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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 April 16 2013, 12:49 PM   #16
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

BillJ wrote: View Post
OMG! Star Trek got something wrong.

If we judged each episode on that criteria, we'd have to throw out about ninety percent of it... if not more.
Of course you're right. Except the difference between this episode and 90% of other episodes in Star Trek is that those episodes have a lot more going for it than The Royale. Even if the writers were to correct all the scientific errors, it still would have come off as rather dull episode that you could easily skip over and not miss a thing. Heck, skipping it outright would at least get rid of that theorem bit.
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Old April 16 2013, 01:23 PM   #17
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
OMG! Star Trek got something wrong.

If we judged each episode on that criteria, we'd have to throw out about ninety percent of it... if not more.
Of course you're right. Except the difference between this episode and 90% of other episodes in Star Trek is that those episodes have a lot more going for it than The Royale. Even if the writers were to correct all the scientific errors, it still would have come off as rather dull episode that you could easily skip over and not miss a thing. Heck, skipping it outright would at least get rid of that theorem bit.
For me I'd honestly rather skip episodes like The Inner Light or I, Borg before skipping The Royale. It is at least entertaining and isn't so wrapped up in itself that it forgets it's suppose to be fun.
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Old April 16 2013, 01:48 PM   #18
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

BillJ wrote: View Post
For me I'd honestly rather skip episodes like The Inner Light or I, Borg before skipping The Royale. It is at least entertaining and isn't so wrapped up in itself that it forgets it's suppose to be fun.
There's certainly nothing wrong with episodes that are about having fun, but there's also nothing wrong with having episodes that focus on the dramatic side of our characters. In fact, that's one of the reasons why I love Star Trek so much is that it has variety in it's shows. It's not all fun and games. It can be dramatic, tragic, scary and even mind twisting. It's thanks to episodes like those that gives the fun episodes more meaning and vice versa.
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Old April 16 2013, 03:45 PM   #19
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

I quite like "The Royale". One of Trek's darkest ever stories? A great example of the And I Must Scream trope. Five or ten minutes too long, perhaps, but as a Twilight Zone-esque horror tale, I find it tremendously memorable. As for the completing-the-novel-to-escape solution, it works for me. What would you prefer, that the Enterprise succeeds in somehow beaming them out directly?

There's definitely some plot weirdness (Data doesn't know about blackjack?), and it's a shame about the aforementioned science flubs, and no, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but then, if one looks at it critically, what sense does "City on the Edge of Forever" make? "Let's both jump into weird-ass time stream without materializing into a brick wall... wait for it... now!"

I can't imagine watching the same poor drama play out over and over... making a friend or two out of feeble ghosts, maybe, only to have their memories wiped on a regular basis and start from scratch. Trying to screw up the narrative, like Bill Murray trying over and over to self-terminate in Groundhog Day, and soon boring of whatever meager results that yields. I wonder if the program somehow prevented him from self-terminating, forcing him to remain healthy until old age did him in.

Scary stuff.
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Old April 16 2013, 06:27 PM   #20
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Poor Colonel Richey must have spent decades thinking, "Why did I bring that stupid Hotel Royale novel on the mission? I should have brought Penthouse Forum."
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Old April 16 2013, 07:01 PM   #21
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

^ Er, remember, the ep gave no indication that Ritchie played the part of any of The Royale's characters. Somehow, therefore, a Forum issue strikes me as even worse...
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Old April 16 2013, 08:48 PM   #22
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

...the questionable ethics on why the aliens would pick a planet that's so inhospitable for a human being. And if they have the technology to build a sustainable complex in such environments, why not do something simpler like put it on a moon where he can be spotted and potentially rescued?
I think this assumes that the aliens would be only just above our TNG heroes in terms of technology, and only just alien enough not to count as bumpheads. This "solid Neptune" probably offered them no greater challenge than some airless moon or lush jungle or Class Y hot hellhole, so they never "picked" a planet - they merely put Richey down on the planet that was already there. And if they were alien enough not to recognize the fundaments of Richey's existence (and, this given, not to hang around until they could interview the poor sap for better intel), they would not think in terms of fellow beings coming to rescue.

The very fact that they departed without bothering to communicate with Richey suggests they came from the category of classic aliens somewhat underrepresented in Star Trek: those who consider humanlike creatures mere uninteresting animals. Richey was probably saved by exercising the same relative effort a human gives to a drying earthworm when lifting it off the sidewalk and dropping it on the grass on the divider, and forgotten in an eyeblink.

One has to wonder why purchasing the casino allows the crew to leave the hotel in the first place.
My bet is that the setup allows anybody to leave as soon as he displays the intent to - that is, as soon as he figures out the way it is going to happen. Any and every way is possible and right, but you have to make the effort. Data chose an exit based on concluding the story; Riker could have chosen an exit based on seducing Rita, and Worf could have chosen an exit based on killing everybody twice and eating their hearts both times, and all of these would have worked. It's just that poor Richey never realized he had to have this sort of perverse faith on what he was doing.

Again, the aliens would think of Richey as a worm: they leave the lid open, and don't stop to ponder whether the worm really can crawl up the steep sides of the jar.

I think that's fair for the writers and the story - accepting that the aliens are alien, with alien motivations. They aren't slightly advanced and very snobby Metrons or Organians, but something that really will remain a mystery forever. And all because of an issue that was at the very heart of the story: they have a fundamental problem communicating with us, and we have a fundamental problem communicating with them, because some gaps are just too wide to bridge.

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Old April 17 2013, 03:13 PM   #23
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Timo wrote: View Post
I think that's fair for the writers and the story
Yeah. One has to wonder how such creative writing would lead to the writer of the said episode to say...

