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  #61  
Old 05-15-2018, 11:23 PM
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"Conspiracy" coverage, part two

Memory Alpha

The viewers didn't like the episode, so there was never a followup. It was too different from what they thought of as "Star Trek." Oh, the irony...

Various expanded universe sources gave different origins for the bluegills:
DS9 relaunch: The Trill discovered them. One of them took over Audrid Dax's husband. Another took over Shakaar, leading to his death.
Star Trek Online: The solanogen aliens from "Schisms" created them on orders from the Iconians. Weird. Furthermore joined Trill are immune to them.

Memory Beta

They make the host want to eat worms and insects, often using Klingon and Ferengi cuisine as a cover.

Cardassians are immune to them.

TNG Companion

Gene didn’t want the bad guys to be real Starfleet officers, we had to wait for The Undiscovered Country for that.

The mail brought some cries against the gory scenes of death and worm-eating, but Torme took issue with Variety for labelling it TNG’s “most notorious” episode so far.

I also disagree. At least this episode is better structured and had better acting than most other Season One episodes.
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Last edited by Nate the Great; 05-16-2018 at 01:37 PM.
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  #62  
Old 05-16-2018, 01:35 PM
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May 16th, 1988, "The Neutral Zone"

Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

I found plenty to riff on with practically every line, so I'll have to go with highlights:

* Riker should've done a full analysis of what the sleeper ship was before deciding its fate.
* The pods were independent of the ship except for power, and the ship wasn't broadcasting any identifying information. This didn't accomplish anything except provide opportunities for Riker and Picard to be grumpy and to pad out the episode. An episode that didn't need padding because the padding was stealing screentime from the Romulans.
* When the people were found they should've been kept in stasis until they could awaken surrounded by counselors, etc.
* This "the people were frozen after death" thing seems to exist only so Riker and Picard can argue that they could've left the dead people alone. Is this supposed to make them look good?
* Okay, so Offenhouse could afford to set up a fund to support this sleeper ship, but what about the others? It seems like Claire's husband and Sonny did a one-time payment.
* It doesn't occur to anyone to keep the ancient humans away from aliens until they could cope with being in the future. And wouldn't this be Troi's job?
* Our heroes look down on these humans, why? Just looking at the other first season races, the Ligonians and the Angel Oneians seem much worse. Furthermore, aren't Starfleet officers trained to deal with races that have barely invented warp and would have such limitations?
* The Romulan plot steals too much from "Balance of Terror". Maybe having two neighbors not know much about each other works in the more frontier-like 23rd century, but these days the Federation would insist on continual diplomatic contact.
* The problem with the frozen people is that, like many other plots in the first two seasons, the writers have to make our heroes look good by making the guest stars look bad. Instead of, y'know, doing their jobs and writing the main cast correctly the first time.
* The frozen people are mainly left alone until our heroes want to spend time with them. Really, there aren't any junior officers around to keep them company? A schoolteacher or two to catch them up on recent events and technological advances?
* Offenhouse is simply let onto the bridge by the computer. Huh? Couldn't the computer be programmed to recognize authorized users and not let anyone else on unless accompanied by an authorized user? Or at least trigger an alert on Worf's board so he'll be prepared for the unauthorized user?
* The Romulans were squeezed into one scene. Absurd. There were plenty of scenes with the frozen people that could've been cut.
* The question of the missing colonies and the Romulans wasn't followed up on early in Season Two. Big mistake.

The Fiver

Ralph Offenhouse: Could I see today's issue of the Wall Street Journal?
Riker: I'm afraid that we don't carry it.
Offenhouse: Well get a copy somewhere! I want to find out how my Enron stock's been doing since 1999.

Wow, topical joke. As I've said before, these things are time capsules...

Data: Would you care for some replicated pecan pie?
L.Q. "Sonny" Clemonds: Gee, I dunno -- this here hunk o' pie looks like resequenced protein. Don't y'all have a chef on board?

Is this just an Enterprise joke, or were you tying this into Janeway in "Prime Factors", too?

Sonny: I need some uppers for the morning and some downers for the evening.
Crusher: Here's a prescription for ice-cold showers and steamed milk with nutmeg.
Sonny: I had something stronger in mind, if ya catch my drift.
Crusher: Sorry, but "Janeway Blend" coffee and Data's poetry are both controlled substances.

Hehe. I suppose you could've thrown in a request for references before giving Sonny a license for such things, but it would've been overkill.

Memory Alpha

* The script couldn't be revised much because of the Writer's Strike. I call this a poor excuse. Furthermore, the industry should have contingencies for such things, among which should be that the writers can only go on strike between seasons (with perhaps another opportunity at the midseason break).
* An extra wore Troi's skant from "Encounter at Farpoint."
* The display of Claire's family tree originally had many pop culture references, but these had to be replaced for the remastered version.
* First of three times when a character welcomes someone from the past to the twenty-fourth century.

Memory Beta

* Offenhouse made the most appearances in the novels, most notably appearing as the Federation Ambassador to the Ferengi Alliance.
* Sonny returned to music and eventually cleaned up his act.
* Claire helped to counsel the similarly time-displaced Bozeman crew.

Nitpicker's Guide

* The Enterprise is sitting around doing nothing while our crew waits for Picard's shuttle to arrive so they can head for the Neutral Zone. Why not just warp over to where Picard is and save time?
* If the commpanels are only for ship's business, how do the civilians on board talk to each other if they don't have commbadges?
* Phil points out that this is yet another situation where the saucer should be left behind because it's known ahead of time that battle is possible.
* Spock's been talking to Pardek for decades, but there's no data more recent than the Tomed Incident for Troi to research?
* It's said that the Romulans have been in hiding for fifty years and nobody's heard from them, yet they attacked Narendra Three twenty years ago! Or are you going to tell me that this is like their attack on Khitomer or the Ferengi's attack at Maxima, where the details aren't known until much later?
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Last edited by Nate the Great; 05-30-2018 at 12:48 AM.
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  #63  
Old 05-25-2018, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
Returning to the plot, sometimes I wonder how Starfleet ever keeps everything straight. There are just too many planets and ships to keep track of. Can you imagine the number of middle-management drones filling whole starbases worth of cubicles that would be required for all this coordination?
In the enlightened future, middle management is kept to a minimum. That's why there is only one major ship in a sector at any given time, less of this bureaucracy to deal with.

