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

View Poll Results: Rate "Court Martial"
1 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 0 0%
6 9 37.50%
7 4 16.67%
8 9 37.50%
9 2 8.33%
10 0 0%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 6 2014, 03:30 PM   #16
Marsden
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

I voted 8.

I think this bit of dialogue is worth a few points by itself:

MCCOY: Well, I had to see it to believe it.
SPOCK: Explain.
MCCOY: They're about to lop off the captain's professional head, and you're sitting here playing chess with the computer.
SPOCK: That is true.
MCCOY: Mister Spock, you're the most cold-blooded man I've ever known.
SPOCK: Why, thank you, Doctor.

I left off the very next part of that, but I'm mentioning it because by Dr. McCoy, who is not portrayed as a computer expert is the one to announce it's impossible for Mr. Spock to beat the computer, so it must be somewhat obvious to a 23rd century person. This kind of thing just doesn't happen in that setting.

The microphone prop didn't bother me so much as what the microphone was supposed to do. Block the heartbeat sound so it isn't amplified. Ok. Does it also block breathing and digestive sounds?
I just think I would have liked a better method of finding Finney than the sound of his heartbeat.
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Old May 6 2014, 04:22 PM   #17
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

Marsden wrote: View Post
I just think I would have liked a better method of finding Finney than the sound of his heartbeat.
You mean like flatulence?
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Old May 6 2014, 05:15 PM   #18
CrazyMatt
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Marsden wrote: View Post
I just think I would have liked a better method of finding Finney than the sound of his heartbeat.
You mean like flatulence?
Then the script would have included the line:

KIRK: Gentlemen, this computer has an olfactory sensor. It can, in effect, smell odors. By installing a booster, we can increase that capability on the order of one to the fourth power. The computer should bring us every odor occurring on the ship. Now, let's determine which one of you just dealt it.
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Old May 6 2014, 06:04 PM   #19
Marsden
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Marsden wrote: View Post
I just think I would have liked a better method of finding Finney than the sound of his heartbeat.
You mean like flatulence?

He's a sorcerer, that one. He reads the thoughts in my brain!
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Old May 6 2014, 06:07 PM   #20
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

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Old May 7 2014, 03:39 AM   #21
BillJ
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

Push The Button wrote: View Post
Kirk should have hired Spock to defend him.
But then Spock wouldn't have been playing Chess and found the key to saving Kirk. Plus, it would have been awkward for a witness to also serve as the defense attorney.
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Old May 7 2014, 10:00 AM   #22
Mario de Monti
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

I think it´s an average episode. All the good things (like Spock playing detective) and bad things (like the rather poor courtroom scenes) have been mentioned here already.
I just want to point out one big asset: we get the "Starship Status Chart" that provides us with several starship registries - and the cause for endless debates and discussions
Because of that I give the episode a 6, rather than a 5.

Mario
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Old May 7 2014, 12:20 PM   #23
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

As regards the microphone, we should remember that Finney is in control of the ship's surveillance systems. I mean, he's both the officially appointed person in charge of that, apparently ("Records Officer" seems to mean "top computer wizard"), and has already hidden all surveillance system evidence of what really happened to him at the ion pod and afterwards.

Kirk thus shouldn't be able to rely on any sensors installed on the ship, in terms of plot logic. A handheld or portable device of some sort is clearly needed. Although one operating from the bridge makes rather little sense... It would have been more logical (and equally dramatic) for Kirk to send out search teams equipped with dogs, or their future technological equivalents.

The search team approach would also allow for a Kirk/Finney showdown where backup is nowhere to be seen: it is Kirk's team that finds Finney (of course), and Finney drops the redshirt teamed with Kirk before the final fisticuffs begin. In the episode, there's no rationale for Kirk going out so unprepared and without backup, because his very reason for beaming up to the ship with the jury is to smoke out Finney. Clearly, he wasn't relying on being able to talk Finney into surrendering over the PA system - he doesn't even attempt that before drawing his phaser and walking out. So why not beam up with the jury and six redshirts?

...It's really not too much to ask, even for a man of his position. He could tell the jury that he feels like going homicidal and needs to be guarded by multiple armed servants of the court.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old May 7 2014, 12:22 PM   #24
Robert Comsol
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

I really don't think that the "Starship Status Chart" was such a good thing. Without it Greg Jein would not have come up with his theory to read the list from bottom to top and assign the "NCC-1700" position to the Constitution. Instead he would have had to use The Making of Star Trek as the main source, which states twice "Enterprise Starship Class".

