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  #81  
Old 02-14-2019, 12:47 AM
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Time for another TNG Companion catchup session!

“The Schizoid Man”

Dr. Selar is the first female Vulcan Starfleet officer in Trek; I guess Larry follows fanon by considering Saavik to be half-Romulan. Torme wanted a romance between Selar and Worf; I doubt that would have worked.

“Loud as a Whisper”

Deaf actor Howie Seago proposed this episode and starred as Riva. Burton wanted a way to get rid of the VISOR and so a scene leaving that door open was made (worst possible choice for that, as SF Debris pointed out). At one point Riva’s sign language includes the Vulcan salute tipped sideways as a sort of Easter egg for the fans. Some were confused as to how Riva could be a mediator on a similar level to Sarek despite being so young; my immediate response is that who is to say how old he is or how Ramatisians (his race) age.

“Unnatural Selection”

The near-miraculous use of the transporter in this episode led to stricter limits on what future writers could do with it.

“A Matter of Honor”

This episode got the highest rating up to this point. Despite kellicams previously being established in The Search for Spock, the Klingons here use kilometers. Finally O’Brien gets a last name, and it only took seven episodes. John Putch has the distinction of being the first Trek guest star to appear twice as two different characters of the same race, Mendon and Mordock.

“The Measure of a Man”

Data’s file includes NFN NMI (No First Name, No Middle Initial). His storage capacity is 800 quadrillion bits, or 12.5 terabytes. You can get a 12 terabyte internal drive for $450 these days. Moore’s Law stikes again, oops. Shoulda thrown a “quad” in there somewhere, guys! Worf mentions Klingon love poetry for the first time, echoing earlier Russian and French jokes from Chekov and Picard.
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  #82  
Old 02-20-2019, 10:08 PM
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February 20th, 1989, "The Dauphin"

No fiver (is this one reserved, Zeke? I actually enjoy this episode!)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

PICARD: Hardly an inviting planet, even for a research establishment.

I've watched this episode many times, but never noticed this line. It would've been nice to have Salia mention having friends there, it would've been nice characterization. This also would've been a nice place to mention that most humanoid races can't survive there very long, to serve as a Chekov's gun for the big reveal later.

ANYA [OC]: What species are you?
PICARD: Human.
ANYA [OC]: Excellent.

I get the desire to blend in, but this does raise additional questions. What if Picard was the only human on board, surrounded by Horta or something? Why wouldn't she know that most Federation races (especially in Starfleet) are humanoid?

RIKER: Friendly, isn't she?
PICARD: Friendly or not, Salia has the rank of head of state, so we will treat her and Anya accordingly.

The logic seems a bit disjointed. Anya doesn't have the rank of head of state, so her brusqueness can't be forgiven by that. Furthermore, Anya is a bit curt, but hardly rude. I've seen many Trek guest stars that would qualify as nonfriendly and rude more easily than her, Maddox comes to mind immediately.

(O'Brien beams a young woman and her older chaperone aboard. No luggage)

This is a fan transcript, but I have to ask what Chakotea was implying here. It's very seldom that people beaming aboard bring their luggage with them. Lwaxana Troi only did so to provide for a gag. No doubt most people arrange for their luggage to be beamed directly to their quarters offscreen, cargo transporters being less energy-consuming. If Chakotea was trying to insinuate that this is an ominous Chekov's Gun, it doesn't really work.

SALIA: Those must be the matter energy conversion controls. May I take a look?

I'm reminded of Kamala, having to be trained in everything just in case.

PICARD: We're accommodating you in quarters normally reserved for Starfleet admiralty. I'm sure you'll find them quite comfortable.

I suddenly wonder how many super-VIP quarters the Enterprise has. Kirk's ship didn't seem to have any, if Elaan was put in Uhura's quarters. "There are none better", anyone?

WESLEY: Commander, who is she?
RIKER: I think she's a governess.
WESLEY: No! The girl.
RIKER: I don't know if she'll have time for you, Wes. She's destined to rule an entire world.

As I mentioned on the TV Tropes Heartwarming page for the show many years ago: "When Wesley first notices Salia, Will doesn't do what many adults would do: tell Wesley that pursuing Salia is silly at best and a potential diplomatic disaster at worst. As long as Salia isn't rejecting Wesley (harassment wouldn't be okay) Will will help his friend if asked." I stand by it.

DATA: You wanted to see me?
WESLEY: Yes. Data, the girl who came on board.
DATA: Salia of Daled Four.
WESLEY: Who is she?

I wonder why this information wouldn't be in the computer. Is there a special database of information for senior officers only that Wesley doesn't have access to yet?

TROI: Captain, I'm concerned our new passengers. Their emotions do not fit who they are and what they're doing.
PICARD: Are you suggesting they're not who they say they are?
TROI: Actually no, it's more like they're not what they say they are.

If Salia is telling the truth when she said they have the same emotions, this must mean that their nonhumanoid emotions have a different "texture" that Troi's abilities can notice. Which makes me wonder: wouldn't Troi's training on Betazed include more precise detection techniques than simply humanoid vs. nonhumanoid?

PICARD: What do we know about the cause of these wars?
DATA: Only that it is the difference between night and day.
RIKER: Data, you used a colloquialism.
DATA: Did I? What I meant, sir, is that Daled Four rotates only once per revolution. Therefore one side is constantly dark, and the other side constantly light. One might surmise that the two hemispheres have developed disparate cultures, which is a major cause of most wars.

I thought Data was supposed to not fully grasp metaphors yet. Even if Data's analysis is correct, I fail to see how he would reduce that to "the difference between night and day."

PICARD: This child is supposed to bring them together.
RIKER: She seems too delicate for such a task.
WORF: Do not be fooled by her looks. The body is just a shell.

Nice use of Klingon philosophy here. People like Jadzia and especially Ezri are recognized as Klingons even though they aren't warriors on the same level as a Klingon. And then there's Jeremy Aster, ugh.

GIRL: Salia, you must arrive with an open mind, without preconceived ideas of the worlds you will find or the people on either side.

I can understand the logic behind this, but I think they took things too far. Salia can know things about her planet and still be shielded from the current political issues. Wherever you place the start of the current political environment, I'm sure kids could be taught everything up to World War II without be swayed to the side of the Democrats or the Republicans, right?

LAFORGE: Look, Wes, I don't have time for this. You're going to have to ask somebody else.

"Plus, have you seen my dating record so far? You'd be better off asking Data for dating advice!" Hehe.

WORF: That is how the Klingon lures a mate.
WESLEY: Are you telling me to go yell at Salia?
WORF: No. Men do not roar. Women roar. Then they hurl heavy objects. And claw at you.
WESLEY: What does the man do?
WORF: He reads love poetry. He ducks a lot.

One wonders if he ever read love poetry to K'ehleyr.

WESLEY: Worf, sounds like it works great for the Klingons, but I think I need to try something a little less dangerous.
WORF: Then go to her door. Beg like a human.
DATA: It should be that simple, Wesley. Judging by her appearance it is likely you and Salia are biologically compatible. Of course, there could be a difference in the histocompatibility complex in the cell membrane, but.
WESLEY: Data, I want to meet her, not dissect her.

Now that's an interesting idea: Data thinks the only reason to engage in romantic behavior is reproduction. One hopes he eventually grew out of this. I guess given his relationship with Jenna he did.

WESLEY: What should I say? How do I act? What do I do?
RIKER: Guinan, I need your help. Could you step over here a minute?
GUINAN: Sounds simple enough.

The whole scene will be in a YouTube link later. You really do have to wonder how much of Riker and Guinan's interaction is sincere instruction and how much is just them having fun.

WESLEY: On Thalos Seven they age the beans four hundred years.

That raises some questions. I'm okay with an alien race having "beans" that taste like chocolate to humans. The problem is that humans haven't been warp-capable for four hundred years, so what's the deal? Is it just that they independently invented hot chocolate (Hodgkin's Law for the win!) and coffee wasn't available, so they take their hot chocolate really seriously?
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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.

Last edited by Nate the Great; 02-20-2019 at 10:21 PM.
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  #83  
Old 02-20-2019, 10:20 PM
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ANYA: I cannot rely on your primitive technologies. Kill the patient!

Here's the thing: if the patient was going to infect others, he would have done so by now. Killing him only reduces the risk of infection by a marginal amount, not a hundred percent. And of course you gotta ask: what happened to the transporter biofilters?


PULASKI: There is mention in the galactic zoological catalogue of a species called allasomorph, which is supposed to possess the power to alter their molecular structure into other life forms.

There are umpteen shapeshifter races on record, even if you limit it to humanoid forms. I do wonder why we couldn't namedrop Garth of Izar and the Antosians, the Organians, Q, etc. Or maybe Ian Troi from six months ago!

SALIA: Your language has no word for the position I'll hold.

I find this doubtful. I'd think "queen" is perfectly adequate.

PICARD: Number One, get us to Daled as quickly as possible.
RIKER: Ensign Gibson, take us to warp eight point eight.

Is there a reason why warp nine isn't possible?

DATA: The troposphere appears to be distorting our signals. It is fascinating, Captain. Klavdia Three and Daled Four have almost identical atmospheres.
PICARD: Magnify. Times twenty.
RIKER: How could anyone exist in an environment so totally hostile toward human life?

Cue Azetbur quote again!

DATA: Sir, sensors indicate the communication originated from a terawatt source on the planet.
RIKER: That's more power than our entire ship can generate.

Uh-oh. Usage of real units asking us to Do The Math! One site uses how long it takes to achieve impulse speeds (i.e. conventional propulsion and real inertia) and comes up with 8 yottawatts AKA 8 trillion terawatts of power needed. Oops. Probably should've tossed an "iso" in there...

ANYA: You will be happy to see me leave.
WORF: No. You are a worthy opponent.
ANYA: Thank you. At heart, we are very much alike.
WORF: Yes, we are.
ANYA: Perhaps we shall fight again. On the same side.
WORF: It would be an honour. Shall we go?

Good scene, I also mentioned this on the heartwarming page mentioned above.

WESLEY: I'm never going to feel this way about anyone else.
GUINAN: You're right.
WESLEY: I didn't expect you to say that.
GUINAN: There'll be others, but every time you feel love it'll will be different. Every time, it's different.
WESLEY: Knowing that doesn't make it any easier.
GUINAN: It's not supposed to.

I've never felt full-blown love, but every crush I've had has certainly been different.

Memory Alpha

* Wil Wheaton's first onscreen kiss.
* "Dauphin" is for a boy, why didn't they use "Dauphine"?

