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

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Old July 9 2014, 04:32 AM   #16
GSchnitzer
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

Christopher wrote: View Post
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned 33-year-old Captain Kirk hitting on a much younger 19-year-old Lenore Karidian. It seems ruthless ("I wonder where Ruth is") and it seems a little bit, well, creepy.
People back then weren't as concerned by such things as we are today; since there was a cultural tendency to infantilize women anyway, it wasn't seen as particularly strange. Anyway, she was a legal adult, and even though I heard the dialogue about her age many times, she never struck me as being anything but a full-grown woman.
I think it might be true that people "back then" weren't concerned about Kirk and Lenore's age difference. It's true for me: "back then" I was seven years old, so I wasn't concerned and was pretty oblivious to such age differences. Today, I am more concerned: I'm more aware and concerned since I'm not really seven any more. I think it's less about some cultural changes nowadays and more about the fact that "the people who weren't concerned back then" have now come of age and they now longer have a seven-year-old's understanding of interpersonal dynamics. Hopefully my understanding of what is acceptable and what's unacceptable and what is considered strange has matured accordingly--regardless of how much or how little cultural norms might have changed.
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Old July 9 2014, 04:35 AM   #17
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned 33-year-old Captain Kirk hitting on a much younger 19-year-old Lenore Karidian. It seems ruthless ("I wonder where Ruth is") and it seems a little bit, well, creepy.
Hey, I'm 34 and I'd happily hit on a 20-year-old. Does that make me creepy?



Well....maybe. Truth is my usual limit is 24-year-olds and up... so your point may stand...

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Old July 9 2014, 05:14 AM   #18
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned 33-year-old Captain Kirk hitting on a much younger 19-year-old Lenore Karidian. It seems ruthless ("I wonder where Ruth is") and it seems a little bit, well, creepy.
What happens in space stays in space....

All kidding aside, Lenore was not only an adult, but seemed to be psychologically advanced for her years. Perhaps that was the character's acting ability and self-awareness making her seem sophisticated, but whatever the case, she did not seem like some giddy, fresh from home college student caught in the hands of a leering older man.
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Old July 9 2014, 05:47 AM   #19
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

One minor oversight here: the episode talks about Tarsus IV, a failed and obviously remote colony. And we don't know about the level of technology on Planet Q, either. If both, or either of these worlds, are on the frontier, then Kodos could've been a world dictator and still be unrecognizable in the Federation interior. For all we know, Kodos was only one of a line of colonial governors on Tarsus IV, and if the colony was sufficiently isolated (we don't know for sure if the Prime Directive applies; the colony could've declined Federation membership or otherwise never applied) then it is possible that all kinds of things happened there without Earth's / the Federation's knowledge.

It's possible the photo Kirk viewed of Kodos was the only one available in the library computer.

I think the great thing about this episode is that it leaves quite a bit the the viewer's imagination. I always saw that as an asset for TOS.
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Old July 9 2014, 07:32 AM   #20
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
. . . All kidding aside, Lenore was not only an adult, but seemed to be psychologically advanced for her years. Perhaps that was the character's acting ability and self-awareness making her seem sophisticated, but whatever the case, she did not seem like some giddy, fresh from home college student caught in the hands of a leering older man.
BTW, Barbara Anderson was actually two months shy of her 21st birthday when the episode was filmed. She always had a mature look and manner about her.
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Old July 9 2014, 08:43 AM   #21
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

What's creepy about two consenting adults being attracted to one another? I've known quite a few young men and women who like dating people older than themselves. If it's for exploitive reasons (a la Kirk in this segment) that's one thing, but if two consenting adults wanna go at it like bunnies that's their business, even if they're radically different ages.
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Old July 9 2014, 12:49 PM   #22
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

Well, it's those exploitive reasons that are especially concerning in this episode.

Starfleet rules of decorum for starship captains fraternizing with civilians aside, although these might be "consenting adults," we actually don't know what the age of consent is in the 23rd century Federation. It's generally 18 years of age here in the U.S, but that might not be the case by Star Trek's time. In an era when an Ocampa's average lifespan is nine years, consent laws are liable to be fairly sophisticated.

Maurice wrote: View Post
What's creepy about two consenting adults being attracted to one another? I've known quite a few young men and women who like dating people older than themselves. If it's for exploitive reasons (a la Kirk in this segment) that's one thing, but if two consenting adults wanna go at it like bunnies that's their business, even if they're radically different ages.
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Old July 9 2014, 03:04 PM   #23
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

A 19 year old girl who enters society (attends a grown-up party) unescorted, comports herself as a grown woman, and flirts with an eligible bachelor? She is a grown woman and fair game for romance, by the rules of every human society for the past 6000 years.

