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Old April 12 2013, 09:44 PM   #16
Melakon
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Re: Terra Prime

I think the problem is two episodes wasn't enough for the Paxton/Samuels arc. There could have been more hints and references to the buildup sprinkled through the season. It just seemed rushed, but it would have made for a better final episode than that excuse for a valentine.
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Old April 12 2013, 09:46 PM   #17
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Re: Terra Prime

Melakon wrote: View Post
I think the problem is two episodes wasn't enough for the Paxton/Samuels arc. There could have been more hints and references to the buildup sprinkled through the season. It just seemed rushed, but it would have made for a better final episode than that excuse for a valentine.
Well Paxton's rolemodel... what's his face that Colonel... was in a TOS episode. But I agree, if they had introduced Terra Prime starting with Home with brief snippets and mentions maybe a cameo or two, then climaxed with that, it would've been great.
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Old April 12 2013, 10:48 PM   #18
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Re: Terra Prime

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Well Paxton's rolemodel... what's his face that Colonel... was in a TOS episode.
Colonel Green. I think their original idea was to have Peter Weller as Green, and they decided the time frame was wrong or something, so Paxton was created.

Paxton was an unfortunate name choice for me, flashing me back to 1962 when a Gary Paxton released Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash" 45 single on the Garpax lable.
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Old April 13 2013, 03:56 AM   #19
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Re: Terra Prime

Green. That's it. Actually I remember reading somewhere the actor who got Paxton's role was supposed to play Green in the Eugenics arc but that got scrapped when Spiner was interested in being a guest star.
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Old April 13 2013, 04:08 AM   #20
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Re: Terra Prime

That must be it. And I'm a bit addled right now, my sink overflowed and I have a big mess.
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Old April 14 2013, 04:18 AM   #21
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Re: Terra Prime

I like the episode a lot, but the issue I have with it is the half-Vulcan baby. I've never understood what Paxton hopes to gain by creating what he allegedly hopes to prevent. Pointed ears or not I don't think even a somewhat logical mind could expect pictures of an infant to send people into pitchfork wielding mobs, at least not in large enough numbers to help his cause.

I also don't like how the baby's death casts an unnecessary dark shadow over an episode that climaxes with a generally hopeful speech by Archer about humanity's future. Given that the following episode is a holodeck recreation that takes place years later and is generally disregarded by the majority of fans, the series as we have known it for four seasons ends with two of the main character grieving the loss of a child they barely knew, who had been created without their knowledge or consent for the purposes of somehow furthering a racist agenda.

I'm all for drama and whatnot but I've never seen how anything that this particular subplot contributes to the episode makes it worth ending the story (and, for many, the series) on that note.
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Old April 14 2013, 04:42 AM   #22
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Re: Terra Prime

Goji wrote: View Post
I like the episode a lot, but the issue I have with it is the half-Vulcan baby. I've never understood what Paxton hopes to gain by creating what he allegedly hopes to prevent. Pointed ears or not I don't think even a somewhat logical mind could expect pictures of an infant to send people into pitchfork wielding mobs, at least not in large enough numbers to help his cause.
Yeah I think he is misreading his potential audience there. Plenty of people would see the natural similarities which bind the races together when they see a baby that needs to be cared for and responds in the same way human babies do.
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Old April 14 2013, 05:37 AM   #23
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Re: Terra Prime

teacake wrote: View Post
Goji wrote: View Post
I like the episode a lot, but the issue I have with it is the half-Vulcan baby. I've never understood what Paxton hopes to gain by creating what he allegedly hopes to prevent. Pointed ears or not I don't think even a somewhat logical mind could expect pictures of an infant to send people into pitchfork wielding mobs, at least not in large enough numbers to help his cause.
Yeah I think he is misreading his potential audience there. Plenty of people would see the natural similarities which bind the races together when they see a baby that needs to be cared for and responds in the same way human babies do.
Prior to Elizabeth's birth it was thought that humans and Vucans could not procreate. By showing Elizabeth with her obvious human/Vulcan parentage, Paxton is using the baby to tell humans that at some point "pure" humans may one day become extinct.

