Watching ENT despite the continuity flaws.

Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by Viva Sativa, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    I think the only time where the continuity issues really annoyed me was "Stigma" when 35 years of previously established Trek canon was deliberately thrown over board in a massive retcon in order to come up with an - at best - average AIDS allegory.

    Fortunately, this abomination was later "de-retconned" in Season 4.

    Other things didn't bother me that much. For instance, just because the Xindi had never previously appeared in another Trek show it doesn't mean that they never attacked Earth in the 22nd century. There are a lot of species (and a lot of historical events) out there and you can't expect that they are constantly mentioned.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    How is that a flaw? There were references to warp 11 and higher in TOS before TNG came along and introduced the "warp 10 limit." It's been accepted for decades that the numbers were simply redefined between the 23rd and 24th centuries, so it's simple enough to assume they could be redefined again.


    What? If you're referring to the idea that mindmelding was not accepted, that's building on what had earlier been established in "Fusion," which was that melding was unknown to most Vulcans, a lost art. Although there is a definite contradiction between "Fusion," where it wasn't known at all, and "Stigma," where it was known about but stigmatized. Also, "Stigma" retconned the events of "Fusion" by claiming that T'Pol was coerced into melding; she chose to meld voluntarily, and the coercion came later. Still, it was "Fusion" that initially defied our assumptions about the history of melding.

    And no, that's not violating canon, because canon had never explicitly stated that melding was openly practiced in the 22nd century. We just assumed it was. It was certainly a reinterpretation, but not a direct contradiction of any previously established facts, as opposed to beliefs and expectations.


    How boring would it have been if Vulcan history had turned out to unfold exactly as we've always expected, if they'd been a constant and unchanging society throughout? Look at how drastically our society has changed in the past 150 years in terms of civil rights, women's rights, sexual mores, etc. While I have quibbles with the details of how ENT handled the melding issue, I like it that they approached Vulcan history in a believable way, one in which the culture went through changes in its beliefs and politics as real cultures do. Far too many Trek cultures are depicted as static and unchanging from one century to the next. It was so much more interesting seeing the Vulcans having to learn to become the Vulcans we knew, rather than just being that way already.


    Not to mention that the Xindi would've needed to re-establish their civilization on a new homeworld after the depicted events. That's a process that could easily keep them busy for two centuries or more, keep them turned inward as they rebuilt their new home rather than traveling in space. Sometimes civilizations do that -- travel for a while, then turn inward as their priorities change.
     
  3. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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  4. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    Apparently the creators' intent was to piss off the fans of Enterprise.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^You're attributing my statement to Nerys Myk there.

    Seriously, would someone please rewrite this board's editing software so that attributions automatically go with the right quotes? The way it is now, if you're quoting a quote inside a quote, you have to edit out the extra attributions manually and it's far too easy to take out one too many and leave the wrong attribution in place. It's a persistent flaw in the software and I wish someone would fix it.
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It does break it if one wishes to reconcile Voyager with "Where No Man Has Gone Before" or STV without pretending they didn't actually travel to the rim or centre of the galaxy as shown.
    I'd say a lot more than a few ultrafast journeys "slipped through" - off the top of my head...

    TOS: Where No Man Has Gone Before
    TOS: By Any Other Name
    TAS: The Magicks of Megas Tu
    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
    TNG: Conspiracy
    Star Trek: First Contact
    ENT: "Broken Bow"
    Star Trek: Nemesis
    Star Trek
    Star Trek Into Darkness

    Add to that just about any Deep Space Nine episode where they travelled from the station to Earth, Kronos, Cardassia, Ferenginar or any other Alpha/Beta quadrant planet, often by Runabout, in the space of a scene break.

    How many examples of Voyager/technical manual chart warp speeds are there in Trek canon? It seems to me as if they are by far in the minority compared to the ones that would render Voyager's epic journey moot.
    My point was merely to illustrate that there are bigger and more fundamental continuity issues in Trek than those presented in Enterprise.
     
  7. Viva Sativa

    Viva Sativa Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    Kirk's Enterprise reached the center of the galaxy as they know it. If you understand vectors you would know that the Milky Way isn't on a flat plane. It's more like a pizza box at a 45 degree angle with a corner of the box being it's lowest point on a vertical scale. Can you read headings? Because you could leave a galaxy in a fraction of the time if you don't fly within the horizon.
     
  8. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But... wouldn't boring be *appropriate* for Vulcans? ;)
     
  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    ^^Problem being they left the galaxy at the rim, not by travelling "up" or "down"

    From "By Any Other Name"...

    ROJAN: There is an energy barrier at the rim of your galaxy.

    KIRK: Yes, I know. We've been there.

    http://www.chakoteya.net/startrek/50.htm

    Thus placing both it and "Where No Man..." at the galactic rim, far far further out than you (and the 2002 Star Trek Star Charts) postulate.
     
  10. Viva Sativa

    Viva Sativa Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    I'll try to be as rudimentary as possible so you can understand. A penny has a rim. If just one amoeba was on said penny, how would you locate it when all you know is it's on the rim?

    The galaxy isn't round or even symmetrical so how would you approximate where by the rim they are in galactic proportions if you can't even find an amoeba on a penny.

    My point is the rim is most likely not a ring, not spherical but definitely three dimensional and it enveloped the galaxy. So how do you know how long it should have taken them if you have no idea where they were?
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Nice.

    What's the closest you would estimate the rim and centre of the galaxy are from Earth, then?
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The point is that it doesn't "break" because it bends. It's imaginary, not real, so everything is subject to interpretation. Details can be glossed over or rationalized, and the overall conceit of a coherent reality survives. After all, the whole thing is just pretend, so it's easy enough to pretend that something wasn't precisely what it was claimed to be in the past.


