Gentleman Kirk

Recently Brad R. Torgersen linked to a Facebook picture-joke about Captain Kirk’s sexual pursuits. And once again, I found the joke a little unpersuasive (and not really funny, because that joke was old 20 years ago). See, I don’t believe it. Like Beam me up, Scotty! (a phrase which never actually was said in the series), I think it’s more myth than reality.

Now I won’t say Kirk never got the girl; but I think his reputation is highly exaggerated. I think he gets the girl about as often as a typical star in a typical action series. In fact, I think his success ratio may be a tad low.

But either way, I prefer data over myths. So I’ve decided to review the original series and assign GTG (Get The Girl) points to each. Now a GTG point need not mean sex; it merely means an emotional or intimate relationship that might potentially lead to sex in the future if allowed to run its course.

I’m going to award partial points as well. Here’s my scale:

1 pt. – Kirk gets the girl.

0.5 pts – Kirk gets the girl, but it’s a ploy (his or hers), or mind control, or coerced. (May upgrade to a full point if she still falls for him in the end.)

0.25 pts – The girl wants Kirk, but he does not reciprocate. (May upgrade to a half or full point if circumstances warrant.)

0.25 pts – An old flame returns. (May upgrade to a half or full point if circumstances warrant.)

0.25 pts – Shameless flirting that never has a chance to go anywhere.

0.75 points – A half point that warrants an upgrade, but not to a full point.


-1 point – Kirk makes a play, the woman spurns him, and she chooses another regular cast member instead.

For comparison, I’ll look at the other regular cast and award them GTG points as well (Gets The Guy points in the case of Uhura, Chapel, and Rand).

Oh, and yes, there are * S * P * O * I * L * E * R * S. If you don’t know these stories by now, it’s because you don’t want to.

Episode K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Man Trap
McCoy gets an old flame. Yeah, she’s a salt vampire, but it still counts for half a point. Spock gets a quarter point for Uhura’s shameless flirting at the start of the episode. (Watch it again if you don’t believe me!) Uhura gets a quarter point as well, both for the flirting and also for her encounter with the salt vampire disguised as a Zulu warrior/technician. You just know that if they hadn’t been interrupted, she would’ve volunteered to be the next salt lick.

(No, I’m not apologizing for whatever crude image that brought to your mind. That’s your dirty mind, not mine. Besides, I am Evil, after all!)

  0.25 0.5   0.25        
Charlie X
Uhura flirts with Spock again during her musical number; and he practically smiles back! What, you think J.J. Abrams made this up on his own? It’s so blatant, I’m giving them half a point each.
  0.5     0.5        
Where No Man Has Gone Before
Nobody’s getting’ nobody in this episode. (Well, Gary Mitchell gets Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, but I’m only tracking the regular cast.)
The Naked Time
Christine Chapel makes a play for Spock. He turns her down. A quarter point each.
  0.25           0.25  
The Enemy Within
Rand admits her infatuation with Kirk – the wrong Kirk, as she learns the hard way, but still worth a quarter point each.
0.25               0.25
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
Mudd’s Women
Eve falls for Kirk; but in the end she chooses Childress instead. Only half a point. And McCoy, Scotty, and Sulu all get a quarter point just because of the pheromones.
0.5   0.25 0.25   0.25      
What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Nurse Chapel gets the guy. Yeah, he’s an android, but she doesn’t know that. He’s fully functional. Yes, Christine Chapel gets the first full point of the entire series. Not Kirk, Chapel.

Kirk gets a half point for playing Andrea for a fool.

0.5             1  
Miri falls for Kirk, but she’s either way too young for him or way too old. Either way, he gets only a quarter point. Rand gets another quarter point for throwing herself at Kirk again (and missing – again).
0.25               0.25
Dagger of the Mind
A tough call. Dr. Helen Noel is an old flame; Kirk gets her eventually; but he’s under mind control at the time. Three-quarters of a point.
The Corbomite Maneuver
Nothin’ for nobody.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Menagerie
Pike earns at least 2.5 points (more if you count Green Orion Slave Vina). Not bad for a guy welded into Santa’s old Norelco shaver! But he’s not a series regular, so he doesn’t count.
The Conscience of the King
Yeah, Kirk gets the girl; but she turns out to be an assassin out to kill him, so she’s really only worth a half point. I’ll give him an extra quarter point because he feels sorry for her in the end.
Balance of Terror
A couple of redshirts get hitched. One dies. Just another day in the life of a redshirt.
Shore Leave
McCoy gets the girl, plus a bonus point for the two cabaret girls. Kirk gets an old flame.
1   2            
The Galileo Seven
Nothin’ for nobody.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Squire of Gothos
Nothin’ but fightin’.
Tomorrow is Yesterday
It’s getting to be quite a dry spell on the Enterprise…
Court Martial
Kirk’s old flame prosecutes him for the murder of a friend. I’ll give him the quarter point, but come on… She tried to prosecute him!
The Return of the Archons
Festival! Festival! A perfect excuse for Kirk to run wild! But… nothin’.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
Space Seed
Khan gets Marla McGivers. Kirk? Nada.
A Taste of Armageddon
This Side of Paradise
Spock gets the girl. Oh, sure, he’s under the influence of a plant, so it’s not a full point; but she’s an old flame/unrequited love, so three-quarters.
The Devil in the Dark
Intrepid miners vs. the giant lasagna. Nobody’s gettin’ nothin’ here.

