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Melota
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Hi Booming :) Not harsh at all, thanks for correcting my dates...for some reason I thought the Cardassian war started after the Borg invasion but obviously I was wrong. Fair point then, TNG wasn’t set in a time of total peace. But it was before the two biggest shocks to the system - the Borg and the Dominion. I forget which episode of DS9 but I’m sure Sisko’s father said something like “the Dominion war is frightening people like nothing has since the Borg”. It’s plausible that when people are frightened they tend to turn towards isolationism and authoritarianism, and when people are war weary and resources are stretched they tend towards a “look after ourselves first” mentality.

I agree with you abandoning the Romulans was morally wrong, but I can see how Starfleet came to that decision. As to why not just save some people, I guess they did, the grumpy Romulans in this episode were presumably evacuated before the Mars attack. When that happened I can see how the elements in Starfleet who were against the rescue seized the opportunity to say “enough is enough, we’ve got our own emergency to deal with now”.

When I mentioned the Bajorans I was thinking of the pre-DS9 era when they were struggling to survive in camps and were so desperate that Picard could earn brownie points just by offering them some blankets. Couldn’t the Federation have provided a few replicators? Some emergency supplies? Offered them asylum?

And I know it’s a somewhat different issue but when Picard was shouting at that Admiral that the Federation didn’t have the right to decide which species should live or die, the first thing I thought of was those pre-warp people rescued illicitly by Worf’s brother against Picard’s orders. And that other species that they only saved because Data made friends with the little girl. Left to his own devices, Captain Picard would have let both species die. I know, I know, Prime Directive etc. But as Dr Pulaski might say “we’re jiggling madly on the head of a pin here” ;) It’s still a question of letting thousands, perhaps millions of people die when you have the means to save them.

I guess my understanding of the optimism of ST was always that humanity COULD overcome its baser instincts, not that those instincts had been erased altogether from human nature in this utopian future. We saw human colonies devolve into war and anarchy, like Tasha Yar’s home planet. We saw how quickly the McCarthyite witch hunt took hold in The Drumhead. We saw plenty of very morally dubious decisions from Starfleet Admirals throughout TNG. Granted, the Starfleet of STP seems to be more protectionist / less humanitarian (plausible after the Dominion war) but the Starfleet of TNG was hardly run by angels.

“So not like Nazi Germany? Phew, fingers crossed. :) Ok I'll give you that but we have Fox News, xenophobia, lower class workers in shitty environments, the entire Federation security is apparently compromised by the Romulans and is for example covering up assassinations by the Romulans, Synthetic beings are banned. That is no longer a utopia by any measure. How was the interview with Picard received? We are never really shown what else goes on in the Federation but what the show actually shows us certainly looks bad.”

Federation security is forever being compromised, that place leaks like a sieve :) If it’s not bug-eating space parasites taking over, it’s Romulan spies posing as Vulcan ambassadors or plain old Dodgy Starfleet Admirals [TM] breaking galactic treaties and covering up mutiny. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here though - all we ever really see of what’s going on in the Federation is the small slice shown by whichever series we’re in. In TNG we mostly saw the Federation as represented by the senior staff of the Enterprise D who were all good people, under the command of Picard, also a good person. Maybe the biggest difference here is that Picard is no longer in command of events like he was on TNG. What we saw of the Federation outside the Ent-D wasn’t always rosy, but we didn’t see much of it. Now it’s a bit less rosy and we’re seeing more of it.
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Melota
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 11:13am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Thank you Mertov :)
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Melota
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 10:47am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I’m new to commenting here and I’m enjoying the show so far...I hope that doesn’t make me unwelcome :)

I don’t think it’s perfect but then neither was TNG even though it was my favourite TV series of all time. Plenty of silly plot points abound even in post-S1 TNG but the overall quality and characters more than make up for it and I’m hopeful that the same will be true of STP. The first 3 eps had some clunky exposition and contrived dialogue but I thought this one was much better and felt more natural in that respect. Even the best show can be nitpicked to death if we try hard enough.

Raffi was less OTT and I quite liked her in this ep. I’m not convinced by Rios yet but he’s growing on me. I actually found it entirely plausible that Jurati was at a loose end here - she may know everything about cybernetics but that doesn’t mean she has any experience of space travel or galactic politics or Romulan sects. It’s believable that she’s feel out of her depth at the moment.

As for what happened to humanity? So far the only thing the Federation has done “wrong” is abandon the Romulan relief effort. It’s not as if Earth is now some dystopia filled with poverty or war or authoritarian governments rounding people up. Let’s not forget TNG (at least the first 4 seasons) was set in the middle of an very peaceful time, almost a golden age perhaps. There was not only peace with the Klingons but an actual alliance. Ok there was the Romulan Cold War but that was limited to a few mostly bloodless skirmishes along the neutral zone. Then came the Borg invasion and the destruction of virtually the whole fleet at Wolf 359. Then the Cardassian war, then the Dominion war, and even after all that, when resources were surely already stretched, Starfleet agreed to Picard’s proposal for a gigantic rescue mission for the Romulans. You can’t get much more idealistic than that. It seems like the destruction of Mars was the last straw and the kneejerk synth ban is completely in character with TNG-era Starfleet’s underlying attitude towards AI.

It’s not as if Starfleet was never the bad guy in TNG, nor that they were 100% consistent in helping all and sundry. They didn’t do much for the Bajorans for many years and they weren’t even enemies. It’s not unreasonable that they would pull the plug on a borderline-unfeasible rescue operation for their enemies at a time of scarce resources, and in the aftermath of the destruction of their main shipyard (with thousands dead), rather than risk the fragmentation of the Federation itself. I don’t think TNG-era Starfleet command would have made a different choice.
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