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Wed, May 27, 2020, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@James White
"...decided that success would be exclusively defined by immediate viewership."

You know what's the saddest part is?

If CBS had actually done what's needed to maximize immediate viewership, Star Trek would have been in far better shape.

First step would be to realize that when you have a Star Trek show that's hidden behind a paywall, the vast majority of your viewers are going to be Trek fans. Trek fans of many different types and personalities and ages and needs... but Trek fans nevertheless. So it makes little point to pander to any other demographic.

Seems like CBS realized this when they first conceived ST:P, because they've found the PERFECT pitch to hook Trekkies with: The legendary Patrick Stewart portraying the even more legendary Jean Luc Picard.

So far so good. That's "shut up and take my money!" material, right there.

But then, unfortunately, they seemingly forgot who their target audience is. In the end, there is very little in ST:P that is even remotely aimed at Trek fans.

The one big exception is the nostalgia factor. CBS got that part right (at least from a business perspective). There's a reason why "Nepenthe" is the most well-received episode of ST:P. There's also a reason why Jammer was willing to forgive ten hours of nonsense when the endpoint was a touching scene between Picard and Data. Most of us love this stuff.

The problem is that you can't base an entire season on nostalgia, even with Picard as your main character. That's why we have all the cheesy action scenes, the mcguffins, the violence, the torture porn, the mystery boxes, the nonsensical plot... and the fact is that all these were aimed at a mainstream audience THAT DOESN'T EVEN WATCH THE SHOW.

The percentage of actual viewers of ST:P who think these things are good is tiny. Even among the fiercest defenders of the show, you are not going to find many who argue that these things make the show *better*.

In short:

If CBS had seriously tried to reach the goal of maximizing immediate viewership, they would have created a much better show. And then we would not be sitting here, arguing with one other whether the show is good or bad.

Instead, we would be sitting side by side, enjoying a thoughtful well-written story worthy of Picard's iconic legacy. A show that gives this beloved character the proper farewell he deserves.
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Wed, May 27, 2020, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"(And less of the comments on others comments about comments on comments ;-P)"

I just have to comment on this.

Does this make my comment "a comment about a comment on comments on other comments about comments on comments"? ;-P

"Is a media franchise capable of having a culture? A pop culture sub-culture, if you will? Is adherance to that established culture important? Or does distancing from it allow "This isn't X" to be a valid argument? Or is that merely a fandom practice that has no bearing on a final produce, its success or failure, and something creators should ignore?"

These are indeed interesting questions, and I don't pretend to know the answers.

But I think you're ignoring a very important consideration here: What did the original creator of the franchise want? Should that have relevance as well?

Star Trek was created with a very specific vision in mind: To show us a better humanity and give us hope for the future. This fact isn't the invention of some geek culture. It was mentioned countless of times in Roddenberry's own words.

Leaving everything else aside, doesn't this vision deserve to be protected? At least to some extent?

We should also remember that we aren't just talking about some crazy caprice here. It's not like Roddenberry had an obsession to broccoli and the color purple. We are talking about a genuinely important, hopeful, positive vision for the future.

Is it okay for the current IP owners to just throw all this away as they please? I don't think so. Nor do I think that the fans who feel betrayed and/or angry are "overreacting". This *is* a big deal and it should be treated as such.

"DS9 was vastly different to them both, but again, the changes to the universe and show culture happened because of good storytelling. I mostly blame Ron Moore for this, but hey, he had a vision for a slightly less perfect Federation."

DS9 is really a borderline case.

On the one hand, they made a very real effort to respect everything that came before.

On the other hand, it *did* become increasingly dark and warlike, to the point where the question "is DS9 still Trek?" was a valid one.

I know of some Trekkies who can't accept DS9 as Star Trek because of this. I get where they are coming from, even though I do not share their opinion. This is a grey area where a variety of individual opinions can make sense.