    Out of more than 720 episodes and films. So that's only about 1.4% of the whole. Not too bad an error rate. (Although you're forgetting "Is There In Truth No Beauty?", which also involved crossing the galactic barrier.)

    But yes, there are elements of some of those that need to be disregarded. I'm not saying otherwise. Canons disregard their own past mistakes all the time. My point is that it doesn't "break" them to do so, because they're intrinsically flexible. Indeed, you've got it backward. All canons have inconsistencies, so the illusion of reality depends on the willingness to gloss over, rationalize, or ignore the parts that don't fit. What "breaks" that illusion is the refusal to do so.

    In the case of "Magicks," the entire conceptual underpinning of that episode, the steady-state theory of cosmology, has been thoroughly debunked by the overwhelming evidence in support of Big Bang cosmology; thus I consider the whole episode to be as apocryphal as "Threshold" or "The Alternative Factor." There's really no way around that, since the steady-state nonsense is so inseparable from the story. And of course many subsequent Trek episodes have referenced the Big Bang, so we know it's true in-universe. A canon is entitled to overwrite its past mistakes, including scientific mistakes.

    In the case of ST V, conversely, there are only three near-consecutive lines in the film that mention "the center of the galaxy" at all. If one chunk of dialogue maybe 20 seconds long were cut from the film, the problem wouldn't exist at all. So I'm content just to ignore the reference, since it has no real relevance to the story.

    All your other mentions are simply of instances where ships got from one place to another unusually quickly. That's largely just poetic license, driven by the needs of the story. But it doesn't "break" anything, because the creative mind can bend. For decades, since at least the 1980 Star Trek Maps, fans have been theorizing that warp velocities vary depending on the conditions of different parts of spacetime. That idea has even been stated outright in the TNG Technical Manual and ST Encyclopedia.

    As for the new movies, the 2009 film was cleverly edited to suggest a very quick jaunt from Earth to Vulcan while actually incorporating clues (such as McCoy's costume change) that considerably more time had passed. So that never bothered me. Granted, STID does show the Enterprise getting from the Klingon border to Earth in mere seconds with continuous dialogue and action throughout, so it's much harder to justify there. But mistakes happen. They don't "break" the canon because canons have the built-in ability to absorb and repair damage.


    I don't agree that starship travel times, or indeed any technical considerations, are "fundamental" issues. What's fundamental to a work of fiction are the characters, relationships, interactions, ideas, and emotions. The technical matters exist only in support of those fundamentals. Unless it's a work of hard science fiction where the scientific premise is the core driving idea of the tale, but then, Star Trek has never purported to be that. It's aspired to be more scientifically credible on the whole than most SFTV and film have bothered to be, and occasionally has done a good job living up to that aspiration (although only occasionally), but it's always been primarily about characters, ideas, and adventures.


    That's defining "rim" far too rigidly. The dictionary says it's "the outer edge, border, margin, or brink of something, especially of a circular object." Yes, "especially" of a circular object, but not invariably. It can just as well apply to any border or margin. For instance, the same dictionary says that in metallurgy, the rim of an ingot is "an outer layer of metal having a composition different from that of the center." In other words, the entire outermost surface of a 3-dimensional object. So there's no reason the word "rim" can't be used in that sense. And even if there were, it would still be simple enough to ignore one single 3-letter word in the name of common sense.

    And really, it's simple logic. The idea stated in "By Any Other Name" is that the barrier precludes safe entry or exit into the galaxy. Therefore, it must surround the whole galaxy, not just be a narrow strip around its outer edge like a bicycle tire, since in that case it would be easy to go around it.
     
  13. urbandefault

    urbandefault Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe Voyager was the one that got it wrong.

    Or maybe, thinking outside the box here, there were conversations we weren't privy to concerning the density of Delta Quadrant space. Like flying through the DQ was like driving through a big muddy mess that slowed the ship down and used much more energy than normal Alpha Quadrant space. In other words, what might take weeks or months in the AQ might take months or years or decades in DQ space.

    Just spitballing.
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wish I could write as well as you. Currently I'm reading Watching the Clock. ;)
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except that VGR was just following the assumptions DS9 had established way back in "Battle Lines," when it was stated, "The Gamma Quadrant is seventy thousand light years from Bajor. It would take our fastest starship over sixty-seven years to get here." Granted, "Caretaker" said that it would take 75 years to cover "over seventy thousand light years," so evidently Voyager wasn't their fastest starship; but it's not that great a difference. It still works out pretty close to a thousand light-years per year.

    True, there are cases where the velocity is clearly faster than that, and that's where the variable-warp-velocities idea comes in handy. It's often been theorized that there are "warp lanes" where the effective speed is higher than the galactic average. These could explain a lot of the anomalously fast trips we've seen in Trek, though not all of them. But for a trip spanning most of the width of the galaxy, the average velocity would probably work out to be, well, more average.
     
  16. Viva Sativa

    Viva Sativa Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    I couldn't tell you because I'm ignorant of such distances.

    To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge. -Benjamin Disraeli
     
  17. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The rim or the outer rim?

    The centre or the center?
     
  18. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And if sending a ship to the moon is a "moonshot", would that make sending a ship to the rim a "rimshot"?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And if you send a ship to Ferenginar is that the money shot?
     
  20. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sure! And, if your ship is put on patrol at the edge of the galaxy, you've been given the rim... occupation. ;)
     

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