Court Martial


Court Martial

Trips to Starbase 11 always seem to involve legal troubles. Last time it was Spock on trial. This time, Captain James T. Kirk Faces “Court Martial.”

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  • Dave Klem

    Just listened to this episode. Many great points, as usual, in this conversation. Every time I watch Court Martial, I cannot help but notice how much Alice Rawlings, who plays the daughter, looks like Elisha Cook Jr. I don’t know if anyone else noticed this. In any case, thanks for the podcast!!

  • Low Mileage Pit Woofie

    Another fine podcast, and I had a few thoughts about the episode:
    1. Was it filmed at the same time as The Menagerie, Where No Man Has Gone Before and A Taste of Armageddon? The film stock looks different from the majority of other episodes, as well as minor touches (such as the use of ‘Vulcanian’).
    2. Cogley’s legal tactics always seemed ineffective at best and criminal at worst, until recently when I grasped that with the evidence against his client, all he had was emotion. And sometimes, that can work. Just ask Johnny Cochrane and OJ.
    3. The initial hostility Kirk received from his fellow captains felt strange when I was younger – they can’t be mean to my hero! – but now I wonder if they held some resentment towards Kirk for originally reporting Finney, one of their own, for his mistake, rather than settling it between “gentlemen”. The dark side of loyalty…
    4. McCoy’s line to Areel was priceless: “All of my old friends look like doctors. All of Jim’s old friends look like you.”

    • It was filmed out of order, but closer to its airdate than, say WNMHGB which was shot in 1965. Some of the inconsistencies could just be the quality of available stock, the lab work then the editing/duplication at the time.

    • Canadian liberal

      1. No
      2. As they said, if Spock doesn’t find something wrong with the computer, Cogley seemed to be ready to lose. He reminded me of the lawyer defending Maxwell Smart on Get Smart when he was falsely sent to prison. At least there it was funny. This is embarrassing. (And infuriating. I HAD a lawyer like that when I fought my landlord. Against the other lawyer she folded like a cheap suit, as it were.)
      3. Think of Kirk as a cop reporting abuse by another cop. here is just one recent example.

      Imagine how he would be treated TODAY, never mind then.

      4. Again, think of get Smart and Dr. Steele and Simon. Not all doctors are created equal. And even on Trek, Dr. Ann Mulhall and Dr. Jones were very fine looking.

      I know it’s not trivia, but I thought I’d help.

  • jayoungr .

    Here I am again with an alternate take on the message! I submit that there IS a message in this episode, and it is “Don’t put all your faith in technology. It’s not infallible, even though it promises to be free from human error.” You kept dancing around so close to that idea without quite hitting it, and I kept wanting to call out to you on the podcast!

    This was possibly more relevant at the time of the original broadcast, but when computers (and even calculators!) were new, people were in awe of their accuracy and consistency. Computers would never, ever, EVER have a momentary brain lapse and say 2+2=3–or at least that was the perception. This episode, then, reminds us that a computer is only as accurate as its programming, and programming can be changed.

    You kept saying, “Why did it take so long for them to think that the computer might have been tampered with?”–and I think that’s the point: people *didn’t,* at the time, think immediately of that. They would assume that the computer was infallible and could not lie. You used the analogy of DNA evidence today, and I think that’s similar. If an accused man says he was never at a crime scene, but DNA evidence points to him, I think people are more likely to believe the DNA evidence than to assume that it’s been tampered with. And to the degree that they do consider that possibility, I think it’s partly a legacy of learning that supposedly infallible computers can also be made to “lie.”

  • Steven Linden

    Umm, Homicidal was actually made a year after Psycho and is generally thought of as an imitation of the latter; it was not a precursor. Sorry to nitpick, but as a tremendous Hitchcock fan, I could not help myself.

  • Canadian liberal

    In the podcast, you mentioned Spock and McCoy’s honours being as long as your arm. I dispute that. The computer STOPS SPEAKING after THREE (yes, three) mentions of each of their honours. That MAY be as long as a baby’s arm but that’s it.
    Now KIRK, that’s different. Cogley DOES have to stop the computer. But although we’d like to believe that Spock and McCoy are saints, in terms of ACTUAL AWARDS or commendations, there are only three.

    A more important question is, when in the galaxy could Spock have POSSIBLY won his fifth chess game? He wins his fourth, shows McCoy, and goes STRAIGHT to the Court Martial! No? I didn’t see any place he could have taken time to play a chess game.