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Old 02-10-2020, 11:08 AM
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ST: Where No Man Has Gone Before - why was Dehner so wrong?


I rewatched this one last night.

As Gary Mitchell is changing, Dr. Dehner deliberately misreports, distorts and comes this close to outright lying to Kirk about what is happening to Mitchell.

KIRK: You mentioned that tests show you have a high degree of extrasensory perception. So do the records of the others. Gary Mitchell has the highest esper rating of all.
DEHNER: lf you're suggesting there's anything dangerous
SPOCK: Before the Valiant was destroyed, its captain was frantically searching for ESP information on his crew.
DEHNER: Espers are simply people with flashes of insight.
SPOCK: Are there not also those who seem to see through solid objects, cause fires to start spontaneously?
DEHNER: There's nothing about it that could possibly make a person dangerous.

This is from before any serious affects had been seen. Why is she so sure there is nothing dangerous? Do you think there have been proper ESP studies in the 23rd century? It is likely however that she's never heard of the events of Talos IV.

Later, after Mitchell has blanked the sickbay panel, and read Kelso's mind.

SPOCK: Have you noted evidence of unusual powers?
DEHNER: He can control certain autonomic reflexes. He reads very fast, retains more than most of us might consider usual.

"Control certain autonomic reflexes"! That's a serious understatement! She makes it sound like he can lower his heartrate like some sideshow performer.

Why is she hiding what Mitchell can do from the staff? She's withholding (what turns out to be) critical information. Does she think the senior staff is going to storm sickbay with torches and pitchforks to rid themselves of the witch?

Finally:

KIRK: Are they right, Doctor? Has he shown abilities of such magnitude?
DEHNER: I saw some such indications.
KIRK: And you didn't think it worth mentioning?
DEHNER: No one's been hurt, have they? Don't you understand? A mutated superior man could also be a wonderful thing. The forerunner of a new and better kind of human being.

Is she some fuzzy headed ivory tower academic that really can't see the risks? That she thinks her judgement is more valuable that the captain's?

By this time, maybe she's started noticing she's changing, too, and her lies of omission are just self-preservation.

Whatever the reason, she's still wrong. Even before that, she completely missed the (as it turned out) actual threat Mitchell (and ultimately, her) presented to the crew, and humanity. Of all crew, it's her job to see that risk.

KIRK: You were a psychiatrist once. You know the ugly, savage things we all keep buried, that none of us dare expose. But he'll dare. Who's to stop him? He doesn't need to care.

Why does Kirk have to be the one to point that out? I can't help but think how it would have turned out if Troi were there instead of Dehner.

Even so, is she one of those people Kirk mentioned in the forward to the ST:TMP novelization? The really smart ones that get seduced by the superior things in the universe and forget their training and their obligations and their code?
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:35 PM
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The effect only occurred with people who had higher than usual ESP to begin with. So I always assumed she'd been ostracized for her own ESP in before, and thus was in denial that it could ever be dangerous. Since she was also affected (whether she knew it consciously or not) anything she said about him would apply to her. The reveal of her eyse also changing always struck me as being intended to explain her odd behavior.

Last edited by BigT; 02-10-2020 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:01 PM
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I would just assume it was a continuing result of the Eugenics wars that some people instinctively downplay the others may be different, especially superior.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:16 PM
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I would just assume it was a continuing result of the Eugenics wars that some people instinctively downplay the others may be different, especially superior.
I love love love the ep...but its very rushed. Probably because its the second pilot and they're trying to have it move fast.

I'd also say she misreports cause she knows what the endgame here is...either kill Mitchell or be killed.
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:54 PM
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Just rewatched the Ep, some random thoughts: I see you managed to get your shirt off, at least the women had pants.


To the OP, Dehner's judgement was compromised from the moment she did the flashy thing, even if nobody knew it. While wolfman's mention of the eugenics wars is interesting, I think it's calling for more consistency than we can expect from the early TOS. Additionally, her role in this Monsters in the Id cautionary tale is to be the angel on Kirk's shoulder as opposed to Spock, giving the audience the dialogue that Kirk's having internally; as such, I don't think her profession is that important.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:27 PM
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Additionally, her role in this Monsters in the Id cautionary tale is to be the angel on Kirk's shoulder as opposed to Spock, giving the audience the dialogue that Kirk's having internally; as such, I don't think her profession is that important.
That's a good point. She fills the McCoy role.

