Mr. Spock instead of Sir or Commander

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Admiral_Young, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Watching the Space viewer's choice remastered marathon on Space and I couldn't help but notice all the times Spock is referred to as Mr. Spock by other members of the crew who are junior in rank to him. They barely call him sir, or Commander. Was this an intentional writers decision by the writing staff? Or just an ongoing mistake? I understand the original Enterprise has something of a "loose" command structure but it bugs me when someone calls Spock Mr. Spock. Even in The Undiscovered Country he's referred to as Mr. Spock instead of Captain or sir.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    One wonders if it isn't his personal preference. "Just call me Mister. 'Sir' reminds me of my father..."

    In "The Cage", the form of address is suitable, because Spock is a junior officer. He even calls himself Mister, perhaps not being all that fluent in Earthlingese...?

    Yet in the very next one, "Corbomite Maneuver", the junior Sulu readily refers to his superior as Mister Spock already. Perhaps the early writers were expected to read the script for "The Cage" and derive their cues from there, and they either weren't all that well versed in militaria, or believed that this was some sort of a futuristic scifi thing?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. KirkSpockTOSFan

    KirkSpockTOSFan Captain Captain

    I don't know why other crew members lower in rank to Spock, call him Mr.Spock instead of yes sir or Commander, either. Now that I think of it, I always wondered why they did that? Cause after all he is second in command, well from TOS to The Motion Picture he is and later he is Captain. Anyways, I guess I never payed attetion to that kind of thing. I would like to know that question myself, so your question is as good as mine.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps it's a Doctor Who thing: his first name is Misterspock, and "Spock" is just the abbreviated, affectionate form of that. :vulcan:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Cuhl

    Cuhl Captain Captain

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    Could it be an old Navy thing? I'm thinking of the way Capt. Bligh refers to his first officer as "Mr. Christian" throughout Mutiny on the Bounty.
     
  6. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even Leila Kalomi called him Mister.
     
  7. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    US Navy practice until the early 1970's was for commanders and above to be addressed with their rank, lieutenant commanders and below (down to WO-1) to be addressed as "Mister (last name)," or mrs. or miss, or as "doctor" or "nurse" or "chaplain," "father" &c. as appropriate. As we know, Spock was considered a LCdr when the series began, despite his rank stripes, so "Mr. Spock" would be OK by USN tradition.

    --Justin
     
  8. caisson2delta

    caisson2delta Captain Captain

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    I always felt it was meant more as an informal courtesy more than anything else. As previously stated, perhaps Spock, always trying to make up for his human half, preferred to be as disassociated with many of the human "traditions" associated with his service in SF.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm... addressed by whom? Everybody, or fellow officers, or superior officers?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Yeoman Randi

    Yeoman Randi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What a great question. I never questioned the crew addressing him as "Mister" as opposed to rank, and now that you asked it, it leaves me scratching my head!

    Does anyone remember how other Vulcans were addressed in TOS or other series?
     
  11. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Everybody officially, though juniors could use "sir" instead. I'll look up the full rules later today.

    --Justin
     
  12. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    This is a great question and one I have thought of before. I am still not sure what the answer is.
     
  13. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wasn't Gene Roddenberry also trying to show a more informal version of the Navy in regards to Starfleet tradition? Hence the lack of saluting going on. Aside from Kirk, there was very little in the ways of using rank as title. It was generally "Mr. Sulu, Mr. Chekov, Mr. Scott" and so on.

    The captain sets the tone of the ship, and considering Kirk was routinely making (or allowing) racial jokes argarding Vulcans on the bridge, I can imagine Kirk was pretty relaxed about forms of address during routine ship's business.
     
  14. caisson2delta

    caisson2delta Captain Captain

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    That seemed to be the norm, with the exception of Uhura. I think he always called her Lieutenant. He did refer to more senior officers, than him, by their rank with a few exceptions. Looking back, there just seemed to be no general rule for things like that.
     
  15. Yeoman Randi

    Yeoman Randi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Does anyone remember what Kirk called the Vulcan officer that was supposed to be on board the Enterprise in The Motion Picture? The Vulcan who got killed by the transporter? He meets up with him before going to the meeting and addresses him...anyone remember how Kirk addressed HIM?
     
  16. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    Commander Sonak.
     
  17. Yeoman Randi

    Yeoman Randi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well then, there goes my theory of Vulcans being addressed by Mr.
     
  18. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wasn't Scotty almost always referred to as "Mr. Scott" as well? I can't remember many times when he was referred to by rank.
     
  19. Yeoman Randi

    Yeoman Randi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kate, yes, you're right!
     
  20. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In fact...weren't a lot of the male regulars referred to this way? Mr. Sulu, Mr. Chekov...pretty much everybody but the captain and McCoy. They weren't called "Mr." as regularly as Spock and Scotty were, but they were called that a lot, weren't they?

    The reason I remember is that I used to wonder why he never referred to females as Miss or whatever. I always kind of assumed it was because TPTB didn't want to fuss about whether they were married or not - Ms. was neither well-known nor accepted in those days.

    Hey - maybe this answers the question in that thread about female yeomen? It gives the captain a little variety in his dialog?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009