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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old January 11 2009, 04:17 PM   #1
ChickenPug!
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In theory-subplot

Why does Picard opt to drive the shuttle and detect the dark matter?

1. Is it because the writers wish to remove Picard from the ship every once and a while?

2. Does he feel he is the best man for the job? Seems kind of stupid for the captain on a mission like that.

3. Is Picard tired of Riker always objecting when he wants to leave the ship?

Maybe I'm over thinking it but Picard wanting to drive the shuttle seemed a bit foolish.
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Old January 11 2009, 04:57 PM   #2
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Re: In theory-subplot

Towards the later seasons, Patrick Stewart was asking for more action and romance in the life of his character, and the writers were giving it. One might argue that Jean-Luc Picard was similarly frustrated and indeed took significant risks out of a mild death wish of sorts.

In "Booby Trap", Picard does some crucial piloting despite obviously not being the most qualified person or machine to do that. The reason is obvious: at the end of the day, the piloting is the job of a single person (or android), and that person carries the responsibility for all the lives in jeopardy there. Surely this is a job for the captain of the ship, rather than for the best qualified pilot - the piloting skill is not that crucial to the situation, but the psychological and administrative pressure is.

Some of that could apply to the situation in "In Theory" as well, although the setup is more forced. We could argue that Picard saw the parallels, and did the forcing because he wanted the excitement and had the opportunity...

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Old January 11 2009, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: In theory-subplot

Timo wrote: View Post
Towards the later seasons, Patrick Stewart was asking for more action and romance in the life of his character, and the writers were giving it. One might argue that Jean-Luc Picard was similarly frustrated and indeed took significant risks out of a mild death wish of sorts.

In "Booby Trap", Picard does some crucial piloting despite obviously not being the most qualified person or machine to do that. The reason is obvious: at the end of the day, the piloting is the job of a single person (or android), and that person carries the responsibility for all the lives in jeopardy there. Surely this is a job for the captain of the ship, rather than for the best qualified pilot - the piloting skill is not that crucial to the situation, but the psychological and administrative pressure is.

Some of that could apply to the situation in "In Theory" as well, although the setup is more forced. We could argue that Picard saw the parallels, and did the forcing because he wanted the excitement and had the opportunity...

Timo Saloniemi
Never thought of it that way. Yes the whole ship is his responsibility, even if he is on the enterprise or not. But also it is his charge to stay alive for the crew as well. Now that you mention it I do remember that he wanted his character to get out and do more.
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Old January 11 2009, 05:15 PM   #4
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Re: In theory-subplot

If they were going to hit one of the pockets, he'd do it first. I think it was a bravery thing.
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Old January 12 2009, 12:58 AM   #5
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Re: In theory-subplot

WillsBabe wrote: View Post
If they were going to hit one of the pockets, he'd do it first. I think it was a bravery thing.
Bravery is never something he lacked but wonder if it was the right choice. Guess it was in the end.
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Old January 12 2009, 02:27 AM   #6
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Re: In theory-subplot

I always liked the subplot.

I really like the FX used. The ship feels large and difficult to maneuver, and the FX people did an admirable job conveying that
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Old January 12 2009, 06:30 AM   #7
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Re: In theory-subplot

ChickenPug! wrote: View Post
WillsBabe wrote: View Post
If they were going to hit one of the pockets, he'd do it first. I think it was a bravery thing.
Bravery is never something he lacked but wonder if it was the right choice. Guess it was in the end.
He's the Captain - he's more than willing to give his life in order for his crew to survive. If he had hit one of the pockets, the rest of the ship could avoid it, and potentially try it again. They live while he dies. To a Starfleet Captain, I believe that's worth the risk.

From a morale point, the captain is very important, since he's the leader. However, from the captain's point of view, he's probably the most disposible piece of the puzzle that makes up the crew of a starship. The people serving under him know what their jobs are and will do them with or without him hovering over them all the time. So from the captain's perspective, if it comes down to one of his crew or him, he'll choose to save his crewman, even if it costs him his life. We see this behavior from him again in Generations - give them back Geordi and, after speaking with Soran, he will give himself over to the Duras sisters.
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Old January 12 2009, 07:45 AM   #8
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Re: In theory-subplot

The problem is, unlike "Booby Trap" or Generations, this isn't an all-or-nothing situation. If the pilot of the shuttlepod hits one subspace vacuole, he dies - but odds are that the ship still isn't safe, and another pilot is needed. And another. And another.

In such a situation, Picard's place should rightfully be at his usual seat, ordering his subordinates to their deaths one by one, and then holding the crew together after and despite each fatality. That's what commanding officers are there for.

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Old January 12 2009, 03:30 PM   #9
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Re: In theory-subplot

I have to say, in my opinion, he should have delegated this duty. Also if I remember correctly, Riker is said to be a good pilot. Why didn't he step up?

This may be a reach, but one thing Picard's action does do is set an example for Data in Redemption 2. Data bucks Picard's authority and does what he thinks is right to reveal the Romulan supply ships. Data learns a lot from Picard. Just a thought.
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Old January 12 2009, 08:19 PM   #10
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Re: In theory-subplot

ChickenPug! wrote: View Post
I have to say, in my opinion, he should have delegated this duty. Also if I remember correctly, Riker is said to be a good pilot. Why didn't he step up?
He did. Picard over-rode him.
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Old January 12 2009, 08:40 PM   #11
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Re: In theory-subplot

ChickenPug! wrote: View Post
I have to say, in my opinion, he should have delegated this duty. Also if I remember correctly, Riker is said to be a good pilot. Why didn't he step up?

This may be a reach, but one thing Picard's action does do is set an example for Data in Redemption 2. Data bucks Picard's authority and does what he thinks is right to reveal the Romulan supply ships. Data learns a lot from Picard. Just a thought.
Yeah, and then submits himself for disciplinary action and Picard just commends him instead, telling him that too many disasters in our history have been explained away with "I was only following orders".

Picard also defends Riker's refusal to allow his Captains to beam down in to potentially dangerous situations when he and Admiral Pressman are discussing Picard's reasons for choosing Riker as his first office. Picard clearly doesn't believe in having his officers blindly follow orders.
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Old January 12 2009, 10:03 PM   #12
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Re: In theory-subplot

WillsBabe wrote: View Post
ChickenPug! wrote: View Post
I have to say, in my opinion, he should have delegated this duty. Also if I remember correctly, Riker is said to be a good pilot. Why didn't he step up?
He did. Picard over-rode him.

Your right, I forgot that. I still think it should not have been Picard in the this one situation though. But it adds to his legend I guess and is a example of bravery.
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Old January 13 2009, 10:31 AM   #13
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Re: In theory-subplot

ChickenPug! wrote: View Post
Why does Picard opt to drive the shuttle and detect the dark matter?
1. Is it because the writers wish to remove Picard from the ship every once and a while?
Wasn't this his directorial debut? The subplot removed him from main scenes so Stewart could direct.

Similarly, Riker is offship for most of "The Offspring".
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Old January 13 2009, 02:54 PM   #14
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Re: In theory-subplot

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
ChickenPug! wrote: View Post
Why does Picard opt to drive the shuttle and detect the dark matter?
1. Is it because the writers wish to remove Picard from the ship every once and a while?
Wasn't this his directorial debut? The subplot removed him from main scenes so Stewart could direct.

Similarly, Riker is offship for most of "The Offspring".
According to IMDB "In Theory" was his first directing attempt. Which puts it all into context. I didn't think of that.
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