RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 137,840
Posts: 5,327,434
Members: 24,552
Currently online: 493
Newest member: mekogas

TrekToday headlines

Latest Official Starships Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Jul 10

Seven of Nine Bobble Head
By: T'Bonz on Jul 9

Pegg The Prankster
By: T'Bonz on Jul 9

More Trek Stars Join Unbelievable!!!!!
By: T'Bonz on Jul 8

Star Trek #35 Preview
By: T'Bonz on Jul 8

New ThinkGeek Trek Apparel
By: T'Bonz on Jul 7

Star Trek Movie Prop Auction
By: T'Bonz on Jul 7

Drexler: NX Engineering Room Construction
By: T'Bonz on Jul 7

New Trek Home Fashions
By: T'Bonz on Jul 4

Star Trek Pop-Ups Book Preview
By: T'Bonz on Jul 3


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

View Poll Results: Was the ending Deus Ex Machina?
Yes 24 37.50%
No 40 62.50%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 29 2012, 02:55 AM   #61
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
With the Prophets nothing they ever did was seen or displayed as being scientific. It was always mystical.
That's grossly untrue. The Bajorans interpreted them as mystical, but the Starfleet characters routinely characterized them as wormhole aliens. Several episodes explicitly revolved around the different characters' different perceptions of what the wormhole's inhabitants really were. This passage from "The Reckoning" sums it up pretty well:
DAX: You know how Starfleet feels about this Emissary thing. It makes them very uncomfortable that you've allowed the Bajorans to view you as a religious icon. It used to make you uncomfortable, too.
SISKO: Not anymore. I guess the Prophets have spoken to me one too many times.
DAX: I remember when you used to call them wormhole Aliens.
SISKO: Wormhole aliens or Prophets, it really doesn't matter. The fact is, they exist out of time, and over the centuries they've given the Bajorans glimpses of the future. Glimpses that the Bajorans have written down to help them guide succeeding generations. If whatever is written here can help me avoid mistakes, can help me make the right decisions, then I'd be a fool to ignore it.
DAX: Fair enough. But if you don't mind, I'm going to continue to think of them as wormhole aliens.
SISKO: All I know is that they have a relationship with Bajor that stretches back over a thousand years.
The show always took care to leave it ambiguous whether the Prophets were genuinely spiritual or simply advanced aliens ("sufficiently advanced" in a Clarke's Third Law sense) whose seeming prophetic powers were scientifically explicable by their existence in a different time continuum. Indeed, I'm pretty sure they were required by the studio to leave in that ambiguity, because overt religious elements make advertisers nervous. So there were always two possible interpretations: the scientific one favored by the Federation (with everything explicable within the fairly loose scientific laws of the Trek universe) and the more spiritual one favored by the Bajorans. And ultimately it didn't matter which one was objectively true, because what mattered was how the various characters' interpretations influenced their choices and actions.


Deus Ex Machina being a greek term should extend to divine intervention since gods would be used to settle the plot of a dispute in greek plays and writings
Yes, but my point is that just having divine intervention doesn't automatically make something a deus ex machina in the literary-trope sense. We're not talking about the literal usage coined over 2000 years ago; that would be pointlessly archaic. We're talking about its definition as a term of criticism, which refers to the arbitrary introduction of a random new element into a story that conveniently solves a crisis that the characters were unable to solve on their own. A deus ex machina doesn't have to involve divine intervention; for instance, if a killer is chasing our hero through an open field, and a piece of wing falls off a conveniently passing jet and hits the killer on the head, that's a deus ex machina, because it comes out of nowhere and solves the problem without the hero having to do anything. But conversely, divine action isn't necessarily a DEM; if a story is about gods in the first place, such as, say, Clash of the Titans or Thor, then their actions to resolve a situation are not DEM because they're actual characters in the story and their presence is set up well in advance.

So don't take the name of the trope so dang literally. That's missing the whole point. The issue isn't about divinity. It's about whether a writer cheats to solve a problem rather than finding a legitimate solution within the story.


