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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 July 31 2014, 12:56 PM   #16
2takesfrakes
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

A good Picard episode. It seems whenever they let Sir Patrick Stewart on the planet, even the more poorly written episode transends the page and becomes something quite memorable ... like this one.
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Old August 1 2014, 04:02 PM   #17
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Forbin wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
JesterFace wrote: View Post
A good one apart from one thing that ruins the whole thing for me, Riker's log says something like: "Despite the risk of war, we're going to attempt getting the Captain back."

Riker... c'mon man, a war over one man (that may return safely even if you did nothing)
One of the things I noticed as the show went on was how Riker regressed as a character.
Yes! He seemed to get stupider and stupider. I kept thinking this guy doesn't deserve to command a ship.
Complacency causes stagnation, and detrement. He was so comfortable with his boss, he couldn't even handle working with other captains when the need arose.

This is one of my absolute favorites of TNG. I really like this one.

Comparing this to Arena isn't even worthy of the apples and oranges anology. The only things that this and Arena have in common are two Captains on a planet. All of the reasons for that, how they got there, why they are there, what their crews are doing during this and the state of the ships are all completely different.

In Arena, the Gorn captain isn't trying to communicate, his ship is not standing by carrying out his commands to create the situation, and there's no other monster, He is the monster for all intents. There's more, but that's just for starters.

I just dislike anyone trying to make something they like seem better by trying to rip something else down, whether it's related or not. If something is good, it's good. It's not made better by pulling something else down to it's level.
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Old August 2 2014, 01:03 AM   #18
Jeyl
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Great episode. I love how for once the crew seek to understand an alien race rather than lecture it on how our ways are better. A credit to Paul Winfield who delivers an incredible performance. For having such a large portion of his head covered in make up, he's able to convey so much character in Dathon.
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Old August 2 2014, 02:14 AM   #19
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Great episode. I love how for once the crew seek to understand an alien race rather than lecture it on how our ways are better. A credit to Paul Winfield who delivers an incredible performance. For having such a large portion of his head covered in make up, he's able to convey so much character in Dathon.
Yeah, Winfield does a great, great job. As I said he puts so much into telling the story of "Darmok", I mean he's only scantly speaking in a coherent way to us, the audience, but by and large it's gibberish. But there's so much emotion and passion in it, like at the end of the story when he almost sings in a "this is a great, meaningful, ending" sort of way, "Darmok and Jiliad on the ocean." Great stuff. Even the winces with the Tamarian curses/expressions of pain was really, really well done.

The guy did a great job as Dathon.
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Old August 3 2014, 12:39 AM   #20
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

One of my favorite episodes of the series. I've actually never made the Arena Or Amok Time connection before so that was interesting.
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Old August 6 2014, 03:01 AM   #21
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Working on other projects today, didn't have a chance to watch through the episode to write the next review/thread on.

Hopefully will get it up tomorrow, if not early Thursday.
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Old August 7 2014, 12:23 AM   #22
2takesfrakes
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Even the energy monster, which barely makes an appearance ended up looking very cool ... was that modified/based off of another monster suit from somewhere else, or was that unique for this show? It seems like it was expensive.
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Old October 7 2014, 03:17 AM   #23
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

"Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra", "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra"...,

"Shaka when the walls fell,

"Temba. his arms wide".

This was the most annoying episode ever. I couldn't get that stupid dialogue out of my head for what seemed like days after I saw this ep.

It annoyed the heck out of me whenever I heard those lines uttered. When Darmok was speaking, it was like listening to a caveman.

Who speaks like that anyway.

The episode was like a train wreck. You couldn't help but watch. It was painful to watch yet amusing at the same time.

The story was also illogical. It made no sense that a species that communicates in metaphor could ever become a spacefaring people let alone a technologically capable one.

You need precision and exact meaning to create anything as well as to navigate through space. You can't do that by speaking in metaphors.

There are so many other flaws besides that. In order for one person to understand another's metaphor, both person would have to know the meaning of the reference of the metaphor. They would have to know the same history. Both would have to know what Tanagra, Semba, Temba etc. meant. If you were never taught the same history, you wouldn't know what the heck the other guy is referring to.

Besides that, how would you even be able to effectively teach history, if you throw out more metaphor after another. It would just mean piling confusion after more confusion.

I didn't know if I should have laughed or cried after I watched this ep.
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Old October 7 2014, 06:34 PM   #24
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

I absolutely love this episode - Paul Winfield as Dathon was superb, one of the very best guest star performances in the series. Even the Tamarian first officer played his part well, and there was great physical contrast between the two. I always thought it was too bad that this race never came back. These people were interesting. What's even more, if you read about how this episode came about, it was one of those that was rewritten a bunch of times, scrapped, and finally shoved in someone's lap, who really, really pulled a rabbit out of his hat with this script.

