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Old July 31 2013, 04:13 PM   #1
Bry_Sinclair
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Ocampa

It's been a while since I last saw Caretaker, but I really liked the pilot, as it helped set up the premise and give a good introduction to the characters.

Thinking back to what we saw, I remember getting the impression that as a species the Ocampa weren’t actually very numerous, due to the damage done to their planet, their very brief lifespan, how they’ve been babysat for generations, and they only seem to have a single child. No evidence was given of other underground cities and the one we did see didn’t seem to be crammed full of people. Since they never said about how many life-signs they picked up on the planet there is no way to really know.

In Cold Fire there were around 2000 Ocampa on Susperia’s Array, not exactly a huge amount for a separate colony that had left the homeworld “generations” ago.

Anyone else get the same impression about them? Also, does anyone want to hazard a guess on how many there might be?
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Old July 31 2013, 04:35 PM   #2
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Re: Ocampa

I always loved the idea of the Ocampa. Usually in Trek we see aliens that are "better" than humans. They live longer, have better abilities. Seeing a species that didn't outlive humans was a refreshing change. Unfortunately their short lifespan became the only unique thing about them. I kind of wish Kes was more interesting and stayed on. It would have been interesting to see a character's entire life played out durrin the run of the show

I dont think that their population was very big. I would imagine it was a few tens of thousands. There was a mention of ocampans that lived outside of the city, the ones that grew the medicine that she hands to B'Elanna. So maybe there are several groups around

I also always figured that having only one child was something done by the caretaker. The same way Kes said that their mental powers had deminished since his arrival. A species that only has one child will die out in a numbe of generations. But Kes mentined that she had an uncle, maybe multiple births were common.
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Old July 31 2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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Re: Ocampa

Ocampa are the most silly race ever. Just how do they even reproduce? They give birth standing up through their back and someone has to catch the baby...but what if someone isn't there? And they're also only fertile once in their lives... never mind that whole mustard hand mating freakish bit. So assuming there are no dropped babies, that means at best they can only maintain their population assuming -everyone- reproduces. Both Kes and her daughter were shown to have single children so they don't have litters or anything.

Not to mention, gee they're fully sexually mature within a year of birth... and don't get old looking until their last year of life. So did the Caretaker or someone engineer them fully as sex slaves or something? No wonder the Kazon wanted to get to their underground city.
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Old July 31 2013, 09:15 PM   #4
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Re: Ocampa

The other problem with them is their senior medical and scientific specialists could have at most only 9 years of experience in their chosen field. Not necessarily someone you'd want to trust for a delicate surgical operation or advanced theoretical physics.
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Old July 31 2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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Re: Ocampa

Apparently Kes had near perfect recall when the doctor was giving her medical manuals to read. They'd have to, if they only have nine years.
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Old July 31 2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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Re: Ocampa

Yeah, but even if you memorized every Chilton's car repair manual in existence, you're not going to be a good mechanic without practical experience.
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Old July 31 2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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Re: Ocampa

R. Star wrote: View Post
And they're also only fertile once in their lives... never mind that whole mustard hand mating freakish bit. So assuming there are no dropped babies, that means at best they can only maintain their population assuming -everyone- reproduces.
Actually if everybody had one baby, their population would be cut in half every generation. A woman has to have two children to replace herself and the father.

Perhaps Ocampans have a lot of triplets and quadruplets, but I doubt the writers gave it that much thought.
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Old July 31 2013, 10:00 PM   #8
R. Star
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Re: Ocampa

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
And they're also only fertile once in their lives... never mind that whole mustard hand mating freakish bit. So assuming there are no dropped babies, that means at best they can only maintain their population assuming -everyone- reproduces.
Actually if everybody had one baby, their population would be cut in half every generation. A woman has to have two children to replace herself and the father.

Perhaps Ocampans have a lot of triplets and quadruplets, but I doubt the writers gave it that much thought.
We see three examples of Ocampan births. All of them are single children.
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Old August 1 2013, 12:20 AM   #9
Zippo and Flask
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Re: Ocampa

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
but I doubt the writers gave it that much thought.
That's pretty true of most plot elements in Voyager.
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Old August 1 2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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Re: Ocampa

Kes mentioned having an uncle, so multiple birth do happen

The 9 year lifespan is probably something the caretaker did to them to make them easier to control. Remember, the ones who left with Susperia lived a lot longer.

I just figure that in their natural state before the Nacene messed up their planet, they lived a much longer time, had more mental powers (as Kes mentioned) and had as many kids as they wanted.
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Old August 2 2013, 01:29 AM   #11
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Re: Ocampa

Maybe since their underground lair and limited space, the Ocampa might have had a one child policy? Anywho, since they probably don't live underground and are free from the nanny state of the Caretaker, they probably had more children.
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Old August 2 2013, 04:06 AM   #12
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Re: Ocampa

Pondwater wrote: View Post
Maybe since their underground lair and limited space, the Ocampa might have had a one child policy? Anywho, since they probably don't live underground and are free from the nanny state of the Caretaker, they probably had more children.
The one child policy actually makes some sense with the concern about their limited resources.
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Old August 2 2013, 04:52 AM   #13
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Re: Ocampa

Of course a 1 child policy is not without it's problems, i.e. your population will halve each time. Unless it's a variable policy. I.e. they maintain a population size of approx x.
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Old August 2 2013, 05:00 AM   #14
Third Nacelle
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Re: Ocampa

A one-child policy makes sense, but that's not what was said onscreen.

What WAS said on-screen was this:

KES: The elogium occurs only once. If I am ever going to have a child, it has to be now!
To me that sounds like each Ocampan can only have one child. Which makes absolutely no evolutionary sense.
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Old August 2 2013, 10:08 AM   #15
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Ocampa

Some interesting points being raised here. I'd forgotten about Kes' uncle, so twins may be quite common for Ocampa.

Comments on the Caretaker's manipulation and control of the Ocampa don't seem right to me. He struck me as an over-protective parent and not a controlling master, so their 9-year lifespan is probably natural (Susperia's lot had to develop technology to allow them to live longer).

I always saw the Ocampa on the planet being more stunted than manipulated. After their world started to deteriorate, the Caretaker came to them and cared for them, to the point where they didn't need to do things for themselves as it was all provided for them. Such things as their mental abilities atrophied over time and their development plateaued. The ones who went with Susperia are about where they should be, since they were allowed to progress more naturally.

It does look as though most would agree that their population isn’t very large, which will be very useful.
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