Star Trek: Strangers From the Sky by Margaret Wander Bonanno

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Damian, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Yes, that's exactly what I meant -- the region Starfleet had charted by the TOS era, which was a considerably smaller fraction of the galaxy than had been charted by the TNG era. In the TOS era, the percentage of the galaxy that had been charted by Starfleet was a one-digit number; the TNG bible said it was 19% by that time (though that's charted, not actually visited).
     
  2. Falconer

    Falconer Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2019
    Here is some info on Centaurans I’ve found from various sources; most sources have a lot more information which I have not excerpted, about the planet(s), and the history of pre-contact, contact with Earth, and Federation founding. Some sources consider Zephram Cochrane a native, others consider him having relocated there. All of these agree it was a populated planet before Earth made contact in Cochrane’s lifetime; all of these agree it was one of the founders of the Federation.


    Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology (Pocket Books, 1980)


    The Alpha Centaurians resemble homo sapiens to such a degree that it’s hard not to conjecture about some common ancestry for the two races. The only physiological differences I can observe are a slightly higher forehead and their pinkies appear to function as a second opposable thumb.


    Star Trek Maps (Bantam, 1980)

    The seventh planet was already inhabited when the system was first explored by the starliner Enterprise in 2039, apparently by descendants of ancient Greeks transported from Earth (Sol III) in the third century B. C.


    The Federation (FASA, 1986)

    The physiological characteristics of Centaurans and Humans are practically identical. Also, the ruins of early Centauran civilization mirror those along the Mediterranean basin on Terra during its fifth century B.C.. Most important of all, no written records or oral traditions from Centauran history reach back more than 2,500 years. These facts have led scholars to suggest that the Centaurans may be transplanted Humans taken from Terra ‘seeded’ on Alpha Centauri by the race of beings known as the Preservers.… It is a democratic civilization based on fundamental political principles similar to those of early Greece on Terra.… Taking advantage of the solar winds from their three primary suns, the Centaurans invented an interplanetary solar-sail… (Centauran sun-jamming races remain a popular sport to this day.)

    The considerable similarities between Humans and Alpha Centaurans have led some exobiologists to suggest that the latter may be Humans transplanted from Terra around the third century B.C.


    Worlds of the Federation (Pocket Books, 1989)

    Its population is quite humanoid, and evidence has been found that suggests that the Centaurians may be the descendants of ancient Terran Greeks transported from Earth in the third century B.C.


    Prime Directive PD20 Modern (Amarillo Design Bureau, 2008)
    (IIRC more or less the same text as in the original Prime Directive, Task Force Games, 1993)


    Alpha-Centaurans are descended from humans transported there long ago by the Old Kings. Women of this culture are strong and dominant.

    Alpha Centaurans are almost identical to Humans, and there is little doubt that the two species share recent common ancestry. General motor response in Alpha-Centaurans is markedly higher than in Humans, however; an increased rate of activity in the brainstem and central nervous system seems to be the cause. The females of the species dominate Alpha-Centauran culture at all levels, and the form of government is definitely a matriarchy. Alpha-Centauran men are not mentally or physically inferior to the women, but Alpha-Centauran society has evolved along different lines than that of Earth. Male Alpha-Centaurans are almost never found in the government, legal, or military structures of Alpha-Centauran culture, and only rarely in the scientific, technical, or mercantile professions. Males are found primarily in the agrarian and unskilled labor forces or are not employed at all. The home planet of the Alpha-Centaurans is largely agrarian and pastoral.

    Males: +2 to Strength, +2 to Dexterity, -2 to Wisdom.
    Females: +2 to Dexterity, +2 to Charisma.


    Star Trek: The Next Generation Role Playing Game (LUG, 1998)

    The Centaurans appear similar to humans in most respects, although their internal structure differs slightly. Some archaeologists suspect that Centaurans are an offshoot of the human race (much like the Romulans are to the Vulcans) settled on Alpha Centauri IV by an early interstellar civilization such as Sargon’s race or the Sky Spirits.


