most "wrong" episode...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by magarity, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    Thank you for an awesome post.

    I'm thankful for all the posts and reviews on this episode, from Jammer to SFDebris (who hold opposite views.

    As I said, watching it tonight left me unsettled. It's a level of drama that is surprisingly deep but stems from rather simple origins. It's also such an early episode. I am thankful for the questions.

    Maybe they should have saved the Valakians. Maybe not. That's the question, and, regardless of whether one thinks that additional scenes should have been put in of Archer examining his answer to this question doesn't change the fact that they made it clear that his decision wasn't an easy one to come up with (remember, they only have 43 minutes and change to tell a story) and I appreciate these challenges.

    I think it's a well-made episode, well told, and quite different.
     
  2. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Avon
    no. its a vile episode. phlox displays twisted immoral logic not seen since the crazy bad guy from Human Centipede and tries to say it was all 'space destiny' and mustn't be questioned. pathetic.

    and if it was well told the arguements would have been in the episode itself. not 'oh there probably wasn't time'
     
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    They really don't. In the episode The Breach, Phlox refuses to treat a patient of a species that has bad blood with the Denobulans. The reason being the patient stated he didn't want a Denobulan treating him and its against Denobulan medical eithics to act against a patient's wishes. While discussing the matter with Archer, Archer says "he's wounded, you're a doctor. Aren't you required to save his life?" Phlox answers "Hippocrates was not a Denobulan."
     
  4. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    The episode wasn't just about the situation on the planet. The episode was about Phlox and his relationship to the crew. The planet thing was merely a way to boil the pot. That subplot did bring with it it's share of controversy. But to call it a vile episode just because you disagreed with decisions that characters made seems to be narrow vision. The episode itself was far from careless. It was filled with subtle character moments and astute observations about the human condition, and I feel that every Star Trek fan would know enough to give it its due credit. But I guess some would prefer to throw a blanket over their head rather than look at the controversy- like a child that covers themselves and believes that if he can't see mommy, than mommy can't see him!
     
  5. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Well hopefully he was injured in the crash and right before the Aztec healer treats him...the chief stops him and says, "We can't interfere in his destiny, what if he goes on to become some dictator?"
     
  6. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Avon
    FSB, if it had been a good episode the crew would have called phlox out on his bullshit and HE would've been the one to learn a lesson. as is we must bow down the the mystical unquestionable evolution-destiny. this is one episode where accepting the other viewpoint is nothing short of evil. it is genocide.

    you should take a long hard look at yourself and your sense of morality for your stance on this episode.
     
  7. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    I guess you don't read all of my posts. I am not sure I agree with Phlox. I am not sure they shouldn't have called him out. Or not.

    But isn't that what makes an episode great, one where the answer given isn't always the answer I like?
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I don't have to agree with it, but I expect the episode to be internally consistent... which it isn't. I also expect the episode to offer a fair view to both sides of the dilemma... which it doesn't.

    That is why I consider the episode poor.
     
  9. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    I think it both of these things.

    Internally consistent: it stays largely, if not entirely, from Phlox's POV.

    As for the other point, the discussion in the mess hall covers this as well as I could expect it to. In addition to other scenes.
     
  10. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    I think one of the most interesting conundrums of the human condition, (and this was brought up in films like Good Will Hunting where the main character is giving the reasons he won't work for the NSA) is that we are constantly in this zone where we can either act on something because we think it's right in the present, or we can over-think things and not act at all, because we can attempt to formulate all of the future repercussions of that action. I think the point that Dear Doctor was making (in addition to just telling us more about Phlox as a character) is that humans are always in this uneasy precipice between these two perspectives.
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    as other people have pointed out over and over, "dear doctor" is NOT a smart or well thought-out episode. It uses a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution that could have been cleared up by a nine-year-old with ten minutes on wikipedia. It then USES this asinine understanding of evolution to justify an ethically monstrous decision and then pats itself on the back for its "message" about not playing God and in support of science. The fact that many Trek fans praise that episode for being "smart" is incredibly disappointing.
     
