Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    I really do think it was made into a silly rule and dogma in TNG, whereas it should've been better written. Not interfering is one thing, but when you need to let them die, that's just stupid.
     
  2. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    In the same episode, wasn't the USAF guard forced to wander the transporter room without explanation given to where he was? Was he eveb given a chair?
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He could have sat on the edge of the transporter platform if he wished to, I doubt Kyle would have prevented it, unless there was a transport in progress.

    And he was offered something to eat. The guy was Air Police, standing around for long periods of time likely would not be a problem for him.

    :)
     
  4. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Beat me to it, T'Girl! :D

    I'll just add that, while I don't see the lack of a chair for the sergeant as any sign of disrespect or ill treatment, the fact is for all we know Kyle did offer him a chair, and possibly other amenities as well. There was just no need to actually show it.

    From a storytelling point of view, the polite offer of food clearly and concisely established the courtesy with which the sergeant would be treated. A second scene of a crewman bringing him a chair would have only superfluously made the same point again.
     
  5. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In "Homeward"'s case, they just needed to go further and explain that it wasn't possible to evacuate the planet in time and that would set a precedent for such actions that would lead to an ineffective Galactic Nanny State.
     
  6. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Ugh! The chair is not the issue. The sergeant was dismissed (a not so thorough psychiatric exam from Dr Spock, MD) because his lowly character served the narrative purpose of being the buffoon. The pilot, otoh, was accorded respect and honest out of respect for his military and social rank, which would contribute to his sons importance. These were the narrative conventions of the era.
     
  7. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're the one who brought it up.

    To be honest, I'm not sure what your issue is.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "dismissed." And, while I think "buffoon" is hyperbole, yes, part of the character's purpose was to provide the audience a few chuckles at the poor guy's befuddlement at the bizarre situation he suddenly finds himself in. What's wrong with that?

    I really don't get where you're seeing any disrespect for the sergeant. As for the honesty, do you mean because Christopher got shown around the ship and the sergeant didn't? If so, you may need to re-watch the episode. Kirk was showing Christopher around until Spock cautioned him about revealing future details to 20th-century people. After that, both Christopher and the sergeant were on a more or less "need to know" basis.

    Is that your problem? The possibility that Christopher's son might have gotten his NASA position because of his pop's influence?
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I took this to be the reason the sergeant apparently never made it out of the transporter room. If kirk had been thinking ahead, Captain Christopher would have been isolated there from the start too.

    Part of the reason (my opinion) that Kirk showed Christopher around was Kirk was interested in Christopher as a 20th century military pilot. Kirk is thought by some fans to be a history buff, might why his ship was assigned to the time travel investigation of the past.

    While not exactly a dime a dozen, military pilots with the rank of Captain were/are far from rare. If Christopher reached General one day he might have had the pull to get his son a plum government job, but not with a lower rank than that.

    :)
     
  9. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Are you saying that you understood that I mentioned offering the chair as a measure of hospitality and respect rather than a figurative statement?

    If an episode is to be taken as an example of behavior, values and attitudes promoted by the show, than all such examples must be taken: Christopher and the sergeant. On the other hand, the respect that each character was accorded may simply have been a reflection on how such characters were portrayed in 1960s narratives (and a pilot, even a captain, would enjoy prestige). It would make more sense to compare the portrayal of social relations to other TV programs of the 1960s than to TNG.

    Keeping the sergeant in the transporter room, the sergeant was allowed to observe transporting and food replication.

    Of course, once he had experienced matter-energy conversion for himself and been approached by alien life, there were likely few new secrets for the 23rd century to divulge.
     
  10. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm saying you offered the lack of an offered chair, along with his being "forced to wander the transporter room" as examples that the sergeant was treated in a somehow inferior manner. I explained why it wasn't.

    This, if I'm understanding you correctly, is nonsense. This is dramatic storytelling. It uses characters, not clones of some idealized perfect person. Different characters behave differently. There is no requirement whatsoever that every character should be "an example of behavior, values and attitudes promoted by the show."

    You've still shown me no evidence of any actual disparity in the respect shown to Captain Christopher and the sergeant. Is it Christopher's tour vs. the sergeant's restriction to sickbay? The episode itself clearly shows the reason for that. Is it something else? If so, what?

    Even given TNG's enhanced (as compared to TOS) tendencies toward preachiness, I wouldn't find the same situation and scenes at all out of place on Picard's enterprise.

    You can't be serious.
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    which would have been absurd, but at least it would have been amusing.

    Unlike the episode itself, which combined being morally offensive with jusr being boring.
     
  12. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Amusing to learn that there are possibly realpolitik reasons for not blinding jumping to everyone's aid?
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    slippery slope arguments are not realpolitik. Just because a humanitarian intervention is doable in one scenario(because of population size, resources, etc.) doesn't mean that the Federation would somehow be forced to intervene throughout the galaxy.
     
  14. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It would set a precedent, and once those are established you've opened up a whole new can of worms you were better off leaving unopened.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I'd say your concern is unwarranted, since we saw the Federation engage in saving species from time-to-time and it didn't become a full-time job.
     
  16. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In First Contact, an alien culture is about to discover and implement warp drive.

    Picard and Troi simply materialize into a scientist 's office, introduce themselves and tell them all about space and life on other planets.

    The logic being that when a culture discovers warp drive, they're more ready for contact, and it's better than having a random confrontation in space.

    The problem is, this culture still has a problem with things like riots, social reforms and demonstrations and believed they were the 'highest form of life' in the universe .

    By some of TNG's PD standards, they shouldn't have been contacted at all.

    Their attitude seems odd, because while a reasonable culture would welcome advanced technology to solve their problems (and the knowledge they are not alone), it appears many don't want it no matter how many problems it would solve.

    As long as they thought they were still the center of the universe what did it matter if they have to keep dealing with droughts, hunger and social unrest?

    Why would Starfleet consider this culture OK to contact and share technology with, but not others?


    On the other hand, the Mintokans got the wrong idea at first about Picard, but after a simple speech by Picard they understood quickly enough and didn't seem "contaminated" by Starfleet.
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The logic there is the species now has a warp drive of their own, if you don't contact them, they're going to contact you.

    Waiting until they first form a society that acceptable to you is no longer an option. Warts and all, here they come.

    Homeward is a great example of the lack of conviction Picard has in the Prime Directive. It's easy for Picard to stand aside and simply allow everyone on Boraal II to be killed by a natural disaster, but once he discovered that his holodeck contained a few dozen survivors, by the letter of the Prime Directive shouldn't Picard have turned the ship around and beamed the survivors down to the airless surface. Not doing so was hypocrisy on Picard's part, he's a avocate of the PD, a vocal supporter of it.

    Picard didn't want to get his hands bloody.

    Well of course not, it would be a question of priorities and assets.

    :)
     
  18. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Saving species, as in having to evacuate doomed worlds? We didn't any of that aside from "Homeward".
     
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What if you could only save a species by evacuating and relocating if you force them on another species that lives on the other planet? All of a sudden you would influence the development of both cultures, and, highly probably, cause a never ending conflict between both.
     
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But evacuation isn't the only form of "humanitarian intervention" there is, and we have seen Starfleet step in to save species whose planets were threatened with extinction events.

    The Star Trek universe does seem to have a large number of "nobody lives here" planets. And if need be relocate them to a Federation planet, put them in some kind of reservation/park situation. Being alive and having to deal with neighbors, is better than being dead.

    Relocating one primative species to the planet of another primative species probably would be something to avoid.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013

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