When it comes to this type of thing, some people can become unhinged, I don't care how cute a baby might be. Think of it this way, if at some point in America's past it was thought that blacks and whites could not procreate, just think of the panic that would have generated from pictures of a half white, half black baby. It might have caused mass rioting.

The main point of Demons/Terre Prime was to let us know that even in those "enlightened" times, man still had "demons" to conquer, demons they weren't even aware still existed. Thus Paxton;s belief that humans' reaction to the sight of the baby would have been one of horror rather than, "aww".
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Old April 21 2013, 04:33 PM   #24
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Re: Terra Prime

R. Star wrote: View Post
This was one of the better stories of season 4 and certainly could have wrapped up the series on a better note than a certain episode that shall go unnamed. Paxton made a compelling villain and there was certainly plenty of drama and conflict within the two episodes. Not to mention Archer gave perhaps his one good speech on Enterprise this episode.

The one major unresolved plot point that crossed my mind was, what about all the Terra Prime supporters that were protesting outside the foreign embassies? There were enough people that Soval remarked that humanity didn't seen ready to be joining nonetheless hosting such an interplanetary conference. Not to mention Nathan Samuels, who was a Minister of some sort, apparently had a prosperous and active political career despite his previous affiliation with Terra Prime, which would seem to indicate a lot of people were sympathetic or willing to turn a blind eye to the organization. Not to mention all the racist scenes at Phlox's expense throughout season 4 in the San Fransisco area indicates that sentiment supporting them is rather strong.

The major plot hole I see in this episode is... this is never addressed. Oh sure the good guys save the day again, the bad guy is captured, and Archer gives a good speech that apparently rouses all the foreign dignitaries so much they forget about all of this. But you seemingly have a significant percentage of the Earth population that is... against all this. So much for will of the people, I guess.
The ending of Terra Prime is comparable to the ending of TUC. The captain speaks before representatives and everybody cheers about the nasty attitudes we have overcome. You cannot present the opinion of ordinary people in a dramatic context unless you tell your story through their eyes.
To be concrete, what do you suggest? That we see people on the streets hugging aliens or some poll results about xenophobic attitudes or what? It is simply not dramatically feasible.

About this plot hole nonsense, the ending of Terra Prime makes it crystal clear that humankind has learned and evolved just like the ending of TUC makes it clear that, at least for now, the warmongers and racists have been defeated. Fiction isn't something you understand when you read it in such a hyper-literal fashion.
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Old April 21 2013, 04:42 PM   #25
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Re: Terra Prime

horatio83 wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
This was one of the better stories of season 4 and certainly could have wrapped up the series on a better note than a certain episode that shall go unnamed. Paxton made a compelling villain and there was certainly plenty of drama and conflict within the two episodes. Not to mention Archer gave perhaps his one good speech on Enterprise this episode.

The one major unresolved plot point that crossed my mind was, what about all the Terra Prime supporters that were protesting outside the foreign embassies? There were enough people that Soval remarked that humanity didn't seen ready to be joining nonetheless hosting such an interplanetary conference. Not to mention Nathan Samuels, who was a Minister of some sort, apparently had a prosperous and active political career despite his previous affiliation with Terra Prime, which would seem to indicate a lot of people were sympathetic or willing to turn a blind eye to the organization. Not to mention all the racist scenes at Phlox's expense throughout season 4 in the San Fransisco area indicates that sentiment supporting them is rather strong.

The major plot hole I see in this episode is... this is never addressed. Oh sure the good guys save the day again, the bad guy is captured, and Archer gives a good speech that apparently rouses all the foreign dignitaries so much they forget about all of this. But you seemingly have a significant percentage of the Earth population that is... against all this. So much for will of the people, I guess.
The ending of Terra Prime is comparable to the ending of TUC. The captain speaks before representatives and everybody cheers about the nasty attitudes we have overcome. You cannot present the opinion of ordinary people in a dramatic context unless you tell your story through their eyes.
To be concrete, what do you suggest? That we see people on the streets hugging aliens or some poll results about xenophobic attitudes or what? It is simply not dramatically feasible.