ScaryRomulanFan wrote: View Post
I was going to vote no but before I voted I realized I had to look up the meaning of Dues Ex Machina since I didn't know it. After I read the definition below, especially the bold, italicized, underlined parts, I voted yes. If you read just the bold, italicized, underlined parts, they the ending to a T.
Deus Ex Machina definition according to Google: An unexpected power or event saving a hopeless situation, esp. as a plot device in a play or novel.
You can't pick and choose parts of the definition -- nor is that Google definition particularly good. It's not just unexpected, it's something that's arbitrarily introduced without prior justification. It's when the writer can't think of a way out of the problem and just makes up some random thing out of the blue that conveniently fixes everything without the heroes having to do anything. That's not the case here. The wormhole aliens had been an established part of DS9's world since the beginning. We already knew they were there and had the power to do this. And it was the actions of the hero -- Sisko persuading the Prophets to act -- that led to the resolution. So no, it absolutely was not a deus ex machina. You were right to realize you needed to look up the definition, but you need to choose your sources more carefully.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog

Last edited by Christopher; October 29 2012 at 03:30 AM.
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 03:44 AM   #62
CmndrSela318
Doctor Who Fan Number 318. [Commander]
 
CmndrSela318's Avatar
 
Location: In the TARDIS with Clara, the Matt Smith doctor, the David Tennant doctor and the John Hurt doctor.
View CmndrSela318's Twitter Profile
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

Christopher wrote: View Post
It's something that's arbitrarily introduced without prior justification. It's when the writer can't think of a way out of the problem and just makes up some random thing out of the blue that conveniently fixes everything without the heroes having to do anything.
^^That's^^ my definition of a plot device and plot device is part of the GOOGLE definition for Dues Ex Machina. So I am therefore sticking to my original post.
__________________
Doctor Who Episode: GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE
You're Mr. Thick Thick Thicketty Thick-face
from Thick-town, Thickania.
And so is your dad.
CmndrSela318 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 03:48 AM   #63
FKnight
Commander
 
FKnight's Avatar
 
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

I voted no, it's not a DEM, for all of the reasons already mentioned.

As far as "writing themselves into a corner" -- this assertion makes no sense since pencils have erasers on them. They could have just as easily, as has been previously mentioned, had Rom disable the weapons one second earlier.

Sisko's encounter with the prophets in this episode was an unexpected surprise, but that alone does not make it a Deus Ex Machina. It wasn't an unnatural evolution of the story, it didn't really come out of nowhere, and the wormhole aliens were firmly established. I don't think I can explain my reason it's not a DEM better than the others have.

Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
Actually my biggest gripe with the episode was why did the Klingon fleet not go directly at DS9 itself? The Federation fleet had the Dominion/Cardassian forces tied down and the stakes were clearly outlined as victory or else death. Personally I thought it'd be very in character for Gowron to have the Klingon forces take all the glory and let the Federation take it on the chin.
The reason the Klingons didn't head straight to DS9 is because in the episode in question, space suddenly turned into a two dimensional plane which resembled ground combat with "lines" that needed to be "broken through" and all of a sudden you can't go around things. But hey, that's space combat on TV .. no way "around that" either
__________________
"You have been examined. Your ship must be destroyed. We make assumption you have a deity, or deities, or some such beliefs which comfort you. We therefore grant you ten Earth time periods known as minutes to make preparations."
FKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 04:46 AM   #64
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

ScaryRomulanFan wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
It's something that's arbitrarily introduced without prior justification. It's when the writer can't think of a way out of the problem and just makes up some random thing out of the blue that conveniently fixes everything without the heroes having to do anything.
^^That's^^ my definition of a plot device and plot device is part of the GOOGLE definition for Dues Ex Machina. So I am therefore sticking to my original post.
So you're picking a definition for a different element, then picking only part of the definition to arrive at the conclusion you want. If you don't like the episode, just say so. Twisting and cherry-picking definitions to justify your personal preferences is dishonest.
Pavonis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 10:31 AM   #65
Spock/Uhura Fan
Captain
 
Spock/Uhura Fan's Avatar
 
Location: Where It's At.
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

I don't think it was. When I saw them intervene, I didn't feel like "Where the heck did that come from???"
__________________
MA'AM. Hot damn, I can dig it.

“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” - Virginia Woolf
Spock/Uhura Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 10:38 AM   #66
TheGodBen
Rear Admiral
 
TheGodBen's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

ScaryRomulanFan wrote: View Post
^^That's^^ my definition of a plot device and plot device is part of the GOOGLE definition for Dues Ex Machina.
Google is a fantastic search engine but a crappy primary source.
__________________
...so many different suns...
TheGodBen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 01:12 PM   #67
Knight Templar
Commodore
 
Location: Oklahoma
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

FKnight wrote: View Post
I voted no, it's not a DEM, for all of the reasons already mentioned.

