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Bucktown
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 3:35am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@MidshipmanNorris -

Yes I mostly agree with you. I do think that because Discovery is mostly made and written by Hollywood insiders, it suffers from all the pitfalls that brings. And yes, while there is a competitive aspect of it (and absolutely a serious gossip culture), a strange thing about modern Hollywood that many people might not be aware of - everyone (at least in the creative realm) is nice now. Too nice. As in, so nice that nobody really gives honest opinions anymore for fear of being pegged an asshole.

This could have something to do with the problem - everyone constantly congratulation one another about substandard work without ever challenging one another in the writers room. I've heard tale from Trek days of yore, and while Rick Berman was probably an asshole, he did seem to draw some good material out of those writers.

But at the same time, you have to have talent to begin with. Alex Kurtzman is a deeply untalented man, and as they say, failure starts at the top. There is no vision for this show whatsoever. Nothing. It is a void. It has no voice. No originality.
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Bucktown
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 3:26am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@MidshipmanNorris -

You've done a good job breaking down and doing a level 5 diagnostic of Discovery. I agree with just about all of your analyses.

1. I really think this may be the original sin of Discovery's failure when they first developed the dark tone of the show. It's hard to ever change that once it's been established from the get go. There is absolutely nothing in Discovery (or Picard, for that matter) that a kid could grab onto. There's no inspiration. There's thousands of engineers, scientists, doctors, etc. who have cited Star Trek as a main motivator of why they chose to work in their field. There will not be 1 single person in the future who cites Discovery as the reason why they work at NASA. I have absolutely no clue why Kurtzman and CBS decided to go this route. Did they think edgy would get cool people to like ST?

2. Yes, you hit on this one too. I don't think many on here or even the vast majority of viewers object to any of the myriad of identities and representations on the show. I certainly don't and it's in the one thing in Discovery that you could point to that's traditionally Trek. But they way they do it just feels off, like a kind of tokenism. There have been great opportunities to evolve and explore characters backgrounds - like Adira wanting to be referred to as "they", which could have been an entire episode about their Trill identity. But no. It just lands with a dull thud. Instead, we only explore Michael's identity, which still makes absolutely no sense to me. A human, raised by Vulcans, who we're told off the bat is one of the most cold and logical Starfleet has ever seen, yet who we only see weeping from scene to scene for the past 3 years. Huh?

3. The special effects, while well done and expensive looking, don't really add much to the story without any soul or imagination. What new piece of technology on Discovery has been interesting or worthy of great special effects? What has sparked inspiration? Mushroom engines? Sorry, but honestly Mario Kart has inspired more culturally with mushroom engines than Discovery ever could.

I think 4 and 5 are both victims of the same stupidity - treating Star Trek as if it is a superhero story. It steals all of the same story and emotional beats from your average Marvel movie. And Michael is our Iron Man. These writers just wish they were making some comic book hero vs. villain story, and I place the blame of that solely on Alex Kurtzman. It's all he knows and the only story he's ever done. He has no imagination beyond it. He was and always will be the wrong choice to ever spearhead ST. He's even tarnished the reputations of great literary scribes like Michael Chabon. Please show him the door, Paramount!

6. Despite an entire essay worth of complaints about Discovery, I think I honestly hate the incessantly cloying and over-sentimental score in EVERY SINGLE SCENE to be the thing I hate most about the show. Just give it a f'ing rest for 1 goddamn minute, Jeff Russo!
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Bucktown
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 4:40am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

The nice thing I'll say about this episode is that it was well paced/directed with a simple, semi-coherent plot, and Michelle Yeoh did a good job with what she was given. For that alone, it stands above most of the other Discovery episodes.

But why, oh Guardian of Forever, do we keep getting these overly long, emotional farewells on this show???? There's been like 47 since episode 1. Not one of them has ever been earned, including this one.

Also not teasing the audience at the end of where Georgiou ended up after passing through the portal is total BS. Do they not want us excited about whatever her potential spin-off show is?

Or are the rumors true and all of these show may be getting cancelled if CBS can't dump them off on Netflix? If that's the case and I was a Netflix exec, I'd only take them if CBS canned Kurtzman and the other 57 producers, lest they'd be endorsing total hackery.
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Bucktown
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 5:11pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 1

God this show is such a mess. I don't even think the people who write it know what it is.

As a teacher, it reminds me of when students have nothing original to write in an essay and just end up remixing the same paragraph over and over again.

Shouldn't Paramount hire writers who are EXCITED to write for Star Trek and represent the future???
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 5:41pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

@SlackerInc -

I agree with your last point - the last thing we need from this show is characters wallowing in depression any further. But I just don't think we were properly and fully sold on any of these characters' ambivalence about being thrust 1000 years into the future. Everyone they've ever known is long dead, and despite that, they all seem perfectly giddy about their current setting. It's an unbelievable tone.

