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Old September 14 2013, 04:29 PM   #1
AllStarEntprise
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In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

After the awesome display of maliciousness and savagery Species 8472 wrought against the Borg in "Scorpion". This episode I think fails to deliver as a righteous follow up for Species 8472. It also falls flat (to me at least) where they tried playing up the Cold War paranoia theme between Voyager and Species 8472.

I think this episodes loses strength because we see the VOY crew talking to other humans (Species 8472 in disguise) in a civilized setting. Had it been humans talking to those ugly, possibly stolen from Babylon 5, "your galaxy will be purged" aliens we saw in "Scorpion". I think the peace between VOY and Species 8472 would have had a more profound effect.

What do you think?


PS. Neutering is not my word. It was Nick Sagan who described it as such. Here's a passage from Memory Alpha from the "In The Flesh" page. I think it illustrates what went wrong in the translation of this episode from writing to execution.

"At first, the episode featured a large-scale, interstellar conflict. "The way we originally conceived that story, there was going to be a big space battle," said executive producer Brannon Braga. "We realized that this should not be a story about a space battle, it should be a story about discovering peace between two paranoid races who were thrust against each other by a common foe, the Borg. Suddenly it became a very Star Trek-y episode." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 11, p. 29) Nick Sagan concurred, "The original idea didn't end quite so 'happy happy.' The so-called neutering of 8472 wasn't supposed to happen [....] The original story as I envisioned it had just kind of a moment of realization of 'maybe we're not so different,' the hint that there could be some possibilities. But then reinforcements arrive, and Voyager has to escape, and who knows if we've actually done something good there. But once we got involved, I think Brannon actually wanted to resolve it."
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Old September 14 2013, 09:30 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

The whole idea of 8472 was that they were so different that it would be almost impossible to find common ground. "In the Flesh" made them human

...and then, to c(r)ap it off, it was Boothby-mania. Ugh.
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Old September 14 2013, 09:52 PM   #3
Isolinear
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

This episode always bothered me. Actually, I think it is the worst Voyager episode. Ruined Scorpion 1+2 for me. Now that I think of it, I'd rather watch Threshold than "In the Flesh". The Ultimate Xenophobic race, best friends of mankind in 40 minutes, thanks to Chakotay. Oh, dear.

Also, it's full of plot holes. WHY is the staging area there in the first place, THOUSANDS of lightyears from Earth? There are supposedly more of these domes, but this Boothby character happens to be the big leader who can stop every Sp8472? Quite a coincidence.

"These are the Voyages..." is a masterpiece compared to this drivel.
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Old September 15 2013, 03:26 AM   #4
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

I guess they decided they needed to answer the somewhat nagging question of why haven't 8472 attacked if they know Voyager has biological weapons that can destroy them at the cellular level and can enter their space at will.

The episode wasn't good at all, but I wouldn't go as far as it being worse than TATV. Like with the Q after Death Wish.. they should've just left well enough alone.
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Old September 15 2013, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

Seeing stacked Borg body parts made me think these things were more like the Insects from Shuggai--something you really didn't want to mess with. And then they do the Klatu deal with the Boothby-similacrum. Phooey
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Old September 16 2013, 01:15 AM   #6
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

The cg was too expensive to keep having 8472.

To me this episode made them more creepy. Like the shapeshifters, they could replace someone and you wouldn't even know. That's scarier to me.

Plus at the end "boothby" was doubtful that the other 8472 would agree to the truce.
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Old September 16 2013, 01:30 AM   #7
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

I don't mind having 8472 agree to a truce because they weren't the aggressors in Scorpion, their savagery was an overreactive self defense.

But I hate the way they went about it. It made no sense for them to do the Soviet Americatown thing, there's no reason for Species 8472 to do that. They could have written an episode where Voyager had to somehow convince them they weren't like the Borg, that was more violent and less sentimental, and it could have been a great episode where they really had to apply Star Trek's original mission statement and find common ground with a completely alien species.
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Old September 16 2013, 03:03 AM   #8
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

Seeing how folks were already PO'ed that a species more powerful than the Borg existed at all, I doubt there'd be anyway to settle things with these same aliens in a way anyone would like either.

In a way that wasn't a big stupid 100-part story, anyways.
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Old September 16 2013, 08:23 AM   #9
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

In the Flesh is an awkward clunky piece of crap. Very disappointing after the thrill that was Species 8472 crawling up Voyager's hull.
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Old September 16 2013, 02:04 PM   #10
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
I don't mind having 8472 agree to a truce because they weren't the aggressors in Scorpion, their savagery was an overreactive self defense.

But I hate the way they went about it. It made no sense for them to do the Soviet Americatown thing, there's no reason for Species 8472 to do that. They could have written an episode where Voyager had to somehow convince them they weren't like the Borg, that was more violent and less sentimental, and it could have been a great episode where they really had to apply Star Trek's original mission statement and find common ground with a completely alien species.
but that's exactly what the episode was! they were learning to be human so they could observe the AQ, they thought that humans were a threat. Janeway did have to sit down and convince Boothby that they weren't a threat at all
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Old September 17 2013, 09:42 PM   #11
Isolinear
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

KaraBear wrote: View Post
but that's exactly what the episode was! they were learning to be human so they could observe the AQ, they thought that humans were a threat. Janeway did have to sit down and convince Boothby that they weren't a threat at all
This is part of the problem. You don't sit down a Species 8472 of all things, and have a nice chat!!! That's character (species) assassination!
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Old September 17 2013, 09:45 PM   #12
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

^
Forbid we add depth to an otherwise generic villain. It could've been better, but at least the attempt was there. I always felt they got a bad rap undeservedly. All they did was have the audacity to defend themselves when attack, and understandably added Voyager and the Federation to their list when they boarded their ship, tractored it, tried to beam it away, and were seen collaborating with their enemy.
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Old September 18 2013, 12:04 AM   #13
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

Adding depth should be more than implausibly easy peace talks with an ultra-xenophobic race.

Remember how Young Q solved the holo-negotiations in "Q2"? He changed the holodeck characters. That's what this felt like to me: Cheating.
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Old September 18 2013, 12:41 AM   #14
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

I didn't say they executed it well, I just said making the effort wasn't the problem.
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Old September 18 2013, 12:50 AM   #15
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Re: In The Flesh: The Neutering of Specied 8472

R. Star wrote: View Post
I didn't say they executed it well, I just said making the effort wasn't the problem.
That I agree with. The problem isn't that they negotiate with Species 8472, the problem is it was just so damn easy. And the problem is that the 8472 plot was implausible and silly. This is a group that has no need for espionage.
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