Memory Beta

They seem to think that the allasomorphs had to permanently change into the light form to beam down. Where'd they get that idea?

Nitpicker's Guide

* In "Where No One Has Gone Before" it's stated that humanity has only charted eleven percent of the galaxy, creating a supposed conflict with the nineteen percent here. I think the simplest solution is that humanity has charted eleven percent and other Federation races (probably mostly the Vulcans) have charted the rest.
* Clavdia III and Daled IV have almost identical atmospheres, yet the ship can create an audio-only commlink with the former but not the latter. I think the simplest solution is that the planets are different sizes, with atmospheres of different thicknesses.
* How can a transporter go through an atmosphere that communications can't? I really do have to ask what the point of the lack of communication is. It doesn't accomplish anything except creating a plot hole!
* In "Hide and Q" Worf claims that the illusionary Klingon woman comes from a world now alien to him, and now he knows all about Klingon mating practices.
* In "The Masterpiece Society" Geordi says that the warp core can make plasma in the terawatt range. Oops.

YouTube

* Riker and Guinan demonstrate romantic conversation

* Dating tips with Worf
* The ending, every time you feel love is different
__________________
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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  #84  
Old 03-20-2019, 11:46 PM
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March 20th, 1989, "Contagion"

Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, stardate 42609.1. In response to a desperate plea for aid by my old friend, Captain Donald Varley of the USS Yamato, I am running a grave risk by taking the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone. Varley's request was prompted by dangerous malfunctions which have been plaguing our sister ship. Perhaps with both crews working together we can able to eliminate the problems before our presence is detected by the Romulans.

What does Varley being a friend have to do with this mission? Merely being a Starfleet ship in distress in the Neutral Zone is enough. At least for official log purposes. Surely he could discuss the friend part with Riker and Troi after the log ends?

RIKER: Have you nailed down our little hiccup yet?
DATA: Sir?
RIKER: The odd reading?

Cue usual dictionary rant, stupid joke etc., moving on...

RIKER: I'm not sure, sir. Are we alone out here, Worf?
WORF: Yes, sir. There are no other vessels in the area except the Yamato.

I thought they couldn't detect cloaked Romulan ships until the tachyon detection grid was set up in "Redemption."

VARLEY [on viewscreen]: None. They are affecting every system simultaneously. It's like the ship has suddenly decided to fall apart. It's beginning to make me think we should have run these Galaxy Class ships across a few more drawing boards before we built one.

If you feel a sudden chill that's Leah Brahms bristling that anyone would dare insult her ship design, anime-style.

RIKER: Do you wish to evacuate any non-essential personnel to the Enterprise, sir?
VARLEY [on viewscreen]: No. No, that would be premature.

Why? You've got a serious problem that you don't have an answer for, a problem that has already killed people. Cue usual families-at-risk ranting. Even if Varley thought that this mission was worth it, he could've left the saucer in Federation space, right?

VARLEY [on viewscreen]: The risk would be in allowing the Romulans to locate Iconia. Fortunately, I got there first. It's a virtually dead planet, but enough technology remains to give the Romulans an edge if they should find it.

It occurs to me that Picard will only destroy one complex later. What about the rest of the planet? Did Picard leave the leftovers for the Romulans to scavenge?

TARIS [on viewscreen]: But believe me, Captain, had we chosen to exercise our right to defend the Neutral Zone, we would not have stopped with one starship.

Since when do the Romulans have a right to defend the Neutral Zone and the Federation doesn't?

LAFORGE: Okay. In the event of a breach of seal integrity there's an emergency release system which dumps the antimatter.
DATA: Apparently such a dump began, was then halted, and the containment seals were dropped. There was still sufficient antimatter present to lead to an explosion.

Why was the dump able to be stopped? The emergency release system should be as simple as possible and idiot-proof right?

LAFORGE: I think Captain Varley may have been right. There may be a design flaw.
RIKER: In a Galaxy Class starship?
LAFORGE: Yes, sir. It's the most sophisticated piece of machinery ever built. Something could have been overlooked.

The problem here is the idea that Galaxy-class ships are designed from nothing, an absurd notion. The design of the Excelsior-class must be an evolution of the Constitution-class refit (what I still call the Enterprise-class even though it's noncanon), the Ambassador-class was an evolution of the Excelsior-class, etc. Any changes to the Ambassador-class specs must've been tested in detail at the design stage!

TROI: If we have established that the Romulans were not responsible for the destruction of the Yamato, would it not be prudent to withdraw?
PICARD: If it is a design flaw, we're better to stay where we are and give Geordi time to work on it. Or what happened to the Yamato could happen to us.

This is ludicrous. The warp core is operational no matter what speed the ship is going, and the problems seen so far are with the interaction between the computer and the antimatter, which will happen whether or not the ship is at warp. Get out of the Neutral Zone, you idiots! Even if they have to violate the Zone to visit Iconia later, that's a different problem.

VARLEY [on monitor]: Personal log. We've been spotted by a Romulan cruiser, but after playing hide and seek through several solar systems, I think I've managed to elude them.

I've always wondered about this one. How can you "hide" in a solar system? Using nebulae and such would make more sense, it's not like space is short on spacial anomalies, right?

WORF: Sir, that would put us substantially close to the Romulan side of the Neutral Zone.

So? Violating the Neutral Zone is violating the Neutral Zone, it doesn't matter where in the Zone they are.

PICARD: Why don't we talk about what really brought you here?
WESLEY: It's the Yamato, Captain. I can't stop thinking about her. All those people dead. I don't know how you and Commander Riker and Geordi, how you handle it so easily.
PICARD: Easily? Oh no, not easily. We handle it because we're trained to, as you will be. Tea, Earl Grey, hot. But if the time ever comes when the death of a single individual fails to move us...

A nice moral, and a nice bit of defiance against Gene's "humans are perfect, they don't grieve" nonsense. "The Bonding", grrr....

DATA: Doctor Pulaski is unwilling to trust the turbolifts. She is sending medical teams through the access tunnels.

How cute, all season she's railed against technology, and for once she was proven right. Although I do wonder about the lack of "Jeffrie's Tubes". Furthermore, with a ship this big you gotta wonder why there aren't any ramps between decks to allow for emergency teams, fend off invasion, etc...

PULASKI: Try a splint.
MEDIC: Doctor?
PULASKI: Splint. It's a very ancient concept. You take two flat pieces of wood or plastic, a bandage. The broken limb is kept immobile.
DOCTOR: That's crazy, that's not practicing medicine.
PULASKI: Oh yes, it is. It's a time honoured way to practice medicine, with your head and your heart and your hands.

Are Starfleet officers trained in survival techniques or not? Splits are a basic idea, and to be frank this hardly seems the time for Pulaski to rail against technology again. There are too many other plot points as it is.

RIKER: Sir, we've had this conversation a hundred times.
PICARD: And we will have it again, Number One. I have been studying the Iconians since I was a cadet. I have to be the one to go.

How well Riker would've done on the planet this time is worth talking about, but I won't be doing so.

RIKER: Fate protects fools, little children and ships named Enterprise.

A classic line.

WESLEY: Sir, the shields are back up.
RIKER: Impeccable timing.
WESLEY: Sir, the shields are back down.
WILLIAMS: Phaser banks are down.
WESLEY: Shields are back up.
TROI: In another time and place this could be funny.

I'd still laugh, the situation is so tense a little levity is necessary.

RIKER: Status of torpedo banks?
WILLIAMS: They're down, too.
RIKER: In case it should become necessary to fight, could you arrange to find me some rocks to throw at them?

Another classic line, although it should be a matter of a few minutes to configure a torpedo for manual launch and aiming.

DATA: Scanners show no other life forms on the planet, sir.
PICARD: I would not expect any. Judging from the severity of bombardment, I doubt any Iconians survived.

Are they equating "life form" with "humanoid" again, because this seems like your proverbial "nothing left except cockroaches and Twinkies" scenario. There should be lifeforms left, just nothing sentient.

PICARD: A gateway?
WORF: These scenes could be holographic images.
(Data goes towards it)
PICARD: Be careful.
(Data sticks his arm into the image. Picard pulls him back)
PICARD: Data! That was very foolish.

Exactly. This seems like a "poke a stick into the mysterious portal" situation to me.

PICARD: Well, Number One, I can see why you want to keep the away missions to yourself. That's where the excitement is. So, what's been happening here? Same old routine, I suppose?

You almost expect the bridge crew to laugh along to a freeze frame like TOS.
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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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  #85  
Old 03-20-2019, 11:47 PM
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The Fiver

Picard: Donald, what's your ship doing in the Neutral Zone?
Captain Varley: (on static-filled viewscreen) At the moment, no more than one kilometer per hour.

Burn!

Picard: I mean, what's your purpose here? I hope you weren't looking for some mythical planet like Eden.

Don't remind me of the hippies, you Herbert.

Worf: Sir, sensors are detecting catastrophic events on the Yamato!
Picard: Specify!
Worf: An exploding wall console has killed several Bridge officers, and Captain Varley has apparently ordered his Betazoid Counselor to take the helm!

Exploding wall consoles are a dime a dozen, but counselors at the helm, that's a disaster waiting to happen...

La Forge: It's a well-known fact that the more you overtake the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.

Nice Search for Spock joke.

Varley: (on screen) The ancient artifact discovered on Denius III has allowed us to locate Iconia. We are heading there at maximum warp to prevent its secrets from falling into the hands of the Romulans. Because of the emergency, we have had to delay installing the patches that will fix the most recently announced critical security flaws in our Windows 2365 operating system.

Windows 95 jokes haven't aged as well as some other computer humor...

Picard: Tea, Earl Grey, hot.
(The replicator delivers fruit, exotic, cold)
Wesley: Weird. Have you ever heard of a replicator playing a practical joke like that?
Picard: Only some off-the-record rumours that it once happened on James Kirk's Enterprise.
Wesley: It's too bad those kinds of unconfirmed stories never make it into Starfleet's official textbooks. If they did, history class would be a lot more animated.

Yeah, I heard that Kirk is a Jerk and everything...

La Forge: The first Iconian probe used a software weapon against the Yamato. The probe we destroyed nearly did the same thing to us.
Data: We did, however, become infected by the virus when we downloaded the Yamato's database. It is now rewriting our entire computer network.
Picard: So that would explain the system failures we're experiencing.
Data: Yes, but not the mysterious Aztec objects that have started appearing throughout the ship.

Masks did do this better than here...