With the new shows, however, the situation is quite clear cut. If you removed the words "Star Trek" from the title and changed a few iconic names, the result would be simply UNRECOGNIZABLE as Star Trek.

Some people don't mind this. Others are positively excited by these changes. Both reactions are perfectly fine. To each his own.

The problem begins when people are denying that these massive changes are even taking place. No, there is no precedent for this kind of complete overhaul in the history of Star Trek. Anybody who says otherwise is either lying or delusional.
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Tue, May 26, 2020, 3:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

If it were just a matter of Stewart participating in ST:P, I doubt it would have had the same effect. It's the fact that the actor actively campaigned for this change, combined with the knowledge that this was always how he felt about the character.

"As for Stewart himself, he's an actor. They're usually not nearly as clever as the characters they play. What do you do..."

LOL. Well, that certainly made me feel better ;-)

(doesn't really solve my problem. But at least I can now laugh about it instead of feeling miserable, so thanks)
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Tue, May 26, 2020, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@James White

I personally recommend both Black Mirror and the Expanse, and I'm known for being *very* picky in the stuff I watch.

Doesn't change the fact that having more variety would be better. Why does EVERY sci fi show be dystopic and grim these days? Heck, Black Mirror isn't even American...

"Just declare Picard 'over' with All Good Things. Or maybe even Nemesis if you can stomach it. Kurtzman sucks so bad that honestly I don't consider his shows ST."

Sure. That's not the problem.

The "only" thing that's ruined for me is the enjoyment of watching one specific actor when he plays one specific role: Patrick Stewart portraying Picard.

I know it sounds petty, but I'm not doing this on purpose! I'm not stupid. I know the difference between the fictional character of Jean Luc Picard (who is still a role model for me) and the person who plays him.

I just can't help but feel the actor's own contempt to the role that he is playing, every time I see him onscreen. It takes me straight out of the story. It's silly, I know, but you can't control these things.
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Tue, May 26, 2020, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"As I said before. Either the US has lost the ability to create positive outlooks or the audience is so depressed that they want nothing else."


It's just that the entertainment industry is ruled by mega-corporations who got used to certain formula and they are too afraid to change it.

There are plenty of creative types that can (and want to) make more positive things. It is just highly unlikely that you'll see their creation on TV.

And of-course there's an audience for such things. The Orville is proof of that. Despite all the weaknesses of that show, it still managed to get millions of loyal fans.

Now imagine if we got rid of the flaws. Imagine the premise being done correctly. It is very easy to see that positive sci fi can be a gold mine.

Also, why are you singling out the USA? If you know of any non-US positive shows out there, please do tell.
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Tue, May 26, 2020, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@James White

"I do agree that Trek is unique. But maybe let it 'die' for awhile."

I'm all for that. With 700+ episodes, many of them true classics, I don't really understand this mad rush to create tons of new sh*tty content.

The problem is that CBS is not willing to leave the old material alone. As Mal half-jokedly said, Star Trek has turned into some kind of grotesque zombie. If it had simply died in peace, it would have been far better.

You know what I've discovered recently? That I can't enjoy TNG anymore. To be more precise: I can enjoy thinking about it, but I can no longer enjoy *watching* it.

Because every time I see Picard in TNG, I automatically think about what his actor is doing to Star Trek right now. I also think about *why* he is doing this. I listen to Picard's speeches and they ring phony in my ears, because I know the actor (even back then) felt nothing but contempt to the message he was hired to convey.

You have no idea how awful this is.

But no biggie, right? We are just a bunch of silly haterz who are afraid of change.

(Being a Trekkie in this day and age is beginning to look like way too much trouble for my taste...)

"Maybe what we need is a new visionary - one that creates a very positive, rich and mentally engaging future. Doesn't need to be ST. With all the talent out there, I say just give it time."

Yes. That's exactly what we need. Something fresh and focused to enjoy. I wait with baited breath for this to happen.

