Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by RB_Kandy, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    I don't think so. TOS did strive for a measure of realism and it doesn't make sense that an organization will hand one of its prized ships to a neophyte. Note that all other ship commanders seen in TOS were older and experienced men. Kirk would have to be tested and proven to be given such a prized command, not a lucky dumbass like nuKirk in ST09.

    Whats in "the book" is a reprint of the character's bio from the Writer's Guide which was handed to those who wrote for the show. Sometimes they deviated from it, but in this they didn't and the spoken reference from WNMHGB is consistent with it. Since it was never contradicted later on then it seems to be pretty established. And it makes more sense than any bullshit similar to what they did in ST09.

    And just because Kirk asked for Mitchell aboard "his first command" doesn't mean he got him. Maybe when he was given the Enterprise he had a little more pull to get an officer he wanted posted to his new ship.
     
  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Regardless of what The Making of Star Trek says, I'm of the opinion that Kirk only commanded the Enterprise. Dehner's comment really doesn't mean anything if it's just stating what Kirk wanted, not specifically what he got. And of course, WNMHGB being the pilot, premises could have been changed just like Kirk's middle initial was. :)
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I would submit that onscreen evidence actually argues otherwise. We've seen that command crews in Starfleet tend to stick with a ship for the long haul, but what about all those junior officers in the background who come and go? Like Lt. DeSalle, who was around for seasons 1 & 2 of TOS and then disappeared. Or Lt. Leslie, who was gone after the first part of season 3, and Lt. Lemli, who only showed up in season 3. Or the TNG first-season chief engineers who subsequently vanished, or the various conn officers who came and went after Wesley left, sometimes for recurring stints like Allenby or Rager. And what about Crusher and Pulaski? Sure, Crusher came back for the long haul, but her first tour aboard the E-D was only a year long, and so was Pulaski's.

    So if anything, the evidence shows that lower-ranking personnel in Starfleet change postings pretty frequently, while holding a single post for a long period of time is more limited to command crews. And we do have some evidence that senior officers don't always stick around for the long haul, like Crusher and Pulaski, or like Riker serving on at least two different ships in the three years before he joined Picard's crew.
     
  4. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    As for where the lower ranking officers disappear off to, Starfleet would be commissioning new ships at a rate faster than older ones are decommissioned. They would have to in order to keep up with the constantly expanding volume of space they have to patrol. so unlike the real world navy where the number of ships is limited and thus the number of positions for crew, Starfleet doesn't have that problem.
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    For the most part your timeline of Kirk's life is pretty damn good, and I see nothing wrong with any of your assumptions or anything. However, I do feel the need to point out that according to Trek XI, George Kirk stayed alive long enough in the prime timeline to see Jim get command of the Enterprise.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  6. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Location:
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    Thanks; I'd forgotten about the events in "Court Martial."

    Perhaps they are all related to Harry Kim. :p

    Actually, I think Riker took a look around to see how many Captains were being killed in action and decided he'd rather stay put, thankyouverymuch.

    Something nobody has mentioned yet: Kirk participated in a ground assignment among Tyree's people some years before he took command of the Enterprise. Which ships was he between at the time? Or was this an extended landing party assignment? It's been ages since I've seen the episode, and just can't remember. :confused:

    Also: Kirk states in "The Deadly Years" that he is 34 years old. Was this in the 2nd or 3rd season?
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Sorry, but your opinion is irrelevant. It's what the evidence supports that matters.
     
  8. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Don't tell me my opinion is irrelevant. Your "evidence" is in a book, not in the show, regardless of what that book was meant to represent.

    Of course, you are welcome to your own opinion on the matter just as much as I am.
     
  9. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    I'll have to go with the belief that Kirk did have a command before the Enterprise, simply because it enriches the character's backstory.

    But if you were to go strictly with spoken dialogue, than the only captain in all the Trek shows confirmed to have a command before their series is Picard. And even he has a ten year gap between commands. How weird is that?
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    Was Janeway the CO of the USS Billings?
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The evidence is in the show -- Dehner's line about Kirk's first command, which is most likely a reference to an earlier ship. It's not very strong evidence, no, but it's the only actual evidence we have either way. So there's a little evidence that he did have a former command and absolutely no evidence that he didn't. And common sense also comes down on the side that he did have a former command.