It is only in very recent times that "childhood" has been extended so far into this phase of life, that had historically been considered adulthood. So recent, in fact, I'm pretty sure that in 1966 a 19 year old female was a considered woman ready for marriage unless she herself insisted otherwise.
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Old July 9 2014, 03:15 PM   #24
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

This is the part where I shamelessly mention that my sequel to this ep, Foul Deeds Will Rise, comes out from Pocket Books later this year.

And, yes, the fact that Kirk romanced a much younger woman to get at her father is alluded to. Kirk admits that it was hardly his finest hour--even if Lenore turned out to have a much more lethal agenda of her own.

And as for Kodos, I never got the impression that "Anton Karidian" was any sort of household name or celebrity by Federation standards. He was a respected Shakespearean actor touring the outer colonies, but I doubt that Kirk had ever heard of him before being summoned to Planet Q.

As for Leighton's injuries: This isn't TNG, where most anything can be fixed in sickbay over a commercial break. We know from "The Menagerie" that some scars and injuries can't be healed by 23rd-century medicine. Maybe Leighton's face suffered some major radiation burns from delta rays or something . . . .
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Old July 9 2014, 03:52 PM   #25
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
People back then weren't as concerned by such things as we are today; since there was a cultural tendency to infantilize women anyway, it wasn't seen as particularly strange. Anyway, she was a legal adult, and even though I heard the dialogue about her age many times, she never struck me as being anything but a full-grown woman.
I think it might be true that people "back then" weren't concerned about Kirk and Lenore's age difference. It's true for me: "back then" I was seven years old, so I wasn't concerned and was pretty oblivious to such age differences. Today, I am more concerned: I'm more aware and concerned since I'm not really seven any more. I think it's less about some cultural changes nowadays and more about the fact that "the people who weren't concerned back then" have now come of age and they now longer have a seven-year-old's understanding of interpersonal dynamics. Hopefully my understanding of what is acceptable and what's unacceptable and what is considered strange has matured accordingly--regardless of how much or how little cultural norms might have changed.
No, I'm talking about adult attitudes at the time. It's only in recent decades that society has become aware of pedophilia as a serious threat, since people in the past just didn't talk about such things. Even rape wasn't considered a serious crime in the 1960s; see "The Enemy Within" and the way Spock teases Rand about the "interesting qualities" of the "impostor" Kirk who sexually assaulted her. Heck, what we see today as sexual victimization of women was seen back then as normative; there was supposed to be an imbalanced power dynamic in the man's favor. So an older man going after a younger woman wasn't seen as a disturbing thing. See also the 1957 song "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," which is a paean to the sexual potential inherent in preadolescent girls ("They grow up in the most delightful way"). In its day, it wasn't seen as creepy at all.

Heck, look at the first (and only non-Trek) feature film Roddenberry wrote and produced, 1971's Pretty Maids All in a Row. It's a dark sex comedy in which Rock Hudson plays a school guidance counselor who's having sex with many of his underaged female students, most of whom have nude scenes and are portrayed as willing seductresses. True,
but he's actually played as a sympathetic figure, and his trysts with teenagers aren't portrayed as anything creepy in themselves, but are just part of the sex-comedy milieu. Not to mention that Angie Dickinson, who was 39 at the time, also has sex with a male student who I believe is supposed to be 17 (and the actor was 19 at the time). This is not portrayed as wrong in any way.

So society back then just wasn't as concerned with sexual victimization or exploitation as we are today. And pedophilia simply wasn't talked about or recognized as a problem. Whereas these days we've become so hypersensitized to pedophilia that we overreact to interactions between consenting adults when one of the adults simply happens to be more than a decade younger than the other. A 19-year-old isn't a child and there's no reason to find anything creepy about her involvement with an older man.



GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Starfleet rules of decorum for starship captains fraternizing with civilians aside, although these might be "consenting adults," we actually don't know what the age of consent is in the 23rd century Federation. It's generally 18 years of age here in the U.S, but that might not be the case by Star Trek's time.
The age of consent is actually 16 in 30 US states and the District of Columbia, and 17 in another 8 states. Only a dozen states set it at 18.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of...ica#State_laws


Maurice wrote: View Post
What's creepy about two consenting adults being attracted to one another? I've known quite a few young men and women who like dating people older than themselves. If it's for exploitive reasons (a la Kirk in this segment) that's one thing, but if two consenting adults wanna go at it like bunnies that's their business, even if they're radically different ages.
The problem with calling Kirk's actions exploitative here is that, yes, he was using her, but no, he wasn't using her for sex. He was using the pretense of seduction in order to pursue what he was really after, which was information about her father. First-season Kirk was not the womanizer he was later written as. He was a serious, driven command officer, generally not allowing himself time for interest in women, and when he did get involved with women it was either because he was under some mental influence ("The Naked Time," "Dagger of the Mind") -- which he was able to shake off because of his overwhelming commitment to duty -- or because he was using seduction as a pretense for a more pragmatic goal (here or "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"). We even saw women throwing himself at him and Kirk largely ignoring or resisting them ("Mudd's Women," "Miri"). Otherwise, beyond an old flame or two ("Court-martial," the passing allusion to Helen Johansson in "The Menagerie"), the times we saw him genuinely involved with women were cases where he was deeply and tenderly in love with them ("Shore Leave," "City on the Edge"). So to interpret first-season Kirk as any kind of predatory womanizer is a huge misreading of his character, even more so than for the Kirk of the later seasons (who was more in line with the majority of promiscuous male action leads in '60s TV).



