Worst command decisions by Captain James T. Kirk

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Gary7, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While there's never any guessing exactly how rigorously the writers were thinking of this sort of thing, it is the case that in the postwar US submarine service a captain must be a qualified (nuclear) engineer. I don't know what the requirements are for other kinds of US Navy ship. But it would seem plausible for Trek's writers to have the rough idea that of course the captain of a starship is thoroughly versed in the engines of the ship.

    (Do we ever see an example of someone talking ship's technical detail that Kirk doesn't understand, or at least doesn't seem to follow?)
     
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  2. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You're a fine one to talk my Lord! :techman:
    JB
     
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  3. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, when temptation calls, I'm the first one to answer. :whistle:
     
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  4. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    In terms of education and training, US Navy line officers are engineers more than anything. Except for those who came up through aviation, it would be extremely rare to find a warship captain who had not served as chief engineer or one of the main assistants (propulsion, electrical, damage control) at some point in his/her career.
     
  5. Leviathan

    Leviathan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    He found a way.
     
  6. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Bill Theiss saved TOS budget money by using less cloth and showing more skin on actresses. ;)
     
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  7. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Careful my Lord! You too will be classed as pervy and drooling like I was for agreeing with a few points on a fellow posters remarks!
    JB
     
  8. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I'm the founding member of the Pervy Club, JB.
     
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  9. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Nightlife, Baby! Moderator

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    First of all, that's a very self-serving way of describing what happened.

    Second of all, why not take a moment and reflect on your behavior? Your comments were pretty sexist, and you do literally post drooling smilies when talking about female actors.

    Third, stop bringing it up in unrelated threads. If you want to litigate this, you have my blessings to go to MA with it. Otherwise knock it off.
     
  10. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

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    I'm not sure when they learned WHO Khan was (before or after the tech manuals), but I doubt anything Kirk allowed access to was classified or Top Secret information. It's the sort of thing one could look up on the web, so to speak. The danger isn't in the knowledge - it's in the access to the equipment. Like you can look up how to make a nuclear bomb these days. So what? You don't have access to enough fissile material to make that dangerous. And Khan was expected to live in the current century, so I don't really think it was a mistake. Treating everyone like a prisoner or an enemy before you even know who or what they are, however, seems like a bigger a mistake.

    Even going into a room full of Klingons isn't that bad an idea when you have red shirt back ups in the corridor. It's not like they can grab Kirk and demand the red shirts surrender or they kill Kirk. Weaponless, the Red shirts would just stun everybody in the room, Kirk included, and sort them out later. The klingons know this, so even that attempt would only likely lose them privileges and make it harder on them.

    What is this attitude that Kirk was wrong for not playing it safe? They aren't out there to play it safe. They will take risks. It's part of their job. They are explorers – they're gonna look. And it's gonna be a manned look whenever possible and practical.

    Rendezvous just keep ships in their own assigned sectors. It's not faster. But if one ship takes it all the way, you leave one sector undefended - not just on the out going trip, but the return trip, too. Relays are better and more efficient.

    Sure Kirk, you've got the deck stacked against me anyway, so I'm screwed either way. If I have to die with you, your ship, and your 430 other men, fine with me. But I think you'll deal with me LONG before that happens, or my name isn't Harcourt Fenton Mudd.

    Kirk knows the ship almost as well as Scotty, and commanders in genernal know the limits, test the limits, of both men and equipment. The very FACT the ship didn't blow up demonstrates Kirk was right and still within the ship's limits.

    The only good reason I can think why Kirk wanted to check out the "Indians" before deflecting the moon-sized asteroid was to insure they were primitive enough and oblivious enough that they wouldn't alert them to their activities and show space life existed, perhaps violating the prime directive. So, pretty primitive? No telescopes or anything like that? O.K. No way they'll know what we did, so let's go. Otherwise, it was a VERY bad move. Not that ANY of the numbers in that episode really bear close scrutiny.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  11. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

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    I think Kirk should have bargained with Apollo, telling him many people doubtlessly would wish to come and visit him, maybe even live the simple life there, and they could be friends. Far better to have willing, obedient, loyal, loving subjects there of their own free will than unwilling, disobedient, disloyal, hateful subjects imprisoned there against their will. Just send out the word, and soon Apollo would have more subjects than he probably knew what to do with. But noooooooo, Kirk is such a stubborn hard ass he wouldn't bend a knee one damn little bit and had to take him out.

    He could have been far more persuasive with Marcus (IIRC) in Bread and Circuses. Keeping them there would lose a few men and draw a lot of unwanted attention to the planet. Letting them go with the request to stay away would be kept the planet safe from outsiders. Even captain Merik could confirm that is likely what would happen.
     