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* Offenhouse made the most appearances in the novels, most notably appearing as the Federation Ambassador to the Ferengi Alliance.
Debtors Planet is pretty okay, especially given that it features both Wesley and the Ferengi.
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  #64  
Old 05-26-2018, 12:32 AM
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I wonder what would've happened had the Romulans found the frozen people first. Would they have killed them outright, or abduct them? Would they provide any useful intelligence as to current human behavior?
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  #65  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:01 PM
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I am catching up on things, so I had a few points to make. Please forgive me if this seems a little bit disjointed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
February 15th, 1988, "When the Bough Breaks"

...

RADUE: We must return now to Aldea. Our eyes are very sensitive to bright light.

I get that this is a clue for the radiation sickness reveal later, but delivered in this way it really does seem like a Chekov's Gun to incapacitate them later, doesn't it? It's a shame the writer never thought of it.
Okay, so how do I use the SPOILER tag again?

Spoiler: Ah, here we go! 


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Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
May 2nd, 1988, "We'll Always Have Paris"

...

PICARD: Did he anticipate that these experiments might be dangerous?
JENICE: I didn't think so. Now, in retrospect, he probably did. That would explain all the unusual precautions he began taking, even before the accident. The force field, the elaborate security system. Every time he started a new experiment, he insisted that I stay in what he called a protected room.

I'm not sure how you would shield a room to resist temporal effects. You'd probably need to infuse the forcefield with tachyons or somesuch.
Chronitons, but that's not important right now.

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Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
May 2nd, 1988, "We'll Always Have Paris"

...

MANHEIM: She never would admit this, but she has had a terrible time these last years. Had we not been so isolated, she might have left me, and I never would have known. At least, not right away.

"Isolated." Right. The Hansens were isolated, the Manheims were just a little bit off the beaten path. There's a difference.
Commenting on two different points on the same episode. My, my.

"Isolated" might be referring to the personal isolation rather than locational. Besides, it did not sound like they regularly entertained visiting ships period, much less Federation starships. It would be like being stuck on a small island that could still see cargo ships going by, but never having any of those ships visit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
"Conspiracy" coverage, part two

...

Star Trek Online: The solanogen aliens from "Schisms" created them on orders from the Iconians. Weird. Furthermore joined Trill are immune to them.
I didn't mind STO's Bluegill explanation, though one of the few Starfleet officers to get the parasite in-game was a Trill. The fact that she's unjoined explains why it even worked at all, which was interesting to see considering Kyla VanZyl's bio does not list whether she is joined or not. The Bluegills were used to make sure an Iconian servitor race stayed loyal - they were originally going to use them on the Tal'Shiar Romulans, but you know that Romulan treachery has no bounds already, and Sela does not play well with following orders, only giving them.

I have further reading on the subject of the Bluegill in STO.
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  #66  
Old 11-17-2018, 07:22 PM
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Season Two doesn't start until next Wednesday, but as a prelude I'd like to return to something from the series bible:


Tasha has a beau ideal too, which happens to be fifteen year old Wes Crusher. Deprived of her own childhood by the harsh life of her "hell planet" home, she treats this person like the most wonderful person imaginable. Wes is the childhood friend that Tasha never had.

And tie it to something from the third issue of the TNG comic book (covered by Linkara here)...


(Tasha and Wesley are playing a game of tag with harmless phasers. He "tags" her and she dramatically crumples to the ground clutching her chest.)
Tasha: Wesley Crusher, you sneak! How could you turn on me like this? After all we've done together, all we've meant to each other, you turn on me...


It really is fascinating sometimes seeing what the expanded universe does in the early days when all they have is the series bible and a few photos to work from, isn't it?
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  #67  
Old 11-21-2018, 12:22 PM
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November 21st, 1988, "The Child"


No fiver
Transcript

Memory Alpha


Background Information



* The Phase II stuff is at the end, we'll do the TNG episode first.

* I understand why Geordi was promoted, but it still doesn't make sense within the chain of command. Having him change departments for a season before the promotion would've opened up many storytelling possibilities, but of course this is TNG Season Two. A shame...
* Pulaski was introduced in the worst way possible. A senior officer not reporting to the captain before assuming her duties is worthy of disciplinary action unless there's a BIG medical disaster. And Troi doesn't count, a lesser doctor (Selar?) could've handled that for a day just as well.
* Pulaski's interactions with Data could've waited until a later time, this episode was overloaded as it was.



The Episode

* Georgi has to replicate something five hundred times. Industrial replicators haven't been invented yet, but in this case I think an alternative could've been found; like automated fabrication units or using the replicators on the Repulse as well.

* As SF Debris says, it's laughable how little the pregnancy or birth affects Troi. I'll forgive nonsense like this in Avengers #200 with Carol Marcus, as comic books have a younger audience. But this isn't a comic book. Here you could at least drop some technobabble about how somehow the baby is flooding her body with endorphins or how in this case the connection between mother and child is much more efficient to put less strain on her body.
* It's nice that Data wants to serve as birthing coach, but Pulaski's statement that usually the father is present seems overly obtuse. She knows that there's no father, she knows that now is not the time to make people any more uncomfortable, she chooses a miraculous birth as the time to make fun of Data (very unprofessional), etc...
* Introducing Guinan and Pulaski in the same episode was a bad idea, especially when you had the Wesley and Troi plots to worry about already. To be frank this episode should've been put off a week or two (if it had to happen at all, of course), and move up The Outrageous Okona (plenty of room to spare in that plot!) to introduce the new status quo.
* They can't even blow the specimens into space, because they'll still be a danger. So no secondary backup exists? Fit the cargo bay with special radiation emitters to flood the thing with death rays if needed!


Memory Alpha

* First episode where Wesley wears a communicator. Really?
* First time the three light bars were used to activate the transporter. These are of course a homage to the three slider switches used by Scotty and Kyle in TOS.



Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil also finds the idea that the specimen modules can't be jettisoned ridiculous. Dump it into a star!
* Where did Ian's Y chromosome come from?

* Ian can sense people's emotions even though Betazoids don't develop their empathic abilities until puberty (except for Tam Elbrun, of course). He could've dropped a line of exposition saying that he turned on this ability early to learn more.


Star Trek Phase II Version

(Information from my copy of Star Trek Phase II The Lost Series)


* The entity explores Uhura and Chekov before Ilia. One presumes that Uhura wasn't chosen because Ilia's mental powers would be more useful.
* Ilia points out that she hasn't broken her vow of celibacy. A valid point, but that should be a bit farther down the list of questions if you ask me. Unless you're going to tell me that Deltans can sense their children from the point of conception.
* Ilia's child Irska is a girl, getting around the missing Y chromosome bit.
* Somehow Irska is human, despite Ilia being Deltan. One wonders what the point of this is.
* The external threat is an alien ship, not samples. More dramatic, but less personal, it's a tossup which is better.
* Irska plays a more direct role in helping the ship than Ian.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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  #68  
Old 11-28-2018, 12:08 PM
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November 28th, 1988, "Where Silence Has Lease"


No fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

I could nitpick the technology for hours, but I don't have the time. The problem is that with a little thought I could solve most of them, so why couldn't the writing staff?