Pulaski: How am I supposed to treat all these injured crewmen when my biobeds don't have power and my dermal regenerators are on the blink? I might as well be working in the Middle Ages!
Ogawa: Doctor, I've brought you some stone knives and bearskins I found in the paleontology lab on Deck Five.

I do wonder if they're Terran bears or not.

Troi: The tension level on the Enterprise is very high. I suggest you give everyone something to do while we wait for the Captain.
Riker: Good idea. I'll check the entertainment channel to see if any interesting videos are playing right now.
Troi: Make sure they're rated for family viewing. We don't want the children aboard exposed to gratuitous scenes of half-naked Starfleet officers groping each other.

Yay, Enterprise bashing! That's always entertaining...

Worf: It appears that Commander Data has been infected by the Iconian computer virus.
Picard: So much for the reputed security advantages of Soong-type operating systems.

Ah, Mac vs. PC, that seems so long ago...

Picard: Worf, take Data through the gateway. With luck, you'll both end up back on the Enterprise.
Worf: Suppose we end up going nowhere?
Picard: Then this will be your big chance to get away from it all.

Wrath of Khan, too? Time for another bingo card...

Taris: I suppose you will now add to our humiliation by telling us how to purge the Iconian virus from our computers.
Picard: Yes, and as I bonus I'll even throw in Aunt Adele's remedy for the common cold.

Don't forget the milk toddy to help people sleep!

Memory Alpha

* First appearance of "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot."
* First appearance of Picard's archaeology hobby.
* The actress who played the Romulan Commander here played another one later, assuming that the one here died. Which I think is a bit morbid.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil's also amazed that Pulaski's nurses don't know what a splint is, especially if Picard knew what one was back in "Arsenal of Freedom."
* How can Geordi's turbolift ride end with a horizontal trip if there are no horizontal turbolift shafts on Deck One?
__________________
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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  #86  
Old 04-03-2019, 03:02 PM
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Time for a double bill, I seem to have forgotten "The Royale" last week...

March 27th, 1989, "The Royale"

Fiver (by Andy Taylor)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, stardate 42625.4, We're entering orbit around the eighth planet in this previously unmapped Theta One Sixteen solar system. We diverted from our scheduled course when a passing Klingon cruiser reported discovering pieces of a strange vessel in the upper atmosphere of this planet.

I'm not going to make the usual "Klingon scientists are creatures of myth, haha" joke, but you do have to wonder what happened here. I can't see why the Klingons would care about non-class M planets. Furthermore, even if they're our allies why are they studying Federation planets? Are there Starfleet science vessels poking around uninhabited Klingon worlds? Seems awfully inefficient all around.

PICARD: Fermat's last theorem. You're familiar with it?

Have I fully expounded my impatience with this kind of nonsense yet? Not just Fermat's last theorem, but all of Picard's ready room hobbies. At times you wonder if Picard ever sits around on the bridge when nothing is happening. He's always saying "Number One, you have the bridge" and heading off to his office to read Shakespeare, analyze odd planetary orbits, feed his fish, or whatever. You never see Sisko or Janeway do this stuff, they're writing reports or reading reports from the subordinates and other productive stuff. Even Kirk was willing to stay on the bridge when nothing was happening, having reports brought to him by Rand or whatever.

DATA: On several of its surfaces, the molecules seem to have disintegrated
RIKER: Disintegrated? How?
DATA: Almost as if they were hit by a weapon from our time.

I'm not sure which is more ludicrous, the idea that only 24th century weapons can disintegrate molecules or the idea that Starfleet officers are going to discount any scale of technology that isn't its own. It's not like we already know that the Borg had such weapons centuries ago, or the T'kon, or the Preservers, etc.

PICARD [OC]: Any information about the structure.
RIKER: Yes, sir. There is an antique revolving door. It could be an entrance.

Grrr. Where's the "And that's all we see. If there's a building here it's invisible."?

DATA: Sir, without communication, we should beam up immediately.
RIKER: We're here, there's no danger. We'll look around then leave.

I don't think the regulations have a "if there's no immediate danger you can ignore this rule" clause. And once again we could easily solve this by moving the failed exit up sooner.

RIKER: Yes. We're from the United Federation of Planets.
CLERK: Of course you are.

Odd exchange. We're definitely led to believe that these people are akin to holodeck characters whose behavior is affected by the participants within certain parameters but no perceptual filters. If so, this sarcasm doesn't seem appropriate, the clerk should've ignored the response and stuck to the script.

PICARD: It's unlike Commander Riker not to follow procedure. When he lost contact with the Enterprise, he should have returned immediately to the beam down coordinates.

Exactly! I hope this goes into his record. Data will have to report that Riker ignored his recommendation and the regulations.

DATA: Ah, is this poker?
TEXAS: No, no, blackjack.
DATA: Blackjack. Accessing. Ah. Also known as twenty one, a number which defines the object of the game. Picture cards are worth ten, aces one or eleven, all other cards face value.

Ugh. What does this exchange achieve except making Data look like an idiot? Do the exact rules of the game matter to the viewer or serve the plot?
Since I know nothing about blackjack, I had to look it up. One calculation says about half a percent.


TEXAS: Hey, you're not one of them card counting fellas, are you?
DATA: The number of the cards and their values remain quite constant. What would be the purpose in counting them?

Ugh. Card counting exists in poker, something he's supposedly read every book about. Again, this stuff isn't funny and only exists to make the writers look like idiots.

WORF: Phasers are totally ineffective on all surfaces.

"Ineffective" implies that the phaser is functional, it just doesn't damage anything. Which raises the question of what this place is made out of. Enter more unanswered questions about the intentions of the creators of this place. They are obviously not monitoring the hotel remotely, so is there an artificial intelligence repairing the phaser damage? If Colonel Richey awoke in the hotel and can't leave, why was there a quiet area outside with a one-way door? Etc.

DATA: Commander, I am picking up something most unusual in another section of this structure. It appears to be human DNA.

Was it cloaked before now? The creators couldn't have anticipated tricorders!

DATA: He has been dead for two hundred and eighty three years, sir. The lack of any advanced decomposition is due to the sterile environment.

As SF Debris says, "advanced decomposition" has happened. Cut the line!

DATA: Fifty two stars sir.
RIKER: Places it between 2033 and 2079 AD.

I agree with SF Debris, having this memorized is impressive.

Meaningless aside, what additional states do you think are likely in future? As I understand it, most resistance from Puerto Rico, etc. to the idea of becoming a state comes from the theory that statehood would mean more representation but also increased taxation and federal government control.

PICARD: Colonel Stephen Richey was the commanding officer of the explorer ship Charybdis.

Charybdis is a sea monster from Greek mythology, creating whirlpools that destroyed passing ships. Why anyone would name a spaceship after it is beyond me.

RIKER: "And for the last thirty eight years I have survived here."

Presumably any and all calendars within the hotel reflect the chronology of the novel, resetting with each cycle. How would Richey record the passage of time? Even this hotel-provided journal would reset (be rereplicated?).

PICARD: 'It was a dark and stormy night'. It's not a promising beginning.
TROI: It may get better.

The phrase was first used by Washington Irving in 1809, but most people are referring to Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 usage. Snoopy used it a lot.

DATA: And how did you get here?
TEXAS: To Vegas? Drove my car. I got a ninety one Caddy with only eighty thousand miles on it.

Again as SF Debris remarked, this place seems way older than the 1990s. Seriously, where are the editors who should be catching this stuff?

TROI: I don't believe this dialogue. Did humans really talk like that?
PICARD: Not in real life. Remember, everything that's going on down there is taken from what Colonel Richey calls a second-rate novel.

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest man."

RIKER [OC]: A bizarre incident just took place.
PICARD: The shoot-out between the bellboy and Mickey D.

Shoot-out? Did the bellboy even get to touch his gun? "The murder of the bellboy by Mickey D.!"

The Fiver

Riker: Even though proof was found for it in 1993?
Picard: But... I mean... So... WAH!

We still have fivers that are missing the first few lines, ugh...

Data: Okay, I'm detecting human DNA.
Worf: But you didn't detect anything earlier!
Data: Yeah, but it finally stopped flashing 12:00am.

I wonder if the flashing 12:00 gag will ever really go away.

Picard: Picard to Riker.
Computer: The number you have dialed has not been recognized.
Picard: Oh fudge. (ahem) Picard to Riker.
Computer: A dial-up connection could not be established at this time.
Picard: Oh for the love of...

"If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and dial again. If you need help hang up and then dial the operator. In Allllll-buquerque!"

Memory Alpha

* Memory Alpha attributes the dark and stormy night quote to Bulwer-Lytton. Oops.

Nitpicker's Guide

* How can the Charbydis have U.S.A. markings in 2037 if the United Earth was created in 2036? My immediate response is "United Earth didn't launch the ship, the United States did." Duh.
* If the piece of the Charbydis has just been beamed in from space, how can Riker and O'Brien touch it immediately if the metal is still close to absolute zero? I'd chalk this up to O'Brien telling the transporter to rematerialize the thing with a higher molecular motion to make it touchable.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:05 PM
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April 3rd, 1989, "Time Squared"

Interesting ideas here, but this episode raises far more questions than it answers. How would going back in time mess up the polarity of the shuttle systems and Picard2's biology that much? How did this whole time loop get started? If the same Picard is going back in time every cycle, isn't that a Groundhog Day-style purgatory?

Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

WORF: It is my understanding that in most human families, the woman shares in the cooking.

It's my understanding that with rare exceptions like Joseph Sisko, most families use replicators! Furthermore, I can't imagine that this kind of misogyny exists in Klingon tradition. Is he basing his whole worldview on the Roshenkos?

LAFORGE: Where did you get these eggs?
RIKER: On our last stop.
LAFORGE: At Starbase Seventy Three?

Geordi isn't sure of their last stop? Furthermore, why does any detail beyond "our last stop" matter to us, the viewers? Why make Geordi look like an idiot?

WORF: Delicious.

I wish this gag appeared a bit more often. Geordi's liquid polymer remark from Birthright comes to mind immediately.

PICARD: Number One, we've picked up an automated signal from a Federation shuttlecraft.

Wait, the automated signal wasn't inverted or whatever? Furthermore, wouldn't the signal identify the shuttle and mother ship?

PICARD: Doctor Pulaski, you are needed in Shuttlebay two.
PULASKI [OC]: I've been monitoring. I'm on my way.

Again, what does this kind of writing achieve except raising further questions? Either Pulaski was given a heads-up earlier to keep a line open to the bridge, or she just flat-out keeps a line open to the bridge at all times, just in case. A simple "Doctor Pulaski, possible medical emergency in Shuttlebay Two" and "I'm on my way" would achieve the same thing with fewer plot holes.

