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Old 11-06-2019, 03:01 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
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It feels good to be caught up (except for the TNG Companion entries, I guess, but let's move past that...)

November 6th, 1989, "The Enemy"

Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

RIKER: Placing beam-out marker. Return transport, fourteen minutes, forty seconds.

If shuttles can't land safely on this planet, I wish they'd mention that.

LAFORGE: Not too bad, Commander. A lot of charged-particle precipitation, but I can compensate.

I'm glad that there's a plausible reason why Geordi's VISOR isn't all-powerful. I do wonder how Geordi can "compensate". It's times like this that I wish the VISOR had buttons on the side for situations like this. Do his input nodes let him "telepathically" change settings on the VISOR?

WORF: Communicators are dysfunctional.

Phil makes fun of this line in the Nitpicker's Guide. "Dysfunctional" is the wrong word, you want "disabled" or "neutralized" or "ineffective".

LAFORGE: Commander! Picking up something on the positron scan. Over here. Some electrically conductive objects.

Apparently the writers don't know that positrons are antimatter. I'll forgive the usage in Data's construction, I can imagine some plausible Treknobabble to justify the "positronic brain", but I don't forgive it here. And positrons can only induce an electric charge in an antimatter universe!

RIKER: All right, let's spread out. Twenty five metre radius.

If communicators aren't working, you never want to be out of sight of each other! Wait for beamup, then come back with a group and some rope to keep them together so you can fan out and do a proper search! If they're looking for survivors can don't have the time, Riker could've spared a line of dialogue to explain this.

Captain's log, Stardate 43349.2. An unidentified distress signal has led to the discovery of a crashed Romulan vessel on the surface of Galorndon Core, a Federation planet.

Are you telling me that the Tal Shiar hasn't invented a distress signal that can't be detected by Federation ships yet? I'll bet you Starfleet invented one that the Romulans can't detect by now (this is the sort of project that Section 31 would be sure to initiate with Starfleet scientists, right?)

WORF: Secure Sickbay. Post a guard in visual contact at all times.
CRUSHER: He's not going anywhere, Lieutenant.

It occurs to me that having a single patient secured surgery bay for this kind of situation wouldn't be a bad idea. "Lower Decks" could've also used this sort of thing.

O'BRIEN: The electrical storm's creating thousands of ghosts.
RIKER: Well beam some of those ghosts back. One of them may be Geordi.

Desperation and gallows humor. You can tell Gene wasn't a consistent presence anymore, can't you?

RIKER: The Romulan craft is a total loss. There's nothing there to salvage unless you want to use tweezers.

Um, what? They couldn't do a thorough tricorder scan and had less than five minutes to do a visual inspection. Isn't it enough that the engines were obviously destroyed and you can't get a shuttle close enough to use a tractor beam? Sure, you'd have to send down a team to remove the valuable parts of the Romulan ship (probably just the computer core, but still) and beam up, but it's a possibility.

PICARD: It certainly is the last place one would expect Romulan encroachment. On the other hand, Galorndon Core would provide ideal cover for an opening move of a new offensive.

So which is it, Picard? And what kind of new offensive? Ships can't land safely on the surface, you couldn't build a sensor array on the surface that could reach into space, etc.

(Geordi has spotted some medal ore in the wall of the pit. He makes a groove in the mud, puts the nodules in it then uses his phaser to melt them into a dagger shape)

As SF Debris put it in his this is reminiscent of the "rocks into replicators" line from DS9.

CRUSHER: We thought it would be like working on Vulcans, but there are subtle differences. Too many of them.

I don't like this line. Granted there are physical differences between Vulcans and Romulans, but I don't think they would extend to stuff like blood.

PICARD: We can't use the replicator?
CRUSHER: The molecules are too complex.

Ugh. "By the time we reconfigured the equipment for this task, he'd be dead." Duh.

RIKER: Well let me put it another way. Will he survive long enough to tell us what he was doing here?
PICARD: Doctor, it's an important consideration.
CRUSHER: I can bring him around for a few minutes.

I have mixed feelings about this. Is she a doctor or a Starfleet officer first?

RIKER: Something, anything to can cut through the storm. Some way to get a signal through to him.
WESLEY: A neutrino pulse. We could build a portable neutrino source and send it in a probe to the planet surface. It'll act like a beacon.

As far as ludicrous Treknobabble goes, this is actually reasonable.

TOMALAK [on viewscreen]: Tomalak to Pi. We have received your distress signal. Respond. If you can hear me, we are entering the Neutral Zone now. We will reach you in six hours.

The idea that you can cross the Neutral Zone in six hours disturbs me.

TOMALAK [on viewscreen]: Captain Picard, my apologies. Had I known you were in this sector, I certainly would have advised you before crossing the Neutral Zone.

This is a lie, but an implausible one. I don't like the idea that sensor range is smaller than conventional communications range. (When the Enterprise communicates with a starbase or Starfleet Command there must be a relay network in effect for realtime communication).

TOMALAK [on viewscreen]: I'm sure you will understand when I explain. One of our ships had a slight navigational error and apparently crashed on Galorndon Core.
PICARD: A slight navigational error? Nearly half a light year past the Neutral Zone?

Half a light year seems ludicrously small in stellar terms, so I'm not sure where Picard's argument comes from. Then again, "All Good Things" implies that each side needs permission from the other just to ENTER the Neutral Zone. A "slight navigational error" doesn't seem big enough to justify going through the entire Neutral Zone by mistake. And how does a problem with the navigational system damage a ship enough to necessitate a landing?

PICARD: Are there any other Romulans we should be looking to recover from Galorndon Core?
TOMALAK [on viewscreen]: No. It was a one-man craft.

Ugh. Just being inside and near the Neutral Zone would justify at least two people for the mission if you ask me.

PICARD: But we must measure our response carefully, or history may remember Galorndon Core along with Pearl Harbour and Station Salem One as the stage for a bloody preamble to war.

Pearl Harbor? Is Picard implying that we could've avoided war with Japan if we had just stood by and accepted the death and destruction from the attack? Would Japan have never attacked the U.S. again if we hadn't responded?

CRUSHER: The lab is still processing the tests. Early results indicate humans have far too many bio-rejection factors. I've also ruled out the Vulcans we've tested.

Early Trek fanon says that Spock's conception needed external help (much like K'ehlyr), but eventually it seemed like it was all natural. And McCoy was able to remove the conflicting parts of Spock's blood for Sarek. At least throw in a "if we tried a donor from one of the Vulcans on board, it would take too long to adapt."

Long story short, making Worf the only possible donor is railroading to a degree that is frankly offensive. At least say that Crusher has to use Worf's blood/tissue to modify the Vulcan's blood/tissue to be compatible!

LAFORGE: A stationary neutrino source. Wesley Crusher. Thank you, Wesley.

It's rather sad that Wesley would be the only one to think of this solution. Wouldn't Data have eventually come up with this idea? It's a shame Barclay hasn't been invented yet, this would've been a shining moment for him.

BOCHRA: You are my prisoner.
LAFORGE: Right. Congratulations. Surely a strategic triumph for the Romulan Empire.

Do they still sing songs of the Great Engineer Hunt?

LAFORGE: Welcome to Galorndon Core, where no good deed goes unpunished.

This line has stuck with me. A nice universal message, even the Ferengi know about it!

WORF: That is impossible. I am a Klingon.
CRUSHER: Different species, yes. But many humanoids have comparable cell structures.

It's almost like we are all descended from the Preservers or something! Given that, isn't it weird that you're a match and the Vulcans aren't?
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