The Enterprise Incident-Who did Kirk piss off to get that job??

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Dale Sams, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Primary Objective: Determine if Romulans are using Klingon technology and have a new cloaking device.

    Secondary Objective: Capture said device. Use it to facilitate escape if possible.

    The secondary objective is very unlikely, so why the hell are they risking such a valuable asset as The Enterprise for an information mission?

    First you have to assume the Romulans don't just start blasting away as seen in The Deadly Years.

    Then, having only Kirk and Spock in the know is extremely dangerous. Scotty could have fouled the whole thing up by staging a rescue mission had the Romulans just held onto Spock and Kirk or kept them separate.

    As McCoy said, it's a good thing an autopsy wasn't ordered. Also staging Kirk's death so they could give him surgery and put him back on the Romulan ship? Kind of contrived.*

    A million things could have gone wrong. I did like how everyone in the crew (except Sulu) had some little things to do. And Joanne Linville was great. I loved her look when she slaps Spock and when she steps onto the Enterprise bridge to see that Kirk is alive.

    *If I could rewrite the episode, I'd have Spock on leave and Sulu second in command. Therefore Sulu could play the 'Spock role' in this episode (Have to leave out the Romulan-Vulcan connection bit) it would give Takei a lot to do in the episode and would be a cool moment of surprise to have Spock show up 40 minutes into the episode in a Romulan uniform ready to beam over and get the Cloaking Device. Gives Spock some 'action Spock' moments nerve pinching and karate chopping the Romulans Kirk took out in the original ep.
     
  2. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    First appearance of the Vulcan Death Grip*




    (*there is no such thing, but don't tell the Romulans)
     
  3. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    After all those semi-violations of the Prime Directive, I guess Starfleet wanted to send someone skilled but expendable. Kirk would be up on charges probably if some of his logs got out to the Federation council.

    Enterprise I suppose was used because it might be the oldest of the class left in service, or the oldest in a condition to undertake the mission. Enterprise, apparently was to be decommissioned at the end of the Five Year Mission anyway. Might as well make the most of her before they scrap her. (Then new tech comes out and some new flag officer (Kirk) decides to have Enterprise used as a testbest or something for the new warp drives).
     
  4. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    TV drama writers at the time were urged to make their Act Two endings as gripping as possible, so the Nielsen families wouldn't switch the channel for a sitcom.

    It's hard to top the Act One ending, though. Spock merely confirms to the Commander what we knew all along.:borg:
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Sending the Enterprise makes sense; she's quite possibly the only ship the Romulans would want to capture rather than destroy, for her role in the previous encounters. Not coincidentally, Spock's role is also elemental here, as the subterfuge would not work unless a plausible spontaneous traitor could be found in the ranks of Starfleet.

    This would hold even if the ship and her crew weren't expendable. But the very fact that the hero ship gets all the shitty high-risk jobs we witness in the episodes seems to establish that she was built to be lost in the line of duty, allowing more valuable combat assets to survive as the "fleet in being". That's classic Horatio Hornblower stuff, and what the mission class designation "cruiser" would specifically imply in the 20th century or late 19th century sense.

    On the other hand, the Mission Impossible plot, full of seeming contrivances, need not be the whole truth: it may be Plan 47B working smoothly, in circumstances where the heroes ruled out Plans 01 through 46 and had to modify 47A slightly on the run. Not pure improvisation, not reliance on specific, rather unlikely conditions, but instead opportunist adaptation using well-prepared "mission modules" of contingency plans.

    That's how it would work in the Diane Duaneverse anyway: the heroes would identify by warp signature or whatnot the specific ships that ambushed them, quickly go through the clan identities and political affiliations of the known commanders, and decide which psychological weakness of theirs to exploit...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Nightowl1701

    Nightowl1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Plus (going by episode production order, not airdate) Kirk was just coming off the whole two-month Kirok/Miramanee thing. Granted, he obviously shook off losing a wife and unborn child (and whole alternate identity) a helluva lot better than one would expect, but (assuming Romulan intelligence was paying attention) it does go some way to bolster the alibi that Kirk may have gone off the rails. Starfleet's covered, especially if he does actually go off the rails and the mission goes south. "The strain of command has worn heavily upon him. He's not been himself for several weeks... I believe he has lost the capacity for rational decision."
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think Spock was the reason the Enterprise was sent. Starfleet likely aimed them right at the ship with a female Romulan commander, hoping Spock could buy them some time.

    The mission would have been sunk if the Romulan commander had no interest in Spock.
     
  8. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My problems with this episode are two:

    First, the convenience of the Romulan guard who just happens to give Kirk a knowing glance at the Cloaking Device, so as to make sure he knew what it looked like, so he could steal it. I always hated that "they" did that, on this episode.

