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Old February 15 2013, 11:54 PM   #54
Fleet Captain
Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

I'm weeks behind on this... Eeeek.

As a kid (whenever this was first on BBC2... 1991/2?) I just thought this episode was very dull. Which pretty much set the tone for how I viewed most of the rest of the season.

As an adult, oh yes, there's all sorts of unfortunate implications. But unlike Code of Honor it at least feels unintentional (the reality of the making of each episode is immaterial from that POV, it's just how the finished product winds up feeling to this viewer) and more a case of things not being thought through properly.

It also represents of of my minor bugs when it comes to SF and fantasy... instantly got rid of babies. In fiction generally, pregnancies (or at least births) are seen as full of potential for drama and/or comedy.

But once the baby is born... well you can get a bit of comedy out of it but generally babies are useless for drama. They're just mewing screaming shitting bundles rather than characters. Many TV shows will often fudge the age of their kids so they get to be old enough they have at least the vestige of a personality much sooner (which basically happened with Alexander and Molly on the Trek shows) but SF also gives the magnificent cop out of allowing a rapid, instant pregnancy due to ALIENS/SCIENCE/MAGIC and then ageing or otherwise magincally getting rid of the kid (without killing them, baby death really isn't something most viewers, including myself, are that keen on).

So you get the drama of a birth... without having to deal with any of the real consequences beyond one episode (or if you're really luck, an arc). I just find it generally lazy and annoying, and here is no exception. We're even told within the episode Troi won't even show the basic signs of having had a baby to hammer home how few the long term consequences are.

I would also like to offer some defence for our new Doctor. I actually like her overly confrontational attitude towards Data, she's got a really obvious character arc set in motion where she starts off hating this machine (as several non-Enterprise crew-members we meet over the years do) before coming to respect and like him. It's the sort of thing we should have seen at least one of the regulars having to struggle with in season one (we get a little bit of it with Riker- the only person we see meet Data for the first time in Encounter- but that quickly gets forgotten after their first scene).

Considering it's so obvious how their relationship is going to go even at this stage, it amazes me how many people hated her right from the off when she's obviously someone who is going to learn a lesson.

Indeed, I don't think there's any sign of aninomisty between them after Elementary Dear Data, only the third episode of the season. I'll talk when I reach that thread about how the ball was dropped on resolving that character arc, but from the way some people talk Pulaski did nothing but continually mock and belittle Data for the entire season. Which is far from the case.
Blaster hangs about in my look at: Space Pirates! part 3!
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