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Nate the Great 01-05-2020 04:31 AM

I forgot to mention that "The Defector has good character work, I just get irked at mistakes that can be fixed through writing alone.

Nate the Great 01-09-2020 03:12 AM

January 8th, 1990, "The Hunted"

No fiver
Memory Alpha

The Episode

DATA: Specifications on the vessel, Mister Worf?
WORF: No warp drive. Minimal weaponry.

I find myself wondering what Worf would consider "minimal weaponry." I'm surprised he didn't specify "lasers only" like in Outrageous Okona.

LAFORGE: Vessel's speed increasing to point oh two impulse.

Full impulse is a quarter of the speed of light, so we're still talking over three million miles per hour.

LAFORGE: That's the ship's drive section
WESLEY: What happened to the rest of the ship?
DATA: Scan the drive section for life form readings.
WORF: None.
DATA: Bring us around to the back side of the asteroid, Mister Crusher.
LAFORGE: Sensors indicate wreckage on the asteroid's surface, Data.
WORF: No life signs.
DATA: Apparently, he did not survive.
WESLEY: Data, the drive section. Where'd it go? There's no sign of it on its previous heading. Someone must be at the helm.
RIKER [OC]: Status report, Mister Data?
DATA: I am afraid the prisoner has eluded us, sir.

If they're going to act like an asteroid can block ship's sensors, we've got a big problem. And even if they threw in a line about sensor-blocking minerals in the asteroid, the drive section wouldn't be able to get out of sensor range that fast. It would only take a few seconds to find it.

PICARD: A cloaking device?
WORF: Sir, the Angosians have no cloaking technology.
RIKER: Unless he's borrowing one. If he's hanging over the planet's pole, the magnetic field would confuse our sensors.

This isn't the only time they've acted like polar magnetic fields can hide a ship, which I consider patently ridiculous. Starships can scan all the planets in a system from outside it, why is a magnetic pole such a problem?

PICARD: Transporter room four, prepare to beam aboard from inside that shuttle anything large enough to be a humanoid adult.

I'm not sure the transporters work like that. I'll buy that someone can be altered such that their lifesign "transmissions" are outside the standard range. Fine. But they would still have to register as a lump of mass that can be locked on at this range. Just scan for something humanoid-sized that's not attached to the shuttle.

O'BRIEN: We're holding the contents in stasis pending arrival of security.

So is holding someone in transporter suspension dangerous or not? Do they not trust the forcefield that can surround the transporter pads? I do wonder why there can't be a high-security transporter room. No door to the outside and anesthezine gas on standby.

(The security guard fires, but it has almost no effect. They are jumped by the prisoner)

This is Starfleet Security, the guys Tasha Yar claims has the best training anywhere? I'd have upped the phaser setting a notch and fired again within a couple seconds, repeating until this guy went down! Come to think of it, that should be a setting by itself. Until you flip the switch off, each shot is slightly more powerful.

CRUSHER: At Troi's request I examined him. His cell structure has been significantly altered. They used a combination of cryptobiolin, triclenidil, macrospentol and a few things I can't even recognise.

These sounds like the names of drugs. I don't think drugs alone can explain what this guy can do. You'd need all-out genetic engineering, if not outright nanite assistance.

CRUSHER: One of the new substances in his cellular structure even shields electrical impulses.
DATA: Perhaps that would explain why our sensors did not detect him.

Lifesigns are more than just neural transmissions through the body. I could even buy temporary matching of body temperature with surroundings, but there have to be other things that can be detected.

NAYROK [on monitor]: It was for their own protection as well as that of others. Most of them were quite happy there. We went to great lengths to give them a fine quality of life.
PICARD: Prime Minister, even the most comfortable prison is a prison.

An unfortunate truth.

NAYROK [on monitor]: Captain, I assure you that every alternative has been explored.

Every alternative known to your science, you mean. Don't act like you've studied every alternative. Even Tuvok tried to rewire Suder with mindmelds. I'll buy that the onboard Vulcans aren't experts in this sort of thing, but the option of shipping him to Vulcan could at least be discussed.

WORF: Release of the force field and activation of the transporter will be virtually simultaneous. There will only be a point one second difference between them.
RIKER: Even Danar can't move that fast.

At least mention that you had to beef up the force field to stop Danar, because we've seen people beam in and out of cells all the time.

