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Old January 17 2013, 11:17 PM   #61
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

What really matters in the episode is that the focus isn't on what we think of evolution, the Menk, or the Valakians. What matters is what the characters think, and the conflict that arises between them, and how they handle the dilemma. We don't have to agree with them to know that this episode was an important one for Phl;ox and Archer and their development as characters...
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Old January 17 2013, 11:18 PM   #62
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Let's say you're right, that Phlox was wrong. Our hero characters don't have to be right for an episode to be good. They don't to be right on the science.
I think when you put up those types of stakes, it helps for the script to be as tight as possible. It helps if the actions we see on screen don't contradict the dialogue spoken by the stories expert.

Archer decides to let billions die on Phlox's word. Yet the determination Phlox comes to doesn't really match the conditions we see on the planet.
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Old January 17 2013, 11:21 PM   #63
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
What really matters in the episode is that the focus isn't on what we think of evolution, the Menk, or the Valakians. What matters is what the characters think, and the conflict that arises between them, and how they handle the dilemma. We don't have to agree with them to know that this episode was an important one for Phl;ox and Archer and their development as characters...
It's all about suspension of disbelief. If I don't believe in the macguffin then the characters growth really means nothing.
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Old January 17 2013, 11:51 PM   #64
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

BillJ wrote: View Post
Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
What really matters in the episode is that the focus isn't on what we think of evolution, the Menk, or the Valakians. What matters is what the characters think, and the conflict that arises between them, and how they handle the dilemma. We don't have to agree with them to know that this episode was an important one for Phl;ox and Archer and their development as characters...
It's all about suspension of disbelief. If I don't believe in the macguffin then the characters growth really means nothing.
And topedos exist that can turn lifelss moons into habitable planets...
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Old January 17 2013, 11:52 PM   #65
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

I'll write more about this episode later (I have to leave for a bit) but take this tidbit from Jammer's review.

"Dear Doctor" is evidence that television absolutely does not have to pander to the lowest common denominator or hit us over the head with obvious dialog to get our attention. This episode earns our attention by simply telling a good story. "Dear Doctor" is, I fear, a rarer treasure than we might at first give it credit for. This episode stops and listens. It hears. It observes. It has a true understanding of human nature. It has perspectives of a kind that I want to see more of. And it believes in an audience that is interested in the true spirit of Star Trek and exploration rather than selling out in the name of being the hip flavor of the week.
This is a real story.
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Old January 17 2013, 11:56 PM   #66
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I'll write more about this episode later (I have to leave for a bit) but take this tidbit from Jammer's review.

"Dear Doctor" is evidence that television absolutely does not have to pander to the lowest common denominator or hit us over the head with obvious dialog to get our attention. This episode earns our attention by simply telling a good story. "Dear Doctor" is, I fear, a rarer treasure than we might at first give it credit for. This episode stops and listens. It hears. It observes. It has a true understanding of human nature. It has perspectives of a kind that I want to see more of. And it believes in an audience that is interested in the true spirit of Star Trek and exploration rather than selling out in the name of being the hip flavor of the week.
This is a real story.
Now go look up the SciFi Debris review of the same episode...

http://sfdebris.com/videos/startrek/e113.asp
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Old January 18 2013, 12:03 AM   #67
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

BillJ wrote: View Post
Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I'll write more about this episode later (I have to leave for a bit) but take this tidbit from Jammer's review.

"Dear Doctor" is evidence that television absolutely does not have to pander to the lowest common denominator or hit us over the head with obvious dialog to get our attention. This episode earns our attention by simply telling a good story. "Dear Doctor" is, I fear, a rarer treasure than we might at first give it credit for. This episode stops and listens. It hears. It observes. It has a true understanding of human nature. It has perspectives of a kind that I want to see more of. And it believes in an audience that is interested in the true spirit of Star Trek and exploration rather than selling out in the name of being the hip flavor of the week.
This is a real story.
Now go look up the SciFi Debris review of the same episode...

http://sfdebris.com/videos/startrek/e113.asp
Yeah I did see it... and guess what, I agree with many points in it...

particularly points about evolution..

