Star Trek by the Minute 117: My Honor, Commander
"Bones!" says Kirk, slapping his Chief Medical Officer: "Buckle up!" McCoy rolls his eyes. Kirk sits in the Captain's chair and calls engineering, "Scotty, How we doin?" Does ANY ship actually require verbally checking with personnel in engineering in to determine operational status? Would the Flight Director at NASA actually need to contact a launchpad engineer to make certain the rocket was fueled, or would fuel status be automatically visible in Mission Control?
"Dilithium chambers at maximum, Captain," replies the Chief Engineer, who then turns to Deep Roy and yells "Get down!" The obvious question regarding Scott's report is: how does a "chamber" vary from maximum to minimum? I suppose if one knows very little of "Treknology", one might think dilithium is a fuel, like diesel or gasoline, in which case this report would make sense, like saying (of a car) "The tank is full." Although treknology is not my forte, as I understand it, dilithium crystals regulate the matter/anti-matter annihilation in the reaction chambers, but considering the colossal errors typical of the film, this complete cluelessness about basics of FTL propulsion in Star Trek actually seems quite benign and quaint by comparison.
Back on the Bridge, Kirk orders "Mr. Sulu, prepare to engage thrusters." Oh boy, this dialog is ridiculous - Sulu already reported that thrusters are not only "prepared", they are "at your command", you can't get any more ready, prepared, etc. than that, can you? Like the rest of the film, we will probably have to cut to a complete change of subject to keep the obviousness of this incoherent babbling from Kirk being revealed...
In a complete surprise, we cut to Spock standing on the Bridge, which without warning attempts to keep Kirk's incoherent babbling from becoming obvious by distraction with Spock's ludicrous line: "Permission to come aboard, Captain?" He is not merely aboard, but he's in the Command and Control heart of the vessel, its nerve center, or "brain"...just a little bit of a fait accompli, isn't it?
"Permission granted," smarms Kirk.
"As you have yet to select a First Officer, respectfully I would like to submit my candidacy. Should you desire I can provide character references." This line actually fits the kind of understated humor for which the original Spock was famous and loved. This is one of his best lines, although certainly not in a class with the brilliant repartee at the Vulcan Science Academy.
"It would be my honor, Commander," replies Kirk. For a well-developed character, this would be a moving line that portrays mutual respect, but since Kirk has been consistently shown as an undisciplined, unprincipled criminal, this compliment comes off as a self-serving ploy to prop himself up, using Spock to assist in preventing others from discovering how unqualified he is. Everyone in the audience with experience and responsibility for assigning or delegating authority is tearing their hair out as Spock exits stage left and Kirk issues the meaningless order: "Maneuvering thrusters, Mr. Sulu."
Sulu responds to Kirk's nonsensical phrase by actually reporting: "Thrusters on stand-by." First, they were "At your command," meaning they were ready for use, then Kirk ordered them "prepared" which would be completed before an "at command" status, and now he orders them to STANDBY? A standby status is typically used to describe something like a sleep mode, where a component or function is not active or in use, but can be brought to a ready status quickly.
"Take us out," orders Kirk.
As we cut to an external shot, old Spock reads "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise, her ongoing mission, to explore strange new worlds, (Do we ignore the new worlds that aren't strange enough?), to seek out new life forms, (Is this a clarification to prevent us from seeking life without form?), and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before."
Credits roll, without a woman speaking in this segment.
To all the readers and commentators, thanks for reading, enjoying, and your suggestions! To all: I welcome your thoughts.