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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old February 25 2013, 11:59 PM   #1
Ensign_Redshirt
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Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

1) The Ferengi appear much more war-like than in later encounters. Here, they seem to be more like a cross between slightly demented Klingons and the actual Ferengi we know from DS9. For instance, the Ferengi DaiMon claims that his crew would rather prefer to die than to bear the dishonour of surrendering to the Enterprise-D unconditionally. He also offers Picard the life of his second officer ("as it is Ferengi custom") as a form of reparation.

2) Although he was later established as having been one of Professor Galen's best students, Picard his never even heard of the Tkon Empire until the events of this episoe. Instead, he has to fully rely on Data's konowledge on this subject and is suprised to hear that something like the Tkon had existed.

3) Deanna is able to feel the Ferengi DaiMon's emotions and intents, despite the fact that Betazoids can't read Ferengi minds as it was established in later seasons.

4) In one scene, Beverly calls Picard "Jean" instead of "Jean-Luc".

5) As it was common in early Season 1, Picard is depcited as something of a staunch French patriot who speaks sentimentally of the colours on the French national flag (and also exclaims "Merde!" in another scene).

Considering the number of inconsistencies with later seasons of TNG I have to conclude that this episode (and possibly others from Season 1 too) are set in a slightly different quantum reality.
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Old February 26 2013, 12:54 AM   #2
RAMA
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

You can write a book with TOS inconsistencies in season 1 from later seasons as well...wait they have!! It seems endemic to Star Trek series or sci fi world building in general.
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Old February 26 2013, 02:56 PM   #3
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

The Ferengi actually fluctuated later on as well, enough for us to declare their society a varied, multifaceted one. This isn't "early" weirdness regarding the species, it's just plain weirdness. And the aggressive, violently opportunistic Ferengi return in e.g. "Peak Performance" and "Acquisition"...

As for the "Ferengi custom" of selling out a comrade, it's probably a very real one - only, our heroes see it in slightly more concrete terms than usual here. Just like the idea of the Ferengi eating their trade partners alive at the negotiation tables is probably very much a true story, even if Riker's version of it in "Encounter at Farpoint" is somewhat misleading...

What Counselor Troi can or cannot read is always a source of amusement. But here, Deanna outright says that she cannot "sense" the Ferengi. It's in "The Battle" where she seems to wrangle some sort of information out of the Ferengi opposition, "sensing" at DaiMon Bok "deception and danger".

Weirdness relating to Troi in this episode includes her considerable insight: "We have ignored the planet". This is a dramatic revelation, accompanied by dramatic music and a dramatic cut - but since it's coming from Troi, everybody ignores it as usual, and in the next scene the heroes are humiliated and surprised by the fact that the planet indeed is responsible for the situation.

But why did the heroes ignore Troi? It wasn't a Betazoid insight she offered - it was a verbalization of a conclusion that everybody in the room should have already reached, as they witnessed their ship being savaged in ways that should have been beyond the Ferengi means.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old February 26 2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

The problem with the Ferengi is that you can sense they were supposed to be menacing and mysterious, when in fact they were just kind of silly (even though they did manage to dupe the Enterprise's crew on a few occasions, if memory serves). Early TNG, people were all "wow, the Ferengi, no-one knows anything about 'em", but when you examine DS9 chronology, you have to wonder if the Enterprise simply didn't have access to space internet.
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Last edited by CommanderRaytas; February 26 2013 at 03:00 PM. Reason: grammar fail
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Old February 26 2013, 03:00 PM   #5
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

Timo wrote: View Post
What Counselor Troi can or cannot read is always a source of amusement. But here, Deanna outright says that she cannot "sense" the Ferengi. It's in "The Battle" where she seems to wrangle some sort of information out of the Ferengi opposition, "sensing" at DaiMon Bok "deception and danger".
No, Troi definitely says "he's hiding something" with regards to the Ferengi DaiMon in "The Last Outpost".
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Old February 26 2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

Data's knowledge is flawed anyway, as in this episode, he quotes the colors of the German flag in the wrong order. And another oddity: Why is the holo projector in the observation lounge only used in this episode and never again? Also it seems like gold is worth something to the Ferengi, while in later episodes, it is just a worthless metal anyone could replicate, thus filling it with latinum in their currency. Especially in DS9 Who morns for Morn?
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Old February 26 2013, 03:12 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

No, Troi definitely says "he's hiding something" with regards to the Ferengi DaiMon in "The Last Outpost".
Ah, true. So it's a contradiction internal to this episode, as she earlier speaks of an inability to sense the opponents.

Her speculation on a telepathic shield is probably missing the mark, as Quark in "Jem'Hadar" claims such technology still eludes the Ferengi and basically everybody else as well. So perhaps the Tkon outpost was doing the shielding and distorting here? (Although the "distortion" Riker and Troi refer to is apparently in reference to the fact that the Ferengi loom large on the viewer but are below average height in reality...)

As for the value of gold, the Ferengi probably recognize its relativity: primitives not encountered previously might be fooled into thinking it's valuable, even if other sorts of trade partner might not be impressed by mere baubles.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old February 26 2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

LogicDeLuxe wrote: View Post
Data's knowledge is flawed anyway, as in this episode, he quotes the colors of the German flag in the wrong order.
Really? I don't remember that. This sort of mistake usually gets me up in arms. Seriously, if you're going to mention something in an episode, at least do the effing research.
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Old February 26 2013, 07:10 PM   #9
Lance
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

Timo wrote: View Post
No, Troi definitely says "he's hiding something" with regards to the Ferengi DaiMon in "The Last Outpost".
Ah, true. So it's a contradiction internal to this episode, as she earlier speaks of an inability to sense the opponents.


