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

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Old February 27 2014, 01:57 AM   #46
Christopher
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
A personal observation: I always find it interesting that the death of individuals in redshirts are celebrated and is a source of amusement, in a universe where life is supposedly precious, as well as equality, enlightenment, etc.
I don't believe, in universe, the deaths are seen as a source of amusement or celebrated.
Absolutely not. Joking about redshirts is a phenomenon in real-world fandom, not in the actual stories -- although I have come across one or two works of tie-in fiction that blurred the issue by having characters make somewhat metatextual remarks about it.

Although it's certainly plausible that the security personnel themselves could embrace the "redshirt" thing as gallows humor, like people on the line of fire often use humor to deal with their fear. But that's a far cry from actually "celebrating" a death when it does happen.
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Old February 27 2014, 02:23 AM   #47
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
At least in TOS people didn't disintegrate like they did in TSFS when Kruge vaporized his own gunner. THAT was disturbing.
Perhaps, but it was also entirely in line with Klingon customs. Kruge executed his gunner not just for incompetence (destroying the Grissom when the gunner knew full well that Kruge wanted prisoners) but for GLOATING about said incompetence - "A lucky shot, sir" and all that.

The officer could have probably bluffed his way out of it, said something about the Grissom's engines being unstable or something like that, but for openly defying Kruge's orders and bragging about it? Bastard deserved to die, under Klingon law.
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Old February 27 2014, 02:47 AM   #48
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

I don't understand the premise of the discussion. Given the numbers of the OP, over 72% of TOS deaths were Redshirts. And that's apparently including 8% from a time period that didn't even have redshirts.

That means high redshirt mortality is not a "myth," it is absolute fact.

So what's the issue?
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Old February 27 2014, 03:17 AM   #49
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

Christopher is correct. When the term redshirt is used its accepted connotation is Security personnel. So an accurate analysis of those casualties should focus on Security personnel rather than simply a red tunic being worn.
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Old February 27 2014, 09:46 AM   #50
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Perhaps, but it was also entirely in line with Klingon customs. Kruge executed his gunner not just for incompetence (destroying the Grissom when the gunner knew full well that Kruge wanted prisoners) but for GLOATING about said incompetence - "A lucky shot, sir" and all that.
Was that gloating? It sounded more "I didn't mean to" to me.
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Old February 27 2014, 12:20 PM   #51
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
"By Any Other Name" has a shocking choice of (red-dressed) victims. Did you tally up how many female crew members Kirk lost overall?
Dr. Dehner
The yeoman in "By Any Other Name"
Galway in "The Deadly Years"

Both Dehner and Galway were science personnel.
Thanks, that's a start. I also recall the psycho-tricorder girl in "Wolf in the Fold" dying. (And I don't believe that cock and bull story about a space demon. It had to be Scotty.)

Edit: I can't remember if Angela got strafed in "Shore Leave," or did she just run into the tree and get knocked out?
I'd forgotten about "Wolf in the Fold." That was Lieutenant Karen Tracy.

Angela ran into a tree, but I don't recall any dialogue that indicated she was killed. If she had been, wouldn't that have been reported to the Captain?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
A personal observation: I always find it interesting that the death of individuals in redshirts are celebrated and is a source of amusement, in a universe where life is supposedly precious, as well as equality, enlightenment, etc.
I'd like one example when this was done.
It was pretty much a gallows-humor filler piece in one of the fanzines I read many years ago (don't recall which one, sorry), where this (paraphrased) conversation takes place between two security guards on Kirk's ship:


Two security guards checking their duty assignments for the following day:

Redshirt A: Hey, I get the day off, that's great!

Redshirt B: Oh, damn. I've got landing party duty with the Captain, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy.

Redshirt A: Can I have your chess set?
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Old February 27 2014, 12:22 PM   #52
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Two security guards checking their duty assignments for the following day:

Redshirt A: Hey, I get the day off, that's great!

Redshirt B: Oh, damn. I've got landing party duty with the Captain, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy.

Redshirt A: Can I have your chess set?
That's a really good one!

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Old February 27 2014, 03:26 PM   #53
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

Timewalker wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
A personal observation: I always find it interesting that the death of individuals in redshirts are celebrated and is a source of amusement, in a universe where life is supposedly precious, as well as equality, enlightenment, etc.
I'd like one example when this was done.
It was pretty much a gallows-humor filler piece in one of the fanzines I read many years ago (don't recall which one, sorry), where this (paraphrased) conversation takes place between two security guards on Kirk's ship:


Two security guards checking their duty assignments for the following day:

Redshirt A: Hey, I get the day off, that's great!

