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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 June 14 2011, 04:14 PM   #1
Xerxes1979
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What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

If he was able to use his telepathy the unecessary witchhunt which was the basis of the story would have been avoided.

Was he simply Satee's adjutant first and a Betazoid second?

Was he prevented from scanning Tarsus through biological or legal constraints?
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Old June 14 2011, 10:12 PM   #2
T'Girl
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

I've often wondered about the legal aspect of Troi "sensing' everyone around her. It wouldn't exactly be like me listening to you because you could refuse to speak in my presents.

If I were a planetary leader at a important treaty negotiation, I'd hardly want my counterpart having a Betazed as part of her team.

Perhaps in the formal environment of a court proceeding, Satee would required a warrant or some other type of court order.
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Old June 15 2011, 12:16 AM   #3
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Xerxes1979 wrote: View Post
If he was able to use his telepathy the unecessary witchhunt which was the basis of the story would have been avoided.
On the contrary. The whole point, thematically, was that using a telepath to invade people's privacy is part of the witch-hunt mentality. It smacks of thought police.

To people like Satie, it doesn't matter whether someone has actually committed a crime or not; remember, even after the explosion she was called in to investigate was proven to be accidental, she nonetheless remained convinced there was a conspiracy and went fishing for someone to persecute. The objective facts were beside the point to her. If one person didn't have anything to hide, she'd use her telepath to find someone else who did, and would punish them for whatever unimportant secrets or harmless subversive notions they held in their minds. That's the way people like that operate. Study your history. If they're convinced they have enemies, they will grasp at any flimsy thread of subversion as an excuse to persecute or punish.

And telepaths aren't infallible truth detectors anyway. A telepath's mind is as subjective as anyone else's, so what they perceive is filtered through their own beliefs and biases. Why else would Lwaxana Troi have been so convinced that Picard was sexually obsessed with her?
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Old June 15 2011, 01:23 AM   #4
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Christopher wrote: View Post
... Why else would Lwaxana Troi have been so convinced that Picard was sexually obsessed with her?
Because he was!!! The pervert!!!



As for the Betazoid in 'The Drumhead', I'd say if nothin' else, there's the intimidation factor, the whole "don't lie, 'cause we'll know!!!" threat.
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Old June 15 2011, 01:29 AM   #5
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Yea, he was meant to show how unethical and unscrupulous she was in her ruthless attempts to blame Picard for something by becoming that truth that would convict him by twisting the facts and justifying certain inconsistancies to prove herself, her resolve, worth and value and superiority, not the truth, if there ever was an absolute or ultimate incriminating truth. But even Betazoids know that people can think in lies to themself even (heck, that's Christopher's job!). The only thing that counts is what you can prove though in court. Her ability to make it so by sheer force of will failed and the larger problem was revealed. Yea, some highly paid people get to lie to us on a consistant basis through media so not believing what you see and hear by artists is a good place to start. A good place to stop is with those that like to pull the sweater's threads or blame their governers for their hangnails.That king of thing. I.e. as in 'You're what's wrong with me and the universe.' They are called scapegoaters. Demonizing crucifiction usually follows on it's heels. A hanging in the old days used to be a great big fun social event and gathering and a great metaphor for assigning blame.

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Old June 15 2011, 10:32 PM   #6
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Xerxes1979 wrote: View Post
If he was able to use his telepathy the unecessary witchhunt which was the basis of the story would have been avoided.
On the contrary. The whole point, thematically, was that using a telepath to invade people's privacy is part of the witch-hunt mentality. It smacks of thought police.
Bingo. Something else to consider. With Tarsus being part Romulan, perhaps he was, in some way, blocking outside telepathic probing.
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Old June 15 2011, 10:58 PM   #7
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Canon remains mute on whether Romulans have telepathic abilities (unless you buy the theory that Remans are a mutated form of Romulans). It stands to reason that they would have the potential, but there's no specific evidence to back that up.
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Old June 15 2011, 11:52 PM   #8
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

That is a really good point. There is nothing to point one way or the other. Considering both species are so closely linked, I agree, the potential should be there. That is why I brought up the possiblility in the first place. But you are right, there is nothing to debunk, nor support it.

Perhaps it was the followers of Surak that dedicated themselves and pushed to develope their potential into full telepathy. While the Romulans left to pursue other goals and did not, thus leaving it as just that. Potential.

