Imagine the TOS Starfleet

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Praetor, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    When you combine that with the Romulans as surrogate Chinese, that makes craptons of sense. :rommie:

    I'd never thought of that before. Great point!

    I've always found Spock's first line so... awkward. "Logic would not permit them to know they were being killed." That's just silly.

    This. The idea of continuity is what builds the impression of a real universe; changes of a minor nature, in relatively minor amounts, are reconcilable until they reach a certain "critical mass." I believe the makers of TOS understood this, as did viewers.

    There are shows which ignore all continuity and realism and do different things from week to week without caring, and shows which make a marked effort towards continuity and realism. TOS was definitely the latter.
     
  2. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    Yes, ideas change - UESPA vs. Starfleet - but a willingness to overlook continuity is not great storytelling. That's all I was getting at. Respect your previous work, think about retcons, and decide when to use them, don't just let new writers change things because they're too lazy or know so little about your world that they just make up things that contradict previously-established 'facts'.
     
  3. EnsignHarper

    EnsignHarper Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    OCNY
    Just remember that most of what we consider to be TOS continuity/canon/whatever, is the work of Gene L. Coon.....
     
  4. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    But there's a difference between ignoring previously established "continuity" when a show first debuts and changing a premise once that show becomes more popular. Take M*A*S*H for example. In the first few seasons things were established that were changed later in the series (i.e. such things as Hawkeye's home state first being Vermont but later changed to Maine; Blake's wife first being named Mildred and later changed to Lorraine, and numerous other examples). Most of the early MASH continuity was later changed to suit the writers when the show started becoming popular.

    MASH had the distinction of being on the air for 11 years and gaining popularity each year, while TOS was only on for 3, and was NEVER popular in its original broadcast. Unlike MASH, TOS never really had the time to truly nail down how things were actually established in their universe. With hindsight now that Star Trek has become a cultural icon, sometimes we lose sight of the fact that in 1966, NO ONE who worked on the show ever took this stuff anywhere near as seriously as we do.
     
  5. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    Bedford Falls
    ^Never mind that MASH was an 11-year series shoehorned into a 3-year war.... :lol:

    I'd say that continuity with things that actually happened in the series is much more important than continuity with offhand references made in the series.

    The "Immunity Syndrome" line blows the alternate theory that I was going to share (that Vulcan had been briefly occupied by an outside force, perhaps the Klingons, and collaboration was an issue). The best way to reconcile McCoy's line with Spock's later assertion is that McCoy was exaggerating. If, per the previous theory, Vulcan had attempted to secede or supported a secession, and the secession attempt was put down, it's possible that Vulcan was never literally occupied or conquered, but figuratively, proud humans like McCoy liked to think that they'd beaten the once-mighty Vulcans.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    The only thing I'm concerned with as far as continuity goes is that they get the broad strokes right.
     
  7. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    The scene is from The Conscience of the King and McCoy is drinking Saurian Brandy. In the episode he doesn't appear drunk but looking at some of the lines he delivered, I might get second thoughts. ;)

    MCCOY: Would you care for a drink, Mister Spock? ... Now I know why they were conquered ... Lots of things go on around here that I don't know, Mister Spock. ... Come on, have a drink ... if you won't join me, don't disapprove of me. At least not until you've tried it, huh?

    There are other occasions where McCoy isn't that good with history. Given the choice whether to believe Spock in IS or McCoy in CK, I'd rather listen to Spock.

    Bob
     
  8. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    Irrelevant as the line is still from Season One even if I screwed up the attribution. The writers intended that the Vulcans were conquered in Season One and then changed their minds by Season Two. One can rationalize and make excuses, but the writer's intent is clear. Neither Spock or McCoy are experts in the pseudo-history presented in Star Trek they just say what the writers want. Spock's evolution ( and by extension the Vulcans) made that early Season One line incompatible with what he'd become, so they ignored it.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    McCoy would be unlikely to be knowledgeable about Vulcan history, and to be fair Spock seem to get details of Earth history wrong on occasion.

    But there is another possibility.

    MCCOY: Would you care for a drink, Mister Spock?

    SPOCK: My father's "RACE" was spared the dubious benefits of alcohol.

    MCCOY: Now I know why "THEY" were conquered.

    In IS Spock seem to be speaking of the Vulcan people as a whole, the Vulcan species had never been conquered by a external enemy. But the Vulcans had a long history of warfare between themselves, surely there must have been victors and loser in their history. And we've seen with Spock and Tuvok that the Vulcan species has racial sub-divisions.

    So when McCoy referred to Spock's father's race being conquered, maybe he meant just that? A particular race, and not the entire Vulcan species.

