How did Kirk make Captain so fast

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ThatsMrCaptaintoyou, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    At what point? The time when that scene took place, or when Kirk took over command of the Enterprise from Pike? Mendez's wording is vague enough that it could be either.

    And I find it unlikely that the two are the same age, anyway. That would make Pike like 20 years old as of "The Cage", and that's obviously not true. No, I'm sticking with, during the scene in Mendez's office, Pike being the same age THEN as Kirk is NOW.
     
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  2. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Kirk and Pike both played by actors in their mid-30s when they were first hired indicates that the powers that be wanted the captain to be young. And how they got their captaincy would be kind of obvious -- they were exceptional officers. I guess we can speculate on what specifically they did to get a captaincy for the next 100 posts
     
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  3. BK613

    BK613 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    that was fun but I liked this line the best:
    Balrog said this sounded like meaningless New Age claptrap. Told Balrog to get out of Second Age, start living in the now.
     
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  4. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    I'm not convinced Kirk was exceptional. We have no idea when people like Ron Tracy, Matt Decker, Commodore Stone (among others) were when they first got the captain's chair. None of Kirk's peers treat him like he's exceptional, just another starship captain.
     
  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    :rofl:
     
  6. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Either way seems like he's a pretty young captain, though.
     
  7. BK613

    BK613 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is it possible that we see Star Fleet transitioning from a rank structure without LTjgs to one with LTjgs (or some other deepening of the rank levels) during TOS? Something that would allow Kirk and Pike to make Captain through five levels and be grandfathered in afterwards. (This comment explicitly ignores streaming Trek.)
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And the alternate timeline, where Kirk apparently graduated as Lt(j.g.) but never got to wear the braid before being given the Captain's.

    Might be there was a brief interlude into a weird rank system, for the duration of "The Cage" even if not for much longer, and it threw things into chaos for long enough to our Jim Kirk to slip through and emerge two ranks higher than he otherwise would. But we don't need to assume that in order to have things make the degree of sense that they can.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Actually Hunter was five years older than Shatner. Born in 1926 to Shatner's 1931. So Shatner was in his mid-thirties, Hunter was 40.
     
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  10. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Hunter was 37 when they started filming his pilot -- he turned 38 during the shoot.
    Shatner was 34. Thanks for pointing out the huge difference.
     
  11. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Would that mean that Kirk was 33 and Pike 48 in the Menagerie?
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, probably not, if Kirk is younger than Shatner in the second season. Pike is free to be older than Hunter, or Mount, or Greenwood, then. By a decade if need be, by TNG precedent.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  13. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    It feels like things when the other direction. There's only one LTjg in the entire show.

    But you may be onto something. There may just be fewer ranks, and "Captain" may be more like "Commander" in the Napoleonic Navy (viz. Hornblower... though he, of course, was also exceptional).
     
  14. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Shatner was 33, not 34 in November of '64 when they were filming the first pilot. If you're going compare ages then use the same date for both if you please. And when you are discussing youngest captain small things can make a big difference.
     
  15. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's quite possible. It could be that the rank structure in those days was a more simplified one.

    For example: Crewman, Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Warrant Officer, Lieutenant, Commander, Captain, and Admiral. With lieutenants comprised of all officers not holding command of a ship, commanders commanding smaller vessels, captains commanding larger ones, and admirals being the only flag rank.
     
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  16. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    What I was referring to was the age of the actor when they filmed their respective Pilots. Since by the time they were filming the second pilot they were clearly not going ahead with the original captain.
     
  17. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    Even fewer than that if you accept the originally intended premise that there are no "enlisted men" in Starfleet. The folks without braid are Ensigns. That would also explain the rank of Fleet Captain (you need more ranks above Captain if there are fewer below it!)
     
  18. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    It might fit better with the pilot episode rank insignia, if we didn't know that LCdr existed in WNMHGB.

    I have been trying to find out more about how the USN promoted officers in 1862 when rear admiral, commodore, lieutenant commander and ensign were added. A good chunk of lieutenants were promoted directly to commander, as they would have been under the old system. It seems there was some kind seniority level over which you got to skip LCdr, but the number of commanders had also been expanded for wartime so that was really the only way to fill those positions.

    At the time commander = major and captain = lt. colonel for the first three years after promotion, so captains commanded a range of smaller to largest vessels and commanders the really small vessels.

    By the mid 1800s the RN would have:
    • Sloops with a commander, a lieutenant 2iC and 1 other lieutenant.
    • Corvettes with a (junior) captain, a lieutenant 2iC and 2 other lieutenants.
    • Frigates with a (junior) captain, a commander 2iC and 3-4 lieutenants.
    • Ships of the line with a (senior) captain, a commander 2iC and 4-7 lieutenants.

    The first two types doing the bulk of the overseas "police" work of the empire.

    I guess there's no real reason why there need to be five or six levels of officers under the CO on one ship, and something flatter would probably work fine. What's harder to imagine is why they would decide to go the other direction, or back and forth over the years.

    I'm not sure that was original intent, there was a chief petty officer in the original "Cage" script, a yeoman third class in "Charlie X" and a few other non-officer references. GR said that in TMoST but it wasn't really reflected onscreen.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And why would we want to do that?
     
  20. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not sure what the advantage of getting rid of "non-graduate entrants" entirely, as on screen canon has always clear that specialist personnel junior to ensigns do exist.

    The most obviously recurring and unambiguous examples examples of this would be Janice Rand and Miles O'Brien.

    However, if you focus on the part about an "enlisted and officer divide" and "high school educated enlisted men", then there are a number of workarounds that are consistent with on screen cannon.

    The easiest to explain option is that Starfleet "crewmen" are essentially equivalent to the Age of Sail "midshipmen", which were direct entry recruits working as (senior) deckhands training onboard ship (in the words of Simon Tarses "out there, travelling the stars"), but training as (commissioned) officers and mates (roughly equivalent to modern petty officers).

    This also roughly corresponds to the system used in most police departments, and has some similarities to the Royal Navy commissioning system compared to the American "graduate only" system, although RN officers do get the equivalent of an Associates Degree before making Sublieutenant [O1] (~ USA Specialist [E4] or USAF Airman 1st Class [E3]) and many do get a Bachelors before their first command.

    YMMV, but my preference is always do figure out a way to make things work, particularly when BTS material (secondary canon at best) conflicts with apparent on screen (primary) canon.