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Old 01-05-2020, 04:01 AM
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January 1st, 1990, "The Defector."

Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

PICARD: Splendid, Data. Splendid. You're getting better and better.
DATA: Freeze programme. Thank you, sir. I plan to study the performances of Olivier, Branagh, Shapiro, Kullnark.

Laurence Olivier did Hamlet, Henry V, and Richard III in the thirties and forties acting and directing. Kenneth Branagh had only done Henry V by the time of this episode, but would go on to do Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Love's Labour's Lost, and As You Like It. James Shapiro isn't an actor at all, but is a Shakespearean scholar. Kullnark is the obligatory alien inclusion. Personally I would've dropped Shapiro and included Anton Karidian.

PICARD: Romulan warbird, this is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation vessel Enterprise. You have crossed into the Neutral Zone and are engaged in hostile action. Explain yourself and your intent.

Apparently neutral zones aren't always demilitarized zones. I ask what the point of such a zone is if it's not demilitarized. And while it's not specific to this episode, I have to ask at least once why the Federation/Romulan Neutral Zone is so narrow. People act like the zone can be completely crossed in a matter of hours at standard warp speeds (remember "The Enterprise Incident"?), it should really be a lot wider than that.

RIKER: Position?
DATA: Coordinates one four zero by two zero five, sir.

I really hate it when positions are given in only two coordinates. Furthermore, I assume Riker's really asking how far into Federation space the scout ship is, so he should be more specific.

PICARD: Right. Move to within five kilometres. Mister La Forge, prepare to extend our shields around the Romulan scout ship.
LAFORGE: At that range, the shields won't be able to take much punishment, Captain.

The Enterprise is a kilometer long. The scout ship is 25 meters long, a bit longer than a runabout. The Enterprise could get a lot closer than five kilometers to extend shield strength. In fact the scout could probably fit within the standard shield bubble.

SETAL: The humiliating defeat at the Battle of Cheron has not been forgotten. The new leaders have vowed to discard the treaty and claim the Neutral Zone.

Enterprise claimed that this battle took place in 2160. Whether this is the same Cheron that "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" referenced is debated.
I would argue against it. In the TOS episode the planet was far off the beaten path and it seems like diplomatic contact had barely been made, if the population can destroy themselves without anyone noticing yet. Why would Starfleet and the Romulans send ships out there in the ENT-era just to have a battle?

SETAL: The new leaders have vowed to discard the treaty and claim the Neutral Zone.

Um, ignoring the treaty to annex land means starting a war. Why wouldn't the Romulans just declare war? For that matter why haven't they asked the Federation to move the neutral zone further into Federation space? Given Starfleet's current antiwar stance, it might actually work!

RIKER: You're saying an entire base has already been established there?
SETAL: In forty-eight hours, the reactor core will be online.

It's implied that until the station is fully powered it's invisible to sensors. Ridiculous.

SETAL: I am not a traitor. All you can see is the opportunity to exploit me. The Federation credo, exploitation. You couldn't get aboard my ship fast enough. Strip it down. What secrets might it reveal that we can use? You're a short sighted people. Can't you understand? I came to stop a war.

Ugh. Starfleet has never attacked first, and he should know that. Even "The Enterprises Incident" was about maintaining the balance of power, not starting a war.

SETAL: Thank you, Doctor. How fortunate you know something of Romulan medicine.
CRUSHER: Yes. I had a chance to gain some experience recently.

Ugh. I'm reminded of McCoy in The Undiscovered Country. It was just as ridiculous there. Starfleet should know basic Romulan medicine. During The Undiscovered Country we were apparently on good enough terms with the Romulans to have an ambassador on Earth, medical knowledge should've been obtained at least as far back as that. Although I wouild've gone even farther back to Liviana Charvanek. McCoy would have asked her about current Romulan medicine while she was a prisoner.

SETAL: Remove this tohzah from my sight.
RIKER: Your knowledge of Klingon curses is impressive.

Actually todSaH is an insult, not a curse. It means something like toady, suckup, bootlicker.

SETAL: Computer, water.
COMPUTER: Temperature?
SETAL: Twelve onkians.
COMPUTER: This system is calibrated to the Celsius metric system.

Complete BS. The people onboard are speaking any number of alien languages, all being translated into English. The translators should've had all major temperature scales and their conversion factors inputted already (I repeat Romulan ambassador comments from the TOS movies again here). I get it that this exchange is meant to convey that Setal isn't on Romulus anymore, but it would've been less dumb to ask for a Romulan foodstuff that hasn't been inputted yet. Perhaps a kind of tea that was invented in the time period between the Tomed Incident and now.

PICARD: It is hard to believe in what one cannot see. And yet conceivably, with their cloaking technology, a fleet of Romulan warships could be passing before our eyes. There must be some way to neutralise this advantage.

Completely asinine. Starfleet would've started working on anticloaking technology the instant they encountered it. If there was a way to neutralize it at this time, Geordi would know about it. This isn't the kind of thing Geordi can pull out of his pocket in a day, even Scotty couldn't do it!

HADEN [on monitor]: Captain, we have received an official protest from the Romulan Empire demanding the return of your defector. Obviously, we are refusing to comply.

It occurs to me that the Neutral Zone treaty would've included language to the effect that anyone from one side who crosses to the other can be taken prisoner. Certainly the Romulans acted like this was the case back in the TOS and TAS days. Our heroes always traded the prisoners back after being debriefed even when they didn't need to.

PICARD: Is there a possibility the wound could be self-inflicted?
CRUSHER: They're very bad burns. I hardly think
PICARD: A possibility.
(She nods)

I'm dubious of this. Surely by the 24th century tricorders can detect things as simple as "was this burn caused by a directed beam or exposure to fire?"

HADEN [on monitor]: The Monitor and the Hood are headed in your direction, though they will arrive too late to be of assistance.

The Monitor is a Nebula-class, the Hood is Excelsior-class. I'll presume that Galaxy-classes are rarely that close to each other to render assistance unless sufficient advance notice is given, such as Wolf 359 or the Dominion War.

PICARD: Yes, Data. I want you to prepare a class one probe. Set the sensors for maximum scan. I want every metre of Nelvana Three monitored.

If you want the entire planet scanned more than the Enterprise can do, I'd thing you'd need more than one probe.
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