STbtM 034: Distress Call from Vulcan
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Spock claims that maintaining personal and command control "…is a quality expected in every Starfleet Captain." While arguably true, Kirk's performance during three tests, convincing his mock crew to appear, convincing his test administrators and even Spock himself to show up repeatedly for the simulation suggests that Kirk maintains control and persistence. With all this evidence right in front of him, Spock appears unable to see any of it – and for no good reason. Pride would be a good motivator, but that would require some explanation since this is an emotion that vulcans like Spock are trained to manage so that it serves their judgment, not the other way around.
In response to this pitiful excuse of a criticism, Kirk hangs his head and melodramatic strings swell in the background, as Kirk is suffering over the haunting memories of his lost father…which he really doesn't have, since he never met the man… But never mind, because the film is best enjoyed if the fore does not interfere with the hind brain.
An aide walks in and delivers a pad to the Admiral Barnett, (leading the inquest) who announces "We've received a distress call from Vulcan. With our primary fleet engaged in the Lorenzian (sp?) System, I hereby order all cadets to report to hanger one, immediately. Dismissed." In this timeline, the Federation may be involved in the Erselrope Wars, a series of conflicts that occurred prior to 2364. Much about these wars is unknown in the prime timeline. In TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom", it is established that the planet Minos became rich and famous weapons suppliers to both sides of the Erselrope Wars, sort of like the U.S. is today.
As the auditorium clears, McCoy walks up to Kirk who appears still weakened from the traumatic mention of his father being killed in action, and Kirk sensibly asks him, "Who was that pointy-eared bastard?" McCoy answers "I don't know, but I like him." This reply makes sense if we have some certainty that Kirk will be cleared by the inquest committee, but since McCoy later emphasizes how dicey the outcome actually is, voicing that he likes Spock is close to being disloyal - particularly when Spock's discussion was so irrational. It seems clear the line is an attempt to establish the underlying affection between McCoy and Spock, but it is completely inappropriate for the situation, and McCoy's already-established relationship with Kirk.
The film cuts to the hanger, where cadets are marching single file into the hanger at evenly space intervals, which looks so unnatural, the obviously choreographed Riverside shipyard scene (STbtM 025) seems far less stiff. The crane-cam zooms into a rank & file collection of cadets as we hear the male Commander announce ship assignments to vessels like the Philpott, Farragut, Enterprise, and the Hood. He finishes, and then blesses the cadets with a quick "Godspeed." Apparently, Starfleet is also a religious organization.
If an officer under my command was invoking the blessings of his invisible friend who has supernatural magic powers, a detailed counselling session with individual apologies to the cadets with a reality-based worldview is the least that would happen! Kirk looks to McCoy and says: "He didn't call my name… Commander! Sir, you didn't call my name: Kirk, James T?"
Of the 5 speaking roles in this segment, none are women.