Monday, March 15, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 089: Engineering Run

Spock orders “Bring up the video,” which Chekov does, but for some reason the screen displays

“OVERRIDE VISUAL.”  One would expect that displaying video would be a normal function of a video display wouldn’t we?  Why would playback require any kind of warning, especially when previous playback did not?  Simply displaying the video on the Bridge is shown as more cumbersome than opening valves that could flood Engineering or replaying fleet communications from a terminal in medical, but perhaps we can stipulate this was because Chekov’s panel feed was being sent to the main screen.

Without even looking down, Spock leans over a control panel located offscreen, hits a com button and calls “Security, seal the Engineering deck. We have intruders in Turbine Section 3. Set phasers to stun.”

We cut to one of my favorite examples of poorly-thought out components of the film: wasted space.  The interior of most ships in nuTrek appear incredibly wasteful.  It has been said that the Enterprise Engineering looks more like a dated brewery than a futuristic engine room, but I think that’s unfair since it clearly is more like a dated refinery as we can see above.  Kirk and Scotty dash around for no reason I can determine.  Why the sudden rush?  Prior to arriving, they were just sort of hanging out and kicking back with some ale on Delta Vega; Don’t they think Spock will want to talk to them immediately when they run into someone?

“Come with me…Cupcake!” says the goateed redshirt security grunt from the bar fight scene.

We cut to the bridge where “the intruders” are brought, for some reason.  It may seem like a little thing but on my vessel, the command and control brain of the ship is not the first place I would take unauthorized, unidentified potential enemies when the Federation was under attack.
Spock asks Scotty “Who are you?”

“I’m with him” another non-sequitur, perhaps for humorous effect?

Kirk: “He’s with me.”

Glaring (literally) at Kirk, Spock demands: “We’re traveling at warp speed, how did you manage to beam aboard this ship.”  That’s a pretty stupid question: who says they beamed aboard?  The most likely explanation would be that Kirk was not actually in the escape pod sent to Delta Vega, and instead he stowed away on Enterprise like he had before.  Cloaking technology could have allowed a ship to transfer them, the station or other ships in the area could have beamed Kirk from the pod back to the Enterprise before she went to warp, etc., but in any event it would be even more foolish to share such assumptions after one had made the error of taking them to be true in the absence of any evidence.

Kirk snarks: “You’re the genius, you figure it out.” 

“As acting Captain of this vessel I order you to answer the question.”

“Well I’m not telling, acting Captain.  (pause) …What now? That doesn’t frustrate you, does it, my lack of cooperation?  That doesn’t make you angry.”

It’s really a shame that one of the greatest opportunities to portray a primary virtue of Stoicism was wasted in this subplot of Spock’s emotional reaction to the loss of his planet.  One of the practices of Stoicism is to spend time everyday thinking about the loss of those we love, realizing that our time with parents, children, friends, colleagues, our time with everyone and our time alive will come to an end.  By spending a little time on this inevitability, we are able to better focus our attention today being more appreciative of the time we do have.  When we suffer the loss of those we love, Stoics are better prepared emotionally for those events, and are likely to have fewer regrets because they gave thought to their relationships and did not, with their behavior and attitudes, assume the things and people we loved were inexhaustible and eternal.  Such realizations seems far beyond the creators’ sphere of awareness.

As in the last Bridge scene, no women speak in this segment although a background scenic appearance on the bridge is tolerated for a fraction of a second.

Click in next time for more of Orci & Kurtzman's best debating strategies in our next episode, Star Trek by the Minute 090: Your Mother!

6 comments:

Reverend Jim said...

I've been meaning to ask. Whatever happened to minute 48?

BurntSynapse said...

There was a temporal anomaly...actually it was pretty funny that an imbalance in the plasma conduit stabilization array caused a flow distortion which only could have effected subspace in the Abramsverse. Who knew that could happen?

muser said...

It only seems that way. Actually I went back in time and caused minute 048 to be sucked into a red matter black hole. Don't worry, though, it still exists in an alternate universe.

BurntSynapse said...

Wow, thanks for clearing that up!

I never seemed right that I could sort of remember Minute 48, but it didn't exist.

Could you please go back to when I was 12 and convince me to continue at Drake University?

muser said...

You were at a university when you were TWELVE? Wow, and people say I'm a nerd!

BurntSynapse said...

Yeah, discovering algorithms for me was like it must have been for Tiger discovering golf.

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