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Crobert
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 5:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Samaritan Snare

Oh - and did I miss it or was there never a mea culpa moment from Riker for disregarding Worf's concerns and not even really taking Troi's warnings seriously?

And how the hell does Starfleet have a procedure where they just transport a solo member of personnel over onto the ship of a newly encountered species? For that matter even if they had diplomatic relations?! Even in our time ambassadors in our country will have guards. LaForge should have had a cadre of Tactical officers with him but honestly someone much lower on the Engineering totem pole should have been the one to go over.

Another nit that needs picking - the idea that phasers can be grabbed by anyone and fired? Phasers should either be biometrically restricted to the person to whom they were issued or, at the very least, require that the person about to fire it has a Starfleet badge.

Good gravy. I'd rather spend a night getting pain sticked that watch this episode again.
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Crobert
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 5:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Samaritan Snare

Loved the idea of what they tried to do with Picard but not the execution. Showing Picard having flaws and insecurity is great but this came out of nowhere and, honestly, was pretty nonsensical given the times.

They've shown that most physical maladies are easily resolved by their advanced technology. The whole idea of being afraid to admit sickness is steeped in our own culture's past (and in some cases present) inability to cure a lot of problems. So you had things like male characters on the show Deadwood often taking great pains to hide just how bad things were both to prevent others from seeing their fears and perceiving them as weak.

When technological advancement solves these sorts of problems society tends to shift in terms of how these problems are viewed. Being able to hop in a car and drive 200 miles away in an afternoon means nobody really gives a crap if you could ride a horse the same distance or not.

The other issue with Picard's storyline is that it was an overly obvious way to introduce a time pressure with resolving Geordi being kidnapped.

As for the Geordi storyline the Pakleds are one of the worst bits of writing on this show and that's really saying something. I really wish I understood how anyone could think that we could believe in the idea of a species that stupid being out and about looking for salvage and kidnapping Starfleet officers.

I could believe it if the Pakleds were, say, a primitive species that had been kidnapped but then took over the ship from a more advanced species but were now essentially adrift as the ship took care of their basic survival needs but they had no understanding of anything other than how to ask the computer for meat and water.

Just an absolutely awful, abysmal antagonist species. I'd rather watch 10 hours of the horrendous drunk Irish people episode than endure one more insultingly stupid bit of 'We want things make us go.' dialogue.
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Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 4:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Crobert said: "Ensign Gomez is a goddamn smokeshow"


FYI: Lycia Naff (Sonya Gomez) played a very memorable character in Total Recall (1990).
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Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

I've heard that before. What a ridiculous way to make casting decisions. I also just realized that at the same time Jennifer Lien is being shown the door they found a way for Jeri Taylor's son, Alexander Enberg, to join the cast on a limited basis.
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Crobert
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 4:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

I can't stand watching Great Gazoo episodes. Woops, sorry, wrong show. I can't stand watching Q episodes.

This one is as good as it gets because it introduces the Borg and it finally feels like we're starting to hit our stride. Soon we'll be in all the good episodes when Klingon episodes and time travel episodes were fun and interesting and not tedious.

Also, Ensign Gomez is a goddamn smokeshow. The little hint of rasp to her voice makes me want to have private holodeck time.

Too bad they made her a joke. I cannot stand how the writers of this show can't seem to give us a character who is nuanced. Instead we end up with Gomez babbling inanely and spilling coffee on her captain or Lt. Barclay who suffers from so much nervousness I'm pretty sure he has a routine built to transport the diarrhea out of his pants every time he makes eye contact with a superior officer.

Imagine giving this actress a character who is new on the Enterprise and who has flaws and strengths that aren't shown to us in such an over-the-top fashion. Show us that she's someone who deserves to be on the FLAGSHIP of Starfleet don't give us some terrible trope of the airheaded chick who won't shut up.

Yeah, I'm mad, I could listen to her talk all day and just wish the actress had been given this character. I can't remember her story maybe she's redeemed later.
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Maq
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Evolution

This episode was poor.

Previous post Jason R. "You put salt and pepper on an egg in ST and you’ve created an intelligent new life form that must be protected." Spot on.

I do rearly complain about impossible science in sci-fy, it is ok to explore and have fantasy. But this was silly, just silly, most episodes wher salt pepper and egg merges into intelligens are silly.

