The luckiest guy in TOS

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by E-DUB, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    had to be Lt. Shea in "By any Other Name". Think about it, a black dude in a red shirt and he survives the episode.
     
  2. EnterpriseClass

    EnterpriseClass Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    The idea that people of color were more likely to be killed on Star Trek because it was the sixties and they were viewed as more disposable is a ridiculous lie that keeps being brought up. Almost every "red shirt" that died on Star Trek was white. Only one black man died in the entire series. I'm not one hundred percent sure but I believe there was one or two at the absolute most people of Latin decent that died. And that is it.

    So yeah, I thought about it, "a black dude in a red shirt and he survives the episode" sounds like business as usual on Star Trek;)
     
  3. MANT!

    MANT! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    in Atomo-vision
    Now a white dude in a red shirt..HE was toast..
     
  4. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    I wasn't necessarily saying that that particular trope applied to Star Trek, but it certainly was a common thing, esp in horror movies. It might be interesting for someone to come up with a statistic like for baseball. Number of screen deaths per x number of appearances and compare black and white actors with otherwise similar demographics.
     
  5. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Why should "someone" come up with these stats? Because you have some particular axe to grind? We're supposedly living in an enlightened world were sex and race don't matter. Yet I repeatedly see proclamations of "first woman this", "first black that", "first latino whatever." Now tell me who is racist and sexist here? Give people more credit for their personal achievements than some arbitrary and politically correct pigeonhole.
     
  6. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    "And...there goes the black guy."

    So said Cronan Thompson, a Usenet poster who used to do tongue-in-cheek reviews of sf and horror shows and movies; he was wont to point out, time and again, the black-guy-gets-killed early trope that popped up again and again in such entertainment.

    Sadly, Cronan died at a young age of cancer. In his honor, Robert Hewitt Wolfe included a black character named "Cronan" in the first episode of Andromeda.

    "Cronan," of course, didn't survive the first half-hour of the show.
     
  7. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    Kirk was the luckiest guy in TOS. I thought that would go without saying. :)
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    By any Other Name is one of the TOS episodes I commonly show to people who are unfamiliar with the show. Almost everyone comment on the fact that Shea survives and Thompson is the one killed.

    "Wow, I didn't see that coming."


    :)
     
  9. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    No axe to grind here. Just though it would be interesting to see if there was statistical corroberation for the idea behind the trope.
     
  10. EnterpriseClass

    EnterpriseClass Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    What were you trying to say then? You implied that a black man in a redshirt who survived was somehow amazing. One black man, Crewman John Watkins, was the only non-white crewman to die in the entire run of the show.

    Whether or not black characters dying was a common thing in other shows, it has nothing to do with Star Trek.

    Before I informed you otherwise, did you think that lots of non-white characters died on Star Trek? I'm curious to know, because I've heard this before from a lot of people.
     
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    Just reading over this thread has got me wondering.

    What if we took the number of white crew people with speaking parts and considered the fraction of them who got killed versus the number of black crew people with speaking parts and considered the fraction of them who got killed.

    What would the results be? In other words, among the crew, would the black people who spoke be more likely to die than the white people who spoke?

    (I'm restricting this question to speaking parts just so that we don't have to sift through all the extras walking through the background.)
     
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    Then again, I've never heard this claim before in 35 years of watching Trek. And I would've thought with all the hype Trek has had over the years for pioneering diversity that someone would've mentioned that to deflate it. Maybe I've just missed it but I've never heard this particular claim.
     
  13. EnterpriseClass

    EnterpriseClass Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    I've heard this from people unfamiliar with trek as well as at least three stand up comedian acts where they joke about how you always know if a black guy or a guy with a Hispanic last names goes down to a planet then he ain't coming back.
     
  14. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    ^^ I did a little googling and it does corroborate with what you're saying.
     
  15. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    It really wasn't. If anything, black people were underrepresented in the horror genre and barely appeared in them for the longest time. The idea that "the black guy always dies first in horror" is rubbish made by revisionist black journalists who have barely even seen any horror movies and are looking for pity.

    I'm thinking in my head right now of the 10 or so most famous horror movies and most of them don't even have a black character (Psycho, Halloween etc). Others do but the black guy is competent and lasts a fair amount of time (Alien). The Shining is the only one that even fits the rule you mention.
     
  16. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    And even that one is only one by a technicality. When people say it, they mean a group of people (probably teens) of which the black guy dies first. Where as O'Halloran is only the "first" to die because he's the only one who dies. He's set up throughout the movie as a possible ace-in-the-hole to use his power and save the day and like two hours into the film, he finally arrives and... gets an axe to the chest. Hardly redshirt territory.

    You're absolutely right; it IS revisionist nonsense.
     
  17. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Well, if it wasn't red before, it certainly was after the axe! :wtf:

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  18. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    OK, I wasn't talking so much about "black dude in redshirt" as "black dude plus redshirt". What got me going on this was seeing the late Paul Winfield in something and thinking 3 onscreen deaths that came to mind without even thinking about it. (ST2, Wiseguy, Damnation Alley) I was making no specific comment about Star Trek, which, notable exceptions like "Code of Honor" aside was always ahead of it's time in the treatment of minorities. I happened to see "By any Other Name" recently and realized that aspect of Shea's survival (and the death of the female redshirt).
     
  19. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    ^ No Terminator? :)
     
  20. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2001
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Honestly when I first saw this at around age 9 (in early 70s syndication), I was more taken by the fact that a woman died instead of a man, regardless of his race.

    Sir Rhosis
     

Share This Page