(Danar gets a hand out of the beam)

Transporters don't work like that!

(No, he's slumped against a bulkhead with his Visor lying on the floor, as Danar starts rearranging isolinear chips in a panel)

How does Danar know how to reconfigure the chips?

WORF: We believe he is attempting to reach shuttlebay two.
LAFORGE: That's twenty five decks up from here. Quite a climb, but I wouldn't put it past him.

Main Engineering is Deck 36, Shuttlebay 2 is Deck 13. Twenty-three, not twenty-five. Oops.

WORF [OC]: He used a phaser to power the cargo transporter.

Pretty sure that wouldn't work.

PICARD: I have all the information I need for our report. Your prisoner has been returned to you and you have a decision to make. Whether to try to force them back or welcome them home. In your own words, this is not our affair. We cannot interfere in the natural course of your society's development, and I'd say it's likely to develop significantly in the next several minutes. It's been an interesting visit. When you're ready for membership, the Federation will be pleased to reconsider your application.

Ugh. I don't like this kind of thing. I don't think these guys are prewarp, so don't quote the Prime Directive at us! Furthermore, this ending is too neat and tidy, I can't help but feel like too much time was spent on some scenes when other scenes needed more room to breathe.

Memory Alpha

* The whole idea that this episode is supposed to parallel Vietnam vets doesn't work at all.
* Only TNG appearance of a Jefferies Tube you can walk upright in.
* The ending was supposed to be bigger but couldn't because of the budget. Okay, so rewrite the ending to be better AND cheaper! I hate problems that can be fixed in the writing stage.

Nitpicker's Guide

* So it's chemicals in the body that makes these guys invisible to sensors. Why can't you remove this edge even if the mental reprogramming can't?
* Nobody is at Ops at the start of the episode. Don't we need someone there at all times?
* Phil also says that these guys should appear on sensors as SOMETHING even if it's not a life form.

Flying Gremlin 01-09-2020 05:54 AM

"The Hunted", I can buy some of what they're selling with the Nam vets and such, but how this was handled in the episode was very, very sloppy.

Also, tsk tsk for not mentioning James Cromwell with hair.

Nate the Great 01-31-2020 05:30 AM

January 29th, 1990, "The High Ground"

First veterans, now terrorists? They couldn't squeeze a comedic episode in between? Don't expect me to pull punches on this one, the message is too hamfisted for me to attempt fairness.

No fiver
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, Stardate 43510.7. The Enterprise has put in at Rutia Four to deliver medical supplies following an outbreak of violent protests. Although non-aligned, the planet has enjoyed a long trading relationship with the Federation. Now, a generation of peace has ended with terrorist attacks by Ansata separatists, who are demanding autonomy and self-determination for their homeland on the western continent. Recreational shore leave has been prohibited and all away teams have been beam down armed.

[Plaza Cafe]

(The situation isn't stopping Beverly and Worf from drinking beverages in pleasant cafes in shopping areas)

Ugh. Badly written. If these terrorist attacks are so dangerous, nobody should be down there unless they have specific business. Beam back up to get beverages. I think visiting a cafe counts as "recreational shore leave." The worst part is that this isn't necessary. They didn't take a minute to explore Crusher and Worf's characters here, so why does this have to be in a cafe and not just outside a government facility?

CRUSHER: Lieutenant Worf, I need some bandages, disinfectant, something with alcohol in it.

Why isn't Beverly carrying a medkit? What's achieved by her not having one?

PICARD [OC]: Doctor, Commander Data has informed me of your situation.
CRUSHER: I already know what you're going to say.
PICARD [OC]: Doctor, will you at least allow me to
CRUSHER: The longer we argue, the longer


CRUSHER [OC]: It's going to take me to save
PICARD: Doctor, you are endangering yourself and the away team.

In a situation like this, Picard should pull rank and order her to beam up. Furthermore, something like this should've been in the mission briefing: this isn't our fight, be prepared to leave at once without complaint. Furthermore, Picard mentions earlier that these guys are nonaligned. The Enterprise is only here to deliver medical supplies. Is there a reason they couldn't just be beamed down without putting any Starfleet officers at risk?

DATA: A transporter would leave residual ionization in the air. Our tricorder readings found no trace after the incident.
RIKER: People don't just appear and disappear. There must be some way to track her.