It is ok to speculate about artificial intelligens, just take Data as a wonderful example of that. But the eskaped nanites where silly,

Although also liking Pulaski, I don't mind the Beverly Cruser charakter. Unfortubately in this epeside she was silly.
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Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 3:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

Jason R. said: "This episode is maddening for focusing on all the wrong things. Chacotay is horrified at being in a collective for a minute or two temporarily to heal a mortal wound but thinks forcibly assimilating hundreds of individuals is cool? Janeway is too busy worrying about the danger of activating the cube to care if any of this might oh I dunno violate the Prime Directive? Or how about just basic ethics and human decency?'

Janeway brings up the danger of reactivating the cube when meeting with Riley, and says that she is highly skeptical of her plan but she (politely) says that will give the matter some more thought. When she and Chakotay are alone she brings up the same objection you did:


JANEWAY: Not only would it mean imposing a choice on thousands of people who had no voice in the decision, but it would also be taking a terrible risk. Helping to create a new collective. Who knows what the repercussions might be?



I think it's also important to consider that Chakotay was being influenced by Riley's group. At first he simply displays extreme empathy, but by the end you see that they can directly control him. How much of his conversation with Janeway was the real Chakotay?



Luke said: " If they had ever given us the origin of the Borg, they almost certainly would have had Humans be responsible for it somehow. GROAN! "


A few years ago David Mack wrote a trio of Star Trek novels, the Destiny trilogy, that included the origin of the Borg. And, of course, it tied humanity into it. Surprisingly though the books were actually really good. The books were designed to cap off the ongoing novel continuity at the time and I really wasn't up to date with the current storylines, but I still really enjoyed them. Most tie-in novels are crap, but these are some of the exceptions.

And, as long as I'm recommending books, I think you might like the book The Joke by Milan Kundera. It isn't a dystopian sci-fi book or anything, it's just a very good (imo) novel about life in communist Czechoslovakia.
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Luke
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 3:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

They originally were going to jettison Harry at this point. The original plan was for him to die from the Species 8472 cells attacking him. Wang was going to be the cast member who left to make room for Jeri Ryan.

However during the summer between Parts I and II, People Magazine named Wang as one of their “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”. The show-runners decided that gave him enough “star power” to keep him around. So, they reconfigured the story and decided to kick Kes off the show instead. Pretty stupid since they didn’t do hardly anything with Harry Kim from this point onwards.

FACEPALM!
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Luke
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 3:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

@Bob (a different one)
I’m glad I am not the only one who likes Robert Beltran as an actor. The problem with him isn’t that he can’t act, it’s that the writers almost never let him sink his teeth into anything. If you give the man nothing to work with, what do you expect his performance to look like?! But the man can act. Okay, he’s not Patrick Stewart. I wouldn’t even say he’s at Robert Picardo’s level. But when given the chance, he can deliver quality performances.

And Chakotay, as a character, is actually really fascinating. It really annoys me that he was one of the characters given such short shrift. If properly developed, he could have been awesome.


This episode has definitely risen in my estimation over the years. When I first saw it I was so disappointed. I wanted the flash-bang adventure for the Borg’s return that “Scorpion” ended up giving us. Now, I have to admit, this is an absolutely chilling use of the Borg.

What appeals most to me is that this is as close to an origin story for the Borg as we ever got. Aside from an off-hand remark in “Dragon’s Teeth” about the Borg only having assimilated a few star systems 900 years previously, we’re never told where they come from or how they got started.

(As an aside - that’s undoubtedly a good thing. If they had ever given us the origin of the Borg, they almost certainly would have had Humans be responsible for it somehow. GROAN! We can’t have them independently arise out in the Delta Quadrant. No, Earth and humanity would have to be involved. Star Trek is probably the worst franchise I’ve encountered when it comes to Small Universe Syndrome. I’ve heard that they were thinking of making V’Ger be responsible for the creation of the Borg. Again - GROAN! I’ve also heard that one of the original plans for ENT: “Regeneration” was for Alice Krige to play a member of Starfleet who gets assimilated by the 24th century Borg and becomes the first Borg Queen. Yet again - GROAN! Seriously, stop!)

But honestly, can’t you see something like this little collective being how the Borg began? A group of well-meaning individuals who don’t understand what they’re messing with, and whose creation ultimately gets out of hand?

