Bones in charge

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Terran_Empire, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek is probably the worst example one could use, actually. The show kept contradicting itself and was constantly creative and interesting to watch.
     
  2. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Why would McCoy be so interesting to watch in command? Either he'd be incompetent, which would just highlight Kirk's strength or he'd be competent, and it wouldn't matter that it was McCoy in command because any other character would be able to deliver the same lines. So, what could possibly be interesting to watch? McCoy might swear more, I suppose....
     
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Well, the more it contradicts itself, the less I like it. YMMV. At any rate, this is not pertinent to the OP; McCoy was not eligible to command a ship and that was never contradicted.
     
  4. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's obvious. "The Galileo Seven" is an episode about what happens when Spock is in command, how he uses logic and what he does when logic fails him. It was interesting. McCoy is the other side of the coin, an episode based on a similar premise may have been interesting as well.

    If you think McCoy is just a generic character whose swearing is the only identifiable trait, I'd say that you probably haven't watched enough Star Trek.
     
  5. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Hey, now, there's no need to impugn my experience watching Trek. I've seen it all. What I'm saying is that McCoy in command would be either something like Commodore Stocker's experience in the chair, or it would be like Scott's or Sulu's. Scott and Sulu are trained and experienced in command, and so either watching McCoy in a "Galileo"-type would be like watching Scott or Sulu do the same, because they're all passionate, volatile humans, or it'd be like watching Stocker try to command - awkward and scary.

    Besides, McCoy is not a line officer. Doctors don't command ships. If somehow he ended up in command, then there must not be any experienced officers around, so who would he be commanding? The computer?
     
  6. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're seeing things from an 'in-universe' perspective, I'm seeing things from a dramatic perspective, where everything is possible if it serves the plot or the characters.
     
  7. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Then you come up with a scenario where McCoy ends up in command. Maybe Kirk could send McCoy out in a shuttle craft with a bunch of Vulcans, and then the Vulcans could continually question McCoy's authority and competence to command until his final desperate decision to save them is the one logical choice that is most probable to save them.
     
  8. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You just did. :techman:
     
  9. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, and it's a very original one, too. Do you watch "The Galileo Seven" on an endless loop, or do you watch the other episodes, sometimes, too?

    Are you interested specifically in seeing McCoy in command, or just in a fish-out-of-water scenario?
     
  10. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The dream of watching McCoy in command is pretty much the only thought that's keeping me alive.
     
  11. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    McCOY is not a leader, not trained to make command decisions. Remember Menagerie ? He could barely give the order to have Spock arrested.
     
  12. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    From a writing standpoint, you would really have to contrive something. Rest of bridge crew unconscious and turbolift broken or something. BUT - think how many times Spock has been in command and McCoy is always needling him. Turns out Spock is always right. Now would be a good character development moment for McCoy to realize how hard it is, possibly screw up and recover right at the lost moment or something. (Or better yet, some real loss occurs, but probably not in '60s TV.) This is NOT a bad episode idea, frankly.
     
  13. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    McCoy was in command... of sickbay. He was a Starfleet officer and was perfectly capable of giving an order and asserting his authority when he needed to, including going up against Kirk himself. We saw this many times.
    But he was NOT a line officer. Putting him in the chair would've been so much fanwank.
    And as we all know, fanwank only gets aired... on TNG.
     
  14. Robert D. Robot

    Robert D. Robot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have been fighting the urge to bring up TNG episode where Beverly is left in command of the ship when the Borg attack. Or when Troi is training to take the test for command. Ugh!

    These two individuals have special skills & interests that got them posted to a starship, but -in my opinion- it seems a big stretch that their characters would have the urge to command. They each definitely had skills in heading a department, but this did not give them the capability to (potentially) take a ship into battle.

    And just so no one is lead to believe that I am against women in command: Kira, Rachel Garrett, and Captain Janeway were written so to convince me that they were capable of commanding a starship.
     
  15. kirsten187

    kirsten187 Napoleonic Power Monger Premium Member

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    I think McCoy himself has said that he is not an officer of the line...can't remember which episode though.
     
  16. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Pavonis wrote: ''You have to recognize when a problem exists to know to give orders to fix it. I mean, sure, McCoy could order Sulu to warp out of orbit or order Scott to "give him more power", but in the end, McCoy isn't needed to give those orders, as Scott and Sulu are far more experienced than McCoy and wouldn't need to be told what to do.''

    Except when third season mistakes crop up, and McCoy orders SULU not to fire phasers on inhabited areas of Elba II in WHOM GODS DESTROY. Sulu just says ''Yes, sir.''

    OBSESSION makes clear that McCoy is in a uniquely fun position. He couldn't take command if anyone else on ship was alive, but he alone can relieve anybody from command, including the Captain. So it's cool to watch McCoy stick it to Shatner----I mean, Kirk when his boss steps out of line.
     
  17. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    I'd suggest reading 'The Entropy Effect' by Vonda McIntyre. Spock puts McCoy in command while he investigates Kirk's murder.
     
  18. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Okay.....but did McIntyre have a legitimate reason for not placing Scott or Sulu in command instead? If it's only for friendship reasons, or to keep the Big Three center-focused....
     
  19. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's the story she wanted to tell. Isn't that a legitimate reason?
     
  20. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    From my perspective, the plots and outcomes of stories should originate from the constraints set up from outside the story setting. McCoy is a doctor, therefore not a line officer, and therefore any situation where he ends up in command has to arise naturally in-universe despite the constraints. Those constraints would have to be highlighted and an explanation why a staff officer would end up in charge would have to be given. Breaking the rules to set up a dramatic situation might be done all the time, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    If McCoy can command a starship, despite having no experience and the character having expressed no interest in doing so, then why not have Sulu do surgery, or have Scotty become a ballerina? Those would be interesting stories, too, but why tell them with those characters? Neither Sulu nor Scott have shown interest in those areas. While anyone could write a story where they suddenly do show an interest, perhaps even an aptitude for the activity, why pull something so oddly out-of-character out of nowhere?

    Maybe it comes down to whether a person prefers plot-driven stories or character-driven stories. From my perspective, putting McCoy in command would be a purely plot-driven contrivance that would violate the character's personality and history. Since I'm not convinced that McCoy could be a decent commander, I'm sure it would just weaken his character to see him fumble around trying to order other characters around. Further, I can't see him not handing command over to Spock, Scotty, Sulu, or even Chekov at the first opportunity.