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Old November 10 2011, 02:31 AM   #16
sonak
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

Broccoli wrote: View Post
I kinda liked the episode, and that the ending was played with the characters making this decision and not liking it. And I liked the idea Enterprise presented (though didn't do enough of, imo) that the heroes were not super squeaky clean, made mistakes, and poor decisions as they were trying to learn what it means to be space-faring.

I don't understand that point of view at all. This wasn't an actual dilemma that might have shown something interesting about the characters, this was just horrible writing from someone who obviously understands NOTHING about evolution or ethics.

there's no dilemma here. Phlox's reasoning is utter garbage, that's it.
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Old November 10 2011, 02:33 AM   #17
sonak
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

The Badger wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Another example of the monstrousness of the PD as well even though this was technically before the PD.
We even get a line to that effect from Archer near the end. "Someday, there may be a directive to get us to act like douchebags. Until that day comes, we must resolve to act like douchebags on our own."

OK, I paraphrase.

Someone once wrote that from the time of TNG onwards, a lot of Star Trek writers hated the restrictions of the Prime Directive, and quite deliberately set out to portray it in the worst possible light. Whether this was based on inside knowledge or was pure speculation I don't know, but it certainly explains a lot.

I've never heard that before, but it makes a lot of sense and explains a lot about the PD episodes from TNG onwards.
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Old November 10 2011, 03:11 AM   #18
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

sonak wrote: View Post
Broccoli wrote: View Post
I kinda liked the episode, and that the ending was played with the characters making this decision and not liking it. And I liked the idea Enterprise presented (though didn't do enough of, imo) that the heroes were not super squeaky clean, made mistakes, and poor decisions as they were trying to learn what it means to be space-faring.

I don't understand that point of view at all. This wasn't an actual dilemma that might have shown something interesting about the characters, this was just horrible writing from someone who obviously understands NOTHING about evolution or ethics.

there's no dilemma here. Phlox's reasoning is utter garbage, that's it.
Yeah there is no real dilemma here. Some moral choices are hard and some moral choices are easy and this was an extremely easy moral choice. It makes you loose faith in characters when are wrong on such simple moral choices. You wonder if Phlox and Archer's sense of right and wrong is messed up. Giving them the cure would have prevented billions of people from dying. I don't see how this assumed "evolutionary leap" for the Menk can justify Valakian children dying the streets because of this disease.

This episode would have to be changed to work as a moral dilemma if both the Menk and the Valakians had the disease and for some reason beyond their control, they can only cure one or the other. That is a hard choice and making that could have made for a heart wrenching episode, with Phlox and Archer being racked by guilt that couldn't save everyone. That would be a way better episode then Phlox using Nazi like eugenics pseudo science to justify not giving the Valakians the cure.
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Old November 10 2011, 03:24 AM   #19
Hartzilla2007
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

sonak wrote: View Post
The Badger wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Another example of the monstrousness of the PD as well even though this was technically before the PD.
We even get a line to that effect from Archer near the end. "Someday, there may be a directive to get us to act like douchebags. Until that day comes, we must resolve to act like douchebags on our own."

OK, I paraphrase.

Someone once wrote that from the time of TNG onwards, a lot of Star Trek writers hated the restrictions of the Prime Directive, and quite deliberately set out to portray it in the worst possible light. Whether this was based on inside knowledge or was pure speculation I don't know, but it certainly explains a lot.

I've never heard that before, but it makes a lot of sense and explains a lot about the PD episodes from TNG onwards.
Meh I always liked the TOS PD more becuase it seemed then that the major rule was don't interfere with pre-warp cultures unless you have a good reason, such as they will all die, or kill you, or kill somebody unless you do something.
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Old November 10 2011, 05:24 AM   #20
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