And yes, true, we haven't seen much in Star Trek's history of our main characters going into the future and coming back (it's always been traveling to the past). But we have seen instances of characters going back to the past to prevent unwanted events that occur in the future, in spite of any temporal prime directive. "Endgame" and "Timeless" from Voyager come to mind. Why wouldn't preventing the stupid Burn be any different?


@Eric Jensen -

I still don't buy it. What kind of ego does she have that thinks that she is the first person out of trillions to look into the Burn and potentially solve it, without ever having any prior knowledge of 32nd century technology and history? And if she is supposed to be the first person to really investigate it, how is that remotely believable by any stretch of the imagination?

As to Georgiou, I actually enjoy her character because I'm holding out hope her psychopathic tendencies are still within her and she murders Michael Burnham. But I am sure we'll instead see some dumb Hollywood sacrifice of hers to save Michael in the finale, which will result in the collective groan of millions of Trekkies across the globe.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 1:53pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

And just like that, Discovery goes back to the mindless action no one asked for. On top of that, this episode had so many cliches, it made an average Enterprise episode seem like it was written by James Joyce in comparison. Speaking of Enterprise, didn't they even do this "we need to break someone out of a prison camp" plot like at least 5 times?

First off, I'll never get over the suspension of disbelief that this is the 32nd century. The entire opening act of retrofitting the Discovery is treated as basically just upgrading your iPhone to the new iOS. Where is the imagination here? The writers had a 1000 years to play around in, and all they could come up with is personal teleporters and "programmable matter"? Weren't the replicators of the TNG era already reprogramming matter?

Michael's obsession about the Burn makes absolutely no sense. She's not even supposed to be in this timeline. Shouldn't she and the rest of the crew care more about getting back to their own century? Don't they have families and friends to get back to? They all seem perfectly fine with it, which doesn't sit right. Again, Voyager makes that plot Dickensian in comparison.

This episode was also back to being so Burn focused, I felt like I was getting heatstroke. There are likely trillions of sentient lifeforms existing in the Milky Way Galaxy within the universe of Star Trek. We're supposed to believe not one of them thought to figure this out in a 100 years? The galaxy requires just 1 single lifeform, Michael Burnham, to solve all of its problems across all of time and space? How does that expound on the Star Trek ideal of peoples of all backgrounds coming together to solve dilemmas? Making a single character the savior of everything at all times is not even something I would expect out of a 10 year old. It's just dumb no matter what.

Honestly, if this show jettisoned her out the airlock, it would probably improve overnight. All of the other characters are decent, and this season's addition of Adira seems promising. But this show can't quit Michael like a bad, abusive relationship. WHY IS SHE ALWAYS CRYING???
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Bucktown
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 3:32am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@HaveGun_WillRiker, @grey cat, @dave -

I tried following along with what this comment section devolved into and it honestly makes no sense to me. Something about Minnesota?

My best hypothesis is while we were away, this board was bombarded with synthetic T-cells and most turned out like Riker in "Genesis".
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Bucktown
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 6:46pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@JohnKusack -

Thanks! But yes exactly - so much unnecessary drama. Discovery's extreme form drama and emotional outbursts have been turned up to 11 since the very first scene and have not let up once. This episode was no different. It's exhausting.

To me, the original concept of Spock and the emotionless Vulcans could be interpreted as a metaphor that problems can be solved much easier without emotions getting in the way and mucking up solutions. Star Trek always posed that question - what if we all (including humans) had perfect control over our emotions? Could we actually accomplish more? Their theory was yes. The emotional development of humankind was more revolutionary than the economic or technological developments. THIS above all things, may be the central thesis of Star Trek.

TNG tempered this slightly by offering Troi as a character trying to help the crew find a healthy balance of what kind of emotion is appropriate in a work place environment. But they all remained complete professionals. Take Riker in "Measure of a Man" for instance. He does his duty to prosecute Starfleet's case against Data. Of course, Data can't feel emotions but everyone else on the crew understands this professionalism and doesn't hold it against Riker.

Or how about this scene between Data & Worf from "Gambit"? Absolutely incredible, and you will never find anything at this level on Discovery:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMKtKNZw4Bo&ab_channel=SuperMetalDave64

Voyager, while constantly criticized for it, may have exemplified this professionalism the best. The crew was thrown across the galaxy, and Janeway was saddled with a mediocre crew, half of whom were a minute ago traitors. Yet every person on board understood the position they were in, put aside differences, and Janeway was there to constantly remind them the principles and ethics of Starfleet and the Federation. Really inspiring stuff.

