The only ship within 3 days' journey? (TMP)

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by NewHeavensNewEarth, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Reading some of the threads here, I was inspired to watch TMP again and give it another chance after having a rough time getting through it in the past. And......I still wasn't in love with it this time around either. There were things I liked about it, but plot-wise I couldn't get around the fact that the Enterprise was the one & only Starfleet vessel between Earth and V'ger. How could there only be 1 ship hanging out around Earth, basically leaving the solar system completely defenseless?

    Other questions for you insightful people:
    - Why exactly did Kirk seem to be rolling his eyes over McCoy's reluctance to use the transporter, when 2 people had just been killed on the transporter pad? And why did Kirk seem to shrug off their deaths so nonchalantly?
    - What difference did it make for V'ger to "join" with Decker as a "creator," versus already having joined with Ilia?
    - Having access to Voyager's database, was there nothing in the data banks that stated Voyager's actual name? And why are advanced beings unable to recognize and remove muck that was covering a few letters? :lol:

    TMP is one of my weakest areas in Trek on-screen knowledge, so any/all of your insights would be helpful and appreciated! Other questions abound, but that'll do for now.
     
  2. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'll do as best I can to help.

    1. "Only ship in range"- The dialogue actually points to the Enterprise being the only starship in range. During TOS, the phrase "starship" was reserved for top-line Federation vessels, like the Enterprise (it was originally intended as the class for of ship until far later when the phrase Constitution-class was uttered on screen). I think we can assume there were plenty of other ships, but after seeing what V'Ger did to the Klingon K't'inga-class Battlecruisers, they probably figured they needed one of their best ships to face the threat.

    Also, this is a classic Trek trope, so it's all good.

    2. I don't think Kirk shrugged it off. I think he was deeply troubled by it, but the immediate threat was far more pressing, and required him to show a stern resilience under the circumstances. Remember, he had just taken control of the ship under somewhat less-than-ideal circumstances, so he was feeling tremendous pressure to be the idealized leader. He also basically took the controls away from Rand to protect her from having to be the one burdened with the responsibility.

    I think the McCoy eye-roll was more about the character trait of his disliking the transporter in general, and admittedly was a little bit much given what had just happened.

    3. V'Ger didn't join with Ilia. Ilia was simply patterned for data storage, and the likeness and memories were used to create the probe. V'Ger was specifically holding off to join with its creator.

    4. No idea on this one. It requires some suspension of disbelief, like a lot of other things in fiction.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree. Only one starship in range. The Epsilon Nine background chatter mentions two scout ships and we know that Starfleet has a number of science vessels like the Grissolm, but a Starship is something else entirely. I rather like a version of Starfleet with stretched resources; space is huge and V'Ger was travelling very fast.

    I think the McCoy scene would work better if Kirk and Rand looked more serious up until the point he's on board. Kirk's comment delivered with a straight face would be a call back to the accident as well as to McCoy in TOS and a classic example of his gallows humour. I think Rand should also have gotten a line there, something to reflect their past working and personal relationship. Once McCoy is safely on board, bring on the smiles.

    I agree again; Ilia was stored, not joined, but that does raise the interesting possibility that, once V'Ger understood the nature of carbon units, could it have restored an organic duplicate of her (or Decker).

    Voyagers programming was basic. There's no reason why such an old probe would have had a sophisticated computer. It needed the space for its instruments.
     
  4. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wonder if the writers toyed with any other variations of "Voyager" before deciding on "V'ger."
    "o'ger" perhaps? "yager"? :lol:
     
  5. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Actually, in early scripts, the intruder called itself "N'Sa" (pronounced "en-sa").

    As for the question of wiping away the muck, a long, long time ago on this board, someone pointed out the Ilia-probe is the first time we hear the word "V'Ger," and may well be the first time it thought of itself as "V'Ger." It probably didn't know english until it began digitizing stuff from Earth's neighborhood (maybe the Klingons, probably Epsilon IX, potentially even Ilia herself or the Enterprise computers a few moments before it creates the probe, if it doesn't or can't read the data with the computers on objects it digitizes), at which point, it recognized the markings on its side as letters in the language of the Creator's planet. As for why it didn't wipe itself off then... well, do you make a habit of sticking a q-tip deep into your head so you can clean up one of the crevices in your brain in case some bit that's always been there isn't actually supposed to be there?
     
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  6. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    I found it interesting a decade later when TFF lampshaded this trope with "Other ships, yes, but no experienced commanders. Captain, I need Jim Kirk."
     
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  7. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Oh, please."

    .
    .
    .

