Your impressions of Zephram Cochrane...the drunk?

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

  1. alchemist

    alchemist Captain Captain

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    When we first see Cochrane in FC, he's drinking and trying to get into Troi's jumpsuit. He is acting irreverant. At the end of the movie, with the Vulcans, he is drinking and trying to get them to dance - again acting irreverant. It's not that I mind him acting irreverant, it's just that his character hasn't changed as a result of his adventures in the movie. As I said earlier, compare Cochrane to Kirk in STII. At the beginning of the movie Kirk is running away from aging and at the end he is quite comfortable with it. Good character development and good writing. Another example is from the origin, Metamorphosis. Compare the feelings of the original Cochrane at the beginning and ending of the episode: he grew to accept the companion.

    What has Cochrane learned in FC? How has he grown? The movie is on the right track until the end. Dramatically, for example, it would have made better sense for Cochrane to enter the "bar" with the Vulcans and pull the plug on a blaring Jukebox. That would have demonstrated a change in his thinking.

    And I don't buy the argument that it was only a two hour movie. Characters should grow and learn over the course of the drama. Period.

    My two quatloos.
     
  2. Kryton

    Kryton Admiral Admiral

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    Frankly, instead of the "you're all astronauts on some kind of star trek" line, I think I'd have preferred a line with Troi fighting off his advances.

    Something along the lines of "That'll, DO, pig. That'll DO!"
     
  3. 3D Master

    3D Master Rear Admiral

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    He is not acting irreverant at all at the end. Trying to get them to dance is not irreverant, it's trying to show the visitors something about humans. The drinking earlier in the movie is getting himself drunk beyond reason, mostly because he thought his experiment was screwed and thus he'd be stuck being poor in a nuclear wasteland for the rest of his life. At the end he was having a drink, in a celebration with some non-human visitors and a lot of humans.

    That's ridiculous. How does suddenly stop enjoying good music demonstrate a change in his thinking? He was thinking very differently already, for anyone with their eyes open. He doesn't suddenly have be a bloody monk to demonstrate that.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :guffaw: :guffaw: :guffaw:

    Indeed, Cochrane's love of life (as demonstrated by his boozing and listening to loud music and dancing) is the one thing he and the entire mankind has to offer to these stuffy aliens. It's very different from his earlier self-destructive brooding (as demonstrated by his boozing and listening to loud music and dancing)...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps another of his eccentricities is to only listen to Rock and Roll on the original media?
     
  6. alchemist

    alchemist Captain Captain

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    I'm sorry, but trying to get someone to dance who does not appear to be interested in dancing is acting irreverant. And I don't see how you can differentiate between his drinking habits at the beginning and ending of the movie based on what was shown on the screen.


    I only used "pulling the plug" as an example. There are other ways he could have demonstrated growth. However, in context of his first contact with the Vulcans, pulling the plug would have been symbolic of his wanting to have a conversation with them as opposed to listening to his music.

    To be clear, I do think he was thinking differently when he looked at the earth and remarked "It's so small." But the writers muddied the change at the end. Or alternately, they didn't lay any foundation for us to understand why he would not have changed.
     
  7. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral In Memoriam

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    There you go again, TGT. The short answer is, "Yes!"

    The more nuanced response to your rant -- indignation over "maligning" a fictional character is rather silly :rolleyes: -- is yes, I am comparing FC Cochrane to Gates and Jobs. Cochrane definitely says in the movie -- and you did admit you hadn't seen it in awhile -- that the reason he was working on warp drive was "money," direct quote.

    Note that I also said, "flawed geniuses throughout history." I wasn't just thinking of Gates and Jobs, but also Thomas Edison.

    I have no idea whether or not Cochrane plagiarized physics research. I don't recall if he admits to that when he rebuts Riker, et al., on their impressions of him as a visionary.

    I also have no idea if the writers of the screenplay had in mind Gates or Jobs when they "reinvented" Cochrane, but read "Pirates of Silicon Valley," and you'll see some similarities.

    So chill, dude! Geez!

    Red Ranger
     
  8. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

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    That was an MP3 jukebox, most likely; there's no way mankind would have gone back to vinyl. Hell, we aren't going back to vinyl now.
     