And isn't that what makes it great, that there can be something to talk about.

But I'll admit that often storytelling... how it's told... is just as important as the story itself. The episode is very calm, very moving in it's own unhurried way. The characters might be wrong, but they try to be right, and plot itself isn't contrived to make the episode fulfill a ratings quotient.

Again, I reiterate my first point: I like the controversy. Makes it a strong episode!
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Old January 18 2013, 12:14 AM   #68
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
...and plot itself isn't contrived to make the episode fulfill a ratings quotient.
I don't even know what this means?


Again, I reiterate my first point: I like the controversy. Makes it a strong episode!
I wouldn't mind the controversy if the science made the least bit of sense and that Phlox's dialogue matched what we see on the planet.

Those two things sink it down into Insurrection territory for me. YMMV.
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Old January 18 2013, 02:38 AM   #69
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

the science made the least bit of sense and that Phlox's dialogue matched what we see on the planet.
I haven't watched the episode in a while. From what I remember it does fly in the face of what we know about evolution. But maybe not. We only have one data set (life on this planet) from which to judge how evolution works.. it's certainly not unlikely, particularly in the Star Trek universe, for two sentient humanoids to evolve separately on the same planet.

I'm going to watch it again, but even if the science was failed, what's more important are the issues and the characters. Most of Star Trek's science doesn't match reality, but the producers of Trek always try to encourage their writers to come up with how the plot affects "our characters."

The episode was subdued, quiet and reflective, and, whether they made the wrong judgment calls or not, the characters thought deeply about the decisions they wound up making. I would rather have a thousand episodes like this than "Profit and Lace" or even "Dark Territory."
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Old January 18 2013, 03:41 AM   #70
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

The episode was subdued, quiet and reflective, and, whether they made the wrong judgment calls or not, the characters thought deeply about the decisions they wound up making.
Except that we didn't really see them think deeply about it. One minute Archer was in favour of giving them the cure and then in the next scene he says, "Oh i slept on it and decided you were right and let's not give them the cure" - A little scene showing Archer talking to someone else and/or thinking about his decision changing might have improved the episode more instead of the rapid 180 degree turnaround we got.

For the Uniform takes the cake for me - ugh "let's just use WMD for petty revenge and then laugh about it on the bridge afterwards" but I guess because they got lucky and nobody actually died Starfleet gave them a free pass.
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Old January 18 2013, 06:09 AM   #71
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

BillJ wrote: View Post
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Later Kirk escapes from them, calls a truce, gives them aid, calls them friend and sets course back for home without any mention of bringing the aliens up on charges.
You seem to forget the Kelvans still have an impressive tech edge over the Federation. I doubt the Federation could really keep them locked up if it came right down to it.
Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
If he hadn't done this, they would crushed the entire crew.

And, one could also say that, in the episode Kirk and his rew taught them about the vulnerabilities of humanity, and that if they had known that before, they might not have done what they did.

Sure everyone agrees that killing the female redshirt was wrong,but you can't impose consequences as normal to this race. I kind of compare it to the way Picard had no way to adequately punish Kevin Uxbridge in "The Survivors."
All this is true, but it makes for a bad statement about the value of life, particularly when they are the unknown Red Shirts.

Kirk could have told them that what they did was considered immoral and their victim deserved justice (Just to see what they would do, as they managed to get the best of them later).

In the end, it was all about the Kelvan's enjoyment and pleasure seeking. No apologies for what they've done earlier. So much for the female crew man.

'Hey, here's a nice planet, you've got human bodies, why don't you go on staying here and explore your new erotic, physical sensations together?'

You'd be surprised at the number of episodes where Red Shirts get wacked or something serious happened and later, the crew is cracking jokes like they have short term memory syndrome or something.

