most "wrong" episode...

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

  1. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Anyway..."Pen Pals" seems to imply that Starfleet ignores non-self made geological disasters that can easily be prevented. That is the height of cowardice. (not including the one with Worf's brother since that seems to have happened quickly)

    Personally, I would revise FC protocals to include a civilization on the brink of self-annihilation be it unloading a nuclear arsenal or some kind of cascade thing VOY ran into in the second or third ep. Better to give them a chance of dealing with future shock then just have them all dead.

    Edit: "Beverly, history has shown us time and time again, that whenever a society intervenes in the development of a less-advanced one...the results are invariably disasterous"...I would bet that the sabermetric study would show that interfering or not interfering results in the same amount of catastrophic events.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  2. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Federation preaches non interference when it involves other culture's problems, but when its freedom is threatened they sometimes throw the rule book out the window.

    The Fed got frustrated when the Romulans didn't want to get involved in the Dominion war, so they tricked them into it on their side.

    If they were winning it probably wouldn't have bothered them as much, but since they were losing, they didn't care about non interference.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Your ethics don't do you much good if you cease to exist as a society. Federation historians and philosophers may look unfavorably on Sisko's actions, but they'll be able to pass those judgements in a free society because of those same actions.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Are you willing to take their weapons away though? Police their planet so they can't build more weapons? Much like children, there are some things a society has to learn for themselves.

    Would I object to subtle "behind-the-scenes" nudging like we see in Assignment: Earth? Probably not. But I would object trying to overtly push a society in a direction it simply isn't ready for. You simply create resentment and distrust.
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    That wasn't so much the Prime Directive so much as Bajor was well outside Federation territory, therefore the Federation had no jurisdiction and therefore couldn't do anything about Cardassia annexing Bajor.
     
  6. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And I'll say this again: I have no problem with good, well thought-out ethical dilemmas presented in episodes or movies. Unfortunately, the "dilemma" presented in "Dear Doctor" is NOT well thought-out, therefore the episode fails miserably.
     
  7. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    True, but that alone does not automatically mean those actions were right. "The ends justify the means" is a dangerous philosophy for an entity like the Federation to have.

    I agree. Because the dilemma feels forced and ridiculous, the episode falls flat.
     
  8. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    it's a shame, because there are some decent dilemmas they could have gotten out of the situation in "dear doctor." For example, what if Phlox fails to find the cure but Archer is asked for their warp technology to go find other species that might help them to find a cure? Since the episode takes place before the PD THAT would have been interesting, since Archer could have made the decision using his own judgement and it wouldn't have been a foregone conclusion.


    Instead, we got a fake dilemma based on pseudoscientific nonsense by writers that love to throw around the word "evolution" but don't have the science knowledge of a bright high school junior.
     
  9. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The perfect scenario would have Archer's Enterprise receive some sort of plea into the dark from some random civilan on a world on the brink of nuclear annihilation. A few nukes are launched...Archer shoots them down...both sides think the other illegaly has satellite 'Star Wars' technology and they empty their arsenals. Archer can't shoot them all down and he realizes that the limited exchange might have prevented an all-out war ala' the novel "War Day"

    But that also is kind of close to the novel "Prime Directive".
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We throw around "right" and "wrong", but honestly the morality of any action comes down to context. It would be wrong for Sisko to gun down Vreenak on the Promenade just to get his jollies. Sacrificing Vreenak so millions of lives are saved in the long run and the Alpha Quadrant isn't under the boot of the Jem'Hadar, is probably right. When you consider there looked to be no other way to achieve the goal that was needed.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Best scenario is one that on the surface doesn't seem all that "big". I always imagined a scenario where a flash of technology at the wrong time sets off two sides willing to do anything to get the advantage over the other, with Federation personnel caught in the middle.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually the science presented in the episode is consistent with that shown in other episodes.

    The episode The Chase put forward that much of the intelligent life in the galaxy was designed to occur. By a early species (sometimes) called the Progenitors.

