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Old February 27 2012, 02:55 AM   #494
JamesRKirk
Lieutenant
 
Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
JamesRKirk wrote: View Post
Just because you have the room doesn`t mean that you have to include the explnations, relevent or not. Sometimes things just don`t need to be explained.
Of course I'm aware of that. I've had plenty of practice in my career with trimming out unnecessary exposition, something I had to learn because of my early tendency to exposit too much. But sometimes exposition is necessary, and my judgment was that in this particular context, the exposition I gave served a valid story purpose.

You may have it all worked out in your own mind but if it slows or detracts from the story then it`s not necessary.
That's absolutely true, but here it didn't detract from the story; it was part of the story. It laid the groundwork for the events that happened later on. Also, it fit the characters, helping to establish the mentality of DTI agents, who are very meticulous, detail-oriented people by nature or by training, and whose profession requires them to wrap their minds around a lot of very complicated ideas.


It may be slightly more realistic technobabble but, to me, it still came out as technobabble, just like long explanations of how warp drive works. Neither of them are actually possible to the best of our current knowledge, at least in the way they`re portrayed in Trek and all other sci-fi shows.
Actually they're both theoretically possible under General Relativity, although prohibitively impractical in the sense of requiring whole planetary masses' worth of energy. That's what's so interesting about them -- we actually do know the specifics of how a warp drive or a time machine would work, from a physical and mathematical standpoint. We know the basics of what it would require to create one, even if we haven't worked out the engineering details.

And like I said, when I compare ST's science to real physics, it's often surprising how easy it is to reconcile them, at least in broad strokes.


I`d much rather read an interesting story about interesting characters that just happens to have a futuristic-ish setting.
But that's only borderline science fiction at best. Ideally an SF story is one where the scientific concept is at the core of the story rather than just a background trapping on a story that could be done in the Old West or present-day Boston or whatever. And it doesn't even have to be explained in detail, it just has to be something that drives the story, like the way Frankenstein's creation of artificial life drives Mary Shelley's novel even though there's essentially no explanation of the mechanism behind it. Or VGR: "Tuvix," where there's only a cursory handwave explanation for how two people were combined into one, but the SF concept drives a story that literally could not be told without it, and it's a deeply emotional and character-driven story. There doesn't have to be a contradiction between telling science-driven stories and telling character-driven stories. I've based my whole career on that philosophy.
Sure it could be told in other ways. Wave a magic wand and let Harry Potter deal with the moral ramifications. A handwave doesn't make the science plausable, it only makes it sound plausable.

Having an idea that something could work under general ralativity doesn't mean it's plausable until we try to actually do it. There may be more to it than we know. And really, how plausable are protomatter, the Genesis device and red matter? Or phasers that don't travel at the speed of light or water that makes you move so fast you can't be seen? (and how did they manage to comminicate with each other? They were moving much faster than sound. And how did they get from deck to deck?)

A Private Little War could have been told in any number of genres, does that mean it's not a good Star Trek story?
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