'Relics': missed opportunity?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by LMFAOschwarz, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In the episode Relics, am I alone in thinking that the transporter scene could have contributed immeasurably by having, instead of "Matt Franklin" , a known-to-us character degraded in the antique transporter? Doohan showed in the "unused portion" of The Wrath of Khan that he was definitely capable of projecting raw grief over the loss of someone. I don't know....it just crossed my mind while watching it, remembering thinking "Who?" when Matt Franklin was mentioned when I first saw the episode...
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    So you wanted the episode to commence with the killing off someone, who would undoubtedly be a beloved favourite character to some fans?

    "Hi, I'm Scotty, where's Janice Rand? She was with me a few minutes ago."

    "Hi, I'm Scotty, where's Kevin Riley? He was with me a few minutes ago."
     
  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And just who would that have been that died in the transporter for that one-off scene? Chekov? Sulu? Uhura?

    "Matt Franklin" was chosen precisely because it was no one we would have cared about. The episode was about Scotty, not about someone else that we have an emotional attachment to just being told that they're dead.
     
  4. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the world of Trek, having someone that you're barely acquainted with just suddenly die on you seems to be part of the job and life, almost to the point where our heroes sometimes appear to be desensitized and the writers rarely show the Captain acknowledging their deaths procedurally (ie writing a letter to their relatives, hosting a memorial, etc). Poor Matt Franklin was just another in Starfleet's long death tally, but as was mentioned before, the episode is about Scotty.
     
  5. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But they had all been dead by the time anyways.
     
  6. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    I watched that episode recently and thought that it would have been nice if the name of the ship's pilot had been female or non-American. "Matt Franklin" just sounded so "Joe Whitebread".
     
  7. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    For all we know, Matt Franklin could have been Jamaican on his father's side and Pakistani on his mother's side.

    But I see what you're getting at... since this is probably not what the writers had in mind. Considering that nowadays we have a half-Kenyan president of the U.S. named Obama and a half-Bulgarian president of Brazil named Rousseff the lack of ethnic diversity in Trek stretches credibility a bit. But AFAIK Picard's mother could very well have been British. :P
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  8. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's not the missed opportunity in "Relics."

    Exploring the Dyson Sphere is the missed opportunity for me. I mean, the stuff with Scotty was nice and nostalgic and all, but why waste a Dyson Sphere on that?

    Hell, a Dyson Sphere merited a multi-part arc -- discovery, exploration, and eventually discovery of the builders.

    As nostalgia, "Relics" is great. As science-fiction, "Relics" missed the mark. :)
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    The episode was about the discovery of a huge, spherical, ancient object.
    And a Dyson sphere.
     
  10. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think it's even worse in TNG than in TOS. Of course, red shirt cases are fewer, but I find them dumber. Tasha Yar could have been chopped in half, they would be ready to give CPR to her feet. Lieutenant Prieto? He's just napping on the console. We don't have to care because Deanna Troi is afraid.
     
  11. Human-annoyed

    Human-annoyed Commander Red Shirt

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    :lol:
     
  12. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    Could've been passable if they'd used someone like Saavik or Carol Marcus, or someone else of lesser consequence, but I agree it wasn't really a worthwhile effort
     
  13. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm annoyed that they broke one of the biggest rules in Trek. They beamed people off a ship with its shields up. :devil:
     
  14. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given that he was on his way to a retirement colony, I really don't think it would have made much sense for it to be anyone we knew, because they aren't going to *retire together*, unless it was one of Scotty's previously shown love interests. In which case, the tone of the whole episode would have been dominated by Scotty's reaction to that loss.

    Where I feel like the episode missed a beat was the reaction of the crew to Scotty. The idea that anyone who served on the Enterprise *wouldn't* be just about in AWE of any of Kirk's command crew - a crew that saved Earth and the ENTIRE UNIVERSE multiple times - is ludicrous. But here's Ensign Douchenozzle acting like it is a waste of his time to escort Scotty to his quarters or to hear him recount events from his service time, and even the command crew of the -D acted more like they were humoring an old nursing home resident rather than in the improbable presence of a living legend.
     