It's Season Three, I would hope the no-TOS references rule isn't in effect anymore, but even if it was, there are methods of teleportation in TNG that don't follow basic transporter rules. Q and the Farpoint aliens (alternatively known as "Farpoint cnidarians", "star-jellies" and "skymounts" depending on who you ask) come to mind immediately.

WORF: Sir, I believe she was the intended target of the abduction.
RIKER: Why would they want to take a Federation hostage? Their fight doesn't involve us.
WORF: It does now.

Here's the thing: the planet is nonaligned, and the Federation is apparently obligated to give humanitarian to anyone who asks unless it's someone they're currently at war with (and something even if they are). The terrorists could ask for help just like the government.

PICARD: In fact, it's more than likely that they will take good care of her, if they want to use her as a bargaining chip.
WESLEY: Bargaining chip?
TROI: The innocent often become the pawns in conflicts of this type, Wes.

Is Wes supposed to be an audience surrogate character or a prodigy, because you can't have it both ways. Troi's reply is just preachy and not necessary.

TROI: He needs your strength right now.
PICARD: History has shown us that strength may be useless when faced with terrorism.

What a lovely sentiment, and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible. If this message must be conveyed, save it for the ending Captain's Log, don't sound incompetent to your crew or scare Wes!

ALEXANA: I doubt they have one. They don't usually take hostages. These are not people we're dealing with here. They're animals. Fanatics who kill without remorse or conscience. Who think nothing of murdering innocent people.

Okay, you are officially nonsympathetic. A key Star Trek moral is that cultures are not monolithic and painting everyone with the same brush is wrong and will eventually bite you in the butt. Furthermore, this sort of talk is really a means by the speaker to justify killing the people they accuse without remorse. Hypocrite.

ALEXANA: Perhaps if we found ourselves in possession of some of that advanced Federation weaponry of yours, it would shift the balance of power back to our favour.
PICARD: Of course you know that is out of the question.
ALEXANA: Yes, of course.

This sort of thing should've been established ages ago. "Until you are a Federation member world, you don't get Federation assistance beyond humanitarian aid. Period. So don't ask."

FINN: Your ship carries medical supplies for them, for the other side. Why does the Federation ally itself with the Rutians?
CRUSHER: We don't. All we did was bring
FINN: Medical supplies.
CRUSHER: People were hurt.
FINN: I know. I hurt them.

Great job, Finn. You are officially nonsympathetic. At least PRETEND you're not a cold-blooded killer if you want her help!

CRUSHER: When I inform the Captain how serious the situation is, I'm sure he'll agree. I've told you, Finn, the Federation is not allied with Rutians. We're here on an errand of mercy.
FINN: And since the Federation does not wish to take sides, they will send the supplies that you need.
CRUSHER: Absolutely.


ALEXANA: The event that really opened my eyes took place only a few days after my arrival. A terrorist bomb destroyed a shuttlebus. Sixty schoolchildren. There were no survivors. The Ansata claimed that it was a mistake, that their intended target was a police transport. As if that made everything all right.

First, a police transport isn't a military transport. It's still attacking civilians. If the Ansata aren't attacking the military, they're criminals at best and terrorists at worst. They don't have "the high ground." Neither doesn't the government, but we've already covered that.

CRUSHER: They're dying. I'm seeing a complicated set of conditions. Their DNA is warped somehow, and it's distorting their entire cellular chemistry.
FINN: You can't do anything?
CRUSHER: I can make them more comfortable. That's all. The damage is too extensive.

Not even the facilities on the Enterprise can help? Whether she's honest or tricking them, the subject should be brought up.

FINN: It's the inverter. It's given our cause a new life, but it asks for our lives in return.
CRUSHER: What does it do?
FINN: We transport through a dimensional shift that the Rutian sensors can't trace.
CRUSHER: Dimensional shifting? You can't do that with humanoid tissue.
FINN: There are risks, the designers told us, But it works.

So these guys willingly kill themselves slowly just to be terrorists? We can add insanity to stupidity.

Nate the Great 01-31-2020 05:31 AM

CRUSHER: You're showing the same distorted readings. Not as severe as the others, but

I'm reminded of the villain Peek from Batman Beyond. Long story...

(Data and Wesley are examining the terrorist device)
DATA: A subspace field coil with an isolated power source. Curious.

