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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 17 2014, 08:07 PM   #16
Timo
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

One really wonders what the original time traveler was doing when caught in the 22nd century. Was he perhaps investigating Berlinghoff Rasmussen, the man famously fated to raid the E-D?

In any case, we do know Rasmussen specifically targeted the E-D - he knew everything he needed to know about that ship only a few seconds after arriving in the 24th century, and he couldn't have memorized infinite amounts of future trivia in preparation of random encounters. So we're left to wonder how well he could control his gear. His pod arrives close to the E-D, but did he aim even closer? He beams aboard Picard's bridge, but has to ask Picard to take a step aside - for dramatic effect, or because he's a klutz with transporter controls? Being a rather good con artist, he probably turns all his shortcomings into seeming virtues, so we can't really tell.

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Old July 17 2014, 09:54 PM   #17
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

Or perhaps he can lock time from inside the pod so that he had lots of time to research where he was after he arrived. So that is was seconds for Picard, but hours or days for Rasmussen.

Since it isn't his pod, I like to think of it as the Federation's version of a Doctor Who TARDIS. He stole it, and can't quite control it. Perhaps it was the one who picked the Enterprise, because it knew he'd be caught.

The TARIDS does go where it want to go, seemingly at random in the early days of Doctor Who. The Doctor gains more and more control over the centuries he operates it, but it still takes him where he "needs to go" rather than where he "wants to go".
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Old July 18 2014, 12:51 AM   #18
Timo
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

It would be a bit odd if 26th century vehicles didn't have minds of their own... Then again, it's already odd that 22nd century starships don't have those. I guess it's the Frankenstein syndrome at play, with humans leaving the AI out of the design specs out of disdain or fear.

The ability of Rasmussen to put the timepod on hold is a cute and acceptable one. But if he could "research" Picard's ship to such detail simply by sitting in the pod and browsing, it seems he wouldn't need to steal any technology. The specs and manuals would already be available to him from the pod's data banks!

The very clumsiness of the theft concept makes me think Rasmussen really had virtually no control over the pod or its destination, and could but exploit its preset abilities and functions. With finer control, plenty of more workable get-rich-quickly schemes would have been available to him! Especially since he could give a whole new meaning to "quick" in the context...

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Old July 18 2014, 01:53 AM   #19
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

Perhaps the pod doesn't have a replicator (or at least not one good enough to do much more than food stuffs) and he's not good enough with the transporter to steal stuff.
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Old July 18 2014, 02:12 AM   #20
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

I think we can all agree there is no logical reason for anything in this episode. It's just one giant plot hole.
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Old July 18 2014, 03:40 AM   #21
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

I knew Robin Williams was in the running to play Rasmussen, but apparently so was Tom Baker!
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Old July 18 2014, 04:13 AM   #22
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

Tom Baker in that role would have been...interesting. The mental image of him not being the Doctor, but still a time traveler would likely have just been eventually crossed off in people's heads, and it assumed the Starfleet turned him over to a UNIT like organization (Temporal Investigations and Section 31 had not been written yet), to deal with their lost Doctor.
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Old July 18 2014, 06:46 AM   #23
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

I always figured it was a causality loop.

Rasmussen finds a time machine with broken gadgets inside. He figures out how to hit "redial" and ends up on the Enterprise. He finds working versions of the gadgets he threw away in the past. He tries to get back home but misses his ride. The time machine lands in the past for Rasmussen to find with the broken gadgets inside.
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Old July 18 2014, 09:34 AM   #24
Timo
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

The one shortcoming I see is that Rasmussen went to a lot of trouble to collect information from the 24th century folks on what is worth stealing. If he had those broken items and an idea that they would be worth a lot if intact, he could have gone straight on to stealing those specifically...

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Old July 18 2014, 11:38 AM   #25
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

TemporalFlux wrote: View Post
I always figured it was a causality loop.

Rasmussen finds a time machine with broken gadgets inside. He figures out how to hit "redial" and ends up on the Enterprise. He finds working versions of the gadgets he threw away in the past. He tries to get back home but misses his ride. The time machine lands in the past for Rasmussen to find with the broken gadgets inside.
That doesn't work; the time machine would be older in each subsequent loop, therefore not the "same" machine.
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Old July 18 2014, 08:25 PM   #26
Timo
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

What's wrong with that? Unless we believe in predestination for predestination's sake, each individual cycle in every causality loop is going to be subtly different anyway; the loop is fine and well in dramatic terms for all those cycles that do not yet involve the time pod falling apart from sheer age. And the camera can only ever witness a small number of loops, as in "Cause and Effect", not infinitely many, because it only has about 40 minutes to do so.

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Old July 21 2014, 09:59 AM   #27
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

Arguably, then, it's not a time loop. It's a sort of time spiral, or something.
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Old July 21 2014, 08:03 PM   #28
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

This episode is one of my favorites, but Rasmussen's plan has always seemed overly complicated. If his only goal is to get rich, why not just pull a Biff Tannen? Find out who wins the next twenty Super Bowls, go back to his own time and bet his way to a fortune.
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Old July 21 2014, 08:21 PM   #29
Timo
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Re: So, why did Rasmussen choose the Enterprise?

Arguably, then, it's not a time loop. It's a sort of time spiral, or something.
Well, "loop" would suggest something with its ends neatly tied together, no matter what's in between; "spiral" would not have the ends meet. But all the timeloop stories we have seen have featured the ends connected, so that the loop can repeat - until something gives within a loop and the spell is broken. Which is a pretty clear indication that looping is not predestined but varies around an "attractor" of some sort, until fluctuations end the repetition.

This episode is one of my favorites, but Rasmussen's plan has always seemed overly complicated. If his only goal is to get rich, why not just pull a Biff Tannen? Find out who wins the next twenty Super Bowls, go back to his own time and bet his way to a fortune.
That's further support for the idea that Rasmussen was not in control of where and when the time machine went. He couldn't get any money out of knowing the sports results or stock market figures from 200 years in the future. Or out of being able to tell anything else about the 24th century for that matter - nobody would believe him, and he couldn't have them wait and see for themselves. He'd have to bring back something really concrete, and he didn't even know what it might be until he asked our heroes to fill those questionnaires.

This sort of supposes he knew the machine would bring him back eventually, of course. But that need not have been his own doing; the settings might have been locked by the rightful owner of the craft already, for a specific trip tithence and yon.

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