    Star Trek Roleplaying Game (LUG, 1999)

    [Lt. Palmer is pictured.] Aside from Humans, Centaurans are the best-represented race in Starfleet. Their amazing physical and physiological similarity to Humans allows them to serve in great numbers on the primarily Human-built starships of the fleet. Even Centaurans can seldom tell the two races apart at a glance. Various theories seek to explain why the natives of Alpha Centauri are such close physiological kin to Humans. Only a few minor differences of internal anatomy separate the two races. Philosophical differences are more acute.… The highest compliment you can pay a Centauran is to call him peaceful, thoughtful, and spiritual. Centaurans seek out beauty throughout the galaxy; where they find no beauty, they try to make some.… Centaurans deplore Human rashness and violence… To embark on a course of action without exhaustively exploring all of its possible ramifications is completely irresponsible… On a starship, a Centauran’s habitual hesitation and introspection often prove to be his worst enemy.


    Planets of the UFP (LUG, 1999)

    The Centaurans are perhaps best known for their artistic ability, the greatest expression of which is their terraforming technology. With this technology, the Centaurans not only transformed their world into a garden paradise.

    About twenty years ago Centauran archaeologists discovered evidence of an advanced, ancient civilization beneath the desert sands. After initial excavations, they uncovered three pyramids.… and sensors indicate a nearby buried city. Although mainstream reports gloss over the similarities between this site and the pyramids of Giza on Earth, more radical archaeologists see the Nyrian pyramids as evidence of visits to both Earth and Alpha Centauri IV by an ancient spacefaring race.

    Centaurans tend to have a more pacifistic, long-term outlook than humans. They cherish art and expression and place a strong emphasis on the value of the individual. Centaurans have a well developed analytical side and prefer to have all relevant information before making decisions.

    Doorway to Forever: Federation scientists discover an unusual artifact at Denius III, the ruins of Nafir, or the Skaethan burial mounds on Cader II, and sends them to Dr. Jascar on Alpha Centauri. Jascar can be found at the Nyrian Pyramids excavations, where the away team discovers similarities between the artifact and glyphs at the site. What is the link between this mysterious relic and the Centaurans? Perhaps the site is linked to Sargon’s people, the Preservers, or the Iconians.


    Starfleet Operations Manual (Decipher, 2003)

    [Lt. Palmer is pictured; Palmer is listed as a common family name.] Centaurans value peace, beauty, thought, and spirituality. They prefer long-term thought and planning, centered on core moral principles. This can make Centaurans somewhat asocial, or even hesitant to act. Centaurance resemble Humans down to the mitochondrial DNA level. Genetic scans indicate that Centauran and Human stocks diverged roughly 400,000 years ago; Centaurans may have been “seeded” on Alpha Centauri by the Preservers or similar species.


    None of these sources mention Number One. Though Prime Directive has a picture that looks A BIT like her, and that and the mention of women might have suggested it to me. Or I subconsciously associated Illyrian with the mention of Greeks in the 80s sources.
     
    rfmcdpei and WebLurker like this.
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Ahh, no. Proxima Centauri is a tiny red dwarf a fifth of a light-year away from the AB pair. The only relevant stellar winds would be from A & B.


    I'll never get why people assume the Preservers were some incredibly ancient race when the one known instance of their activity was the transplantation of indigenous American populations that would not have been in need of preservation, or even existed in all three of the distinct tribal identities mentioned, until the 17th century at the earliest. I mean, humans didn't even settle the Americas until at most 40,000 years ago, probably closer to 16,000. So there's zero reason to imagine the Preservers are ultra-ancient. But people have this bizarre tendency to assume everything in the past happened simultaneously.