It's a bomb, of course it has an isolated power source. Seriously, hire a fan for peanuts who actually cares about Treknobabble!

DATA: But it was proven to be fatal. To use this technology would be an irrational act.
PICARD: We may be dealing with irrational people, Data. Is there a way to trace this?
LAFORGE: With an adaptive subspace echogram, maybe?

Subspace echogram? There are times I get afraid that the writers come up with Treknobabble by throwing magnetic technology terms at a fridge.

CRUSHER: I live in an ideal culture. There's no need for your kind of violence. We've proven that.

DS9 proved that wrong, didn't they? Also, I do wish Federation citizens would stop calling their own culture ideal. That's the kind of thing that can only be judged by an outsider.

FINN: Yes, I've read your history books. This is a war for independence, and I am no different than your own George Washington
CRUSHER: Washington was a military general, not a terrorist.
FINN: The difference between generals and terrorists, Doctor, is only the difference between winners and losers. You win, you're called a general. You lose

Washington committed guerrila acts against a military, not terrorist acts against civilians. Big difference.

FINN: How much innocent blood has been spilled for the cause of freedom in the history of your Federation, Doctor?

In the cause of freedom? Not many. Military casualties, yes. Civilians, no. That's why you can't call terrorism a gray area. It's not and never will be.

DATA: I have been reviewing the history of armed rebellion and it appears that terrorism is an effective way to promote political change.
PICARD: Yes, it can be, but I have never subscribed to the theory that political power flows from the barrel of a gun.
DATA: Yet there are numerous examples where it was successful. The independence of the Mexican State from Spain, the Irish Unification of 2024, and the Kensey Rebellion.
PICARD: Yes, I am aware of them.
DATA: Then would it be accurate to say that terrorism is acceptable when all options for peaceful settlement have been foreclosed?

Terrorism is not a revolution! Stop acting like they're equivalent!

FINN: I'm not releasing you. I need you here.
CRUSHER: To find a way to reverse the effects of the dimensional shift? I can do that right now. Stop using it!

A big problem here is that Crusher would want to help these people anyway. Is there really no equipment on the ship that might have a better chance than a medical tricorder? Even if the odds are slip, Crusher would take it.

(He gets a laser tool and cuts it off the core)
LAFORGE: Transporter room, lock on my signal and stand by to transport two kilometres off the starboard nacelle.

Two kilometers? You do remember that the ship itself is a kilometer long, right? And that the transporter range of the ship is 40,000 kilometers? What did specifying two kilometers do except annoy nerds like me?

PICARD: I should have beamed you up.
CRUSHER: You wouldn't dare.
PICARD: Oh yes I would, and should.
CRUSHER: Without my permission?
PICARD: If you don't follow orders.
CRUSHER: If you'd give reasonable orders, I'd obey.

It doesn't work like that, Beverly. You either obey, refuse and be disciplined, or transfer to a ship with a captain whose orders you will obey.

PICARD: They're mad.
CRUSHER: I don't know any more. The difference between a madman and a committed man willing to die for a cause. It's all become blurred over the last few days.

No, they're mad. They're attacking civilians instead of the military using a device that they know will kill them. No part of this is sane.

CRUSHER: But he did have reasons. The medical supplies, the arrests. Jean-Luc, if we really examined our role in all this

You can't justify the actions of terrorists? Maybe if these had been true revolutionaries only attacking the military you could make the issue gray, but you can't! The microsecond civilians die you have lost the high ground!

FINN: I am not here to hurt you. Just hear what I have to say. Your people are safe. How long they stay that way depends on you. We demand an embargo and trade sanctions levied against Rutia. The Federation will blockade the planet. No ships will be allowed in or out. This will continue until the government of Rutia consents to talks mediated by a Federation council. You have twelve hours to make your decision.

You kidnap Starfleet officers and expect a fair trial by the Federation? Good luck with that.

CRUSHER: Jean-Luc, there are some things I want to tell you in case we don't get out of this.

Now's not the time for this, Beverly!

Nitpicker's Guide

* How did the terrorists know where the Enterprise was and the floorplan well enough to teleport on board? And how do they have a computer powerful enough to compensate for the relative motion between the planet and the ship. Even if we assume that the ship is in geostationary orbit, you'd still need to tweak the coordinates.
* If they're in a city suffering from terrorist attacks, why aren't their tricorders set to continuously scan for weapons and explosives?

