//\\ 15-Minute Federation //\\ presents . . . Star Trek III: The Search for Spock — Ch 2: The Enterprise is Getting Mothballed (Or: Let’s Go to the Instant Replay)

00:15:01 – 00:30:00

Captain James Claudius Firewater took the entire bridge crew with him on an away mission to Alpha Omicron Pi, where the all-female inhabitants of that tiny planet were raising revenue with something they called a CAR WASH.

The plan was to get the 15-Minute Federation‘s shuttlecraft, the Copernicus Seven, cleaned and then take the team over to planet B-Dubs for chicken wings and beer.

There was barely enough room in the shuttle for everyone. The shag carpet inside smelled like patchouli, but the moon windows were nice.

Ensign Shecky Pavlov had been left in control of the bridge. Lt. Hulu left a bowl of water down for him.

One of the Sisterhood accidentally broke off the passenger-side mirror from the shuttle while hosing it down, which sort of ruined the mood. “That’s it for team building,” Captain Firewater said afterward, then took everyone back to the ship.

Because of the planned team-building outing, no one had brought their lunch that day, so everyone was grouchy for the remainder of their duty shift.

Welcome to Chapter 2 of The Search for Spock Edition of the15-Minute Federation.

At the 15-minute mark, Kirk is standing at the entrance to Spock’s quarters. A voice that sounds like Spock’s says, “Jim . . . Help me . . .”

Wait a damned minute. We saw Spock die in that last movie, didn’t we? It was a whole production with two heterosexual male beings—Kirk and Spock, we’re talking about now—separated by a clear plexiglas barrier while performing a melodramatic death scene that would have made Jack and Rose proud.

You left me on Genesis,” Spock’s voice continues. “Help me.”

Captain James T. Kirk rushes forward and grabs the imposter. It’s Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. What a surprise!

Bones continues to talk, as if in a trance. He wants Kirk to take him home and climb the steps of Mount Seleya. “Remember,” the doctor says, just before fainting, only one minute into our chapter.

This is what we in the biz call an interesting development.

Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Enterprise has completed its docking procedures and Uhura informs the captain that Starfleet Commander Morrow is on his way to complete the inspection. Kirk tells Uhura to get medics down to Spock’s quarters in a hurry.

We’ve never really gotten a handle on the Starfleet officer ranking system, and it’s about to get more confusing. Obviously, Starfleet Commander Morrow has more rank than Kirk, who we believe is still an admiral, even though we insist upon calling him “Captain.” Morrow is a Fleet Admiral, according to Memory Alpha.

The crew is assembled in the torpedo bay, for some reason. Maybe to mirror the Spock funeral scene from the last movie.

Fleet Admiral Morrow is really proud of the Enterprise crew. They’ve all done remarkable service under the most difficult conditions. As usual. They’ll be receiving Starfleet’s highest commendation and extended shore leave. Except for Commander Montgomery Scott, who is to report to the U.S.S. Excelsior as their new Captain of Engineering.

See what we’re talking about? If the chief engineer of the Excelsior is called “captain,” what is the captain called? Confusing.

At any rate, Scotty doesn’t want the promotion. He’d rather oversee the refit of the Enterprise. “His” starship.

Morrow says that won’t be necessary because there will be no refit. The Enterprise is twenty years old, and the Starfleet brass feel that her day is over.

We try not to let logic and common sense get in the way of having a good time. But . . .

Let’s address the “twenty years old” thing. According to Captain Firewater, the Constitution-class U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) was launched under the command of Capt. Robert April in 2245 CE, when it began its first five-year mission. Canonically, the events of this movie occurred in 2285 CE, which is forty years later, not twenty. We considered that Morrow was talking about twenty years since the previous refit in The Motion Picture, which was only five years before in real-time. But, that doesn’t work either. Capt. Firewater says, in story-time, that was only twelve years prior. No matter how you slice it and crunch the numbers (there’s a mixed metaphor for you), the numbers just don’t add up.

However, if the Enterprise is forty years old, it makes sense that Starfleet is mothballing it.

But, but, but . . . Kirk was thinking he might take the Enterprise back to Genesis. Morrow says that’s out of the question. The Genesis planet has become somewhat of a galactic controversy. Until the Federation Council actually makes a decision on policy, everyone on board is under orders not to discuss Genesis with anyone. For now, it is a forbidden subject and a quarantined planet.

It seems a little narcissistic to call it a “galactic controversy,” when the Federation has explored only a portion of the galaxy. We can whistle past that for now. The American baseball championship is called the “World Series.” Same concept.

Now it seems that Genesis has become a forbidden planet like Talos IV, the home of the Butthead telepaths, where Captain Pike eventually retired.That will keep Kirk from going back there, certainly.