JJ's and Kurtzman's Trek believes all of that is impossible at its very premise. They believe Vulcans are just fooling themselves, burying emotions so deep that they want to cry and scream at any given moment. Vulcans are a failed experiment. Every humanoid is an extreme emotional being at their core. Michael Burnham, (quixotically) raised by Vulcans, feels so much she speaks through tears about 60% of the show. Every character has to say whatever dumb or asisnine thing pops in their head (I'm looking at you, Tilly, Jet and Michael, and to a lesser but still noticeable degree, Stamets).

One of the writers, Akiva Goldsman, even admits it in this annoyingly pedantic, condescending monologue on his general "rules" of writing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2zEkef-7QU&ab_channel=AmericanFilmInstitute

This, of course, must be the same ethos in the writers room. But I constantly pose the question - if we get that style of storytelling with most other franchises and other studio productions, what makes this version of Star Trek unique or special? Not much, as it turns out.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 9:09pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@Nick -

Fair points. But my rebuttal is how fast it was depicted. The Discovery crew was shown basically out-performing these other officers with a 1000 years on them right off the bat. Huh? It's ludicrous unless this version of the future has undergone some type of "Idiocracy" like scenario. If the Burn also made everyone in the galaxy really dumb, that actually might be sort of fun. Oh well.

I fully believe that given some time to learn, Scotty would have been gotten himself equal to Geordi in "Relics." But that episode wisely depicted a character out of time attempting to immediately help, only to realize all of his knowledge is outdated and stale, which causes an identity crisis. THAT's the way to handle it. Not whatever this is.

What exactly makes this Discovery crew so brilliant? The individual characters are written as mostly fine and capable, but not the elite of the elite. There's a disconnection of believability with what they accomplish vs what they seem capable of.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 5:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@Karl Zimmerman, @Chris L. & @Nick -

I think you all are giving the writers the benefit of the doubt that they have never proven they deserve. "The Burn" is absolutely supposed to be the MacGuffin/JJ Mystery Box. It would be one thing if the Burn was just a simple device that would explain why intergalactic society has not advanced much in a millennium, thus not requiring a completely new imaginative universe with no relation to the Star Trek that we know of the 23rd/24th centuries. That actually would be interesting.

But no. The Messiah, Michael Burnham, will eventually solve (and/or be the cause of) the Burn. Move over Control, Red Angel, Red Matter, Zhat Vash, Admonition, etc. - The Burn will be the stupidest, most asinine revelation of them all.

This big "revelation-style" of storytelling is not rooted in Star Trek's legacy. It never has been. That was always the domain of Star Wars and other fantasy, superhero, and myth type storytelling. It is by far the biggest problem I've had with Discovery and Picard. These are writers who either grew up or absorbed those other writing styles and did not really understand what made Star Trek special.

Ultimately, Star Trek is at its simplest core a workplace drama of elite professionals putting aside differences to solve science-based mysteries or social/cultural/ethical problems that pop up each week. That's it.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 4:33am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

"The Burn" continues to be the most frustratingly Kurtzmanian of all the Kurtzmanesque. Whatever is revealed inside that mystery box can't be worth having to hear every character utter that embarrassing moniker every 10 minutes. We don't care what happened, and neither should you, Messiah Burnham!

Everything about this distant future feels so off, that I half predict Saru to pull a Riker in "Future Imperfect" and shut the whole thing down since none of it adds up. How is it in the realm of any fathomable universe that the Discovery crew could ever possibly assist (and even surpass!) a society advanced 1000 years??? It would be like a crew of a medieval oarship of the Byzantine Empire assisting some Google coders and then somehow developing a holographic interface. Preposterous. Also, 500 year old starships are still in use? What? Why? I better fire up my horse and carriage to get to work tomorrow.

Also, if replicators existed since the 2300s, which can analyze any item down to its subatomic level and get stored in a computer database, what is the need for a useless and literal seed bank ship? Don't all of these seeds' DNA exist in binary?

But are the character and emotional beats there, even if the science and plot isn't? Not really. We never really understand who this alien race that Burnham and crew are trying to save. We spend literally 3 seconds seeing one of them squirm on a hospital bed. There is absolutely no reason to care about the mission to save them at all without being invested. Were the writers just trying to make some ham-fisted GMO parallel? If so, for the love of Q, they need to get a real scientist consultant, since GMOs have been proven time and time again to be perfectly safe and healthy. It is scientifically illiterate to argue otherwise. Wasn't Star Trek always supposed to be pro-science?

We also get another "farewell" episode with all the beats to go with it for a character that the show assumes has had a full series arc, only to not realize that 95% of the audience probably couldn't even remember her name. I still can't remember her name 10 minutes after finishing the episode.

