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Old 04-30-2020, 02:04 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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On the Straight Dope forum they are debating whether Kirk should be court-martialed for all of the redshirt deaths under his command.

PNQ: How many of the redshirt deaths can be attributed to him?

I'll go by the Ex Astris Scientia list of crewmen deaths in TOS.

Ground rules:

1. Only deaths caused by a deliberate act against the crewman count. The Galactic Barrier, generic deaths during battle, etc. don't count.
2. I'll be covering all deaths on the page, not just redshirts. If Kirk can be court-martialed for the needless deaths of redshirts, he can be tried for deaths of blueshirts and yellowshirts as well.

Season One:

Where No Man Has Gone Before: None. All due to galactic barrier.

The Man Trap: Four salt vampire deaths. Not Kirk's fault. In general, deaths by shapeshifter can't be directly attributed to Kirk.

The Naked Time: Tormolen, complications from polywater intoxication on a hostile planet. Not Kirk's fault, there was nothing he could've done.
Balance of Terror: Tomlinson, this is an indirect result of battle.
What Are Little Girls Made of: Matthews and Rayburn, killed by Ruk. Not Kirk's fault, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Galileo Seven: Three crewmen killed by natives after a shuttle crash. Not Kirk's fault.
Arena: None. All are in battle.
The Devil in the Dark: Crewman killed by Horta. Not Kirk's fault, unpreventable given current information.

Season Two:
Catspaw: Jackson, killed by Sylia. Not Kirk's fault, he couldn't have prevented it given his knowledge at the time.
Friday's Child: Grant, killed by Capellans. Not Kirk's fault, the guy was just a hothead. Kirk also tried to get him to stand down.
Wolf in the Fold: Tracy, killed by Redjac. Not Kirk's fault, he had no way of anticipating or preventing it.
The Changeling: Three killed by Nomad. This one is debatable, given that Kirk knows that Nomad has onboard weapons and is immune to hand phasers. However, circumstances forced Kirk to let Nomad on board knowing his destructive capability. I'll chalk these down as unpreventable.
The Apple: Two killed by natural hazards. Not Kirk's fault. One struck by Vaal's lightning, not Kirk's fault (what could Kirk have done?).

The Deadly Years: Galway, died of hyperaging. Not Kirk's fault, in general uncurable diseases don't count unless they were easy to avoid and he didn't.
Obsession: Five killed by dikironium cloud. The first three are from the initial attack, unpreventable by Kirk. The other two are as a direct result of his continued attack when he could've left. It could be argued that these aren't Kirk's fault because had he not hunted and killed this thing it would've killed countless others, especially were it to spawn.

By Any Other Name: Thompson, killed by Rojan. Unpreventable, not Kirk's fault.
The Ultimate Computer: Harper, killed by M-5. Technically preventable, there was no reason to get that close to M-5 to cut power to that panel.
The Omega Glory: Galloway, killed by Tracey. Not Kirk's fault, it's not like phasers can be dodged.

Season Three:
Elaan of Troyius: Watson, killed by Kryton. Kirk didn't know until after the fact.
And the Children Shall Lead: Two killed by being mistakenly beamed into space. Kirk had no way of stopping Gorgan at this point, not his fault.
Wink of an Eye: Compton, killed by cellular decay while hyperaccelerated. Not Kirk's fault.
That Which Survives: Three killed by Losira. Not Kirk's fault.
Requiem for Methuselah: Three died of Rigellian fever during crisis. I'm calling this extenuating circumstances.

So being especially cruel, of the 56 confirmed "redshirt deaths" on the page, maybe half a dozen could've been prevented by Kirk depending on your definition. The only two episodes that I feel Kirk could be brought to charges on are "Obsession" and "The Changeling".
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Last edited by Nate the Great; 05-05-2020 at 01:52 PM.
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