Troi's powers

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by CommanderBloom, May 16, 2022.

  1. CommanderBloom

    CommanderBloom Ensign Newbie

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    Something just doesn't seem right. So she cannot read other people minds bc she is only half betazoid. But she can ''read" what they are feeling, but when she is with other betazoid's she can talk to them. I get it that they all are the same species but that sounds strange. Maybe she could read other people's minds too? Or she could talk to other people too?
    :vulcan:
     
  2. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    She could also telepathically talk to Riker early on in the series. I think we only saw that once, and never again. TVtropes would call that "Early Installment Weirdness."

    Kor
     
  3. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think her powers were a lot like starship speeds: plot dependent.
     
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  4. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One of the most amorphous characters the franchise has ever known. In the beginning, she could read minds, or engage in thought transference anyhow... at least in regards to her imzadi Riker

    But once they tried to pin the character down later on, it's mostly how you describe, half-betazoid, with no true ability to fully read others' minds, unless those others are also telepaths, especially Betazoid, who I assume she is benefitting from their ability to strengthen hers. This happens mostly with her mother, who one would imagine she has a closer bond with than anyone.

    So, we're left with diminished capacity, that manifests only in an emotional awareness of others. Good luck trying to be more specific than that though. Sometimes she doesn't read anything off people who are going to literally try to kill them, & sometimes, she can read really specifically someone on a view screen, a lightyear away, though I can't recall specific examples, at the moment

    It's best to let it slide, because there really was no rhyme or reason to it beyond what best served any given plot.
     
  5. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And Deanna could sense deception or whatever from a Ferengi, and then later on her full Betazoid mother couldn't read Ferengi thoughts. And then Deanna could sense emotion from Data, a non-biological being, when Lore activated his angry feelings.

    Kor
     
  6. Timofnine

    Timofnine Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Maybe Riker was only hearing what he wanted to hear and it was all literally voices inside his head? I would have to refresh myself with the scene and it’s context, though I remember him hearing her say Imzadi in his head at one point.
     
  7. at Quark's

    at Quark's Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've said so before. I have no clue why a captain would choose a character as counselor that could only tell him : 'Captain, I'm not entirely sure but he's trying to hide something. Be careful when dealing with him' when there's literally a planet full of telepaths of which each and every one could tell him: 'Captain, this man is an undercover operative for the Romulans, and he will meet them in secret a few miles north of the tiny hamlet of Camembert, located on the 3rd moon of Fromage 7 in exactly 71 hours from now- you could catch him in the act then.'

    Deanna's qualifications in other areas would need to be truly astounding to make up for that.
     
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  8. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The fact that they never pin-pointed what exactly Troi could do with her ESP powers and what her limitations were is, I think, one of the reasons they found her so "difficult" to write for. As others have said, she could at times passively pick up the exact emotions of somebody on a different starship, or on the surface of a planet while the Enterprise was in orbit. And then, because we need deception she would be unable to "read" someone standing right next to her.
    Due to their eternal waffling and vagueness on her powers she ended up both completely OP and utterly useless.


    No. Sorry, but no. Please don't the "it's all in a character's head" stuff. The scene was shot, and the two actors behaved and reacted in a way that made it clear that Troi was sending thoughts, and Riker was hearing them, with no indication that is was "all in the mind" of either of them.
    And as you admit that you don't quite remember the scene, According to the script the full extend of the thought Deanna sent to Will were:

    Do you remember what I taught you, Imzadi? Can you still sense my thoughts?
    and
    I, too, could never say goodbye, Imzadi.

    It might not fit with the rest of the show, but that's the way it was in the pilot.
    Which is really a pity, because a mind-link between Troi and Riker could have opened up all sorts of possibilities.
     
  9. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the concept writers were ambitious, but when the nuts & bolts writing began, the idea of a fully telepathic character, there 24/7, they got scared & backed off, because in truth, that is some difficult shit to write for & have it be good, least of all on an episodic series, encountering strange beings etc.. with the bare minimum of ongoing development

    It was basically the same with Spock, selectively telepathic, Unfortunately for Troi, they knew better how to write it into the sci-fi device for Spock
     
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  10. Summer Solstice

    Summer Solstice Captain Captain

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    The powers of full Betazoids aren't really specified either. Are they able to share as much as Vulcans do when they do a mind meld or are Betazoids just "talking" but silently and over a long distance? I'm sure Deanna can talk telepathically to other Betazoids because they would be able to initiate the telepathic link and Deanna is telepathic-receptive enough to be able to communicate with them. Maybe she can talk to Riker because they are very close so it's easier to understand each other?
     
