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Bucktown
Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 5:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi,

Thanks for compliment! In an alternate universe, I hope my counterpart was able to write some Star Trek episodes.

And I agree with you re my analogy being not quite accurate - it was only meant as a direct rebuttal to Brian Lear's analogy, not one I would have brought up as an exemplar.

I agree that the issue of a total world-wide intervention is much more complex than a heart transplant. But my argument to that is that even if Archer and Phlox believed they didn't have enough information, they erred on the side of natural selection and non-interference, which they knew very well would cause the extinction of millions (if not billions) of a sentient life form. Why not err on the side of life, especially if they can do something about it? Isn't that what practicing medicine is all about? Not making moral decisions based on who deserves to live and die but just saving any life at all costs? We subvert natural selection every day by taking all kinds of medications. Medicine itself is a form of species interference, rendering natural selection amongst humans almost moot.

I think this episode made a mistake using medicine and disease as a vehicle to explore non-interference, if that's the route they wanted to go. A more nuanced discussion would have been political, as we can apply that to our current world's situation, especially at the time this aired circa 9/11/01. At what point should a society interfere in another's development or internal politics? Do we have a moral duty? Or do some well intentioned decisions in the moment sometimes backfire?

What if the Valakians were actively committing genocide against the Menk? Does Archer have the right to intervene on moral grounds? Is it worth starting a war with the Valakians to save the Menks? Even if Archer intervenes and overpowers the Valakians with his superior technology, then what? Does Archer have to stay there permanently to keep the peace? I find that much more interesting than a doctor withholding necessary medical care.
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Bucktown
Mon, Oct 21, 2019, 3:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Brian Lear,

I don't think that's an accurate analogy at all. The Menk have no need for a "new heart." Their health is perfectly fine, so it's not like a hard moral or medical choice needs to be made here. Only the Valakians have need for medical intervention. And if cured, there is no evidence that it will only prolong another inevitable extinction. A cure is a cure.

The failure of this episode is the junk science that if 2 sentient species co-exist and one goes extinct, the other will flourish and "evolve" into a more intelligent species. So Phlox and Archer did not provide necessary medical services as a result.

The more accurate analogy would be: "Patient 1" is dying and in need of a heart transplant. "Patient 2" is his brother and is perfectly fine and healthy. The doctor has a perfectly good new heart waiting to be transplanted into Patient 1, but the dumb amoral doctor, with absolutely no evidence, believes that Patient 2 will flourish into a better individual without his brother around anymore, so condemns Patient 1 to die. What a load of bollocks.
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Bucktown
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Sleeping Dogs

"I cannot believe a race as obstinate, belligerent and primitive as the Klingons would ever have invented the wheel, never mind done anything useful with it. For them to be a warp-capable civilization is incredible. But anyway..."

Michael,

I forget where this came from precisely, but wasn't it established in canon in an earlier show that the Klingons stole all their advanced technology (including warp) from the Romulans? Of course the Romulans wouldn't have any kind of Prime Directive, and the Klingons becoming warp capable centuries before they naturally would explains a lot.
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Bucktown
Fri, Oct 11, 2019, 3:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Jason R.,

I think Dr. Phlox's use of the word "evolved" is totally and dangerously incorrect. When he says a species is "more evolved" than another, it propagates the unscientific belief that evolution has an ultimate destiny, when in scientific reality, it does not. Evolution is based ONLY on genetic mutations that benefit survivability in a particular environment over those without the mutation. We're not all destined to become pure beings of light.

The words he could have used that would have been scientifically correct would have been "developed" or "complex." It's possible the Valakians may have had a more complex neurological system than the Menk. But it is IMPOSSIBLE for Phlox to know if a species' brain would become more complex generations down the line without the use of a time machine. The only argument I could see is by wiping out the Valakians, the Menk's prime benefactors who they relied on for survivability, would create a new environment where the Menk must adapt or die, possibly favoring resourceful Menk over the long run.

This episode gets 0 Stars purely for the garbage science alone. This episode may have even informed some people's personal understanding of evolution, which is almost unforgivable.

But this episode is not about evolution really. The story they wanted to tell (but also failed here as well) was about the origins of the Prime Directive and non-interference in other planetary races' development. Many people have stated here in the comments in respects to the appalling interpretation of the Prime Directive in this episode, so I don't need to go into it too.