Tracy Tormé wrote:
"I've completely disowned the piece. I suppose skeletally it's my story, but when I started to reread the rewrite, I got ten pages through it and I got sort of a cold chill and had to put it down. I felt like a lot of the comedy was taken out. A lot of the surrealism was taken out. I feel that it's very heavy-handed now, and it's gone from being a strange episode to being a stupid episode."
Tracy Tormé was so disappointed in how this episode turned out that he demanded his own name not be used in the credits, so now the episode is written by Keith Mills. Kind of an appropriate course of action when the name Keith Mills only has one writing credit.... ever.

And who do we have to thank for this re-write? I'll give you a hint. The worst of his Star Trek contributions this season is yet to come.
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Old April 17 2013, 04:00 PM   #24
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Captrek wrote: View Post
Even if Fermat didn't have a proof, many mathematicians hope that a proof will be found that is much briefer than Wiles', which is over a thousand pages. It's unsatisfying in the sense that the theorem is now known to be true, but the proof doesn't provide an understanding of "why" it's true.
I'm not sure where you get the over a thousand pages figure for Wiles' proof, as this is not accurate. The proof credited to Wiles (and a co-author) was published across two papers, "Modular elliptic curves and Fermat's Last Theorem" which is 109 pages and "Ring theoretic properties of certain Hecke algebras" which is 20 pages, for a total of 129 pages.

Furthermore, neither paper was written for the purpose of attempting to provide a direct proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. The papers were written to provide a rigorous closed-form proof to previous conjectures which had, up until then, been supported only through numerical methods. One of the consequences of the proof was its application to solving Fermat's Last Theorem. So, solving FLT was only a small (albeit very interesting and noteworthy) component of the papers.

I would also say it's a mischaracterization to state that the proof doesn't provide an understanding of the "why" involved. If the proof is valid, which it is, then both the how and the why have been rigorously and exhaustively explained. Granted the mathematics involved is not trivial, but I think it is unfair to characterize something as "unsatisfying" or incomplete simply because it is not easily accessible. Many things in science, mathematics, and everyday life are well-understood, despite being incredibly complicated to express in a closed form.

On another note, one of my nit-picks about the episode is the gambling scenes. It is obvious the production team did not consult a casino/gaming expert in how to stage them. The dealing techniques, card handling, payouts, etc. were all very amateurish. Some of the wagers were illegal or nonsensical. And some of Data's strategy advice when it comes to blackjack was incorrect when it comes to maximizing the expected value of the hand. Surely a walking computer could calculate basic probabilities better than he did!

But this episode will always hold a nostalgic place in my heart because it is the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that I ever saw.
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Old April 17 2013, 06:42 PM   #25
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Jeyl wrote: View Post

Tracy Tormé was so disappointed in how this episode turned out that he demanded his own name not be used in the credits, so now the episode is written by Keith Mills. Kind of an appropriate course of action when the name Keith Mills only has one writing credit.... ever.
So we're suppose to dislike the episode because Tracey Torme dislikes it? There's more to any given episode than the words on the page.

Is The Royale a perfect episode? No. Is it entertaining? Yes.
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Old April 17 2013, 07:11 PM   #26
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

BillJ wrote: View Post
So we're suppose to dislike the episode because Tracey Torme dislikes it? There's more to any given episode than the words on the page.
No. Just saying that giving the writer credit for something he didn't do is kind of silly. And if you think giving credit to Maurice Hurley for rewriting it is a good idea, know that he loathes the very next episode for the exact same reasons this episode doesn't work.

So if you enjoy it, good. Even I called it watchable.

BillJ wrote: View Post
Is The Royale a perfect episode? No. Is it entertaining? Yes.
As a general principle, nothing is perfect. But in terms of entertainment? Sure. I do find it funny how the director thought that having numerous scenes of our characters walking around confused would be entertaining.

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Old April 17 2013, 08:11 PM   #27
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Yeah. One has to wonder how such creative writing would lead to the writer of the said episode to say...

Tracy Tormé wrote:
"I've completely disowned the piece. I suppose skeletally it's my story, but when I started to reread the rewrite, I got ten pages through it and I got sort of a cold chill and had to put it down. I felt like a lot of the comedy was taken out. A lot of the surrealism was taken out. I feel that it's very heavy-handed now, and it's gone from being a strange episode to being a stupid episode."
So a centuries-old, presumably self-looping pulp casino on a hellish planet in the middle of nowhere, catering to the needs and comfort of a long-dead man who was horribly miserable in the later part of his life, isn't strange or surreal?

Look, I'm all for thinking outside the box, and doing occasional goofy eps like "Qpid" and even "A Night in Sickbay", but if "The Royale" isn't "surreal" or "strange" by Trek standards...
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Old April 17 2013, 08:23 PM   #28
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Yeah. One has to wonder how such creative writing would lead to the writer of the said episode to say...
What's there to wonder? Obviously, the writer(s) have poor judgement.

It's just that we differ on the exact stage of the process where they demonstrate that.

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Old April 17 2013, 11:46 PM   #29
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Timo wrote: View Post
What's there to wonder? Obviously, the writer(s) have poor judgement.
That's an understatement for our good friend Maurice.
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Old April 18 2013, 06:01 AM   #30
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x12 "The Royale"

Richey was probably saved by exercising the same relative effort a human gives to a drying earthworm when lifting it off the sidewalk and dropping it on the grass on the divider, and forgotten in an eyeblink.

Excellent point.
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Last edited by JessDD; April 18 2013 at 06:01 AM. Reason: formatting
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