Meanwhile we have the Orville. It's not perfect, but it's the only thing that's even remotely in the right ballpark. You know the world has gone completely crazy, when Seth McFarlane (of all people) is producing the Trekkiest show of the past 15 years.
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Mon, May 25, 2020, 9:38am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"If it’s merely about ODTP like you say then why don’t you stop wasting everyone’s time on a public review site?"


Kinda ironic, given the rest of your post.

Here is an idea:

Since we all agree that ranting about a single poster is wasting everyone's time, it would be nice if people just stopped doing that.

And here's a tip: If you don't like my posts, don't read them.

Now, how about we return to discussing Star Trek?
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Mon, May 25, 2020, 8:38am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2


Commenting on comments, by itself, is not a problem. Never was.

Deliberate personal attacks (like what happened here recently) are a different problem. Let us not be naive. The current situation is not just the result of a heated debate that went out of hand. It is something else entirely.

Also Check Mertov's posting history. This isn't the first time he has done this.

@Andy's Friend
"I actually think this is an important debate about ideas."


Once we strip away all the personal attacks and all the nonsensical flaming, the debate can be summed up with a very simple general question:

Should we bar decades-long Trekkies from commenting on the current state of Trek, just because they don't watch the new shows? Should we tell all these people to just shut up? Or worse: Pressure these people to hate-watch a show they don't like, just so they can earn the "right" to speak up?

Because this, really, is what Mertov's argument boils down do. He tries to fog the issue by making it about me, but it isn't about me at all.

Speaking of which:

"it's merely about you."

Then I kindly ask you to stop making this about me.

Seriously, nobody here is interested in your personal attacks against another poster. In your own words: I am not that important.

So I'd appreciate it if you get off my back. Like... right now.

I'd also love to hear your actual opinion about whether Trekkies who don't watch the new shows should feel free to speak up here or not. That's actually a topic worthy of discussion, unlike your endless rants against a single person.
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Sun, May 24, 2020, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2


Two posts for two, and not a word about Star Trek. Isn't that interesting?


That's some intense hate-filled vitriol right there.

When you start using ugly words like "claims of saviorship" and "delusions of grandeur" that really says it all. Mob mentality, as I've already said. Can't say I'm

Of-course none of this is really about me personally. It's about a sizable portion of Trek fandom that people like yourself are eager to silence: Trekkies who are not at all content with the current direction that Star Trek is taking, and have therefore decided to stop watching.

Funny, how the very same people who heatedly argue that there's no pressure within fandom to conform, are those who exert the most pressure. Don't you think?
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Sun, May 24, 2020, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"It is bad enough when others tell a person what to think; some have taken it upon themselves to declare what others of us actually are thinking"

Eh, no.

There are people here who came out and literally said that:
(1) The show is terrible in their view.
(2) The only reason they are still onboard is because of the magic words "Star Trek" in the title.

There are also people here who openly stated that the main reason they are still watching is because they want to be able to participate in the discussions. Seems like they got it into their heads, that if they stopped watching the show, they wouldn't be allowed to voice their opinion.

Now I wonder, where the heck did they get that impression? Couldn't be because of people like you, who keep fighting to keep those who "don't watch the show" out of the discussion, could it?

Why are you so bent on that, anyway?

If a guy came to the forums of a show that I like (say the Orville, or DS9) and he started posting scathing reviews, I would have jumped on the opportunity to discuss the show I'm a fan of. I most certainly wouldn't be trying to look for excuses for why the guy's opinion is "not valid".

If it turned out that he didn't do his homework (e.g. didn't watch the show) and was just babbling nonsense - so what? That would be his problem and not mine. Why on earth should I care?

Similarly, if you think that my opinions regarding ST:Picard are nonsense, then go ahead and demonstrate your superior knowledge IN AN ACTUAL DISCUSSION ABOUT THE SHOW. Should be a breeze, shouldn't it? If all the vitriol you've posted had any merit, then you should have no problem making a fool out of people like me by simply giving examples from the show itself.

