Should Chapel Have Become a Doctor?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by CoveTom, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Ladies love Riker's beard.
    Don't take the phrase literally, I only meant to suggest she moved up on her career and did what she did to become a doctor.
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    ^ Well, you could be promoted to Chief Medical Officer. In my Gautreaux story, I probably should have said "Chapel's elevation of status".
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    You're going to piss off some nurses with that statement. Nursing is a different career than being a doctor.
     
  4. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Ladies love Riker's beard.
    I'm a Trek fan, not a doctor/nurse.
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Just letting you know there are fans who are nurses and some of them post here. ( As I found out the hard way ;) )
     
  6. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Ladies love Riker's beard.
    Guess I should have used the phrase "I'm a non-doctor/non-nurse, not a doctor/nurse".
     
  7. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Could be. Worse, though, were The Waltons reunion movies, though their problem was actually the opposite. The family aged, but time seemed to move faster than it should have. They're all still reasonably young during the Kennedy assassination?!? Was there a Guardian of Forever portal on Walton's Mountain? If they made more of those movies, I swear there would have been one based the events of 9/11!

    In fact, my rough math actually has the family still going strong when Kirk's Enterprise is launched! :lol:
     
  8. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Firstly, it's true that Chapel should really have been a junior doctor for the latter part of the 5-year mission and it isn't very realistic to expect her to become a CMO with so little experience. But since Ensign NuChekov was made Chief Engineer one year out of the Academy, maybe it's just me not understanding just how good humans are at learning in the 23d century.

    I don't think the issue is whether it's better to be a doctor or a nurse - military nurses fulfill an extremely important role (as do other nurses). But story-wise it restricted Chapel's development as a character. I think it was a mistake to make her a medical doctor because it achieves almost nothing character-wise. She still, as has been observed, remains an appendage of McCoy. I think it would have made more sense to make her a PHD in bio-science and make her head of the Life Sciences department. While technically being a department that falls under the auspices of both Spock and McCoy, and while in TMP, the only thing that would have been different is McCoy's rant i.e. "I hear Chapels is a PHD now...", the character would at least have had a niche that could have been explored in novels.

    I did love the air of authority that Majel bought to TMP compared to how drippy she was in TOS. I would have liked to see more of her in the subsequent movies. It's a shame that things soured a bit behind the scenes.

    I wrote a little comic story for Youtube and tried to use Chapel as the more scientific doctor compared to McCoy's 'old country doctor' but they do eat into each others' screen time.
     
  9. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Ladies love Riker's beard.
    Why was Chapel dropped after the first movie?
     
  10. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    If she became a Doctor, I certainly hope she had gained a bit more dispassion and professionalism than she had in the series. She had good scenes sometimes (for example, The Lights of Zetar, Obsession, and of course What are Little Girls Made Of?), but these always seem to be undercut by episodes like By Any Other Name, where she practically blows the whistle on the plan to re-take the ship! McCoy wheels Spock into sickbay, and she keeps questioning McCoy's orders, not catching on to something being afoot.

    It makes me think of an All in the Family episode, where Archie was trying to clue Edith in on some deception or other. He's blatantly winking at her while he talks, and Edith responds with, "Do you have something in your eye?". :guffaw:
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Roddenberry wasn't in charge anymore.
     
  12. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Well, there also was no reason for her to appear again.

    If you think about it, the Enterprise was a VERY different ship when we see it again in TWOK. In stead of it being a state of the art explorer vessel with a very diverse crew, it was depicted as an old ship that was being used for training purposes.

    Its not even clear to me that in TWOK that ANY of the primary characters (other than Spock and Scotty) were actually part of the ship's crew. It looked to me like they were comng along for the ride at the request of Admiral Kirk.

    If Chapel was not in II, then there was no way for her to be in III (though Rand makes an appearance). Chapel does appear in IV at Starfleet Headquarters but that is her last appearance. By that point Majel was camping it up as Lwaxana Troi and probably let Chapel go.
     
