Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Court Martial, My Ass.

Apologies for geeking out on everyone, but I just thought I'd share some thoughts on a Star Trek: TOS episode. Season 1, episode 20 entitled Court Martial, to be exact. I watch so much Star Trek , and GPS does plan on attending a convention one of these days. I also happen to have an original-style Captain's shirt. What are you looking at?

Honestly, my gripes are valid for this episode. Look, I get that you have to take pretty much everything put forth in that series with a huge grain of salt. I really do. Yet and still, this shit is ridiculous. The episode is about the Enterprise encountering a particularly nasty ion storm in which a crew member was ejected out into space by Kirk. Of course, ejecting crew members into space isn't at the top of Kirk's to-do list. Why, then, as the episode title suggests, is he under court martial? Well, the controversy surrounds his decision to jettison this dude during an ion storm. You know, come to think of it, I don't even really know why he had to be let go. The storm was fucking the ship up, and I think the guy was still out in his shuttle craft. The danger eventually became too great for Kirk to risk bringing him in or something, so the guy in the shuttle craft had to be sacrificed for the good of the Enterprise.

Ok, so far (ambiguous plot withstanding) I'm with the episode. Sounds pretty cut-and-dry to me. Ah, but this is Star Trek: TOS we're talking about. Something bizarre and ridiculous has to happen. So, at this point, Kirk has to give his report to star base 11 about just what the fuck happened during the ion storm. In his report, he says he released the dude's pod AFTER he signaled red alert, and only at the last possible moment. But somehow the ship's log has Kirk releasing the pod BEFORE red alert. Big difference. But why would Kirk do that? Of course, the dude he left to space-death has hated Kirk ever since he found a fuck-up of his so many years ago. Kirk reported the fuck-up and, subsequently, the dude's career never took off like he thought it would. So...does Kirk secretly hate the guy for having such a stupid grudge on him? What do you think? OF COURSE NOT. But hey, most of the fun of these kinds of episodes comes from the "how" not the "why".

Random hot picture of Uhura. I miss the skirts.

Unfortunately, the "how" is fucking retarded. First off, Kirk is court martialed, which means he'll stand trial. Alright. But here's a kicker: the prosecution is a former flame of his. Shocking, I know. I think it's required that every Earth colony have one in the population. But my first thought was, "Wait a minute. Doesn't that present a gigantic conflict of interest?" I mean, if you're the sole prosecutor but the defendant is a lover of yours, well...I dunno. I'm not a lawyer, but I would find it pretty damn hard to give my all to convicting someone I have/had lovey-dovey feelings for. Guilty: conflict of interest, at least according to me. So that's the first problem, but far from the most frustrating.

The most frustrating comes when the trial is in session. Somehow, the prosecution procures video from the incident that clearly shows Kirk releasing the dude's pod before red alert is initiated. This poses two conundrums in my mind: 1) Since the video is obviously wrong, how can that be altered? We're going on 1960s logic here, where there was no such thing as Photoshop, let alone complex video editing software. If there was video, there was video. This goes unexplained as the truth unfolds, and it's just dumb. How can recorded video that's supposedly unalterable be totally inaccurate? 2) It's pretty clear when Kirk and his lawyer see the video being played back that they've never seen it before. Can you guess my next objection? Yes, this evidence should have been inadmissible. There's a reason you can't just submit evidence on the fly without both counsels being given time to review and prepare their case. That's cause for immediate objection, in this case, on the side of the defense, and the judge would also immediately agree and throw the evidence right out. Case closed, but not in Star Trek: TOS. Instead, both Kirk and his lawyer stare dumbstruck at the video, and then continue to say that they can't refute what the computer has logged. Umm, yes you can. "We were never given this evidence, your honor. I object to the prosecution using inadmissible evidence and ask that the court strike it from the record." Oh, well, I guess Kirk's highly sought-after lawyer hadn't come across this kind of thing before. Or he's a fucking moron. One or the other.

Here, Spock is pictured while puzzling out the mysteries of the universe. Bones is thinking "Dammit, Spock, I'm a doctor not a space-chess player."

My other, more minor objection comes at the (sort of) expense of Spock. He has to resort to giving a demonstration to the court detailing how he can beat the computer at chess five times, when the best result should be a stale-mate. So, you're telling me that in the 24th century, one would have to physically show a game of chess between the Enterprise's on-board computer and a Vulcan to demonstrate that computers can be fallible? Fuck off. That still doesn't explain how the video was altered to look like Kirk hit the button before the red alert was triggered. If the video was altered, wouldn't they be able to figure that little tid-bit out? Yes, like I said, we're dealing with a show made in the '60s which was way before any schmuck could make his own Bigfoot discovery video. Still, even armed with that knowledge, this shit is a tough sell.

I've devoted more time than I initially planned to on this shit, so I'll just end with a challenge. For all you hardcore Trekkies out there, riddle me this:

How was the video forged?

Why was Kirk's lawyer so fucking incompetent?

How did Finney, who hid himself from the Enterprise's sensors, STILL evade the sensors when he re-boarded the ship? They would know right away when he came back aboard.

FUCK YOU IF YOU THINK YOU'RE SMARTER THAN LOGIC. You're rationalizing, and Spock himself would punch you in the face.

1 comment:

  1. well maybe but the point of law argument only holds up in an american court of law. not all courts have the same procedural laws. emily