Skywalker wrote: View Post
Choosing to let millions of people die on the off chance that some other people might develop intelligence in a few thousand years has nothing to do with what it means to travel through space. That excuse is especially poor, since the idea came from a man who was very familiar with space travel and interacting with other species.
I guess I meant "space-faring" in terms of "Star Trek space-faring" (where the ships encounter aliens and problems on a weekly basis). In the other series, this stuff is old hat. They would encounter a problem like this and would resolve the issue where everyone wins out. "Dear Doctor" didn't and had the characters make a controversial and potentially wrong decision. At least, that is what I took away from the episode.
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Old November 10 2011, 05:33 AM   #21
Skywalker
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

At the time of ENT, that stuff was already old hat to spacefaring species such as the Vulcans and the Denobulans. My point was that the "they're new to this stuff" excuse doesn't fly with experienced and well-traveled characters like Phlox.
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Old November 10 2011, 06:55 AM   #22
The Overlord
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

Broccoli wrote: View Post
Skywalker wrote: View Post
Choosing to let millions of people die on the off chance that some other people might develop intelligence in a few thousand years has nothing to do with what it means to travel through space. That excuse is especially poor, since the idea came from a man who was very familiar with space travel and interacting with other species.
I guess I meant "space-faring" in terms of "Star Trek space-faring" (where the ships encounter aliens and problems on a weekly basis). In the other series, this stuff is old hat. They would encounter a problem like this and would resolve the issue where everyone wins out. "Dear Doctor" didn't and had the characters make a controversial and potentially wrong decision. At least, that is what I took away from the episode.
Except there was no good reason why everyone wouldn't have won if Phlox just gave the cure to the Valakians? I don't see how this episode presents a good dilemma, how is the Menk's supposed future evolutionary leap a good trade off for the entire Valakian race dying off? A child would make the right decision here, so Phlox and Archer failing to do so, doesn't come off as a bad choice due inexperience, at best they made this choice because they were incompetent and at worst they made this choice because they were malicious.
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Old November 10 2011, 09:41 AM   #23
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

The Overlord wrote: View Post
at best they made this choice because they were incompetent and at worst they made this choice because they were malicious.
Phlox was the malicious one. Archer was just an ignorant moron.
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Old November 10 2011, 04:55 PM   #24
sonak
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

The Overlord wrote: View Post
Broccoli wrote: View Post
Skywalker wrote: View Post
Choosing to let millions of people die on the off chance that some other people might develop intelligence in a few thousand years has nothing to do with what it means to travel through space. That excuse is especially poor, since the idea came from a man who was very familiar with space travel and interacting with other species.
I guess I meant "space-faring" in terms of "Star Trek space-faring" (where the ships encounter aliens and problems on a weekly basis). In the other series, this stuff is old hat. They would encounter a problem like this and would resolve the issue where everyone wins out. "Dear Doctor" didn't and had the characters make a controversial and potentially wrong decision. At least, that is what I took away from the episode.
Except there was no good reason why everyone wouldn't have won if Phlox just gave the cure to the Valakians? I don't see how this episode presents a good dilemma, how is the Menk's supposed future evolutionary leap a good trade off for the entire Valakian race dying off? A child would make the right decision here, so Phlox and Archer failing to do so, doesn't come off as a bad choice due inexperience, at best they made this choice because they were incompetent and at worst they made this choice because they were malicious.

not only that, it was ridiculous the way Phlox supposedly has this crystal ball that says that the Menk WILL make this leap. Er, there are tons of factors that go into evolutionary development, so to base a decision like WITHOLDING A CURE is absurd.

And how did he know that the Valakians were going to continue to oppress the Menk? What if a few years down the road, there's a Menk Civil Rights movement and both races ended up living side by side in harmony?


But no, Phlox had his pseudoscientific crystal ball to look at.
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Old November 10 2011, 05:44 PM   #25
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

sonak wrote: View Post
What if a few years down the road, there's a Menk Civil Rights movement and both races ended up living side by side in harmony?
And what if that Menk/Valakian cooperation eventually turns their alliance into a major space-faring superpower? Who knows what they could have achieved together.
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Old November 17 2011, 01:51 AM   #26
Arachnea
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

Hi,

Well, I think it's a shame, because the whole episode was damn good and it was ruined by the conclusion.

