TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Dec 16, 2012.

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Rate The Body Electric.

  1. Outstanding

    36 vote(s)
    33.6%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Average

    26 vote(s)
    24.3%
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
    4.7%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's an incredibly insensitive and cavalier way of thinking about the needs of a crew of 150 people in dire straits. Of course it wouldn't be remotely that simple.
     
  2. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    Well watching season one they seem to get over being stranded pretty quickly

    And no, I don't think people having to "get over" not murdering someone to bring their buddies back is that cavalier, rather the reverse

    Sort of, although no-one is ever in the position Janeway is in. Soong does the job himself, and data has a true no-win scenario. Worf's girlfriend dying seeming to finally get worf back in starfleets good graces from that time he put family over mission was a rather nice touch(need to recheck that and make sure I got the order right).
     
  3. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    I've seen that argument made and I've never understood why.

    Transporters can't bring the dead back to life. Tuvix wasn't a real boy, he was the result of a transporter accident.
     
  4. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    It's made that way for the ethical aspect. This is about murdering a blameless person to revive two.

    The transporter or whatever macguffin is neither here nor there
     
  5. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    But isn't that just picking and chosing what you want to be revelant in the episode and not the whole episode itself. You cannot make good arguments by just picking up things out of context. This is one time that I totally agree with Christopher, there was no right choice, only the choice that hurts the least amount of people.
     
  6. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    Not really? At the end of the day it's killing someone to bring back other people, no matter what you stack on it. Feel free to though, it's been an age since I saw the episode.

    Well, only one of the choices involves murder, so my opinion remains unchanged.
     
  7. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    No one ever picks on Starfleet for that episode where Troi took the bridge officer exam and had to order Holographic Geordi to his death to win. Would Faux Geordi have been within his rights to refuse?
     
  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Should all of the Janeway posts be at least pasted into TET thread?
     
  9. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    I'm not sure, I don't know starfleet's rules and regs

    But I know that
    A)They wouldn't have forced him to do it(worst case he would have been court-martialed)
    B)Starfleet would probably have taken a dim view if troi sat la forge down in the ready room and said "please kill yourself so that two of my buddies can live"
    C)Tuvix isn't a starfleet office, although he has the memories of one.

    T'would be best I think

    this is one of the wildest tangential rollercoasters I've ever been on
    may even pay for the photo
     
  10. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    He was still a self-aware individual at this point, presumably with the same sentient rights that the Federation recognizes for all intelligent lifeforms.

    We've seen Starfleet officers ordered to do something that will result in their own deaths many times... but it's always been for some greater cause. In the example you cited, it was to save the ship and all lives on board, IIRC. Similarly, people have been ordered to stay behind to hold a defensive line, or to fly their ship into a Borg cube. If someone was ordered to just step into a transporter so their atoms could be dispersed across space, I think they'd have every right to refuse.

    A more relevant example might be The Enemy Within. IIRC, Evil Kirk™ also professed his desire to live before being reintegrated. Was it right for Good Kirk to force reintegration on him? I'm honestly not so sure that it was. Good Kirk wanted it, but Evil Kirk didn't; although they were originally the same person, by this point they were two individuals, much like the two Rikers in Second Chances.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The difference with "The Enemy Within" is that the divided Kirks were dying, just as the alien dog did. They needed to be reintegrated in order to survive at all. So there wasn't any choice there.

    But as I said, the issue with Tuvix is that he acted selfishly. He placed his own survival above that of others, and even took aggressive action to try to preserve his life. Now, from his perspective, that was understandable, but what about the rest of the crew's perspective? Would they have been able or willing to trust him with their lives after he did something like that? I still feel that Janeway made the choice she did because she was thinking of how the rest of the crew would react. After what Tuvix did, they wouldn't have accepted him anymore, and that would've damaged crew cohesion and possibly had dangerous consequences in crisis situations. But the rest of the crew would still trust and accept the restored Tuvok and Neelix. So by the ruthless logic of command, restoring them was the decision that would have the better long-term outcome. I don't claim it was the moral choice to make, but I can understand why the ship's commanding officer would have made that choice.
     