PULASKI: The life signs are very confusing. His heartbeat is strong, but the pulse is off.

Okay, for the sake of not ending the episode early let's accept that Picard2's brainwaves and sensory inputs are out of phase for some reason, getting more and more coherent as we approach his departure time. That doesn't explain the other stuff. How can he have a strong heartbeat but an "off" pulse?

DATA: The power requirements of the shuttle do not match those of the Enterprise. We will need a variable phase inverter, to align the power from the Enterprise to the circuits of the shuttle.

Again, why? It's not explained. This is bad writing all in the service of postponing giving us answers. At least technobabble like "the shuttle was hit by an unknown energy wave which scrambled the files in the computer, it'll take us time to sort everything out" would feel less insulting.

PULASKI: I'm just starting a complete medical work-up. His vital signs are distorted. Some of the indicators are totally depressed, others are fluctuating wildly. I can't explain any of it.

Lazy writing strikes again. The unknown energy wave which hit the shuttle is causing static in Picard2's brain that's preventing him from awakening, simple!

LAFORGE: I just don't understand how you could have ended up in a shuttlecraft while the Enterprise was being destroyed.
WORF: Nor I. The last thing you would do is leave the Bridge of the Enterprise during an emergency.

Exactly! More questions that will never be answered! And what's more, both Riker AND Picard left the Bridge during an emergency!

RIKER: Well, I know this much. We can't avoid the future.

The Guardian of Forever would dispute that statement.

PICARD: What force or phenomenon could cause the shuttle to be thrown back in time?
RIKER: None that we've encountered. In theory, accelerating beyond warp ten.

I guess the "Warp 10"="occupying all points in the universe simultaneously" hadn't been invented yet. I'm still not sure where "sufficiently fast warp speed"="time travel without any other factor" came from.

RIKER: We've never encountered a natural force that powerful. Why only six hours? Why not a day? Or a year?

It's a valid question, but one that can easily be explained by random factors. Once you establish that it was done on purpose by Q or whatever, you can start asking why six hours.

PICARD: The Traveller moved through time using the power of his mind.

He did? When did that happen? Invoking Q would make more sense.

LAFORGE: The pull on the Enterprise is steady. I'm having to hold the warp engines at thirty percent in order to maintain our present position.

Using the warp field generators to create an "anchor" is an interesting idea that doesn't appear anywhere else.

The Fiver

Sorry Marc, the fiver is serviceable but nothing really stands out.

Memory Alpha

Pulaski's unfamiliarity with Kyle Riker is brought up. I think it's easy enough to chalk this up to "Pulaski wasn't in the mood to bring up a long story and upset Riker needlessly."
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
January 9th, 1989, "Loud as a Whisper"


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.
Gets at least a snort out of me every time.
Quote:
Riva and Intellect: "Speak softly, for those who cannot hear an angry shout may strain to hear a whisper."
Picard: Your words are wise ones. Every Federation ambassador should know them.
Riva and Intellect: What makes you think they don't already?
Poor innocent Riva.

Quote:
Data: I was not aware that you practiced judo, Counselor.
Troi: I used to. I gave it up when I lost a match to a kindergartner.
Data: Riva says, "Perhaps I should handle the negotiations after all."
Basically this whole fiver is great.

"Measure of a Man" is good too. You quoted most of the best lines already.


Since you're mentioning novels as we go along, the Iconians are key to The Devil's Heart, my pick for the best TNG novel. There was also one of those cross-series multi-novel series about finding their technology, but apparently it mostly wasn't very memorable.

Quote:
Worf: Amazing. In all my life, I never thought I would ever hear a kas-volch'iq-nedah't.
Picard: A what?
Worf: In Klingon it means, "pun worthy of instant death unless it comes from a man with his finger on a planetary self-destruct button."
There's another of these Klingon lessons from Worf in the "Best of Both Worlds" fiver, and they're both particularly good.

Quote:
Picard: Are any obsolete Federation starships emerging from it?
Worf: No, this vortex pulls the other way.
Riker: Good. Uh -- no, wait a minute....
This is probably the funniest bit of the "Time Squared" fiver.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:00 PM
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April 24th, 1989, "The Icarus Factor"

Fiver (by Kira)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

RIKER: I don't recall Starbase Montgomery on the mission itinerary
PICARD: I think we could all use a twelve hour layover.

This twelve hour thing seems to only exist to service Worf's plotline. I suppose it wouldn't look good if Worf was grumpy for days at a time without having a larger plot. Then again, Riker's plotline doesn't seem twelve-hour compatible.

PICARD: Well, you have twelve hours to think it over. And if it's not too premature, congratulations, Captain.

They just said that it'll take months at high warp just to get to Vega-Omicron. So Riker has twelve hours to decide the next few years of his life? That doesn't seem fair.

RIKER: When you've settled in, we can complete our briefing.

Why will Kyle need quarters if he's only going to be here twelve hours? Come aboard, give the briefing, hang out for a bit if Will is receptive, go back.

WESLEY: Can you imagine if it was your father?
WORF: I never knew my father.

We'll later learn that Mogh died when Worf was six and they managed to go on a targ hunt. Oops.

O'BRIEN: Female?
RIKER: No.
O'BRIEN: Career? Career?
RIKER: Family.
O'BRIEN: That is trouble. You choose your enemies, you choose your friends, but family? That's in the stars.
RIKER: So I've heard.

O'Brien's line has stuck with me since I was young. It's one of those lines that gains meaning as you age.

KYLE: How about a drink?
PULASKI: How about a kiss?
(A quick peck and a hug)
RIKER: They know each other.
O'BRIEN: No kidding. I know her too, but we don't do that.

O'Brien gets the best lines this episode.

DATA: Excuse me, Lieutenant. You seem to have lost the will to communicate with others. You have friends here. We, we care about you. Why, just recently, Geordi, Wesley and I were saying
WORF: With all due respect, be gone! Sir.
(The blast jolts Data backwards. He returns to Geordi)
DATA: He seems quite sincere in his desire for solitude.

Has "with all due respect" ever been used before saying something the other person wants to hear?

WORF: That is a fish you are holding.

We know Worf went on camping trips with the Roshenkos, why wouldn't he try fishing?

PULASKI: Poor guy. Picked up a flu virus on our last stop at Nasreldine.
KYLE: Sounds nasty. What's the therapy?
PULASKI: Tryptophan-lysine distillates with generous doses of PCS.
KYLE: PCS?
PULASKI: Pulaski's chicken soup.

In doing this I looked up "tryptophan-lysine distillates." I think it was supposed to be an oblique reference to oatmeal or porridge to go with the chicken soup. Talk about obscure.

PULASKI: This is Deanna Troi, ship's Counsellor.
KYLE: Kyle Riker.
PULASKI: I thought you two should meet. Deanna's job is to keep us from deluding ourselves.
KYLE: Let me guess. Betazoid?

Okay, let's go with the idea that Riker's service record wouldn't include a list of his girlfriends (although if you're a fan of Imzadi that book includes a few instances where Riker and Troi's names would be linked in official records), let's move on to how you distinguish a Betazoid from a human. In other words, the special contact lenses for completely black irises. While I doubt I ever noticed this factor as a child, I remember it being mentioned in a book or two, specifically Guises of the Mind. Any Federation negotiator should be able to identify the major species within species, no matter how minor the physical distinction. I expect they could even tell the difference between the spots of a Trill and a Kriosian.

KYLE: But I've come here to help Will prepare for his first task as captain.
TROI: Are you sure he'll accept such a dangerous assignment?
KYLE: He'll accept it just because it is dangerous.
TROI: How can you be so sure?
KYLE: Because I would. And we aren't so different, Will and I.

Why is this assignment so dangerous? Troi thinks it is, Worf thinks it is, ugh.

PICARD: The last time I saw Commander Flaherty, he spoke forty languages. As I recall, among the more exotic were Romulan, Klingon, Giamon, Stroyerian.

Romulan and Klingon should not be considered "exotic" in the twenty-fourth century. We know nothing of Giamon or Stroyerian. I wish that the Sheliak existed at this point, as this would've been a great place for a reference. Maybe they could've mentioned the Binars here?

PULASKI: Twelve years ago, Kyle Riker was a civilian strategist advising Starfleet in its conflict with the Tholians.

The more I hear about the period between Khitomer and Farpoint, the more I want to know about it. It's a shame Paramount will never make a show set in this period. I'll just namedrop the Vulcan's Soul trilogy of novels.

Do you think there was an arms race between the advancement of shield and Tholian Web technology?

LAFORGE: You mean in order for Worf to celebrate the anniversary of his Ascension, he has to be hurt? And we have to witness this?
DATA: We are his family.

Okay, so Troi doesn't want to watch this and Riker has other things to think about, but why wasn't Picard there?

DATA: If I were not a consummate professional, and an android, I would find this entire procedure insulting.

Always liked this quote.

KYLE: You know, it's a shame there's no anbo-jyutsu ring nearby.

It does seem odd that this sport needs a physical ring. I'd think the holodeck could handle something this simple.

PULASKI: Haven't we grown beyond the point where we resolve our problems with physical conflict?

I don't think it's so much the physical conflict as much as it's the desire to engage in an activity with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Plus the conflict will introduce hormones and such that will loosen lips and let us say what we wouldn't otherwise. Clear the air, so to speak.

O'BRIEN: Those are Klingon painstiks. I once saw one of them used against a two-ton Rectyne Monopod. Poor creature jumped five metres at the slightest touch.

I doubt that a two-ton anything can jump five meters under any circumstances, and if a lower gravity is meant it wouldn't have the impact that O'Brien is implying.

WORF: You're not coming in?
TROI: No.

Another failing of the basic transcript. I still remember how Troi took a pause to consider her reply before settling on "no" as the most diplomatic.

The Fiver

Riker: I don't know -- my own command...that's a big decision.
Picard: There aren't any kids on the Aries.
Riker: I'll take it.

Riker doesn't have a problem with kids, Picard does.

Worf: I'm having angst, and Wesley's annoying me. Can I come with you on your new ship?
Riker: It's dangerous.
Worf: Exactly -- there's room for advancement. I could be Captain inside a week.

I feel that a punchline from Riker is needed here. I'm not sure what, but something.

Memory Alpha

* Given TNG-era Gene's feelings about conflict, one wonders how this one got through.
* Second ship offered to Riker. He won't get another chance until "Best of Both Worlds."

