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Kirk and the Prime Directive.


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#1 Greystone

 

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:29 AM

The subject is a rather controversial one but it is fair to say that some of Kirk's command decisions flew in the face of the Prime Directive; they were nothing sort of criminal. Others were ill considered, based on personal prejudice fuelled by the intolerant Dr McCoy and his arrogant 'It doesn't work for me, so let's change it...' attitude.

And this was invariably the reaction to what was an entire established 'way of life'. Just the sort of thing the Prime Directive was introduced to prevent.

Kirk lacks the maturity and objective judgement to handle the difficult situations he finds thrust upon him. His decisions are impulsive and lack the structure of a long term plan. His heart is in the moment and rarely thinks beyond it. He claims to be impartial and free of prejudice and yet in case after case these decisions are clearly based on the aforementioned factors.

Aided and abetted by a man who would argue a problem from one aspect only to change horses mid stream should someone with pointed ears agree with him… the inestimable Dr ‘Bones’ McCoy.

And yet Starfleet must have been compliant in Kirk’s cavalier attitude towards the Prime Directive. He sent them reports, unless of course these reports were composed in such a way to hide the true nature of his actions. Leading to the inevitable conclusion that the senior staff were also prepared to mislead in order to protect their Captain.

The Apple is a perfect case study. It may not be the ideal situation but the Prime Directive would insist that the Enterprise in this scenario was expendable. Kirk’s not having that, no, in his eyes, encouraged by McCoy; it is Vaal who must go at the cost of an established way of life.

So what separates Kirk from Tracey?

Fortune it seems. Bend the rules and succeed and you are a hero, bend them and fail…
Well, we’ve all seen where that goes.

I’m not sure the Starfleet of NG would have condoned that view. In fact this very subject was addressed in ‘Too Short a Season’, where the consequences of action are revisited. Something Kirk never really had to face. Khan was a individual not a civilisation.

Of course it could be argued that times were more ‘frontier orientated’ back then and the letter of the prime directive was open to interpretation. But even with this generous interpretation of the PD in hand, I think we are still on shaky ground.

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#2 Kirok

 

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 08:12 AM

I wonder, although the Prime Directive was a concept created in the Original Series, in how many episodes was actually mentioned?

K

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#3 Greystone

 

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:13 PM

It was alluded to, 'Bread and Circuses' 'The Omega Glory' Hmm, seems to be in episodes when other Captains had transgressed it, lol. Numerous other mentions... now you mention it it would be interesting to see how many episodes it was mentioned in.

At a guess, 'Patterns of Force', 'A piece of the Action'... I'm sure there are others...

#4 jonathan

 

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:03 AM

Kirk and the prime directive.....As long as ive been a fan I wasnt aware that Kirk knew what the prime directive was. I mean he rarely followed it in his time in space. Isuppose in his defense he didnt have much choice given they werent many ships out there in those days. :kewlpics:



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