  13. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    CoveTom
    But that's my whole point. That clearly was the impression they wanted to make -- that Chapel had "moved up." But going from nurse to doctor is not "moving up," it's changing careers. It's like someone going from being a mechanic to being an architect and saying they've "moved up" in their career.

    Nursing is a career unto itself, and a very important one. Someone who went from LPN to RN would be advancing their career. Someone becoming a doctor would be changing their career.
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    In the sixties nursing was not the same kind of profession it is today. Nursing degrees were not commonplace.

    I agree though. I think making her a scientist who was also qualified to be a nurse would have given her two strings to her bow. She can contribute to the science dialogue and be the medical cover on away missions, and assist McCoy in his research... or rather, allow McCoy to assist her in her research, and gt hands on as a nurse in a pinch.
     
  15. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    My friends who are in the medical fields never stop studying. They have to keep studying, passing exams, publishing research papers, etc, to keep tenure and keep current. It's lifelong learning.

    My local fan club (ASTREX, Sydney, Australia) published a letter from the Roddenberrys during the pre-production schedule of ST II. In it, Majel explains that she declined participation in ST II because Gene was dropped as Producer, and she wanted to show solidarity.

    When the "It's a Wrap" eBay auctions of Paramount's Trek stuff were being held a few years ago, the tagged ST II medical scrubs made for Majel, in preparation for a once-anticipated cameo in ST II, were sold off. They were possibly the ones worn by a female extra in the sick bay scenes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  16. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Location:
    CommishSleer
    Didn't I read somewhere here (TrekBBS) that Majel pulled the second guy in for an audition -somehow knowing he'd do badly so GR and the other creative interests would try harder to get Nimoy back.
    I'm not saying you're wrong here I don't know either way
     
  17. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Whatever the behind the scenes reasons, I think Chapel's promotion actually works in the films favour in plot terms.

    Kirk, Spock and McCoy all start off the film no longer part of the Enterprise crew, so at least some time has to be spent bringing them back into the fold and dealing with that happens to the people originally assigned to those positions. And all three need to have sufficiently different explanations so as not to feel like they're just going over the same group three times.

    Kirk obviously gets the lions share of that with an entire sub-plot about his rivalry with Decker (even if it does get sort of forgotten with no proper resolution, indeed, one of my problems with the film is that for most of the first half it looks as if the moral should be Kirk needs to move on with his life and let go of the Enterprise so Decker can fulfil his potential, all of which winds up being ignored by Decker just Going Away).

    Spock's replacement meanwhile is killed horribly before the ship launches meaning he can step easily back into his old seat (and over the smouldering corpse of Sonak). That leaves McCoy, and the simple straightforward way of dealing the new CMO without redoing the rivalry plot of Kirk's or having to arrange another fatal accident is to have it be an old friend of his who is happy to defer to his greater experience and let him take charge in sickbay (well, at least when it comes to the weird medical shit V'ger might throw at them. It'd be nice to think she still takes care of the more regular stuff). It's nice and economical in story telling terms.
     
  18. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    The resolution to the Kirk-Decker feud was implied during a brief exchange between the two on the bridge while watching the orbital devices deploy. Kirk says, "Well, Mr. Decker. It would seem my bluff has been called."

    Decker replies, "I'm afraid our hand's pretty weak, Captain." Kirk smiles in appreciation. It's as though Decker's accepted that Kirk was the right man to command the Enterprise during the V'Ger mission, even as the outcome of the mission's being decided.

    --Sran
     
  19. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    As a side note, the Harold Livingston first draft for the Phase II pilot (which was pretty much rewritten to become TMP) makes specific mention of why Chapel is in the position she's in: like Kirk, there's nobody else halfway qualified to be CMO at such short notice before the ship heads off to face V'Ger. Chapel says she doesn't feel suited to the role, and she is quite pleased when McCoy is 'drafted' and relieves her of some of the added burden.
     
  20. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    On the question of 'how' it happened, the Phase II format document offers this tidbit:

    This doesn't really match what we see on screen though (where she's clearly on the Enterprise before McCoy is).