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  12. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    Yes, it seems like the whole conflict with Apollo happens because Kirk doesn't know how to respond to people who demand that the whole crew spend the rest of their lives in the nutty utopia of the week.

    All Kirk had to do was say: "No, we are explorers, always moving on to the next star. We don't want to stay here with you. But there are billions of humans back on Earth. Not one in a hundred or one in a thousand would want to stay here, but that still leaves thousands or millions who would. And there would be many others who would want to visit here for a vacation. So if you try to force us to stay, you will either fail and be alone again, or else succeed and have a few hundred people who hate and resent you. But if you lets us go on our way we will report your existence and others will come who want to."

    I don't see why Kirk would have even needed to be persuasive with Marcus. I can see why Marcus wouldn't have wanted Beagle crew members interacting with society and trying to change it. It seems reasonable that if Marcus feared change, or the type of change the "Beagle boys" advocated, he would try to stop it with bribes, imprisonment, or death in the arena.

    But what he learned about Starfleet from Merik would seem to remove all desire for conflict with Starfleet crews. He would say "Okay, those undisciplined civilian crew people contaminated our culture from both your and my viewpoints. But if you take them away with you and don't contact us until we are much more advanced - in accordance with your prime directive - that will be fine with us."
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
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  13. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

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    Pretty much, yeah. There's no guarantee the reasoned approach would work with either, but I object to the apparent fact Kirk didn't even try. Now, granted, it's not much of a story if he goes that way and Apollo or Marcus agree, but some show he made the reasoned attempt is lacking, IMO. Given that it must fail for dramatic license, the trick is to incorporate the reasoned attempt without burning up too much screen time.

    Tricky.
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Fun. But the holes in that grill behind Kang keeps changing proportions... which I figure makes it 100% TAS accurate. ;)
     
  15. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know what Kirk was doing in 'All Our Yesterdays'.
    Having the three top officers of the Enterprise beam down to a planet minutes from explosion seems crazy.
    They didn't even seem to be on a rescue mission.
     
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sure it's been mentioned - allowing Lokai and Beale freedom of movement around the ship. Especially the wanted criminal who stole a shuttlecraft who should have been in the brig the whole time.
     
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  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Season 3 silliness - by that time the producers were only having the three stars do anything. Everyone else was background.
     
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  18. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not even background most of the time - the S3 corridors were mostly deserted. I think the scene at the end of Mark Of Gideon is one of the rare exceptions!
     
  19. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

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    It was 3.5 hours, and scanners showed nobody was around – no sapient life forms could be detected. The danger was minimal, and I think some people make too big a deal about risking the top officers as if the ship would be lost if those guys died. Kirk's time had a more Starship Troppers mentality – everybody fights – there's always the next guy to take their place should they fall. And hey, he's an explorer, and so are his friends, so they went.

    Anyway, they just wanted to have a quick look around and see if they could figure out what happened to the entire humanoid civilization they knew was there according to last reports. Even a nova will just kick stuff out at SLT speeds or at most light speed, so at warp 1 they can easily get away – and there's nothing wrong with the engines and they can take off at warp 1+ the minute they beam up.

    So they went. Oops, they got tangled up in a little time tripping, but that's hardly a foreseeable danger Kirk should have avoided - unless you never go anywhere since it might be dangerous.

    Beale was a police commissioner and official from the planet Sharon, so locking him up would hardly be appropriate (at first). Lokai, OTOH, probably should have been put in the brig, but Kirk doesn't want to treat new comers like criminals, preferring to judge for himself based on what others do instead of what others said they did. Even taking the shuttlecraft may have been excusable in some ways, and they had it back undamaged - but that's for others to judge - Kirk's not a judge. I might have done the same. After they started duking it out with energy and showed they couldn't be subdued with phasers, it was far more difficult to try to force the issue. If Kirk had tried earlier, however, all he might have found was he couldn't easily force them to do anything they didn't want to do a bit earlier. They may even have had the ability to walk through the brig's force field.
     
  20. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not against Kirk beaming down. That's his style.
    And looks like the style of his contemporaries - Captain Tracey and Merrick and maybe Matt Decker too. Yeh I know they are pretty much failures but not because they go on landing parties.

    I just think its dangerous to beam down with a nova just hours away. He wasn't doing anything that was worth risking his own life and his friends Whats to say a solar flare isn't going to burst out or something? I'd say at least keep Spock on board.
    Hours is just too short a time to be safe, Its not like Kirk's landing parties every not have issues.
     
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