(Having not watched Enterprise since it originally aired I have a related question. Between the Vulcan cubes that the Romulan boy shows Spock in Unification II and the Vulcan arc on Enterprise, was it established the Romulans went their seperate way at about the time of Surak? I seem to remember it that way, but I'm a little fuzzy on this.)
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Old June 16 2011, 01:09 AM   #9
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Alrik wrote: View Post
Perhaps it was the followers of Surak that dedicated themselves and pushed to develope their potential into full telepathy. While the Romulans left to pursue other goals and did not, thus leaving it as just that. Potential.
The explanation offered in Diane Duane's The Romulan Way was that all the proto-Romulans psi-adepts died over the course of the migration. So the surviving genetic lines didn't include significant psi ability, or at least if there was some latent potential remaining, there was nobody to teach them how to develop it.


(Having not watched Enterprise since it originally aired I have a related question. Between the Vulcan cubes that the Romulan boy shows Spock in Unification II and the Vulcan arc on Enterprise, was it established the Romulans went their seperate way at about the time of Surak? I seem to remember it that way, but I'm a little fuzzy on this.)
In "The Forge," we were told that after Surak died, "his katra was spirited away before the last battle against those who marched beneath the raptor's wings. Those who wanted to return to the savage ways." That was surely meant to be a reference to the proto-Romulans. So yes, that suggests the final schism between Vulcans and (those who would become) Romulans occurred not long after Surak's death.
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Old June 16 2011, 09:54 PM   #10
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Thanks Christopher, nice to know I still have some memory left.

Ironically, Drum Head was on locally last night. Between rewatching the episode, and thinking about points brought up in this thread, I have come to the opinion that the Betazoid species was one of the most inconsistantly writen throughout Trek.

As to the OP, because having Sabin by her side was like having a walking talking lie dectector. However, the character of Sabin is part of what I am talking about with being inconsistant. Either he wasn't a very strong telepath, or Betazoids are pretty much just empathic when it comes to humans. (And yes, the re-watch saw my Romulan theory go up in smoke. At best, Simon Tarses was 1/8 Romulan.) During questioning Sabin is able to tell that Tarses is lying, "A lie so big it consumes him". But he has no idea what he is lying about. Yet Tam Elbrun was able to hear the thoughts of everyone on the ship as well as the thoughts coming from the Romulan ship when it got close enough. Granted, we know that Tam is "special", but I was left with the impression that his telepathic abilities were pretty much average, he just never learned how to tune other's voices out. There are plenty of other examples that I can think of, but I'm not in the mood to get writer's cramp.
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Old June 17 2011, 01:18 AM   #11
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

I like it that the Betazoids were shown as having a wide range of different telepathic sensitivities, rather than just being cookie-cutter aliens like too many others.
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Old June 17 2011, 04:07 PM   #12
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Also, I like the idea of having the Betazoid in that court - it's such an obvious idea that it deserves to be brought up, even if it isn't actually explored much.

TOS technology supposedly already included efficient lie detectors, and indeed no court session seemed to feature witnesses or accused actually lying to the court. Janice Lester managed to maneuver through a hearing on a completely untruthful basis, sure, but she wasn't the one being accused or heard as a witness - she could easily have avoided being subject to lie detection.

Did this technology go away by the time of TNG? We don't hear lies in the court, now do we? Instead, we fail to hear truths when people decide to hide them. The "psychotricorder" tech might still be there, as a triviality that can be utilized whenever the court suspects a lie, but things seldom come to that; if the tech indeed exists, courts might assume nobody bothers to lie in a way that would be caught. Fooling the machines by half-truths would always have been an option in TOS already, I guess.

However, a Betazoid half as good as Lwaxana Troi should be able to do much more than such a lie detector. Which may be why Betazoids that good are banned from using their abilities in court, and only those with abilities akin to Deanna Troi's are accepted. TOS already speaks of quantitative establishing of paranormal abilities, and there may exist reliable "ratings" for Betazoids that are referenced in basic humanoid rights so that the "thought police" concept can be avoided.

However, the accused cannot really know the rating of the Betazoid staring at him or her! Thus, use of one would be an effective psychological threat, and one that Satie could probably get away with, by the letter of the law, even if she violated its spirit...

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Old June 17 2011, 05:24 PM   #13
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Re: What was the point of having a Betazoid in the Drumhead?

Spock saying Vulcans are incapable of lying to me either meant they are incapable of fooling the computer which that statement itself might be doing or lying was outlawed on Vulcan for just that reason. It's a little known fact that judge Judy is a telepath. Punishment before the crime, as it were. We all need to know, don't we? Science hopes to someday know everything about nothing, but you can forgive, but you can never forget or unknow, as the case may be.

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