* Troi and Picard are worried about Riker joining Worf on the holodeck. Does Worf disable the safeties?

* I don't like it when they depict Worf as blind with bloodlust. This level of barely contained rage could put a mission or crewmember at risk.
* I call a probe vanishing without a trace worthy of Yellow Alert, why are they ribbing Worf so much?* Now is not the time for Pulaski to rib Data. Furthermore it's established elsewhere that she's not a bridge officer (for some reason), so why is she here if there's no medical emergency?
* I get not wanting to instigate hostilities, but if the Romulan fires first without hailing first I say that hostilities have been instigated. Knock it off with the warnings, Picard, it makes you look weak!
* The sheer number of powers exhibited by Nagilum worries me. He's on the level of the Talosians if you ask me. Manipulating senses and ship sensors at this level is scary.

* Nagilum can contact ships outside his boundaries, but didn't until the end. I don't think he can claim moral superiority, or even equality.


Memory Alpha

* Between this episode and "Contagion" various things about the Yamato were changed. There are explanations for these, but I vote for the MST3K quote: "They just didn't care!"


Nitpickers Guide

* Much confusion about Pulaski's bridge officer status. In "Thine Own Self" it's established that you can't become a full commander without getting bridge officer status. So how is Pulaski a full commander? Troi seemed to imply that a Lt. Commander can be chief medical officer.

* Phil repeats my two data point comment.
* Phil also brings up the confusion about O'Brien's rank.



YouTube

* Animal Worf almost kills Riker
* Worf and Riker and two Yamato bridges
* Picard talks to Data about death
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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Old 12-05-2018, 01:21 PM
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December 5th, 1988, "Elementary, Dear Data"


Fiver (by Derek)

Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

I need a shorter way to say "horrible misuse of established Treknology, good character work, would work better in isolation." I do enjoy the performances, especially Daniel Davis as Moriarty. Back in the day I enjoyed his performance as Niles the butler on The Nanny as well.


* I get that Geordi would want to make a model Victory, I do. It's great that people still want to make things and not just replicate them. But it shouldn't be in Engineering, that was stupid.

* Geordi wants to participate in the Holmes program, but doesn't know the basic workings of the Victorian age. Ugh. Was that "haven't they invented the electric light yet" bit supposed to be a joke? Because it isn't, it just makes him look like an idiot.
* At least they're trying to humanize Pulaski and make her interactions with Data more reasonable. Took them long enough.
* You'd think by now a Doyle/Holmes randomizer would've been built into the program anyway. Ugh.
* The way they describe the holodeck isn't quite right. I could write whole essays on how the thing should work, but you guys wouldn't be interested. Let's just say that they imply that the walls are nothing more than huge TV sets, and it's not that simple.
* It's been discussed by other people (including SF Debris) that some of the simpler props must be replicated, as it would be more energy efficient. Specifically he mentions when someone consumes food on the holodeck. Supposedly this would explain how Moriarty can create a drawing of the Enterprise that can exist off the holodeck. I had a whole tech lecture typed out, but the short version is that holographic puppets and replicated props each have their downsides, and the simplest scenario is to assume that everything is holographic and tasteless unless the user specifically requests a replicated prop be substituted.

* Once again everyone acts like the holodeck can't be unplugged manually. No 24th-century fusebox? Nothing that can be severed with a plasma torch?



The Fiver

La Forge: Yeah. Check out my model ship. Isn't it great?
Data: No. And you've never expressed an interest in building model ships before.
La Forge: Don't worry. I never will again either.


Good point. It's a shame we couldn't have tied Worf into this subplot before. After all, he's the one with model experience.



La Forge: (writing and narrating) "It was a dark and stormy night..." Dang it. This is Reading Rainbow.
Inspector Lestrade: Holmes, there's been an awful crime committed. Mr. Boddy has been murdered!
Data: Ha! Ms. Scarlet with the candlestick in the Study! Go me!
La Forge: Data, how could you possibly know that?
Data: Take a look. It's in a book. It's Sherlock Holmes.
La Forge: That's it. I'm leaving.



I'll just toss you this fan cover of the Reading Rainbow theme...


Data: Ha! Mrs. Peacock with the wrench in the Kitchen! Go me!


Given the surroundings, wouldn't the candlestick in the Study make more sense?


Computer: What do you want?
Moriarty: I'd like a burger and fries... supersized.
Computer: Sigh. I thought I made you sentient.



Another time capsule joke. I would've based the punchline on something like "I thought I gave you better taste than that", but I'm not sure which is better.


Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil brings up the image vs. replicated thing again.
* He wonders why Data and Geordi left Moriarty's lair (which has an arch) to go down the street to call for the arch. Phil seems to think that the arch's location relative to a holographic environment is fixed each time a program is loaded. This is ludicrous.

* There's discussion about whether Moriarty meets the definition of a sentient being established in "The Measure of a Man." I'd argue that he does, but that's a discussion for another time.
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #70  
Old 12-12-2018, 08:20 PM
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December 12th, 1988, "The Outrageous Okona"

A lot of people bash this episode, but I consider it a guilty pleasure. My only real problem is that Data's subplot doesn't really resolve. Surely there is some stepping-stone lesson to humor that he could've discovered without upsetting the status quo too much.

No Fiver (is this one reserved?)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

* It seems odd that they specify that a humanoid race colonized this system, then have these guys indistinguishable from humans. This place couldn't be a human colony like in "Up The Long Ladder"?
* Why does Okona's ship have to be sublight only? I hate the concept of impulse-only ships in general, but this is just silly. Even when you limit space to just the solar system, it's big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely--SLAP!
* As has been covered elsewhere, Deanna may define Okona as a "rogue", but that's a horrible way to establish a character trait, especially when the character isn't written to fit it.
* Okona asks if Data has ever been drunk. Data correctly notes that he can't become intoxicated, but I'd still like a reference to the events of "The Naked Now", no matter how obliquely.
* Loading twice the cargo capacity in canaries...I get that it's a scientifically inaccurate joke, but I'm going to link to a Mythbusters clip anyway.
* Guinan's android/humanoid joke is absolutely awful. As others have said, any joke that you have to explain isn't funny.
* Fish aren't amphibians. They couldn't use alligator/reptilian?
* A monk, a clone, and a Ferengi? It's almost like I made a thread about that joke ten years ago or something...
* The laser thing is often brought up in the Star Trek/Star Wars debate. I choose not to delve too deep into this issue, as it's clear that real world lasers=/=Star Wars lasers=/=Star Trek lasers. As for who would win in a fight between the Death Star and a Borg cube, the Borg cube would. It can regenerate and is full of individually expendable drones.
* Why did they kill time with tracking down Okona? It always infuriates me when people can't be tracked with internal sensors. As it seems clear that Okona isn't human, setting the sensors to look for a Madenan life signs should be a simple task. For that matter, wouldn't there be some form of limited-function commbadge for guests (and Wesley) to use?
* I find it disturbing that the Enterprise crew considers the idea that fathers have an obligation to children that they help conceive archaic. Eesh.
* It would've been fun if Data's hobby of telling lame jokes had continued.

