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

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Old March 11 2013, 04:35 PM   #31
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Descent was TNG's best 2-parter

Pavonis wrote: View Post
If Surak's peace and serenity-through-logic was motivated by a desire to avoid war, then the psychic resonator was just another weapon that needed to be defeated through pacifism. I'm not seeing the problem with this scenario; the resonator was defeated by the new Vulcan peace movement in the same way nuclear weapons were - the motive to use them was removed.

I doubt the wholesale reformation of a society was motivated by the desire to disable just one weapon. I can believe it would be due to the desire to disable all weapons, though.
I would buy that more easily, were the symbol for peace not a part of the resonator itself. But the fact that the peace symbol was on it suggests to me that the intention was that the resonator had a special role in spreading peace, more so than all the other non-psionic weapons. The three symbols on the resonator itself summarize both the cultural dilemma in Surok's time and the resolution: war, death, and peace.
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Old March 11 2013, 04:37 PM   #32
Pavonis
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Re: Descent was TNG's best 2-parter

Symbols are too easily misinterpreted. A peace symbol on a weapon - well, peace is spread by victory, isn't it? The wielders of the resonator wanted to win and achieve their peace. Why not put their peace symbol on it?
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Old March 11 2013, 04:43 PM   #33
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Descent was TNG's best 2-parter

I don't see my mind being changed on Gambit.

Anyhow, thanks for the off-topic sidebar, but I'm done with that.

Main point for this thread is: I think Gambit is better than Descent.
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Old March 11 2013, 05:25 PM   #34
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Re: Descent was TNG's best 2-parter

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Where are you getting that dialog? That's not accurate according to http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/episodes.htm.

From http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/257.htm:

[T'Kareth sanctuary]

(a stone chamber with carved walls)
TALLERA: There. Your reward, as promised.
NARIK: Is it all there?
VEKOR: No, this is less than half of what we were promised. Where's the rest of it?
(Tallera has assembled the resonator)
TALLERA: That is all I could manage. I suggest you take it and leave.
NARIK: I did not come this far to be cheated. I want it all, now.
TALLERA: Very well. You will get what you deserve.
(a strange field wraps Narik then throws him across the chamber. Tallera then sends a second one to do the same to Vekor)
TALLERA: Go ahead, Captain. Pick up the phaser. See what good it will do.
PICARD: You'll never get away with this. Starfleet will never stand and watch you tear apart one of the founding worlds of the Federation.
TALLERA: How little you understand what you're facing, Captain. You're used to fighting enemies like yourself. People on ships with defence shields, energy weapons, warp drives. But this is unlike anything you've ever faced. This is the power of the mind. Pick up the phaser, Captain.
(Riker, Worf and two security guards beam in)
PICARD: Listen to me, all of you! Drop your weapons! Do it! Don't make any aggressive movements. The resonator amplifies violent feelings and emotions. And that's why you wanted me to pick up the phaser. That's how you were able to kill Narik and Vekor. But I can see the symbol on that third artefact, and it is the Vulcan symbol for peace standing between the symbols for war and death. It's a warning that the power of the resonator can be overcome by peace.
TALLERA: You are about to see how wrong you are.
PICARD: Empty your minds of violent thoughts.
(the field passes through Riker without hurting him)
TALLERA: No!
PICARD: Think, Tallera. Two thousand years ago your people were being consumed by war. But when peace came to Vulcan, the resonator became useless. That's why it was dismantled.
(Tallera tries it again on Worf and fails. She sinks to her knees)
PICARD: You were right, Tallera. The resonator cannot be stopped by phasers and shields, but it can be defeated by peace.
(she tries again, but it's a very small field that passes through Picard before he takes the device from her hands)
I read all that as corroborating what I said, that peace was achieved in order to defeat the resonator. So... we're not getting anywhere. I've highlighted what I see as the key passages that support my perspective.

Moore's opinion that the story did not really fit in well with TOS Surak, and that it just didn't really work period, is pertinent.