I did often wonder about how the Children of Tama learned their myths before they started talking about them and citing them to communicate. It could be that if they are absolutely ingrained in the culture, Tamarian children might learn about them by hearing them cited. I guess that's possible. It would certainly be odd, especially if there's no apparent way to say, "I could use something to drink" or whatever.
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Old October 7 2014, 08:32 PM   #25
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

I really don't see what's so exotic about this. Every human language consists of unfathomable metaphor piled upon unfathomable metaphor (just consider this sentence!) - and that's how we get abstraction, which is the real ingredient in dreaming up things like semiconductors and spaceflight. Mere concretisms would get us nowhere: counting rocks and saying "we want things to make us strong", which is the exact opposite of what humans and Tamarians are doing, is also the exact opposite of using language as a tool for progress.

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Old October 7 2014, 09:46 PM   #26
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Riker making bad command decisions, as per the norm, whenever Picard was out of order, & Picard demonstrating absurdly less skill at abstract communicating than you'd expect from someone who'd been contacting new life forms as a job, for over a quarter century.

The guy tosses you a knife. You jump to conclusions & assume he wants you to fight him with it? He had a damn starship. The bigger balls battle would probably measure up better there than with a handful of luncheon utensils, if that were the case. Picard does very little in the way of TRYING to communicate, as opposed to just trying to figure out what the other guy is saying. That's not the Picard I know

Don't get me wrong though. It's otherwise a very entertaining hour of drama, with wonderful performances from a couple powerhouse actors. I do enjoy this episode, warts and all
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Old October 8 2014, 04:58 AM   #27
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Timo wrote: View Post
I really don't see what's so exotic about this. Every human language consists of unfathomable metaphor piled upon unfathomable metaphor (just consider this sentence!) - and that's how we get abstraction, which is the real ingredient in dreaming up things like semiconductors and spaceflight. Mere concretisms would get us nowhere: counting rocks and saying "we want things to make us strong", which is the exact opposite of what humans and Tamarians are doing, is also the exact opposite of using language as a tool for progress.
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I've noticed over the years that people, when speaking to a non-native speaker, will frequently use metaphors and such, and they don't always translate well. If you were talking to such a person about a traffic incident, and referred to some "clown driving the other car", it's not impossible that they will visualize a literal clown driving that car. I remember one instance when I had mentioned to a German native that I loved a particular song. She was puzzled, because according to her language dictates, you love a person, not, say, a song.

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Don't get me wrong though. It's otherwise a very entertaining hour of drama, with wonderful performances from a couple powerhouse actors. I do enjoy this episode, warts and all
One always wonders when any television show will reach a creative saturation point. This episode felt reassuring at the time, because it seemed like they were still able to pull creative rabbits out of their hats, in this case tackling a simple language problem.
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Old October 8 2014, 05:10 AM   #28
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

I thought the episode presented an interesting concept. The only real weakness I see is Picard has to verbalize everything to explain what is happening for the audience.
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Old October 8 2014, 01:05 PM   #29
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Memory Alpha wrote: View Post
I did often wonder about how the Children of Tama learned their myths before they started talking about them and citing them to communicate. It could be that if they are absolutely ingrained in the culture, Tamarian children might learn about them by hearing them cited. I guess that's possible. It would certainly be odd, especially if there's no apparent way to say, "I could use something to drink" or whatever.
Oh lord, how would you order at a restaurant?!

"Balthus, after the hunt, his fire hot, his deer well done!"
"Oh, and, Shaka, at the oasis, his thirst great!"

"Temba, at the drivethrough, asking if you want fries with that?"
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Old October 10 2014, 12:31 PM   #30
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Re: TNG Rewatch: 5x02: "Darmok"

Concepts like "side order" and "main course" let alone "well done" and "drivethrough" are complex and context-driven abstractions deriving from obscure historical roots, just like Tamarianese. It's just that the transliteration of Tamarianese to English results in clumsy phrases instead of mere word pairs - but that's by the translator's choice (or due to his lack of skill), and happens with many other languages as well.

Say, there isn't a word for the Finnish "ahkera" or German "fleissig" in English, and the concept has to be described by lengthy phrases or then left incompletely translated. "Hard-working" is a compound expression not unlike the phrases of the Tamarians, and still remains utterly incomplete and insufficient (a slave could be hard-working or even industrious but wouldn't be fleissig); "Eager to work hard without external prompting because this is the societal-religious expectation" is the more proper translation, and puts Tamarians to shame for their brevity!

Were England more protestant in spirit, the concept of fleissig might have been introduced to the language, perhaps even by borrowing the German word as such or slightly altered. Instead of "busy" people, working hard out of fear of their bosses or in order to look good, there could be "flessy" people doing it out of sheer cultural stubbornness. English does a lot of this sort of borrowing; why wouldn't Tamarianese? You just have to recognize when not to over-translate...

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