Memory Alpha

* They say that Data saying that he hasn't be drunk from alcohol is a reference to "The Naked Now." I still say they could've made a more overt reference.

Nitpickers Guide

* Phil wonders if Okona could see Troi on the viewscreen, because if he could, wouldn't he flirt with her?
* He also wonders what makes Guinan an expert on humor. What makes her not an expert, I wonder. It's not like she's ever solemn when she doesn't have to be!

TNG Companion

Jerry Lewis was approached to play the part of The Comic, but had scheduling problems. The 3D chess set has a few pieces that are references to Lost in Space.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:21 PM
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I have to catch up on the TNG Companion notes:


“Where Silence Has Lease”

According to Hurley, this superalien’s name [Nagilum] is the reverse spelling (minus one l) of Mulligan. The name was chosen because actor Richard Mulligan, the star of Soap and Empty Nest, was originally sought to play the role.

My parents remember Richard Mulligan more for Empty Nest, but sadly I know him best as Barnaby from the remake of Babes in Toyland.

“Elementary, Dear Data”

The ending originally filmed was dropped from the version aired: the paper with Moriarty’s sketch of the Enterprise is significant not because of what he’s drawn but for the fact that it exists off the holodeck. Picard is then aware that the character can somehow be saved, as opposed to the gone-awry holodeck images of “The Big Goodbye”, and so his explanations to Moriarty were seen as a lie by Gene Roddenberry, who didn’t want Picard to stoop to deception.

I have no problem with the Enterprise drawing: we’ve seen before how simple, static objects like snowballs and possibly food are replicated but the more complex stuff is merely illusion.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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Old 12-23-2018, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
La Forge: Can you say Reading Rainbow?
Data: Reading Rainbow.
La Forge: I think I like seventh season Data better.
I love this running gag.
Quote:
Pulaski: In that case, Data sucks. He's a toaster. Data, you couldn't solve an original Sherlock Holmes mystery if your life depended on it.
Data: I accept your challenge. I will solve an original Sherlock Holmes mystery and your life will depend on it.
Pulaski: Good!
Another favorite you didn't mention.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:38 PM
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January 9th, 1989, "Loud as a Whisper"


Preface: I get the intended message, but this is yet another episode where we are supposed to accept completely implausible plot holes (specifically about telepathy, deafness, etc.) to facilitate character work. Ugh.



Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript

Memory Alpha


The Episode

* Creators, please stop showing Picard in his ready room doing non-work related stuff. He has quarters for that!

* Troi, stop vocalizing private emotional states when they aren't relevant! At best you should ask for clarification and shut up when Worf says that he's not expecting battle.

* "Talk to Riva and not his chorus" should be in the mission briefing. It made Picard look like an idiot and everyone look like they never do any homework for their missions beyond the one-sentence summary.
* Another instance of laser activity as marking a more primitive weapons technology than phasers. Given that we know what lasers can do, I wish they'd ignored the TOS instances of the term as being '60s-era stupidity and invented another term for a more primitive energy weapon technology.
* You'd think there would be technology to nullify energy weapons within a given area. By all means make it extremely bulky so you can't use it without preparation time, and make it so you can only block certain frequencies (I don't think these guys can "modulate the frequencies to a higher EM band", do you?), but it should be possible!
* Worf raises a good point, but you wonder why the Klingons haven't invented a gestural language by now, even if it only includes the concepts needed in battle.
* As SF Debris said, this episode is the exact wrong one to mention the possibility of Geordi getting real eyes. Not only does it conflict with the message, it makes you wonder why they can make substitute eyes but not substitute ears for Riva.


The Fiver

Chorus: Riva is deaf. We three interpret his thoughts and serve as his voice.
Intellect: I speak in matters of logic and reason.
Passion: I represent emotion and spontaneity.
Harmony: And I strive to maintain balance between the others.
Picard: I'm surprised you don't also have a Scottish engineer on your team.
Harmony: We do, but he is on holiday this week.



Nice invocation of the Trinity, but if you're going to invoke Scotty a more specific joke would've been appropriate. He went on vacation to Argelius, he has a hangover from a scotch binge, he's stuck in a Jefferies tube, etc.


Data: I have been studying various sign languages in the hope of communicating with Riva, but I am not sure which one will work best.
Picard: Choose one and give us a demonstration. What would be the sign for "happy"?
Data: " "
Picard: I'd skip to the next choice if I were you.



I wonder how you're supposed to say that out loud. Given that, here's a random list of ASCII emoticons...



Memory Alpha

* So Riva's actor, Howie Seago, wanted an episode to dispell myths about deaf people. I wonder what he could mean, beyond "deaf people have brains just like hearing people". Besides, if hearing people aren't supposed to grab deaf people's heads and shout at them, why did this appear in the episode?


Nitpickers Guide

* If the locals have mere lasers, how did it destroy Riva's chorus layer by layer? I'd think lasers would just punch holes in a person to kill them.
* Phil has a problem with how the chorus's robes were billowing as they beamed in, saying that the transporter would have to manipulate them atom by atom as they were materializing. I think Phil was being overly critical on this one. This isn't the first or last time that people will move during the period when they are within the annular confinement beam. This is just one example of a forgivable cheat that has to exist for the show to exist, just like the humanlike aliens, perfect Universal translation along with holographic projections over everyone's lips to make it look like they're making English words with their mouths, etc.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:18 PM
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January 23rd, 1989, "The Schizoid Man"

No fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha

First, off, one thing that's always bugged me about Graves is that he looks way too young. He even looks younger than Soong! Maybe they should've made him an alien to compensate. Had they specified that he's a long-lived race (possibly a Rigelian, specifically a Zami) they could've avoided the problem entirely.

(The Amazing Thing I learned today is that there are three subspecies of Rigelians to compensate for the different depictions across canon: the reptilian, the Vulcanoid, and the four-gendered. I'm most familiar with the Vulcanoid i.e. "the emotional Vulcans that aren't Romulans", I especially recommend the novel Mind Meld)

Sit back and get comfortable, there's plenty of TOS-era conversational plot holes and stupidity here.