  11. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

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    She's an empath and that's it. ;)
     
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Garth of Algar Premium Member

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    Same as Wonder Woman's. Oh, wait. That's Donna Troy,
     
  13. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Vulcans' mind meld is much more potent/intimate imho, not just two minds communicating, sharing of consciousnesses, gleaning of thoughts/minds, or having sense of one another's being etc... but more of a merging of self. Per the reports, when they come away, part of the other is now a permanent part of them.

    I expect it's entirely possible for them to completely pass their entire consciousness into another body/mind, & in a sense, become as immortal as a Trill, but without any physical hosting. I'd imagine their respect for whatever other being they'd be inhabiting is the only reason they don't do it, except for whatever end of body life ritual they have, like willful joining or enshrining in a vessel of some design.

    This kind of transference would seem to be the ultimate mastery of telepathy, & would suggest they have the most powerful ability of any telepath... which would also mean they likely have all the other levels of telepathy too, but for whatever reason have either willfully rejected those traits, neglected to bother with them, or are actively choosing not to practice them.

    Full Betazoids however, really only seem to know what people they are engaging with are thinking & feeling in that moment, which isn't even as strong as Ullians, who can delve into people's memories, or a Lumerian, who can somehow feed on people telepathically
     
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  14. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So difficult that there's only hundreds of X-Men and Legion of Superheroes comics featuring one or more telepaths.
    I don't accept the "telepathy is hard" excuse. It could have been done.

    I can agree that the way Betazoid telepathy was portrayed would have made them difficult to deal with, but nobody forced them to make them the esper equivalent of filter feeders who passively pick up thoughts from everyone around them without even trying.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
  15. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't say it was impossible, but I think they threw it at the wall before they'd fully considered what writing that type of thing would truly entail, especially if you don't want it to be total shit. So they just got cold feet about the whole thing, which I agree is a great loss... but I get it.

    Star Trek episodes weren't written like those comics. Look, having someone there on that ship we live on... all the time, who just knows what everybody is thinking, in every circumstance? That has some serious potential for much tripping over your own shit, on damn near every story they ever wrote lol

    Which is why even when they wanted to explore telepathy as a sci-fi aspect on TOS... Spock didn't exhibit that type either.
     
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  16. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think you're right.

    I don't see why Starfleet doesn't recruit Betazoids and stick one on the bridge of every starships. It'd be like having a "win" button on your console.
     
  17. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Do you get the impression there are a lot of them clamoring to actually be IN Starfleet? I don't. Some amount for sure, but not enough to post one on every bridge in the fleet, & in what capacity, because not all of them would be prone to the same career track I imagine.
     
  18. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    With telepaths, no doubt there would be ethical considerations or cultural mores when it comes to invasively reading someone else's private thoughts without their consent, even when the other party is an aggressor. And generally they would be able to block out other people's thoughts so they aren't accidentally invading the privacy of everyone around them. Though there may occasionally be a telepath with higher sensitivity who isn't able to block out other people's thoughts, like Tam Elbrun.

    Kor
     
  19. matthunter

    matthunter Admiral Admiral

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    Betazoids aren't infallible - remember that Nora Satie had a Betazoid with her and homed in on Tarses just because the guy sensed "he's hiding something!!".

    You could sense someone is feeling guilty but it might be because they forgot their friend's birthday... Troi's advantage (when written WELL) is that she's a trained psychologist on TOP of her empathic abilities. She can figure out WHY someone is feeling that way, instead of getting it out of context.
     
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  20. at Quark's

    at Quark's Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It sounds as if that guy's abilities are no more acute than Deanna's. You 'd expect a full telepath to also know immediately what Tarses is trying to hide.

    Perhaps there is a ban on employing full telepaths in Starfleet service (at least in those advisory capacities) as it would be considered an immoral invasion of privacy of the 'person or party under observation').