  12. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    The episode is flawed about evolution. So is Wrath of Khan about how life forms (a torpedo that can turn lifeless moons into jungle planets). Science being wholly accurate isn't the point of Trek. The point is how the characters base their decisions from it. Even you disagree with the decision made here, doesn't make it a bad episode!
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    the difference is that TWOK doesn't base an ethically monstrous decision on the basis of its made-up pseudoscience. "Dear Doctor" not only does that, the writers seemed to think that they were ACTUALLY PRESENTING THE SCIENCE ON EVOLUTION ACCURATELY:wtf:


    TWOK never tried to pass the Genesis device off as anything other than sheer fantasy/magic.
     
  14. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    Are you forgetting the moral and ethical debate between Bones and Spock? Are you forgetting that this debate was furthered in the following film when David confessed that he used shortcuts in the device?

    Based on what we know about evolution, Dear Doctor has problems. However, there are a few things to consider: We only have one data set (this planet) with which to derive our position on evolution, and can't speak to whether or not two humanoid species might develop on another world. But even if we can demonstrate the flaws (I think we can, so I agree with you on that) that's not the point of the episode. The point is examining what the implications of the soon-to-be prime directive idea with what we think is moral in the present. Which was why I brought up Good Will Hunting. There have been many episodes where the Prime directive has led to conclusions that are not moral. But they do tend to make the case that Starfleet or the Federation or whomever shouldn't be the arbitrators of their version of right and wrong where they have no business to do so. This episode puts this debate through the wringer and then some, and the fact that we can argue this point until the cows come home makes the episode great.

    Star Trek has never been complete accurate on Science, but it does speak to the speak to the human condition
     
  15. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    I think dogmatic, inflexible application of the Prime Directive is stupid and wrong, so saying the Prime Directive applies doesn't change anything for me. That makes it sound like you're saying non-interference is always the right course simply because the Prime Directive says so.

    Also, I don't consider "Dear Doctor" to be a well-made episode. I don't find it thought-provoking - I find it insensitive, ethically dubious, and badly written. I'm not condemning it for "making us think." I'm condemning it for being, in my opinion, a stupid episode.

    But if you enjoy it, I'm not going to condemn you for it. Like any work of fiction, it's subject to a variety of interpretations.
     
  16. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    Well, I admire it because it doesn't just dole out action in lieu of story. I actually has a story it wants to tell, and we don't need to agree with the positions here. I'm not sure I agree with them, but the fact that the episode was made, the fact that the characters spent at least a little time talking about the issue, was only a good thing.


    To me stupid episode is one that doesn't try, save to fill a deadline, like "Precious Cargo."

    Thank you (no sarcasm, that's genuine)
     
  17. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Hm. What you just said pretty much sums up my views on "In The Pale Moonlight." I guess the difference is I find ITPM to be an all-around better episode. The way the dilemma is presented, the way the story plays out, and the way Sisko and Garak deal with the situation seems far more nuanced to me than the events in "Dear Doctor."

    I don't totally agree with Sisko's actions, but I understand them. But Phlox's actions in "Dear Doctor" simply baffle me, and the way they're presented as absolutely right ruins the episode for me.
     
  18. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    They may be presented as absolutely right, but that doesn't mean they are.

    In Fight or Flight, the Enterprise destroys an alien spacecraft, and they have no way knowing what the ramifications are.

    The point of the series Enterprise, in my opinion, especially in the early episodes, is that, even if the characters think they are right, even if an episode preaches it as right, doesn't mean i is.

    But also, another point in this thread supports the assertion that Starfleet shouldn't get involved at all in how a planet evolves, regardless of the morality. That's the point of the Prime Directive and one reason that it can make us all uncomfortable.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I honestly don't understand how someone can so completely buy into "they're fated to die", yet ignore the fact that they were able to reach out for help?

    If that is what the Prime Directive represents, then humanity needs to go home because they honestly don't have a clue. Nevermind all the help they got over the years in getting through their growing pains.
     
  20. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    Yes, it is dubious, but that's what makes the dilemma interesting. Besides, their reaching out for help didn't get very far, they made it less than a light year from their planet. The writers could easily have made it an AM or FM transmission. That hardly matters, Archer still would have wanted to help.