The Episode

Medical log, Stardate 42437.5. Ira Graves is arguably the greatest human mind in the universe.

Cue Azetbur quote, but let's get serious here. I think that the title of "greatest human mind" should go to more of a Renaissance Man than this guy, closer to Da Vinci than Hawking. Graves seems to be tech only, no art or anything.

PICARD: Starfleet Command considers Graves' work on molecular cybernetics is reaching a critical stage. They consider this a priority one action.

Putting aside what "molecular cybernetics" is, I hate this line. It shouldn't matter who Graves is or what he's doing. He's a Federation Citizen in trouble, that should be enough.

DATA: When I stroke the beard thusly, do I not appear more intellectual?
TROI: I'm sorry, I have to go now. Goodbye.

Great scene.

WORF: We are receiving a transmission from Gravesworld, sir. It's unfocused. Not directed specifically at us.

Did the creators think that the audience had forgotten what "general distress call" means?
WORF: Our records show that she and Graves are the only ones living on the planet, Captain.

This isn't like Paul Manheim's work, there's no particular reason why this planet needs only two people. Repeat previous rants about tiny planetary populations.

PICARD: And what about Graves?
PULASKI: He's one man.

I think Pulaski was a little too callous with this line. Two thousand colonists are certainly more important from a triage standpoint, but she could've worded this better. If nothing else they could've moved the line about Selar further up and avoided this issue.

RIKER: Why don't we execute a long range transport of an away team to assist Doctor Graves at earliest possible moment. We'd come out of warp just long enough to energise the beam.

I hate this whole forced tension thing. A transporter cycle takes five seconds. Figure that coming out of warp and going into warp takes five seconds each. They're implying that they're tweaking things to have the transport cycle bite into the warp cycle. i.e. instead of a car coming to a full stop to let someone out the car is slowing down just long enough to toss someone out the door before speeding off. This is stupid. You are endangering the away team's lives to save less than five seconds!

PICARD [OC]: Transport. This may be a little tricky. I would like you to handle it.
LAFORGE: Yes, Captain.


Why isn't O'Brien handling this?

RIKER: Phaser on stun, Mister Worf. We don't know what's going on down there.

One, a phaser should always be on stun by default unless the officer specifically changes the setting because they're in a war zone. Two, you know what's going on, a medical emergency!

TROI: This might sound crazy, but for a moment I thought I was stuck in that wall.
WORF: For a moment, you were.

I never did understand how people are supposed to sense things when they're nothing but a bunch of atoms being disassembled and reassembled.

GRAVES: Ridiculous! I'm as healthy as a Rigelian ox!

I wrote the Rigelian essay above before noticing this. Cue Twilight Zone theme.

GRAVES: He's a Klingon, Kareen. Kareen has lived here since her father died when she was very young. Her only knowledge of unhuman races comes from me. Klingons and Romulans don't look much alike, Kareen, even though they act much alike.

Why is this here? Even if the latest advancements in holodeck technology haven't gotten out here yet, pictures still exist, right? And I'll bet small holographic sculptures like Tasha Yar or those musicians Riker observed in "Haven" were invented before full-blown holodecks! How does Kareen not knowing what a Klingon looks like benefit the story?

DATA: Lieutenant Commander Data
GRAVES: Shhh! Absolutely no aesthetic value whatsoever. Looks like Soong's work.


So at this point they hadn't settled on Data looking like a young Soong yet?
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:18 PM
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GRAVES: It's an ancient little tune called 'If I Only Had A Heart.' A plaintive lament sung by a mechanical man who longs to be human. It's his only wish.

You know, this thing of whether the Tin Woodman is a real mechanical man like Tik-Tok or is actually a magically animated puppet is a bit befuddling. I'm inclined to believe the latter. The Tin Woodman is not mechanical and doesn't want to be human (he was a Munckin to start with, remember?), he just wants to feel emotion.

DATA: I believe I have a few words to say, sir. (steps up to the case) Just look at that face. The face of a thinker. A warrior. A man for all seasons. Yes, Ira Graves was all that and more. But he was not perfect. Perhaps his greatest fault was that he was too selfless. He cared too much for his fellow man, with nary a thought for himself. A man of limitless accomplishments, and unbridled modesty. I can safely say that to know him was to love him. And to love him was to know him. Those who knew him, loved him, while those who did not know him, loved him from afar.

The phrase "laying it on with a trowel" comes to mind. Then again, how many men get to write their own obituary?

DATA: When you get to be my age, you will understand.
WESLEY: Your age? Data, chronologically, you're not much older than I am.

Data was constructed in 2336 or thereabouts, Wesley was born in 2348. I'm not sure if twelve years counts as "not much older".

DATA: That is ridiculous. I am as healthy as a Rigelian ox.

I never noticed this repetition before. It's a shame that Selar heard it the first time and Pulaski the second time, or else this would've been a useful Chekov's Gun. And did the audience need one more piece of evidence to figure out what's going on?

DATA: May I ask a question?
LAFORGE: I think you just did.
DATA: Quite correct. Then may I ask another question after this one?
LAFORGE: You can ask me anything you want.
DATA: Why am I lying on the floor in this undignified position with the four of you standing over me, displaying expressions of concern?
PICARD: I've heard more than enough. You're you again.

Great scene.

Memory Alpha

* First appearance of an away team/landing party that contains no humans: Klingon, android, Vulcan, half-Betazoid.
* Only in-person appearance of Dr. Selar, although she'll be namedropped here and there for the rest of the series. For the future adventures of Selar most people will think of the New Frontier series, but may I recommend the novel The Eyes of the Beholders? Plus she appeared in the Strange New Worlds short story "Q'uandary" where she serves as midwife for Q's wife (who I call Lady Q in honor of I, Q) in the background of "The Q and the Grey".

Nitpicker's Guide

* Since Pulaski's initial turbolift journey is backed by her narration, she doesn't have the chance to tell the computer where she wants to go. You'd think they could toss in a "Bridge" before the narration starts...
* Supposedly the Enterprise went into warp the instant that the away team materialized, and yet they use their commbadges to talk to the ship after arriving. Since when can communicators reach ships that aren't in orbit?
* In Volume II Phil uses the term "cabbagehead" for "idiot", a term that I haven't encountered in years. And the Amazing Thing I Learned Today is that this bit of slang dates all the way back to the Victorian era.
* Phil wonders about the bedside manner of a Vulcan doctor. I have to admit that while sounding vaguely racist, this idea might have some merit. Wouldn't a Vulcan doctor prefer to either serve on a Vulcan-only ship or focus on medical research?
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:53 PM
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January 30th, 1989, "Unnatural Selection"

Prelude: TOS did the rapid aging episode better on the whole, but at least Pulaski got some good character work this week. Another episode where the plot holes are big enough to drive a shuttlecraft through.

No Fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, Stardate 42494.8. The Enterprise is bound for Star Station India to rendezvous with a Starfleet medical courier. We've been told only that our presence is imperative.

Why the mystery?

DATA: Two point two milli-parsecs, bearing three zero at one four five degrees.

2.2 milliparsecs is about 68 million kilometers, a little larger than the orbital radius of Mercury. For communications to be so broken at such a distance without a clear explanation is weird. Furthermore, why is the Enterprise so close to the Lantree if they weren't supposed to rendezvous or anything? TLDR: The "milli" is unnecessary.

PICARD: Adjust course to intercept. Warp seven.

Warp 7 is over 656.14 times the speed of light. To cover 68 million kilometers would take two minutes. On screen this is more like thirty seconds. One wonders why the creators even bothered pinning down numbers to the warp factors.

RIKER: Captain Telaka was my age, sir.

Riker is 30. I kinda thought that even in the 24th century captaincies at this age were extremely rare, meant for the exceptional. Yeah, I'm being pedantic.

PULASKI: All right. We could beam up one child in styrolite in suspended animation.

This episode was the only appearance of styrolite. I'm not sure what advantage this plastic bubble is meant to have over a stasis pod. Surely stasis pods with additional medical barriers have been invented by now. Furthermore I'm unsure how this thing is supposed to sustain the occupant. Suspended animation requires machinery.

O'BRIEN: It's the styrolite. I'm altering the delta-T so the styrolite coding materialises two micro-seconds ahead of the child.

It sure sounds like this stasis field is just a plastic bubble.


PULASKI: This child is in better health than we are. His immune system is so advanced it may not be possible for him to contract disease.

I hate this common notion in scifi that it's possible to make a body immune to all disease. Hasn't it been proven that disease will evolve in parallel with treatment?

PULASKI: I did, Commander. I assume that you're qualified to pilot this shuttlecraft.

And this is why people hated Pulaski, she kept up the android-bashing way longer than needed. I get the intended parallel with McCoy and Spock, but at least on TOS the jabs eventually turned into playful repartee, not continually building of barriers.


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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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RIKER: A blood test, a tissue sample, anything that would have a sample of Doctor Pulaski's original DNA.
DATA: No, sir. Her records were shipped by way of Starfleet headquarters. They have not caught up with us yet.
RIKER: This is ridiculous. A cell, a single cell. Let's check her quarters.

Another contrivance. Pulaski should've kept a clean sample of her own genetics as a medical precaution. And it takes weeks to transmit a few records via subspace?

Memory Alpha

* In later episodes it's stated over and over that genetic modification for enhancement is illegal. So what happened here?
* In addition to "The Deadly Years" the transporter was used to reverse aging in "The Lorelai Signal."
* First appearance of O'Brien as transporter chief.

Nitpickers Guide

* Doesn't this episode establish that immortality is possible? Just reset back to an earlier physical pattern!
* Phil also has a problem with the skewed priorities I mentioned.
* Couldn't they test the transporter deaging with someone who does have their transporter trace on file? You know, save the lives of the people who don't have a hatred of transporters?

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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.

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Old 02-06-2019, 10:55 PM
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February 6th, 1989, "A Matter of Honor"


No fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

* We see the return of the officer exchange program. This worked with the Klingons because we are allies with them and the militaries are separate. Benzites? They're Federation members, they officers should be no different. The best I can come up with is that Benzites prefer to serve on Benzite-only ships, akin to the Vulcan Intrepid in TOS, and this is the first time one has served on a mixed ship. A better candidate for the program would be a Ferengi officer. It would've been a good episode and provide a lot of conflict.
* I'm not sure how I feel about the Mendon/Mordoc thing. Issue one: even if the actor proved to be a good fit for the Benzite race, it should've been easy enough to tweak the makeup so that he doesn't look exactly like Mordoc. Issue two: this confusion seems to be less of a joke than an expression of human race blindness. Not a good reflection of the evolved humanity, is it?
* The target range is a nice idea, too bad the technology didn't exist yet to make it very impressive. At this point it looks very fake and very much "let the actor shoot wherever and whenever and we'll fix it in post." ugh.
* "I don't recall hearing of a Federation officer serving ever on a Klingon vessel." First, Starfleet officer. Second, Star Trek V was released later that year, this would've been a good time to namedrop Spock serving as a gunner. Advertising the movie, etc.
* "I have studied and know everything about my heritage." I'm reminded of SF Debris' explanation of how Worf is different from other Klingons: he only saw the romantic (not that kind of romantic) aspects, not the harsh realities.

* Mendon just wandering around and commenting on other people's work seems odd. Just what position is he supposed to be filling in the officer exchange program? When Riker went over, he was first officer. When Kurn came over, it looked like he was temporarily being second officer. But what is Mendon's job? If anything I could see him taking Wesley's position of helmsman while Wesley is studying or doing another project.
* Pulaski not knowing about Klingon cuisine seems odd. Having Geordi here would make more sense.
* O'Brien would be afraid to serve on a Klingon ship? He served in the Cardassian wars, this is nothing! If anything he should've said something about avoiding one particular Klingon dish; it has unfortunate results on the Human body. Or maybe ask for a specific Klingon beverage (they can't drink bloodwine ALL the time, right?).
* Mendon reports to Worf? He's in Science blue, wouldn't he report to Data?
* Tactics has never seen a human before? That seems rather unbelievable. If anything I would expect Klingon schooling to include the tactics of the Federation (just in case), Romulans, Cardassians, etc. including pictures. Just tweak the line to say he's never MET a human before!
* How did this bacteria get from the Pagh to the Enterprise? Simplest solution: The Enterprise was towing the ship at the start of the mission as the result of events before the episode and some of this bacteria moved along the tractor beam.
* This Benzite thing of not reporting anything until it had been fully studied and an appropriate response contrived seems odd. At minimum Data should've been informed, it's not like he ever complains of an increased workload!
* "There are no old warriors." I get that this is just an expression and shouldn't be taken literally, but it's still a disturbing thought.
* Riker's "one or both" quip is clever, but I wonder how it got past '80s censors.
* A twelve-centimeter opening in a hull wouldn't be noticed? I jolly well expect a hole almost five inches across should be sensed by the computer!
* Kargan thinks that this is an attack by the Enterprise. Let's count the ways that this is ridiculous.

