How long before "The Man Trap" did McCoy know Kirk?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Admiral Archer, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    Leonard H. McCoy was the ship's surgeon aboard the NCC-1701 Enterprise, but he wasn't the first, not even under Kirk's command. In fact, it seems as though in his first episode "The Man Trap" that McCoy is relatively new to the ship and to Kirk and Spock, although exactly how long the good doctor had been aboard is anyone's guess. Kirk and McCoy don't even seem to be best friends yet, although later Season 1 episodes (such as "Balance of Terror" and "The City on the Edge of Forever") would help cement their friendship. I guess my question is, when did Kirk first meet ol' Sawbones, and was it prior to Bones being assigned to the ship? Did Kirk ask for Bones to be transferred to the Enterprise as a personal request, or did the two meet on the five year mission?
     
  2. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's entirely possible he was an assistant to Piper and was promoted on his retirement / transfer. Rand is definitely new.
     
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  3. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It depends on what order you watch the episodes too! If you view WNMHGB third then Piper could be assistant to McCoy who is on leave in that episode or you could say that McCoy comes aboard soon after the events of The Corbomite Maneuver and I think McCoy's credentials earned him the position and he and Kirk became good friends very quickly!
    JB
     
  4. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For a question like this, production order makes the most sense because the ship and uniforms keep changing, indicating a passage of time. And they were already pretty good friends by "The Corbomite Maneuver." To me that suggests they met before McCoy came to the Enterprise, because Kirk's job as Captain requires him to distance himself generally and not be too chummy with anyone. They couldn't be acting like such old friends in Corbomite if they met so recently as captain and medical officer aboard ship.

    I also think Spock is the exception that proves the rule: his friendship with Kirk crept in under the radar. Because Spock was so reserved and cool, Kirk's Captain persona unconsciously took refuge there. He could talk to Spock without worrying about getting too chummy with a subordinate, because both men were keeping everyone at arm's length. And they just organically came to rely on each other for conversation.
     
  5. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well obviously some time has passed between Corbomite and Where No Man that maybe either Kirk knew of his reputation as a medical man and humanist or they really did become fast friends on the ship!
    JB
     
  6. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I cringe whenever I try to envision Dr. Piper in McCoy’s place for the whole series duration. I believe it was either Solow or Justman who said that actor Paul Fix just didn’t display any enthusiasm for his role.
     
  7. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, I agree "The Corbomite Maneuver" was really the first introduction of the character of McCoy.

    I think the person who wrote the very first scene with McCoy where he's exercising Kirk in sickbay, did a great job, it reveals so much of McCoy's character in just that one scene.

    Try to pretend that you know nothing about McCoy and watch that scene and see how much of his personality it reveals.

    When McCoy sees the ship is at red alert and ignores it and doesn't tell Kirk, it shows he not only doesn't care much about protocol, we also know he cares more about kirk's and by extension, the crew's health. And he's unrepentant when Kirk admonishes him for not telling him about the red alert.

    We also get a precursor to the famous "I'm a doctor, not a-" line when he says "What am I, a doctor or a moon chuttle conductor".

    And then after Kirk has left and he's alone in sickbay, McCoy mutters to himself something about if he jumps at every blinking light, he'd end up talking to himself.

    of course, TCM was broadcast later so the scene didn't stick out so much which was a shame because I think it's a wonderful scene to introduce McCoy.

    Robert
     
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  8. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    No one really knows. There is the Abrams films version or there are books like Enterprise: The First Adventure.
     
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  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Where did they say that McCoy wasn't Kirk's first CMO?
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    I think Piper being identified as a department head would mean he was Kirk’s CMO in “Where No Man...”.
     
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  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ oh that's right, I forgot about WNMHGB
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    If one is so inclined, they can always fudge it the way McIntyre did, say McCoy was away during “Where No Man...”.
     
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  13. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I have the Enterprise being refit immediately after WNMHGB which was over 1.5 years before Mudd's Women, followed by The Corbomite Maneuver. About one year before Mudd's Women, I have McCoy stationed on Capella Four for ~3 months (Friday's Child; also note he is wearing the new uniform in his video playback on his mission, so, this assignment had to be after WMNHGB). I think Starfleet assigned McCoy to the Enterprise after his Capella Four assignment. He was needing a new duty assignment and the Enterprise was needing a CMO after Piper retired. Simple. :vulcan:
     
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  14. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I go with he met Kirk at the academy. But that's cos I've always loved the idea of academy prequels since I heard of that 90's academy movie that never happened.
     
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  15. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think a period of 3 months on board is all it would take for McCoy to achieve rapport with Kirk. He has a very open personality.
     
  16. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This isn't based on anything canon but I liked the idea of Kirk and McCoy having met before they served on the Enterprise, maybe while serving on the last ship Kirk was on before Enterprise but more as contemporaries than CO/CMO. It kinda stems from seeing their pre-Enterprise relationship in Star Trek 09 and then imagining DeForest Kelley and Bill Shatner hanging out or going on an adventure together pre-TOS.
     
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  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    McCoy is about ten years older than Kirk, they wouldn't have been at the academy together.
    I've always assumed they got to be friends before Kirk got the Enterprise and Kirk got him assigned. I never really worried about the details.
     
  18. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I think the dialog in Man Trap was very clever. You got the impression that McCoy had known Kirk for years. The 'Plum' reference. Kirk just teasing McCoy and McCoy not being offended by it. More worried about his meeting with his old love.
    If this were their first trip together you'd think it would be unlikely McCoy would have confessed anything about Nancy to his boss as McCoy seemed embarrassed and not the king of guy to share his life story.
     
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  19. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Captain Captain

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    Presuming that McCoy entered the Academy at the typical age. I've always interpreted other material, like TMoST, to be more indicative that his marriage had failed, he had an iffy relationship with his daughter, and he wanted a radical break with his old life, choosing to enter Star Fleet at an older age than most.

    All that said, I still don't think they were in the Academy together.
     
  20. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Yup. Thing #1,000 the JJTrilogy forgot or didn't care about. Seeing McCoy in the Kobayashi Maru test really bugged me.