Commodore Wesley confuses me

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Sadara, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Unless you can claim to know how the Enterprise is wired and what its firmware is like, I'd say you can't rule out that the M-5 can't somehow actively rewire the ship the way today's virus software seems to be able to commandeer people's computers despite their security protocols.

    Thematically, the story built-up conflict in which it could be plausible for Kirk to go nuts. The prior relationship with Wesley was only meant to give Kirk inner-doubts. Why was Wesley so approving of the M-5 when Kirk was skeptical? Kirk wonders about this out loud to McCoy. Kirk and Wesley had to come from a common background and yet they diverged over their concept of progress.

    What it would have amounted to is a "going postal" situation from someone who feels they're about to lose their career, which to many people is their whole reason to exist. These things happen more often than we'd like to admit. It's easy to shrug it off because we view Kirk as a superhero icon, but within TOS, he was a rank-and-file captain and not the comic book hero he would later become.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, even we know that Kirk is fallible. In "Obsession", we learn that for the past decade, he has been regretting not being trigger-happy enough. It would be pretty natural for him to have gathered a reputation of always treating a superior enemy to an immediate and ruthless surprise attack and then opening hailing frequencies.. It would be a small step from that to snapping in face of another "superior enemy", under pressure of the above sort.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I think it's fairly simple: Kirk was still the captain, he hadn't ceded command to the M-5. No matter what the computer system was doing, Kirk was ultimately responsible. If the M-5 didn't have a kill switch, that's Kirk's responsibility. If the kill switch didn't work, that's still Kirk's responsibility. Even if there were mitigating factors, that would be something for an inquiry later, not part of Wesley's immediate concerns.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I'm not sure how its Kirk's responsibility that Starfleet installed faulty hardware/software on his ship?
     
  5. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    That's something that an inquiry finds out later, but captains have historically been held responsible for everything that happens on their ship (including the loss of their ship). If the inquiry finds out that there was nothing the captain could have done, then the captain is cleared. It's standard procedure in most instances, IMO (I think Picard faced an inquiry following the loss of the Stargazer, was found not at fault, and then went on with business as usual).
     
  6. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, and he acted like a prick in the transporter room smirking and laughing at Kirk, who was in the midst of swallowing the notion of redundancy. Did not such advancement pose an equal threat to Wesley.....or did he have some inside scoop/deal with Starfleet on a cushy advancement.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Juridically, yeah. But that shouldn't affect how Wesley assesses the tactical situation at hand. If a ship is about to run aground because of a faulty route marker, the concern of the eyewitness should be the marker, rather than the skipper's theoretical responsibility.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Wesley may have been eyeing a postion in the admiralty. Starship captains may be obsolete, but he figured humans would still order starships around!
     
  9. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    A Pharisee in the making, no doubt.

    I did like the character even if the writing seemed uneven. The actor playing Wesley had unmistakeable charisma.
     
  10. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Two reasons why this line would have been pointless.

    Enterprise couldn't respond and I think Wesley was feed so much information about how frikkin' wonderful M-5 was that this never even entered his thought process. Kirk said the government bought it and they were going to make it work. And being a Commodore, Wesley's personal job of ordering ships around probably wasn't in jeopardy, just the captains under him, which he didn't show too much sympathy for, did he?

    Really, how often do you expect your new car to turn on you and attack? It's supposed to be a new computer, they're up to their asses in computers, why would one turn into a crazy kill box? And Daystrom himself is on the ship with the M-5, if there were any problems, surely he would take care of it? Right?

    I don't think anyone planned for M-5 to suck the energy out of the warp engines like a slurpy, so any previous manual overides were useless. How does one manually control a starship, do you mean there are actual sticks and cables to fly it?

    Sorry if I'm posting short, I'm not trying to be nasty, I just think it would have been the farthest thing from his mind, he was basically in the position of having an out of control starship to deal with at that point, it had to be stopped whoever was in control.
     
  11. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Let's go back to the first act, in the Enterprise's transporter room:

    KIRK: Twenty? I can't run a starship with twenty crew!
    WESLEY: The M-5 can.
    KIRK: And what am I supposed to do?
    WESLEY: You've got a great job, Jim. All you have to do is sit back and let the machine do the work.

    Maybe that's exactly what Wesley thought Kirk was doing, just sitting back and watching... Wesley would have then thought "Why the hell doesn't he hit manual override and turn that damn computer off!?!?"
     