In short: Either put up or shut up.


I want to make it perfectly clear that the above is NOT aimed at all (or even most of) the fans of the new shows. I know that there are plenty of Picard fans who genuinely enjoy the show and are looking forward to discuss the show itself and/or Star Trek in general.

My problem is only with those who are more interested in playing online "gotcha" with those they don't agree with, than they are in actually discussing Star Trek.
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Sun, May 24, 2020, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Checking Chabon's wikipedia page. Apparently he wrote the short Trek episodes "Calypso" and "Q&A". Both were decent stories.

So credit where credit's due.
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Sun, May 24, 2020, 7:12am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"How would you even be able to judge, let alone be confused "as ****" about a review written by a respected reviewer when you have not watched what he is reviewing?"

Because I've read the review.

When a respected reviewer basically states "We've been treated to 10 hours of mostly nonsense which should really be condensed into two. None of it really mattered, and it was all a huge McGuffin aimed at getting us to the final scene of Picard saying goodbye to Data" and then proceeds to give the episode 3 stars and the entire show a positive summation - that's very strange indeed.

Don't *you* find it strange? Can you even respond intelligently and to-the-point, at a level that goes beyond "but you haven't watched the shooowwwwww"?

"Can someone tell me what the central theme of PIC was?"

I would say that there is none. That the show is a total incoherent mess. Then again, what do I know? I haven't even watched the da*n thing.

Maybe Mertov will be able to explain it to you. ;-)
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Sun, May 24, 2020, 6:23am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"It really makes me wonder... are the writers just so bad that they don't understand the implications of their story?"

The writers aren't the problem. Michael Chabon, at least, is known as a good writer. He was directly involved in writing over half the episodes and he is also one of the chief producers.

One problem is Kurtzman, who:
(a) Believes that good old Trek-style sci fi has no place in the 21st century.
(b) insists on the show following his nonsensical brand of mystery-box oriented storytelling.

Another problem are the suits at CBS, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars on turning Star Trek into... ehm... whatever it transformed into these days. This new version of Star Trek is also supposed to be the flagshow of their streaming service, which is why they are creating so many different shows right now.

Can you really see these people coming forward and saying "Sorry, guys. We made a mistake. Let's start over"?

Yeah, neither can I. And unfortunately, as long as CBS has this "vision" regarding Star Trek, the writing will continue to suck. Even the best writers in the world won't be able to change that.
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Sat, May 23, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

Nothing improbable about reviving someone who has died. Depends on what you mean by death. When I had a cardiac arrest a few years ago, my heart stopped for some time, and that has generally be seen as defining the moment of death. But I¡m still here ten years later thanks to two strangers who gave me CPR until the paramedics arrived.

I'm not sure what definition of death the cryonics people use, but they must use one in order to freeze people, because otherwise they'd be shut down.
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Sat, May 23, 2020, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

My wife thought that Riker's dress really suited him. She was a bit disappointed he didn't wear it from time to time in later episodes.
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Sat, May 23, 2020, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Ensigns of Command

Moving the location of a settlement is a very different thing from what was involved here.

When i said "typical" I didn't mean universally the case, or even necessarily mostly the case, but rather quite frequently the case.

And I had in mind such settler states as South Africa, Southern Rhodesia (as it was formerly called), Israel and Northern Ireland. In all of these I believe that the die-in- a-ditch stance of the settlers here would have be familiar enough. This was not a colony of Earth or the Federation and never had been. They were settlers, not colonists, and there's a difference, which is why I used the term.

But I fully accept the validity of noting the differences between the colonial practice the different European states.
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Sat, May 23, 2020, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Menage a Troi

For once I read Jammer's review Nd good few of the posts here before seeing this again, (Though in fact I can't remember this one - I might have missed it.) So I had pretty low expectations of it.

