Your impressions of Zephram Cochrane...the drunk?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Good Will Riker, May 23, 2007.

  1. wellsweb

    wellsweb Commander Red Shirt

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    {Leslie Nielson voice} "I'm sorry, I don't do impressions." {/Leslie Nielson voice}

    Doesn't anybody remember how surprised the landing party was by ZC's behavior? They were expecting a ZC similar to the TOS version. Also, remember what TOS ZC's attitude was when he found out the Companion was in love with him? He reacted more like the jerk we saw in FC.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Good points...

    I'm sort of in Irishman's camp here regarding Cochrane's achievements. The Renaissance happened because people suddenly had more reference material in their fingertips. Then the scope of science grew to meet and exceed the capabilities of that reference material access. For the 21st century, we again have a sudden burst of access, one that makes Renaissance Men out of anybody with the ability to type "Wikipedia".

    Now add Cochrane. Unlike Newton or Einstein, he has the modern world again in his fingertips. But he can screw copyright because the said world is recently dead of a nuclear holocaust. He has unlimited resources in the sense that there's nobody there to limit him from using whatever he can get hold of. He's forced (very much against his will and skillset) to be his own grease monkey and jockey, which adds to his mythos - but he's no doubt already built the foundations of that mythos by actively claiming glory to much that the world's leading minds invented prior to 2053.

    Who gives a damn about whether the Wrights "really invented" the aeroplane? They are known as the guys who did it, and that suffices. We don't have any panel of scientist declaring in an episode that Cochrane did all the work he is credited for: we have the layman view, as presented by a young Starfleet skipper and his doctor friend, echoed by a polite science officer who is far from convinced that they are dealing with the real Cochrane to begin with. And that layman view says Cochrane was a big name in warp, much like it would declare von Braun a big name in rocketry, or the Wrights in controlled heavier-than-air flight, or Cousteau in SCUBA diving. And IMHO all these tinkerers of preexisting inventions fully deserve their place in the sun, again in the layman sense.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You might recall that I'm pretty good at making the pieces of the Trek puzzle fit together. At "fudging" things to make them fit. But there are fudges that are an affront to fudgery, and this is one of them. In the Renaissance one man could conceivably know all there was to know. And with that knowledge one man -- one Leonardo or Newton -- could do amazing things, for his time. But in our time, in order to do amazing things for our time, a man must be part of an extensive web of knowledge and ability that may encompasses in total a meager fraction of the sum of today's human learning. In fifty years and in pursuit of goals such as we are discussing, one can only imagine breaking new ground will be even more dependent upon extensive cooperation.

    It is an appealing dream, this notion of the loner doing it all, against all odds. If that guy can do something so great, all alone, maybe we can do something beyond the humdrum of our daily existence. It is an appealing dream, like Spock rising from the dead. And just as foolish.
     
  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So you're okay with Spock coming back from the dead, but not Cochrane building the Phoenix?
     
  5. Good Will Riker

    Good Will Riker Admiral

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    I can certainly live with that. :borg:

    Just take a look at "Star Trek's Greatness" pre-First Contact and post-First Contact? Berman "the bean counter" took the "low road" after Gene Roddenberry's death.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    :thumbsup:

    Actually, though, I'm not that keen on Spock rising from the dead after Genesis.
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Actually, the first Apple computers didn't have any kind of disc drives...and when disc drives did show up, they were 5.25" floppies. 3.5" discs showed up on the Mac in 1984.
     
  8. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought that saying the ideas were foolish would make it clear just how terrible I thought both were. They are appealing, like Cinderella, but depend on impossibilities and smokescreens. They're pablum for uncritical audiences. Built on too many improbabilities... he does all these things alone, the Vulcans just so happen to be out there when he does this test. Plus, the very notion that the Borg would bomb his site just before the test, instead of killing him when he was three years old, thus taking the chance that if something goes wrong with their attack, they fail... It's all the worst kind of comic book writing.
     
  9. alchemist

    alchemist Captain Captain

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    I agree with this, and I don't have a problem at all with the character as depicted in the first part of FC (being a practicing scientist, I've seen these types of self-destructing genuises). BUT, from a dramatic standpoint, Cochrane's character didn't have an arc. I didn't see his character change/grow through the movie. IMHO, they blew the end of it with the Vulcan scene. - Cochrane continued doing what he always did. For example, compare the development of the Cochrane character to the development of Kirk in STII. Kirk grew, learned, changed. What about Cochrane?
     
  10. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    Eh, maybe so, but then the Borg always conveniently rely on a single ship to invade the Federation. They have little choice from a writing perspective, because the heroes couldn't defeat a full-fledged Borg invasion force easily. As silly as it winds up looking, I can at least understand where it's coming from.

    Personally I like both versions of ZC.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. 3D Master

    3D Master Rear Admiral

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    Okay,

    First, I like the Zephram Cochrane in FC, seems actually perfect in sync with TOS. I mean, just look at the embarrassment of TOS guy when they talk to him about his amazing deed. Tie it in with his horror back in 2063, what he was like back then, and imagine what TOS Cochrane must have been thinking, *Yeah, yeah, yeah, god if you knew what I was like back then, you'd cock me a good one instead of all this praise.*

    Also, this whole think about Cochrane being the great engineer is rather not true. He had an entire team of engineers with him to build that ship, if you remember, he was just the theoretical guy who figured out how to do the warping thing, and was probably involved in the practical design with his lead designer, but he wasn't mister super engineer.