About this plot hole nonsense, the ending of Terra Prime makes it crystal clear that humankind has learned and evolved just like the ending of TUC makes it clear that, at least for now, the warmongers and racists have been defeated. Fiction isn't something you understand when you read it in such a hyper-literal fashion.
If it's so dramatically infeasible... then why did they include the element of rioting and protesters and aliens hating on Phlox every time they come to Earth in season 4? If you're going to include such things in a work of fiction you need to think about how they'll resolve themselves.

As for "plot hole nonsense"... why is it nonsense? Because you say so? The ending doesn't make anything "crystal clear" about humanity as a whole. The only thing clear is Archer and company saved the day. Paxton still had a large number of people cheering him on at Earth. Even Soval said in reply to that that humanity didn't seem to be ready to host such a conference. Yet Archer stopping one person and giving a speech changes that somehow? What's being hyper literal about wondering about such a gaping and obvious oversight? Yes it's fiction... but it's not a fairy tale where everything ends hunky dory just because the main bad guy is beaten and the work says so.
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Old April 21 2013, 05:16 PM   #26
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Re: Terra Prime

Because Phlox running into xenophobic asshole in a bar who looks for a fight leads to an actual scenes. So does Trip and T'Pol infiltrating Terra Prime. Gee, it even leads to a storyline.
Rioting and protesting wasn't a scene. If memory serves the Andorian ambassador merely mentioned the riots. Why? Because shooting actual riots is expensive and because it puts the focus on the wrong people. The stories in Trek are virtually always (the VOY story with the reptilian aliens is the only exception which comes to mind) told through the eyes of the main characters.
But even if you wanted to show that xenophobia declines, how do you wanna do it? Showing xenophobes is easy, showing the absence of xenophobia, i.e. ordinary people simply not minding the presence of aliens, is hard.

It's like when Hamlets talks about the excesses in the court to make the audience feel that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark". Same when Polonius sends somebody after his son, it is only there to create the 'everybody spies on everybody' atmosphere of the second act. That the guy goes after Laertes, the pure plot, it absolutely irrelevant. The atmosphere matters, just like during the ending of TUC and Terra Prime.
In prose you can have a first-person narrator who tells about events in far off places. You can also do this via multiple first-person narrators. In TV/cinema you can also use a narrator, a choir (or Star Wars famous cards which serve the function of a choir) or tell the story through the eyes of several characters. This became popular during the 00s when many movies were of an episodic nature (and often the stories of several people "accidentally" crossed). But that's now how Trek works.
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Old April 21 2013, 05:28 PM   #27
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Re: Terra Prime

Wow, you really seem to be missing the point. I'm not sure if you're just trying to play apologist for the episode because you personally like it, or if you just think the episode if good and seem personally invested that everyone has to think it's as awesome as you do.

Regardless, you seem to be missing the point. I don't care about a scene showing riots. I don't care about a scene showing peaceful people. The rioting was mentioned through exposition. It was brought up as a major plot point to show how much of a threat Paxton was. His dark cause is so threatening to the fabric of the potential Federation that people on Earth are rallying to his banner and things are looking bleak for our heroes. How it's brought up is irrelevant. That is was is good enough.

Then there's no resolution to this AT ALL. Exposition, scenery or otherwise. In true video game fashion, once Paxton his beaten his whole organization which apparently spanned the entire Earth Solar system falls in on itself, all his followers disperse and anyone sympathetic to his cause disappears never to be heard from again. That's bad writing. If they didn't want to deal with the consequences of such a plot point, they never should have brought it up to begin with. Certainly it bends credibility to the point of absurdity when the alien ambassadors were feeling so threatened by this to declare the time wasn't right for such a conference and Earth wasn't ready, to doing a complete 180 because beat the bad guy and gave an inspiring speech. As if Paxton's cause was limited to just himself solely because he's the bad guy.