    For that matter, anatomically modern humans have only existed for about 200,000 years, so humanoids taken from Earth 400 kyr ago would not look identical to us. They certainly wouldn't look like Lt. Palmer, since recent research suggests that light skin only evolved in Europeans less than 10,000 years ago.


    Just in general, I'm puzzled why so many different works tried so hard to shove a canonically nonexistent species into Trek as a major, founding member of the Federation. What's the motivation behind that impulse? I can understand wanting to add more nonhuman character options to an RPG, but the Centaur(i)ans described in these games are hardly nonhuman.

    Anyway, I wish the final script for "Metamorphosis" had kept in the line from the outline explaining that Cochrane was famous for leading the pioneering expedition from Earth to Alpha Centauri. It would've clarified the confusion.
     
    hbquikcomjamesl likes this.
  4. Falconer

    Falconer Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2019
    Well, the SFTM obviously established it as a founder of the Federation, and called it “The Alpha Centauri Concordium of Planets.” Later sources ran with that, and, having established the other founders as aliens, and probably feeling it would be odd for an Earth colony to have gained complete independence and equal status with these other star empires, and for Humans to have 2/5 permanent seats on the Federation Security Council, came up with an alternate idea. I think the late-90s sources forgot about or ignored the SFTM, but obviously the 80s sources had to explain this:

    [​IMG]

    I’m still not arguing they made the right call, just interested in the publication history.

    I think they missed a trick, though, in positing the Preservers or Sargon’s race, when they could have said it was the Greek gods!
     
    rfmcdpei likes this.
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Oh, you mean Apollo's race? That would make sense in that context.

    Well, aside from the fact that the timing given in "Who Mourns..." makes no sense; 5000 years ago was way too early for the time when Greek civilization was around in recognizable form and the gods we know were worshipped. Like, nearly twice as far in the past as it should've been.
     
  6. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    In regards to the probabilities, this is Star Trek, not hard sci-fi. Heck, most of the well-established rules of the franchise do not work with probability ILR. As far as why not just make them humans, the point is that their an evolutionary off-shoot of humanity that became its own thing. (IMHO, the original episode was really odd in tying to Cochrane to Alpha Centauri while saying that he invented warp drive, since it'd be really hard to get there before the drive was invented. I can really get why people would overlook the references to Cochrane being human and jump to the conclusion that he was an alien from that place.)

    Well, with only one episode to go on, the tie-ins built their own mythology around it. Besides, more interesting story opportunities if the Preservers were in operation longer, thus having more time to preserve more kinds of cultures on other places then if they were only around for a short time (or only one ship from one group that did it once).

    Eh, A.) homages to the previous versions, B.) making them founding members in the RPG ties them better into the game's version of the franchise, and C.) it's not a horribly egregious addition that doesn't work now, al la the LUG's Axanari. Besides, what's wrong with the whole IDIC thing of adding new stuff in the tie-ins that takes on a life of its own?
     
  7. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    That was Voyages of Imagination, the novel companion that came out as part of the 40th Anniversary celebration in 2006, and covered all of the books, short stories, and novellas released up to that point. It's a great source of information about the books, and I still refer back to it whenever I read a book that's included in it.
    That was the Interphase 2 parter, which was released as novellas #4 and #5, and were split across the first two paperback omnibuses. Part One is the last novella in the first one, Have Tech, Will Travel, and #5 is the first novella in the second one, Miracle Workers.
    . Not sure which novella or which writer those were, that's farther into the series than where I am at the moment. I remember reading the description about some of them traveling back to Ferenginar's past, but I don't remember the title or writer.
     
    WebLurker likes this.
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I wish people would stop saying that. When I was growing up, Star Trek was literally the only SF show on TV that tried to be even slightly plausible, and that is what made it special to me. That is a large part of the reason it had such a committed, dedicated fanbase, because it felt more real to us than other sci-fi shows' sloppily conceived, nonsensical worlds did. I am so very, very sick of the smug way that today's fans dismiss it as just one more interchangeable piece of mindless fantasy, because it was so very, very much more to me and my generation.

