Amok Time doesn't make sense.

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

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    Yeah. I did. I only bought it on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray so it would look pretty on my shelf... :lol:
     
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    Yep, TOS humanoid Aliens tended to be wig and make up aliens rather than shit glued to their face aliens. (when they weren't humans in funny clothes). The Andorians and the Tellerites being notable exceptions.
     
  3. prizzm

    prizzm Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    There are a lot of unanswered questions in Amok Time, which probably makes for good fiction.

    Stonn didn't appear to be experiencing pon farr, yet he wanted T'Pring and T'Pring wanted him. If the victor had freed T'Pring, would she have married Stonn and lived happily ever after?

    T'Pring said if Spock did not free her, then he would be gone, she would have his name and his property, and Stonn would still be there. Convenient for T'Pring, to have both an absent husband and a lover. Is this sort of thing acceptable on Vulcan?

    Spock and T'Pring had undergone the bonding ceremony at age seven where their minds were locked together so that they would come together at the proper time. The ceremony worked on Spock, a half-Vulcan. Didn't it work on T'Pring?

    Actually, I always thought T'Pring got a bad rap.
     
  4. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Why not? Willfully endangering the life of a Starfleet Captain has got to be grounds for (at the very least) a reprimand of sorts.
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    You don't piss off the Vulcans. It's in the UFP Constitution.
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    Kirk had volunteered to obey Vulcan law. So, no.

    Besides, who in here really thinks that T'Pau couldn't see that McCoy might be up to tricks with his hypo? No doubt she was concerned primarily with making sure the forms of the ritual were obeyed. She had no other dog in the fight.
     
  7. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    I agree that Kirk had to obey Vulcan law, but the full context of the situation was not made known to him. I mean really, shouldn't T'Pau have at least said something to Kirk like, "by the way, if thee loseth the combat it means thou shalt be deadeth. Art thou sureth thou wisheth to accept the challenge, or wilt thou punketh out?"

    For that matter, wouldn't Spock have let Kirk in on the possibility that he might have to fight someone to the death when he confided to Kirk in his quarters about what was happening to him? It just seems like a gaping hole in logic in the story line...or lazy writing.
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    No to both.
     
  9. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Could you explain to me how it makes sense then that T'Pau should leave out that rather important detail to Kirk (especially after Spock tells her that Kirk does not understand that Spock will do what he must)?
     
  10. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere in the South Pacific
    You're attributing to T'Pau a concern for Kirk's welfare that is nowhere evident at this point in the episode. She's pissed that he is even there at all.

    And now you're attributing to Spock the ability to foresee the future. He had no way of knowing T'Pring would invoke the challenge, and certainly no way of foreseeing how Kirk could end up as his challenger.
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    It's a TV show that needs to build mystery and suspense. They aren't going to let the cat out of the bag all at once.
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    Two things.

    First, T'Pau affirms that the challenge was lawfully accepted. Therefore, under Vulcan law, it was not necessary for her to spell out all the consequences. Humans have a similar principle. That should be the end of it right there.

    But, second, a recurring theme in the episode is that Vulcans are very secretive about their barbaric mating rituals. As a high-ranking Vulcan, T'Pau would not violate that trust. From the dialog, evidently Kirk could refuse the challenge only by claiming status as a non-Vulcan. That catch-22 means that the humans who beamed down with Spock could only be all the way in or all the way out of the ritual; the need to have it all explained in order to make a decision would mean automatic de facto refusal of the challenge, with no further explanation whatsoever, to keep the secrets. In that case, another champion would have been selected. Kirk didn't want that, because he was trying to save Spock, so he made a foolish assumption, but in any case the one that gave Spock the best chance. T'Pau's lips had to be sealed in order to protect Vulcan customs from outsiders.
     
  13. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    And she'd given Kirk the opportunity to decline the challenge since he wasn't Vulcan.

    Indeed not, it wouldn't be half as interesting a deconstruction of the stoic Vulcan mystique.
     
  14. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    I understand that, but the way the cat was let out of the bag doesn't really fit with how one would expect it to be done. It seems like an important detail like that should have been made known to an "outworlder" who found himself in Kirk's situation. It shows very bad form on the part of the Vulcans and yes I think someone as powerful as T'Pau should show some concern for a high-ranking member of Starfleet, if not for diplomatic reasons than at least out of a sense of good taste and manners.
     
  15. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    No she doesn't. She asked Spock what he thought he was doing bringing outworlders to one of their private ceremonies. She's there to see the rules of the ceremony are followed, not to be a tour guide. Kirk didn't ask and it's doubtful T'Pau would have answered as the ceremony is not for outworlders. Asking would have been seen as cowardice, certainly as unwillingness to follow the ceremonial behavior which Spock had promised they would do. Kirk also is unwilling to back down in front of T'Pau. Her importance in the Federation as 'all of Vulcan in one package' sets Kirk's sense of duty into overdrive. Backing down in front of her would be an embarrassment for him, for Spock, and for Starfleet as one of their captains.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    The T'Pau thing bugs me, too, but not the Spock thing. My impression was that the whole challenge thing was an ancient ritual that was rarely invoked anymore, so Spock had no reason to expect that T'Pring was going to spring that surprise on them.

    It's like that part in traditional wedding ceremonies where the preacher asks if anyone present has any objection to these two being joined in matrimony. "Speak now or forever hold your peace," etc.

    These days nobody really expects anyone to stand up and object; it's just a formality. Ditto for with the Vulcan challenge ritual; Spock was surprised as anybody else when T'Pring actually chose the challenge option.

    "Seriously? Nobody does that anymore?"
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    While there was no reason for Spock to suspect at the time he beamed down, when the bridal party entered he could have begun to realize.

    First official clue would have been the presence of Stonn. I think that it was fairly obvious that the original plan was that he was to be the champion. Everyone else in the bridal party had a role or duty. Why was Stonn walking in?

    Second clue might have been to entrance of the weapons carriers, while it might be tradition to alway have weapon present, I do wonder if they are only brought if there is a anticipation of combat.

    It might have not been the biggest of secrets (except to Spock) that T'Pring was going to contest the marriage.

    :)
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    My assumption is that the presence of weapons was (usually) ceremonial, as when, say, the Queen of England knights someone or when a military honor guard carries sabers or rifles at a funeral or whatever. Nobody is expecting actual combat!

    (I was actually walking the dog by our local cemetery the other day when I was startled by gunfire. Turns out there was a military funeral going on.)

    As for Stonn, Spock brought two guests to the ceremony, so why shouldn't T'Pring? For all Spock knew, Stonn was just a close friend or colleague of T'Pring's who was there to share this moment with her. It's not like Spock was up to date on her personal life.
     
  19. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    I guess the ritual is rare but certainly not something which never occurs anymore.

    It might seem ridiculous to us but so is arranged marriage. My explanation for the longevity of all these archaic cultural phenomena is that they are side-products of a dogma which must not be questioned, Vulcan orthodoxy and its key postulate of emotional suppression; the logic being: if Vulcans start to question these stupid old rituals what is to stop them from questioning emotional suppression?
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    It's a shame, really. I've been to at least a dozen weddings in my life and never once has anyone challenged anyone else to a battle to the death--or even stood up and objected to the marriage! :)
     

Share This Page