Star Trek: TMP questions and observations

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Gotham Central, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Which is why Kirk wanted McCoy there in the first place. He knew McCoy would tell him what he needed to know rather than what he wanted to hear. One thing I've always found interesting is McCoy's about-face regarding Kirk needing to captain a starship. He told Kirk that he was obsessed with the Enterprise in TMP but later encouraged him to get his command back. I suppose McCoy had plenty of time reflect during the years between TMP and TWOK and realized that Kirk was meant for starship command rather than the admiralty, something Spock also recognized.

    --Sran
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, McCoy's problem in TMP wasn't with the idea of Kirk commanding a starship; it was with the way he went about it, the fact that it had become an obsession clouding his judgment. So I don't think there was an about-face at all.

    After all, according to the novelization, McCoy was opposed to Kirk's promotion to a desk job, and the reason he resigned from Starfleet was to protest that decision. He always believed that Kirk belonged in command of a ship. He just didn't like the way Kirk was going about it in TMP.
     
  3. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    That pretty much goes along with what I said, though I didn't state that explicitly. The ship and the mission didn't need that specific doctor...Kirk did need him..."badly". Sort of a vicious circle...Drafting Bones was one symptom of Kirk's obsession with getting his command back...and Kirk actually needed Bones there because he was acting so obsessively.
     
  4. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Good point! And as McCoy had a front-row seat for Kirk and Decker's faceoff, he knew exactly how wrong Kirk was in the way he was dealing with both Decker and the V'Ger mission. Another thing that I've never been clear on: was the decision to keep Decker aboard as executive officer Kirk's or Nogura's?

    Kirk acknowledged that Decker's handling the of the Enterprise refit and his subsequent familiarity with the ship's redesign was the reason he was staying, but was that what Kirk wanted, or did he not have a choice? Was keeping Decker a condition for getting the ship back?

    Moreover, if Kirk intended to keep the Enterprise after the V'Ger mission, was he planning to lobby for Decker to get another ship, or would Decker have stayed aboard as XO? We know what Roddenberry intended for the Phase II series, but the post-TMP universe was a different matter entirely.

    --Sran
     
  5. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think Kirk had any ill will against Decker.
     
  6. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Nor do I. What I mean is that even though Kirk obviously thought enough of Decker to recommend him as his replacement, it doesn't necessarily follow that he'd want him aboard for a mission he'd be commanding himself.

    OTOH, Kirk wasn't a dummy. He knew Decker was more familiar with the new ship and probably didn't want to risk taking the Enterprise into a danger zone without the man who'd learned every last detail of its reconstruction.

    --Sran
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Under the circumstances, what other option did he have? Spock wasn't available as far as he knew, and he didn't exactly have time to vet another first officer. Decker was in place, he had first-officer experience (presumably, since he was qualified to be captain), and he was rated on the new design, so I'm sure Kirk would've seen him as the appropriate and only choice.


    That may have depended on whether they could manage to work together effectively in dealing with the intruder. Once Spock came back, though, no doubt he would've been Kirk's first choice for XO, and Kirk probably would've tried to help Decker get his own ship.
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    That's true. I do wonder if Kirk actually intended for Sonak to eventually become first-officer once the mission was over. If Kirk was planning to stay aboard, it's likely he'd have needed another first-officer if Decker was leaving. As you pointed out, Spock wasn't available (yet), and no other candidates were considered. I suppose Sulu could have filled in, but Decker was the more qualified candidate of the two. After all, we don't know for sure what Sulu was doing while the Enterprise was in dry-dock.

    Kirk recommended Sonak as science officer, but was the Vulcan his man or Decker's choice? Decker didn't seem to have a problem with Sonak joining his crew, but it's not entirely clear why he was there (beyond Kirk getting him the job).

    Another thought that occurs to me is who Decker's first-officer would have been (if not Sonak). As Enterprise was launched several weeks before she was originally scheduled, Decker's pick for executive officer may have been left on Earth while the ship was rushed back into service. The circumstances surrounding how Decker got command of the ship and who his senior staff would have been has always fascinated me: as far as I can tell, only Scotty, Uhura, and possibly Chekov were intended to comprise Decker's command crew. The rest of the senior staff wasn't known.

    I've always thought they were working well together by the end of the mission. The dialogue among the landing party members while observing the Voyager VI satellite is one of my favorite scenes in all of Star Trek. There was definitely potential for the crew to work with Decker as either XO or CO if Kirk returned to his desk job after TMP. I don't think it's likely McCoy would have stayed, but Spock may have found it worthwhile to work with Decker before getting his own command.

    --Sran
     
  9. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    There's a fanfic that gives a very different take on the Chekov/Irina dynamic, but since we have pro authors posting in this thread, I won't mention specifics. If anyone's interested, I'd be happy to send a link via PM.

    My actual point above was that both Decker and Riker were ambitious Starfleet officers. Both Ilia and Troi are women with exotic backgrounds and abilities - and apparently human males can find themselves emotionally ensnared past the ability to leave, if they're not careful. It's like the moths (Decker and Riker) being attracted to the flames (Ilia and Troi).