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil wonders why being multilingual is so important, what with the Universal Translator and all. My response is that some languages have more nuances that need second-by-second organic intervention. One wonders if Voyager's gelpacks help make translation better.
* In the second edition of the Guide other readers put forth alternate hypotheses like "as a rare art it's an accomplishment" and "it shows respect for the other side that you're not using a machine."

YouTube

Worf's Ascension Ceremony Recreation
Anbo-jitsu
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:17 PM
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May 1st, 1989, "Pen Pals"

Fiver (by Derek)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, Stardate 42695.3. We are the first manned vessel to enter the Selcundi Drema sector. Unmanned probes have recorded unusual levels of geological activity in all five planetary systems. I am hoping the Enterprise will find the answer to this enigma.

One, only five planetary systems in a sector seems a little low, but that's just me. Two, I wonder how you define "unusual levels of geological activity."

DATA: Commander, I've been reviewing the unmanned probe scans.

"Unmanned" probe? Have we ever seen a manned probe? (Besides K'ehleyr, of course)

PICARD: The Arabs believed that Allah gathered the south wind and made the horse.
TROI: On the holodeck we've made that legend come true.
PICARD: I like that.

I get what they were going for, and it's a poetic thought, but wind=/=light.

TROI: I had a Betazoid kitten once. My mother and the cat reacted badly to one another.

This opens the door to a lot of questions, but I'll stick with one: do Betazoid pets have thoughts advanced enough to be read? There are definitely philosophical questions here to be discussed, but I won't be doing so.

TROI: No, I prefer a mode of transportation that doesn't have a mind of its own.
PICARD: Strange. I would expect Betazoids to be outstanding animal trainers.
TROI: We become too involved in the thoughts and shifting passions of the beast.

I thought we had moved past the era when Troi felt every emotion of the people around her. The idea that the thoughts and emotions of those around a telepath can affect them is terrifying.

RIKER: As you know, I've been given the responsibility of overseeing Wesley's education. To further that goal, I would like to put him in charge of the planetary mineral surveys.

One, "As you know" is just bad writing. "Since I'm responsible for Wesley's education, I'd like to put him in charge of the planetary mineral surveys." Two, this is too big of a job for Wesley, I expect a lieutenant to handle this job, if not Data himself.

PULASKI: Are we talking about a young officer on the fast track to the Academy, or are we talking about a young man that we are guiding through adolescence and into adulthood?

Fast track? He didn't get in last time because he was the second best of the candidates at an arbitrary location (and I already gave a whole lecture about that idiocy).

DATA: It is a personal project. I have reset the sensors to scan for frequencies outside their usual range.

You do have to wonder why Data is bothering with this in this episode particularly. The grammarian in me also takes umbrage at his use of "reset" instead of "modified" or "reconfigured."

SARJENKA [OC]: Is anybody out there?
DATA: Yes.

Oh boy, here we go. Some people have relied on Data's innocence and honesty to explain this blatant violation of the Prime Directive. I don't buy it. We'll be returning to this.

Captain's log, stardate 42737.3. It has been six weeks since our entrance into the Selcundi Drema sector. Each system has revealed the same disturbing geological upheavals on every planet.

It takes six weeks to scan every system in a sector? One could argue that the sensor modifications and desired thoroughness would slow down the ship, but SIX WEEKS? When Data reported that the ship would have to go much slower to to more thorough scans, Picard should've reported to Starfleet and gotten a dedicated science vessel out here to do the grunt work.

And of course, the six weeks isn't needed. One week would serve the story just as well. Grrr.....

PICARD: Her society is aware that there is interstellar life?
DATA: No, sir.
PICARD: Oops. Just where does she think you're calling from?
DATA: I have kept that somewhat vague, sir.

"Oops"? Understatement of the century.

RIKER: We'd be gods, which we're not. If there is a cosmic plan, is it not the height of hubris to think that we can, or should, interfere?

This is a point to consider: Are all humans atheists in the future? Deep Space Nine implies this, even when it's known that the Prophets exist. And yet this scene implies that the humans are agnostics.

I won't get too deep into my personal beliefs here, that's a risky road to go down for the purposes of this topic. Let's keep it simple and just say that I believe that "people have free will" and "people can be used as instruments for a higher plan" are not mutually exclusive.

TROI: If there is a cosmic plan, are we not a part of it? Our presence at this place at this moment in time could be a part of that fate.

What the Betazoids would think of the different aspects of religion are an interesting philosophical discussion for elsewhere.

PICARD: So we make an exception in the deaths of millions.
PULASKI: Yes.
PICARD: And is it the same situation if it's an epidemic, and not a geological calamity?
PULASKI: Absolutely.
PICARD: How about a war? If generations of conflict is killing millions, do we interfere? Ah, well, now we're all a little less secure in our moral certitude.

This is why the Prime Directive is so cut and dry; gray areas lead to confusion, frustration, and anger. No exceptions means no exceptions.

LAFORGE: What if the Dremans asked for our help?
DATA: Yes. Sarjenka's transmission could be viewed as a call for help.
PICARD: Sophistry.

FYI, "sophistry" means arguments that sound correct but really aren't. Sarjenka wasn't calling for help from aliens because she doesn't know that aliens exist. Even now she doesn't know who, what, or where Data is.

WESLEY: Drema Four has the largest deposit of dilithium ore ever recorded. It's also laid down in a very unusual pattern. The crystals are growing to form perfectly aligned lattices.
HILDEBRANDT: The ore is forming generator strata.
ALANS: Which creates a piezoelectric effect.
PICARD: In plain English, you're saying the dilithium is causing the geological catastrophe.
ALANS: Right, the crystals take the natural radiant heat of the planet
HILDEBRANDT: Focus it, and turn it into mechanical energy.
ALANS: Which increases tectonic stresses
HILDEBRANDT: That tear the planet apart.

If you didn't know already, "piezoelectric" means a material that can turn mechanical stress into an electric charge and vice-versa. One common application is used in quartz watches: the charge from the battery makes a quartz crystal vibrate back and forth at a frequency that turns a stepper motor. I don't think you can use heat as a substitute for electricity and still call it "piezoelectric."

DATA: Sarjenka, this is Data. Respond please.
COMPUTER: Unable to complete transmission.
DATA: Reason for failure?
COMPUTER: Atmospheric activity interfering with RF signal.

Oh yeah, radio. That means realtime transmissions aren't possible. Oops. It also raises the question on why the sensors aren't calibrated to detect the entire portion of the EM spectrum that could be used for communications anyway.

WORF: We're modifying class one probes so they become resonators. We will then use torpedo casings to protect them once they begin burrowing beneath the surface.

I'm still wondering how these probes can burrow beneath the surface or use a torpedo casing as a protective shell. I wonder why they didn't just use a class eight probe, the ones that already use torpedo cases.

DATA: Then what is the difference between sending the message and delivering it personally?
RIKER: A whopping big one, and you know it.
DATA: Sir, we have come this far.
PICARD: In for a penny, in for a pound, is that what you're saying, Mister Data?
DATA: Yes, sir.

Unreasonable. Sarjenka doesn't know Data is an alien or where he's from. I suddenly wonder if the cloaking suits from Insurrection would be an option so Data could check in on her without letting her know he's there.

RIKER: Data, you've got ten minutes. That's it. If you meet anybody but Sarjenka
DATA: I will signal for immediate beam out.

Yeah, we're totally not breaking the Prime Directive this way! Wafer-thin ice, Data!

(Constructed mainly of hexagons. There is a toy doll on a bed of pillows. He finds the radio. The door is a forcefield or hologram. Data touches it, it vanishes to reveal a red and sullen outside, lit by erupting volcanoes. The ground shakes so he goes back inside and closes the door.)

The sequence of technological advances just before the discovery of warp is always confusing. I'm reminded of how Angel One has disintegrator fields but not warp drive.

SARJENKA: What is this?
PULASKI: An Elanin singer stone. It sings a different song for each person.

I hope these things don't really just play one song for each person, but it's more like it responds to the individual biofields of each person to create individual songs, like a mood ring.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:20 PM
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The Fiver

Riker: All of those Ensigns' first names are Wesley.
Wesley: I know, I want to have team Wesley!

Missing first lines alert!

Davies: So here are the results from my tests.
Wesley: Hey, all the statistics are threes!
Davies: Maybe Data's malfunctioning again.

"Cause and Effect" hasn't happened yet, so you can't use "again", Derek!

Picard: What's wrong with the planet?
Alans: Well, the planet's core is pure dilithium with a thin layer of adamantium.
Davies: And the planet's heat causes tectonic sublimation until it regarbalizes the spheramental drive core.

Is there a reference here that I'm not getting?

O'Brien: Hey, why are you beaming Data down?
Riker: I have nothing to say to you, Chief. And I think you know why.
O'Brien: Would you stop saying that to me?

Odd place for a "Defiant" reference.

Data: Sarjenka, I came for you.
Sarjenka: Thanks. Unfortunately I think we're stuck here with the planet erupting all around us. But I'm glad to be with you, Data. Here at the end of all things.

Apparently this is an obscure Return of the King reference. The connection seems tangential at best.

Memory Alpha

* Melinda Snodgrass claims that Data's childlike innocence would allow for the reflexive reply to Sarjenka. I still don't buy it.
* First time Picard actually drinks Earl Grey, he failed in Contagion.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Why give Sarjenka a singer stone if her memory was erased to preserve the Prime Directive? She wouldn't know what it is!
* Amazingly Phil also brings up the vanishing door/Angel One thing. In the second edition he says that a reader replied that the appearance of a house doesn't necessarily reflect the full technological capacity of a society. I still don't buy it.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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Old 05-04-2019, 01:10 AM
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Good fivers both, but no standout lines for me.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:16 PM
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Sorry, yesterday was pretty hectic and the TNG Marathon wasn't a high priority.

May 8th, 1988, "Q Who"

Prelude: I wish the Borg had stayed like this. Incomprehensible, uncommunicative, focused on mechanical perfection. To be frank the Best of Both Worlds should've been their last appearance.

Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

SONYA: Have I been talking too much?
LAFORGE: No.
SONYA: Oh, I do tend to have a bit of a motor mouth, especially when I'm excited.

Sonya had possibilities, but she wasn't written very well. We'll be returning to her character in the Memory Alpha section.

LAFORGE: I don't think you want to be around these control stations with that hot chocolate, do you?
SONYA: Oh, I'm sorry. I shouldn't even have this in Engineering.

