Defend an awful Trek episode

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Oddish, Apr 27, 2022.

  1. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sub Rosa and Code of Honor.

    Say what you will about those, but the former gave Beverly a rare big part (although Remember Me did a better job of that), and the latter gave Tasha Yar a (as it turned out) rare big part so I like both for those reasons alone.
     
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  2. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ..

    But is that a fun fact or a story problem?

    In my opinion the writer of space opera story of interstellar exploration should decide how far from the home planet the zone of exploration is and how deep that zone is. For example, maybe all the worlds they visit are between 90 and 110 light years from Earth, or maybe between 900 and 1,100 light years, or whatever. And they should all be in pretty much the same direction from the home world instead of in many different directions.

    And of course, in most science fiction written by Earth humans the home world of the protagonist space explorers is Earth, in the Sol System.

    I have always been annoyed by the way old time space opera science writers casually mentioned stars with well known names.

    For example, in Edmund "World Wrecker" Hamiliton's stories about the Interstellar Patrol (from 1928-1930) the Interstellar Patrol works for the government of the entire Milky Way Galaxy, but all the member species come from stars with well known names on Earth. Even though, even way back then, it was known that the Milky Way Galaxy has not just millions of stars, but "billions and billions", as Carl sagan would say, of stars. So statistically the odds against all the intelligent life coming from the few stars whose names were well known to the readers would be - astronomical. Especially since a few decades later research showed that most of the famous stars are extremely unlikely to have habitable planets..

    Furthermore, all off the famous stars in our galaxy are within a few thousand light years from Earth, and thus within about one percent of the volume of the galactic disc. Suppose that science ficiton story is set in an era when exploration has reached only a few thousnd light years from Earth and aobut one percent of the galactic disc, a regiion were all the stars with famous names are. There will be millions or billions of stars within that region, and so the tens or hundreds of famous stars will be only a tiny minority of the stars within that volume of space.

    A sceience fiction writer should decide what percentage of stars in their story will have habitable planets which humans can colonize, and which percentage of stars have planets with lifeforms, and which percentage of stars will have planets with contempoary alien intelligent beings, and what percentage of stars will have planets with native civilizations capable of intersttellar stravel. So by deciding how far the frontier of exploration is from Earth, and knowing how many stars should be within that volume of space, it is simple to be divide that number by the various percentages and find out how many stars within that volume of space will have a habitable planet, or an advanced interstellar civilization, etc.

    Then the writer can know how many of each there should be in the explored region in their story.

    And conversely, if the writer knows how many of each they want in their story, and what percentage of stars should have them in their story, they can then calculate how far has been explored. If the writer wants the protagonists to constantly discover the first known example ever of a specific type of planet, or a specifice type of lifeform, or a specific type of alien culture, then they can calculate how close to Earth the explorers should be exploring, to discover the first examples of those. And if the writer wants many examples of each type of planet to be already discovered, and many star travelling calien species with interstellar empires, etc., they can calculate how far from Earth the explored universe should extend.

    For example, in "The Empath":

    http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/63.htm

    If there were exactly 100 known telepathic species, and 98 could send, that will be exactly 98 percent, and if 99 could send, that would be exactly 99 percent. Thus it seems that Spock would have said exactly what percent of telephatic species could send if there wre only 100 telepathic species known.

    And there can be a lot of arguement about how many telepathic species should be known for Spock to simply say "over 98 percent" instead of giving a precise percentage. But if there was agreement about exactly how many telepathic species were known at that time, and if it was known what percentage of intelligent species were telepathic, one coould clculate the number of intelligent species known in that era. And if the percentage of stars with intelligent species in Star Trek was known, one could then calculate how far the frontier of exploration is in that era of TOS.

    For example, if six known stars within 50 light years of Earth are mentioned as having intelligent natives in variious productions, one can calculate there are at least seven stars with intelligent life (counting the Sun) within a radius of 50 light years and thus a volume of 593,598.776 cubic light years. Assuming that is a good sample, one could then multiply that volume by the number of known intelligent species divided by 7. Assuming that number was 7,000 inteligent species, explored space would then be a volume 1,000 times as large, which would thus have a radius of 500 light years. But if there are actually more intelligent species within 50 light years of Earth than happen to be mentioned in various productions, the volume of explored space could be proportionally smaller.

