Does Kirk Contribute to the Transporter Accident in TMP?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by YARN, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Scotty and Decker are working in engineering. Decker detects a bad transporter circuit. Kirk shows up in the middle of the job to tell Decker (who politely tries to tell Kirk he's busy) that he's taking the center seat. Moments later there is a transporter malfunction resulting in goo on a transporter pad.
     
  2. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Decker had found that the transporter mechanism modules were "faulty". Under normal circumstances, maybe, he would have immediately notified Starfleet but Kirk interrupted the scene and distracted Decker. Odd thing that nobody else felt responsible to do something about it.

    Curiously, when I read the thread title I was thinking that Kirk's takeover of the transporter room controls could have contributed to the accident.

    The scene is one of the weakest points in the film. Kirk had been a paper pusher for approx. 2.8 years at Starfleet and suddenly he thought he could do a better job than the transporter specialist, Janice Rand probably was at that time.

    Entirely possible that Kirk only made matters worse in the transporter room than being of any actual help (OTOH this set the theme for his next screw-up). ;)

    Bob
     
  3. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I always thought that it was already too late by the time Kirk arrived in the transporter room. They never should have been beamed up to the ship in the first place with the system still not working properly (it was why Kirk & Scotty went aboard via a travel pod).
     
  4. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, he does Bogart the controls, doesn't he?

    But he is correct in consoling Rand - it certainly wasn't her fault. :)
     
  5. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Shhhhh! It's true, but Kirk hates so much the paper pushers!
    It would have made indeed more sense with Scotty and not Kirk trying to help Rand. Kirk's good to comfort women, but he certainly doesn't have more than the basic knowledge about transporters. If I'm not wrong, he past the most of his career befor his captaincy on the bridge.
     
  6. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    The color fotonovel of TMP (i.e., Star Trek The Motion Picture The Photostory, edited by Richard J. Anobile) omits the scene entirely, and it was a good choice to do so.
     
  7. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC the novelization even notes that Kirk's caught off-guard by the transporter controls having been reconfigured. He's not explicitly blamed for the situation, but there's a suggestion that he didn't make things any better either.
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I'm going to say No.

    Whilst he might have been talking to Decker there was another Engineer working. Who informed them of the red line on the Transporter.

    If the Transporter system wasn't in working order, they should never have attempted a transport.

    By the time Kirk got to the transporter room it looked like it might have already been too late.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If Scotty had stayed on the Enterprise to work the problem and simply have sent some yeoman lacky to pick up Kirk, the transporter problem might have been fix before Kirk even docked.

    Those two peoples deaths were Scotty's fault.


    F
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    :rofl:

    And after the mess he left behind for others to clean up he got sober rather fast. The tone with Decker in the corridor, following this scene, didn't suggest he would even shed a tear for those two that just died terribly.

    I concur with gottacook, not a bad thing that the photonovel omitted the scene.

    Bob
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The dialog is:

    DECKER
    I knew it! The transporter sensor
    was not activated. Faulty module(s).

    SCOTTY
    Cleary, put a new backup sensor into the unit.​

    The implication is that the faulty sensor made it appear that the transporter was fine because it didn't detect the malfunction. The moment they tried it, all hell broke loose. (Obviously they should have immediately cut power to the transporter until the sensor was replaced.)
     
  12. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Along with the points already mentioned in the thread, what also gets to me is slightly later after that, when Starfleet reports someone hesitating to beam up, and Kirk smiles at Rand because they know which kooky, grumpy ol' country doctor it is. Excuse me, but after two people die, McCoy's hesitation is quite understandable, and no, you don't get to smirk like you're part of an inside joke! In the real world, if an elevator malfunctions (nevermind actually killing someone), the elevator is rendered out of comission between a few hours to a couple days. If transporters are as common as elevators, then the transporters too should have deactivated.

    I'd like to think that's why Spock's shuttle goes through all those fancy flight acrobatics before docking onto the Enterprise, just do delay Rand (Kirk?) from getting a lock.

    Kirk: You know, if you just stand still, we can beam you aboard."
    Spock: NO! I mean, uh, that is not necessary. Your offer is most kind, but I will provide my own transportation. *phew*
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect the tone issue is why they cut the "joke" in the transporter room out in the first place. It's tone deaf, and the scene is better going straight to Bones beaming in, as it was in the theatrical cut.
     
  14. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Going back and looking again at TMP footage has made it very clear to me just how many opportunities the creators took to show Kirk's unfamiliarity with the refit design. From the Ensign's sanctimonious offer to show Kirk to the bridge (the turbolift is RIGHT THERE), things just go downhill for the admiral:

    • He pops into the Bridge OK, then travels down to Engineering. unfortunately, he gets off one level too high and is forced to take a 1-man lift down the rest of the way.
    • When the alarm sounds, he races out the door and appears to turn RIGHT - completely opposite to where he entered in from on the level above.
    • Reaching the Transporter Room with Scotty, he forcibly assists with corporate manslaughter (Kirk is more qualified to man the controls than a Transporter Specialist - REALLY?)
    • He leaves the Transporter Room and appears completely baffled at which way to turn, even though he was JUST THERE MOMENTS AGO!! Having to ask a passing ensign for directions is bad enough for Kik's ego, but to be caught by Decker in the act - eek!
    • The final amusing thing (from a stageplan perspective) is that after being told the location for "Turboshaft 8" Kirk walks on up the corridor AWAY from the turbolift doors!
    I'm being a little cruel, obviously. However, It really doesn't paint Kirk in the greatest light so early in the story.
    Ladies & gentlemen, I present - our hero. :devil:
     
  15. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    Please let's not bring the novel into this. Then you have to make Kirk's girlfriend Lori (Lori? Really?) one of the victims, which puts a whole new slant on who is responsible for her death. (Perhaps he secretly wanted her dead, and poor Sonak was just collateral damage.)

    The world is a poorer place for novelist Roddenberry not having had a decent editor to show him, gently, why a super-overabundance of words in italics is not a good idea.
     
  16. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But what happens to Sonak? Is he totally erased of the story, so, they didn't have any science officer?
     
  17. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On a ship with 400+ people they'd have plenty of other science officers to fill the position, albeit they would only be lieutenants. It's a false dilemma. It's like... installing a navigator who is an ensign as your new chief engineer or NuSpock's protectionist approach because a junior science officer is prettier than him.. A very clumsy plot device that could have been handled better.

    They certainly should not have been using the transporter but getting the ship ready for launch was a priority so they were taking risks that they would not have ordinarily taken.

    What's more curious is why the starbase didn't just use their own transporter to deposit them without actively using the receiving pad?
     
  18. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I take a look about that on Memory-Alpha...ILLOGICAL...Kirk doesn't date older women (she's vice-admiral).
     
  19. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Lori was Kirk ex-wife. (in the novelisation anyway).
    How many guys would want to get rid of their ex - and had the opportunity;)
     
  20. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    I found my copy. The name Sonak isn't mentioned; neither is the rank of science officer, until Kirk tells Ilia that Decker is "our Exec and Science Officer."