We kinda wanted to get an update on Dr. McCoy’s condition, but that has to wait for now. Instead, we get to check in with the Klingons we met earlier. On his Bird-of-Prey, Commander Kruge, along with his officers, Maltz and Torg, are watching a recording about Project Genesis. Kirk is on the recording, and we get a rehash of the Genesis effect. Kruge plans to go to the Genesis planet to seize the secret of this “weapon,” even while Klingon emissaries are attempting to negotiate for peace with the Federation.

So, the main antagonists in this story are heading for Genesis. This raises the stakes a bit, since the power of the Genesis device in the wrong hands does make it a formidable weapon. Khan Noonien Singh taught us that. But, how can Kruge get the device from the planet? It was detonated to create the planet, wasn’t it? Maybe Kruge going to the Genesis planet isn’t such a big deal.

Unless his presence threatens other characters we might care about. Or, even if we don’t really care about them, maybe Kirk does. Such as his son David, who he left behind.

We thought Kirk’s son, Dr. David Marcus, and the Vulcan Lt. Saavik, were left behind on Genesis. But, no, they are aboard the U.S.S. Grissom, using ship sensors to explore the surface of the planet. This is the new Saavik, of course: Robin Curtis. Kirstie Alley left to become a Scientologist or something. Dr. Marcus and Lt. Saavik locate Spock’s photon torpedo casket, including unidentifiable lifeform readings.

David and Saavik talk Capt. J.T. Esteban into allowing them to beam down to the planet. Ironically, the actor who played Esteban, Phillip Richard Allen, once played a character named “David Marcus” on the television series Lou Grant. One of life’s little coincidences.

So, Kirk’s son and Lt. Saavik seem to be on a collision course with Commander Kruge. That raises the stakes a bit more.

Meanwhile, back on Earth at Jim Kirk’s swinging San Francisco bachelor pad, Kirk, Sulu, Chekov and Uhura toast to “absent friends.” Everyone is dressed in civvies. Kirk tells them that the Enterprise is being decommisioned, and that he can’t get an answer as to what’s going to happen with the crew. He also tells them that Dr. McCoy is resting comfortably at home, apparently suffering from exhaustion. Bones has been “pumped full of tranquilizers.”

The doorbell chimes. Kirk is expecting Scotty’s arrival.

Ambassador Sarek, Spock’s father, shows up at Kirk’s door instead. Don’t you just hate it when guests drop in without notice? Vulcans can be rude.

To prove the point, Sarek brusquely ignores Kirk’s guests and says, “I will speak to you alone, Kirk.” He doesn’t even bother to use Kirk’s title. Like we said: rude.

Sarek knows about Genesis and the details surrounding his son’s death. He demands to know why Kirk left Spock’s body on Genesis. Kirk has denied Spock his future.

Kirk is understandably confused. What future could Spock have in death?

Sarek says, as the last one with Spock, Kirk should have come with him to Vulcan. The request was implicit when Spock entrusted Kirk with his very essence. His katra, his living spirit.

This does nothing to clear up Kirk’s confusion. Sarek asks his permission to perform a mind meld with him. Sarek is able to pull up lines of dialogue from the previous movie but nothing else. Spock’s katra does not reside within Kirk. Since Spock was unable to mind meld with Kirk as he lay dying, Sarek is afraid that everything he was . . . everything he knew . . . is lost.

Kirk says, “What if he joined with someone else?”

Are you thinking what we’re thinking?

Kirk and Sarek review the video recordings from the reactor room around the time of Spock’s death. This movie is in danger of becoming a clip show. The recording shows the moment when Spock performed a nerve pinch on Dr. McCoy, then touched his face and said, “Remember.” This was the point when Spock passed his katra on to McCoy. He had to know how much this would irritate the already irascible doctor. It was a little like a practical joke he was playing on the human who had referred to him, more than once, as a green-blooded, pointy-eared alien.

Sarek and Kirk now know that McCoy is the carrier of Spock’s katra. You might think that McCoy talking in Spock’s voice in Spock’s quarters would have been a clue.

Kirk vows to return for Spock’s body and take both him and Dr. McCoy to Mount Seleya on Vulcan.

Since Kirk is heading back to the Genesis planet as well, it seems that he joins David and Saavik on their shared collision course with Kruge. Since the Enterprise is being decommisioned, and Genesis is currently off-limits, how do you think Kirk plans to get there?

As we approach the 30-minute mark, ending this chapter, Dr. David Marcus and Lt. Saavik are materializing on the surface of the Genesis planet. We’re not quite out of Act One yet, but we’re getting close.

We Believe James T. Kirk Has Bastard Children Across the Galaxy at the 15-Minute Federation . . .Live Long and Prosper.

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