Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Mr_Homn, May 17, 2012.
That he realizes that the life he chose has no room for relationships and family.
I"m sure he recognized a kernal of truth in that rant.
And got off with an Honorable discharge in the end...but it would have looked bad politically to DD her as she deserved.
Textbook case of how NOT to be a CO.
I have no doubt that there were probably many command-rank women in Kirk's era, we just never saw any of them.
I've been thinking about this episode today and rather than starting up a new thread I thought it would be worthwhile to revive this one.
Here is my perspective:
I was born in 1967 (exactly two weeks after City on the Edge of Forever first aired). I grew up in a VERY dysfunctional household. In my younger years, I didn't understand a lot of what was going on. I loved and respected both of my parents and because of that I rather naturally tried to make allowances for their faults and put as good of a face on the whole situation as possible in my own mind. At the time, one thing that was very firm in my mind was that I was very determined not to act like they did. I was somehow fortunate enough to be able to process the input of the surroundings, that they created, in such a way that I did not take on the characteristics of either one of them, even though I was around them more than I was around anyone else. The reality was that my father tended toward the type of personality in which women are more like objects. He had been in the U.S. Army in World War II, etc. Which is not to say that all men of that era or all Army men act in a certain way, but those times and the Army, individually and together, did in some instances exacerbate pre-existing conditions. My mother was an only child whose father was out of the picture very early on. Her mother sheltered her and catered to her, while being overly strict at the same time. My mother went through two failed marriages before meeting my father. My mother turned out to be a very selfish person. If everything was not her way, there was trouble. My father's first wife passed away after twenty years of marriage, from an ulcer caused by many years of (from what was as best as I have been able to determine) completely unfounded jealousy. She was nine years older than my father and always convinced that he was going to find a younger woman, even though I believe that he never tried anything like that. When my father was married, there was nothing to indicate that he didn't honor his marriages 100% of the time, no matter how badly they went. When my parents divorced in 1996, it was my mother's doing based on emotional distress. What I saw over the years was basically a power struggle between two people who each wanted his or her own way in everything. There was very little compromise. Virtually nothing I said was considered as my own....it was thought that I was taking the side of one or the other. It was a very controlling and manipulative situation. Attempting to be neutral was very problematic. To sum it up, it was somewhat like being in a prison and being subjected to constant electroshocks at random levels of intensity by a pair of wardens whom you nevertheless cared about very deeply. To all of that was added Roman Catholicism and the family's priest who was sent away for trying to have sex with the nuns. It was quite a whirlwind of different kinds of negativity coming from multiple directions at the same time.
Even as a young boy, I rejected all of the negativity and thought for myself. When I looked around me at boys and girls, I saw more commonality than differences. I never could understand the 'gender wars'. My thinking was reinforced later on when I learned that all humans are female until a certain point of development within the womb. I also learned that, thousands of years ago, humans did not understand the natural process of how children come into the world. Their lack of understanding led them to create a religion in which females were superior and males were inferior. After a while, the men rebelled against their status and turned the tables by establishing patriarchal religion....and that latter is, unfortunately, the legacy that largely remains today.
The limiting factor with Star Trek, as with any other series, movie, book, etc, is the need to be appealing to a wide enough audience to be commercially successful. That's the bottom line. That's why fans never get purely what they want. If fans want pure science fiction, and other members of the audience want to see Kirk in bed with whomever, the writers and producers have to come up with a script that attempts to balance everything out in a way that will be as widely appealing across the board as possible. Star Trek was criticized in the 60s for being "too cerebral". Audiences were more accustomed to western shoot-'em-ups and other fare that didn't have a lot of depth. Television was still much more about entertainment than it was about delivering messages to really make you think. Star Trek broke new ground with that and was under-appreciated at the time for doing so.
In the 60s, the fabric of general society was tightly interwoven by patriarchal religion. That has eased somewhat in the decades since, but there is still a very long way to go.
We can't get inside the heads of writers to determine exactly what opinions they held about the genders. But the fact remains that society in general at the time, and thus the target audience, was very patriarchal-oriented by percentage. A lot of people, even today, do not realize how far that the tendrils of patriarchal religion reach deeply into areas of culture that outwardly would seem to have no connection with religion.
Anyhow, I would agree that there are so many and better things that could have been done with Turnabout Intruder. But I feel that the patriarchal attitudes of the time were a much larger limiting factor than the constraints of episode running time and other factors.
In my opinion, Sandra Smith was much more convincing as Jim Kirk than William Shatner was as Janice Lester.
Maybe it's just pure speculation, but I think there was likely maneuvering room, within the way the episode was scripted, for Bill to have been more subtle and yet more effective in his characterization of Janice. Bill is a very good actor, but no one is perfect. No one is going to be spot-on each and every time.
In the end, is it that the episode was really bad? I don't think so. Not at all. I think that in many cases people simply get frustrated when they get caught up in comparing what actually was versus what they, personally, would have liked to have seen.
Hey, that's what FAN FICTION is all about!
And for the record....I married a wonderful girl who went through a lot of years of something very much like I did, but who also did not turn out to be anything like the negative people who were constantly around her. We will be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary on June 6th.
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