Commodore Wesley confuses me

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

  1. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    They didn't block communications in Journey to Babel, they located the transmitter with a locator. Thelev was able to speak to the other ship, until they caught him. They didn't even know he had a transmitter until his antenna broke.

    But then, if hand communicators wouldn't work because of M-5 blocking all frequencies, I'm back to the first course, that M-5's total control of the ship was just that, total, and no amount of jibberjabber that the surviving 19 man crew could stop it, but no one outside of those 19 would have thought or guessed it.

    A really bad analogy would be like the Enterprise was a mad dog, and whether it was abuse or rabies that caused the behavior, it has to be stopped. Kirk crazy, he'll show'em, or M-5 out of control and killing, it's really irrelevant who's pulling the trigger. Maybe Chekov seized his chance with only 19 other guys to beat and take over and rule the galaxy as Czar Pavel I.
    Actually, the person who wanted to "show'em" is really Daystrom, Daystrom the one who imprinted his engrams into M-5, which inherited his crazy. You don't expect your toaster to go rouge and assault you, unless you live in Maximum Overdrive. I'm being more silly today, but still my point... I thought I had a point.
     
  2. HarryM

    HarryM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think it's Wesley's first reaction that's the most irritating "Full phasers. What the devil is Kirk doing?", he immediately assumes Kirk is up to no good or off his rocker, not that the M-5 malfunctioned, which would be the logical first conclusion.
     
  3. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    No, I think the question "What is Kirk doing?" is in relation to the question of why he hasn't disabled the M5. Wesley is wondering what Kirk is doing instead of hitting the kill switch.
     
  4. Grant

    Grant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Commodore Wesley confuses me

    He confuses me too...he goes from a redshirt likely to die soon to a gold shirt in command of the Lexington just by changing his name.

    That's a huge upgrade.

    But really, his line, "What is kirk doing?" is just terrible.

    It clearly should have been....

    "Full phasers?--somethings gone wrong over there!!"

    By saying Kirk's name as he did it implies Kirk is at fault and that's bad writing.

    You can say he knew M-5 was malfunctioning and was wondering why Kirk hasn't stopped it, but that's just making up for the bad writing.

    Unless he is a nut or has a pathological hatred for Kirk--he just wouldn't have phrased it that way.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I dunno. Why would anybody in the ultraconservative, technophobic world of Starfleet think of a machine as a culprit to anything? Sure, these people will recognize the chance of a malfunction, but it's implausible that they would personify it by saying "M-5 must be going mad!" or "The computer did it!".

    Unless, of course, we're talking about Richard Daystrom. But then again, the entire point was that he was stark raving mad.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    WESLEY: "You've been chosen to test the M-5, Jim. There'll be a series of routine research and contact problems for the M-5 to solve, plus navigational manoeuvres and the war games problem. If the M-5 works under actual conditions as well as it has under simulated tests, it will mean a revolution in space technology as great as warp drive. When your crew has been removed, the ship's engineering section will be modified to contain the computer."

    Apparently Wesley considered a failure of M-5 not only improbable but rather impossible. And during the first tests the M-5 performed flawlessly. That could explain his "Kirk?!" reaction.

    Bob
     
  7. siskokid888

    siskokid888 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That may be true, but his final actions fly in the face of that, I think. When the M5 leaves the Enterprise open to attack, Wesley doesn't just blow it apart - he puts the Lexington and the other ships at risk by assuming that Kirk has disabled the machine (or it has become disabled by other means) and flys in to assist. If he felt that Kirk had killed hundreds to prove something, or had gone mad, or had some vendetta against him, he could have destroyed the E, and been perfectly justified in doing it.
     
  8. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I don't really think he does like Kirk, why call him dunsel?

    Plus, I think that what many posters have mentioned, a captain is in charge and responsible and that's what he concludes, instantly, just after his unshielded ship is struck by full power weapons. I really don't think he's considering very much beside he just had something terrible happen and if this wasn't 60s network television his choice of words would have a been a bit more explicit. I don't think it's bad writing, it's the reaction of the character.
    Why not blame Kirk, it's his ship.
     
