T'Pau as the Space Pope, then McGivers is actually our highest-ranking female character!

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 3 2013, 09:47 PM   #29
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Timewalker wrote: View Post


She didn't know there would be a fight. Logically, she was there to officiate a wedding.

Conventional fanfic and even pro novelists have taken the approach that T'Pau is Sarek's mother, Spock's grandmother, and Amanda's mother-in-law (I recommend you read Diane Duane's excellent Spock's World).
In current novel continuity, Sarek's mother is named T'Rama. T'Pau is sort of a great-aunt.
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Old July 3 2013, 10:44 PM   #30
Gov Kodos
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Re: Highest Ranking Woman?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post


She didn't know there would be a fight. Logically, she was there to officiate a wedding.

Conventional fanfic and even pro novelists have taken the approach that T'Pau is Sarek's mother, Spock's grandmother, and Amanda's mother-in-law (I recommend you read Diane Duane's excellent Spock's World).
In current novel continuity, Sarek's mother is named T'Rama. T'Pau is sort of a great-aunt.
T'Pau could as easily be related to T'Pring as Spock, but neither Kirk nor Spock said anything about being related to T'Pau. All that was said was Kirk had no idea Spock's family was important enough to have T'Pau there. When families are wealthy and influential enough, the high muckety mucks come to officiate things.
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