She's still clueless, but a better kind of clueless.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:32 PM
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Just rewatched the Ep, some random thoughts: I see you managed to get your shirt off, at least the women had pants.


To the OP, Dehner's judgement was compromised from the moment she did the flashy thing, even if nobody knew it. While wolfman's mention of the eugenics wars is interesting, I think it's calling for more consistency than we can expect from the early TOS. Additionally, her role in this Monsters in the Id cautionary tale is to be the angel on Kirk's shoulder as opposed to Spock, giving the audience the dialogue that Kirk's having internally; as such, I don't think her profession is that important.
Its pretty funny how quickly Spock gets to the endgame. Yay Vulcan logic...but has anyone really tried having a heart to heart with Mitchell yet??

"Yes yes...you're becoming a God...but what do you really want?? Gary. It's Jim. What do you want?"
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:33 PM
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Is it possible Mitchell was controlling her psychically? I don't think that's even hinted at, but I always wondered.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:09 PM
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Its pretty funny how quickly Spock gets to the endgame. Yay Vulcan logic...but has anyone really tried having a heart to heart with Mitchell yet??

"Yes yes...you're becoming a God...but what do you really want?? Gary. It's Jim. What do you want?"
In defense of my OP, that's what Dehner was supposed to be doing! Evaluating his mental state.

Instead she recites steamy love poetry and makes excuses for his behavior. Is she a doctor or a hippie?
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:18 PM
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Is it possible Mitchell was controlling her psychically? I don't think that's even hinted at, but I always wondered.
I didn't think so. He' still learning his abilities. If he could, he'd control Kirk, or make Spock recite poetry, maybe.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:19 AM
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I kind of assumed she was genuinely curious about what was happening to Mitchell, even to the point of being in denial that he was becoming dangerous. By the time he displayed a willingness to kill, she was well enough into her own transformation to not mind too much, though James R. Kirk managed to argue her back to reason enough to get her to turn against Mitchell.

I like this episode better than "The Cage", but it still has some problems.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:53 PM
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Who is this James R. Kirk character of whom you write?
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:46 PM
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Who is this James R. Kirk character of whom you write?
Gary Mitchell, for all his talk if being a close personal friend to Kirk for years, didn't even know his middle name.(R? How da fuk do you get R out of Tiberius?) I guess even in the academy, Mitchell thought he was cooler than everyone else. And cool people don't care about stuff like that.

I guess when you're a god, no one is going to tell you you're wrong, because then you'll give 'em the lightning.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
Gary Mitchell, for all his talk if being a close personal friend to Kirk for years, didn't even know his middle name.(R? How da fuk do you get R out of Tiberius?) I guess even in the academy, Mitchell thought he was cooler than everyone else. And cool people don't care about stuff like that.

I guess when you're a god, no one is going to tell you you're wrong, because then you'll give 'em the lightning.
One ST novel puts this episode into a slightly alternate universe from the rest of the series, explaining the R.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
Gary Mitchell, for all his talk if being a close personal friend to Kirk for years, didn't even know his middle name.(R? How da fuk do you get R out of Tiberius?) I guess even in the academy, Mitchell thought he was cooler than everyone else. And cool people don't care about stuff like that.

I guess when you're a god, no one is going to tell you you're wrong, because then you'll give 'em the lightning.
Thinking about this ep brings to mind a Q I had about the end of DISCO S2....and now I see its a common trope....plothole...thing..

Gary...do you have NO FAMILY? No love of your life? You're just going to embrace this Godhood without a single thought to people you're very close to?

Ok...yeah, there are people who have no connections, granted. And yeah becoming a God would probably preclude you giving a shit about your GF on Starbase 3.

But its still a trope. Maybe we should call the trope "Private Ryaning."