  12. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Not to repeat another thread, but what really confuses me about this episode is why Wesley wears a Starfleet Command patch...
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Because he was likely the mission commander not the regular captain of the Lexington. That explanation always worked for me. :techman:
     
  14. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Hmmm... so one of Starfleet's finest officers--I think if you're one of twelve starship commanders that's obvious... just gets thrown aside for a wargame???
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Why not?

    If Wesley has a personal or professional interest in M-5 he may have wrangled himself into the center seat for the exercise much like Kirk bumped Decker in The Motion Picture.
     
  16. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I think 5 of them, really. Kirk was thrown aside, the possible captain of the Lexington and the 3 captains of the other 3 ships as well, you don't call what they were doing part of their normal duties. This was a Major commitment by the Federation. If there really were only 12 like Enterprise, then that's 41% of their fleet in one spot, yet Enterprise is usually "the only ship in the _______ (quadrant, sector, area)" That's big. The regular Enterprise crew is in security detention, not shore leave. Wesley was shocked when Spock knew so much in the transporter room.

    Just think about the areas of Fed space underdefended, if the Klingons or Romulans were aware, there's a huge potential for loss of life.
     
  17. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    In that example, if the witness were able to communicate with whomever had the conn of the ship, it would be imperative to let that person know what was happening. Wesley was in communication with the person most likely to be able to address the tactical situation, Kirk, and he made himself known. He may have said it in kind of a dickish way, yes, but that's a personal issue.
     
  18. Sadara

    Sadara Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Provided that Starfleet did have Kirk under constant, strict surveillance and worry about him snapping a twig, why test the M5 on his ship? Why not test it on a ship where the captain wouldn't be as unhappy with becoming redundant?

    As for Wesley having more faith in the M5 than Kirk, that doesn't say anything about Kirk. Wesley likely had been a starship commander before so he is obviously aware that computers can and do malfunction. Sure, people snap twigs too, but what's more likely; Kirk snapping a twig all of a sudden or a brand spanking new, never been tested in live conditions computer malfunctioning? The fact that he's believed all this nonsense about how wonderful the M5 is proves he's a freakin' loon. Sure, it's been hyped up, but never tested in live conditions and Wesley retains absolutely no skepticism. Heck, Scotty knew plugging that thing in the Enterprise was a bad idea and he was just going off what the M5 was *supposed* to do.

    And people keep mentioning the off switch. Those can malfunction too. Wesley is lacking in the critical thinking skills department. He's not considering more than one possibility. That's the point.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, I chose a confusing example. In that one, the skipper would probably have nothing to do with the fact that his ship was being steered towards a big rock - some poor junior officer standing behind the shoulder of an enlisted steering wheel turner chap would be relying on incorrect data, and that is where the alert bystander should direct his communications.

    In the Trek case, Wesley would of course know that Kirk would be in actual charge. That's quite different from him merely knowing that Kirk was legally culpable, and would IMHO fully justify him yelling at Kirk when the Enterprise opened fire.

    As for Wesley being surprisingly happy about a technology that erases his own job, well, the air forces of the world today are full of people like that. They see great merit in taking the pilot out of the aircraft, and realize that this in no way reduces the force's need for gifted and experienced officers.

    And that insignia of his? I don't believe it's "Starfleet Command" at all. It's just another one of those Fleet insignia. You know, arrowhead for 1st Fleet, starburst-flower for 3rd Fleet, rectangle for 11th Fleet, fancy lotus leaf for 23rd Logistics Fleet, etc.

    But, malfunctioning off switches? Only in Hollywood. M-5 isn't a nuclear reactor: you can turn it off in a thousand different ways, some destructive, some not. And at least fifty of those will work come hell or high vacuum.

    As regards taking these ships away from the front lines, I'm not sure if that's a big sacrifice at all. Perhaps Starships are predominantly exploration vessels with little or no use in defense (since the only "defense" job we ever saw Kirk handle was a purposeless vigil at the eternally peaceful Romulan Neutral Zone - and never mind that things unexpectedly went south there).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    There's an actual real-life precedent where that happened. The Battleship Missouri ran aground in 1950 while trying to get out of Chesapeake Bay. There was a faulty fathometer as well as a number of mistakes made by junior members of the ship's crew, but the captain was ultimately held responsible for what happened to his ship. An inquiry found enough evidence for a case of negligence on his part, which led to a court-martial, and the captain being relieved of his command.