Her speculation on a telepathic shield is probably missing the mark, as Quark in "Jem'Hadar" claims such technology still eludes the Ferengi and basically everybody else as well. So perhaps the Tkon outpost was doing the shielding and distorting here? (Although the "distortion" Riker and Troi refer to is apparently in reference to the fact that the Ferengi loom large on the viewer but are below average height in reality
Alternatively, "they're hiding something" could simply be a case of general observation and perception, rather than Deanna using her empathic abilities. She might not be able to read the Ferengi in the conventional sense, so she's switched over to using good old-fashioned body language indicators instead.
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Old February 26 2013, 07:19 PM   #10
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

CommanderRaytas wrote: View Post
LogicDeLuxe wrote: View Post
Data's knowledge is flawed anyway, as in this episode, he quotes the colors of the German flag in the wrong order.
Really? I don't remember that. This sort of mistake usually gets me up in arms. Seriously, if you're going to mention something in an episode, at least do the effing research.
Unless the writers deliberately put misinformation into the character's mouth. The characters might get details wrong because the sources are so old. Seriously, in Trek's 24th century, who is going to remember the "correct" order in which to cite the colors on a piece of cloth representing a country that doesn't exist anymore?
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Old February 26 2013, 07:21 PM   #11
Jeyl
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

Lance wrote: View Post
Alternatively, "they're hiding something" could simply be a case of general observation and perception, rather than Deanna using her empathic abilities. She might not be able to read the Ferengi in the conventional sense, so she's switched over to using good old-fashioned body language indicators instead.
So.... the only person on the bridge qualified to read body language is Troi? Troi stating the obvious is one thing, but to be the only one allowed to do so just speaks volumes at how incompetent the Federation is. No wonder these bozos would be outmatched by a couple dozen ferengi later in the series.
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Old February 26 2013, 07:33 PM   #12
Lance
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Lance wrote: View Post
Alternatively, "they're hiding something" could simply be a case of general observation and perception, rather than Deanna using her empathic abilities. She might not be able to read the Ferengi in the conventional sense, so she's switched over to using good old-fashioned body language indicators instead.
So.... the only person on the bridge qualified to read body language is Troi?
I'm not saying it's a "qualification". It's just the best thing she can bring to the table at that time. The others are probably inwardly rolling their eyes, thinking to themselves "We can see that for ourselves already, you stupid bint".

I mean, they could just ask Wesley what he thinks. I'm sure he'd be able to tell them the Ferengi "are hiding something" too. Then Picard would tell him to shut up.
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Old February 26 2013, 07:43 PM   #13
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

Lance wrote: View Post
I mean, they could just ask Wesley what he thinks. I'm sure he'd be able to tell them the Ferengi "are hiding something" too. Then Picard would tell him to shut up.
Now that would have been a season one highlight.
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Old February 26 2013, 08:13 PM   #14
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

Pavonis wrote: View Post
CommanderRaytas wrote: View Post
LogicDeLuxe wrote: View Post
Data's knowledge is flawed anyway, as in this episode, he quotes the colors of the German flag in the wrong order.
Really? I don't remember that. This sort of mistake usually gets me up in arms. Seriously, if you're going to mention something in an episode, at least do the effing research.
Unless the writers deliberately put misinformation into the character's mouth. The characters might get details wrong because the sources are so old. Seriously, in Trek's 24th century, who is going to remember the "correct" order in which to cite the colors on a piece of cloth representing a country that doesn't exist anymore?
Who's going to remember it? A fucking android ought to.

You can believe that they did it on purpose if you want to, but this is a mistake, and not a deliberate one. As if Data would mention a flag and get it wrong. What would be the point, anyway?

I think it is a question of credibility. It's the kind of blunder that drags me out of the episode and reminds me of the fact that this is a show made by, uh.... people who are not European.

I know it's a little pedantic, but I do hate it when they fuck up the little things. I support suspension of disbelief, but it always annoys me when the historical details are wrong. Change history, by all means, but don't make it look like you don't know what you're on about.

If you can't be bothered to do the research, don't mention it. It'll make me happy, at least.

Like that woman who wrote 50 Shades of Grey and got all the Americanisms wrong. I didn't notice anything, but some American acquaintances pointed stuff out to me, and I understand why that pissed them off.
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Old February 26 2013, 08:34 PM   #15
Pavonis
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Re: Season 1 weirdness: "The Last Outpost"

CommanderRaytas wrote: View Post
Who's going to remember it? A fucking android ought to.
Garbage in, garbage out. Data only knows what the databanks tell him. If the databanks are in error, so he will be, too.

You can believe that they did it on purpose if you want to, but this is a mistake, and not a deliberate one. As if Data would mention a flag and get it wrong. What would be the point, anyway?
To showcase that it's three centuries in the future. Can you name the colors of flags from countries of the 18th century?

I know it's a little pedantic, but I do hate it when they fuck up the little things. I support suspension of disbelief, but it always annoys me when the historical details are wrong. Change history, by all means, but don't make it look like you don't know what you're on about.
All I can say is, the writers might be wrong, or the characters might be wrong. You can pick which one you prefer, but you don't know the writers got it wrong unless they admit it. Sometimes characters get it wrong because the writer wants them to get it wrong.
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