Redshirt B: Oh, damn. I've got landing party duty with the Captain, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy.

Redshirt A: Can I have your chess set?
This being the TOS forum, I meant in canon, of course and by default. That said, any example in any Star Trek canon will do.
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Old February 28 2014, 03:30 AM   #54
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

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Old February 28 2014, 03:46 AM   #55
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

^ Cute. Neat location, too.

But, point is, it's a 'no' on there being canonical examples of redshirt deaths being celebrated or taken as a source of amusement in-universe.
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Old February 28 2014, 06:17 AM   #56
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

Maurice wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Perhaps, but it was also entirely in line with Klingon customs. Kruge executed his gunner not just for incompetence (destroying the Grissom when the gunner knew full well that Kruge wanted prisoners) but for GLOATING about said incompetence - "A lucky shot, sir" and all that.
Was that gloating? It sounded more "I didn't mean to" to me.
He wouldn't have said "lucky" if he meant that.

Kruge wanted to capture the crew alive. The gunner either didn't know, didn't care, or was just sloppy; and thus his incompetence robbed Kruge of the prisoners he wanted. So either way, that gave Kruge the right to execute him.
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Old February 28 2014, 08:17 AM   #57
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

I think the gunner called it a lucky shot because he wasn't actually aiming to destroy Grissom but was still taking some pride in having done so accidentally. In the heat of the moment he probably temporarily spaced on the fact that he'd actually acted contrary to his orders.

To put it another way, "Dude, did you see that? F'ing cool!!! ...oh, wait..."
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Old February 28 2014, 09:05 AM   #58
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

^ Right. That reading justifies the insult of "Animal!" too, that follows.
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Old February 28 2014, 10:19 AM   #59
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"Now, Captain Kirk, why did you order that man to investigate the giant monster?"

"He was about to speak, and we couldn't afford to pay him for that, as we only have five spacedollars in petty cash."
"We apologize for the necessity, Captain Kirk. You see, we're doing away with money."

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
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Wouldn't the Thasians have restored them?
Sadly, no...

THASIAN: "We are saddened that his escape cost the lives of the first ship. We could not help them..."
I don't remember what Charlie said in the episode, but in the Blish adaptation he said "there was a warped baffle plate on the shielding of their Nerst generator. I made it go away," making the ship blow up. Later the Thasians explain that they can restore everyone else because he made them "go away" still whole, but the ship basically exploded on its own and they couldn't do much about it. I suppose they could restore the baffle plate!

Christopher wrote: View Post
BMariner wrote: View Post
Do we have any idea what the redshirt contingent was of a TOS-era Constitution Class starship? If redshirts accounted for more of the crew than any other group, it shouldn't be so alarming that the number of overall losses reflect that ratio.
When we talk about "redshirts," we really mean security guards. Red was the color for engineering and operations as well as security, but the vast majority of the "redshirt" fatalities were security personnel. It stands to reason that security guards would be the first in harm's way and thus have the highest casualty rates. Their job is to risk -- and, if necessary, sacrifice -- their lives to protect the rest of the crew.
I don't have numbers, but in VOY, it seemed like the majority of the deaths were engineering personnel.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I don't believe, in universe, the deaths are seen as a source of amusement or celebrated.
They're not, but it seems almost as bad at the end of any episode where the crew lost redshirts but the characters still stand around joking.
"Doctor, do I understand him correctly? Are you casting me in the role of Satan?"
"Well, Jim, you have to realize how insensitive you're being, considering how many friends you sent to their deaths today. Not to mention you fired Mr. Scott."
"It's okay, Bones, he's wearing a red shirt."
"Damn it, Jim, he's already been given plot immunity! Nomad killed him two episodes ago and then brought him back!"
"Hmm, at least we won't have to pay him anymore."
"Captain, that statement seems illogical."
"Yes, well, gentlemen, I have some bad news. Speaking of lack of sensitivity, I received word from Starfleet...."
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Old February 28 2014, 04:09 PM   #60
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Re: The Redshirt Myth?

^Yes, the episodes end with the crew joking, but they're not joking about the redshirt deaths. And really, you can see this same pattern throughout the episodic TV era -- characters mourning a supporting player's death in the first or second act, but then joking at the end to reassure the audience that the status quo is restored. It would be insensitive in-universe, but in real-world terms, the producers didn't want the viewers to go away depressed, so the conceit of a "happy ending" was used.
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