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Wisq
Tue, May 21, 2019, 11:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

A funny romp, but that ending … ugh. There’s just so many things wrong with it:

• How is Christopher’s memory wiped? They just hand-wave it away as “those things haven’t happened yet, so you won’t remember them”, but by that logic, the entire crew should be amnesiacs.
• How do they beam him back into his fighter jet? They destroyed the jet. They would have to radio the other Enterprise and tell them “hey beam this guy out, we’ll beam him back in, and for god’s sake don’t use the tractor beam”.
• The guard on the base — ditto. This one makes even less sense, since they beam the guard out/in at a point when he hadn’t yet found Kirk and Sulu. (In fact, this suggests that the poor guard is now caught in a time loop where he keeps finding Kirk and Sulu, getting beamed out, getting beamed back in a few minutes earlier, finding Kirk and Sulu again, etc.)
• The chronometers going backwards again. That’s not how chronometers work, damnit. (And I always wondered why people on Quora asked silly questions like “if I went backwards in time, what time would my watch say it was?”)
• Seriously, if time travel were this bloody easy, all wars would be time wars and things would just get very ridiculous very fast.

The entire ending of this episode made _no_ sense. I realise this is Trek, and Trek always puts the “fiction” in “science fiction”. But usually they at least try to have some basic consistency in their plots.

Even in that wacky episode with Alice and the White Rabbit and the samurai and the strafing WW2 planes, they wrapped it up nicely with “well your thoughts became real, so weird stuff happened”. This one just seems to give up and go “we’re out of time, let’s just handwave everything away”.
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Wisq
Sun, May 7, 2017, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

Oh, and that moment when they asked him to sign the confession? Yeah, no. Not consistent at all.

You don't go to someone and say "hey, I think you're secretly a traitor, but even you don't know that, and you have no memories of it, so please sign this false confession for memories you don't have". In fiction terms, that instantly means you're the bad guy and the accused is innocent.

Of course, I just assumed that meant that the fellow DS9 crew had found out about his extradition and were conspiring to kidnap him for his own safety. Once the Dominion showed up, *that's* when my thoughts immediately turned to "oh, it's a holodeck simulation".
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Wisq
Sun, May 7, 2017, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

So, I have one major issue with this episode, and I don't think it's been brought up yet in the comments.

The original charge against Bashir was that he had compartmentalised his traitorous memories — in effect, splitting his mind in two, a traitor and a loyal Federation officer.

Now, I realise that this charge was almost 100% certainly a false accusation, and just a ruse to mess with him, create stress, test his resolve, etc. But let's assume it's a real accusation and go from there, to establish the internal consistency of that line of thinking.

Because it does bring up the important (and interesting) concern: How do you sentence someone in such a case?

Sloan plays both the good cop and bad cop, at first trying to suggest that he can help Bashir out of this situation, if only he would be willing to be effectively a triple agent and reveal information about his captors. As soon as he refuses — which, honestly, you should probably expect, given that he has no memory of what you suggest (but see below) — he immediately jumps to bad cop, declaring that he'll make sure Bashir goes to prison for a long time.

But realistically, what would the punishment be? As I see it, there are three possible scenarios for entering into such a situation:

1: Something external was done to his mind, that he had no control over. Regular Bashir was left as a cover personality, while traitor Bashir works without the other's knowledge.

In this case, he would be 100% a victim, regardless of what his traitor-side did. The "punishment" would be nothing more than extensive mental treatment (be it technological, and/or some form of counselling) to undo the damage.

2: He was tortured to breaking, and either his mind split of its own accord, or they coerced him into doing it.

This is largely the same as above. Although "known to break under torture" is something that would probably compromise his security rating — limiting his promotion potential, and keeping him off away missions and far away from classified intel — it's not exactly a crime. He could easily continue being a doctor, though he might get transferred back to work somewhere a bit safer than DS9 and the Defiant.

3: He turned to the Dominion under minimal coercion, agreed to spy for them, and set up the mental blocks to aid in doing so.

At this point, the question really becomes "what personality survives?" If he just reverts to his traitorous personality once discovered (and "good" Bashir was purely a false construct), then sure, lock him up. On the other hand, if you're left with a "good" Bashir who is devastated by what his "bad" side did … well, I think there's a lot of precedent in the Trek universe for letting him off the hook for this. Especially if he subsequently agrees to counter-spy, and/or feed the Dominion false intel.



