Last night I was watching an episode of Star Trek: TOS (The Original Series) called ‘The Lights of Zetar’. In it, the crew of Enterprise is facing down another potential disaster (when do they ever not?) in the form of an alien community that is intent on kidnapping and occupying a human female who just happens to have a trait that makes them all compatible. As it happens, our intrepid Chief Engineer ‘Scotty’ is also smitten with the woman.
Late in the episode, for some reason, Kirk has come up with a plan to kill or vacate the community of aliens from the young woman, without killing the woman in the process. Of course, what he’s come up with (without consulting any known ‘expert’ in any field despite having a ship full of them) just happens to be dangerous to the crewperson, if reality ever played a part. His hackneyed plan is to put the woman in a pressure chamber and increase the pressure to the point where the aliens either remove themselves from her body, or are destroyed in the process.
During the course of this ‘treatment’ his CMO (Chief Medical Officer) tells him he needs to be ‘careful’, because the pressure might very well damage the woman in the chamber. Certainly a valid point, since increasing atmospheric pressure quickly can damage a human. Kirk, who at this point apparently could care less, is more intent on ‘saving his ship’ and orders his First Officer (Spock) to keep going. By the time the procedure works it’s magic, the reading on the pressure chamber says 30 atmospheres. Just for the hell of it, I looked it up online and discovered that while the human body -can- withstand the force of up to 10 atmospheres if they’re breathing just oxygen, once the pressure increases by much more, the oxygen they’re breathing quickly becomes toxic and the person in question will die.
So essentially, Kirk just ordered his crewperson to die in order to save her. Sort of like an inept safe cracker ‘killing the money’ by blowing up the safe.
I realize this is all science fiction and the writers of the series didn’t put much stock into doing much research into what they were writing about. Certainly a lot more things about Star Trek don’t make sense when you start delving into the science of space travel or just plain living in a space environment. This just rubbed me the wrong way. And yes, there are a lot more other things that Jim Kirk is a dick about. This is just one.