    As for why it was like that; perfectly explainable. The nuclear holocaust mentioned in Bread & Circusses, probably the war in which Colonel Green did his ethnic cleaning; which apparently by historians was renamed WWIII after TOS, and the Eugenics Wars, previously WWIII now just the Eugenics Wars (which wasn't all that long ago from that point either), had just occurred. Earth is in shambles. I doubt anyone would be exactly happy at the time, and being a drunk isn't that far fetched; hell, if there is a good reason to be a drunk, I suppose it has to be living in a nuclear waste land.

    It would also rather explain Cochrane himself working on the engine, probably with funds from some rich people wanting to get off that nuclear waste land, and since Cochrane is the only one who understands the physics behind the warp drive, he'd have to do the hiring and leading of the engineering team that puts the theory into practice.

    It fits rather well to me, and I love FC as a movie.
     
  12. Computer

    Computer Captain Captain

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    I found his character to be perfectly written.

    It is not a stetch of the imagination that history would have a very distorted view of him.
    From HeadStart to my Senior year not once in any of my classes did we discuss the faults and humanity of the founding fathers, we only spoke of their accomplishments, hell in grade school every classroom had a framed picture of George Washington above the blackboard. If it wasnt for research outside of the textbooks I wouldnt know about the real founding fathers, just the mythological figures we were taught.
    That being said even knowing their faults as humans takes nothing away from their accomplishments and should serve as an inspiration that yes while people make mistakes, wrong decisions, even addicted to alcahol they are still capable of great things.

    It was a NASA shuttle pilot that said you dont come back the same person you were when you see Earth from space for the first time.
    I think this sentiment was well played in FC, throughout the movie we are confronted with an average human, a reluctant genius, but when the Pheonix launches he says "Oh wow" when he looks out the window, this was an indication that perhaps his eyes had opened a little wider.
    And then when they go to warp and spin the ship around he says "is that Earth? its so small" to me this was the tie in of the Cochrane who would become great.

    Finally when Deanna tells him of First Contact she says "it will change humanity in a way no one ever thought possible when they realize they arent alone"b I would imagine Cochrane felt the same.

    I loved the portrayl of FC ZC I was surprised at first and thats why I appreciated the writing of his character because they surprised me.

    Tom Hanks would have been interesting if the role had been written for a different type of Cochrane but the way this one was written I can imagine anyone other than James Cromwell.
     
  13. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral In Memoriam

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    People,

    Frankly, I'm not going to go back through every page of this thread. I'm sure what I'm going to say has been echoed by someone earlier. So here goes:

    I actually like the idea of Zefrem Cochrane as a foul-mouthed drunk genius. Too many times, pioneers are presented as squeaky-clean goody-two-shoes. I frankly find this ZC more interesting than the earlier version -- although let's not forget his own xenophobic, less-than-enlightened reaction to the idea that a gaseous entity loved him.

    I also feel that after he makes the successful flight and after he meets the Vulcans, he probably underwent a change in his personality.

    I liked it. After all, look at all the flawed geniuses througout history. Just look at recent history and see how Bill Gates and Steve Jobs conned IBM and Xerox, respectively, out of software applications because those companies didn't see the possibilities Messrs. Gates and Jobs saw!

    The one thing I didn't like: that goofy Jughead crown ZC wore. I was expecting Archie, Betty and Veronica to make an appearance! Geez!

    Red Ranger
     
  14. alchemist

    alchemist Captain Captain

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    You're right, but, IMHO, all of these nice moments were rendered meaningless at the end with the "Ooby Dooby" scene. What had Cochrane learned? How had he grown?
     
  15. GodThingFormerly

    GodThingFormerly A Different Kind of Asshole

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    What a disgusting comparison. Are you actually suggesting that Cochrane was in Trek-reality a dollar/coochie-obsessed hack who plagiarized his physics research for financial gain? :rolleyes:

    TGT
     
  16. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Cochrane himself pretty much admitted to that.

    Oh wait... :rolleyes:...you were being sarcastic!
     
  17. GodThingFormerly

    GodThingFormerly A Different Kind of Asshole

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    ^ It's been a very long time since I have seen ST:FC, but I don't exactly recall Cochrane admitting to plagiarism.

    TGT
     
  18. 3D Master

    3D Master Rear Admiral

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    Uh, he appreciates good music and teaches his guests about human culture shows he hasn't learned anything? He could only have shown how much he learned if he flew in a classical concert? I don't get it.
     
  19. Kryton

    Kryton Admiral Admiral

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    I'm just glad to know that after the "calamity" of WWIII, we'll revert back to vinyl records in jukeboxes. :D
     
  20. Computer

    Computer Captain Captain

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    I said he has the foundations for change. It would have been unrealistic if he became the great historical figure by the end of the movie.

    The theater i went to was packed and everone laughed when he started playing oobey doobey at the end, just about everyone that walked out the door after had smiles on their face.

    If I were in his place and had discovered I would end up a historical figure id probably be drinking and playing music too.
    Given that Commander Riker says "very few governments left" there was no protocol in place on how to deal with that situation so why not try to make them feel comfortable and show them things we like?

    Besides you cant tell me you didnt like the Oobey Doobey lead in to the Star Trek theme. lol

    It was a fun movie and as a TNG fan it made me happy to see so many non-trek fans enjoying themselves.