You like the episode and it's message, that much is clear. I'd say it's a bit much to compare it to TUC other than to say they tried something similar. But whereas TUC successfully achieved this in a non-fairy tale fashion, Terra Prime just ended happily... because Archer gave a speech and no other reason than the script says so.
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Old April 21 2013, 05:40 PM   #28
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Re: Terra Prime

Of course I like the episode and of course you dislike it. So much is obvious. ^^

What do you wanna see? Terra Prime is destroyed just like the conspiracy in TUC is destroyed. You are totally right that the PLOT doesn't show us that xenophobia respectively militarism in the case of TUC suddenly declines. But the ATMOSPHERE (which you seem to be unable to perceive) of the respective final scenes IMPLIES (once again, any hyperliteral reading of fiction that leads to "OMG, there are numerous plotholes" is worthless) that the future will be bright.

Is this realistic? Not one bit. But that is not the point of stories! Each and every story is made up and via definition leaves something out. You plot hole folks focus on precisely this, the stuff that is not told, and totally miss the essence of the story. It's kinda like with those Christian fundamentalists who throw Adam and Eve together with dinosaurs but in their obsession neglect to think about the POINT of this story from Genesis. Or, to use a Trek example, those people who endlessly complain about Delta Vega not being a moon of Vulcan or whatever while totally missing the slightly surrealistic, dream-like quality of the Delta Vega sequence plus, once again, the actual essence of the scene. Nobody cares where the planet is, it is a place to tell a part of a story!
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Old April 21 2013, 05:41 PM   #29
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Re: Terra Prime

R. Star wrote: View Post
This was one of the better stories of season 4 and certainly could have wrapped up the series on a better note than a certain episode that shall go unnamed. Paxton made a compelling villain and there was certainly plenty of drama and conflict within the two episodes. Not to mention Archer gave perhaps his one good speech on Enterprise this episode.

The one major unresolved plot point that crossed my mind was, what about all the Terra Prime supporters that were protesting outside the foreign embassies? There were enough people that Soval remarked that humanity didn't seen ready to be joining nonetheless hosting such an interplanetary conference. Not to mention Nathan Samuels, who was a Minister of some sort, apparently had a prosperous and active political career despite his previous affiliation with Terra Prime, which would seem to indicate a lot of people were sympathetic or willing to turn a blind eye to the organization. Not to mention all the racist scenes at Phlox's expense throughout season 4 in the San Fransisco area indicates that sentiment supporting them is rather strong.

The major plot hole I see in this episode is... this is never addressed. Oh sure the good guys save the day again, the bad guy is captured, and Archer gives a good speech that apparently rouses all the foreign dignitaries so much they forget about all of this. But you seemingly have a significant percentage of the Earth population that is... against all this. So much for will of the people, I guess.
Protesters can be just a vocal minority. If in say a city of 10 million, a couple of hundred thousand protest, is that representive? No it's just a vocal minority. And what is a signifigant percentage? Surely if the percentage of people who favour or indifferent to closer alliances or higher than those that oppose closer alliances, their will should be carried out?

And by the point of "demons"/"Terra Prime" had Samuels left the Terra Prime organisation. We can all do things upon which we might regret later in life.
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Old April 21 2013, 06:00 PM   #30
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Re: Terra Prime

Good points, the Terra Prime folks have been a minority as they would have been able to influence politics otherwise.

I think Samuels is basically the character that R. Star wants. Sure, the time frame (Samuels already learned his lessons when the story beings) doesn't match but it is again a question of atmosphere and not of stupid literal reading. Samuels' biography mirrors the story of the species. There are some demons from our past who sometimes reemerge (think about the fictional historical WWII/eugenics background that influences this episode, Khan, TNG's pilot, Bashir and so on; sometimes the historical toilet comes up) but for the time being we defeat them.
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