So, all this being said: Why does Bashir refuse to even entertain the notion that one of the three above scenarios may have happened? He can certainly reject #3, and he might think he has the willpower to reject #2 (but there's no way to know). However, nobody can say whether #1 might have happened — there's actually previous evidence in the Trek universe to say it's quite possible (see e.g. that episode where LaForge is brainwashed).

In other words, he has no grounds to be able to insist that it couldn't have happened — and even if it had, he could probably get off pretty lightly, so long as he cooperates to the best of his ability.

(I realise that, in today's world — or at least, in Hollywood — it's generally considered bad advice to just tell the police absolutely everything, if there's any risk of you being a suspect. But this is supposed to be a more enlightened justice system. Fancy clandestine spy organisations notwithstanding, anyway … and not being something any of our main characters knew about, until this episode.)

Now, I get why Bashir wouldn't necessarily put all this together in his head, genetic enhancement or otherwise — he's under a lot of stress, he's sleep deprived, etc. But having Sloan turn so quickly from good cop to bad cop, without spending more time detailing why it's in his best interests? Having the (simulated) crew tell Bashir that he just needs to stay strong and they'll get him out of this? Surely everyone should have been telling him to just submit to a few tests — with oversight from Sisko if needed — and they can sort this all out.

Because that's how Trek has always worked in the past. You get kidnapped, something is done to your head, your crew step in and prevent the damage, you get help, and you learn to live with what you've done. It's formulaic, sure, but it set a strong precedent, and it's weird to see that *so thoroughly* subverted right from the very start, just to create some more tension and suspense.



Also, regarding the episode being predictable: I think it really depends on your frame of mind, and what conclusion you jump to first. I've actually *seen* this episode before, many years ago, and even I didn't twig that it was a holodeck simulation until Weyoun showed up.

I think the big difference for me was that my thoughts immediately turned to Boomer's predicament in Battlestar Galactica. Her situation is a lot more obvious — "waking up" completely soaked after her sleeper personality turned control back over to her cover personality, right after she'd delivered explosives to the ship's water tanks. (I never did understand why the Cylons wouldn't have waited a bit longer to hand control back over to her. Maybe they figured it was better that she be terrified and try to cover things up, than risk her noticing smaller inconsistencies and try to investigate them.)

So when presented with "Bashir is going to be accused of treason" and "Bashir didn't get enough sleep" — and from his "one of those mornings" comment, potentially the notion that *this happens to him a fair bit* — my thoughts immediately turned to "whoa, what if the twist is that it's all actually true?" And I guess that's what led to all my thoughts about what the justice system would have to say about that.
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Wisq
Thu, Jan 10, 2013, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

Five minutes on Columbia's bridge is all it would take to make me ready to beam the designer into space. Pulsating floor-to-ceiling light tubes? Seriously?

It's bad enough that TNG's engineering crew had to deal with that from the warp reactor. Putting four of them on the bridge is perhaps the most ridiculous piece of anti-ergonomics I've seen on Trek to date.

I realise these are made for the TV audience's entertainment and not for the fictional crew, but some of us like our TV scenery to be at least _somewhat_ believable.
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Wisq
Thu, Jan 10, 2013, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

Plot hole alert: Gareb says the Romulans told him all his people were dead. But he's a telepath. He could easily find out if they were lying.

But, he's not supposed to read their minds without permission, right? Well, he's evidently willing to give up pacifism at the demand of his captors, flying their ship and blowing up countless others … yet he still refuses to read their minds to see what their true motives are. Which is the greater transgression, hmm?
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Wisq
Wed, Jan 9, 2013, 10:07am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Observer Effect

Silliest typo ever. Wolf →Worf. :)
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Wisq
Wed, Jan 9, 2013, 2:54am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Observer Effect

CeeBee: You may think it's stupid that "super developed" aliens would need to (re?)learn compassion and empathy from us. I think it's logical, and better than the (incredibly clichéed) alternative.


First off, there's the massive development gap. Think about the varying degrees of difference in sophistication between us and various animal species, and how that affects our view of them.

When an insect dies, even while under observation, few of us notice and fewer care. Sure, most well-adjusted adults won't go around torturing bugs to death, but they'll also swat mosquitos without a second thought. There's so many of them, and we believe them to be simple and emotionless.