These are, in way, good people. They’re using the Borg collective consciousness to heal people. Definitely a commendable action. They’ve found a way to use the Hive Mind to create peace. Again, laudable. But, it sure doesn’t take long, does it, for that power to go to their heads. Before probably even they know it, they’re subordinating Chakotay’s will to their wishes without his consent and forcibly assimilating others into their collectivist utopia. Power corrupts, after all.

Once a small group like this started down that path how long do you think it would take for them (and how easy do you think it would for them) to justify to themselves the forced assimilation of others? After all, they’ve found “perfection”. Wouldn’t it be only compassionate to share that perfection with others? Wouldn’t they then find it necessary to share that perfection? After all, people would only resist because they simply don’t know any better. If they could only understand what those already in the collectivist utopia already know they would doubtlessly want to be assimilated. So, forcible assimilation isn’t bad, it’s compassionate. Therefore, they’ll happily force you to join their utopia; it’s for your own good, after all; just trust them, you’ll thank them once you a good little drone. Then, centuries later, they’re a galaxy spanning threat. “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is a well-known saying for a good reason.

Bringing real world politics into this for a minute - I think it might this depiction of the Borg that started my lifelong distrust of involuntary collectivism in all in it’s forms. The Borg, after all, are the ultimate communist nightmare. And Holy Mary, Mother of God, it is terrifying!
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Peter H
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 3:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

"I sincerely hope the mysterious Burn does not become something which this season, later in the game, uses to needlessly up the stakes into possible galactic destruction. "

I've not watched any more episodes, and have somehow completely avoided spoiling the plot, but this show is so fundamentally bad at this point that I could really believe this is actually true.

For all the appalling overacting and generic action fluff before it, the lone Federation representative really sold me on it emotionally. Also, it felt like to be a part of the Federation is to appear almost as a true believer of a religion. In this episode I could see how Series One Klingons saw the zealous Federation as such an existential threat.

I think I'm enjoying the show, but it's become a truly guilty pleasure - cos - it's total trash to the core!
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Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 2:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

An animated gif of the scene in which Ripley's true nature is revealed:

https://i.imgur.com/m4dAkb0.gif
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Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

I hate Janeway. Erratically written, and thoroughly unlikeable. I find myself actively rooting against her in many episodes.

Chakotay turns out to be 100% right in this episode.

Seven was the best thing to happen to the show. It took 3 seasons, but the writers finally found a character they seemed inspired to write good scripts for.

"Fair Trade" is the point where they should have dropped Neelix. "Scorpion" is the point where they should have dropped Harry; it would have allowed them to pump up the threat of Species 8472 and simultaneously jettison a weak character.
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Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Day of Honor

A pretty good episode.

I'm a fan of B'Elanna, or more accurately, I'm a fan of Roxann Dawson's acting as B'Elanna. She is what makes this episode work for me.

I'm not a big fan of the Tom Paris character however. For one thing, I don't think much of Robert Duncan McNeill's acting ability and I think he was too old for the part. For another, the snarky lines written for Paris that compose 90% of his dialog are (very) rarely amusing and RDM does a poor job of delivering them. I thought his performance here was pretty bad, honestly.

If I had to play matchmaker I'd link Torres with Chakotay, and Tom with an open airlock.

Other thoughts:

- I like the presentation of the Cataati and their leader. It was very realistic, imo.

- On the subject of Seven's outfit: she's going to be hot no matter what you dress her in. I saw her on an episode of Matlock once, and all I can say is that if a woman can make an episode of Matlock hot there just isn't any stopping her.
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zaphy
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

For anyone nit-picking the anti-time plot - remember the whole thing was almost certainly a Q construct, and he was probably making up the rules as he went along.
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Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

Poster #1: Plot hole! "X" made no sense!

Poster # 2: Actually, "X" is explained in scene Y

...two comments later...

Poster #3: Hey, did no one notice that "X" doesn't make sense? ZERO STARS!

lol


I thought this was a good episode. The dialog was irritating, but when you find out why it was written that way it makes perfect sense. The concept was very clever, I thought. I also think the makeup for the "beasts" was suitably terrifying and loathsome. And I really like the ending; Chakotay doesn't just snap out of it, and there is no clear cut answer as to if there are any actual "good guys" in the war.


p.s, Would this have worked as a Harry Kim episode?
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Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 11:59am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Distant Origin

"Minister Odala would have made an excellent cabinet official in a certain U.S. political administration."


