Nitpicking Star Trek for fun [edited title]

Having watched the 2009 Star Trek Movie on DVD recently I decided to watch a few episodes of the original series again. I was never a person to dress up in a Starfeleet uniform for a convention but I’ve been a fan of the show since I was 10 or so.

I’m almost tempted to go through my garage and find my old Nitpicker’s Guide in one of my footlockers. Because while I’m enjoying it, I can’t help but notice the things that just don’t seem to make sense.

In the Episode "Balance of Terror" Stiles accuses Spock of being a romulan spy (for no other reason than that romulans look like vulcans…keep in mind this is the irst time in ST canon that humans have seen a romulan). Kirk reprimands him on the bridge for it. Later in the show when Stiles is helping man the phaser control room Spock asks if he needs assistance. Stiles replies with something that basically says “We don’t need YOUR help, vulcan!”. Uh…but wait…isn’t Spock this guy’s superior officer? Why doesn’t Spock react? If my superior officer asked me that question the only answers would be “Yes Sir” or “No Sir”.

Geez, grow a pair, Spock!

In one of my favorite episodes from my youth (when I never questioned anything on the screen, really) was Shore Leave. The landing party is on a planet where anything they think of comes true. McCoy thinks of Alice in Wonderland and a few minute laters a huge white rabbit being chased by a little girl, etc. Problem is when you think of things that can kill you they come true also.

Realizing the danger, Kirk goes looking for Sulu. This was only to get Kirk alone plot wise. It happens before the mysterious power drain makes their communicators useless. So I 'm wondering "Why doesn’t he just call Sulu and tell him to return to the rally point? In the same episode when Kirk and Spock realize whats going on they decide to return to the rest of the party lickity split. Hey why not imagine a pair of hoverbikes or a hell, a shuttlecraft, so they can return quickly?

For that matter why not dream up some working weapons so they can defend themselves. (which is possible, since Kirk used Sulus dreamt up revolver when they discovered their phasers were useless).

…and while it would ruin the tension in the episode "The Galileo Seven", why doesn’t Kirk just go to the rendezvous point with the much needed medicine, wait for 2 days until the cargo ship arrives and takes them and the annoying commissioner off off his hands and then return to the Quasar so they can study it. Kirk, its a freaking Quasar…its probably been there for a few millions years…it’ll be there in five days still. You may have standing orders to investigate all quasars and quasar like objects in space, but wouldn’t transporting drugs to cure a planetary plague TRUMP those orders? If not, then Star Fleet has their rules written by a bunch of gibbering idiots. Well, I thought that anyway from things I saw in ST:TNG and shows afterwards, but in Kirk’s time I thought they had a bit more sense.

I never quite understood how transporting people back into their past selves fixed the timeline in that one time travel episode. If anything, it should’ve just killed both versions of the people. At worst, it should’ve caused that whole universe ending paradox of two versions of the same person at the same place theory.

Turn that around. Why delay the study when the ship’s got a bunch of shuttlecraft on board, and a number of crewmen who can do a preliminary study with some handheld tricorders?

Without the foreknowledge that there’ll be a freak accident, and the Galileo lost, there’s no reason NOT to send them on a three hour tour of the system, while the Enterprise goes and finishes its main mission.

Galileo Seven has plenty of opportunities to rip the episode to shreds (AV Club does a good job) - starting with the fact that Kirk’s first plan is to have the Enterprise stop - but sending out the Galileo is one of the non-problems.

I respectfully disagree. But then, I usually find myself disagreeing with the decisions of Star Fleet captains. :slight_smile:

In my thinking the conversation that happened when they discovered the quasar would go like this:

Spock: Captain, we have standing orders to investigate all quasar and quasar like phenomenon. We should launch a shuttle and…
The Commisioner: I disagree, Commander Spock…we must make our rendezvous in order to avert a disaster. Time is of the essence!
Kirk: He’s right, Spock. Our first duty is to prevent a plague. That quasar has been there for a million years. It will still be…
Spock: But Captain, the scientific knowle
Kirk: Spock, we can always come back. Direct all scanners on the quasar as we pass it. Log its coordinates. Once we have off loaded the medicine we’ll return here and conduct a proper survey. We’ll have more time to do so then. Uhura, inform command of the location of the quasar, Mr. Sulu once we clear the area of the quasar increase speed to Warp 4.
**Spock: **Very well, Captain.
**Sulu: **Aye sir, Warp 4.
Commisioner: You’ve made a wise decision, Kirk. I’ll be sure to note in my report to the federation.