Thats a really intense example. Not only is he saying **** you to his biological family...he's rendering the deaths of the guys who fought to reach him irrelevant.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
Gary Mitchell, for all his talk if being a close personal friend to Kirk for years, didn't even know his middle name.(R? How da fuk do you get R out of Tiberius?) I guess even in the academy, Mitchell thought he was cooler than everyone else. And cool people don't care about stuff like that.

I guess when you're a god, no one is going to tell you you're wrong, because then you'll give 'em the lightning.
I don't know the middle name of my best friend now that i think about it...but i'm a sociopath.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:09 PM
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One ST novel puts this episode into a slightly alternate universe from the rest of the series, explaining the R.
I would write a novel where a group of people with high-ESPer ratings find a ship and fly through the galactic barrier. Each one hopes they will become advanced and not die in the process.

I'm not sure what would happen, but I think it would be an interesting premise.

Unless the barrier was reprogrammed in the years since. I mean, the Enterprise went through it on the way to Andromeda, and no one got super powers.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:14 PM
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Gary...do you have NO FAMILY? No love of your life? You're just going to embrace this Godhood without a single thought to people you're very close to?

Ok...yeah, there are people who have no connections, granted. And yeah becoming a God would probably preclude you giving a shit about your GF on Starbase 3.
Relevant scene from Bruce Almighty:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utEG2xp2fHU

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Old 02-11-2020, 04:42 PM
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I would write a novel where a group of people with high-ESPer ratings find a ship and fly through the galactic barrier. Each one hopes they will become advanced and not die in the process.

I'm not sure what would happen, but I think it would be an interesting premise.

Unless the barrier was reprogrammed in the years since. I mean, the Enterprise went through it on the way to Andromeda, and no one got super powers.
That is in fact my head canon for how the Q Continuum was created
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:14 PM
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That is in fact my head canon for how the Q Continuum was created
Interesting!

"Whatever it is, contact in 12 seconds."

Is the barrier artificial? If so, who put it there, and why? If it is natural, do other galaxies have it? (it seems Andromeda does not, or the Kelvins wouldn't have been surprised by ours.)

And does it go all around? And does it go top to bottom, or only within 10 degrees of the galactic plane? (two-dimensional thinking strikes again...)
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:43 PM
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That is in fact my head canon for how the Q Continuum was created
In a non-canon book series about the Q, the barrier is Q related. It's not their formation, however. IN Q-Squared, we find out that it is

SPOILER:
Q himself--the one we know, after Trelane disincorporated him. He was trying to reincorporate, and piggybacked on existing people. He didn't have his memory in that state, so he was more like a new being trying different things.

Last edited by Chronos; 02-11-2020 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Fixed tag
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:52 PM
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In the non-canon book series about Q, the barrier is

SPOILER:
there to keep a superpowerful being named 0 from escaping and wreaking havoc on the galaxy.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:18 PM
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In a non-canon book series about the Q, the barrier is Q related. It's not their formation, however. IN Q-Squared, we find out that it is

SPOILER:
Q himself--the one we know, after Trelane disincorporated him. He was trying to reincorporate, and piggybacked on existing people. He didn't have his memory in that state, so he was more like a new being trying different things.
That's the book I was thinking of, above.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:54 PM
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I didn't think so. He' still learning his abilities. If he could, he'd control Kirk, or make Spock recite poetry, maybe.
Like this?

Take care, young ladies, and value your wine
Be watchful of young men in their velvet prime
Deeply they'll swallow from your finest kegs
Then swiftly be gone, leaving bitter dregs
Ahh-ah-ah-ah, bitter dregs
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:51 AM
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Like this?

Take care, young ladies, and value your wine
Be watchful of young men in their velvet prime
Deeply they'll swallow from your finest kegs
Then swiftly be gone, leaving bitter dregs
Ahh-ah-ah-ah, bitter dregs
Yours would work, but I was thinking more:

SPOCK: Yes, sir. There's a Tyger, tyger, burning bright in the forest of the night.

SPOCK: Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered, weak and weary.


Very nice, Mr Ears.
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