What Was Scotty Doing There?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Captain Clark Terrell, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    ^ :lol:

    Ok, I'll buy that. :techman:
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I don't agree. The first thing he asked Scotty was why the Enterprise's transporters weren't working. Clearly the scriptwriters put that in there to explain to the audience why he didn't just beam to the ship but instead took a long travel pod ride to get to it. So presumably he would've beamed right to the ship if it had been feasible to do so.
     
  3. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    ^The line also sets up the fatal transporter malfunction that occurs shortly after. The problem is, even if this is what the intent of the line is, we are left with the problem that everything we know about transporter technology as of that film suggests that Enterprise's transporters not working shouldn't prevent Kirk from beaming aboard. Starfleet must have a few dozen working transporters at least, and even if for some reason the ground transporters couldn't beam him up to a ship, the transporter room on the Orbital Complex certainly should.

    Ultimately what we have here is screenwriter intent going against common sense logic of the situation. We each have to choose our own way to reconcile. I personally prefer to go with what is visually depicted over screenwriter intent in this case. Hence, I like the suggestion that Kirk is really there to meet Scotty.
     
  4. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I never questioned why Kirk didn't beam directly to the ship.

    As for Mr. Scott being there to pilot the pod, why not? We needed to see the new ship, and who better to show it off than Scotty? Plot be damned, he was the man for the job.

    Side note: In December 1979 took my girlfriend to see the movie in the theater. I was mesmerized through the whole thing, just having a great time. That flyaround was the greatest thing I'd ever seen on film, and ... she broke up with me shortly after that. :lol:
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sure, they could beam someone directly to the ship without going through its own transporter, just have them materialize on the bridge or somewhere, but that doesn't mean they would. After all, there's such a thing as naval protocol. You just don't barge onto somebody's ship, even your own (or even a barge, I expect), without getting formal permission to come aboard. Had it been genuinely urgent for Kirk to get to the bridge that minute, then sure, they would've waived protocol and beamed him up there from HQ. But as it was, Kirk opted to follow proper protocol and come aboard at one of the accepted, approved entry points. Failing the transporter room, that meant a docking port.

    Another thing to consider is that while TOS did show people beaming to other ships' corridors and bridges in episodes like "The Doomsday Machine" and "The Tholian Web," other episodes often showed that it was preferable to beam from pad to pad when a receiving pad was available. And "Day of the Dove" (I think) presented intraship beaming as hazardous due to the risk of accidentally beaming into a bulkhead or something. Maybe all the metal and plasma conduits and stuff in the way creates interference that can disrupt the transporter beam, so it's better to beam to a pad if one's available. It may have been at least slightly safer for Kirk to beam to the office complex and take a short travel pod ride than it would've been to beam directly aboard without the benefit of an active receiving pad. Particularly with the fluctuating energies and interference patterns of a ship undergoing the final stages of its refit and activation.
     
  6. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Precisely correct. Even under the circumstances Kirk was facing at the time he took back the Enterprise, there was no reason for him to beam directly onto the bridge just so he could get back aboard the ship. Given the state the Enterprise was in at the time he boarded the vessel, there's no way of knowing what he might have beamed into. The bridge was a mess, as was the entire engineering section. Why risk causing a major disruption by emerging right in the middle of a work area?

    --Sran
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly - and that is why he went to Scotty in the first place, to accuse him of everything that was not going smoothly with the impossible assignment. It's the classic "leadership by arrogance" approach that Kirk practices throughout the movie (even though the writers try to convey that he would be practicing it only for the first half).

    ...Feasible by means vital for the upcoming mission. When those means were lacking, Kirk needed to get things straightened out, and that meant going to Scotty.

    ...But you can beam into somebody else's transporter room just fine, even if that somebody isn't running his own machinery right then. Remember how people arrive at Kirk's or Picard's starship? Even when coming from a fellow starship. And how they depart? Even when going to a fellow starship. Nothing should stop Kirk from beaming into the Enterprise transporter room. Or, if the room was in fire or something, then into the mess hall, merely with an advance warning that the mess hall was to be treated as the transporter room in terms of protocol.

