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Old January 18 2014, 06:18 PM   #31
F. King Daniel
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

About the Admirals or Commodores or other Captains being crazy or incompetent in Trek, I suspect minor brain damage from years and years of transporter use and exposure to warp fields and exotic forms of radiation.
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Old January 18 2014, 06:48 PM   #32
Dale Sams
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

How long did the Enterprise have to sit in orbit waiting for help after 'The Paradise Syndrome'? Two months have already gone by with no help arriving, so obviously they're way out there.
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Old January 18 2014, 08:03 PM   #33
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

During TOS, it was fairly common for all kinds of ethnic people to play Asians. Then you have crazy things like Ricardo Montebahn playing Khan who is a Sikh but never adopts the affectations of a Sikh regarding their spiritual practices (a point very well explained by TheRealKingDaniel in his Imponderables youtube shorts).

Some of that is excusable but embarrassing writing by early writers or them simply feeling such details were unimportant as the average American probably had no idea what a Sikh believed or did within their culture. It was a different time.

To do this in later series was a big mistake, particularly because Star Trek is an international phenomena. If an actor is good enough to be on the series, heck embrace his/her background and incorporate it into the show. Linda Park is Korean, so the writers could have included every Asian detail in the same manner but not switching it to Japanese culture. Things like her name, her background, her cooking, her martial arts training, etc. This is so simple to do.

The same is true of Patrick Stewart. He's a fine actor. Let him be English and especially since he can't seem to remember that he's French (saying things like schedule as shhed ule really gives this away).

The back story is that Hoshi had a black belt in Aikido before she joined Starfleet Academy, was running an quasi-illegal honor code violation poker game, and broke the arm of the captain who caught her doing it. Then nothing about those two things plays any role within the story, previous stories, previous examples of her performing those things, etc. It's a classic non sequiter. It also doesn't make sense that a person booted out of Starfleet would have then been on the maiden voyage especially since there likely would be other linguists who had followed protocol. Remember, the Vulcans are watching over the shoulder of Starfleet even about minutia.

Here's an imponderable about Enterprise episode "Observer Effect:
The Organians are inhabiting the crew of the Enterprise to observe the way that they respond to a contagious disease from a particular planet with a silicon based virus. In effect, the Organians are the observers and using a form of the Prime Directive, far before Starfleet adopts that principle.

Cruelly, they observe and have been observing for many hundreds...perhaps thousands of years when this sort of event happens. They dispassionately watch and then collect the data, but don't involve themselves.

Right away, the cruelties of such a form of observation are evident. When it becomes apparrent that Hoshi and Trip will die, the crew are deeply concerned, and a dialogue between the observing Organians demonstrates that one of them believes they should interfere and help the Humans.

What this really is setting up that the Prime Directive is evil through inaction, and hence not moral, and should not be the way an advanced species deals with species who don't have the same level of technology.

And yet, this is one of the events in Captain Archer's life that will eventually lead to the Prime Directive...

The Prime Directive has always been a bigoted form of noninterferrence solely based upon warp drive technology. Can you think of anything more ridiculous? Why would this even matter? Say a race has advanced genetics skills, the best medicine in the galaxy, the most advanced linguistic ability, the best architects found anywhere, the most wonderful musicians, etc. Nope, sorry...you're a backward species.

Last edited by Robbiesan; January 18 2014 at 08:18 PM.
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Old January 18 2014, 10:14 PM   #34
USS Triumphant
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
The Prime Directive has always been a bigoted form of noninterferrence solely based upon warp drive technology. Can you think of anything more ridiculous? Why would this even matter? Say a race has advanced genetics skills, the best medicine in the galaxy, the most advanced linguistic ability, the best architects found anywhere, the most wonderful musicians, etc. Nope, sorry...you're a backward species.
I don't *think* anything in canon has established that what makes a civilization worthy is necessarily warp drive - warp drive (or presumably any other fast interstellar transport system) is just a dead giveaway that the PD is moot for that civilization, because they are now out looking for other civilizations to interfere with them.

A few of the novels have said that there is a complex system of civilization analysis involved that gives a civ a score and determines if they are ready for contact or not, and interstellar drive is only one factor in calculating that score among others such as those you mentioned here. I like that concept.
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Old January 18 2014, 10:39 PM   #35
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
I don't *think* anything in canon has established that what makes a civilization worthy is necessarily warp drive - warp drive (or presumably any other fast interstellar transport system) is just a dead giveaway that the PD is moot for that civilization, because they are now out looking for other civilizations to interfere with them.