When a wild dog dies -- for example, due to combat with another wild dog, or from disease -- most of us would feel mildly sad for it, and perhaps moreso for the pack members it leaves behind. They may poke at the corpse or remain close to it for a bit, as if mourning or expecting it to get back up, but they ultimately move on. We don't think them truly capable of the same degree of grief and sorrow we know we are, and we must always consider whether any "grieving" we see them perform is just us anthropomorphising our grieving onto them.

Ultimately, to an advanced mind, we just look like animals, running around on instinct and crudely emulating their own vastly more complex emotions. And to a mind so advanced as to be beyond our comprehension, we can just look like insects -- ants whose group behaviour and colonies should perhaps be studied, but whose individual fates are largely inconsequential.


Secondly, they may see the universe in a completely different light than we do.

What if we were super-advanced non-physical beings and we discovered that life was just a temporary phase -- that there really is some concept of a "soul", and that it moves on to greener pastures at "death"? Or reincarnates into new life? Death would have no negative meaning to us, or perhaps even a positive one.

What if we had been non-physical beings so long that we had forgotten what death was, or what it was to be physical? All we would see is biological creatures growing from single cells into a complex multicellular organism, running around doing their various funny physical-world things, and then eventually ceasing to exist. The others around them briefly behave in an odd fashion, apparently due to some fluctuations in their hormone levels, but almost all eventually return to normal behaviour.

I suspect it would be easy, perhaps even natural, to become detached from the whole thing. Again, we'd start seeing them as we might see an ant colony -- interesting to watch, perhaps worth watching with a statistical eye to see what patterns emerge from different species or how they react to problems, but ultimately not really worth our empathy.


Thirdly: If you ask me, the _least_ believable super advanced alien is the one you see in a lot of space opera, particular Star Trek -- the kind of alien that wields godly power and yet insists on using it to interact with _us_.

Particularly unbelievable is the "doting mother" style of aliens, the ones that watch us and step in at key moments to save us. That's akin to us setting up surveillance in the wild to watch for animal fights and swooping in to stop them.

To demonstrate what's wrong with that: Let's say you do that. You watch a group of animals, and every time they fight, you stop them. Every time they're starving, you feed them. If they have disease, you do your best to cure them.

What you've effectively done is to _domesticate_ them. They now depend on you, and if you cease to help them, they'll probably die. They'll also start picking up on your own behaviours as well. For animals, that's a limited set of mannerisms and trained responses, including Pavlovian ones. But for sentient species, it can be a whole lot more.

Give an intelligent species free food when they're hungry? They'll probably consider you generous and altruistic and may model themselves after you. Demand some sort of payment for it instead? They may embrace a system of barter or currency and go down the path of the Ferengi. Hide the food so that they might or might not find it? They'll say that you work your "miracles" in "mysterious ways" and probably end up like some religions today.

You can't help but have an impact. And if you leave the same impact with every species you meet, you're just going to raise a galaxy of species almost exactly like yours, instead of letting diversity flourish. Which is (IMO) the real reason that the Prime Directive exists.


Under the rules of the Prime Directive, the Federation has been known to watch pre-warp cultures via careful surveillance -- much the same as these aliens did. They've been known to cover up their presence if necessary -- same as these aliens did. And if some of the aliens, even those under surveillance, contracted a disease they had no hope of curing, the Federation observers would have no real choice but to watch them die.

The would-be exceptions only serve to prove the rule. That time when they moved some natives to another planet to prevent them going extinct? That was only because Wolf's brother had already violated the Prime Directive by beaming them aboard -- and by secretly making contact with them in the first place. Moving them was the only viable option at that point, short of a mass execution.


As a thought experiment, let's take the entire plot of "Observer Effect" and transplant it to a planet with lots of sentient beings on it. The Federation is watching the planet. There's an island with a contagion on it -- native, not placed there by an alien species -- that will easily kill the entire crew of any seafaring ship that discovers it, unless they quarantine or open fire upon their sick crew returning to the ship. And due to the distance and rough seas, it's unlikely that a ship of dead crew would make it back to shore and infect the mainland.

What would the differences be? Surprisingly few, I'd bet. The Federation probably wouldn't watch the contaminated island with the same sort of morbid curiosity as the aliens in this episode -- although they would likely be aware of it, and perhaps keep an eye on it from an epidimiologic point of view. They wouldn't destroy any "Danger! Stay away!" signs left by the luckier ships. And unlike (one of) the two aliens, when an infection inevitably occurred, they would feel empathy for the victims, and they would _want_ to help.