    And of course very few people connected with Star Trek seem to have ever thought about such matters. And thus it is seen that in TOS travel to Rigel and Deneb is relatively fast and easy, while on the other hand the Enterprise, usually at the edge of the explored zone, is close enough to Sigma Draconis for a native of Sigma Draconis VI to steal Spock's Brain.
     
  3. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    wow
     
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  4. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My brain hurts...
     
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  5. Tango

    Tango Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm sorry that my random throwaway line prompted many paragraphs of off-topic material. That was not my intention.
     
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  6. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've been attending (and moderating) BBS's since the 20th century, and it's a common enough event.
     
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  7. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All part of the "fun" right!?
     
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  8. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely!

    Some topics go hundreds, or even 1000+ posts. You think they're always going to be on-subject?
     
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  9. Body of Landru

    Body of Landru Ensign Newbie

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    Plato's Stepchildren. Maybe this episode's greatest strength is the casting of Michael Dunn, an actor I'll always enjoy watching. And aside from the very lame joke at the episode's conclusion, I appreciate the way the episode treats Dunn's character. I think there's a lot to dislike about this episode, sure, but IMO it's not a total waste.
     
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  10. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm going to defend Rascals. I'm not even sure where the majority fall on this episode anymore. It clearly has a crater sized plot hole, and the premise is about as silly as they come, & in that respect I assume most people would still consider it a bad episode.

    However, I personally never shy away from it on rewatches, because at its heart, Star Trek is for fun, & I'll be damned if this episode isn't fun. Not only are the child actors doing a fine job in their portrayals, but it may also in fact be the ONLY TNG episode with child actors that isn't an utter slog to watch. The humor is solid, & the tone ends up being rather sweet. Warts & all, this episode works.
     
  11. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The one thing I always can defend about "Rascals" was the casting of those kids. They were spot on for their adult counterparts, which is amazing in itself in any era of tv.

    However, the one thing I can NEVER forgive this episode for is more than any other episode, the crew look like completely incompetent idiots.

    Two outdated Klingon ships manned by Ferengi outfoxed a Galaxy class starship? The flagship of the Federation?!

    I can never get past that.
     
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  12. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Blame Picard. All that teenage hair suddenly back on his head fogged his brain and left him confused. Worried for their Captain, the rest of the crew simply wasn't paying attention.
     
  13. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :guffaw: Just sayin... You got to
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    Deep Space 9s Profit and Lace showed Zek promoting female rights amongst the Ferengi. The rest of the episode is garbage.
     
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  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    I’ll defend Move Along Home. It’s an episode with poor execution but the “Trapped in a board game” idea was neat, the punchline that they were not in real danger was cool and Quark’s logic of taking one big risk over multiple smaller risks was interesting.
     
  16. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    In 11001001 they set the auto destruct immediately the moment an alien stole the ship.

    The Ferengi get a disruptor pointed at one person, they surrender the whole ship.
     
  17. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Angel One" presented the harsh reality of the journey toward gender equality. It's evolution: a slow, grinding process that involves suffering and sometimes worse. "Profit and Lace" suggests that all you have to do is seduce the right person.

    Ergo, "Angel One" > "Profit and Lace".
     
  18. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe they just figured the Ferengi were too stupid to be able to figure out anything with it lol & they could just play along until they just outwit them like they did. I know. That's a reach, but it's something :guffaw:
     
  19. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it could easily be along those lines - the Ferengi had the ship but the main computer was completely locked out, making the Enterprise just a floating city in space.
     
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  20. at Quark's

    at Quark's Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    11001001 was season 1, rascals was season 6. Situations had gotten out of hand a few times more in the time between. Perhaps they had learned (through experience) they didn't immediately need to set the self destruct because they always recovered the ship in, say, 35 minutes or so :)

    (unless it was a two-parter of course)
     
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