A few of the novels have said that there is a complex system of civilization analysis involved that gives a civ a score and determines if they are ready for contact or not, and interstellar drive is only one factor in calculating that score among others such as those you mentioned here. I like that concept.
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Prime_Directive
The link above is pretty exhaustive in an attempt to track down the examples of observing and not interfering with pre-warp civilizations. The major exception has to do with the Omega Molecule and suspending the Prime Directive due to urgency.
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Old January 18 2014, 11:01 PM   #36
USS Triumphant
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Here is another imponderable for me: torpedoes have their own propulsion and guidance systems. So what, exactly, is so difficult about pushing one set to passive out of a cloaked ship, then moving away and activating it? I mean, I understand that the BoP from ST VI was supposed to be special because it could fire torpedoes out while cloaked, but to me, that just seems like a bad idea - the torp should show up on sensors as soon as it's out of the cloak. You'd want to MOVE AWAY first before it shows up on sensors.
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Old January 18 2014, 11:21 PM   #37
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Sensors have been with us since the fifties. Inexpensive temperature and humidity sensors are so useful that lots of factories have them to tune the controls within compartmentalized production areas. By the 22nd Century, one would expect sensors everywhere looking across the electromagnetic spectrum frequencies and reporting back to a central sensor network, and reporting any anomalies on a room by room basis.

And yet, we have anomalous intruders and phenomena that the crew have to hunt down, isolate, locate, etc. That makes no sense.

While the hunting aspects adds to the claustrophic effects of that, or peril, a lot more interesting science could have been discussed, tactics due to sensor detection, creative strategies using one's noggin instead of fists or phasers, etc.
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Old January 18 2014, 11:26 PM   #38
Geoff Peterson
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

[QUOTE]
Robbiesan wrote: View Post
During TOS, it was fairly common for all kinds of ethnic people to play Asians. Then you have crazy things like Ricardo Montebahn playing Khan who is a Sikh but never adopts the affectations of a Sikh regarding their spiritual practices (a point very well explained by TheRealKingDaniel in his Imponderables youtube shorts).
How many fake Asians appeared on TOS ( Other than Khan, who is South Asian)? Do you also object to Keye Luke playing Dr Cory?

Some of that is excusable but embarrassing writing by early writers or them simply feeling such details were unimportant as the average American probably had no idea what a Sikh believed or did within their culture. It was a different time.

To do this in later series was a big mistake, particularly because Star Trek is an international phenomena. If an actor is good enough to be on the series, heck embrace his/her background and incorporate it into the show. Linda Park is Korean, so the writers could have included every Asian detail in the same manner but not switching it to Japanese culture. Things like her name, her background, her cooking, her martial arts training, etc. This is so simple to do.

The same is true of Patrick Stewart. He's a fine actor. Let him be English and especially since he can't seem to remember that he's French (saying things like schedule as shhed ule really gives this away).
Does this apply to all Europeans or just Stewart? How about actors of African descent? I brought this up earlier

Nerys Myk wrote:
You're right!

They should have gotten a real Scotsman for Scotty, instead of Canadian James Doohan.

And Kirk should be layed by an American, not a Canadian like William Shatner.

Whats with casting an American as Uhura? Were there no East African actors available? She should have made the character an American.

Sulu? That's not even a Japanese name. So Why cast Takei?
Outside of Trek, what of Brando and Caan in the Godfather, neither one are Italian.

Edris Elba and Morgan Freeman as Mandela, neither one is Xhosa.

Just how far should the matching of character to actor go?

Oh, and do you think that every Frenchman who learns English has to speak it with a Pepe LePew accent?

The back story is that Hoshi had a black belt in Aikido before she joined Starfleet Academy, was running an quasi-illegal honor code violation poker game, and broke the arm of the captain who caught her doing it. Then nothing about those two things plays any role within the story, previous stories, previous examples of her performing those things, etc. It's a classic non sequiter. It also doesn't make sense that a person booted out of Starfleet would have then been on the maiden voyage especially since there likely would be other linguists who had followed protocol. Remember, the Vulcans are watching over the shoulder of Starfleet even about minutia.
We learn new things about characters in almost every episode. Families, hobbies and ex lovers pop in without previously being mentioned. It shouldn't be so imponderable.

Archer wanted Hoshi on the mission. He tracked her down and personally asked her. I don't think Starfleet and Vulcans were going to stop him.
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Old January 18 2014, 11:30 PM   #39
Dale Sams
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post




Here's an imponderable about Enterprise episode "Observer Effect:
The Organians are inhabiting the crew of the Enterprise to observe the way that they respond to a contagious disease from a particular planet with a silicon based virus. In effect, the Organians are the observers and using a form of the Prime Directive, far before Starfleet adopts that principle.
I hadn't even heard of this episode, and the premise sounded great so I ran to watch it on Netflix...

