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Ross Carlson
Fri, Mar 24, 2017, 10:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Time's Arrow, Part I

Recently re-watched this episode, in my top 5, and realized something that's always bugged me. Clemens mentions Mr. Whitley from the geological survey and Data says he doesn't know the man's name but he talks with several people in that office. Given the time period he was in certainly he would have been introduced by name or at somepoint he would have learned the names of everyone in the office. Name plates, on pieces of paper, conversation, etc. He'd only have to hear it once and he'd remember it perfectly forever. The way they play it and the line written would be more like a human would have probably heard it and just didn't remember as that'd be very common for anyone other than Data.

Anyone else notice this??
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Ross Carlson
Fri, Jan 6, 2017, 6:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

I was a music major in college and have played saxophone for 30 years, as such I tend to get really annoyed by faking instruments, etc. in films and television. That said I understand it's something that just has to be done, you can't always cast a piano virtuoso for the role of Darren. That said she does an acceptable job in faking the piano, not over playing her body and facial expressions. Picard also does an acceptable job with his penny whistle flute, again not over doing it. The same goes for Data who as always does a great job at faking the violin. What does really bug me about Lessons is the total gibberish Picard says to Darren after the concert. "during the second arpeggio in the first movement, I noticed that you played an F minor chord instead of a diminished D" - what? For the non-musicians reading this that's just a bunch of musical words crammed into a sentence. First as a classically trained pianist she wouldn't be improvising in a piece like that, you'd be playing it exactly as written. The only place you'd be taking some personal liberties would be with the tempo and emotion of the piece. Then for Picard to hear the difference in a single minor and diminished cord is laughable. Had Darren made that kind of substitution each time she played an F minor cord maybe he's notice that, maybe. Again for the non-musicians there is but a single note difference between the two cords, in fact it's not even a full note/tone - it's a half tone as an F minor chord would have an A as it's third where a D diminished would have an Ab (A flat) as it's 5th - so in simple terms the difference in sound of those two chords 1 time in a piece would be absolutely indistinguishable to any human ear.

What really bugs me the most about things like this is just ask a damn musician to not only review your line of dialogue but to help you write it. There are many things that Darren could have done with the piece that Picard could have commented on in a believable way. "Your phrasing after the coda was great", "the dynamic range in your playing was very elegant", etc. Finally the worst part of something like this is Riker IS a musician! He's played trombone since school, when we see him play trombone he really is playing trombone (save for the time he's playing with a quartet and his birthday party but that's simply for technical reasons - he does a fine job faking it as he really plays). Why the writers would have run that past Frakes and/or he (Frakes) wouldn't chime in during the episode to say "Uh, that's stupid dialogue, try this instead".

I'm sure I'm in the minority that gets bugged by this, it's just so avoidable a mistake that I've never understood it since it's so damn easy to prevent it.
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