Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 081 Green-blooded Hobgoblin

McCoy requests "Permission to speak freely sir?" and Spock sensibly replies "I welcome it."

"Do you?  OK then, are you out of your Vulcan mind? Are you making the logical choice sending Kirk away?  Probably..."  Ludicrous!  Under what possible conditions could disorderly conduct justify diverting an entire ship and crew from rescuing many billions of lives and entire planets for the purpose of stranding the ship's 2nd officer in a hostile environment because of disorderly conduct infraction?  The disorderly conduct even occurred after direct physical provocation by guards grabbing Kirk and jostling him in a badly written, unresearched plot device, all of which Bones watched from a position closer than a front row seat.

The only context within which McCoy's statement makes sense is that the good doctor somehow KNEW Kirk's marooning on Delta Vega would have a future benefit, like meeting Spock prime, Scotty, and ultimately saving the universe.  Apparently, any action is sensible when "destiny" is on your side.

McCoy continues"...but the right one?  You know, back home we got a saying: if you're going to ride in the Kentucky Derby, you don't leave your prize stallion in the stable."

"A curious metaphor doctor, as a stallion must first be broken before it can reach its full potential."

"My god man, you could at least act like it was a hard decision."

"I intend to assist in the effort to reestablish communication with Starfleet, however if crew morale is better served by my roaming the halls weeping, I will gladly defer to your medical expertise."  Here, Spock is actually LYING for sarcastic effect, highly un-Vulcanlike behavior.  He certainly would not defer his command judgment on how best to save countless billions based on Bones medical assessment for serving ship morale, to say nothing of doing so with an emotion of "gladness".  These characters are not written with any veneer of believability overall.

 
Sarek enters the Bridge with a male redshirt, which Spock notices and says to Bones: "If you will excuse me..." and steps away.

As Spock, with uncharacteristic friendliness half-pats his father on the shoulder, McCoy turns away and grumbles sotto-voce: "Green-blooded hobgoblin..."

 
We now cut to a long shot of Kirk and Spock Prime trekking yet again through a blinding blizzard, (see the microscopic dots above).  You know, the weather on Delta Vega seems awfully convenient: whenever there's some trekking involved, fog and blizzards occur every time with just enough breaks gaps in the precipitation and clouds for the camera's line of sight to the heroes.  

 
On the other hand, just at the moment when Vulcan was being destroyed the snow stopped, the clouds disappeared, and the atmosphere provided hundreds of times of more magnification and better resolution of Spock's home world than the orbiting Hubble or Spitzer Space Telescopes ever could on their best day.

 
In a medium long shot, we see the pair crest a hill and look down on the Federation outpost with its impressive arrays of antennae suitable for detecting lightning storms in space, humongous Romulan mining ships passing nearby, communications disrupting drilling operations, fleets of nearby starships being destroyed in violent battles, imploding planets, large spacecraft in orbit, and Federation beacons hailing the outpost on emergency frequencies from within walking distance.  Nope. 

Even though this station is manned by a transporter expert with it seems, advanced equipment for transporter research, neither member of the two person team stationed here is aware of anything going on outside their window, like Romulan Empire type transporter beams locking onto what is basically their front door.

Other than as background furniture for the Enterprise Bridge, no women speak or appear in this segment.

We meet a Starfleet munchkin with crab eye-stalks inside the outpost in our next installment of Star Trek by the Minute 082: Outpost Ingress

6 comments:

muser said...

I'm going to stop pointing out the broken missing links now... personally I HATE it when a link on my site or blog is f'ed up and appreciate it being pointed out to me so that I can fix it, but now I'm finding my own pointing out of them to be tiresome to myself so it must be even more so to you.

BurntSynapse said...

I don't know if you are tracking replies, but I knew you were going to hit the posts where I stopped linking, thinking no one would probably read through the whole thing.

Someday I may go back and add screenshots to the early posts as well.

muser said...

Maybe I'm the only one who has read through the whole thing, although I doubt it. We Trek fans (I refuse to call myself a "Trekker") are a pretty fanatical and obsessive-compulsive group. I wish I knew how to track replies. In order to extend you the courtesy of replying to your replies, I am having to search minute by minute. I do appreciate the fact that you took the time to read and reply to my comments so it's worth the effort.

BurntSynapse said...

I know there's a way to track posts by "Follow this Blog", but haven't investigated comment tracking.

AdamRMonteith said...

Re: the logic of Spock and McCoy -- To be fair, a captivating discussion of logic vs. "rightness" is only indirectly the point of this scene. The direct point of it is to have a 1970s Spock vs. McCoy argument about anything. When McCoy made a snide comment about Spock's green blood in one of his first scenes on Star Trek and Spock replied that he was "frankly... delighted," or when McCoy commented that tribbles were soft and made a pleasant sound and Spock retorted "So would an ermine violin," people didn't quibble about whether Spock was really acting as emotionless as he claimed to be. Mostly, we just laughed.

BurntSynapse said...

Hi Adam,

I agree with your appraisal that the logic v. correctness discussion was not the point, and also agree that the goal was to set up each character's punchline. Further, I enjoyed much of the McCoy-Spock interactions from TOS like your great example: the ermine violin. It differs from this scene's dialog in that it was genuinely funny, and as you pointed out, really made us laugh.

The 2 main reasons that this scene don't work as well for me are: First - because of the setup situation is not plausible nor is McCoy's appraisal of stranding an officer (however unqualified), nor of Kirk as a "prize stallion". The second reason is that the punchlines are not, well...funny, especially when McCoy's comment isn't merely mocking Spock's ears (Devil in the Dark), or green blood (TWOK, TAS-Pirates of Orion, TOS-Obsession, et al). Here, he adds "hob-goblin" that just seems add an extra touch - not of humor we might expect among comrades after the crisis has been successfully dealt with (TOS), but of racism between near-strangers when billions of lives are in jeopardy. This undercurrent of racism against those not "chosen by destiny" seems to run throughout the film.

As stated before, I don't think the consistent denigration and butchering of Vulcan's culture of peace, understanding and logic itself is an accident, especially given Abrams repeated, public statements that he never was a fan of any of the Treks.

Neither the interaction on the Bridge in this scene, nor McCoy's prior claim to "like" Spock appear supported by anything other than the lack of direct, face to face insults. Thus, these jibes do not take place within a relationship of trust and respect.

I agree 100% with your assessment of the main point of the scene - and the target toward which they were aiming, but their lack of interest in writing good, believable characters, plot, nor dialog, to say nothing of even considering a moral component of the film makes this scene another blatant, saccharine imitation of some of the TOS & TNG greatest strengths, IMO.

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