    There's IMHO no point in treating Kirk's route to the ship as the most efficient one, or the one dictated by regulations, or other such nonsense. Kirk wanted to see his ship, and he would probably have faked a Klingon attack in order to do so; going to curse at Scotty on the space station was simply the most efficient way to accomplish Kirk's true goals, which included a private discussion (and a chance to gloat) with the Chief Engineer, a good long scenic route to the ship, and a moment to work out the anxiety of it all, now exacerbated by the hiccuping transporter machinery.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Well one would assume that they would have hailed the Enterprise first and let them know Kirk was beaming aboard.
     
  9. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I'd agree with this except that leadership by arrogance really isn't leadership at all. Kirk took the Enterprise away from Decker merely because he wanted it in spite of not having spent so much as five minutes aboard the vessel (or so we're lead to believe) during it's eighteen months in drydock. He had no idea about the modifications to the ship's engines or its weapons array (phaser intensity improved by using warp power), nor did he understand why the transporter system wasn't functioning properly (hence his accusatory question to Scotty). Decker not only knew these things, but he also had a hand in tracking down and fixing some of the problems in question (he found the faulty sensor associated with the transporter while repairing a computer console in the engine room).

    Kirk was fortunate that so many of his senior staff were still serving aboard the ship, or he'd likely have faced a mutiny over his boneheaded decisions. Even so, it's amazing that only Decker (and to lesser extent Scott and McCoy) call him out for his unfamiliarity with the refitted vessel.

    And as usual, Spock was left to clean up after him by helping Scotty correct the warp engine imbalance, something of a small miracle given that Spock hadn't been on the ship, either. Then again, Spock did say he'd been studying the Enterprise engine design and was aware of their difficulties. This suggests he'd tracked down the problem himself and was prepared to help Scotty fix whatever was wrong.

    Christopher does a nice job following up on some of these issues in Ex Machina by depicting Scotty nursing something of a grudge against Kirk for pushing Decker aside. Their confrontation over Scotty's alleged "perfectionist jag" is one of my favorite parts of the novel. Moreover, the rest of the crew seems split on whether they want to accept the return of the Old Guard (Kirk, Spock, McCoy) after the new group (Decker, Sonak, Chapel) was swept aside so easily because Kirk wanted it that way. Of course, we'll never know what might have happened had Sonak lived and Spock had still tried to board Enterprise while en route to V'Ger. Would Kirk have pushed the younger Vulcan aside in favor of his best friend?

    --Sran
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Well, Decker and Sonak ended up being unavailable for duty. :lol:

    As far as Kirk goes, he was trying to save the planet. So I would expect him to push his people and ship.
     
  11. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Even so, there were people who insisted that the Enterprise would have been better off with them in place of their more established counterparts. Christopher includes a narrative that reads something like this: "If Decker were here, such and such wouldn't have happened..."

    --Sran
     
  12. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Here's the text in question for anyone who's interested. Credit goes to Christopher for writing this novel:

     
  13. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Granted, Kirk wanted Enterprise back.

    But if there hadn't been an emergency, with this particular ship the only one in range, would he have muscled his way onto the bridge? Maybe, maybe not.

    Kirk saw himself as the best option to lead this particular crew into this particular situation. Wanting his ship back was in the back of his mind and did influence his initial attitude, but his instincts turned out to be correct.

    It doesn't matter who was already assigned to the crew. Once he took command it was his call to place who he thought were the best people in those jobs. It happens in the real world all the time, like it or not. The boss calls the shots.

