"The Conscience of the King": Plot Holes and Questions.

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by t_smitts, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    "Your Honor, it was clearly consensual: look how she was dressed! What other possible conclusion could I have reached?"

    I think we would all agree that this was not Kirk's finest hour. It would appear that both Eve McHuron and Lenore Karidian still haven't met a paragon of virtue.
     
  2. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What are you arguing, exactly?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Just repeating the same incompetent and misguided analogy doesn't make it any more justified. We're talking about a woman who's not only above the age of consent but above the age of majority -- old enough to go to college, to live on her own, to vote, to enter into contracts, to open a business, to serve on juries, to make out a will, to enlist in the armed forces, to be sued, to be tried as an adult, etc. In every respect (except for the consumption of alcohol in certain states), United States society accepts that a 19-year-old is a full adult capable of exercising independent judgment. (Except in Alabama, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico, where the age of majority is 21 -- but the age of consent in all three is 16.) So your insistence on talking about 19-year-olds as though they were underage is bizarrely wrong and nonsensical. You're completely disconnected from reality as well as from the facts of the work of fiction we're discussing.

    And in point of fact, the way Lenore was dressed in the course of the episode was downright modest compared to the way most TOS women were attired. Heck, the first time Kirk started to make out with her, she was literally wearing a veil. And the green dress she wore in the observation gallery -- before the alleged sex that probably never happened -- showed no skin at all except her head and hands. Which makes your analogy even more illegitimate.

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x13hd/theconscienceofthekinghd068.jpg
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    No, but not even remotely for the reasons you imply.
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Good point; she was an adult, not some teenager running around a high school. She was also a sophisticated woman in full command of her senses/motives, and not in the position of underage victim.
     
  5. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    After reading everyone's interesting and thoughtful posts, I thought I'd chime in with a few observations. I'll let the pictures carry the weight, since pictures are always fun and instructive. :)


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    I wonder if the Karidian Company of Players carry with them their own sets? They wouldn't be showing much 'thanks' to the crew if they had to earn their performance by toiling away with saws and paint! :lol:


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    Someone mentioned Lenore's many costume changes. I'd never paid much attention to it, but they're right! I wonder now if she holds the Star Trek record for most costume changes? I don't even think France Nuyen had this many.
    By the way, that observation deck had only this one appearance, but it sure left an impression. Who among us didn't visualize this very place in our heads when Sarek spoke of it in his 'private meditation talk' in Journey to Babel?

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    This is a meaningless observation, but that woman seated in the back doesn't look like she belongs there. What I mean is...well, she doesn't even really look like a 1960's person (whatever that's supposed to be)! Maybe it's just that she isn't an actress, or something like that. At least we see her, unlike...

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    That's about the most we see of the other party guests. Speaking of that, who'd go to this party? I'm not aware that they knew anyone on the planet. Is it some sort of traditional function in the theater world? And what if there are other colonies on this world? If you happen to be a theater lover, and happen to live in another settlement where the Karidian Players didn't perform, sucks to be you, I guess. :lol:

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    Was it wise to move Tom Leighton's body? I didn't get the sense that there had been any kind of investigation between the scenes pictured. There must be some kind of law enforcement apparatus on the planet, or are visiting starfleet officers automatically the big shots?

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    The rec room was the most boring place on the ship. How can you have any fun in there? There's that computer thingie on that table, but it looks a lot like a piece of work hardware to me. Well, there's always three dimensional chess. No, wait...what happened to the chess pieces? Is this right after Charlie X, and they hadn't gotten around to replacing the ones he'd melted yet? Luckily, Uhura planned ahead for her trip, and brought her own entertainment!

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    But all in all, people from the 23rd century are no different than you or me: Just turn on the tv, and they'll plop themselves down for hours!

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    To me this is the "iconic" image in my head when I think of this episode.

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    Any more thoughts about this thing? I can't figure out what it's for...and it strikes me as odd that it just happens to be so close to the captain's quarters. Was this vent ever spotted again in background corridor?

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    At first glance, this looks rather dated. But maybe by Star Trek time, only paper documents are considered legally valid? But it also makes me wonder what happened to that voice test of Karidian that Kirk took. You do have to admire Kirk, though: The torturous Tarsus IV experience of his youth, and with circumstantial evidence now mounting against Karidian, Kirk wanted, as he even said himself, to be absolutely sure. :techman:

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    The actor next to Arnold Moss really poured himself into his small role! :)

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    I'm far, far from an expert on hostage situations and such, but could not one of these able-bodied crewmen and women have helped out somehow?
     
  6. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    I am arguing the notion that 33-year-old Kirk was somehow justified in his behavior toward 19-year-old Lenore Karidian; I don't think he was.

    It's either 1966 was a more permissible time with different expectations of conduct or people weren't worried about such things or they were both consenting adults of legal age or Lenore looked and behaved older than her 19 years or Lenore was hardly a child or Lenore was herself using Kirk, or Lenore encouraged his advances or Lenore dressed provocatively or Kirk fell into her web.

    I find them all unconvincing arguments that don't even work well here in the 21st century. I suspect in the 23rd century, they will be equally unconvincing.

    I think Kirk's actions aren't his finest hour, and that they are motivated more by script needs than by character development needs.