    And just in general, I have every right to want fiction to be plausible. It's called willing suspension of disbelief, not mandatory. It is absolutely okay to prefer a more plausible idea to a less plausible one.


    It's not remotely odd. Alpha Centauri is, again, the nearest star system to our own. It is therefore naturally, inevitably the first interstellar destination that the inventor of faster-than-light drive would travel to. So to me it seems self-explanatory that Cochrane is famous for going to Alpha Centauri for the first time, not coming from there. He's "of Alpha Centauri" in the way that Sir Robert Scott was "of the Antarctic."

    The problem is that in the outline, that was made explicit -- he was famous for leading that expedition. The script then rewrote it so he was famous as "the discoverer of the space warp" (an oddly phrased line, as if it were a natural phenomenon he found) rather than an expedition leader, but it kept in the "of Alpha Centauri" line. Which does create some initial confusion, but it's not hard to reason out a way to reconcile it.


    I really doubt it was thought through that far. I mean, no single civilization is going to exist unchanged for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, so pushing them that far back is just ridiculous. I think a lot of people don't even stop to think about just when the Native Americans would've been in jeopardy, and don't realize it was more recent than the age of Shakespeare, more modern history than ancient.

    For that matter, despite the fact that Spock used the term in the episode, I find it silly to call the Preservers a "species." Since when does an entire species or civilization devote itself to a single activity like that? If anything, the Preservers are more likely to be an organization, like space Greenpeace. They could be a multispecies group of activists (probably including the Vians from "The Empath," who had the exact same agenda). In a couple of my books, I've suggested that Federation historians apply the label "Preserver" to numerous unrelated groups throughout history that had similar missions, as my way of handwaving the various inconsistent ways they've been described in different tie-ins.


    In general, nothing. It'd be fine if it were more peripheral, more distant and alien, but it just seems odd to stick something in so close to home both figuratively and literally, to claim it's been such a major, central part of the Federation from the beginning, when there's not a shred of real evidence for it to exist at all. It's like if some TOS novelist claimed that there was some hitherto-unseen member of Kirk's senior command crew who'd been there all along, standing just off-camera the whole time. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Larry.
     
  9. Tallguy

    Tallguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Beyond the Farthest Star
    I adored this book. It came along right when I was discovering things like the Star Trek Maps and The Spaceflight Chronology and finding Star Trek as a "connected whole". Also it had a lot more Gary Mitchell after he was kind of written out of Enterprise: The First Adventure. Well, a little more.
    That's pretty much the theme of the book. That the "easier" first contact made it into the history books and that the more difficult meeting with the Vulcans was hushed up.

    I'd kind of forgotten that it was this book (and everything it was based on) that made me so mad at First Contact.
    I wish people would quit saying Star Wars isn't sci-fi (hard or otherwise) but there we are. We reach.

    BTW, just listened to the single The Search for Spock (which was included on both the GNP and FSM CD's). How on Earth is that considered Disco? It wouldn't be more 80's if it was on the Ferris Bueller soundtrack. God I miss Horner.
     
    WebLurker likes this.
  10. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Look, first of all, no one's being smug here.

    Second of all, I'm not sure old school Trek was nearly as hard as made out to be. The instant they pulled the transporter out to save on cost effects, that was pretty much the first indication that hard science was not a binding thing. Parallel universes started in the first season, season two had the Nazi, Rome, and Chicago planet stories (with varying explanations for why), the amusement park planet was early one. Heck, we had a whole story about a giant amoeba (a very good story, mind you, but still, a Lost In Space-level premise that was given an uplifting treatment). I mean, you can pull stories that gave a more scientific approach (the Devevan parasites story avoided the "use the deflector dish to chancel fancy energy"-type solutions common in later incarnations), but still, the softness of Star Trek was there from the beginning.