Happy to find that I'm not alone in believing that Chester A. Arthur was a closeted triceratops. History will vindicate us, brother.





I think this was a pretty good episode. It was one of my dad's favorites.

Negatives:

1) My biggest complaint is that Starfleet runs into too many Earth related phenomena. This is something that all the shows suffer from. It's lazy and strains credulity way past the breaking point.

2) How can the writers of a science fiction series be so terrible at grasping the basics of the theory of evolution? I mean basic fourth grade level stuff.

JANEWAY: Computer, run a genome projection algorithm. If the Hadrosaur had continued to evolve over the last sixty five million years, extrapolate the most probable appearance.

Computer: magically produces a Voth.

Dumb. But at least they didn't use their stupidity to justify genocide like they did in "Dear Doctor."


Positives:

1) I really like the early scenes from the Voth scientists POV where they are speculating on human culture and physiology.

2) The performance by the female Voth was quite good.

3) Chakotay's speech was good. He's no Picard, but not bad.

4) The downbeat resolution was perfect.
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Michael
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 10:53am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: The Passage

Re-watching the show and thought I'd look through my own and others' comments from years ago on here while at it.

I'm saddened, in a way, by some of the remarks made in the past few years. "This character does something bad, which is unexpected and out of character." "That character does something good, which is unexpected and out of character."

That, I think, is the incomparable strength of this show: There are no cartoonish, black-and-white, infallible vs. irredeemable, virtuous vs. villainous dichotomies that plague so, so many other shows, movies, franchises, etc. Instead, *every* character disappoints at some point while some unexpectedly delight us. We form a bond with one or two and begin idolizing them, only to see them fail us by making a decision or engaging in behavior we see as contrary to our own reason or moral imperatives. I remember going through that with Adama on the first watch.

But that's what humans are like, especially humans who recently went through a species-defining catastrophe, are cooped up in close quarters for years on end, getting on each other's nerves, losing perspective and hope... - would we really act much differently in their shoes?

The same goes for Lee Adama and Starbuck (re MDE427's comment). Yes, Starbuck is unattractive, to put it mildly, in her own right and especially as stacked up against Dee. Yet, she has charisma, which Dee does not. How many times have we seen someone pick a physically unattractive partner over a much more prepossessing one? It's, again, human. This is not a two-bit Hollywood movie where a stunning guy shacks up with a super hot broad and they live happily ever after, or whatever.

As I said, that's to my mind the greatest strength of B.S.G.
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Q
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 10:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

I think the admiralty realized that strict Federation principles did not work in the Bajoran sector. They approved the plan to trick the Romulans into entering the Dominion war, they didn't like but ultimately didn't object to Sisko playing the role of the Emissary, they ignored the actions of Section 31 when they attempted genocide, and they ultimately didn't punish Sisko for his actions in this episode. Frankly, there was a former/traitorous senior officer running amok and creating an imbalance in the DMZ and they needed results.

Remember what then Vice-Admiral Nechayev said to Picard when she condoned genocide of an enemy: "Your priority is to safeguard the lives of Federation citizens, not to wrestle with your conscience." If she as Fleet Admiral was still in Sisko's chain of command in this episode, I would guess Sisko would have received a commendation for his actions.

Even if one did not want to accept the argument about Federation having lax principles in the Bajoran sector - there are a LOT of examples of Starfleet Admirals in the TNG-era ignoring Federation principles in favor of achieving results:

* VADM Haftel - treating Lal as property notwithstanding a court decision that set precedent showing Data was not property

* VADM Leyton - attempted a military coup after committing treason

* The Bolian Academy Commandant (RADM) in Paradise Lost - a co-conspirator with Leyton

* RADM Pressman - treaty violations/engaged in prohibited research

* ADM Raner - a co-conspirator with Pressman

* VADM Dougherty - tried to steal a planet from the indigenous population

Considering this - is there any doubt that Sisko was able to solve the problem by any means necessary without repercussion?
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 9:10am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

"Something to ponder: all we know about the politics of the colony comes from Riley herself. Who's to say that she was telling the truth about the raiders? In retrospect, maybe the "raiders" were storming the cooperative to prevent them from reactivating the Borg hive mind?"