Why not? This isn't the first or last time we've seen coffee cups in proximity to people on duty. Tuvok was making custom teas for Captain Sulu on the bridge seventy years ago! Furthermore, why is there a replicator here if people shouldn't be eating in Engineering?

SONYA: I just want to say, sir, that I'm very excited about this assignment and I promise to serve you and my ship, your ship, this ship, to the best of my ability.

This is an interesting idea. I don't have a problem with any officer assigned to Enterprise calling her "my ship." Using "your ship" with Kirk might make sense, but I doubt Picard would like such a usage (at least until Generations, that is).

PICARD: We agreed you would never trouble my ship again!

As numerous nitpickers have pointed out, Q promised to stay out of humanity's path forever, not stay away from the Enterprise. I'd rather Q just say "I chose to give you a break, but you don't have the power to make me stay away." Then again, a fantastic story possibility suddenly occurs to me. What if Q kept his word and stayed away, but the Continuum just sent another Q2 in his place. Q2 would be even less bearable to Picard, who would lift his ban on Q. That would be an interesting episode!

LAFORGE: You know, you're awfully young to be so driven.
SONYA: Yes, I am. I had to be. I had to be the best because only the best get to be here.

This makes sense of course, and opens many other storytelling possibilities that weren't even considered. Similar to Reg Barclay, but taking it in a different direction. The difference between "best at your job" and "best at interpersonal relationships".

RIKER: Computer locate Captain Picard.
COMPUTER: The Captain is not on the ship.
WORF: Commander, there is a shuttle missing from bay two.

First, what's the point in the officers wearing commbadges if the computer isn't going to notify the security officer the instant one just vanishes? Second, a missing shuttle should also generation an instant alarm. Third, is there a reason why the shuttle Q used has to be from the Enterprise? Surely he could just whip up a facsimile for the purposes of meeting with Picard.

PICARD: You know him?
GUINAN: We have had some dealings.
Q: Those dealings were two centuries ago. This creature is not what she appears to be. She's an imp, and where she goes, trouble always follows.

One of the great untold stories in Trek, the dealings between Guinan and Q. Especially since we're never quite sure what powers Guinan has or not. One problem is that she is unquestionably humanoid, not a shapeshifter or energy being engaged in a masquerade. What danger is she to him?

Q: Ah, the redoubtable Commander Riker. And Micro-brain. Growl for me. Let me know you still care.

Another line that has stuck with me.

RIKER: The good times? The first time we met you, you put us on trial for the crimes of humanity.
Q: Of which you were exonerated.

It will be revealed later that the trial never ended. I do wish that this plot point had been made more clear at the end of Encounter at Farpoint.

Q: Oh. Well, you may not trust me, but you do need me. You're not prepared for what awaits you.
PICARD: How can we be prepared for that which we do not know? But I do know that we are ready to encounter it.
Q: Really?
PICARD: yes. Absolutely. That's why we're out here.
Q: Oh, the arrogance. They don't have a clue as to what's out here.
GUINAN: But they will learn, adapt. That is their greatest advantage.
Q: They're moving faster than expected, further than they should.

Q made remarks like this in Encounter at Farpoint, and I still don't know what business it is of the Q's. Don't they have an equivalent of the Prime Directive? Of course, my big problem is that on the whole the stuff TNG ran into isn't that more of a threat than the stuff in TOS, with the possibly exception of the Borg.

Q: You judge yourselves against the pitiful adversaries you have encountered so far. The Romulans, the Klingons. They are nothing compared to what's waiting. Picard, you are about to move into areas of the galaxy containing wonders more incredible than you can possibly imagine, and terrors to freeze your soul.

I'd hardly call the Romulans and Klingons "pitiful." "Conventional", perhaps. As for terrors to freeze the soul, I can't think of anything in TNG to match that. The Borg don't count, as it's made clear that regular Borg space was still a bit away at warp speeds.

DATA: According to these coordinates, we have travelled seven thousand light years and are located near the system J two five.
RIKER: Travel time to the nearest starbase?
DATA: At maximum warp, in two years, seven months, three days, eighteen hours we would reach Starbase one eight five.

Ugh, I'm not going into variable warp speeds again today. I'm just irked the writers still think that maximum warp can be sustained for more than a few days at a time.

DATA: There is a system of roads on this planet, which indicates a highly industrialised civilisation. But where there should be cities there are only great rips in the surface.
WORF: It is as though some great force just scooped all the machine elements off the face of the planet.
DATA: It is identical to what happened to the outposts along the Neutral Zone.

The whole Neutral Zone outpost thing from the end of Season One really wasn't handled well, even with the shift in direction from the bluegills to the Borg. A problem I have is that it's implied that the Borg literally assimilate the actual machinery of conquered people and not just the design of the technology itself. That's just dumb, with Borg nanoprobes all necessary technologies can be manufactured in a much more efficient manner than an angle grinder, welder, and soldering iron.

RIKER: Keep the shields down. We don't want to appear provocative.

I hate this sentiment. Keeping shields up in the presence of a stranger isn't provocative, locking weapons is.

RIKER: Life signs?
DATA: There is no indication of life.

The issue of Borg life signs is another lengthy essay I could write but won't. Suffice to say Data should've been more vague: "I detect biological matter, but no organized life forms as we know them."

TROI: We're not dealing with an individual mind. They don't have a single leader. It's the collective minds of all of them.
PICARD: That would have definite advantages.
TROI: Yes, A single leader can make mistakes. It's far less likely in the combined whole.

See, this is Trek. Asking questions about the human condition and making you think. This question of the real efficiency of the Borg Collective is quite interesting, it's a shame they didn't really do anything with it until Species 8472.

RIKER: If they pull down our shields, we're helpless.

Cue slap to forehead. Was someone really paid to write something this obvious?

(A circular cut is made in the hull, and a section of several decks is pulled out)
WORF: A type of laser beam is slicing into the saucer section.

But lasers can't even penetrate the navigational shields! "An unknown form of energy beam" is more than adequate!

SONYA: Eighteen people. Dead, just like that.
LAFORGE: I know. Just put it out of your head.
SONYA: No, I can't. I keep seeing them.
LAFORGE: Sonya, stop it.

Thank you! Some of the eighteen had to be civilians, possibly children. This would have an effect. Of course, back when this happened to Wesley Picard implies that Academy training takes care of this sort of thing.

GUINAN: They're made up of organic and artificial life which has been developing for thousands of centuries.

I wonder how Guinan knows this. It's clear that El Auriens aren't empathic or telepathic in the traditional sense. Did they have a military that managed to damage and salvage a Borg ship?

RIKER: Captain this is incredible. We've entered what appears to be the Borg nursery.
PICARD [OC]: Describe it.
RIKER: From the look of it the Borg are born as biological life form. It seems that almost immediately after birth they begin artificial implants. Apparently the Borg have developed the technology to link artificial intelligence directly into the humanoid brain.

Okay, assimilation as we will later know it hasn't been conceived of yet. The implication is that the Borg see the need for a biological component to their race and the drones are clones. Another interesting discussion that we don't have time for.

Q: If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross, but it's not for the timid.

Another line that's stuck with me. Of course, you have to ask what happened to Q's desire to join the crew.
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  #94  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:16 PM
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The Fiver

La Forge: Why are you so polite to our replicators?
Gomez: I called one of these things an overgrown toaster once and it never forgave me.

It seems like a sentence is missing. It kept turning her orange juice blue (brownie points to the first to correctly identify which TOS novel I'm referencing!), it had to audacity to give her prune juice instead of bloodwine, it keeps serving her cold tea. Something.

Picard: Why did you send this shuttle to the other side of the galaxy?
Q: I'm warming up for my next prank.

I get the Voyager reference, but the Caretaker isn't really similar enough to Q to pull this off.

Guinan: Q, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times: DON'T PROVOKE THE BORG!

Ugh, "Q2", don't remind me.

Data: We are near system J-25.
Riker: How could this system have a name? This whole sector is unexplored.
Data: I just made it up, sir.

How many systems have we named that we've never been to? This joke doesn't make much sense.

Guinan: Because of Q, the Borg now know of your existence.
Picard: Perhaps what we needed was a kick in our complacency.
Guinan: Perhaps what Q needs is to be stabbed with a fork.

You're gonna have to wait a bit to get a chance to do that, Guinan!
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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 05-11-2019, 05:34 PM
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This is a particularly good fiver.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
The Fiver

La Forge: Why are you so polite to our replicators?
Gomez: I called one of these things an overgrown toaster once and it never forgave me.

It seems like a sentence is missing.
Yeah, I think there used to be one more line.
Quote:
It kept turning her orange juice blue (brownie points to the first to correctly identify which TOS novel I'm referencing!)
Brownie?

Are you sure you don't mean banana cream pie?

Quote:
Picard: Why did you send this shuttle to the other side of the galaxy?
Q: I'm warming up for my next prank.

I get the Voyager reference, but the Caretaker isn't really similar enough to Q to pull this off.
I like the idea that the TV show was Q playing a prank on us.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:29 PM
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Brownie points are hardly that obscure of an expression.



I really want to tell the blue orange juice story, but I want to give you guys some time to guess.
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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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  #97  
Old 05-15-2019, 12:44 PM
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May 15th, 1989, "Samaritan Snare"

No fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

PULASKI: The truth is, you've ignored this far too long.
PICARD: This ship has a mission to carry out.
PULASKI: An astronomical survey to be conducted by the science officers, I believe.
PICARD: And I 'was looking forward to seeing the Epsilon Pulsar Cluster for myself.

The writing backfired here. I'm not on Picard's side for this one. He knows that his heart has to be replaced within a certain timeframe, so he has the luxury to pick which mission to skip out on. Given how often the E-D is treated like a taxi, surely he could've picked one of those missions to take a medical leave on.

RIKER: As First Officer, I have complete security clearance.
PICARD: This has nothing to do with ship's business, Number One. Suffice it to say, it is strictly a matter of image.

First, even Picard doesn't have "complete security clearance". Second, even if Picard doesn't want the crew to know about his heart, surely he could trust Riker with this information.

WESLEY: It's just the two of us, in a shuttlecraft for six hours. What am I going to talk to Captain Picard about for six hours?
SONYA: Archaeology, semantics, literature, art. You could learn a lot from Captain Picard.

Wesley may be some sort of savant when it comes to technology and starship operations, but he knows next to nothing about the arts, at least on a level that won't bore Picard. As for what to talk with Picard about, how about asking about what his parents were like before he was born?

(The Sahkarov is lined up with the bay doors)
WESLEY: Shuttle number two is ready for departure.

