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Old September 23 2008, 04:31 PM   #39
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Re: Picard's 'middle' years

Timo wrote: View Post
In that sense, it wouldn't have been out of place for Picard to keep on dragging up irrelevant connections between the week's adventure and one of his old Stargazer or Pathfinder or Prince Charles ones. That we never quite got this does tell us something specific about Picard's character...
All it tells me is that the scriptwriters had only 42 minutes to tell each story and thus chose to concentrate on what was happening now, only bringing in reminiscences when there was story relevance.

(And Prince Charles? I've never heard that proposed as a name for a prior command of Picard's. What's that from?)

The closest he comes to "irrelevant connection" is in "The Wounded" where, while operating close to Cardassian territory, Picard takes the time to bad-mouth the species. Usually, he gives even his worst enemies the benefit of the doubt, but here he jumps at the chance to hatemonger.
"Hatemonger?" That's a little strong. What he actually said was:
Last time I was in this sector, I was on the Stargazer, running at warp speed ahead of a Cardassian warship.... I'd been sent to make preliminary overtures to a truce... I lowered my shields as a gesture of good will. But the Cardassians weren't impressed. They took out most of my weapons and damaged the impulse engines before I could regroup and run.
And I don't recall him saying it with any kind of hostile emotions. He was simply replying to Riker's statement that the Cardassians were "skittish about protecting their borders." It was merely a cautionary tale to his crew, in order to underline the next thing Picard said: "It's not a good idea to stay too long on a Cardassian border without making your intentions known." Reasonable caution is not hate. I could tell you about how the family cat Shadow bit my father pretty badly when he made the mistake of trying to pull a scared and angry Shadow out of his cat carrier after a very stressful time at the vet, but that doesn't mean I "hate" Shadow -- just that, as much as I love him, I'm aware he's not always safe to be around and needs to be treated with caution and respect.

Are we perhaps to think that Picard and the Cardassians have more history than that? That Picard's "last time" was preceded by several even nastier encounters? Perhaps Picard in fact played a major role in at least one segment of the UFP-Cardassian war? He'd then be downplaying, understating, being downright civil about the hated enemy - in essence, being more Picard.
There's no evidence that Picard had any major involvement in the Cardassian wars. If he had, it would've presumably come up in "Chain of Command."

And early TNG made a point of portraying Picard as an explorer first and foremost, a man who used force only with great reluctance and regret. They were going for Jacques Cousteau, not Charles De Gaulle. I can't buy the idea that he was a veteran of a major war.
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