Getting from there to here, an Enterprise rewatch.

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Richard S. Ta, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    Whether it’s right or wrong is up for debate.

    However, that still doesn’t make it Nazism.

    Can we move on?

    Interesting stuff over on Memory-Alpha. In the original script, Phlox developed a cure, Archer after some wrangling decided to forbid it and Phlox went over his head and delivered the cure anyway.

    Apparently UPN stepped in and said all crew members should be following Captain’s orders and it was changed to what we have. So the confused feeling that permeates the episode can be put down to executive meddling at least.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
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  2. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Only in Star Trek can the "hero" aka "good guy" be responsible for millions of deaths...
     
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  3. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    You should watch Doctor Who. The Doctor has done a few genocides in his time. ;-)
     
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  4. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist redux Moderator

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    Forgive me, but I still don't understand your assumption that millions died. Was there a sequel to this episode, set in the future, that documented millions of deaths, and it's all written up at Memory Alpha? Or perhaps someone on the show confirmed that the Valakians did not develop or obtain a cure, but that scene was deleted? Maybe that's on the blu ray extras somewhere, an Easter egg?

    They were described as being highly evolved and technically advanced. They could communicate with passing warp-capable vessels, and ask for help, or warp tech, as they asked Archer. But you seem to assume that they sat down and died by the millions. Genuine question: do you think their will to survive was so feeble?
     
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  5. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I think not often discussed, yet lampshaded in the episode, is the fact the Valakians were treating another species native to their planet as indentured slaves. Phlox is alright with that which honestly is something I have more of a problem with.

    Vis a vis the original ending, I do think it would have been stronger. A conflicted Archer deciding not to play God, and Phlox saying "Hell with that" and going against his orders. Obviously executive meddling nixed that, but I think (and Billingsley agrees) it would have made for stronger drama.

    As it is, it's an episode that on the surface seems to be saying a lot but under closer observation is ultimately meaningless. Archer and Phlox want to help, then Phlox finds out he can, Archer says "Go for it!" , Phlox says "No..." and finally a compromise is reached in which they help a bit but not as much as they could have.

    Top it off with what's becoming a typified Enterprise moment entered around "We don't have X-thing yet, but one day we will have X-Thing" and... like I say, either way I don't see what the fuss is about.
     
  6. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Well, if all they ever met were people as "good" and "moral" as Archer and Phlox, they're probably all dead by now...

    If you're saying that Archer refused to help these people (either with warp drive or with the cure) in hopes that someone else would then that's a bit cowardly, wouldn't you say?

    There's no way to describe this situation that would make Archer seem like a normal human being by today's standard.

    If it's the way of the future then I am glad I'll never see it.
     
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  7. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    I've never watched Doctor Who, it's not a popular show where I live. I mean to someday but there are like two thousand episodes!!! It'll take some time.
     
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  8. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist redux Moderator

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    You can use "if" to spin any scenario you please. But you might not want them to meet, say, Captain Picard or Captain Janeway, sticklers for Starfleet protocols, who would be armed with the Prime Directive. Those captains might well have left them twisting in the wind without batting an eye.

    But that's not what I'm saying. That "if" thing can work against you, too.

    No way? No way? None? Not any? Not even one? Well, probably not from where you're standing.

    "Normal" is pretty subjective. So is "today's standard." That being said, I would never consider a Starfleet Captain normal by any standard, because... Starfleet Captain.

    Luckily for you, this is just a TV show.
     
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  9. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    What makes the argument moot for me are a few things:

    It's interesting to see the boot on the other foot. Archer gets a bit of context regarding the Vulcan guidance humanity has been receiving and what a responsibility that was for them. He's conflicted, he's a hero through and through and of course he wants to help. See this (bolded emphasis mine):

    Archer hangs Phlox out to dry over his reticence. Then:

    Archer's decisions are led by his desire to help. He's the most puppyish of the Captains at this point. He wants to say "How ya' doin buddy?" to literally everyone he meets. This is given further context in the 'Prime Directive speech when Archer says:

    Which is the crux of the dilemma, tying back to what Phlox said:

    and:

    And that's the dilemma. They are explorers, but there is a line that is difficult to draw. They've known these people for two days at most and do they have the right to disturb a natural process? That's why I mentioned Kevin Carter and nature-documentaries. If a cameraman films prey being hunted and killed by a predator, does that mean that the cameraman did the killing? That's at least part of the debate that the episode is meant to stimulate.

    Honestly, to watch the episode and come out with the opinion that either Phlox or Archer are villains would require a person to close their ears to pretty much everything that's said in the episode. It's not a case of "fuck 'em, we could cure them but we'd rather let them die". Phlox is cut up about it. It's very clear in the scripted words and the performance choices Billingsley and Bakula made that it's not an easy decision for them to have come to. Similarly Archer.