I’ll have to check out the AV club link. I like watching Trek, but I find it hard not to nitpick it. I blame Phil Farrand. :wink:

Spock: You two are idiots. Launching a shuttlecraft won’t slow the Enterprise down at all. You’ll still be at New Paris before breakfast, and we won’t have wasted 2 days that our science department could have been working. But, hey, if you think that having a full compliment of shuttlecraft, and 7 superfluous crewmen* will save lives, who am I to argue with such a master of logic?

  • We’ll ignore the fact that the actual episode involved sending the CMO and Chief Engineer. That was pointless.

Kirk: “I disagree, Spock. We can also just launch a probe. Since we know little of this quasar I’d rather we had the full resources of the Enterprise to investigate it. If we run into any unforeseen difficulties it could interfere with our timetable. We cannot be certain that a shuttlecraft can operate efficiently in the quasar. Speaking of time, that quasar has been here for a million years and it will be here in 6 more days. We aren’t going to learn anything so important from the quasar that we can’t wait that long Spock. You realize of course, calling your commander an idiot on the bridge no less, is not only illogical, but disrespect to a senior officer?”*

*Geez, you know we’ve both identified ourselves as Trek geeks by having this discussion, Tengu. :slight_smile:

You are not “nitpicking” if you are simply second-guessing command decisions, or attempting to substitute your own thought process for the one used. To nitpick successfully, you have to point out that the decision made was totally beyond possible belief, completely illogical, or unable to result in the plotline as developed. As the previous colloquy has demonstrated.

Try again. When come back, bring pie.

The idea that Starfleet would consider mini-skirts, go-go boots & beehive hairdos as acceptable (and apparently required) uniforms for female personnel engaged in space exploration.

Sexist sixties had just come back in style, that’s all!

ETA: Actually, I’d buy that if sexism was such an outdated concept that nobody really cared anymore. Unfortunately, though, the style reflected the attitudes.

Yeah, sorry to offend you with that. Because I could make the argument that its illogical for Kirk to have sent the shuttle as I think I have already. But if we were to argue about that I think it would probably be “nitpicking”.

Especially since in the pilot shows “The Cage” and “Where No Man has Gone Before”, female personnel wore the same shirts and trousers as men. Isn’t there a fanwank/semi-canon notion that sometime in the future women’s social roles underwent a regression that was just loosening in the time of TOS? In The Turnabout Intruder, Janice Lester claimed that Starfleet had a “glass ceiling” where in practice women never became Captains (although that might have been just her rationalization).

It might be a fanwank, but I’ve never encountered any kind of notion that women’s roles did anything but improve. The sexism of the original show is simply an artifact of the time it was produced, and I’ve never heard any kind of official or semi-official handwave to explain it.

Hey, you give me a pair of tights or leggings to go with that, I’d wear it on duty (OK, not the beehives/Yeoman Rand waffle weave). Better than those too short shirts that keep riding up on Kirk.

Either it would be undignified for a Vulcan to shout, “DROP DOWN AND GIVE ME FIFTY!” or Spock doesn’t want to deal with human illogic.

The guy pissed Kirk off, he wanted to fuck with him.

Your others are pretty good. Call it poetic license. :slight_smile:

So, do you go to conventions? :slight_smile:

Oddly enough, I’ve read that the skirts were actually suggested by Nichelle Nichols.

Which would make sense, given that forty-five years ago the hotness scale officially ran from nought to Nichols. Rowr!

Wouldn’t it be illogical for Spock, the first officer, to let such disrespect his rank go without enforcing his authority? He doesn’t have to yell or demand push ups, he could just say “I am your superior officer. You will not address me with such disrespect or disciplinary action will be taken.”

Of course the real reason is to create tension and to give Kirk his chance to chew the guy out about prejudice. It also sets up Spock as the hero when he saves the mans life at the end.

But compare Spock to Riker in TNG…Riker has on occassion chewed out subordinates when they get out of line. Even though he considers Worf a friend he has shouted at him from time to time when Worf becomes close to losing to his temper. He downright threatened Cmdr. Shelby when they fought the borg.

But then Riker is human. The alien among us role went to Data in TNG.

Kirk doesn’t seem like he is petty enough to do that. Besides, you’d think he’d want the prick off of his ship ASAP.

In Journey to Babel, Kirk orders “alert status 4”. Never heard of again… it was always Red Alert or Yellow Alert etc.*

*Now I know where Homeland Security got their warning levels from!

They have used General Quarters Condition 3, GQ3 in Man Trap. They showed a pair of security personal at the end of a corridor in sight of another two at the opposite end as in securing the deck. I loved these little touches they had in early episodes the later season lacked.