Some "Court Martial" notes.

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Dale Sams, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But the fact that Finney stayed behind was really unexpected, and becomes all the more unexpected if we assume that Finney's role was merely to fire up the experiments in preparation for launch. After all, Finney had already given an "ion plate readings in progress" report, suggesting in this interpretation that the bulk of the work was done.

    That Kirk would press the Red Alert button would be mere formality in a situation where Kirk was already certain Finney was long gone. "Being gone" is not a time-consuming process, as Kirk swears he gave Finney the needed time "and more" even though we indeed get the impression there was factually very little time between Kirk's real Red Alert keypress and his real Pod Jettison keypress - seconds or so.

    That Kirk isn't in constant verbal communication with Finney, and has mission-specific buttons rigged to his control console, both indicate an atypical situation where Kirk for a rare once does not have time to speak to people. It's not that he doesn't care about Finney. He cares about the 430 lives aboard, but trusts that everybody will be safe even when he isn't constantly giving verbal orders and asking for verifications.

    In general terms, we learn that Starfleet is quite willing and indeed rather desperate to send a starship straight into a storm that will seriously damage her and can destroy her. The mission to gather information from the heart of the storm appears to be a pressing one, and Kirk would be strongly motivated not to withdraw until he had deployed the pod. Getting out to check on Finney's welfare and then going in again seems out of the question, both because multiple penetrations would pose multiplied risk to the ship, and because the storm might go away. After all, if the ship has to plunge in before the pod is even properly primed, clearly the mission is extremely time-critical and access to the storm is only possible within a very narrow time window.

    So, a mission to deploy a pod is something of a coherent whole (in other words, a positive sort of circular argument), even though other interpretations are possible and this particular one probably never occurred to the writers.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Regarding the neccessity to eject the pod, this has come up before...

     
  3. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    What?! If X is undefined, then the statement is meaningless. It only would have made sense if he'd said that any sound would be amplified "by a factor of 10 to the 4th power" (i.e., a factor of 10,000, or four orders of magnitude, either of which would have been clearer to general audiences).

    Face it: "1 to the 4th power" is as meaningless as an insurance company asserting that it will save me "up to $157 or more" (i.e., any possible positive number) on my bills.
     
  4. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    To explain further: You can't raise a number (in this case a sound level) to the fourth power unless you assign a numerical value in the first place. But measurement systems for natural quantities are inherently somewhat arbitrary; different scales for the same measurement (such as C and F for temperature) would lead to wildly different results if, for example, 0C and 32F were each raised to the 4th power. Same for decibels or any future system the Enterprise might use to measure sound level.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    To put it more simply, in case anyone's still not clear: the number 1 raised to any power equals 1. No matter how many times you multiply a number by 1, it's not going to change its value.
     
  6. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    "Jettison" implies " get rid of." Were it a probe, they would say "launch" or "release" wouldn't they?

    As to the math line, I had a TA in college math who would say "eecks to the een." It took us weeks to figure out he meant x to the n power. (I was in pretty low math.) MAYbe in the far future, in a specific (auditory science) setting, "one" does mean the initial starting value. I like that explanation. Has anyone brought up again the computer getting Spock's service rank wrong?
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...But apparently the argument was that Kirk might not be talking about "the number 1". Instead, he might be using "one" in the sense of "this one", "the item of interest".

    That is, whatever the numerical value of heartbeat intensity, it would be raised to the fourth power.

    Certain types of payload today are "launched" from aircraft or naval vessels, others are "dropped" or "released", yet others are "deployed"; there are nuances to this all.

    "Launch" might be reserved for payloads moving away on their own power, while "jettison" would mean abandoning an immobile buoy (say, a storm sensor) to the given location.

    It would not be difficult to assume that Spock got a field promotion after the chain-of-command-rearranging losses of the pilot episode, and never got that officially confirmed at a starbase until the events of this episode. Essentially, he was "frocked" in the outer fringes of space, spent the first half a dozen episodes (in stardate order at least) far away from civilization and bureaucracy, and continued to receive mere LtCmdr pay until "Court Martial".

    This doesn't explain why he would continue to be a Lieutenant Commander after the events of the episode, though.

    We might of course postulate that McCoy is a LtCmdr (junior grade, 1.5 stripes) and Spock is a LtCmdr (senior grade, 2 stripes) while Kirk is a Commander (2.5 stripes) and a full Captain would have the three full stripes that best match the scenario where Starfleet braid = Royal Navy braid minus one. Or something complicated like that.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. TheThrasson

    TheThrasson Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I understand your point; but, it seems more like using hemp rope on the international space station.

    The part I love best in this episode is when they list all of Kirk's awards. It makes me bristle with pride for him. It adds a little depth to the TOS universe as well.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, I'm sure that ropes and cables of various sorts are extremely useful in space, regardless of what they're made of. How do you know that wrench wasn't made of some futuristic composite material?

    And there actually is hemp on the ISS, but it's in the form of a breakfast cereal.
     
  10. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Ha. I was joking, just because this got thrashed about for awhile in its own thread, iirc.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Every two months, it seems.

    Just goes to show that certain episodes and relating threads draw more attention than others.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Who, now?? This was all, 100%, Perry Mason.