But there was something here that could have worked and made sense as a morality tale for the need of non-interference, and they totally missed the opportunity. Everything in the episode is the same leading up to that conservation between Phlox and Archer. My change would have been Phlox couldn't find a cure. He's a doctor, not a cultural anthropologist, so of course he then pleads with Archer to still try to help them live (Hippocratic Oath and all). The Valakians had earlier asked Archer for their warp drive technology so they could go out on their own to see if another species can help them find a cure. Because of Phlox's urging and his own pain at seeing suffering, Archer reluctantly gives the Valakians the specs for warp drive to help them save themselves. But the Valakians prove incapable of handling this new technology in their current state of scientific development, where they unintentionally cause an anti-matter chain reaction, destroying the entire planet. Both Menk and Valakians are now wiped out. The Prime Directive is about culture, technology, and engineering and the need for a race to develop social ideas and these advanced machines on their own. It is NOT about watching people die until they magically figure out warp drive technology.

Yes, my proposed story change is a lot darker, but it actually is a story about the need for the Prime Directive that MAKES SENSE, both scientifically and culturally.
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Buck
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 1:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

Nice tribute to Lt. Torres by the Doctor, since Roxanne was too busy having a baby to be in the episode.
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Buck
Mon, Nov 27, 2017, 4:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Pathfinder

Everyone, from 4 stars to none, hits the same chord - the contact scene was flawless. If you’re at all invested in these characters, then one of your favorite moments of the series is having everyone realize what’s happening while Captain Janeway somehow maintains her command bearing and utters the biggest understatement of the series: “We’ve been waiting a long time for this moment.”

If I had one drawback, it wouldn’t involve the aim of the stream. It would be everyone, including 7, instantly trust the authenticity of the communication. How many times have they been trapped with honey? But 47 minutes is what it is and really, Voyager was the object and not the subject.
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Buck
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 3:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Another small but bang-on part is the "administrator" deafly listening to Batai's explanation of their tree and then hollowly saying, "Perhaps I shall recommend a symbolic tree in all my communities." Man, if he didn't sound like any politician you've ever endured!
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Buck
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 3:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

My favorite bit that hasn't been mentioned -
"We're umm ... we're umm ... ... we're married." [Immediately buries his face in the soup.]

Elliott:
"There are only a couple of actors in the whole franchise's history who could I think rise to such a challenge: Patrick Stewart, Andrew J. Robinson, Kate Mulgrew and maybe Robert Picardo. That's about it."

Well ... Avery Brooks watched Jake Sisko outage him and become an old man.
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Buck
Tue, Jun 24, 2014, 1:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

I do think it's funny that Elliot enjoyed the characters being "freed from Roddenberry" ... Since he supervised the script production.
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Buck
Tue, Jun 24, 2014, 1:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

It's just entertainment, and the old STP2 script was used due to the short writer's strike. If it was MY Enterprise, Ardra would have had the keys shortly after showing up in my room.
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Buck
Mon, May 26, 2014, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: The Xindi

I must admit that I get a chuckle out of all your comments that trash the writers for their almost-sex scenes, as if it's some sort of transgression that can't be forgiven. After all, Captain Kirk was certainly took a vow of chastity ...
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Buck
Sat, May 17, 2014, 6:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Surprised no one mentioned this -- the only disappointing part of this episode for me occurs years later at the end of "Generations."

You'll remember that Picard and Riker are rummaging through the wreck of the Enterprise-D. I think everyone forgot about this episode, because there's absolutely NO WAY Picard leaves that vessel forever without his Kataanian flute. Easy to pack out as well, as opposed to a big book or a big ceramic head ...
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Buck
Mon, May 12, 2014, 11:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

Hit and miss, but I like the allegory of the pre-Federation supplying and training the local fighters. It plays as a a good prequel to the TOS Cold War themes between the Fed and Klingons.
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Buck
Mon, May 12, 2014, 4:45am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Shockwave, Part II

I really liked the timing of T'Pol's last line. And Archer's response was perfect. Nice scene overall, but especially because T'Pol can't resist the urge to get the last argument in ... only to have it acknowledged!
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Buck
Sun, May 11, 2014, 4:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

Hoshi whining about not being good at her job. Wow ... what an original concept ...
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Buck
Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 5:52am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

It's amusing that a lot of people can't "suspend disbelief" over the physical aspects of the holosuite, but have no problem believing that everyone would still work and lead productive lives if holosuites existed.

Max Grodenchik -- played high school baseball against him. He was an outstanding athlete.
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Buck
Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

"... and all it cost was the life of one Romulan senator, one criminal, and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer."

Best line of the episode.
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Buck
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 1:05am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

It's essentially Corporal Fife's story from James Jones' "The Thin Red Line." Not a bad take at all, other than the somewhat wooden script and action for the background characters. You can't improve on great material, you can just hope to do it justice.
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Starbuck
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 10:28am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

Sometimes it burns when I tinkle.
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Buckly
Thu, Dec 27, 2012, 8:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

Jay - I don't know about Quark, but Armin Shimerman was off working on "Buffy".
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