But when it comes right down to it, they also probably wouldn't interfere with an infection when it happens. They wouldn't put up their own warning signs, or decontaminate the island.

And when the "HMS Enterprise" finds the island, and two of their crew get sick, and their captain gets sick trying to help them ... unless they suddenly pull a warp engine out of their cargo hold, you're going to have three dead crewmen and some Federation observers who wish they were allowed to help.

Even if it spread to the mainland, who's to say that stepping in would be the right course of action? What if it spurs the medical community to make leaps and bounds in medical science to combat it? What if it interacts with a select few species' or individuals' DNA and changes them in a positive way? Are we to play god and decide what happens to them? According to the Prime Directive, the answer is a very clear "no".


Let's face it: When one of those ships finds that island and starts being struck down one by one by the disease, and they accidentally discover that someone has been watching over them and countless other prior victims, they're going to think the Federation and the Prime Directive as unfair and alien as Archer and Phlox did when they encountered the aliens and their "protocol".

But you know what? There's a reason for that protocol. And frankly, I think the aliens should have stuck to it.

(Then again, I also think they should've stopped being such jerks by presumably destroying other warning beacons just so they could use the disease as some sort of morbid personality test. Ah well.)
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Wisq
Wed, Jan 9, 2013, 12:01am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

Would have been a lot more interesting if Trip had actually refused the order the second time around and temporarily relieved himself of duty, the way they were always taking their badges off in TNG when given a ridiculous order by a blustering CO. Would've been a good way to point out that Archer really _was_ going too far and being irrational.

Instead, he meekly goes along with it, perpetuating this incessant notion that "Archer always knows best" even when he's obviously being a moron.
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Wisq
Mon, Jan 7, 2013, 1:50am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

I also love Malik's questioning/accusations regarding Soong's alterations to the embryos. What right does he have to alter them to be "docile"? The same one the scientists had when they altered them to be strong, smart, etc. Duh.

And who's more likely to know what the original scientists did or did not intend for the embryos? One of their fellow scientists, or one of their flawed creations?

There isn't even an argument to be had, there. As Jammer's mentioned, for someone who's supposed to be twice as smart as humans, he sure doesn't act it.
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Wisq
Mon, Jan 7, 2013, 1:38am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

CeeBee: Hah, yeah, their clothes were ridiculous.

I don't know whether they were meant to suggest they'd been combat training so much that they'd torn everything, or that they had been so long without supplies that everything was torn, or that they just thought it looked cool, or what.

Also rather comical that Persis' underwear is perfectly fine in the second episode's bedroom scene (or "what passes for sex on Star Trek" scene). I don't know about you, but my underwear tends to develop holes/rips a lot sooner than my clothes. So I guess that kills the "no supplies" theory, unless they had some pretty lopsided supplies. (Maybe they ran off to start up "Dr. Arik Soong's Augment Training Camp and Underwear Emporium" or something.)
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Wisq
Sun, Jan 6, 2013, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Twilight

John: I think the spatial anomalies are basically just used as magical plot device factories by this point in the series.

Frankly, they make no sense in any case. There are four logical outcomes for the parasites:

1. The parasites are intentionally killed by a medical procedure;
2. The parasites are killed when the host dies in a subspace implosion or similar event;
3. The parasites are killed when the host dies of other causes and can no longer sustain them;
4. The parasites find another host.

Outcome #4 just loops back to the same list of possibilities when the new host dies.

As such, we can assume the parasites will eventually die in all possible timelines. And when they die in the future, they die in the past. Ergo, their existence is a logical impossibility.
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Wisq
Sun, Jan 6, 2013, 3:04am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Borderland

So T'Pol finally gets an official position in Starfleet … and they still have her dressed in her tight pink non-regulation outfit.

Ah well. I guess every Trek series just *has* to have a sex icon character that doesn't dress like everyone else.
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Wisq
Sat, Jan 5, 2013, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: E2

All this talk about temporal paradoxes assumes we're operating within a single universe. But we can in fact conclude that Star Trek operates within a multiverse, because

1. There's been too much mucking with the timeline to have a single universe, and

2. We saw the other multiverse branches explicitly in "Parallels" (TNG).

What seems to have really happened in this scenario:

1. Enterprise #2 (which is #1 at the time) exists in a multiverse branch we'll call "alpha" here.

2. By going into the past, they implicitly create and now exist in multiverse branch "beta", which is largely the same as "alpha" but now has Enterprise #2 running around a hundred years too early.