Greg Cox wrote: View Post
As for Leighton's injuries: This isn't TNG, where most anything can be fixed in sickbay over a commercial break. We know from "The Menagerie" that some scars and injuries can't be healed by 23rd-century medicine. Maybe Leighton's suffered some major radiation burns from delta rays or something . . . .
Yeah, but that's the problem -- by today's real-world standards, it's hard to believe that 23rd-century medicine would be as backward as TOS portrayed it.
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Old July 9 2014, 04:01 PM   #26
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Yeah, but that's the problem -- by today's real-world standards, it's hard to believe that 23rd-century medicine would be as backward as TOS portrayed it.

McCoy: He's dead, Jim.

Kirk: Do you uh, want to try resuscitating him?

McCoy: I'm sorry, what?
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Old July 9 2014, 06:05 PM   #27
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

Christopher wrote: View Post
...Nobody says anything about Lenore being "forgiven." She's judged mentally ill, and has apparently had a psychotic break, since she has no memory of committing the murders. Therefore, she'll get "the best of care," which is all anyone says on the subject of her fate. Getting the best of care is not necessarily incompatible with being tried for her crimes, although she may be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
To go to Dr. Adams! That'll fix her!


GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned 33-year-old Captain Kirk hitting on a much younger 19-year-old Lenore Karidian. It seems ruthless ("I wonder where Ruth is") and it seems a little bit, well, creepy.
I honestly didn't think she looked 19, I thought Kodos adopted her as a ten year old. Really, she was supposed to be 19? Of course, makeup and hairstyles can make someone look much older/younger, but I didn't think she was only 19.
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Old July 9 2014, 06:09 PM   #28
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

Marsden wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
...Nobody says anything about Lenore being "forgiven." She's judged mentally ill, and has apparently had a psychotic break, since she has no memory of committing the murders. Therefore, she'll get "the best of care," which is all anyone says on the subject of her fate. Getting the best of care is not necessarily incompatible with being tried for her crimes, although she may be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
To go to Dr. Adams! That'll fix her!


GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned 33-year-old Captain Kirk hitting on a much younger 19-year-old Lenore Karidian. It seems ruthless ("I wonder where Ruth is") and it seems a little bit, well, creepy.
I honestly didn't think she looked 19, I thought Kodos adopted her as a ten year old. Really, she was supposed to be 19? Of course, makeup and hairstyles can make someone look much older/younger, but I didn't think she was only 19.
Kirk's computer states specifically that she's 19 years old, born one year after the massacre on Tarsus.

I considered explaining who her mother was and what happened to the mom, but that ended up being irrelevant to the story I was telling.
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Old July 9 2014, 06:18 PM   #29
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Marsden wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
...Nobody says anything about Lenore being "forgiven." She's judged mentally ill, and has apparently had a psychotic break, since she has no memory of committing the murders. Therefore, she'll get "the best of care," which is all anyone says on the subject of her fate. Getting the best of care is not necessarily incompatible with being tried for her crimes, although she may be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
To go to Dr. Adams! That'll fix her!


GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned 33-year-old Captain Kirk hitting on a much younger 19-year-old Lenore Karidian. It seems ruthless ("I wonder where Ruth is") and it seems a little bit, well, creepy.
I honestly didn't think she looked 19, I thought Kodos adopted her as a ten year old. Really, she was supposed to be 19? Of course, makeup and hairstyles can make someone look much older/younger, but I didn't think she was only 19.
Kirk's computer states specifically that she's 19 years old, born one year after the massacre on Tarsus.

I considered explaining who her mother was and what happened to the mom, but that ended up being irrelevant to the story I was telling.
Thank you, you're right of course, but my memory did not serve me well. I still think she was a very mature looking 19.
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Old July 9 2014, 06:24 PM   #30
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Re: "The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

Marsden wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post

Kirk's computer states specifically that she's 19 years old, born one year after the massacre on Tarsus.
Thank you, you're right of course, but my memory did not serve me well. I still think she was a very mature looking 19.
I admit I was startled the first time someone mentioned that she was only nineteen. but then I went and rewatched the episode to be sure.
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