** First, the ships only crossed paths because of Riker, if Picard wanted to destroy the Pagh it's because he wants to kill random Klingons. The Klingons may like killing people, but even they don't believe in indiscriminate bloodshed; there has to be a reason.
** Second, in terms of technology the Enterprise is several levels above the Pagh, plus it's full of Starfleet engineers that can turn rocks into replicators. If Picard wanted to destroy the Pagh I'm sure Geordi could come up with a more subtle and untrackable method. The muon wave from "The Next Phase" seems like a better method all around, especially when you consider that Klingon engine self-diagnoses are less thorough than Federation ones.

** Third, Riker is on board! Why beam him onto a ship that you intend to destroy?
* O'Brien will wait until forty thousand? Assuming he means kilometers, that's the operational range of the transporters anyway, he has to wait until forty thousand!


Memory Alpha

* The reason John Putch returned was because the head appliance was made to fit him alone, and it was cheaper to hire him than another actor. I still say that the appliance could've been tweaked to not be Mordock anymore.

* First appearance of Klingon bloodwine.
* The Pagh has phasers instead of disrupters. Call this another example of bad editing in the script phase, or someone on set not knowing the difference. If it was a person, s/he should've been fired. The difference between phasers and disrupters is Trek 101.
* O'Brien later served on a Klingon ship in "Shadows and Symbols". I think that the difference is that it was explicitly a single mission plus he had friends with him for moral support.


Nitpicker's Guide

* Back in "Coming of Age" Mordock was declared the first Benzite in Starfleet, oops. Another reason why Mendon shouldn't have worn a Starfleet uniform to make the officer exchange bit more plausible.
* The parasite is declared to be "subatomic". Huh? "Microscopic" isn't enough?
* Cutting off the affected chunk of hull to prevent further spreading isn't discussed. Do Klingons even keep spacesuits on their ships?


YouTube

Riker on the Klingon ship. Stay tuned for the second half when he encounters the Klingon women at dinner.



__________________
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.

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Old 02-14-2019, 12:43 AM
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February 13th, 1989, "The Measure of a Man"

As a prelude, I do like this episode, but there are contrivances all over the place.

Fiver (by Zeke)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

DATA: This game is exceedingly simple. With only fifty two cards, twenty one of which I will see, and four other players, there are a limited number of winning combinations.
LAFORGE: There's more to this than just the cards, Data.
DATA: Of course. The bets will indicate of the relative strength of each hand.

I've never played poker for money, and even I think that this is overly simplistic. As the saying goes, you play the man and not the cards.

PULASKI: The game is seven card high/low with a buy on the last card. And just to make it more interesting, the man with the axe takes all.

I've seen this episode many many times and only now am I looking up the definition of "man with the axe." This is a nickname for the King of Diamonds, so called because he carries an axe and not a sword. I assume this means that while in the normal poker game all suits are equal, she is declaring that diamonds is the highest suit for this hand.

PICARD:If we weren't around all these people, do you know what I would like to do?
PHILLIPA: Bust a chair across my teeth?
PICARD: After that.
PHILLIPA: Ain't love wonderful.

And later...

PHILLIPA: When I prosecuted you in the Stargazer court martial, I was doing my job.
PICARD: Oh, you did more than your job. You enjoyed it.
PHILLIPA: Not true! A court martial is standard procedure when a ship is lost. I was doing my duty as an officer of the Judge Advocate General.
PICARD: You always enjoyed the adversarial process more than arriving at the truth.

Talk about tonal whiplash. Why were two such conflicting relationships established? We'll be returning to this.

MADDOX: Yes, I evaluated Data when it first applied to the Academy.
DATA: And was the sole member of the committee to oppose my entrance on the grounds that I was not a sentient being.

Not to be a jerk, but establishing Data's sentience and rights seems like a necessary step before he entered the Academy. Because being an Academy student and later a Starfleet officer grants more and more rights, and there shouldn't have been a wobbly foundation to build them upon.

MADDOX: I was afraid this might be your attitude, Captain. Here are Starfleet's transfer orders separating Commander Data from the Enterprise, and reassigning it to Starbase one seventy three under my command.

I would've brought this up during the hearing. Maddox doesn't believe that Data is sentient or has rights, but exploits the Starfleet command structure to his benefit where necessary. Upon reflecting on this line today I wonder about this transfer. What duties is Data supposed to do under Maddox's command? Later on Phillipa implies that the transfer is for the purpose of "experimental refit." You can't "refit" a Starfleet officer. Phillipa also implies that Data can refuse the procedure if sent with Maddox. If Phillipa is assuming that Data has the right to refuse later, why won't she let Data refuse NOW?

PICARD: Data, I understand your objections, but I have to consider Starfleet's interests. What if Commander Maddox is correct, there is a possibility that many more beings like yourself could be constructed.

It's in Starfleet's interests to create more Datas regardless of Data's rights? That almost sounds like Section 31 thinking, doesn't it?
DATA: Sir, Lieutenant La Forge's eyes are far superior to human biological eyes. True? Then why are not all human officers required to have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants? (Picard looks away) I see. It is precisely because I am not human.

As I've stated before (the PNQ thread?), I disagree that Geordi's VISOR is superior to biological eyes. The thing is, even IF we accept this as a fact, cybernetic augmentation is a completely different philosophical issue that creating android slaves.

PHILLIPA: My God, twice in as many days.
PICARD: I need your help.
PHILLIPA: An historic moment.

Admittedly she has the right to be snarky, but whether she wants Picard's affection or his respect, her sarcasm is not helping!

PHILLIPA: So you came to me for help.
PICARD: Yes, I came to you. You're the JAG officer for this sector. I had no choice but to come to you.
PHILLIPA: Wait! I didn't mean it that way. I'm glad that you felt you could, well, come to me.
PICARD: The word trust just isn't in your vocabulary, is it. Good try, nine out of ten for effort.
PHILLIPA: I wish things were different.
PICARD: I wish I could believe that.

Again, does she want his affection or respect? This schizophrenia is very confusing.

DATA: Is it not customary to request permission before entering an individual's quarters?
MADDOX: I thought that we could talk this out, that I could try to persuade you.

So does Maddox respect Data as a sentient being or not? He barges in and handles Data's stuff because he doesn't, yet wants to talk to Data because he does. Ugh.

MADDOX: You are endowing Data with human characteristics because it looks human. But it is not. If it were a box on wheels I would not be facing this opposition.

No, we are endowing Data with human characteristics because he thinks like a human, communicates like a human, works and collects and makes love like a human. If a box on wheels did these things, I hope these Federation types would give it the same rights and respect. Remember the microbrain?