  12. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So becuase he made a choice the crew didn't like it was okay to kill him to make them happy? :wtf:
     
  13. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, my apologies, I don't remember that detail. I had thought the dog had died solely from the shock of reintegration.

    Others who were already "dead". To paraphrase Picard, "they were already dead... what more could have happened to them?" ;) We'll probably have to agree to disagree about Tuvix.
     
  14. Brit

    Brit Captain Captain

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    Well obviously they could be returned to the living as they were. So are we debating life or death?
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Where in the world are you getting "okay" from? Did you not notice the multiple times I have explicitly stated that there was no good or right choice here, that the whole thing that makes the episode so wrenching is that the decision is tragic and agonizing no matter which way it goes? This was a brilliant, inspired piece of television writing, one of the finest episodes of the entire Star Trek franchise because of the ingenious way it created a truly agonizing, insoluble moral dilemma of a sort that could only arise in science fiction. The intractability of the dilemma and the complex moral questions it raises are what make it so compelling to think about. So no, I'm not saying "it was okay." I'm not going to do this fascinatingly complex episode the disservice of oversimplifying it.


    I went back and checked, and I was half right:

    So I was wrong about the dog analogy, but right that at least one of the Kirks was dying.



    Let me make this very clear: I am not talking about my own opinion on the matter. I am evaluating what I believe the crew of Voyager would think about the matter. It is possible to discuss other people's beliefs and motivations without holding those beliefs or motivations oneself. As a writer, I routinely evaluate the behavior and choices of a variety of characters, many of whose actions and beliefs I personally do not share. And that's what I'm doing here -- thinking about the motivations of the characters in the episode the same way I'd think about them if I were writing the story myself. I'm analyzing the characters' actions and choices, not judging or endorsing them.
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    For my money -- I really don't see how the merging of Tuvok and Neelix into Tuvix could possibly constitute anything other than their irrevocable deaths and Tuvix's birth, and I really don't see how the Tuvok and Neelix who emerged after Tuvix was split can constitute the same individuals who died. It's been ages since I've seen the episode, but it seems to me that the Tuvok and Neelix we followed thereafter are copies of the originals, not continuations of the originals.

    By that logic, then, Tuvok and Neelix were already dead. Tuvix was not a Starfleet officer, and could not legally be ordered to sacrifice his life in service of the crew. As a result, it seems to me that Janeway and the officers who carried out Tuvix's "split" are legally guilty of murder.

    Were I an officer in the 2377 Starfleet JAG office, I would definitely be looking to bring Janeway to court-martial for murder.

    (Interesting side-question: Would Tuvix have been considered a Federation citizen?)
     
  17. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    So all this about Tuvix started out because of Janeway's morally questionable decisions, which in turn came up because Q told Wesley to "go bother Picard" rather than Janeway. Right?
     
  18. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, it does seem some people forgot this topic is about a David Mack TNG novel, not about Voyager. I know topics can be derailed sometimes, but c'mon guys.....
     
  19. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    FWIW, I totally agree with Sci's post.

    How can it be selfish if a person wants to survive? It would have been different if Tuvix's death actually served some other purpose than to make the crew feel better - so, who's selfish there? IMO a crew who can't cope with two of its members gone isn't the most stable crew anyway.

    I definitely don't agree there. There was no crisis situation when Janeway ordered Tuvix to die. The crew's livelihood wasn't threatened in any way. They would have needed time to come to terms with reality but in the end they would have come to terms with it and let go.

    Tuvix never would have hesitated to lay down his life if there had been a real threat to the crew. I don't think that the crew doubted that if they had taken a step back and actually thought about the situation.

    Honestly, I rather think that not so important crewmembers should consider the fact that they could be sacrificed needlessly, just to make the higher-ups happy. Talk about a boost of morale.
     
  20. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Imho, there is to much fuss about the Tuvix issue. It is a matter of simple mathematics:

    You toss one capable officer and get two capable officers in return. I'd call that a bargain. The needs of the many.