Even if the raiders were as Riley said, does that make forcibly assimilating them right? This is a chilling outcome. Picard said he'd rather die than be assimilated. But I guess it's a-ok here because they are violent and don't wanna live in a collectivist multi-species utopia. Is this some kind of indictment of the Federation? Holy smokes maybe those Klingon monsters from Discovery S1 had a point?

This episode is maddening for focusing on all the wrong things. Chacotay is horrified at being in a collective for a minute or two temporarily to heal a mortal wound but thinks forcibly assimilating hundreds of individuals is cool? Janeway is too busy worrying about the danger of activating the cube to care if any of this might oh I dunno violate the Prime Directive? Or how about just basic ethics and human decency?

In retrospect, this is one of those episodes like Up the Long Ladder that seems to have fundamentally failed in writing, execution or both, despite having some really cool ideas.
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zanki
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 7:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

''Die is cast'' and ''Improbable '' is in my book the highlight of season 3. This is an Odo, Garak story and it's a great dynamic because both are probably the most astute/ paranoid characters on the show .

Basically the first part is Odo giving a quasi interrogation into Garak's mysterious background, and the second part is Garak showing us why he was a feared interrogator in a rather disturbing scene. Probably the secret agent theme of ST, Omarion Nebula battle removed.
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Silly
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 2:48am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

I think Nog’s story is the A story here.

I also don’t think this is a very solid episode. There’s impactful story here for both Odo and especially Nog, but all of it feels like material that could have been folded into the background of an episode with a strong plot.

Though, both the writing and Nana Visitor’s portrayal do convincingly convey a “fake” Kira. And René Auberjonois plays his part 100%, as usual.
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dave
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 12:41am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

The end with Spock and Rand is a real view into how men in Hollywood thought back then

1 - women shouldn't report or make anything public because it would be wrong to take down the man's career

2 - women likely are turned on by rape and attempted rape and its ok for their co workers and other managers to rib her about the assault

From everything we have learned the last few years from women's stories, this is actually how Hollywood operated back by with women and the men in power treating them this way.
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SS Elim
Tue, Mar 2, 2021, 11:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

It is a gross comment and needs to be removed.
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Bob (a different one)
Tue, Mar 2, 2021, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

I like this episode. It has some surprising twists and an interesting new take on the Borg.


Silly posted: "This was an apology for "Unity" failing to live up to the hype of the return of the Borg, as Jeri Taylor admitted"


The Voyager creators have a lot to apologize for, but Unity isn't one of them.
I would have liked to have seen fewer "slam-bang, Borg-as-villain adventure” episodes and more episodes that centered around how the various species in the Delta Quadrant were affected both directly and indirectly by the Borg.

Robert Beltran's acting is often described as wooden, but I prefer to think of it as "undetstated." He may not be giving a Shakespearean tour de force performances, but he does seem more "natural" than some of the other cast.

Something to ponder: all we know about the politics of the colony comes from Riley herself. Who's to say that she was telling the truth about the raiders? In retrospect, maybe the "raiders" were storming the cooperative to prevent them from reactivating the Borg hive mind?
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Crobert
Tue, Mar 2, 2021, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

Oh - meant to add - here we have *YET ANOTHER* example of a pretty straightforward answer to a problem that completely undermines huge points of emphasis in this universe.

I'm talking, specifically, about solving the breaking of the Prime Directive by obliterating memories.

My main issue with the Prime Directive is how it suggests that because some % of the current generation of a society might experience emotional stress or religious trauma that you're better off allowing generation after generation to endure plagues and genocides? It's either idiotic or wildly without compassion, take your pick.

So here we have a solution so easy that a doctor on an exploratory vessel can perform it quickly on a single person which suggests it would easily be within the Federation's ability to intervene on a small or even medium scale as necessary.

Someone's got the Space Bubonic plague? Beam them up and cure them then wipe their memory with a MIB stick.

If you can easily skirt the rules by just wiping people's minds how are you allowing people to continue to suffer?

But I guess it's better to just allow the Holocaust to happen rather than beam some tactical officers into Hitler's office with phasers set to 'pink mist'.
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