    I'm less concerned about what Kirk can do (based on our very limited knowledge of 23rd century jurisprudence) than I am concerned about what those laws should or should not permit him to do. Maybe I'm naive, but I hope laws are more sophisticated than just in whose jurisdiction the parties fall and how many Earth birthdays they've accumulated. I hope consent laws don't simply resemble the state of Virginia's consent laws, circa 1953.
     
  7. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    20th century legality (e.g. when you's an adult) starts at 18 years of age (with an exception or two at age 21).

    Do you dispute that or is it the age difference you take issue with?
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The current age of consent in the state of Washington is 16 years. When I was 19, I dated someone in their mid-forties for a couple of months.

    A 19 year old woman seducing/being seduced by a 33 year old man ... what's the problem again?

    :)
     
  9. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Yes, as I posted on Memory Alpha, Barbara Anderson has the most costume changes of anyone on Star Trek (six). (Ricardo Montalban might actually be considered a tie with her--depending upon whether or not Khan lying presumably naked in Sickbay being operated on underneath a green surgical sheet constitutes a "costume change."). Also, Joan Collins also had six changes, but one includes adding a coat to her already existent clothing to catch a movie at the Orpheum; so that too might not constitute a "change."
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think she probably holds the record for the least skin shown by any female civilian in TOS. (The female crew in the pilots were pretty fully clothed -- and the miniskirted crewwomen are wearing hose so they aren't technically showing skin except around the neckline.) Well, except maybe for Edith Keeler.


    If they'd been armed, perhaps, and had security training. If someone's holding a lethal weapon on your captain, though, it's probably wiser to wait for security to arrive than to attempt to tackle her and maybe cause her to fire wildly.



    But why? Again, 19 years old is above the age of consent in every state of the union -- several years above it in most states -- and above the age of majority in 48 states. It's also old enough to get married without parental consent in 49 states, Mississippi being the only exception (although in Mississippi, girls as young as 15 can marry with parental consent). So unless you're from Mississippi, I just cannot understand why you think that 19-year-olds are children.


    It's all of those except the last two. As we've proven, Lenore did not dress provocatively; that's a straw man you pulled out of your own hat. And we've conceded that, yes, obviously, Kirk was manipulating her, but just as obviously it was not for sexually predatory ends. His seduction was merely a means to that end.

    As for the other stuff, what I'm saying is that our present-day fears of pedophilia can lead us to find it vaguely "creepy" for a man in his 30s to romance a 19-year-old woman even though it's perfectly legal and ethical, because we're somewhat hypersensitized to such things; but in the '60s, when it would've been just as legal, nobody would've found it vaguely creepy either, so it's not surprising that it was depicted in a family TV show. So we're talking about two different things, the legality of it and the social acceptability of it.


    I don't understand why. Nineteen-year-olds are independent adults that society trusts to make their own decisions, and I think you're insulting them by assuming they're helpless children.
     
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    You know what? I never said that. What I said was this:

    That's an assertion of how Lenore thought she was manipulating Kirk, and I stand by that.

    I also said:
    And I stand by that. Dialog from the episode:

    Kirk confesses to Lenore that he'd like to see her again only after she fishes for a compliment, and she says she thinks she'd like that. That's pure encouragement on her part.

    From what I saw, Kirk was utterly immune to Lenore's charms, such as they were.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Absolutely. He was fixated on his childhood demons, on the memory of the atrocity he lived through. He was obsessed with determining whether Anton Karidian was the man who had murdered 4000 people before his eyes. In that context, it's preposterous to imagine that he was motivated by anything else. He was only pretending to be romantically interested in Lenore so that he could find out about her father.
     
  13. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

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    Something else to note would be her behavior and mannerisms, very mature for 19. I never saw anything strange about it because they were both acting like adults. But that's the difference between the 60's and today. Now if a 33-year-old Kirk were hitting on today's average 19-year-old girl...?
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What's odd about the story is that it's not Lenore who manipulates the situation to get aboard the Enterprise to get at Kirk and Riley. which is sorta what you'd expect if she were out to eliminate all the witnesses.
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    ^ This. Kirk himself gives Lenore the chance to act against him and Riley.
     
  16. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Ur, it would be perfectly legal? And isn't a 19 year old "girl" in fact a woman, as exhaustively described upthread?
     
  17. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    We should remember, at the time the country was full of people who had fought WW2 as 17, 18 and 19 year olds, and women who had taken on adult responsibilities at home at those ages. Plus the story is basically a transplanted Western, which were full of very young female dance hall girls, actresses, settlers, brides and so on.

    Also, there seemed to be a thing in shows back then for lowballing people's ages. Maybe as a service to the performers? In the pilot of Emergency! John Gage tells a doctor that Dixie McCall's age is around 30, even though she was already said to have been in the Korean War which would make her a pre-teen army nurse!

    In short, I don't think the Kirk-Lenore thing is really something to get het up about.
     
  18. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Quite so; perhaps GSchnitzer shouldn't rewatch "Miri" anytime soon either...
     
  19. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Heh. I'm doing a TOS watch with friends and we just covered that one about a week ago. Kirk and Miri together is pretty creepy even if she is the older woman. :p

    At least, it's creepy if you decide to read into the dialog more than was likely intended.
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    For the record, Lenore is pushing forty in my book, so we're cool. :)