    Not having a working knowledge of the ship's redesigned systems is at most inconsequential. It happens in real world situations daily. Decker's countermanding of the phaser order was correct, and Kirk acknowledged that. Kirk was wrong to assume that Decker was competing with him in that instance, and his defensiveness was wrong. He acknowledged that. McCoy asked to accompany the two to Kirk's quarters because he saw what was coming. Bones acted to reign in Kirk's, for lack of a better word, "enthusiasm."

    Having a legendary captain on the bridge would not have inspired mutiny. Everyone on board was surely familiar with the missions of the Enterprise under Kirk's command.

    Kirk's competence should only inspire confidence in the crew. His confidence in his capability as a commander might cause others to see that as arrogance, but as they say, "it ain't bragging if you can do it."

    Placing his trusted confidants in positions close to him should not be seen as a slight to any crewmembers who might have been displaced. They are professionals, there to do a job. Personal feelings have to be put aside. Yes, even Decker.

    As Uhura said, paraphrasing, "Our chances of returning from this mission in one piece may have just doubled."
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Well if Decker had been there, they wouldn't have been because V'Ger would've digitized the Enterprise when Decker scanned it the first time. :lol:
     
  15. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    ^Not necessarily. As Decker himself says, his job as first officer is to point out alternatives. In Ex Machina, Kirk wonders about his decision to enter the V'Ger cloud and decides that Decker may only have been playing devil's advocate because his position as XO called for it. Had the latter been in the captain's chair as Kirk was, he may have made the same choices.

    --Sran
     
  16. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    According to the book, Scotty was surprised to see Kirk and surprised that Kirk orders him to take him in the travel pod over to the Enterprise. Scotty must have been to the Centroplex (which is what it's called in the book) on some official business. But it doesn't say.
     
  17. Roboturner913

    Roboturner913 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Jesus you people worry about some nit-picky stuff. ;)

    It was a story-telling device. It intros Scott, it makes for a nice 2001-ish twirly space sequence and lets us get a beauty look at the new Enterprise.

    Having said that, everybody on the ship looked busy when they got back. We know the ships transporters aren't working. Spacedock appears to be a skeletal structure without the space or ability for its own transporters. So it's very possible the station was like "Hey, we've got a VIP coming to Enterprise, we need somebody to make a pickup" and Scott volunteered because everybody else was doing hands-on work.

    After all, we all know the supervisors are usually ones doing the least amount of physical labor.
     
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    Actually, to that point in the series, which is basically just TOS, had we ever seen a fully-functioning transporter room that wasn't on a starship? I remember seeing receiving pads at a ground location or two, but no independent beaming from such places (or even visible controls for independent beaming). It's possible that beaming from a planet-based location wasn't practical in those days, whatever the technobabble reasons.
     
  19. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    The one option wee need to consider: Scotty was on a beer and pizza run.

    That's where that's word [centroplex] is from. Been rattling in my head for days after I read something about the ISS serving as a launch hub and couldn't figure out why.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or then he just wanted his ship back, and for that was ready to stake the entire planet Earth. Two ways to view Kirk's massive hubris, not all that different from each other in the end.

    What was Kirk's input in defusing the crisis? None that we can discern. Spock did all the crucial things: he understood how to communicate with the cloud and get it to suck the starship in instead of blowing her up; he understood how to communicate with the thing inside the cloud; and he understood what the weaknesses and desires of the thing were, and how to exploit them.

    Perhaps Kirk should be thanked for bringing Spock aboard the hero starship so that the Vulcan could save the day? Well, not really - Spock seemed determined to meet with the cloud anyway, and had a spacecraft at his disposal already. Sure, it helped that the Enterprise had shields capable of withstanding V'Ger's first bolt, buying time for Spock to discover the solution; but Spock might have approached the cloud differently in the first place, coming up with a solution before any bolts were fired.

    Make no mistake - I don't fault the movie for making Kirk seem completely redundant, in addition to being rather repugnant. Rather, I appreciate that! It's an atypical treatment of a hero, and a welcome one for the sheer variety...

    Timo Saloniemi