    Tellingly, T'Pol is largely kept out of it, perhaps because this stuff from her character may come over as perfunctory and cold, but Archer and Phlox... it's tough on them. It's something that they have to wrangle with and it's something that as explorers they haven't come across before. Surely that's the point of the show.

    Finally, yes. A non-warp capable civilisation? Picard would have flown on by without a second thought.

    Well, yes. I've been aching to point out that it's a TV show so nobody died. That should allow us to discuss the actual themes of the episode in the abstract without bringing hyperbole into it.

    Speaking personally, if I were in Archer's shoes it would have been my instinct to help. But that's me making a decision as a university lecturer. If I had to make that decision as a Starfleet Captain in terms of giving them warp-drive, potentially holding back the Menk, or generally just sticking my nose in where it doesn't belong... I don't know. A Captain shoulders a lot of responsibility. Maybe I would have done exactly the same thing.
     
  10. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    I can't believe how some of you bent over backward to justify a decision that's unconscionable. In my country walking by an injured person and not help them is a crime, not a misdemeanor, a crime, that is you can go to jail for it.

    What Archer did to millions if he had done to ONE person in my country that could have translated to jail time!!!

    That is why I am glad I live in my time instead of this barbaric future where watching people die while sipping champagne is the way to go!!

    It's Ok to watch some fiction for entertainment but that shouldn't mean forgetting our most basic humane values to justify some dumb decision made by some inconsistent as well as dumb writer.
     
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  11. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    Archer helped them.

    As for this:

    As above. Archer gave millions medicine and a fighting chance to deal with their own problems. The Valakians are in a better position at the end of the episode than they were at the start.

    Anyway...

    I think, can we really move on? I'd hoped to have a chat about it but clearly that's not going to be possible because of you soapboxing about things that didn't actually happen in the episode and it's getting tiresome. Rather than discussing the episode at hand we are just discussing what you think happened and your reductive knee-jerk reaction to it.

    What's the next episode?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  12. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Not enough.

    Why are you still defending this? Would you like to live in a society like this? Is that your ideal future?

    Seriously!!

    Archer withheld a CURE and that means that millions died that wouldn't have died without his actions.

    Once and for all: Withholding a cure under these conditions, when millions of lives are at stake Is CRIME and a terrible One.

    It's a crime against humanity.

    It's a STUPID fiction, that's what it is!!!

    Some writer made a dumb decision and now you're compromising your ethics to justify it.

    I don't want to talk about this anymore.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  13. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I enjoy Judge Dredd. It doesn’t mean I like fascist cops or want to live in Mega-City One.

    It’s possible to watch a drama and not agree with the protagonists. It’s also possible to separate the real world from that drama so as not to get in a froth about it.

    It’s just a TV show.

    Let it go or take a hike. You’re derailing what could be an otherwise interesting debate with your bullshit.

    Third and final time, can we move on?
     
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  14. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    I did no such thing.

    I am trying to be polite but you've turned that effort into an ordeal.

    I am going to do myself a favor and refrain from arguing any further.
     
  15. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist redux Moderator

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    My goodness, this snowball has become quite an avalanche in just a day. But "Dear Doctor" does that.

    Swedish Borg, Richard, your language is getting a little too personal, so I'd appreciate some chill now from both of you. Take issue with the post, not the poster, please.

    Alrighty then! Time to stop beating this dead horse to death. If anyone has anything further to say about "Dear Doctor," there's a thread just for you here, so hie thee hither.

    It is high time to continue this rewatch thread. Richard, the next episode is "Sleeping Dogs."
     
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  16. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Admiral Moderator

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  17. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Sleeping dogs is the one where you get the unsavory image of Reed sneezing in his helmet and splashing its visor with snot!!!
     
  18. dupersuper

    dupersuper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dear Doctor completely ruined Phlox for me. However much they tried to play him up as a delightfully idiosyncratic lovable doctor in later episodes, I never forgot that he was a genocidal monster.

    Passive eugenics? Survival of the fittest?

    No, if the writers base their ethical dilemma in their "ethical question episode" on something preposterous, then that's bad writing. Bad writing in a bad episode: definitely one of my bottom 5 Trek episodes (at least until the current Trek started which I find hard to rank as each season of Discovery and Picard are all one story).
     
  19. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    Ah…

    Yeah. I give up.
     
  20. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic hyperpolypyroferricist redux Moderator

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    Good bleeping gravy. Do you people want warnings? ENOUGH!

    This thread is a "Dear Doctor"-free zone from now on.

    There is a thread dedicated to "Dear Doctor" here. Take your screeds there, or prepare for a warning.

    Please show your fellow members courtesy and abide by Administrator T'Bonz's First Holy Law: don't be a dick.

    p.s. And don't even think about pulling this shit when we get to "Cogenitor." :mad::mad::mad:
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
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