    No, Janeway was also confirmed to have at least one prior command. In "Revulsion," at Tuvok's promotion ceremony, she said, "The first time I met Tuvok he dressed me down in front of three Starfleet admirals for failing to observe proper tactical procedures during my first command." (Thus canonizing a bit of backstory which Jeri Taylor had established in her Janeway biography novel Mosaic.)


    Tuvok said in "Night" that she was "a commander on the USS Billings," which suggests she was a first officer of commander rank. If he'd meant she was the CO, he most likely would've said "the commander of the USS Billings" instead.
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    My evidence is the damned original Writer's Guide which is supported by a spoken reference onscreen. That's worth a helluva lot more than your opinion. And the Writer's Guide is Gene Roddenberry's intent which also carries more weight than your opinion. And I reiterate that these two bits of evidence were never contradicted at any time later.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  13. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I don't give a crap what the writer's guide said, I don't give a crap about Roddenberry's intentions, and IMHO Dehner's line is too vague to provide irrefutable proof. But I'm sure you'll have something snarky to say about my opinion about that, so I will gracefully end this discussion with you.
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    I have evidence right from the source. You have wishful thinking. From this I deduce that this conversation is over because only one of us has anything of substance to contribute and support their position. And in case that isn't clear: wishful thinking isn't a contribution of substance.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Again, nobody said anything about "irrefutable proof." We're just talking about evidence. There is one piece of weak evidence that Kirk had a prior command, and absolutely nothing to suggest he didn't. So that tips the scales at least slightly toward "yes." Even a little evidence outweighs zero evidence -- especially when there's no way of gathering any further canonical evidence that might alter the balance.

    And we are talking about something entirely fictional here, after all. It's all completely abstract, not really important in any way, and not worth getting personal over. So maybe some deep breaths are in order at this point.
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Exactly.
     
  17. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Location:
    Across the Neutral Zone
    Pretty much what I would have said, had I got here early enough.
     
  18. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Not really. Kirk, before he was given the Enterprise, could have made it clear to the brass that he wanted Cary with him on his first command.

    Or it could have been that when he found out that Starfleet was going to make him a captain and give him a ship, he said he wanted Mitchell along. And since he didn't know the name of the ship yet, he could only refer to it as his first command.

    Given how young Kirk is, it seems to me that the line is to show that they've been friends non-stop since the academy. They would have had a long history serving together and being friends since then without Kirk commanding.

    She may have been quoting Kirk's own words. Besides, Kirk was only 31 when he got the Enterprise, which is quite young. I doubt he'd been captain of a ship before.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    However, this does not need to refer to the command of a starship. Janeway could have been commanding a research team for all we know - an assignment comparable to what Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher did in "Pen Pals".

    Indeed, it would make more sense for Lieutenant Tuvok to "dress down" Ensign Janeway than Commander Janeway. And more sense for Ensign Janeway to command a research team (possibly on a planetside assignment where tactical considerations theoretically existed, although only in the mind of a somewhat paranoid Vulcan Security specialist hothead) than a starship.

    On the issue of how Kirk could have gotten the "prestigious" command of the Enterprise without prior experience, it should probably be mentioned that a good way to gain prestige is to survive an unsurvivable mission. Quite possibly, Starfleet had chosen to expend the Enterprise, along with a crew of expendables, in the long shot mission of probing out of the galaxy, so that more prestigious ships, commanders and crews could safely follow.

    Assigning young Commander Kirk to be the CO of the forlorn hope through the mysterious barrier would serve two practical purposes. First, the likely failure would not deprive Starfleet of an experienced officer. Second, the possible success might see Kirk surveying space outside our galaxy for a long time, with youth a definite advantage for maximizing the time spent on station and the data gathered before the ship for a second time attempted the risky piercing of the barrier.

    Were Starfleet to think along these lines, it might well pick the somewhat promising XO of a humble destroyer for this assignment, counting his daredevil attitude, lack of social commitments, and his recent loss of a Starfleet father as advantages over steadfast, mature family men who have nothing to prove.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    But Wesley would never refer to that as his first command, would he? Command, in that sense, has always meant their first ship.

    He's not going to say, "I remember my first command, back when I was 14..."
     

Share This Page