About the episode itself I didn't like the deus ex machina conclusion (i.e. the visual recordings had been tampered with).

That should have been a possibility to be examined right from the start. I'd expect a court martial in the 23rd Century to be more meticulous and earnest in its proceedings.

And Cogley was exaggerating with his "man vs. machine" lamenting. After all, this was Kirk's memory against an apparently simple visual video recording.

But the episode featured a great line from McCoy: "All my friends look like old doctors, all his [Kirk's] friends look like you"

Bob
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Old May 7 2014, 12:29 PM   #25
Timo
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

That should have been a possibility to be examined right from the start.
But Kirk would be damned either way, as he and he only (and Spock, and the dead man) would have been capable of it.

It is a very surprising turn of events that the victim turns out to be the murderer; investigations would not readily start from that assumption. A process of elimination would lead to the conclusion eventually, and indeed this happened on very short notice - but it's plausible that the first few days would be spent with the accused simply unable to explain what might have happened, and the others implicitly trusting a trustworthy source of evidence.

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Old May 7 2014, 01:52 PM   #26
Mario de Monti
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I really don't think that the "Starship Status Chart" was such a good thing. Without it Greg Jein would not have come up with his theory to read the list from bottom to top and assign the "NCC-1700" position to the Constitution. Instead he would have had to use The Making of Star Trek as the main source, which states twice "Enterprise Starship Class".
I agree about the weird theory Greg Jein concocted and the resulting confusion about the classification of the Enterprise. But that doesn´t take anything away from how special that chart is, IMO. It provides us with the only NCC registries besides "1701" and "1017" and these numbers are as official and canonical as it gets. I for one am very happy that we have them. YMMV of course

Mario
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Old May 7 2014, 04:42 PM   #27
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

Timo wrote: View Post

In the episode, there's no rationale for Kirk going out so unprepared and without backup, because his very reason for beaming up to the ship with the jury is to smoke out Finney.
Timo Saloniemi
Well, there was nobody on the ship for back-up and the Enterprise had very little time before entering the atmosphere; perhaps too short amount of time to beam-up a security team. Plus, it gave our Captain the opportunity to be the hero, lol. Kirk is a bad-ass with a phaser; for me that's good enough.


For the record I like the starship chart!!
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Old May 7 2014, 05:22 PM   #28
scotpens
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

Timo wrote: View Post

It is a very surprising turn of events that the victim turns out to be the murderer; investigations would not readily start from that assumption.
Excuse me? Finney faked his own death and attempted to incriminate Kirk. Ergo, there was neither murderer nor victim.
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Old May 7 2014, 05:45 PM   #29
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

The legal/courtroom stuff is weak, no question. I suppose if Cogley was such a great lawyer he wouldn't set up shop at Starbase 11, which looks like a fairly sparse settlement. How much legal action can he get into there? As I've gotten older he comes across to me as even more of an eccentric, holed up on a fringe world with his thousands of books. If they wait for the other members of the court to show up, presumably they could also wait for another Starfleet JAG (or any lawyer) to come to defend Kirk. But, for whatever reason, he seemed content with Cogley.

Shaw's prosecution is not much stronger than Cogley's defense. And it's always bugged me that Stone is the investigator, the convening authority and the president of the court. How about a little adversarial balance in the system?!

Overall, though, I quite like the episode. When I was a kid it was one of my favorites, because it had so many "world building" touches in it, and it is the origin of many Trek background details. The first reference to "Starfleet Command," ranks and serial numbers, the "NCC" chart, Kirk's early career and awards, the first dress uniforms (though they would appear on TV earlier in "The Menagerie.").

The guest cast is really strong. Elisha Cook Jr. was a well-known character actor who worked steadily for a loooong time. I like how Stone was portrayed, all business. Richard Webb hit a good level of deranged.

The heartbeat masking thing was a little contrived, not to mention the prop, but it reached a nice dramatic moment with Stone's "Finney!"

Spock's matter-of-fact statement that he knows ALL about computers is great. As usual, the civvie clothes are awful.

feek61 wrote: View Post
For the record I like the starship chart!!
I like it too, but I would have liked it better if there were some different letter-combo prefixes.

Overall, a nostalgic episode for me, which I think still works despite some holes. I give it a 7.
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Old May 7 2014, 06:05 PM   #30
scotpens
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Re: Episode of the Week : Court Martial

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
As usual, the civvie clothes are awful.
I thought Cogley's traditional-yet-futuristic suit looked cool. Jamie Finney looked like a tackier version of Sailor Moon.

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