Amok Time doesn't make sense.

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Lt. Uhura-Brown, May 14, 2013.

  1. cheesepuff316

    cheesepuff316 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Amok Time - may only be once, like the salmon
    Voyager (Tuvok/Vorik) - suggests that it is every seven years.....
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Yup - something changed after the introductory episode all right.

    But with Tuvok and Vorik, it seems the bouts of pon farr come because these males don't have spouses. Vorik is single, Tuvok is outside telepathic contact with his wife. We don't have any real evidence that married Vulcan males would undergo pon farr, then, so Starfleet shouldn't have much of a problem with it.

    Or do we actually get references to pon farr in marriage? (Silly speculation by local inexperts Harry Kim and Tom Paris definitely doesn't count!) If not with Tuvok and Vorik, then perhaps with Sarek? I can't think of any.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Nacluv

    Nacluv Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Even though this was conceived later, it still correlates well with TOS.

    Because even though Vulcan was part of the Federation, most Vulcans were Vulcan ambassadors or something similar and not many chose to join Starfleet. I believe Spock had at least some influence on why there were so many more Vulcan Starfleet officers a century later. And naturally, a lot more was known about Vulcans by the 24th century.
     
  4. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

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    Hi, I'm a new guy so I hope you don't mind me butting in but when I saw a thread about Amok Time I just had to chime in. What I never understood was why Kirk didn't back out when he learned that the fight was to the death. Or, put another way, I always thought it was kind of deceitful of T'Pau to not clarify that to Kirk before asking him if he accepted the challenge. IIRC, she did say something to the effect that their laws were not binding on them, but she might have mentioned the whole fight to the death thing. Kirk might have changed his mind had he known that in advance.
     
  5. Lt. Uhura-Brown

    Lt. Uhura-Brown Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Obviously it's perfectly logical for a race that values logic above all else to have big pompous rituals and fights to the death.
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    It's called (situational) irony.
     
  7. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Besides, why does logic preclude fights to the death?
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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  9. Lt. Uhura-Brown

    Lt. Uhura-Brown Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    They should have 3-D Chess to the death instead.
     
  10. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

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    It needn't, but it does seem a trifle odd that T'Pau would leave that important bit of information out (especially after Spock tries to explain to her by saying that Kirk "knows not...").

    I think the UFP could have brought up charges against T'Pau!
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It is, if you're talking about a species that is very traditional.

    The big ceremony and ancient rituals is (imho) the Vulcans way of controling pon farr to the limited ability that they can.

    They can't stop it, so they channeled it.

    If historically a Vulcan male wasn't linked to a female, then the Vulcan society would face repeated situations like what happen with Vorik. ST: Enterprise ('Mirror) said that Vulcan females go through their version as well. It's a biological and psychological part of who they are.

    So the koon-ut (and the kal-i-fee) is in fact perfectly logical.

    :)
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Yet it seems that the whole problem in "Amok Time" arose from the childhood bonding of Spock and T'Pring: had this not taken place, Spock would not have had anybody to fight over, and perhaps no logic-hindering lust in the first place. Vulcans could thus avoid all the hassle by discontinuing the practice of bonding.

    If OTOH pon farr takes place whether there's bonding or not, it still remains unclear why bonding is practiced. It doesn't seem to alleviate Spock's mate-finding problems any: he has already been given a designated mate by telepathic and social means, but his biology is having none of it.

    It thus seems to me that much of the ritual is practiced for reasons other than biological or socio-logistical necessity. In the past, the biological or logistical need for bonding young people may have been overwhelming: without the bonding of a boy from village A with a girl from the distant village B, the desert-dwelling hermits would limit themselves to inbreeding and soon die out. It would be an adaptation to the harsh conditions of Vulcan, as opposed to the lusher and less isolation-enforcing original homeworld that Sargon's people transplanted these folks from. With modern transportation, though, the bonding would have become meaningless. Doesn't mean it would have become illogical, though; there would be plenty of logic in maintaining traditions as a cohesive social force, even if the traditions themselves are senseless.

    Whether the pon farr aspect of it all comes from the lusher origins or from the later desert adaptation (perhaps evolved by the Vulcans themselves, perhaps installed by Sargon's folks), it's hard to tell. Cyclically limited procreation would be nice for desert folks living in extreme scarcity, but nothing in Trek suggests that pon farr limits procreation. It merely promotes it, by encouraging and even enforcing the forming of couples - but what happens thereafter is neither promoted nor inhibited as far as we know.

    Since bisexuality, apparently a minority trait in the "real" universe just as in the real real one, is extremely prominent in the Mirror universe, we might just as well decide that female pon farr is another perversion that is rarely heard of in the "real" universe. :vulcan:

    But we also have ENT "Bounty", where T'Pol from the "real" universe associates her odd symptoms with pon farr, without introducing the idea that females would be unlikely victims.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Nacluv

    Nacluv Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The history and tradition of these rituals most likely emanates from a time pre-Surak.
     
  14. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    No.
     
  15. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The fact that Sturgeon showed the Vulcans to be virtually the opposite of what we expected is one of the most wonderful things about the episode.

    As someone smart once said, "You want to find out what people are doing a lot of? Look at what they make laws against."
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    The episode actually addresses this, when Spock asks Kirk if he ever wondered how Vulcans pick their mates. Kirk shrugs and says something about how he always assumed it was done very logically.

    "It is not," Spock corrects him--which was indeed nicely unexpected.

    (This is the part where I reminisce once again about appearing on my very first convention panel opposite Theodore Sturgeon of all people. I was more than a little intimidated, especially considering that I was just a baby writer with only a few magazine credits to my name, but he couldn't have been nicer or more hospitable.)
     
  17. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly. Early Trek is a different animal than what it evolved into. If Trek was "Wagon Train To The Stars", then Spock was the lone Native American riding along with the Union troops. They don't know much about his tribe, he doesn't speak much about them and they don't care for outsiders anyway.
     
  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Pretty much, yeah. I believe Herb Solow wrote that he pitched the character that way to the networks. Or was that Oscar Katz?

    It's funny, when I first started to get some sense of who Spock was on the show my thought was "Oh, he's like Mingo on Daniel Boone."
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Amok Time is brilliant. Back before all Trek aliens were basically humanity with shit glued on their faces.
     
  20. Lt. Uhura-Brown

    Lt. Uhura-Brown Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You must have missed the first season, then.