---

Anyhow, lurching back towards being on topic, Gambit, for all its shortcomings, is certainly better than Descent in my book.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
If Surak's peace and serenity-through-logic was motivated by a desire to avoid war, then the psychic resonator was just another weapon that needed to be defeated through pacifism. I'm not seeing the problem with this scenario; the resonator was defeated by the new Vulcan peace movement in the same way nuclear weapons were - the motive to use them was removed.

I doubt the wholesale reformation of a society was motivated by the desire to disable just one weapon. I can believe it would be due to the desire to disable all weapons, though.
I would buy that more easily, were the symbol for peace not a part of the resonator itself. But the fact that the peace symbol was on it suggests to me that the intention was that the resonator had a special role in spreading peace, more so than all the other non-psionic weapons. The three symbols on the resonator itself summarize both the cultural dilemma in Surok's time and the resolution: war, death, and peace.
I think Moore was saying that the concept of a weapon that comes with instructions on how to render it completely useless, with those instructions being: "Think happy thoughts", was "gooey", hence his use of the term "gooeyness".

gooey [ˈguːɪ]adj gooier, gooiest Informal1. sticky, soft, and often sweet
2. oversweet and sentimental gooily adv

Oversweet and sentimental, I think that's what he meant. Though my knowledge of english might be not be the best. So he didn't say that the story didn't fit with Surak's.

I do think Pavonis analogy is quite interesting. Psionic ressonators could have played a similar role to nuclear weapons. An extremely powerfull weapon whose very existence was a strong argument in favor of peace, but not the sole cause of it.

I got my transcript from here http://tng.trekcore.com/episodes/scripts/257.txt. I think its content is the same as your source.

Anyway, extrapolating that the presence of those symbols on the weapon means that it played a pivotal role in the pacifist/logic movement is exactly that, an extrapolation. No character states that. On the other hand, the characters do state the weapon became useless once logic was adopted, without any mention of this adoption being caused by this particular weapon.

The symbols do raise the question of why they were put there in the first place... Did someone created the weapon in order to blackmail Vulcans into following peace and logic, or else they would be at the receiving end of it? Or, were the symbols put there in order to make it possible for Picard to understand its functioning and save the day...?

In any event, I do agree that Gambit is better than Descent.
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Old March 11 2013, 07:11 PM   #35
TroiFan4ever
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Re: Descent was TNG's best 2-parter

sadsquid wrote: View Post
The two-parter I think is underrated is Gambit. I just don't understand why it's viewed as weak. I thought it was a fun show (watching Picard blending in as one of the crew, hating Riker and stuff was pretty funny).
I agree. "Gambit" wasn't a bad story at all. It has its flaws and this episode's author could've done better but "Gambit" was pretty good.

For example, a better way of concluding the first hour would've been nice -- OK, Picard/"Gaylynn" firing on his OWN ship was one thing but put some more OMMPH in it.

To whoever said "Gambit" could've been a one-hour episode, I disagree. It would've been rushed. Hell, its writing already needed work.

If there is one one-parter that I could stretch into a two-parter, it would be "Timescape". I liked the plot of "Timescape" but it felt a bit rushed and a smoother pace would've made it work even better.

Only thing though it would've been weird as "Descent" came right after "Timescape" so to have two two-parter eps back to back probably would've been ackward, to me anyway. But I would've liked to have seen an elaboration in "Timescape".

I could see "Birthright" being just one-44-min episode but I guess they felt the need to divide in into a 2hour episode because of the TNG/DS9 crossover, for which in such circumstances, I understand.
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Old March 11 2013, 08:32 PM   #36
Pavonis
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Re: Descent was TNG's best 2-parter

TroiFan4ever wrote: View Post

For example, a better way of concluding the first hour would've been nice -- OK, Picard/"Gaylynn" firing on his OWN ship was one thing but put some more OMMPH in it.
"Galen". Picard took his alias from his mentor's surname, Professor Richard Galen.
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Old March 11 2013, 09:02 PM   #37
jimbotron
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Re: Descent was TNG's best 2-parter

I've watched this show so many times, but I didn't pick up on that connection. Duuuuuuuh.

One positive from this episode is seeing Robin Curtis again, and she gets a meaty role this time. Her Saavik was unfortunate, but it wasn't her fault. Harve Bennett felt the need to make Saavik flat and remove any trace of emotion.
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