Now taking Thommy fic recs, people. Help me out?
OOOOH DOGGIES now there’s a question to cheer me right up! Let’s get crackin’!
I’ll stick to completed fics. I won’t name too many to start. Read anything else these authors have written, they’re awesome. All of them have multiple Thommy fics. Of course, there are other awesome authors in the Thommy fandom- this is just to wet your whistle.
So I need to talk about The Ultimate Computer —
The ENTIRE opening of this episode spends a ridiculous amount of time establishing how honored and positive Spock is about the new M-5 computer. He holds Dr. Daystrom in exceedingly high regard and his little bits of sniping back and forth with Bones about the efficiency and practicality of the new system makes it pretty clear on which side of the divide he falls.
For all his love of computers and technology — their order, their efficiency, their practicality, their logic — it’s still Jim he will always come back to. It is Jim who holds his loyalty.
Early on, the M-5 is still performing perfectly and Spock notes that it reacted more rapidly and with more sophistication than any human could hope to achieve. It is the embodiment of all the virtues instilled in Spock — logic, precision, control, efficiency.
And yet, in spite of that, Spock looks at Jim and sees in him something more valuable, more desirable than any and every trait he was brought up to esteem.
So I’m not done talking about The Ultimate Computer. LOVE this episode (written by DC Fontana too!) and it’s AMAZING in terms of Jim’s characterization. It hits some consistent notes in his character — such as the fact that he loves being a captain, it’s his first and best destiny, and he fears becoming obsolete.
What I really love though (and a fact which the episode even comments on) is how self-reflective and self-aware Jim is. His negative reaction to the M-5 is partially due to his doubts about its ability to perform but he’s aware enough of himself to question his own motives. He’s not so arrogant as to believe that he must be right — instead, he listens to Daystrom’s points and reflects on them: could he actually be worried about losing the power/prestige of his position? Or are his concerns legitimate?
It’s one of those moments of self-reflection, of introspection, that gets lost when popular culture tries to handle Kirk. There, he’s painted as an arrogant, brash, dismissive, “my way or the highway” man when he’s NOT. He’s thoughtful and measured, but he is DECISIVE. Decisive does not mean exclusionary, though. Jim will listen to the concerns and thoughts of others, but what makes him a truly great captain is that, in the end, he takes the information provided to him and tries to make the best decision possible. He’s humble enough to know, though, that he’s only human and so tries to pick apart his own perspective and look for bias when he can.
It’s just a wonderful character moment for Jim and I wish it was something more popularly acknowledged about his characterization.
STAR TREK “The Ultimate Computer”
starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelly, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nicols guest stars William Marshall and Barry Russo
story by Laurence N. Wolfe teleplay by D.C Fontana directed by John Meredyth Lucas, created by Gene Roddenberry
50 minutes; March 8, 1968