    Conquered by a different Vulcan race, and not a external enemy.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  10. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    That doesn't really matter, does it? McCoy said Vulcan was conquered. Spock heard him and did not correct him. Ergo, Vulcan was conquered. In a later episode Spock states that Vulcan was never conquered, and no one corrects him. Ergo, Vulcan wasn't conquered. It's a changed premise. Just like Henry Blake's wife's name changing from Mildred to Lorraine. There's no need to come up with any convoluted reasoning for it, it just is. We accept the new premise and move along.
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    Doesn't sound logical to me. The whole context of the scene is about Spock trying to motivate the good doctor to join him in his investigation while McCoy wants Spock to join him drinking or getting drunk.
    Correcting Dr. McCoy will not serve Spock's goal but rather the opposite. ;)

    @ T'Girl

    Interesting idea but that would make McCoy more knowledgeable about details of Vulcan history than it usually seems.

    Bob
     
  12. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Location:
    SB-31, Daran V
    Well, he does seem to spend a great deal of time and effort to cultivate his public persona of being "just a simple ol' country doctor". But, I suspect that simple country doctors don't usually get to be the CMO aboard one of Starfleet's premier front-line starships. I tend to believe there's a heck of a lot going on in that brain than he wants to let on. The question would be: why?
     
  13. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    I've feeling the idea was Vulcan was conquered by Earth. So McCoy would be referring to Earth history.
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    One thing I've always felt about the Vulcans, in keeping with the pacifist portrayal, is that they didn't have a fleet to speak of during TOS. This might also explain why Starfleet/UESPA loaned them the Intrepid.

    Fits with the Japanese thing, too. ;)
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    Or we had a few Vulcans (like Spock's half-brother and himself) that disagreed with the conservative attitudes of the majority of Vulcans and pursued a career in Starfleet instead. Maybe there were just 400 of them (and not 430). ;)

    But I think T'Girl was really on to something. Spock did not refer to "Vulcans" but to "Vulcan's race".

    According to Spock in "Balance of Terror" there had been an aggressive colonizing period in Vulcan's past, thus it stands to reason that we had pre-Surak Vulcan colonies on other planets (e.g. the Rigelians mentioned in "Journey to Babel"?).

    There might have been an armed conflict between Earth and one of those Vulcan colonies ("Vulcanian expedition") in the pre-TOS time that would explain quite a lot of the anti-Vulcan resentment we have come to see in early TOS.

    Bob
     
  16. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    "Vulcan's race" is just the writers giving Spock a more formal way of talking to high light that he is different.

    I don't recall any "anti-Vulcan" sentiment in early TOS. Stiles only reacted to Spock's background after he discovered he looked like a Romulan. McCoy's barbs were directed towards Spock's logical-emotionless demeanor in an attempt to break it.
     
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    I also got that impression and it's backed up in how the Enterprise is descibed in TMoST. At the time that class of ship was the biggest and most advanced Starfleet had. Harry Mudd in "I, Mudd" after grabbing the Enterprise also says he's now got one of the fastest ships in the fleet so how eill they catch him.
     
  18. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Perhaps she's just the fastest but not necessarily the biggest or the most advanced?
     
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    For one thing we have the Talos IV file with its "Half-Vulcan Science Officer".
    It does have a xenophobic ring to it.

    Then we have this piece of dialogue from "Whom Gods Destroy" (okay, late TOS but referring to pre-TOS events):

    KIRK: I agree there was a time when war was necessary, and you were our greatest warrior. I studied your victory at Axanar when I was a cadet. In fact it's still required reading at the Academy.
    GARTH: As well it should be.
    KIRK: Very well. But my first visit to Axanar was as a new fledged cadet on a peace mission.
    GARTH: Peace mission! Politicians and weaklings!
    KIRK: They were humanitarians and statesmen, and they had a dream. A dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars, a dream that made Mister Spock and me brothers.
    GARTH: Mister Spock, do you consider Captain Kirk and yourself brothers?
    SPOCK: Captain Kirk speaks somewhat figuratively and with undue emotion. However, what he says is logical and I do, in fact, agree with it.

    So there was armed conflict during the time of Garth of Izar which eventually enabled Spock and Kirk to become "brothers".

    This also indicates that Human-Vulcan relations were not that great some time prior to TOS.
    Maybe Vulcan was too embarrassed to tell Earth there were pre-Surak colonies out there and the crew of an unsuspecting Earth ship visited one of these colonies and wrongly assumed to encounter logical, friendly Vulcans...the diplomatic ramifications would have been enormous. ;)

    Bob
     
  20. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    A poorly written prop does not "Anti-Vulcan" make. The mention of Spock is very clumsy and out of place. He was second officer at the time.

    Kirk's statement doesn't strike me as being "anti-Vulcan" either. Sounds like it is about a conflict that resulted in the unification of several species. If there was any "anti-Vulcan sentiment" it was prior the timeframe of TOS and not evident in TOS it's self. Which oddly enough fits in with Star Trek Enterprise (canon validation?)