I do appreciate that this episode didn't have any big action scenes, but that's likely more for budgetary reasons. The future Federation officers keeps talking about how Discovery came from the "golden age" of Starfleet, but we never saw that in season 1 or 2. We only saw death, torture, war, violence and destruction.

This show is constantly resting on its past laurels to skirt its own storytelling issues, and it's getting very tiresome. It's high time it creates its own inspiring stories instead of just relying on the good will of our memories of past glories. It came close last week which is why I still watch, but I've been "BURNED" too many times with this show.
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Bucktown
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 2:15pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Damage

Anyone else have a suspicion that this episode was a way for Brannon Braga, after just seeing his ex-partner's new Battlestar Galactica miniseries, to say, "Hey asshole, I can do that too, you're not so special"?
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Bucktown
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 2:16am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Harbinger

The long, drawn out fight scene between Reed and the Major was almost a pitch perfect clone of the one with Roddy Piper and Keith David in "They Live." Intentional? If not, still absolutely ridiculous.
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Bucktown
Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 1:36pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Unsolicited pitch - There should now be a spinoff show starring Seven of Nine. In the least contrived way possible, she recruits to the Fenris Rangers some of the most maligned and outcast characters in all of Trekdom - Wesley Crusher, Alexander Rozhenko, Molly O'Brien, Jake Sisko, and Naomi Wildman. Together, they brutally and savagely take out all of the baddies that have sprouted up since the Romulan supernova. THIS is the story Quentin Tarantino needs to tell.
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Bucktown
Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 1:36pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

Does nobody remember when Riker fucked Frasier's ex-wife just so he could escape from a hospital? Star Trek has dealt with sex, it's just more often than not really goofy and very unsexy.

I also completely reject Ron Moore's argument re Seven of Nine. Jeri Ryan can't help what her body looks like, and the human body in and of itself is not purely a sex object. You can apply this same logic to Jolene Blalock (although her fake boobs somewhat dull this argument).
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Bucktown
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 1:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

So much for "to seek out new life and new civilizations."

I agree with just about everyone here. This episode seems like a perfect encapsulation of the first two seasons of the show in general - a good premise with a lot of promise that is squandered and then turned absolute garbage.

Blowing up the aliens' ship at the end is so antithetical to the Trek ethos. Really embarrassing stuff. I really hate when in more recent interviews Berman & Braga blame Trek fatigue over 17 years for the cancellation of Enterprise. No, I'm sorry. It's episodes like this that turned off and soured the fanbase, who never wanted to bother tuning back in when this was the schlock they were getting.
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Bucktown
Mon, Nov 25, 2019, 12:03pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Vanishing Point

The dialogue between Archer and Hoshi's father was atrocious. It reminded me of mid-90s video game dialogue. Why did Berman and Braga think they could write like 80% of a 26 episode season?

I have to buck the trend and say that I find Linda Park a really good actress and Hoshi a good, realistic character that we haven't seen in Trek before. But with boring, recycled plots like these, they really do a disservice to the character.

As to the transporter element, I think Berman and Braga made a mistake by even having that technology available to them at the very start of the show. It actually would have been an interesting development if somewhere around this point in the show, Starfleet develops the technology and forces the installation of it on Enterprise, much to the reluctance of the crew. Because T'Pol is Vulcan and they have utilized transporters for some time, even she is reluctant to use the transporter because it was engineered by humans. We could have then further explored the issue of bigoted beliefs from the lens Vulcans against the "primitive" humans.
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Bucktown
Wed, Nov 20, 2019, 4:54am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Singularity

Braga: What if we did "The Naked Now" but instead of the crew acting drunk, instead they're acting jacked up from 5 lines of coke?

Berman: Perfect!
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Bucktown
Tue, Nov 19, 2019, 2:28pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: The Communicator

Although this show preceded the smartphone to be fair, in just a few years from 2002 we gained the ability to effectively brick our phones remotely, rendering them useless. So this episode really loses a 2019 audience. Definitely a boring, skippable episode.

How many episodes can we go until we next see Archer again shackled to a chair with a gun at his head? I'm hoping at least 5 or we really need to get him some hostage insurance.
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Bucktown
Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 3:43pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

I wished when Archer confidently said, "We have a saying on Earth, Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime", the deuterium guy just looks at him and responds flatly, "What's a fish?"
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Bucktown
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 12:06pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Am I the only one with the takeaway when she takes out the purse at the end that T'Mir WAS T'Pol? I actually think that's a great twist, if so. Perhaps it's too far back to fit in with Vulcan lifespans, but the setup of the episode seems to be hinting that T'Pol is much older than anyone on board Enterprise realizes.
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Bucktown
Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 5:25pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
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 -5) | 🔗
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 -5) | 🔗
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 -5) | 🔗
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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