  15. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You know, Jimbotron, that bothered me for a while, it was even addressed (but not really answered) in the ST Encylopedia.

    But I've thought of three work-arounds for that. One. We've seen, notably in Generations, how shields can be bypassed if you know the frequency. Scotty simply relayed the frequency to the Ent-D and they were able to beam them out right through them. Two. (similar) The shields were optimized for repulsion of physical objects (the doors of the sphere) so an energy beam such as the transporter went right through them. Three. We've often heard phrases like "Forward shields at maximum" or "Aft shields down to 50%". My theory is that Scott and Laforge put all power into the port and starboard shields so the Ent-D was able to beam them out through the top of the ship, or the bottom depending on which way they were facing.

    Pays your money, takes your choice.
     
  16. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not a big fan of this episode for a number of reasons, but the Matt Franklin thing is not one of them. As others have pointed out, no one would have accepted that a character we know or love was killed, off camera, in a transporter accident.

    It may seem nitpicky, but for me, one of the biggest issues with this episode is Scotty seemingly seriously advising Geordi that he should lie to his captain about repair times. They took what was an obvious joke between friends in TSFS (when Scotty says "eight weeks, sir, but you don't have eight weeks, so I'll do it for you in two") and takes it seriously. Really did a disservice to Scotty's character, IMHO.
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    ^Yeah, that one always bugged me a little, too. My take on the TSFS joke was that Scotty was just that good at knowing how to cut corners that he could reduce the repair time to a quarter of what it would take "by the book".
     
  18. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I figured Scotty was still kidding, stating some serious advice in a joking way. The advice being to always build an engineer's safety margin into time estimates just like you would build a safety margin into your usage numbers for a piece of equipment. It makes you look good when you beat your estimate, and keeps you from looking incompetent when you fail to meet one. I do this at work, and it is good advice!
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    You know, I'm not even sure we *needed* a "Matt Franklin." He was essentially "red-shirted", I guess, to show how dangerous and risky Scotty's messing with the transporter was? But the character is all but forgotten, save for one line a minute or two later, as soon as we learn his pattern degraded in the buffer. Seems to me a better explanation or hand-waving could have been used to explain why the transporter diagnostic cycle was risky and not something that could be done again. Hell, say it worked because of the massive gravity field of the Dyson Sphere or something.

    It's just kind of, straining, a bit that of the two patterns locked in the buffer the one that didn't make it just happened to be that of someone who didn't mean anything to us. TNG didn't use the "Ensign Ricky" trope very often (it did have its fair-share of "yellow-shirts" but it was hardly a case where an away team of main cast members and two unknowns would beam into the dangerous situation every week like in TOS) this is one of those cases where it did and, oy, it just doesn't work.
     
  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    As I said, every character has their fans. You might believe Saavik or Carol are of "no consequence", but starting "Relics" with the off-screen death of Saavik would have totally derailed the episode for Saavik appreciators.

    (Of course, the arrival of Scotty derailed the Dyson Sphere. Even when a TNG novel investigated the Dyson Sphere, it was kinda derailed by a completely solid Starfleet vessel being casually hollowed out by its Horta crew.)

    I am reminded of my own minor outrage when Garrovick, a particular favourite of mine, whom I'd used in fanfic, was announced as having just been killed in the movie-era novel, "Home is the Hunter". I still enjoyed the book, but what an awful way to start a story: using a known character as an offscreen redshirt death. With little followup, other than Kirk's moodiness.

    At least Tasha's onscreen death had a heartfelt payoff with her funeral and eulogy.

    By the way, the "Relics" novelization does introduce us to Ensign Franklin, who has straw-yellow hair, and the book gives some other nice bonus scenes (including another scene of a holographic reunion for Scotty with his old bridge crew, which would have been included in the episode if time and money had allowed).
    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Matt_Franklin
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013