STbtM 039: Stalled Flagship
Previous: NCC-1701 Ready to Launch
Pike turns and walks the Bridge perimeter addressing the crew with "Ladies and gentlemen, the maiden voyage of our newest flagship deserves more pomp and circumstance than we can afford today. Her christening will just have to be our reward for a safe return." Here the dialog continues to reinforce another problem with the plot: that not just a bunch of starships, but the actual brand spanking new flagship has been completed over the course of many years with no seasoned experienced crew standing by, ready to deploy with her? Aside from Pike, the only crew members we know are either teachers from the academy, recent graduates, or students.
Starfleet would have to be pretty incompetent for such a situation to arise, especially given the constraints imposed by the Lorenzian Cluster operations described by the Admiral. No competent project manager would neglect personnel like this for a Carnival Lines fun cruise, yet here, the most serious organization for space exploration around seems to be under the command of Isaac Washington and Julie McCoy. If we were really desperate to make apologies for this script, we could retcon some of the more ridiculous coincidences, but I think that account has been overdrawn sufficiently.
"Carry on," Pike orders, before flopping into the big chair punching a key to squawk ship-wide, "All decks: this is the Captain. Prepare for immediate departure." He looks forward and orders "Helm: thrusters." The helmsman reports "Moorings retracted, Captain; Dock control reports ready; Thrusters fired; Separating from spacedock." These ship command sequences are a blast, it would be nice if some real operational and decision management work were done for optimizing starship procedures.
In the external shot that follows, we see the Enterprise banking away from the starbase with some unknown class of starship in the background, I couldn't identify it. Does anyone know what that was? The helm continues: "The fleet's cleared spacedock, Captain. All ships ready for warp." Pike orders: "Set course for Vulcan." "Aye-aye Captain; Course laid in." "Maximum warp – punch it." OK, that's a problem. What is maximum, and how much risk should the crew take in order to maintain ship speed at "maximum"? Fortunately, this question is moot as the chrome boat throttles that Sulu presses forward seem to warp all the other ships in "the fleet" but the Enterprise.
Back on the Bridge, we hear the whine of acceleration sputter out, and Capt. Pike asks "Lieutenant, where is helmsman McKenna?" The response is in what honestly sounds to me an exaggerated gay accent that I cannot help but think is a poke at George Takai: "He has lungworm, sir. He couldn't report to his post." The voiceover while he is turned away does not seem to match the dialogue when he turns back to face the captain, which we will see in our next episode, STbtM 040: Engines at Maximum Warp
Only men speak in this segment.