    Though maybe "Admiral Bennett" had a point. Look at the other Starship Captains from this general time (excluding Sulu): Esteban, Styles, Harriman, those Captains in TVH, Terrell... they're all helpless. Not a good crop that cycle.

    Whereas before the Movie Era, besides Kirk you've got Bob Wesley, I'm going to guess Matt Decker, Garth (not to toot my own horn), and Pike. Tracy was a bad apple and then something happened to take everyone else out, except Wesley, who they might've kicked upstairs along with Kirk. So it's possible that during and shortly after TOS, Starfleet lost or promoted a lot of its best Captains and, during the Movie Era, they were left with the scraps and a lot of poor replacements.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  8. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Officially, Wesley retired. (TAS, "One Of Our Planets Is Missing") It's more likely that all the good commanders were out on missions and not anywhere Admiral Bob could corral them. That doesn't say much for the commanders that were available, but it doesn't mean there weren't any good ones at all in Starfleet.
     
  9. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

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    TMP was made back in the days where there was only TOS to refer to, and in TOS there was supposed to only be 12 "heavy cruisers". So, by that reckoning, there might be a good argument that there was only one in position to intercept the intruder as it rushed towards Earth.
    By later films, we see that Starfleet has grown somewhat, and this argument becomes rather insane.
     
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  10. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which was total horseshit. Was Styles not an 'experienced' commander? They gave him the most advanced ship in the fleet for heaven's sake.
     
  11. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Kirk practically pulled Styles' shorts over his head and tied them in a knot. I know who I'm giving missions to if those two are the ones on the board. No, the real question is, why they didn't kick the Enterprise command crew over to one of those other ships for the duration of the crisis. Or, better, still, why didn't they think of some magnetic field bullshit interfering with the transporter so they could do a bunch of cool shuttlecraft scenes rather than making the ship a lemon?
     
  12. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While I agree that Kirk and co. should at least have been given another ship for the Nimbus mission, underestimating Styles just because Scotty sabotaged his ship doesn't make him an incompetent. Sure he was cocky, but Starfleet gave him command of the Excelsior for a reason. I'm sure he would have fared no worse than Kirk did with that hostage mission.

    Then again, Starfleet gave Harriman command of the Enterprise-B, and he was a total incompetent. So there is that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  13. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    As I recall in the earlier drafts of the TV movie the probe was looking for the great god N'sa, but didn't go by that name itself.

    Earlier drafts of the script had the light cruiser Aswan be the first Starfleet ship (not starship) to intercept the cloud (only minutes before the Enterprise) and poof it was gone—all of which happened off camera. I see why this was dropped: we'd already seen V'ger wipe out Klingons and Epsilon Nine, so having another lesser ship get toasted wouldn't have upped the threat.

    Why would you program a probe to know its name? Of what value is that when there's limited data storage space? Heck, if it had any kind of "name" that would mean something to it, that would be whatever code it used to identify itself to ground control and monitoring stations.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  14. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Ilia wasn't from the planet of V'Ger's "creator," anyway.

    Kor
     
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  15. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe they fired him for breaking said advanced ship.
     
  16. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I love this movie, but it's an old trope. "Our heroes are the only ones who can save us!"

    "Captain, I need Jim Kirk."
    "Oh, please."

    II does it as well. Why Kirk doesn't find another ship that isn't about to fall to pieces (Scotty had knowledge of Excelcior, for instance), book passage, as Bones tried to do, but then the Enterprise isn't thematically given back for Spock's life. Ah.

    Ilia wasn't the creator, human, nor did V'Ger know its creator was human. Pure speculation on the muck. I don't know.

    Still, Kirk is off his game, Spock embarrassed he is connected to V'Ger, and what it says about him. He didn't complete the Kohlinar. He saves the mission, but is as tortured as we ever see him. Decker is a strong entry. Bones doesn't want to be there. And all that hangs in the balance is every life on the planet. We know not what it is, wants, until Ilia dies. I love this film.

    But, to each their own.
     
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  17. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Except he didn’t break it, Scotty did. Which was one of the counts the President mentioned at Kirk’s trial.
     
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  18. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    I know. I was kidding -- which actually raises a point I thought of yesterday: why does everyone think transwarp drive is a failure, when it is clearly stated in canon that Scotty is responsible for the Excelsior's woes?
     
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  19. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because that’s what fandom does. Even though it was never canonically stated that transwarp drive was a failure. For all we know the Enterprise-D had transwarp drive.
     
  20. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Transwarp goes quite a way to explain the change in the warp scale for sure.