MADDOX: If I am permitted to make this experiment, the horizons for human achievement become boundless. Consider, every ship in Starfleet with a Data on board. Utilising its tremendous capabilities, acting as our hands and eyes in dangerous situations.

So do you want Data to be a slave or a remote control toy? If the former, we've got another problem. If the latter, I don't know of many remote control toys that you can have a real conversation with.

MADDOX: Rights! Rights! I'm sick to death of hearing about rights! What about my right not to have my life work subverted by blind ignorance?

Your life work? You want to reverse engineer an android! Everything we've seen indicates that his prior work in cybernetics consists of studying and reverse engineering the less invasive aspects of Data. At least Ira Graves created his own stuff. And blind ignorance of what?

MADDOX: Let me put it another way. Would you permit the computer of the Enterprise to refuse a refit?
PHILLIPA: That's an interesting point. But the Enterprise computer is property. Is Data?

It's not an interesting point because the Enterprise computer isn't alive and wouldn't refuse refit because it doesn't have the capacity to say yes or no to anything.

PHILLIPA: Captain, that would be exceedingly difficult. This is a new base. I have no staff.

So take the case to the nearest starbase that does have a complete legal staff! Seems pretty obvious. And how is Phillipa's office considered in active service if it's one person?
PICARD: We will put to rest this question of your legal status once and for all. Now, I have been asked to represent you, but if there is some other officer with which you would feel more happy?
DATA: Captain, I have complete confidence in your ability to represent my interests.

As I said on TV Tropes, this is heartwarming.

RIKER: Access all available technical schematics on Lieutenant Commander Data.
COMPUTER: Working.
(Then up pops 'emergency manual control' and Data's off-switch location is displayed. Riker is fascinated at this new information, then realises the implication)

As I said on TV Tropes, this is a tearjerker. Duty compels him to destroy one of his closest friends.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:44 AM
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(Data goes to the witness chair and puts his hand on a scanner on the table)
COMPUTER: Verify. Lieutenant Commander Data.

Again, we're acting like Data's Starfleet rights exist even if we're not sure he's alive.
RIKER: What is the capacity of your memory, and how fast can you access information?

How is this relevant to whether or not Data is sentient?

RIKER: Your Honour, I offer in evidence prosecution's exhibit A, a rod of par-steel. Tensile strength, forty kilobars. Commander, would you bend that?
PICARD: Objection. There are many life forms possessed of mega strength. These issues are not relevant to this hearing.

Exactly! What is this proving, that Data is a machine? We already knew that.

PICARD: You're talking about slavery.
GUINAN: I think that's a little harsh.
PICARD: I don't think that's a little harsh. I think that's the truth.

While very powerful emotionally, logically this slavery thing doesn't make sense. Declaring something to be a slave is also automatically implying that it's a sentient person, just one of lesser worth.
PICARD: Commander Riker has also reminded us that Lieutenant Commander Data was created by a human. Do we deny that? No. Again it is not relevant. Children are created from the building blocks of their parents' DNA.

The problem here is that humans can reproduce themselves by converting food into babies. No external mechanism required.

PICARD: Do you like Commander Data?
MADDOX: I don't know it well enough to like or dislike it.
Um, if Data is a toaster you can't like it. It sure sounds like Maddox was acknowledging that Data is a person here.

PICARD: A single Data, and forgive me, Commander, is a curiosity. A wonder, even. But thousands of Datas. Isn't that becoming a race? And won't we be judged by how we treat that race?
If Data isn't a sentient person, multiple Datas can't form a race, it's just a bunch of robots. Picard skipped a step here.

DATA: Sir, there is a celebration on the Holodeck.
RIKER: I have no right to be there.
DATA: Because you failed in your task?
RIKER: No, God, no. I came that close to winning, Data.
DATA: Yes, sir.
RIKER: I almost cost you your life!
DATA: Is it not true that had you refused to prosecute, Captain Louvois would have ruled summarily against me?
RIKER: Yes.
DATA: That action injured you, and saved me. I will not forget it.
RIKER: You're a wise man, my friend.
DATA: Not yet, sir. But with your help, I am learning.
Great scene.

The Fiver

Captain's Log: The Enterprise has docked at a magnificent but unfinished starbase. I'm to meet with Admiral Schubert in the morning.

Schubert's Symphony No. 8 is unfinished. Talk about an obscure joke.

Riker: I'll see your five and raise forty-two.

As the wise man said, 47 is 42 adjusted for inflation.

Picard: I need your help.
Louvois: Oh, did you blow up another ship?
Picard: No. Not... yet.

Not yet? The destruction of the E-D isn't his fault, the E-E is sort of his fault but it didn't blow up.

Worf: What kind of goodbye party is this? Where's the jazz music? Where's the death inflicted by me on the people playing the jazz music?
Riker: (in the doorway with his trombone) Um... I'll just be turning around then.

I hope this is a reference to "The Next Phase."

Guinan: You know, if Maddox wins, they'll eventually make more Datas. Soon there could be thousands, all intelligent but legally bound to obey their human masters. It would be like....
Picard: Tribbles! Guinan, you're so right! This is just like the tribble trade!

Since when do tribbles obey humans?

Memory Alpha

* Melissa Snodgrass: "As to the issue of law in Gene's vision. He nearly killed 'The Measure of a Man' because according to Gene there were no lawyers in the 24th century because if people had criminal intentions they 'had their minds made right'. I found that chilling." Yeah, brrrr. Brainwashing criminals. The case of Garth implies that there can be medication to cure insanity, but I doubt you can chemically eliminate criminal behavior entirely.
* First mention of the Daystrom Institute. As Phil mentions in the Nitpicker's Guide, why would you name anything after Richard Daystrom, the guy was out of his mind!

Nitpickers Guide

* Given what we know of Data's age, Maddox is too young to evaluate Data at the appropriate time.
* Phil wonders why the computer states that Data's current assignment is the Enterprise when he's been transferred to the Starbase. I argue that the transfer is in flux until this hearing is over. I'm reminded of Miracle on 34th Street when Kris answers the question "Where do you live?" with "That's what this hearing will decide."
* In Datalore the off switch was on the right side, in this episode the off switch is on the left side. I argue that Riker could easily reach across Data's back.
* Phil points out that by letting Data into the Academy and overruling Maddox, Data's sentience was already acknowledged if unofficially.
* Phil wonders why "toaster" would be a known quantity in the 24th century, enough for people to coin a phrase based on it. I argue that we use lots of quotes that use obsolete words in the present day.

YouTube

The extended ending, Data comforts Riker
Poker
Guinan, Picard, and slavery
__________________
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.

Last edited by Nate the Great; 02-14-2019 at 12:48 AM.
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