    And Second, when Bones tells Chapel that he didn't know that Kirk & Spock were operating on Federation orders - until he came onboard the Romulan ship! So, they're going to talk about this shit on an enemy vessel with guards all over and who knows what listening device installed?

    Just a little more thought would've made this a very strong episode. As it is, it's fairly solid and pretty consistant with the previous two seasons, overall. I like it.
     
  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Say what you will, Dale makes some good points here. Not to mention the idea that Kirk could pass as a Romulan, someone from a different planet. The episode is implausible as hell. Too many things have to happen just the way they're "supposed to" for Kirk's mission to have any chance of succeeding.

    I think this type of Star Trek plot was influenced by the popularity of the often-implausible Mission: Impossible, and not just the "Pueblo Incident" that had been in the news. "Patterns of Force" is another one that reminds me of Mission: Impossible.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Something that was in a early script, but was dropped, was that the two other Romulan cruisers had the then current version of the cloaking device, while the flag ship possessed a next generation advanced prototype. This is what was stolen by Kirk.

    It would have (imho) been better to leave this in, the Enterprise didn't just cross the RNZ at just any spot, but was aimed at that particular three cruiser formation.

    It would have also made more sense of Spock's line about the other Romulan ships being unable to track a ship equipped with that cloaking device.

    **********

    Another thing, there no way Kirk could have been using some version of the universal translator, he would have had to of been speaking the Romulan language, and speaking it well.

    :)
     
  11. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I did like how apparently the Romulans can't pick up the Federation transporter beams, and seem to be completely smug in their ability to do so.

    Romulan Commander:"It shouldn't take long to apprehend your accomplice" (Or something like that)

    Sub-Commander: "They have the cloaking device!"
     
  12. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I love this episode but it all falls apart if you remember 1 thing. Shields.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Shields what? In Star Trek, shields are basically never raised - apparently, doing so would put the ship in jeopardy, block the sensors or drain the batteries or something. So as long as Kirk isn't shooting back, the Romulan starships would remain unshielded and open to transport.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Shields up Keptin?"
    "Captain our shields."
    "Shields up Keptin???"
     
  15. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Am I missing something? Because the shields are always being raised.
     
  16. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you, both, I thought I was through the wormhole and Rod Serling was going to start monologing about my life after I read Timo's last post.
     
  17. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, my post is supporting his.

    I'm assuming he means the shields aren't normally kept in an up position at all times. Even with three Romulan ships staring you down.

    Also, he could be making a crack about how Kirk is always getting caught with his pants down.

    And his shields unraised.
     
  18. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Okay, so sure, the shields aren't up unless there's a reason, if that was the meaning. They've have been known to go up automatically when another ship enters their vicinity.

    Errand of Mercy:

    SULU: Captain, the automatic deflector screen just popped on. Body approaching.
     
  19. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The cloaking device being:

    1. Relatively easy to find on the Romulan ship
    2. Relatively easy to disconnect from the Romulan ship
    3. Small and light enough for Kirk to pick up and carry
    4. Able to be patched into the Enterprise's deflector/shield system by Scotty in a relatively short period of time, especially given that he had no time to prepare because he was out of the loop for most of the mission, and
    5. Actually working on Enterprise when they hit the ON switch

    stretches my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. It actually makes Chekov and Uhura's mission to collect the subatomic particles from the carrier Enterprise's reactor in The Voyage Home seem relatively easy in comparison.

    It is still one of my favorite third season episodes, despite all of these problems.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But then the shields go down, unless there's a specific reason to keep them up. With Picard Trek, it's often difficult to tell because Picard skilfully avoids prolonged fights, but Kirk Trek prominently features the ship in combat with lowered shields in, say, "Balance of Terror":

    - When heading into danger, approaching a ship that has just made a series of surprise attacks, Kirk orders weapons armed but not shields raised
    - When the plasma weapon is fired at them, Kirk still doesn't order shields raised, a sage move considering shields did no good for the outposts
    - When the Romulans use the nuclear mine, shields aren't mentioned as a factor
    - While we could attribute all that equally well to Kirk constantly keeping shields up, there's the period of "silent running" in between, speaking against such a possibility

    In "Errand of Mercy", Kirk orders full shields (or deflector screens) on approach to Organia yet effortlessly beams down moments later. In "Arena", Kirk repeatedly has to tell Sulu to keep shields up during combat. And so forth. Specifically, transporting takes priority over shielding in many a plot.

    We could argue that Starfleet only ever launched the mission because they had inside information about all these facts. Keeping Scotty out of the loop was the truly daft part, but I guess the writers wanted Doohan's excellent "baffled and distressed" acting added to the soup.

    Timo Saloniemi