    And shouldn't the inverse be true as well, esp. when both have had their places in the franchise? (Heck, Preservers, the "Chase" humanoid seeders, Hodgekins' Law, all those are facts of the franchise for this sort of thing of years.)

    Look, I agree that it does work in the end, but I did find that very confusing on my first viewing. (Granted, I was already familiar with the First Contact movie by that point, so it's always been a really odd episode for me, given the different actors and characterizations).

    Just spitballing.

    Looked at Memory Beta, and yeah, there are quite a few different ideas about them. Not really sure about trying to weld together stuff that was never meant to fit together (not really a fan of the idea that the Borg evolved several times or merged with other similar cyborg groups to become what we know today), but eh, whatever. To be honest, though, I really don't get the point of being annoyed at anything the tie-ins do with the Preservers. As Ron Moore, who wanted the "Chase" aliens to be Preservers, just about every scenario fits the facts from the episode. There's noting in that show that would prevent the Preservers, whether they be an entire alien species or a group, from being ancient or evolving more recently.

    Ah, yes, Larry.
    [​IMG]
    Way I see it, a lot of those tie-ins are pretty old, so the franchise was smaller then, with more room for that kind of stuff. With RPGs, built around players making up all kinds of important stuff never mentioned in the TV shows and with that fluff free to be ignored if the players want to, it's not a big deal.
     
  11. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    Yeah, that's what attracted me to Star Trek in the first place. I became a fan when I finally saw TMP--probably the purest sci-fi Star Trek movie of all 13. The show, like any show, had some strong sci-fi and some maybe not as strong. But overall it tried to think about the science more. It's why I've always been much more of a Star Trek than a Star Wars fans. George Lucas himself will tell you he was not trying to make hard sci-fi. That's part of the reason they're space operas and fantasy. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that, but it's a different level than Star Trek. Other than taking place in space in space ships they really don't share a lot in common.

    Reading "The Making of Star Trek" was eye opening as well. When they initially created Star Trek they tried to think in terms of real world possibilities. Now it's true that they took some liberties and artistic license. The one I recall is having sound in space. They did consider that and wondered how realistic they should make it but decided for a weekly show they had to take some artistic license. The transporter was another workaround. It saved a lot of money by not having to land the ship and it also saved valuable show time. Instead of a sequence of a few minutes showing the ship landing you could use the transporter and do it in seconds.

    Yeah, I'll admit I was just a bit put off by that. At the time I still wasn't all that familiar with canon vs. tie ins. The way the beginning of "Strangers..." was written I thought the history of the Federation and first contact with Alpha Centauri was based on some already established Star Trek backstory. For the few years before First Contact came out I thought that was how the history was. First Contact blew all that out an airlock and I was like WTF? First Contact was with Alpha Centauri and officially we didn't even encounter Vulcans until over a decade later. DIDN'T THEY READ STRANGERS FROM THE SKY? It's all right there. That was my first real lesson in what was what we call canon nowadays. NOW, it did help that otherwise I loved First Contact and it's one of my favorite Star Trek films.
     
  12. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    And I would argue even in the spin-offs the science fiction was considered. Now science fiction does not necessarily mean "realistic" as in this can really happen. It's just that some thought is put behind the way the story is written and how things are designed.

    I've read comments by Rick Sternbach in the past about when the design teams were working on things they didn't just put a conduit somewhere because it looked cool. They did things trying to envision what it would do. This EPS conduit runs to the nacelles and powers this or that so the ship can do this or that. I always joked sometimes it made you feel like if you had some anti-matter and some duct tape you could build a warp engine in your garage.

    Or watch some of the background information on the Blu-Rays and DVD's by guys like Herman Zimmerman. Things in the show had a purpose. Now special effects added flourish and some flash, but everything had a reason for being where it was. Even in Star Trek (2009) designer Scott Chambliss had said he liked having John Eaves on staff because he was a long time illustrator for Star Trek and he helped explain how some things worked in the Star Trek universe.