It occurs to me that even with formal names, TNG tends to refer to shuttles by number only most of the time. I wonder why.

GREBNEDLOG [on viewscreen]: We are Pakleds. Our ship is the Mondor. It is broken.

I promise to not harp about the idiocy of the Pakleds for the entire episode, but I have to bring it up once. I dislike the very concept of this race. A certain amount of technological competence is required to keep a starship running, and the Pakleds don't have it. Furthermore, the idea that the only way that they improve their technology is by stealing it is ludicrous. Perhaps technology is strictly plug-and-play within a specific race, but making disparate parts compatible doesn't work without a certain amount of expertise.

LAFORGE: Commander, from the looks of their ship, I could have them up and running in no time.
RIKER: You sure?
LAFORGE: Yeah, no problem.
RIKER: Very well. Our Chief Engineer will beam over to help you. Close.
WORF: Commander? Do we truly need to send our Chief Engineer over to them?

Given the lack of knowledge about the Pakleds, I'd think sending a security team over with the engineering TEAM would be prudent. And I don't think Geordi is required in this case, surely he has a specialist on staff who could handle this.

WESLEY: ETA thirteen thirty hours, sir. It's not exactly warp speed.
PICARD: More like a late twenty-second century interplanetary journey.
WESLEY: Sir?
PICARD: You should read more history, Ensign.

I know that this isn't an Enterprise reference, but these days it comes off as such. Besides, if they're only on impulse they're screaming at us to Do The Math. Six hours at full impulse is an hour and a half at Warp One, or about nine minutes at Warp Two, or 2.3 minutes at Warp Three, or a little less than a minute at Warp Four. You wonder why the Enterprise couldn't drop off Picard and Wesley at the starbase on their way.

(La Forge beams in and is immediately crowded by four very big guys. Think Vogons without the green skin)

I'm not a Doctor Who fan, and even I could make a comparison to Sontarans instead of Vogons.

RIKER: Well, our help is all they're going to get. They can't force us into anything, can they?
TROI: You think they're weak.
RIKER: Look at them. They're certainly not Jarada or Romulans.

Simply being idiots doesn't make them not a threat, Will.

WESLEY: You don't have to say that, sir. It's pretty obvious how you feel.
PICARD: Is it? How so?
WESLEY: Everyone knows. You don't like kids. That's too bad. You'd have made a good father.
PICARD: Thank you.
(Picard takes his book to a rear seat)
WESLEY: Didn't you ever wish you had kids of your own?
PICARD: Wishing for a thing does not make it so.

This is a lengthy topic for another day; why Picard doesn't like kids. The thing is; he implies that he never had the chance. I call shenanigans. At bare minimum there's Jenice Manheim, and in a different reality you can toss in Phillipa Louvois. And had Picard chosen a career in archaeology he could've easily fit a family into the picture.

WESLEY: Were you ever married?
PICARD: Never had the time.

Overly simplistic. The novels also explain that during the time period between the Stargazer court-martial and the launch of the E-D he left active service to pursue archaeology for a time. Plus there had to have been an alternate science officer path he could've pursued and had a family on a starbase or whatever.

WESLEY: Don't you ever get lonely?
PICARD: For ambitious Starfleet officers, there are certain costs involved.

Well, that's depressing. I'm also offended at the notion that the only form of companionship is dating/marriage. Friendship doesn't count for anything?

PICARD: Several friends and I were on leave at Farspace Starbase Earhart. It was little more than a galactic outpost in those days.
WESLEY: Was this before the Klingons joined the Federation?
PICARD: That's right.

Cue series bible rant again. Here's the thing: if it's supposed to be canon at this time that the Klingons have joined the Federation, we should've seen another Klingon in Starfleet by now.

PICARD: Did you read that book I gave you?
WESLEY: Some of it.
PICARD: That's reassuring.
WESLEY: I just don't have much time.
PICARD: There is no greater challenge than the study of philosophy.
WESLEY: But William James won't be in my Starfleet exams.
PICARD: The important things never will be. Anyone can be trained in the mechanics of piloting a starship.
WESLEY: But Starfleet Academy
PICARD: It takes more. Open your mind to the past. Art, history, philosophy. And all this may mean something.

I still find it fascinating how I remember more of the liberal arts from my private reading than all of those college courses. I do believe in being well-rounded, but I'm not sure enforced education is the way to do it.

GARAK: Please, Doctor. Spare me your insufferable Federation optimism. Of course it will survive, but as not the Cardassia I knew. We had a rich and ancient culture. Our literature, music, art were second to none. And now, so much of it is lost. So many of our best people, our most gifted minds.

GREBNEDLOG [on viewscreen]: Good. We want all computer information from your ship. Now.

Ha ha, good luck with that. The E-D has the largest mobile computer core in existence! It just won't fit, even if Riker wanted to accept defeat.

PULASKI: Is Geordi all right?
WORF: He's already been hit by multiple phaser stuns.
PULASKI: He could need medical attention.

I'm reminded of the zat guns on Stargate. You know, one shot stuns, the second shot kills? How much time has to pass before the second shot only stuns again? What kind of damage does multiple stun blast do?

PICARD: What the hell are you doing here?
PULASKI: Saving your life.
PICARD: Oh, come on. This is a routine procedure. Quite commonplace.
PULASKI: True. But you are not a commonplace man.

In plain text it seems like they said that the operation was routine a few too many times, but I'd have to watch the episode again to see if this is true or not.

Memory Alpha

* Budget constraints prevented use of the Captain's Yacht (the Calypso, FYI) here. A shame, but I understand. It's not just building a yacht model, it's building a portion of the underside of the saucer for it to come out of. A shame.
* Final appearance of Sonya Gomez. She did seem more developed here, but I guess it was too little, too late.
* As brought up in the Captains' Logs books, this episode is full of contrivances and bad writing.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Why would the Klingons or Romulans fall for the Pakled's strategy?
* Doesn't Wesley know what it feels like to be stabbed through the back from "Hide and Q"?
* How can Wesley earn Academy credits on the Enterprise if he hasn't been accepted into the Academy yet?
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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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  #98  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:48 AM
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May 22nd, 1989, "Up The Long Ladder"

No fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha

As an introduction, I like the Bringloidi, even if they are blatant offensive stereotypes. I also hate the clone plotline, there has to have been an easier way to force these two groups together without brushing against the abortion/rape awkwardness.

The Episode

PICARD: Recognise it?
RIKER: Sounds like it might be an SOS.
PICARD: Good guess. You're quicker than Starbase research. It took them hours to determine this was a distress beacon.

Ugh. Grr. Every single Earth signal throughout history should be in the database. This accomplishes nothing except making Starfleet look bad.

RIKER: What was its origin point?
PICARD: Ficus sector.
RIKER: Captain, I don't think there's any record of an Earth colony in that area.

Riker has an encyclopedic memory of all Earth colonies for hundreds of years? Furthermore, it sounds like Ficus sector is "in the sticks", so why should Riker even know where it is?

RIKER: The European Hegemony?
PICARD: A loose alliance formed in the early part of the twenty second century. It was the first stirrings of world government. You should read more history, Number One.

Of course the European Union didn't exist in '89, but the European Economic Community did. Furthermore, "first stirrings of world government?" The United Nations doesn't count for that definition. Even if you don't count the UN, I wouldn't use "world government" for anything before United Earth, which also early 22nd century. Cue series bible rant, etc.

WORF: I did not faint. Klingons do not faint.
PULASKI: Excuse me, I'll rephrase. This Klingon suffered a dramatic drop in blood pressure, his blood glucose level dropped, there was deficient blood flow resulting from circulatory failure. In other words, he curled up his toes and laid unconscious on the floor.
WORF: Doctor, there is no need to insult me.
PULASKI: Worf, I am worried. Now, something is wrong. Klingons don't faint. Forgive me. I just can't think of another word that applies.

Just like headaches and the common cold, I consider something as broad as "fainting" to be impossible to breed out of the genome.

PULASKI: So you've got the Klingon version of the measles.
WORF: How would Commander Riker feel if he had the measles.
PULASKI: Pretty silly.

I'm not sure the two situations are equivalent, but then again I'm not sure what Worf is so worried about. Maybe other Klingons would treat him differently, but not Federation citizens.

DATA: Captain, I have been considering the problem of the missing ship. Although there is no record of a launch to the Ficus sector, which would not be unusual considering the chaos of the early twenty second century, someone had to load that ship.
PICARD: The manifest.
DATA: Yes, sir.
PICARD: There it is. SS Mariposa, loaded 27th November, 2123.

This is absolutely silly and a relic of the pre-Internet age. This is implying that the computer database is merely an elaborate filing system: if you don't know exactly what you're looking for you won't find it. Furthermore, this delay accomplishes absolutely nothing but killing time that we don't have to resolve the actual plot.

PICARD: Theorise, Data. Give me some background.
DATA: In the early twenty-second century, Earth was recovering from World War Three. A major philosopher of the period was Liam Dieghan, founder of the Neo-Transcendentalists, who advocated a return to a simpler life in which one lived in harmony with nature, and learned under her gentle tutelage.

Remember that World War III ended roundabout 2053. Imagine the weapons and devastation if they're still recovering fifty years later. Then again, I'm also reminded of the space hippies and become annoyed again.

WORF: You know the ceremony?
PULASKI: I understand the externals, not the mysteries. I'm not a Klingon.

This is intriguing. Do the Daxs understand the mysteries? I find the notion that no non-Klingon can understand the Klingon philosophy/theology a bit dubious.

WORF: You must not drink the tea. It is deadly to humans.
PULASKI: And none too good for Klingons.
WORF: It is a test of bravery, of one's ability to look at the face of mortality. It is also a reminder that death is an experience best shared, like the tea.
PULASKI: Worf, you're a romantic.
WORF: It is among the Klingons that love poetry achieves its fullest flower.

Remember when the series bible said that Picard would be trumping France at every opportunity a la Chekov? I think Worf has taken over the role by now. I also like that the Klingons understand poetry, both in romance and tradition.

WORF: Shields at maximum.

Needing maximum shields at planetary distances from solar flares seems rather dubious.

TROI: Captain, these people have been isolated for three hundred years. They could be very unsophisticated. The shock of suddenly being transported onto a spaceship could frighten them, to say the least.

Fair enough, too bad we can write quite a list of other episodes that ignore similar wisdom.

Captain's log, stardate 42827.3. Commander Riker has reached the caverns, where he is making preparations to begin the evacuation.

