Why didn't any of the Exeter's crew beam down to the planet?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by MarsWeeps, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    SubSpace
    So, why didn't any of the Exeter's crew try beaming down to the planet after they were infected and people started dying?

    The ship's medical officer had enough time to record a warning, telling them to beam down:

    SPOCK: I have their surgeon's log, Captain. Their last log entry, Captain, on screen.
    (A man in a blue shirt is struggling to try and sit up in the Captains chair and dictate the log.)
    DOCTOR [on viewscreen]: If you've come aboard this ship, you're dead men. Don't go back to your own ship. You have one chance. Get down there. Get down there fast.

    Did the disease really crystalize everyone so quickly that it prevented any of Exeter's crew from beaming down?
     
  2. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    It could be that they didn't figure out the disease's relationship to the atmosphere until it was too late to use it. They may have tried to prevent contamination of Omega IV at first, fearing they had caught the disease elsewhere and brought it to the planet with them.
     
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    I think the disease happened so fast that the Exeter doctor's log was right when he realized the problem. That doctor might've been the last person alive.
     
  4. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    The Sunshine State
    So fast I guess that they couldn't get a distress call out? Not buying it, lol.
     
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Since they didn't send a distress call out it would appear that it was that fast, lol.
     
  6. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Quarantining an outbreak seems sensible. No way of knowing who on the ship might be a carrier.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Abandoning ship would be remarkably atypical for a starship crew. In comparable situations, Kirk's crew never budged: evacuation would only happen as per the Captain's explicit orders. The two times we witnessed a starship being evacuated, "The Doomsday Machine" and "This Side of Paradise", it happened with astonishing discipline. In the first, all but one of the crew beamed down to what they probably knew was their death, within a short time and without a hint of panic. In the second, the crew had supposedly lost its respect for authority, and still filed down neatly and efficiently.

    Sending a distress call at the first sign of trouble is another thing starships apparently never do. For all we know, it's a hopeless endeavor anyway: starships might operate outside communications range for most of the time, and the only way to report back to base would be to launch a recorder marker. No doubt the Exeter crew would have done that eventually, but we have seen how much it takes time to prepare one.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Will be Celebrating Spocktoberfest this year!
    Plus, who's going to respond? A Starship is the top of the line, best ship in the Federation, is a freighter going to rescue them?


    As far as anything else with this episode, it's problematic. I do not pretend it's good. Sorry if you like this one, I don't and it's on my 10 I don't think about too much list.


    Constellation had it's disaster beacon on, not necessarily a distress signal but it could be considered one.

    The Intrepid didn't send a distress signal, but Starbase 6 lost contact and asked Enterprise to check it out.

    Starfleet lost contact with Defiant and sent Enterprise to check it out.
    (I'm starting to buy that theory they didn't like Kirk and gave him all of the bad jobs, like Dirty Harry.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  9. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    On the other hand, it's hard for me to imagine Captain Smith thinking: "Yes, we've stuck an iceberg and we're going down by the head. But why even bother sending out an S.O.S. After all, we're just so darned far from our base. Also, we're the fastest ship out here--there's probably not an Olympic-class vessel near us, and who would come to our aid--a freighter? It's clearly just not worth the effort to fire up the Marconi."
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    ...within several hours.

    ...after three weeks.

    But still after 6 months nobody cared what had happened to the Exeter.
    Could it be she had been on a top secret mission that would have taken that long or longer?

    Bob
     
  11. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Will be Celebrating Spocktoberfest this year!
    Which reinforces my Omega Glory is not very good comment, IMO of course. I'm not trying to put meaning into your post you did not intend. Just that circumstances are not really too well thought out. They just happened to bumble along and find a Starship. I think Starfleet would like to know where their main assets are.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Try Captain Shackleton for size.

    Odds are, the Exeter would not be in the North Atlantic, but in the deep Antarctic. The wireless would be hard pressed to reach anything at all even in ideal circumstances, and help would arrive within half a year at the earliest if all went well. And unless that help indeed was another polar exploration vessel, she would not cout as "help" but rather as "collateral".

    This could well be the norm for starships, with the Intrepid being an extremely rare exception for actually being in realtime contact with home base. Which of Kirk's own adventures featured such contact? "The Alternative Factor" was about the only one where a big deal was not made of the slowness of clearing things with Starfleet Command...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    That's why the time issue is the most plausible in explaining the final hours of Exeter's crew; the disease was killing the crew so fast, Dr. Carter (and staff) were overwhelmed, so the next action taken was call Tracey, then continue to try everything "on the shelf" to combat the disease.

    By the time Carter realized it was a lost cause, he likely felt his first duty was to leave the recorded warning. Moreover, as CMO, he may not have the clearance or knowledge to launch a warning device, or had the time to do so.
     
  14. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Will be Celebrating Spocktoberfest this year!
    ^ I agree, the CMO would be most concerned with the health of those who follow. Maybe the logic was don't send a message because any rescuers would be further casualties. Also, Tracey may have wanted to keep his discovery secret and could have delayed sending until it was too late. Vague comments about not reporting until we have something definite, which resulted in no message sent.

    (also, it's a bad episode)

    So, what did happen to Capt. Tracey? Did he get greedy and was to exploit the youth properties of the planet or did he go nutty realizing his entire crew was dead? That could have a negative impact on your mental state. Maybe a combination of both.

    I also wonder what they did with Exeter, it wasn't damaged. Did anyone ever say?
     
  15. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    No, the fate of the Exeter was not mentioned. TOS didn't do follow-up episodes, and rarely mentioned events from previous episodes.
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    For that, you delve into the realm of the fan film:

    http://starshipexeter.com/
     
  17. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    I think the fright of the initial tease, and the conflict with Tracey are among the best of TOS; Woodward's intensity as villain and Starfleet captain are a prefect contrast to Kirk, and one can imagine that he was one of the best captains in the field.

    He was not nutty. He simply uncovered the natrual immunization process of the planet, and--as the episode--explains--its properties were of a nature unknown to earth. He did not know how long it would be before a recon vessel would arrive, so he wanted to protect his discovery.

    As a Starfleet officer trained to deal with potential and real loss, the death of his crew does not necessarily mean he would suffer a mental breakdown (ex. Matt Decker). Sure, he was grim when recalling the fate of his crew to the Enterprise landing party, but he was practical--aware of the bigger picture. That's why he could turn tragedy into a scheme to extend his own life / profit from the Federation.

    Nothing official. The last time anyone hears of the ship is in this episode.
     
  18. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    SubSpace
    Which doesn't make sense either. When people started getting sick and turning into powder, you would think the doctor would have been the first one notified, so therefore he should have been one of the earliest ones infected and die before the others.

    Unless he was hiding in a closet somewhere and only came out after everyone else died. :)
     
  19. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    Well, actually, we're still waiting to find out what happened to the Starship Exeter. ;)
     
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    He would have been one of many doctors on board. Like McCoy, he could've been hanging around the bridge when the outbreak swept the ship. If the symptoms came on suddenly and death by crystallization occurred after a few minutes I doubt there would be any cohesive response to it. The doctor might've thought he had time to send a distress signal after making a quick log entry and miscalculated the timing. IMHO.