3. When Enterprise #1 meets them, all of their interactions have no effect on the history of Enterprise #2, because it came from "alpha", and we're busy altering "beta".

4. When Enterprise #1 goes through the rift the proper way, no time travel is involved, so we're still in "beta". They still remember everything that happened.

5. Going through properly hasn't eliminated Enterprise #2, because that would only happen if the "alpha" Enterprise had gone through correctly instead.

Incidentally, given that the reptilians think there's more than one human ship running around, we can assume that the TV series has been following a variant of universe "beta", in which Enterprise #2 is running around and being occasionally spotted.

Some Trek episodes have treated time travel differently. For example, when the Enterprise C showed up in TNG, suddenly their absence in the past has created significant issues in the present. But that can easily be explained by just saying that the show jumps universes at the moment they show up. Reusing my previous terminology:

1. "Alpha" = universe where Ent-C didn't vanish, and everything went normally.

2. "Beta" = universe where Ent-C travelled into the future, and everything was messed up.

3. "Gamma" = universe where Ent-C vanished, but came back, and things were (mostly) back to normal.

The show jumps from "alpha" to "beta" when the Ent-C shows up, and jumps from "beta" to "gamma" when Ent-C goes back in time again (with Tasha Yar).

Another proof would be in "Cause and Effect" (TNG), where a huge number of multiverse branches are created. The proof is that Data received data from previous multiverses to avert the disaster that created the loop in the first place. This would be impossible if you subscribed to the "single universe" theory.

However, the multiverse theory also lends itself to some unsettling conclusions. Mainly:

You can never truly "alter the past". You can perform Action X in the past and create a new multiverse branch, and there will be an infinite number of future multiverses where Action X occurred, but there will still be a (larger) infinite number of multiverses where Action X didn't occur, including the one you came from when you time travelled. (Yes, there are different sizes of infinity; ask a math expert.)

Does that mean it's not worth doing? Well, maybe. For example, although there's a multiverse branch in which the Xindi blew up Earth, there are still infinite other multiverse branches in which they didn't. Humanity will live on *in other multiverse branches*, even if you don't lift a finger to stop the Xindi. But if you do successfully stop them, you create more multiverse branches in which Earth survived.

Perhaps more importantly, by completing your mission and preventing the destruction of the Earth, you get to live on in the branch where Earth was saved, instead of the one where Earth is gone. But that's tempered by the knowledge that there are countless other multiverse branches where you failed in your mission and had to live on without Earth. You're just leaving those behind by succeeding.

Pretty much every supposed time paradox can be explained by the multiverse in some fashion. The ones where the timeline seems to be consistent -- you go back, change something, and it turns out it had always been that way -- are just timelines akin to "gamma" above, where the past change occurred *and* the attempt to change the past occurred.


Obviously, Trek tends to ignore the details here and just "make it so" by following whatever timeline the viewer expects to be seeing. However, that tends to lead to some rather illogical decisions. For example:

Why attempt the "warp 6.9" approach before attempting the "go through with fixed impulse" approach? If they end up going back into the past again, you'll just end creating a cycle, and the Enterprise #2 will be able to tell the Enterprise #1 "yeah, we tried the impulse thing, it didn't work".

Another alternative would be to deliberately attempt to go back in time again. In some multiverses, you'd just be creating a loop, but there should be other multiverses where you now have both Enterprise #1 *and* Enterprise #2 appearing in the past 100 years prior. Or you could send both ships through and double your fun. Then send four ships through and get eight. And you could keep doing that over and over until you have a whole fleet.

Really, this is the biggest issue with time travel, regardless of whether you use a multiverse or a single universe theory: Most time travel mechanisms theoretically allow you to create infinite clones of yourself -- at least until you've run out of places to put them. Oops.

TL;DR: Trek is a multiverse, and anything is possible, but time travel can get very complicated in a multiverse and probably should be avoided.
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Wisq
Fri, Jan 4, 2013, 3:31am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Doctor's Orders

Phlox talks about waking his medical crew after waking the senior staff. Aside from the revelation that he actually *has* medical crew, it does explain why he might not know that T'Pol had been put under -- it's possible his crew did it.