  9. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Only tangently related to the discussion...

    Something dawned upon me so I checked the initial airdate of this episode which was March 8, 1968. Oddly enough, Kubrick's magnum opus, "2001: A Space Odyssey" debuted almost a month later, April 6, 1968.

    Hey! Kubrick stole from Trek!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Okay, even as grade school humor, that was lame. Still, you gotta' chuckle at the timing. :lol:

    We now return this thread to its normal (abnormal?) discussion.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  10. Grant

    Grant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not buying that either. Maybe it was thoughless to call Kirk that, but Wesley knew if M-5 worked flawlessly--a LOT of people were out of a job. So the dunsel comment was kind of a rueful way of saying "we're all obsolete."
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    "That Which Survives." Kirk, McCoy, Sulu and DiMato communicate with each other while the Enterprise is a thousand light years away.

    "Mudd's Women." Harry Mudd uses a communicator to secretly contact the Rigel miners.
     
  12. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I percive.

    I think we are really seeing to different interpretations. I think you seem to think Wesley regards Kirk as an equal, a comrade or even in a tight knit club, not really a personal friend but in the same boat on the obsolete issue. I may be wrong with that assessment and I'm not trying to tell you how to think.

    I see Wesley as thinking he's clearly above Kirk. Yeah, too bad for you Kirk, but I'm still going to be at HQ ordering fleets around. I think he looks down on Kirk the whole time, "it's a real honor Jim" I don't equate the colloquial nature and first name basis for friendship, just a cordial working environment. Look at how puzzled he was Spock knew all about it. He was the cat with the canary until Spock started it, lording it over Kirk. I don't think he hated Kirk in any way, just that he's better. Just look at the reactions of the bridge crew. I think Sulu and Chekov were both pissed, and Spock the emotionless guy, he really didn't like it either. If he said that in a bar, someone might have hit him, Commodore or not. I actually thought McCoy denseness was up too high, I think he could have done with out on or two "what does it mean"s but no one wanted to answer in Kirk's hearing because they didn't want to repeat the insult. That was quite an insult. A slap in the face for a guy like Kirk.

    So, I think that's where our opinions on this differ. He is more willing to blame a subordinate for failing than the equipment.
     
  13. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I think the reason Wesley is putting it all on Kirk is because of the control switch installed on Kirk's chair.

    Could M-5 malfunction? Yes, and Kirk would then hit the switch and turn it off. Daystrom is on board to fix it. That's probably what is going through Wesley's mind.

    And because neither Kirk, Spock, Scott or anyone on the Enterprise (with maybe Daystrom as an exception) ever suspected that M-5 could:
    1. Re-route all control circuits to make manual overrides ineffective.
    2. Put up a defensive shield making it impossible to be tampered with.
    3. Draw power directly from the power plants and energy banks.
    4. Had Daystrom's engrams and be able to think irrationally.
    5. M-5 can ignore the captain's chair switch. Fail safe? What's that?

    then there is no reason for Wesley to believe that M-5 could not be stopped. As far as Wesley's concerned, if M-5 malfunctioned then Kirk just can hit the switch and stop it.

    So one way of looking at Wesley's dialogue:
    WESLEY: Full phasers. What the devil is Kirk doing? Damage report, Lieutenant. Helm, course one six four, mark three.

    (Why the heck isn't Kirk turning off M-5? He just let it fire full phasers at us!)

    WESLEY: Enterprise. Jim. Have you gone mad? What are you trying to prove? Break off the attack! Jim, we have fifty three dead here, twelve on the Excalibur. If you can hear us, stop the attack!

    (Jim! If you're trying to prove M-5 can't be trusted by letting it fire full phasers at us you're insane for letting it do it! Turn the machine off! And if you're firing phasers at us without M-5 active then you're insane. Stop the attack!)

    :)
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just because Kirk knows Wesley, it doesn't automatically follow that Wesley knows Kirk. Wesley could have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of starship commanders under his authority.