    That all goes into why I feel Star Trek is pretty good sci-fi. And that's doesn't even get into the actual stories themselves. And like any franchise that's been around for decades it has its strong moments and others not so strong maybe. But they always tried.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Of course it wasn't! The point is that everything else on TV at the time was much worse. TOS, as I said, was the only show that even tried to be intelligent or plausible to the slightest degree. It was the one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.


    You know what? I don't have to justify or defend my opinions to you. I already explained, and if you still don't understand, then that's not my problem.



    Heck, Lucas insisted it wasn't science fiction at all. His term for Star Wars was "space fantasy." The opening line, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," was literally announcing that it was a fairy tale.
     
  14. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    King Daniel Beyond
    Any weirder than Kirk and company finding them hundreds of light years away every week on TOS?
     
    WebLurker likes this.
  15. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    Re: "Metamorphosis" I have to admit when I first saw the episode (way back in the late 1980s when I first became a Trekkie) I thoughts when they said "of Alpha Centauri" I had just assumed he was from Alpha Centauri. I didn't give it much thought beyond that, I mean until First Contact came out I didn't really need to. Now I know better. And it still fits perfectly fine for the reasons Christopher points out. One of the novels had noted he had settled on Alpha Centauri (I forget which one---Federation maybe?). But I can understand why a viewer who just saw "Metamorphosis" just took the episode at face value.

    Re: The Preservers--I found that a fascinating idea. There's not much know about them. Was it just one species that are colloquially called The Preservers (I never really thought that was the name they gave themselves---just something historians called them probably)--or were they some sort of empire or confederation? How long did they exist?

    I'm trying to recall "The Paradise Syndrome". Did we know when the Indians were transplanted? Could it have been before they were endangered by European Settlers. I know that's the general assumption, and I guess it fits with their development at the time they were found (and I guess it probably doesn't matter, even if it was before, seeing their development, it probably had to be within a century or two anyway).

    I do admit, there is an unfortunate tendency to stretch the Preservers time in power (for lack of a better word) to an implausibly long time in some stories. Not every transplanted species is the result of the Preserver's influence.

    I recall the episode of TNG: "The Chase" had an interesting premise about another alien species that had transplanted some of its genetic 'stock' across the galaxy. An internal story to try to explain why so many species in the galaxy were humanoid. I liked that they tried to write a story to explain that (and at times characters would bring up the oddity of so many species looking alike).
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I already answered that exact question 24 hours ago in post #59. I'm not going to repeat myself.


    One: Spock said they were "a mixture of Navajo, Mohican, and Delaware." Those three groups were from very different regions of the United States, so the only time they would all have been simultaneously in existential danger was after European settlement of North America.

    Two: Contrary to what Westerners tend to assume, preindustrial non-Western cultures were not stuck eternally in unchanging ancient ways. They grew and changed over time as much as any other culture. The Navajo nation as we recognize it didn't exist as a distinct entity under that name prior to the early 17th century, so it was unlikely to be earlier than that. And if the other cultures had been taken centuries before European contact, they probably wouldn't have attributes that Spock would recognize, because much about pre-contact indigenous cultures has been lost to history.

    Check the Star Trek Chronology. Mike and Denise Okuda came to this same conclusion and put the incident in the 18th century. Heck, that's where I got the idea from.


    The problem is, people tend to assume everything is as extreme as possible. Any civilization older than ours must be from the very dawn of time. Any civilization more advanced than us must be godlike in power. So fictional entities tend to get exaggerated the more they're used. But if you actually look at the evidence, there's no reason to think the Preservers had technology any more advanced than exists in Picard's era. They just had spaceships, tractor/repulsor beams, and memory erasure beams -- big whoop. Really, I'm surprised nobody but me ever seemed to notice that the nature of their mission was identical to the Vians', so maybe they were one and the same.