Well, except… How do… Hortas…

No, don’t think about it. Do not think about it!

Errand of Mercy
Klingons everywhere! No time for anything to happen.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Alternative Factor
This episode is so awful, it deserves to be in the third season. If it had had some sex, then it would have had some redeeming value.
The City on the Edge of Forever
OK, a full point here; but Edith Keeler was Kirk’s tragic true love, not some one-night stand. She really shouldn’t count.
Operation: Annihilate!
Lots of creepy parasites. Who could get in the mood with one of those things on your back?
Amok Time
Spock gets the scheming bitch (a.k.a. his wife), but then loses her. Not quite a full point.
Who Mourns for Adonais?
After more than a season of waiting, Scotty finally gets the girl – only to have her stolen by a Greek god. Makes you wonder about the color under his kilt…
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Changeling
NOMAD may think he’s Kirk’s son, but there’s no reproduction going on here.
Mirror, Mirror
I’ll give Kirk a point for getting the girl, even though she’s really involved with Mirror Kirk. A quarter point each for Sulu (well, Mirror Sulu) and Uhura for their flirting.
1       0.25 0.25      
The Apple
Chekov gets busy.
The Doomsday Machine
Lots of planet killer action, but that’s the only action here.
Kirk plays along with Sylvia’s advances, but only to get information.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
I, Mudd
Spock flirts with two Alices to confuse them. Chekov hits on an android as well, but Spock is more effective.
  0.5         0.25    
The Commissioner is an annoying wench. No one would go near her.
Journey to Babel
Intrigue and assassination. That’s the whole episode.
Friday’s Child
McCoy gets the girl. Oh, sure, the very pregnant girl, but still: he’s the only one she’ll let touch her. She specifically rejects Kirk, earning him his first negative point.
-1   1            
The Deadly Years
Kirk’s old flame shows up; and now that he’s temporarily an old geezer, she finally gives in.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
No, not the scent, the Ahab-like motivations that keep this episode far away from any intimate entanglements.
Wolf in the Fold
I’ll give Scotty a quarter point for the belly dancer. He might’ve gotten more if she hadn’t gotten stabbed as soon as she left with him.
The Trouble with Tribbles
Tribbles are asexual, just like this episode.
The Gamesters of Triskelion
Kirk and Chekov are both forced to breed in captivity. Half a point for Chekov, full point for Kirk (because the girl fell for him in the end). Uhura fended off her suitor, so no points for her.
1           0.5    
A Piece of the Action
Kirk’s too busy with heaters, no time for dames in this one.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Immunity Syndrome
A giant space amoeba sucks out all life energy. Sorta like interstellar saltpetre.
A Private Little War
Kirk gets the girl, but only because she cast a spell on him.
Return to Tomorrow
Kirk gets the girl, but only while their bodies are possessed by aliens. Meanwhile, Chapel has Spock very much inside her.
0.5 1           1  
Patterns of Force
I hate space Nazis…
By Any Other Name
Kirk gets Kelinda, but only to confuse her and Rojan.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Omega Glory
There’s a hot Yang chick, but she never even notices Kirk.
The Ultimate Computer
Computers and space battles, but no sex at all.
Bread and Circuses
Kirk gets a slave girl, McCoy and Spock get beat up in the gladiator arena. Who’s the star, huh? Who’s the star? That’s right, the Captain!
Assignment: Earth
Time travel and missiles, but no action for anybody.
Spock’s Brain
If you know what’s good for you, you’ll go get a little action of your own, rather than watching this stinker.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Enterprise Incident
Spock gets a Romulan captain. Oh, it’s a ploy, but he admits he wanted her. For Spock, that’s a full point.
The Paradise Syndrome
Kirk gets an Indian princess. But cut him some slack: she was his wife and the mother of his child!
And the Children Shall Lead
I never remember this episode exists. I wish I hadn’t remembered it tonight.
Is There in Truth No Beauty?
Spock gets the girl, more or less, but she turns down Kirk and McCoy.
-1 1 -1            
Spectre of the Gun
Chekov gets the (imaginary) girl.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
Day of the Dove
Nothing but fighting.
For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
No question, McCoy gets the girl here.
The Tholian Web
Kirk spends the whole episode in his own private universe. No opportunities there.
Plato’s Stepchildren
A half point each for Kirk, Uhura, Spock, and Chapel, for a make-out session compelled by telekinesis.
0.5 0.5     0.5     0.5  
Wink of an Eye
Kirk gets the girl, but only to lull her suspicions so he can escape. (But see more on this episode below…)
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Empath
McCoy gets the girl, more or less.
Elaan of Troyius
Kirk gets the girl, but he’s under a pheromone spell. An extra quarter point because she falls for him.
Whom Gods Destroy
A green Orion woman flirts with Kirk (but she’s insane).
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
I’m sorry, I’ve been hit so hard with the Allegory Hammer, I can’t think about this episode.
The Mark of Gideon
Kirk gets the girl. It’s a trick, but she falls for him anyway – after he saves her life so that she can infect and kill billions of people. Happy ending!
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
That Which Survives
An utterly forgettable episode. I forgot it.
The Lights of Zetar
Scotty gets the girl. She promptly gets possessed by aliens. Do you get the feeling that it’s not healthy to be Scotty’s girl?
Requiem for Methuselah
Kirk gets the (android) girl, in a ludicrous plot by her father/creator/lover. The plot is very Forbidden Planet, complete with a robot assistant (but the robot is nowhere near as convincing as Robbie – you can practically see the wire it hangs from).
The Way to Eden
Chekov gets the girl.
The Cloud Minders
Spock gets the girl, and also admits that this Ponn Farr business is a bunch of hooey.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
The Savage Curtain
A staged battle between good and evil leaves no time for sex.
All Our Yesterdays
Spock gets the beautiful cavegirl.
Turnabout Intruder
Kirk’s old flame returns. Of course, she tries to kill him and steal his life, but I’ll give him the quarter point anyway.
  K Sp M Sc U Su Ch CC R
Total 14.5 8.5 4.75 2.5 1.5 0.5 3.75 2.75 0.5

