On our way back from seeing sarahtales, Tif and I got into a discussion about the Spock/Uhura pairing in the new Star Trek movie, which disturbs her a whole lot more than it disturbs me.
Uhura already had assorted romantic liaisons, or references to them, in the original series, Tif pointed out, although they were not as blatantly pointed out as today's audiences might expect. And she and Mr. Spock were already pretty friendly.
We were both aware of the Star Trek Original Series production document that outlines a snippet of Very Bad Script involving the bridge crew facing certain death, with a number of obvious inaccuracies, such as "United States Starship", and asks the reader to point out the one flaw that makes this scene fatally wrong for the show. The problem is not in any of the errors of terminology, which could be fixed by any clueful editor with reference to the show's bible, but in Kirk embracing the pretty and terrified female junior officer on the bridge. Captain Kirk does not hug his junior officers.
I shrugged, and allowed as how I was not expecting the new thing to conform to the same things the old one enforced.
"Never mind that," she said (or words to that effect). "A relationship within a chain of command is a bad thing in any military organization ever."
My ears perked up, and she went on. "No one in the military in a position of command should ever be sleeping with someone below them in their chain of command," she said.
"Well, yes, harassment," I said.
"More than that," she said. "If the two of you have a fight, you need to not be in a position where you can then give them orders that get them killed."
I confess that my immediate mental reaction was "But Mr. Spock would never--", which reaction got immediately shouted down by the rest of my generally sane brain. Mr. Spock would never, check. Making an exception for someone who would "totally never", in an organization that, while perhaps not strictly military, still has a chain of command and the possibility for people getting killed, is a really quick way to get courts-martial and general insanity going on.
"So, if one party can tell the other party to go put on a red shirt and join the landing party, they need to not be in a relationship," I summed up, suddenly agreeing in every particular. Mr. Spock would never; we know Mr. Spock and trust him. That oughtn't to make it OK by Starfleet's rules.
My brain started to object, that Spock wasn't in a position to order Uhura into danger, then stopped, complete with the sound of ripping the needle off the record. "Spock is in my head having a complete mental breakdown right now, because his orders almost got Uhura killed," I told Tif. Spock, in his efforts to avoid impropriety, and the chaos and confusion of the sudden need to scramble as many starships to Vulcan as possible, totally had assigned Uhura to another starship than the one he would be taking. Whether or not he normally was in a position to give her orders, he had been just then, and it was only because she'd asked him what the hell was going on and insisted upon the Enterprise as she had earned that she survived.
I was not sure whether Spock was actually locked in his quarters throwing breakable objects, or whether he was locked in his quarters sitting very still and thinking of throwing breakable objects, but Spock had seen the implications of his actions -- that in his effort to protect Uhura, in his determination to never improperly issue her an order that could lead to her coming to harm -- that he had nearly killed her.
When Vulcans have a nervous breakdown, it's epic. I was distracted, and stopped thinking about looking for somewhere to have dinner. (We eventually turned around and hit up In & Out.)
We agreed -- I think -- that if they weren't in the same chain of command, they'd be an awfully great pairing. Alas.
I can suspend that to read fic about them, still. She can't. Now I understand why.