    What drives me crazy is how many people confuse those First Humanoids with the Preservers, even though they existed billions of years apart and did completely different things. Merely relocating existing populations to safe places (though how the middle of an asteroid field is "safe" is beyond me) is totally different from seeding the primordial soup of lifeless planets so that they evolve biospheres that eventually produce humanoid sophonts billions of years later. The only thing they have in common is the metatexual -- they're both attempts to explain the preponderance of humanoid aliens. But then, so were Sargon's people.

    The way I see it, the First Humanoids explain all the humanoid aliens in general, including the more exotic ones like Klingons, Hirogen, Voth, etc.; Sargon's people explain the near-human species like Vulcans, Bajorans, Deltans, Argelians, etc.; and the Preservers just explain Earth-duplicate cultures (though the only non-"Paradise Syndrome" TOS planet that approximately works for me as a Preserver-seeded world is the "Bread and Circuses" Roman planet). Maybe the Preservers or Preserver-like transplanters are responsible for some other parallels like the "proto-Vulcan" Mintakans of "Who Watches the Watchers," or the Talarians of "Suddenly Human," who strike me as possibly a Klingon offshoot.
     
  17. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    King Daniel Beyond
    Missed it. But, meow to you too.
     
  18. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    I have to admit that I found it odd that the Indian culture they found was still living as they had hundreds of years prior. Even if they wanted to preserve their ancient ways you'd think they would have made some advances.

    Well based on "The Paradise Syndrome" they seemed to have at least somewhat more advanced technology. That obelisk was able to repulse the asteroid with ease. So that would indicate while maybe not super advanced beyond the Federation, they were at least somewhat more advanced. Even during TNG era Starfleet couldn't move an asteroid with such ease ("Deja Q" for instance).

    I actually never thought they were the Preservers personally. Though when I looked up "The Chase" on Memory Alpha just to check my info I did see that the writers indicated they had the Preservers in mind. But personally I never thought that. As you noted, those early humanoids seem TOO far back to logically be the same as Preservers. There's old, then there's ancient.

    In story, there's a few possible explanations for the plethora of humanlike species. The First Humanoids, Sargon's people, the Preservers. It seems a number of old and ancient civilizations had a hand in it. Even in "Return to Tomorrow" there's indications that Sargon's people may explain aspects of Vulcan history, but not Earth's. So that adds to the possibility multiple powers may be separately responsible.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, Trek threw plausible anthropology out the window whenever they wrote an episode as an excuse to recycle costumes and props from the studio warehouse.



    Only a matter of degree and power. After all, it was a ground installation, not a starship, and thus could easily have had a much larger power source. It's not a fundamentally more advanced or incomprehensible technology. Nowhere near godlike.

    Plus, they somehow thought it was a good idea to "preserve" these people by sticking them in a dense asteroid field with only one repulsor beam station for defense (what if the asteroid came from the other side of the planet????) and not teaching more than one tribal elder how to work the thing. As "Preservers" go, they seem pretty damn incompetent at it. Everyone wants to elevate them into these amazing, wise, godlike beings from deepest antiquity, but to me they look like a bunch of well-intentioned doofuses.
     
  20. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    But they could have still done all that and still had some advancements in the culture. Sort of like Chakotay's people in Voyager. They respected their traditions, still wore the traditional clothing. But they had and were aware of technology.

    Of course had "The Paradise Syndrome" done that it would have substantially changed the episode. If you throw out the implausibility of it all, it was still a good dramatic episode and was a good story in other ways.

    Maybe the asteroids were only a minor threat. Enough to build a defense but not enough to make the planet uninhabitable. And maybe the intent was that the elder would share the information with others but the Indians didn't follow through. Or maybe over the years it was reduced to one person by the Indians themselves.

    I know, I'm reaching here. :crazy:

    Maybe they really were just doofuses after all. Perhaps that's why they aren't around anymore. They forgot their own asteroid deflector.