Then I watched it, and found it thoroughly enjoyable. Even the Ferengi and Luxwana.
I was rather sorry Luxwana was able to wriggle out of her promise - it had been a very admirable gesture on her part to make the bargain, and actually quite in character. I think that she and Tog might have made quite a viable partnership.

Picard's cod declamation of a Shakespeare medley at the end was hilarious, and very skilled - he read the lines with conviction and beautifully phrased, but at the same time brought out the absurdity of tge performance.

The Next Generation could do the serious stuff the serious stuff better than we could have imagined possible in the format. But the lighter stuff, even the panto stuff, has its place as well.
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Fri, May 22, 2020, 11:19am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"Riiiiight, because you unloading your hatred on a show that you don't watch at the rate of dozens of posts per episode and cheer and campaign for others to not accept it as part of the universe, etc.. is perfectly innocent (!)"

What a baseless wild exaggeration.

I am voicing my opinions here just like everybody else. Sometimes this leads to a discussion, and the back-and-forth sometimes reaches dozens of posts.

Also, I'm not "campaigning" for anything, with the exception of telling people that they have a CHOICE.

Look... I know that some people really like ST:P. There was fan (forgot his name) who wrote a passionate post about how it warms his heart to see the old faces again, and that this was the main attraction of Picard for him.

I have no problem with such people. I'm not trying to "convince" them to stop enjoying what they are enjoying, or to stop paying for the stuff they are enjoying. On the contrary, I've said more than once: If you like the new shows, it is your duty as a loyal fan to support them in any way you can.

But there other people who are sticking around for the wrong reasons. People who think they are obliged as Trek fans to accept every crazy thing that TPTB throws at them. People who are falling victims to marketing tactics that keep them at a perpetual state of "paying and complaining". People who literally complain that watching STP has diminished their enjoyment of TNG, and yet continue to watch the next episode without stopping to question what they are doing.

I'm not okay with people being used in this manner, which is why I'm campaigning for raising the fandom awareness of these things.

Do you have a problem with that?
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Fri, May 22, 2020, 8:54am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"I can understand why even acclaimed sci-fi writers can't get this trainwreck back on the rails."

Getting it back on rails, actually, should be relatively easy.

If I were at the helm of Star Trek right now, I would do the following:

First step: Undo the damage. Shouldn't be difficult. Some of the best Trek episodes ("Year of Hell", "Yesterday's Enterprise") were about fixing a timeline that went hopelessly off the rails. Also establish that in the real Prime Timeline, the Federation helped the Romulans prevent the Hobus supernova altogether.

Second step: Go back to the basics. Give the fans a breather. Spend some time regaining their trust. This isn't the time to break new grounds - yet. Just do the kind of stuff that Trek has always done, and do it well. Set it in the 25th century. And just to show we're serious: establish that Icheb, Maddox and Hugh are alive and well.

Third step: Continue where Old-Trek has left off. The aftermath of the Dominion War is a story screaming to be told. Show us a *convincing* view of the Federation in shambles, and Let's watch how the Federation picks up the pieces and regains its moral backbone. Abolish section 31. Use cameos of known 24th century characters, but do it *sparsely*. I'd consider making 7-of-9 a semi-regular of this show, giving her some real character growth and fixing the terrible character-assassination that ST:P did to her.

Fourth step: Do something completely new, while still respecting the original. This part is trickier, but I still don't see why a good writer should have any problem doing this successfully. Isn't it the *job* of good writers to find new stories to tell? I don't see why the Trek setting should make this any more difficult then any other setting.

What about you? If you had absolute control over Star Trek starting tomorrow, what would you have done? It would be interesting to compare our different visions.
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Fri, May 22, 2020, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2


Thank you for showing us such a vivid example of the mob mentality I was talking about.
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Fri, May 22, 2020, 6:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sarek

It struck me that Worf showed remarkable self control. Normally mild people around the ship erupting into violent confrontation under the influence of Sarek's telepathic projections - and all he did was to be a bit harsh towards a subordinate in a bureaucratic way. You'd have thought he¡d have turn somebody's head off.