    The way Decker was presented in the movie, we know that there are two fundamentally important things he has wanted in his life: command of a starship and a relationship with Ilia. He realized that he couldn't have the starship (at least not the Enterprise) and Ilia's corporeal form was dead. By joining with V'Ger and the Ilia-probe, he'd get to be with Ilia in some way.

    Would have been interesting if the "New Humans" had met the Borg:

    Borg: We are the Borg.... (rest of standard Borg speech follows) :borg:
    NH: Another hive mind? Yay! :techman:


    One thing I don't notice anyone has addressed on this point: Kirk and Spock have implicit trust in each other, so Spock has no problem following Kirk's orders and Kirk knows Spock won't stand on any kind of rank/turf war.

    Kirk and Decker didn't have that kind of relationship or trust built up, and Kirk wanted to be sure that his orders wouldn't be questioned.
     
  10. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Except that Decker did question them (and rightfully so). And whatever Spock's trust in Kirk might have been, the cadets (aside from perhaps Saavik) didn't know Kirk well enough to trust him the way Sulu, Scotty, and Uhura did. They knew his reputation, certainly. But reputation and reality don't always go together.

    In some ways, it's actually more surprising that there wasn't a problem during TWOK (compared to TMP) after the Enterprise was crippled in part because Kirk was asleep at the wheel. OTOH, given that Kirk was also the only reason why the ship managed to escape destruction, perhaps the cadets realized that they couldn't have done any better in his place.

    --Sran
     
  11. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Yes, I know Decker questioned orders. But Kirk wasn't expecting him to, at least not the way it happened. And at first he had an angry reaction to being questioned. It was only later that he realized Decker was right.

    I wasn't thinking of the cadets. My point was that Kirk and Spock had served together for a long time and knew each other so well that even if an order seemed a bit odd, Spock would tend to follow it anyway, given Kirk's track record of achieving solutions by unorthodox/illogical means.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But Spock never wished to command. He only accepted command of the Enterprise when it became a training vessel, because his ambition was to teach, not to lead.


    Absolutely right. A captain who doesn't want his orders questioned is a bad captain. (Well, maybe not his orders, but his decision-making leading up to the issuing of orders.) It's a first officer's job to question the captain, to be a check on the captain's judgment. How many times did we see Kirk argue with Spock over the right course of action and then end up taking Spock's advice anyway?


    Well, what problem could there have been? Like you said, they were cadets. They weren't even in the regular chain of command. Everyone who had any actual authority on the ship at that point was a veteran of Kirk's crew, except for Saavik -- and she did, in fact, question Kirk's decisions repeatedly.
     
  13. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    True. But I think Spock would have found it both valuable and insightful to serve under another captain precisely because he wanted to teach rather than command. It's likely he used more than a few tricks he learned from Pike and Kirk to teach his youngsters. Would he have learned anything from Decker that he could not have learned from Kirk? I don't know. But it's interesting to think about how Decker's style of command would have evolved had the Enterprise been his ship. If he really was the original Riker, the post-TMP Enterprise would have been an interesting place to be.

    And Kirk admitted as much to Decker after the latter kept asking about using the screens and shields to ward off an attack by the intruder.

    --Sran
     
  14. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    In at least one draft, Nogura actually has the line, "It's a captain's command," which made it pretty clear that he's the one making that determination, or at least the one enforcing it.
     
  15. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Interesting. I suppose it makes sense given that Enterprise was a single ship and not part of a fleet of ships intended to stop the intruder. Had the vessel been part of an armada, it may have made sense for an admiral to command the fleet from a designated flagship as seen during Deep Space 9.

    --Sran
     
  16. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    But how often did we actually see admirals doing that in the TOS era? I recall Commodores having expanded responsibilities, but admirals were basically stuck behind a desk somewhere, and never on a ship. DS9 is over 80 years in the future from TMP, and in the intervening years, the Commodore rank disappeared and many other changes were made.
     
  17. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, but the Star Trek universe was a great deal smaller in TOS than in DS9. It's entirely possible we would have seen that sort of thing had there been more than three seasons of material for the writers to work with. As it happened, the TOS films themselves did a lot to expand the ST universe beyond the scope in which we'd originally seen it. With Kirk commanding Enterprise as an admiral, it opened the door for a lot of things to happen that hadn't been shown previously.

    --Sran
     
  18. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Does anyone else prefer TMP's orbiting space station to the gargantuan orbiting megalopolis from ST3?
    [​IMG]
    I always liked that appears more "credible", seemingly build from technology from "times past", not to mention it doesn't overwhelm the Enterprise in terms of "awe". Of course, I probably have the lingering memory of the Enterprise being "the largest man-made object in space" (from which I don't even recall the source of this comment)! :shrug:
    It probably helps that I love the music in this scene, too! :)
     
  19. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    ^Apples to oranges. The floating office is just that, an office. Its purpose was to provide the refit engineering team with a meeting site separate from the Enterprise itself. The spacedock seen in TSFS was intended to house several ships, so of course it would have be much larger than Enterprise or any other vessel inside of it.

    --Sran
     
  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Note that, in the Real World, Sonak was only created so they didn't end up wasting David Gautreaux's research into creating Xon. (Although they did end up wasting him.) Sonak was always slated to be indispensable.