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Old April 4 2011, 06:40 PM   #6
Re: Yesteryear vs. The Practical Joker

It requires cognitive sophistication of a level that the Enterprise computer has never been shown to possess, and there's no way a simple malfunction could explain it.
To the contrary, we saw in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" that the computer is quite capable of the exact kind of cognitive sophistication required for sophomoric jokes - and our heroes didn't like that a bit. So it seems that the computer is being deliberately held back from being "too human", and a simple malfunction could hit the inhibition mechanisms that are in place for this purpose.

Also, how stupid is it that this damage was somehow fixed by a second passage through the same cloud that caused it? That makes about as much sense as curing sitcom amnesia through a second clonk on the head.
This part would have obviously worked better if the sentience plaguing the ship were a lifeform they picked up from the tri-isospatiotemporal anomaly, like you say. Which is a possibility by no means excluded by the episode. But the idea of the starship computer as an inherently intelligent entity is the more intriguing one. And obviously a computer with a Roger Rabbit sense of humor would realize the funny thing to do when re-entering the cloud would be to "reverse the effect"!

Timo Saloniemi
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