    Phlox might not have known the whole story, but he did seem to understand that intelligent life doesn't just happen (in the Star Trek universe) naturally, but is "preprogrammed' to be the result of the development of certain humanoid lifeforms.

    Random selection plays no part.

    Phlox's decisions are based upon his knowledge of how things are, observation of other species. Again, Phlox might not have all the pieces, but he does know that evolution of intelligence is something that is predetermined and built into a beings genetic structure. In his examination of the second species (I forget their name) Phlox might have seen the genetic markers of a future highly intelligent species, more so than with the first species.

    :)
     
  13. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You kind of touched on something I wanted to express.. when people diss this episode one of the reasons some give is that they got evolution wrong, and evolutionists (or fifth grade science students) would cry foul.. however.. it's Trek, and while Trek pays service to science, it's fast and loose about it. So that particular argument with regards to "getting evolution wrong" is pretty weak, especially when it could be said that the evolution thing is at least consistent with other Trek canon, as you surmised.

    Actual science is never the point: the dilemma presented and how they react to it is.
     
  14. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    True-I'd rather have the Federation around than any of the other two powers.

    Not that many fans wasted any tears over them being tricked into it. The Romulans were very short sighted. Being a-holes didn't make it any harder.

    The Federation/Starfleet knew all about their plan and gave Sisko their blessing. This is higher up people we're talking about.

    But there's the issue of refusing aid to cultures who are fighting for freedom, like the Bajorans, and then have 'righteous anger' when another power refuses to help them when they might lose theirs.

    Romulans, hate them or not, were exercising their sovereign right not to interfere in the war. Technically that would be an internal matter.

    It's a subtle theme you can see in some episodes.

    Janeway gets mad when another culture wouldn't share their travel technology that would get them home much faster.

    Picard got mad when a time traveler from the future wouldn't tell them what was going to happen with their mission to save a planetary disaster.

    Interestingly some of his own crew were on the planet .
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  15. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    well, we don't get an indication that Phlox seems to think that there's an intelligence behind the genetic disease, just that it's "evolutionarily determined" or something. Again, I don't have a problem with Star Trek's pseudoscience in most cases, but I DO have a problem with it when it's getting uncomfortably close to the "biological racism/social darwinism" of the 19th century, and when it's being used to justify ethically monstrous decisions, like in "dear doctor." Further, Phlox' ideology is simply inconsistent with being a doctor. Why doesn't he just tell people who are near-sighted that "nature intends them to see poorly" rather than giving them eyeglasses or corrective surgery? Doctors "interfere" with the course of nature all the time, so his attitude is just ludicrous.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    All I know, is that the five Xindi races didn't seem to have any issues evolving alongside each other.
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    That's debatable. They were at war with each other. A war that resulted in the destruction of their homeworld and extinction of the sixth Xindi species.
     
  18. _C_

    _C_ Commander Red Shirt

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    DS9: Children of Time.

    Odo pulled something really selfish, although given that the situation was already effed up to begin with and the writers needed a way to get them out of there...yeah, what Odo did was so messed up.
     
  19. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    "Through the Looking Glass".

    Sisko has sex with Mirror-Dax while pretending to be Mirror-Sisko. That's rape by deception, IMO.
     
  20. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If they wanted to do an episode about the formation of the Prime Directive they should have done one where Archer intervenes on a planet because it seemed like a good idea at the time and a couple of episodes later the decision completely backfires with negative repercussions not only for the planet in question but for Earth as well.

    If I was going to Modify "Dear Doctor" to fit this criteria. I'd have the planet in a strategically valuable for Earth, but Earth can't use it because it's occupied. Being nice guys Archer and Phlox give them the cure for the disease. However, they don't get it quite right so about a month later it turns out they have created a even more virulent plague that wipes out both species completely. The planet is now free for Earth to use as they see fit. All the other local powers think Earth committed genocide on purpose. That would cause the formation on a stringent Prime Directive very quickly.