The last Captain's Log (just after they left the starbase) was Stardate 42823.2, which is a day and a half ago. Not a continuity problem exactly, but I'd think that everything within a few days warp of all starbases would be better mapped than this. Does the Federation routinely build starbases at the very edge of known space (Farpoint doesn't count as we didn't build that one)?

DANILO: Captain Picard, sir, we can't leave our animals here to die. Besides, how could we build our future without our animals?

Fair enough.

RIKER: They'll learn and adapt. If Danilo Odell's any indication, they'll be running this place inside of a week.

Ha ha. I like how the crew is more accepting of these guys than those frozen humans from "The Neutral Zone." I guess the Season One smug mentality is finally wearing off.

BRENNA: And what are you staring at? Have you never seen a woman before?
RIKER: I thought I had.

Smooth, Will. Smooth.
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  #99  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:49 AM
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WORF: She is very like a Klingon woman.

I thought human women were too fragile for him! Still a Worf/Yar shipper, by the way...

Captain's log, supplemental. A review of stellar charts has revealed a Class M planet only half a light year from the Bringloid system.

The ship's sensors can't find a Class M planet at that distance? What point does this sentence achieve? Just say that you're going to the nearest Class M planet!

WORF: You can obtain spirituous liquours from the food dispensers.

As opposed to...cola liquors?

WORF: No, if you wish, it can be real alcohol.
DANILO: Good.
WORF: With all of the deleterious effects intact.

It's odd how Worf seems against real alcohol here when we'll see him drink other Klingons under the table in Deep Space Nine.

BRENNA: Why did you have to tell them that this magic wall can give them more than meat and potatoes? Now we'll never get a lick of work out of them.
WORF: Madam, have you considered a career in security?
BRENNA: If it's anything like babysitting, I'm an authority.

Great joke.

GRANGER: Two women and three men represented an insufficient gene pool from which to build a society.
PULASKI: How did you suppress the natural sexual drive? Drugs? Punitive laws?
GRANGER: In the beginning, a little bit of each. Now, after three hundred years, the entire concept of sexual reproduction is a little repugnant to us.

I'm confused as to why "insufficient gene pool"="no children whatsoever are allowed". What's wrong with maintaining the "natural sexual drive" even if you have to keep track of who everyone sleeps with?

GRANGER: We need an infusion of fresh DNA. I was hoping that you would be willing to share some tissue samples.
RIKER: You want to clone us?
GRANGER: Yes.

I'm confused as to why "we need clones from more people"="we must clone the first people we find whether they like it or not, instead of asking the billions in the Federation for volunteers."

RIKER: It's not a question of harm. One William Riker is unique, perhaps even special. But a hundred of him, a thousand of him diminishes me in ways I can't even imagine.

Insert Thomas Riker joke here. Even two William Rikers around seems to have diminished him! Insert Imzadi novel joke here as well. (You've all read Imzadi, haven't you?)

LAFORGE: Commander, with this I can see better than your average person. Now when someone lies there are certain physical manifestations. Variations in blush response, pupil dilation, pulse, breath rate. Doesn't always work with aliens, but humans? Got'em nailed.

Geordi's ability as a living lie detector sure would've come in handy in any number of other episodes, wouldn't it?

GRANGER: We asked for your help and you refused us. We're desperate. Desperate!
RIKER: And that gave you the right to assault us, to rob us.
GRANGER: We have the right to survive!

Not assault, rape. Life was created without permission, I call that rape. It's stuff like this that makes me think that there are two unrelated episodes here without room to adequately develop either one of them.

TROI: I know the Mariposan culture seems alien, even frightening, but really, we do have much in common. They're human beings fighting for survival. Would we do any less?

I jolly well hope so!

PULASKI: That's just postponing the inevitable. If they get an infusion of fresh DNA, in fifteen generations they'll just go back to the same problems.

I'd like to know how many new clones Pulaski is talking about here. Every human on board being cloned and nobody else? Isn't the human population of the Federation in the trillions? Couldn't everyone be cloned once and then they return to sexual reproduction?

GRANGER: Look at him. How could we ever integrate that into our society?
DANILO: You're no prize yourself.

Imagine the sitcom based on these two as roommates! It'd make Perfect Strangers look positive normal!

PICARD: Now, Commander Riker has asked that your laboratories be inspected for stolen tissue samples, and I understand his concern. We may have to transport all your equipment here, to the Enterprise.
GRANGER: I see. When reason fails, you'll resort to blackmail.

Um, the equipment needs to be beamed up and cleansed of stolen DNA samples regardless of what happens after that. Property has been stolen and must be recovered.

PULASKI: Now if this is going to work, you're going to have to alter your society, too. Monogamous marriage will not be possible for several generations.
DANILO: I don't quite understand.
PULASKI: Thirty couples are enough to create a viable genetic base. But the broader the base the healthier and the safer the society. So it will be best if each woman, Bringloidi and Mariposan, had at least three children by three different men.

There are only thirty Bringloidi? It seemed like there was more than that, even if you discount the older ones who wouldn't be contributing to the new gene pool. And I gotta ask, even if the Bringloidi are integrated, why can't other Federation citizens move here and help out with the gene pool?

BRENNA: Oh, damn. What does he do again?
PICARD: Prime Minister.
BRENNA: Sounds important.
PICARD: Oh, it is.
BRENNA: Sounds like he might have more than two coins to rub together. Three husbands?

We didn't see much of the Mariposan society, but they sure seemed to be post-currency. Also, the notion that more money=more desirable seems rather repugnant to me, however realistic it may be.

Nipicker's Guide

* In this episode Worf can just push a few buttons to make the replicator make real alcohol, and yet in "Relics" Data seems to imply that the only real alcohol on board is behind Guinan's bar, i.e. you have to transport the stuff manually.
* Pulaski uses a hand scanner on the clones and knows that they're clones without even consulting her tricorder. How'd she do that?

YouTube

Brenna rails against Worf, a career in Security
Will thought he's seen a woman before
A Klingon tea ceremony
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
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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!

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Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #100  
Old 06-19-2019, 07:08 PM
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June 19th, 1988, "Manhunt"

This is the first time one of my fivers has come up in these retrospectives, I'll try to keep the self-congratulatory comments to a minimum. In fact, I'm completely skipping the fiver section this time, you can go read about it in the dicer thread...

Fiver (by Nate the Great)
Script
Memory Alpha

The Episode

PICARD: Welcome. I'm Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise.

Greeting unconscious aliens seems rather odd. Surely the official greeting could wait until after they wake up and have breakfast.

WORF: What a handsome race.

There's a whole discussion to be had here about what the standards of beauty of alien races would be, but I'm not going to bother. The only thing I'm going to bring up is whether the same race would consider Antedeans and humans/Trill attractive.

DATA: Judging a being by its physical appearance is the last major human prejudice, Wesley.

I thought humans were perfect in these early seasons, thanks for the hypocrisy, Gene. Of course the real question is whether judging by appearance will really be the last prejudice. I expect something related to religion would take that "honor."

TROI: Oh, my God.
PICARD: What's the problem?
TROI: What's she doing here?

I don't have a problem with Troi sensing Lwaxana at this range, between their familial relationship and Lwaxana's stronger-than-normal telepathic ability this is only to be expected. My question is about the religious beliefs of Betazoids. Do they have gods? Or is this something that her father taught her?

DATA: Captain, we are receiving Starfleet orders granting a Lwaxana
LWAXANA: Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed.
DATA: Full ambassadorial status, sir.

I get that this is necessary for the joke, but in real life this is absurd. Even if the ambassadorization of Lwaxana is a relatively recent event, subspace is very fast (except where it isn't, of course).

DATA: She is listed as representing the Betazed government at the conference.

First, that should either be "Betazoid government" or "government of Betazed". Second, while the Fifth House is definitely implied to at least be some sort of nobility on Betazed, I question her credentials in this field. Does the Fifth House govern a region on the planet a la a dukedom?

LWAXANA: You remember Mister Homn, of course.
PICARD: It would be hard to forget Mister Homn.
LWAXANA: I retain his services despite the outlandishly lustful thoughts he spews in my direction.

I thought it was Homn's predecessor Mr. Xelo who had erotic thoughts about her. It's easy enough to chalk this one up to a delusion on Lwaxana's part, since she persists in thinking that Picard is attracted to her.

LWAXANA [telepath]: He has nice legs too, Little One. Is he still yours?
TROI [telepath]: Humans no longer own each other that way, Mother.

Lwaxana's opinion of Riker is an interesting story too long to repeat here. I'll just refer you to the novel "Imzadi" and "Dark Page." And humans do "own" each other that way, they call it marriage. Remember that even Vulcan's use the word in reference to their spouse. Apparently two-way ownership makes it not icky. Apparently...

LWAXANA: I am be serving a Betazoid dinner of greeting tonight, Captain. It is an ambassadorial function.
PICARD: It sounds delightful.

The weird thing is that Picard doesn't ask the computer about this dinner of greeting thing and find out that Lwaxana outright lied.

LWAXANA: He's a fine man. Solid, reliable. He's a little on the stuffy side, but, all in all, he's not that bad.
TROI: I can't believe you, Mother. You sound like you're sizing up a commodity.
LWAXANA: But that's exactly what men are, darling. Especially human men. Was your father ever unhappy with me?
TROI: No. He worshipped you. But I don't think I'll ever learn to see men the way you do.

Another essay that I won't write here.

PICARD: Doctor? You're not attending the dinner with the rest of us this evening?
PULASKI: I've already eaten, but thanks, Captain.

I still feel that there was more to explore with this whole "Pulaski is not a bridge officer" thing. One thing I'll say that differentiates her from Crusher is that Pulaski seems content to be 100% medical. I won't comment on whether this is a good or bad thing. I'll just take a meaningless aside and mention that one of the Strange New Worlds compilations has a story about Kirk practically forcing McCoy to take command for a bit, with interesting results.

RIKER: Yes, it's something Troi warned me about when we first started to see each other. A Betazoid woman, when she goes through this phase, quadruples her sex drive.
TROI: Or more.
RIKER: Or more? You never told me that.
TROI: I didn't want to frighten you.

I think when we get up to multiplying by four, multiplying by five or six instead isn't really all that big of a deal. Troi is wonderfully embarrassed during this exchange.

TROI: She has decided to focus all of her sexual energy on one male, who will, of course, eventually become her husband. It seems, Captain, that you are the early favourite.
RIKER: Congratulations, sir!
PICARD: I'm not amused, Number One.

Riker is having such a great time, just wait until she turns her attention on him instead. You know what they say about karma.
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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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