  9. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Not entirely true. Vinyl sales are trending up among connosieurs (sp.?) and poseurs and one can buy a decent turntable easily.

    Still, that jukebox probably played thiose silly green crystal disks like the one that played "Magic Carpet Ride" on the Phoenix.
     
  10. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked the portrayel of Cochrane in First Contact. He was about 1000 times more interesting than he was in TOS. The one thing I didn't like was him yelling in fear like an idiot when the ship went to warp drive. I thought that made him look bad.
     
  11. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral In Memoriam

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    Hey, what's so bad about silly green crystal disks? I like silly green crystal disks and can't wait till someone invents them as the next musical medium! :lol:
     
  12. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

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    And only among that group. Nobody else. Most people have MP3 players and CD players, and still buy CD's (I know that I do)to play on said devices. Most of the connosieurs only collect them to use for their DJ work (electronica related) and that's it, mostly.

    In Cochrane's future, it's likely that both MP3's and that thing that Cochrane used on board the Phoenix are what's used for music and other kinds of information-a 300 GB disc that can hold everything. And I'll bet that the jukebox is an MP3 player that Cochrane downloads songs to (mostly Roy Orbison & Steppenwolf).
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe with all of the EMPs during WW III, the music that readily survived was vinyl records?
     
  14. 3D Master

    3D Master Rear Admiral

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    Exactly, and with the nuclear holocaust bombing nearly everything out of existence, I doubt there'd be much of an internet left to download anything from. 3 decades later it'd probably be restored, but in that bombed out wasteland during the 2060s, don't think so.
     
  15. presence

    presence Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Ok, so I'll say it. Cochrane in First Contact was not only a drunk, but juvenile. He was interesting as a character, but as a scientist who made the breakthrough into warp technology -- he was not believable. It would have been a breakthrough for this guy to find his breakfast. Are people flawed, yes, and this guy was way past flawed.
     
  16. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    FC took place over the course of what...24 hours, maybe less? Cochrane underwent a change ( actually he started to change) when he saw how small Earth was from space. Is hesuddenly supposed to transform his entire personality in a few hours? Of course not. It would take months or years...no one changes overnight.
     
  17. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Gotta disagree here. Braga and Moore were even rewritten by an uncredited outsider (the guy who wrote RUSH HOUR, Ross Somethingorother, who I'm guessing upped the action/PicardSuperHero stuff) ...

    Berman had his hand in every aspect all the way through (which might be one reason why ILM was in no hurry to do another trek, since Berman and Lauritson kept wanting more iterations of every shot (making ILM paint out most clouds on the 21st century earth scenes for one, which makes earth look like a toy globe instead of a planet), which kept ILM from focusing more time on the important shots. In fact, the approved e-e exterior was months late in coming from Berman and co, which impacted the vfx in a bad way as well.
     
  18. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    First I've ever heard that.
     
  19. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I mentioned this in a few threads years back, when I first came across an interview with the guy in a magazine (creative screenwriting, I think, or script) ... the detail was just a throwaway, without a lot of info, but considering that the guy was more in demand for RUSH HOUR, it seemed unlikely that the FC mention was malarkey.
     
  20. GMDreia

    GMDreia Commander Red Shirt

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    To my mind? Of course he was believable! The problem here was, not enough background was shown on the character. Cochrane struck me as bitter and broken, not juvenile.

    Here is how I see the arc of Cochrane's character, as presented in canonical sources:

    1. I infer that something happened to Cochrane to make him the way he was in FC. Maybe a bitter divorce (does it to the best of men) or death of a wife and/or child. Maybe someone tried to screw him over. He becomes disillusioned as a scientist and decides to just go after the money. Again, can happen to the best of people, particularly when someone screwed them over once... idealism is hard to hold onto.

    2. Period as Cochrane the Drunk.

    3. Cochrane's ship gets launched.

    4. Cochrane goes to Alpha Centauri and then to that world where he meets the Companion.

    5. Cochrane is redeemed.

    See, I can see a believable character arc... and possibly hints of a beautiful story.