Last edited by Nightdiamond; January 18 2013 at 06:20 AM.
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Old January 18 2013, 06:22 AM   #72
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
If he hadn't done this, they would crushed the entire crew.

And, one could also say that, in the episode Kirk and his rew taught them about the vulnerabilities of humanity, and that if they had known that before, they might not have done what they did.

Sure everyone agrees that killing the female redshirt was wrong,but you can't impose consequences as normal to this race. I kind of compare it to the way Picard had no way to adequately punish Kevin Uxbridge in "The Survivors."
BillJ wrote: View Post
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Later Kirk escapes from them, calls a truce, gives them aid, calls them friend and sets course back for home without any mention of bringing the aliens up on charges.
You seem to forget the Kelvans still have an impressive tech edge over the Federation. I doubt the Federation could really keep them locked up if it came right down to it.
All this is true, but it makes for a bad statement about the value of life, particularly when they are the unknown Red Shirts.

Kirk could have told them that what they did was considered immoral and their victim deserved justice (Just to see what they would do, they did managed to get the best of them).

In the end, it was all about the Kelvan's enjoyment and pleasure seeking. No apologies for what they've done earlier. So much for the female crew man.

'Hey, here's a nice planet, you've got human bodies, why don't you go on staying here and explore your new erotic, physical sensations together?'

You'd be surprised at the number of episodes where a Red Shirts gets wacked or something serious happened and later, the crew is cracking jokes like they have short term memory syndrome or something.
We should all collaborate on a TOS Star Trek book called "5 minutes later". 79 very short chapters detailing what happened five minutes after each episode.

BY ANY OTHER NAME

"Mr...Spock. Have all the Kelvans beamed down?"
"Affirmative Captain."

"Excellent.... Mr. Sulu, lock photon torpedoes on their encampment and....fire. (Peww pewww) FIRE!! (Peww peww peww!)"
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Old January 18 2013, 06:37 AM   #73
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Except that we didn't really see them think deeply about it. One minute Archer was in favour of giving them the cure and then in the next scene he says, "Oh i slept on it and decided you were right and let's not give them the cure" - A little scene showing Archer talking to someone else and/or thinking about his decision changing might have improved the episode more instead of the rapid 180 degree turnaround we got.
I didn't know this, but the ending was originally very different, as stated near the bottom of the Memory Alpha entry

Aside from the controversy here, the episode is excellent as just an exploration of the doctor as a member of the crew. I think his interactions with both Cutler and Hoshi make this episode a winner as well.

I also think the music used during the narration gives this episode a unique feel.
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Old January 18 2013, 06:49 AM   #74
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

that the Menk are supposed to survive, and will only be allowed to properly evolve and prosper if they are not tied to the Valakians. Phlox explains that the "disease" is actually an inherent flaw in Valakian DNA; they've reached an evolutionary dead end. Archer demands a cure for the Valakians, saying he doesn't agree with Phlox's point of view. Phlox reveals that he already has a cure.
The next day, Archer enters the medical facilities. Phlox tries to again state that he does not believe that they should interfere with the natural pace of events on the planet. Archer cuts him off, and makes the statement that he has reconsidered the matter, and that he agrees that the Enterprise and the human race did not go to the stars to play god for other species
1. So Phlox *isn't* playing God by saying 'one race can only evolve and prosper if the other dies out'? Please. You could justify human diseases too by saying "they prey on human DNA weaknesses. How TF are several species on Earth supposed to evolve when the top species on the food chain is killing off other species will nilly. Let humans die out !!"

2. Phlox's race doesn't have a Hippocratic Oath? REALLY? Can his ass. I don't want my life jeoperdized by the moral whims of my Chief Medical Officer.
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Old January 18 2013, 07:00 AM   #75
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Yet the Prime Directive, still unformed, still applies. Don't interfere with the natural course of evolution with a species.

But the other thing is... we don't have to like the ending, but if it makes us think, why condemn a well-made episode for that?
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