Star Trek by the Minute 055: Olsen is Gone

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Olsen Redshirt continues his dive to the last possible moment and throws out his chute, but botches the landing, and gets dragged by his chute into the beam from the Romulan drill. His body melts away in the beam like butter, although there is no hint of the explosives he was supposed to be carrying. You would think that if he had enough high-explosives to "destroy" a mining drill, (which we would expect to be tough), there should be something that happens when vaporized in an energy beam…

Kirk lands on the platform with difficulty, showing off a very cool chute retraction button that sucks the rig back into a nice, neat hexagon. On the Enterprise Bridge, Chekov reports the successful landing to Spock, watching the viewscreen…not assigning and managing damage-control teams…not getting any casualty reports, not scanning the enemy ship for potentially planet saving information, not working on strategies for disabling or destroying the Narada, if necessary…not contacting Vulcan. After all, they could be using running lights, emitters, deflector vibrations, even a cardboard and marker would be visible to ship and surface sensors on Vulcan. Nope! Spock just stares at the screen doing nothing...

Spock's incompetent and reckless neglect for everyone's safety probably constitutes "dereliction of duty". In U.S. military law, this is defined as willful failure to perform one's expected duties. Since ineptitude is a defense against the charge Spock could beat the rap in court, if he got much better than his last "debate" at the Academy, or was represented by a merely semi-incompetent hack. At least Spock's neglect is better than what Kirk does next: taking off his helmet! Yes, he pulls the helmet and its supply hose from his harness and sets it down on the platform. As the most vital body armor you can have, only the untrained or foolish would to abandon it in a combat situation. We've already been told by Pike this is going to be a hand-to-hand fight. Apparently, Pike knows in advance that the weapons everyone would ordinarily use in combat to avoid the risks of H2H fighting, like ranged weapons, phasers, grenades, etc. will be "accidentally" dropped or otherwise unavailable - and another barfight scene, (which Roddenberry hated), will be coming up soon.

Kirk is helping any opponents injure or kill him, recognized in combat for ages, and even in sports today. This is why hockey players are not allowed to remove their helmets in fights: they can easily die by falling onto the ice and hitting their heads. After taking off his skull protection, Kirk sees a Romulan slowly start climbing from a hatch across the platform. It's a good thing Kirk didn't bring a phaser, otherwise he might just whip it out and stun or kill his enemy. We couldn't have a fistfight that way. Similarly, the Romulan doesn't use his big gun to simply snipe Kirk from cover and get back to drinking ale and reading Miner's Monthly. Instead he slowly creeps out so Kirk has time to run over and start grappling with him over the Romulan disruptor in a scene from a bad western. Ugh! In a minor continuity error, Kirk is shown getting rid of his helmet again, this time, by flinging it away by its hose as he starts his Han Solo stormtrooper sprint/yell combination toward the bad guy - except he takes out no weapon.

No women appear or speak in this segment.

Next on Star Trek by the Minute, episode 056: Sulu's Switchblade!


Anonymous said…
"another barfight scene, (which Roddenberry hated" - How the hell do you know what Roddenberry hated? What, you never saw "The Trouble with Tribbles"? There's a bar fight scene in that episode. Quick, some call David Gerrold - tell him that Roddenberry hated bar scenes. LOL!
BurntSynapse said…
Granted, I'm taking Roddenberry at his word when he was writing and speaking about TOS much later. He claimed that the common wisdom was "Westerns Sell", and barfights and gun fights had to be a part of any Western. He claimed the only way he was able to get approval for TOS was to finally market it as "Wagon Train to the Stars".

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