As far as "writing themselves into a corner" -- this assertion makes no sense since pencils have erasers on them. They could have just as easily, as has been previously mentioned, had Rom disable the weapons one second earlier.

Not really.

Look at "What You Leave Behind". The series finale originally featured a massive battle over Cardassia (it was late enough in the production process that this battle was included in the novelization) yet this battle was completeliy omitted in the aired version, reportedly for budget reasons.
Knight Templar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 01:47 PM   #68
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

Which would seem to be a resaonable reason. It's not like TV shows/films have an unlimted budget.
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 02:31 PM   #69
TheGodBen
Rear Admiral
 
TheGodBen's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
Not really.

Look at "What You Leave Behind". The series finale originally featured a massive battle over Cardassia (it was late enough in the production process that this battle was included in the novelization) yet this battle was completeliy omitted in the aired version, reportedly for budget reasons.
If Rom had disabled the station's weapons sooner then there wouldn't have been a battle at DS9 because the station wouldn't have had any weapons. The Defiant arrives and attacks the station, the station can't fire back, 200 Federation ships break through the Dominion's fleet, the Dominion are forced to evacuate the station. This ending would have been cheaper than the actual ending because they wouldn't have needed VFX shots of the minefield blowing up nor the Dominon fleet in the wormhole.

Considering the fact that there is no evidence that there was supposed to be a battle at the station in Sacrifice of Angels, considering the fact that such a battle would have been superfluous considering we had just witnessed the mother of all space battles already in the episode, considering the fact that it would have been very easy to write an alternative ending to the dilemma, and considering the fact that the writers have made it clear that the Prophets' intervention was the direction they had intended to take the story, your claim that they had written themselves into a corner is incredibly weak.
__________________
...so many different suns...
TheGodBen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 02:48 PM   #70
Tom Riker
Lieutenant
 
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

At least they had to be talked into it. I don’t think Sisko had any intention of talking to the prophets when he went into the wormhole, I really think he was just going to cause as much damage as he could. I think a better way of doing this would have been setting the auto-destruct and trying to take out the Jem’hadar and the wormhole putting the prophets in danger and making them act in self-preservation.
Tom Riker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 03:00 PM   #71
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

Tom Riker wrote: View Post
I think a better way of doing this would have been setting the auto-destruct and trying to take out the Jem’hadar and the wormhole putting the prophets in danger and making them act in self-preservation.
But that wouldn't have been better because it wouldn't have had the same impact on Sisko's character arc as he related to the Prophets. Again, character should always be a higher priority than plot. Plot exists to create opportunities to explore and develop characters. Sisko just using brute force to scare the Prophets into saving themselves is superficial. Instead what we got was something more personal, more about the relationship between Sisko and the Prophets -- they wanted him to bow to their intentions for him, but he refused to be so passive and instead forced them to confront their own hypocrisy and change the way they did things. Not because he was going to kill them, but because he argued them into it, because he confronted them on a more personal level. That's better storytelling, because story is about character.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29 2012, 04:16 PM   #72
G2309
Captain
 
G2309's Avatar
 
View G2309's Twitter Profile
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

No it wasn't. Its a miunderstaning of a deux ex machina. there was nothing unexoected about the prophets who had been established in the pilot emssary to have a lot of power in the wormhole. I like to think Sisko planned to ask them but waited for them to contact him.
__________________
For parodies check out

http://wondersandparodies.blogspot.c...y-scripts.html
G2309 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30 2012, 03:50 AM   #73
Tosk
Rear Admiral
 
Tosk's Avatar
 
Location: On the run.
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

ScaryRomulanFan wrote: View Post
I voted yes. If you read just the bold, italicized, underlined parts, they describe the ending to a T.
Deus Ex Machina definition according to Google: An unexpected power or event saving a hopeless situation, esp. as a plot device in a play or novel.
What is the point of only reading certain words in the definition?
Tosk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30 2012, 05:38 AM   #74
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

^So that it suppports your viewpoint. Would be my guess
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30 2012, 12:54 PM   #75
TheGodBen
Rear Admiral
 
TheGodBen's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland
Re: Sacrifice of the Angels Ending A Deus Ex Machina?

This is the Google definition for television, I've underlined what I feel are the important parts of the definition:

A system for transmitting visual images and sound that are reproduced on screens, chiefly used to broadcast programs for entertainment, information, and education
__________________
...so many different suns...
TheGodBen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:50 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.