The idea of seeing human nature by an alien - Phlox - point of view was great and well done. The discussion between Archer and T'pol about how difficult it must have been for the vulcan with the humans was interesting and I really thought we were going to see a developement about when to interfere and when to stand by. But ! I thought it would be about the human point of view, about the relations between the two species (do we help the Menks to emancipate ?) or something about sharing technology and later on, see what problems it would cause to do so. I was excited to discover how and maybe why the sometimes appalling prime directive had to be applied.

But no, they went right where they shouldn't have gone. I could have "lived" with something that didn't live up to my expectations, but not an unethical end. And mostly out of characters for both Phlox and particularly Archer. The worst thing is, Archer gave Phlox the exact good arguments before changing his mind. We don't even know what made him change his mind. We don't know what T'pol had to say about this, not to mention Trip. Well, maybe it's best we didn't see them agree

I'm still puzzled wether the writers didn't really think this out or if they did it intentionally to provoke reactions about the PD ?
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Old November 17 2011, 04:32 AM   #27
sonak
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

Arachnea wrote: View Post
Hi,

Well, I think it's a shame, because the whole episode was damn good and it was ruined by the conclusion.

The idea of seeing human nature by an alien - Phlox - point of view was great and well done. The discussion between Archer and T'pol about how difficult it must have been for the vulcan with the humans was interesting and I really thought we were going to see a developement about when to interfere and when to stand by. But ! I thought it would be about the human point of view, about the relations between the two species (do we help the Menks to emancipate ?) or something about sharing technology and later on, see what problems it would cause to do so. I was excited to discover how and maybe why the sometimes appalling prime directive had to be applied.

But no, they went right where they shouldn't have gone. I could have "lived" with something that didn't live up to my expectations, but not an unethical end. And mostly out of characters for both Phlox and particularly Archer. The worst thing is, Archer gave Phlox the exact good arguments before changing his mind. We don't even know what made him change his mind. We don't know what T'pol had to say about this, not to mention Trip. Well, maybe it's best we didn't see them agree

I'm still puzzled wether the writers didn't really think this out or if they did it intentionally to provoke reactions about the PD ?

I think the writers didn't understand evolution or ethics very well.

And you're right. The idea that Archer would make this monumental decision without consulting anyone else, instead just being persuaded by Phlox's stupidity is kind of absurd.
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Old November 18 2011, 04:36 AM   #28
horatio83
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

The Prime Directive is counter-intuitive. Our intution might suffice to deal with human ethical problems but obviously it is unable to handle inter-species issues.

Imagine the situation on Earth when the Vulcans met Cochrane. Radiation sickness, civilization nearly undone, probably a lot of anarchy and hunger. And yet they did not help us, did not deliver food, medicine and technology but stood idly by while we had to solve our problems on our own. They did not give us warp technology and pissed off a lot of folks at Starfleet, among them Archer and Tucker. And yet the Vulcans have been right. Archer realized this after he has been in deep space for some time.

Yet you guys suggest that Archer and Phlox should not merely have done what the Vulcans did not do on Earth but in addition to that given one group an advantage over another group (Forget evolution, that's precisely what the problems boils down to.)
How would we have reacted if the Vulcans helped e.g. the North Americans but not the East Asians?
And what about the Menk, doesn't Cutler feel that they are oppressed by the Valakians? Why not help them as well, equip them with all they need in their emancipatory struggle?


ARCHER: You knew you had no business interfering with those people. But you just couldn't let it alone. You thought you were doing the right thing. I might agree if this was Florida or Singapore. But it's not, is it? We're in deep space, and a person is dead, a person who'd still be alive if we hadn't made first contact.

Interspecies ethics are not the same as human ethics.
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Old November 18 2011, 05:02 AM   #29
Skywalker
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

Phlox isn't human.
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Old November 18 2011, 06:21 PM   #30
horatio83
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Re: Phlox and Archer's actions in Dear Doctor

Just substitute human with intraspecies.
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