What Was Scotty Doing There?

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

  1. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    Planet Carcazed
    ^^^Call it a chain reaction of events. If Kirk hadn't taken command, Spock might not have been there, and McCoy definitely wouldn't be there (however inconsequential his presence was). Decker might have been distracted by Ilia's presence on the bridge and made the wrong call during the "lightning" scan. That might have caused Enterprise to be digitized, and there would be no one to decipher V'Ger's origin, and no one to enter the transmission code. Earth would have been destroyed.

    So maybe sometimes a little hubris ain't so bad. ;)

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, showing Kirk to be out of touch (growing old?) might have been the inspiration for the theme that continued through the next several movies. Maybe, maybe not, but it's something to consider.
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    Well, we don't know that Spock wouldn't have come back had Kirk not been there. He was already in communication with V'Ger before anyone knew Kirk wanted the Enterprise back. If Decker had stayed in command, it's possible Sonak doesn't die in the transporter accident because Decker doesn't rush the ship's launch, making Spock's presence as science officer unnecessary, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have come along as a special Starfleet observer. Decker certainly knew his background and probably would not have objected to his being present for the mission. What Decker may have done after Spock's spacewalk is another matter, however.

    Kirk's presence made the difference in TMP not because of his tactical brilliance (not that he's Picard or Sisko to start with) but because of his guile and determination. How many captains would have had the guts to enter V'Ger despite knowing next to nothing about the entity? Picard and Sisko would likely have done the same thing (perhaps for different reasons), but would someone like JT Esteban have taken the chances that Kirk did? I doubt it.

    --Sran
     
  3. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    The theme of aging was an important part of both the TOS and TNG films, though TOS handled the subject in a more believable way, IMO.

    • TMP sees Kirk struggling to adjust to life back aboard Enterprise after more than two years away. By the end of the film, he and his friends seem much more like the characters we remember from the TV series.
    • TWOK shows Kirk in crisis because he believes he's too old to command a starship despite it being the only thing he wants to do.
    • TSFS showcases Kirk reeling from the loss of his best friend, the suffering of his next closest friend, and coping with the impending end of the Enterprise and his new (but brief) relationship with his son.
    • TUC features Kirk on the verge of retirement and thinking about the end of his days as Enterprise captain, even as he struggles to come to terms with his son's death and help establish peace with the Klingons.

    I always thought TOS made Kirk into something of a Gary Stu character. He was liked by almost everyone- and those who didn't like him were made out to be incompetent or insane- and had his pick of any woman he wanted. The films did a nice job of showing his flaws, things that made him a more likable character, IMO. That the hero of the story wasn't perfect was something I found much more realistic. It also made his eventual triumphs in spite of his weaknesses that much more fun to watch. To me, Kirk was a hero not in spite of his fallacies, but because of them. Each movie saw him reinvent or reinvigorate himself in some fashion, changes that were essential to his overcoming whatever obstacles were in his path.

    --Sran
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^I disagree. Kirk was a very flawed, human character in TOS -- that was what made him interesting. He was often insecure and doubting himself, needing McCoy to give him pep talks (see "Balance of Terror"). He sometimes tended to default to overly aggressive or impulsive responses and needed Spock's advice to rein him in and guide him toward the right decision (see "Arena," "The Devil in the Dark," "The City on the Edge of Forever").

    And he didn't have every woman he wanted, not always. He got nowhere with Eleen in "Friday's Child" -- true, he wasn't really trying to romance her, but she wouldn't even let him touch her, while she warmed up to McCoy. His attempt to seduce Kelinda in "By Any Other Name" didn't work as well as he'd hoped; rather than bowing to his influence, she became interested in exploring kissing for her own pleasure and was more interested in making out with Rojan than Kirk. And Miranda Jones in "Is There In Truth No Beauty?" shot him down in flames when he tried to seduce her. (It's worth noting that all three episodes were by female writers.)
     
  5. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    east coast United States
    Agree.:vulcan: Most important, I think Scotty wanted to give Kirk a flyover inspection of the work done on the exterior of the 1701. A transporter can not give you that.;)
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Sure it can. You only need to do the series of beam-outs and beam-ins very rapidly, and tell Kirk to blink furiously so that his eyes won't freeze. Oh, and to exhale before the first beam-out.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    Warrior, AL
    That beginning scene did three things for the movie. It showed the Centroplex as being an essential part of the refitting operation- you had traffic back and forth between it and the dock (travel pods, workbee trains) and mad it more than just an interesting background structure. It gave Scotty and Kirk their private conversation- introducing the new and improved Scotty with mustache and cursing and established what happened since we saw them last. It provided the grand tour circle around so we could see the new ship from every angle, with all the new features and twice the orchestra than the version we grew up with...
    Logically they should not need to have the Enterprise transporters functioning to beam up from Earth, they have beamed from ship to ship without them before in TOS. The film was not so much of a story but a reintroduction of the characters (and the ship) to people on the big screen- every main character had their moment.
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    The problem was that they used the Enterprise's transporter pad as a recieving station. So instead of the Earth based transporter handling both the de-materlisation and re-materlisation, the re-materlisation was handled by the Entererpise transporter.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    We don't know exactly what piece of machinery did what in this process. In "Trouble with Tribbles", we get another example of people beaming from one Federation pad to another, and there, too, it's unclear whether the Enterprise machinery or the K-7 machinery was doing the work, or whether both were involved. In contrast, in "Ultimate Computer" we see Scotty operating the sliders when people beam aboard from the local space station...

    The dialogue in ST:TMP is ambiguous enough.

    What we learn is that Rand "engaged", which is not necessarily the same as her energizing the starship's machinery. Might be her simply signaling the go-ahead for Starfleet to energize. And it's not clear who Cleary is referring to when saying "They" are beaming - is it the transporter room, is it Starfleet, or is it the transportees?

    Starfleet is the party capable of overriding and then boosting matter gain and signal. Does this mean Enterprise was initially doing the matter gain and signal thing, and Starfleet overrode that? Did Starfleet ever manage to override anything?

    "Matter gain" is unique technobabble never encountered again, but "signal" is something that in later Trek is part of the overall process and not necessarily pointing to any particular sending or receiving end.

    It's possible, then, that

    1) Enterprise did all the beaming, and the hiccuping machinery made a mess of it
    2) Enterprise did the beaming until Starfleet overrode
    3) Enterprise and Starfleet did a joint beaming (although those are a rare thing elsewhere in Trek, and considered a special boosting technique for demanding conditions in TNG "Realm of Fear")
    4) Starfleet did all the beaming (although if the Enterprise platform was merely an inert target, then it's difficult to see how Enterprise machinery problems would affect the beaming.)

    Even #4 is a distinct possibility, as it may be there was nothing wrong with the transporters at either end. Rather, the problem aboard the starship may have resulted in shields being half-raised, or some dangerous source of radiation being activated, with the end result that even fully functional transporters would kill their customers, unless signal were boosted.

    Timo Saloniemi