...in the words of that little kid neighbor of The Incredibles Family...."That was awesome!!!" That was the best PD episode I've ever seen.
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Old January 18 2014, 11:31 PM   #40
USS Triumphant
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
And yet, we have anomalous intruders and phenomena that the crew have to hunt down, isolate, locate, etc. That makes no sense.
^ This, plus, they regularly forget that they can isolate deck sections with force fields and then pump gas in. Really, if it was my ship, I would have the computer programmed to automatically grab ANYONE who was onboard without an authorized communicator pin and beam them straight to the brig, and then program timed exceptions for expected guests - who would still get beamed straight to the brig if they somehow managed to enter secured areas I didn't want them in.
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Old January 18 2014, 11:34 PM   #41
USS Triumphant
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Dale Sams wrote: View Post

I hadn't even heard of this episode, and the premise sounded great so I ran to watch it on Netflix...

...in the words of that little kid neighbor of The Incredibles Family...."That was awesome!!!" That was the best PD episode I've ever seen.
I haven't seen it either, but I read the description here and thought, "Organians on Enterprise. That had to be 4th season under Manny Coto." Checked Memory Alpha - yep yep yep.
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Old January 18 2014, 11:37 PM   #42
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Should a white European play Othello? I doubt it. I think we'd be appalled by someone wearing black face today.

Was there a need to make Linda Park a Japanese person? Nope. The Korean culture is just as rich and diverse.

Star Trek to their credit allowed minorities to be depicted in all manner of roles and not the inscrutable asian dispensing weak philosophy, breaking boards, or being a valet. At the time TOS was made, how many actors were from diverse backgrounds? Not many.

I truly like Nimoy's work, but when he did yellowface to portray a Mongol, it was supremely annoying.

Should efffort be made to locate authentic folks to fill cultural roles. You betcha. That's far more believable.

And why should anyone use a false accent? Not when it's simple to alter the character's history or to work with a speech coach to acquire one.
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Old January 18 2014, 11:53 PM   #43
Geoff Peterson
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
Should a white European play Othello? I doubt it. I think we'd be appalled by someone wearing black face today.
Thats not the question. The question is, should Othello be played by anyone but a Moor?


Was there a need to make Linda Park a Japanese person? Nope. The Korean culture is just as rich and diverse.
Hoshi was Japanese before Park was cast. Just as Picard was French before Stewart was cast. They decided to keep them as written.

Should efffort be made to locate authentic folks to fill cultural roles. You betcha. That's far more believable.
Or they could go with the best actor from the general ethnic group and let them act. Getting the cultural stuff right is part of the job.

And why should anyone use a false accent? Not when it's simple to alter the character's history or to work with a speech coach to acquire one.
Why would it be false if he's speaking English the way he was taught?
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Old January 19 2014, 12:16 AM   #44
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Thats not the question. The question is, should Othello be played by anyone but a Moor?

Or they could go with the best actor from the general ethnic group and let them act. Getting the cultural stuff right is part of the job.

Why would it be false if he's speaking English the way he was taught?
The last statement was in response to your statement "Oh, and do you think that every Frenchman who learns English has to speak it with a Pepe LePew accent? "

There's no reason to do a ridiculous stereotypical French accent when a genuine one, spoken by someone well aware of French and French culture can do it justice. Heck, French was the language of the court in England during much of the medieval period. Based upon what I've read, and speaking to people from England, French is pretty commonly learned in school. How difficult would it have been to speak it authentically since Picard is French? Now that is confounding.

I don't think say Romeo must be played by an Italian always. But it sure would be weird for a white guy to play Othello. We'd cringe today at that, though historically that has happened with white guys wearing essentially shoepolish on their faces.

Wouldn't it be more authentic to give a South African the part of Mandela if he's a black African from that region originally. Then he can speak with a natural voice emulating the native speakers like Mandela?

This isn't a far fetched idea.

A part that's written as a Japanese person, could easily be modified into a Korean person. I don't see how it's relevant to the story either way. Unless there's specific need for that charcter to be from Japan due to X, then why not adjust it so that it's in keeping with the actor?

Can you imagine a production like Dances with Wolves with Hispanic actors playing the parts of the Lakota people because the director though the skin tones were good enough? How weird would that be?
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Old January 19 2014, 12:49 AM   #45
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Using warp drive as the line for whether or not to interfere with a civilization is only because when a civilization develops warp drive they are going to run into other races anyway.

Why do all the Klingons in Matter of Honor speak English? (It wasn't the universal translator. The captain explicitly said 'SPEAK IN THEIR LANGUAGE!' And why does every alien race in the galaxy know every human expression?
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