    And there no real indication that Kirk is particularly well thought of inside of Starfleet. In Court Martial his fellow Captain seemed all too ready to reach the conclusion to he deliberately killed Finney, another Captain might have received more support. And he was chosen to have the M5 mounted in his ship, as opposed to being a part of the task force during the war games.

    Kirk's also the Captain who runs alien princess to their weddings, does cargo runs, get to visit a two member archeological team for their medical exams.

    Yet, he's obviously the favorite.

    :)
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    My quote was a joke (there was a smiley attached--:rofl:--omitted).
     
  16. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because if everyone always does the most logical thing, nothing bad ever happens and you don't have a show.

    This is an episode about people making the WRONG call, out of hubris. Daystrom made the wrong call, and so did Wesley, by buying into the M-5 hype and empowering him.

    This is pretty much the same backdrop for other "Technology goes wrong" stories like Westworld or Wargames or Skynet in Terminator. You can't have a clusterf*ck unless people in power express too much faith in technology and give that tech too much power.

    One can also see analogies to nuclear accidents like 3-mile island, Chernobyl, or Fukushima. There's always a zillion red flags visible in the rear-view-mirror, but the people in power, either through their own stupidity, cheapness, or faith in technology, did not take proper precautions. This stuff happens all the time. People do dumb things, and apparently still do in the 23rd century.
     
  17. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    This one nails it in a nutshell for me. In many cases, Scotty, being the Chief Engineer, and clearly in love with his ship, would have a multitude of suggestions to bring to Kirk and Spock to try to fix a problem. It always seems it is either Kirk or Spock who comes up with the suggestion. I know it is the confimes of a TV show and Shatner is the star, so Kirk will always come up with the solution - but it just ain't so in real life. It's shit like this I just have to let slip by and keep on just enjoying the show. I don't think that would be the case if it were being written today.
     
  18. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    From the "For What It's Worth" Department, James Doohan had this to say:

    "The final episode on this volume [Star Trek The Original Series United Kingdom VHS Volume 2.8 from July of 1997] is "The Ultimate Computer." This story was developed by a mathmetician named Lawrence Wolfe who loved Star Trek. He came to [series producer John Meredyth] Lucas with a completed script. While it was an excellent idea, it needed rewriting, because Lawrence had become so fascinated with his M-5 computer and its creator Dr. Daystrom, that the script did not feature our regular characters at all. Even Captain Kirk was hardly in the show--having been superseded by the computer! Dorothy Fontana took the script and re-wrote it. She brought Kirk's role to the fore to deal with the way he felt about losing his ship. In previous episodes, Kirk had defeated a computer--either by asking it The Unanswerable Question, or by confusing it with logic. Dorothy felt this was a trend in danger of becoming repetitive, so in this script when Kirk tries out both on M-5, the computer tells him to "forget it." The captain is forced to dream up a moral dilemma to regain control of his ship."

    If Dorothy had a clunky line that made made Commodore Wesley sound like he wasn't the model commander or tactician, my hunch is that the original script was pretty much devoid of any jeopardy for Kirk, and, like a pendulum, she might have erred a bit in the other direction, by making Kirk look threatened when no starfleet commander would "actually" jump to the conclusion that Wesley jumped to. "Just bad writing?" Meh. I cut her a litle slack for writing a clunky line in an episode that I think is one of the strongest of the series.

    Of course, if I could be one tenth the writer Dorothy is--either in quality or prolificness--I'd be a happy camper.

    Hail, Dorothy! ;)
     
  19. HarryM

    HarryM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It has one of the best Kirk scenes ever, "All I ask is a tall ship", so the Wesley oddness is rather minor.
     
  20. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    This is not bad writing.

    You may not like it, that doesn't make it bad.

    Wesley is an ass, and you didn't like it, I understand, that doesn't make it bad so much as unlikable.

    If you want bad writing, we can discuss Spock's dialogue and actions in "That Which Survives"

    Seriously, I think that's worth a thread.