So in three seasons – 78 episodes – Kirk’s GTG score is only 14.5. Sure, that’s a lot higher than Spock’s 8.5; but come on, Spock is a logical alien who only gets in the mood every 7 years, and he got an 8.5 score! 14.5 isn’t really that high. not quite 5 per season. If I compared that to any of Trek’s contemporaries (or slightly later series), how do you think it would stack up? How do you think Steve Austin would do? Thomas Magnum? Heck, Jim Rockford probably scored with 14 women in a single season (though they’d all be half points, since they’d either be framing him for murder or trying to get out of paying their bills).

And let’s not even talk about James Bond

So if Kirk’s womanizing isn’t unusual for an action star of his era, why does he have such an exaggerated reputation?

By my estimation, it’s this…

Remember I said we’d get back to Wink of an Eye? That’s a scene from Deela’s cabin. Kirk is sitting on her bed, putting his boots on. I know this may come as a shock to some of you younger folks; but at the time, that shot was pretty scandalous. Remember, that was an age when married couples on TV slept in separate beds. (It took The Brady Bunch, of all shows, to break that convention.) The idea that Kirk might be on her bed with a shoe off… Well, the implication was surely… surely… scandalous! After that scene, Kirk’s reputation as an interstellar Lothario was indelible.

Now compare that with more modern fare. I recently rewatched The Dead Zone, for example, where naked couples writhing and grinding and bouncing under sheets appeared in multiple episodes. And don’t even get me started on Torchwood! (When the aliens finally conquer the Earth, it will be because our self-proclaimed defenders were too busy playing musical beds and looking for new species to boff for them to bother defending us.)

So I think Kirk has been unfairly slandered. At the same time, I know his reputation is now set in stone, and facts aren’t really relevant. J.J. Abrams built much of his first act around this aspect of the character. We’re stuck with it. Just realize it’s an invention of the audience, not part of the original character.