However, yeah, I'm one of the people who saw through the thing the moment T'Pol showed up. They talked about him having to run the ship single-handedly. They prepped him to do that. He had stuff he needed to check, he had to learn how to navigate, how to fix stuff in engineering, etc. Hell, he was *walking around the ship naked*.

After all that, T'Pol showing up was nothing short of a "wtf??" moment. After reading that there was some sort of twist at the end, I was really expecting it to be something *else*, since I couldn't imagine they would try to use something so blatantly obvious as their twist ending -- much less that people would actually fall for it.

I guess everyone watches differently, though.
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Wisq
Fri, Jan 4, 2013, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

I should probably clarify my post above. I'm not actually saying that Trek should adopt a "shoot first, ask questions later" policy. That's obviously not in the Roddenberry tradition.

Rather, I'm saying that if you, as a Trek writer, create a situation where the (non-lethal) "shoot first" solution is *so blatantly obvious and correct* that your characters look like morons for not doing it, then you've failed as a Trek writer. You're no longer creating a realistic scenario, and the entire rest of the episode is going to seem shallow and contrived -- because it never should've happened if anyone was doing their job correctly.
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Wisq
Thu, Jan 3, 2013, 7:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

Twelve minutes in to this episode, I'm already ready to turn it off.

Seriously, what is it with Hollywood and hostage situations? More generally, with refusing to let the hero(es) shoot first?

This episode should have been over the moment the guy said he had two agents near the warp core. He already demonstrated that he needed to call them to make them detonate themselves. Stun the guy, send security teams out with orders to stun all aliens on sight (starting with engineering), put them all back on their ship, and leave.

Sure, fine, you don't know if maybe the leader's communicator has a dead man's switch that will tell everyone to detonate at once. But it takes them quite a while to do it, and with fast enough engineering personnel, you can undoubtedly stop them in time, or drag them away.

Also, the rule against medical scanning wasn't arbitrary, I strongly doubt it was part of their religion. Rather, it was obviously designed to prevent Enterprise noticing they were all walking bombs.
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Wisq
Wed, Jan 2, 2013, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Twilight

Great episode, minus one logical flaw: why didn't Archer just start keeping a more regular log?

All it would take to avoid wasting time and embarrassment by saying and doing things over and over would be to transcribe his memories to the log instead of to his broken brain. This could include a to-do list of things he wants to accomplish in future days, too. Certainly, the log would eventually get too large to read in a day, but that's when you devote a day to consolidating it and deciding what to do next.

Considering everyone already keeps logs rather religiously in the Trek universe, this seemed like an odd oversight.
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Wisq
Tue, Jan 1, 2013, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

I too was disappointed by the final scene. At the moment where he told Phlox to keep the virus, I was completely ready and eagar to hear them turn this into another "the stakes are too high for our usual ethics — we need as diverse a bag of tricks as possible, even if it means considering deploying a potentially genocidal virus".

Instead, it's just the usual "I won't commit genocide except when I do" junk. The virus didn't even give people any kind of genetic memory or contain a cultural database or anything.

If/when humanity goes extinct, I would hope that if someone created a virus so virulent that it can destroy entire cultures just so it can turn them all into lost and confused humans, that the alien cultures would be enlightened enough to say "well, cool, we've put the human genome into our database, now let's get rid of this despicable bio weapon for good".
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Wisq
Fri, May 28, 2010, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

Regarding the episode "Progress":

While I agree the acting was good, the situation was interesting, etc. etc., I had one major gripe about it: The premise was utterly absurd.

Recap: The Bajorans want to tap the core of the fifth moon. This will produce some power. The only way to get power immediately is to poison the atmosphere, so residents must be evacuated.

This is very obviously meant to be an allegory for removing natives from their land so we can flood the area and build hydroelectric dams. So far, so good.

But wait ... The Bajorans are poisoning the (fully breathable!) atmosphere of their closest off-world colony. The project will only power 200,000 homes, about as much as a single coal power plant. There's a non-destructive alternative available, and it would take only one year to start achieving "meaningful" power output.

Compare this to a modern hydro dam. They've dramatically reduced the benefit and increased the destructiveness, and rejected a safe alternative due to a tiny delay. This takes things well beyond the point of absurdity. It's the sort of thing I might expect from Ferengi, not from Bajorans -- with full support from the Federation, no less!

I realise Trek has never been about total realism, but I just found this premise jaw-droppingly ridiculous, and I found it detracted (and distracted) heavily from the episode. What were the script writers thinking?
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