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Old January 24 2013, 08:00 PM   #1
TrekToday
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Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

For Star Trek: Enterprise‘s John Billingsley, Star Trek: Enterprise episodes that dealt with serious issues were the better ones. So when Dear Doctor came along, Billingsley was happy, and for more than one reason. “I figured it probably would be controversial,” he said. “I had, to be honest with you, two reactions to it.” One [...]

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Old January 24 2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

He's right that Star Trek could be very different as a cable show. Though part of its appeal was how it could disguise contemporary issues, leading to different interpretations. On cable, it might be more explicit about those issues, as well as regarding themes on sexuality.
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Old January 26 2013, 04:48 PM   #3
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

interesting, I'd never heard him comment on "dear doctor," and wondered what his views on it were. Sadly, other than saying that it's controversial, he doesn't seem to object to the decisions or pseudoscience presented in the episode.
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Old January 26 2013, 07:05 PM   #4
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

“[Dear Doctor] was dark,” said Billingsley. “It creeped people out: an entire race of people are going to be doomed to extinction.”

Er... no, John. If it only took Phlox a few hours to find a cure, there's no reason whatsoever to definitively state a whole planet full of natives couldn't find one on their own even a short while after the humans left. That was kinda the whole point.
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Old January 26 2013, 08:49 PM   #5
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

Gaith wrote: View Post
That was kinda the whole point.
Only it really wasn't.
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Old January 26 2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

"creeped people out"? No. But I do know two people who quit ENT in disgust when DD aired.
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Old January 27 2013, 12:59 AM   #7
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

Gaith wrote: View Post
“[Dear Doctor] was dark,” said Billingsley. “It creeped people out: an entire race of people are going to be doomed to extinction.”

Er... no, John. If it only took Phlox a few hours to find a cure, there's no reason whatsoever to definitively state a whole planet full of natives couldn't find one on their own even a short while after the humans left. That was kinda the whole point.
But they didnt.
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Old January 27 2013, 01:26 AM   #8
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

Gaith wrote: View Post
If it only took Phlox a few hours to find a cure, there's no reason whatsoever to definitively state a whole planet full of natives couldn't find one on their own even a short while after the humans left. That was kinda the whole point.
Nope. Go watch the episode again. You're absolutely off track here.
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Old January 27 2013, 01:51 AM   #9
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

TighsEye wrote: View Post
If it only took Phlox a few hours to find a cure, there's no reason whatsoever to definitively state a whole planet full of natives couldn't find one on their own even a short while after the humans left. That was kinda the whole point.
But they didnt.
[citation needed]
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Old January 27 2013, 08:38 AM   #10
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

Gaith wrote: View Post
[citation needed]
Okay, the natives were shown to be incapable of finding/creating a cure on their own. They had been looking for some time and were desperate enough to send out sublight spacecraft to look for help. By the end of the episode there was no hint in the storyline that the natives were going to obtain a cure on their own.
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Old January 27 2013, 05:39 PM   #11
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

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Okay, the natives were shown to be incapable of finding/creating a cure on their own.
Well, maybe no one actually said the words "hey, the natives might still find a cure without us", though I kinda suspect that someone did, but I'm pretty sure that no one said "they absolutely won't find one", either. Just because the natives hadn't found a cure yet, and had sent people into space as an alternative venture, doesn't make them "incapable" of doing so. (Nor, for that matter, does it preclude the possibility that another spacefaring race might decide to help them.)

Remember that our discovery of penicillin was a complete accident. Science isn't a steady process; it advances in leaps and bounds. With a whole planet full of individuals working on the problem, who knows what might happen?

And, since the situation was never referred to again, TighsEye's assertion that the natives didn't find a cure is simply unfounded speculation.
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Old January 27 2013, 06:15 PM   #12
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

Gaith wrote: View Post
Well, maybe no one actually said the words "hey, the natives might still find a cure without us", though I kinda suspect that someone did, but I'm pretty sure that no one said "they absolutely won't find one", either. Just because the natives hadn't found a cure yet, and had sent people into space as an alternative venture, doesn't make them "incapable" of doing so. (Nor, for that matter, does it preclude the possibility that another spacefaring race might decide to help them.)
This.

From the episode, next-to-last scene:
Archer to Esaak: Phlox tells me this medicine will help ease the symptoms for a decade, maybe more. A lot can happen in that time. I wouldn't be surprised if you developed a cure on your own.
As for the eventual fate of the Valakians, Phlox talks about "evidence" of this, "potential" for that, "opportunity" for the Menk, and his talk of Valakian extinction is "based on my projections," which to me sounds like he's mostly sure, but not 100%, because he's a doctor, not a soothsayer.

Nor does anyone say the Valakians will never find a cure. All we know is, they get medicine that helps to sustain them, and they seem sure-fire determined to get their hands on a cure by any means necessary and don't seem to be planning on giving up.
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Old January 27 2013, 07:15 PM   #13
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

^Ha, I thought so!

I actually would've loved to see that story continue for another episode or two as the matter was openly debated on Earth. Would have been an excellent opportunity to see how much cultural influence the Catholic Church and other religious groups might still have by that time, and how they fit into society's fabric. And, more than just hinting at the Prime Directive, the scenario could easily have been its actual cause.


... I understand that some people don't agree with Archer's decision, and that's fine. But I've noticed a pattern over the years of some of those dissenters making sweeping claims about the situation that simply aren't found in canonical knowledge, and that's just not helpful in terms of discussion. (Heck, for all we know, Starfleet Command overruled Archer, and sent a cure along on the NX-03. )
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Old January 27 2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

Gaith wrote: View Post
Would have been an excellent opportunity to see how much cultural influence the Catholic Church and other religious groups might still have by that time
Phlox said something about celebrating mass at the Vatican, but judging from this and this, zero to none.
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Old January 27 2013, 10:46 PM   #15
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Re: Billingsley: Enterprise Gray Areas

Mach5 wrote: View Post
Gaith wrote: View Post
Would have been an excellent opportunity to see how much cultural influence the Catholic Church and other religious groups might still have by that time
Phlox said something about celebrating mass at the Vatican, but judging from this and this, zero to none.
I am not a religous person myself, but to think that religion will be gone by the time of "Enterprise" is not very realistic, in my opinion. The population on this world will continue to grow, and although some people will turn their back on religion, it is impossible to believe that everyone will in 200 years.

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