Perhaps it's that Klingon's aggressive emotions are a lot closer to the surface all the time than the case with Earth humans, and he'd be much more used to consciously holding himself back, whereas the others would do that unconsciously, and that was where the telepathic disinhibition was focussed.

And Troi didn't seem affected either.

But I'd have thought that we'd have seen something more like the Naked Time/Naked Now setup, with a range of different enotions being released. After all with it wasn't particularly aggressive emotions that Vulcan's held rigidly back.

Still that would have been a different scenario, and this one worked well. Good to see Patrick Stewart given his head. And the bar fight was wonderful, including that pugnacious lady - I wonder if they used her again, they should have.
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Thu, May 21, 2020, 10:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

Actually of course "something" did indeed happen in the course of transportation - the fact that Fajo is alive proves that Data did not fire until then, and not while he was in Fajo's ship. In no way did Data say anything that was not true, except insofar as by saying "perhaps" he was implying that he was unaware of whatever it was that happened.
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Thu, May 21, 2020, 9:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

"Plus it tells us how the story continues. The Federation after DS9 became xenophobic and generally more like an shitty hypocritical empire that could exist today."

I would have actually been perfectly fine with that, if:
(1) It was written well and respected the source material.
(2) The bad situation was connected to the Dominion War.
(3) The point of the new series was to shows us how the Federation finds its moral compass again. With or without Picard leading the process.

It's amazing how much of the general premise of STP could have worked (and worked wonderfully) if the writers cared about writing actual Star Trek.

"These self hating cynics have stabbed Star Trek in the chest."

Indeed they did.

But why "self hating"? These guys seem to hate everybody *except* themselves. Sheer f***-ing hubris!
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Wed, May 20, 2020, 6:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

Data's ethical status is very much in keeping with Asimov's Laws of Robotics - and the relevant one here is the First Law: "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." While these are never formally stated in StarTrek, it is clear tha5 in Data's case they are operative.

So this episode involves a dilemma within that law. The decisive element is not so much Fajo's killing of Varria as his indication of his readiness to repeat that time and time again. If Data fires he kills Fajo. If he fails to fire his action will result in the death of others. Either way he offends against the First Law. However failing to prevent Fajo from killing a succession of people involves a greater breach of the law, because he is only a single person.

It's a classic Asimovian story. I'd love to see what Asimov thought of the episode, which was first broadcast a couple of years before his death.

Ironically it is Fajo's protective screen that would have caused his death, if the timely transporter had not kicked in in the nick of time, since without it Data would have had no need to pull the trigger.

Why did Data lie by misdirection? I think that could also have been justified under Asimov's Laws - telling Riker that he had fired could potentially have hurt him, offending against the First Law, and could also have caused injury to Data, which woould make tge Tird Law relevant "A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law."
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Wed, May 20, 2020, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@Cody B
"maybe there’s something to the stuff Jesus preaches. Maybe trying to be Christ like isn’t such a bad idea”

The million dollar question is: Do you really need to be Christian to be "Christlike"? Is there even a correlation between being Christian and being "Christlike"?

If that's the thing you're trying to convince Booming of, then you're not doing a very good job.

Speaking of which:

"Never saw where booming had said that but that’s an old Gandhi quote. Considering how much Gandhi cheated on his wife I can understand his distancing from Christianity"

Why is this your standard reply for everything? You said pretty much the same thing about Roddenberry earlier. Why is it, that whenever somebody famous says that they don't like Christianity, you immediately turn it into an ad-hominem attack against that person?

Does that sound to you like a Christlike thing to do? It certainly does not sound like it to me. From where I stand (and I have a feeling Booming will concur), your behavior here refutes your own arguments.


Amen to that.
(and people say that DS9 did not have the Star Trek ethos...)
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