Flying Gremlin 02-01-2020 06:03 AM

I always saw Bev getting a good case of Stockholm Syndrome from that episode, considering she's advocating for terrorists.

Then again, she's a horrible doctor.

Nate the Great 02-08-2020 01:40 AM

February 5th, 1990, "Deja Q"

Once again, good character work, but the Treknobabble needed another rewrite. Those episodes are always annoying...

No fiver
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, Stardate 43539.1. We have moved into orbit around Bre'el Four. With the assistance of the planet's emergency control centre, we're investigating a potentially catastrophic threat to the population from a descending asteroidal moon.

Data will say that this is a satellite with a deteriorating orbit. Therefore this is a moon, not an asteroid. I'd almost prefer it if this was specified as a double planet system and a passing asteroid knocked the moon out of orbit.

PICARD: Won't the moon disintegrate prior to impact?
SCIENTIST [on viewscreen]: No, it has a ferrous crystalline structure and it will be able to withstand tidal forces, Captain.

This is a moon, not an asteroid! Furthermore, the audience wasn't asking this question, so this exchange doesn't need to exist.

LAFORGE: We'd need to apply a delta vee of about four kilometres per second. Even with warp power to the tractor beam, it would mean exceeding recommended impulse engine output by at least forty-seven percent. It'd be like an ant pushing a tricycle. A slim chance at best.

Luna travels at about a kilometer per second. Assuming a falling moon goes a bit faster, 4 km/s pushing outward actually seems reasonable. What a shock!

RIKER: Lieutenant Worf, contact all ships in this sector to rendezvous and join us in relief efforts.

All ships? Even the tiny freighters and couriers? Every starship that could reach this planet in time should already be on the way!

DATA: Delta vee is ninety two metres per second. The mass is too great. We are having an effect but it is negligible.

The problem here is that what we really want is an acceleration. The desired 4 km/s change is the final velocity outward compared to now. You can't really use such terms in the interim. While the tractor beam is in effect velocity is fluctuating. I guess I'll have to take away that gold star after all.

LAFORGE: Impulse engines passing safety limits. We're seconds from automatic shutdown.
PICARD: Reduce engine power. Tractor beam off.

This is extremely petty, but I have to wonder if shutting the engines down seconds before automatic shutdown is less damaging than waiting until automatic shutdown.

Captain's log, supplemental. We are no closer to finding a solution to the deteriorating orbit of the Bre'el Four moon, but with the arrival of Q, we now have a good idea of the cause.

I call this a farfetched notion. What amusement would it give Q to kill people via a "natural disaster?" Furthermore, we've yet to see the Q interested in lesser species except as harmless amusement. The locals aren't remotely advanced enough to warrant Encounter at Farpoint-style judgement.

LAFORGE: We need more time or more power, and we're short on both.

I'd wonder why they don't wait for other starships to arrive. Then again, if the numbers earlier are to be taken as correct, they need over forty more starships of comparable power to the Enterprise, i.e. Galaxy and Nebula-class vessels. I'm not sure there ARE forty other such ships at this point, even without wondering how they could get here in time.

Q: Since I only had a fraction of a second to mull and I chose this and asked them to bring me here.
TROI: Why?
Q: Because in all the universe you're the closest thing I have to a friend, Jean-Luc.

I find that either the biggest joke ever or extremely depressing. Aren't there other species between human and Q in power that would actually be friends with Q?

TROI: I am sensing an emotional presence, Captain. I would normally describe it as being terrified.
Q: How rude.

Wouldn't this be one of the final reasons to believe that Q is now human? Or are you going to tell me that Q would send fake telepathic messages? That seems like a lot of work for just a joke.

Q: What must I do to convince you people?
WORF: Die.
Q: Oh, very clever, Worf. Eat any good books lately?

Always a classic exchange.

Q: Would I permit you to lock me away if I still had all my powers?

If his master plan involved a good enough lesson or joke, yes he would.

DATA: Sensors are showing broadband emissions, including Berthold rays.

This is a reference to "This Side of Paradise." I guess either the no-TOS ban has been lifted or this reference was obscure enough to get past the higher-ups.

PICARD: If you are human, which I seriously doubt, you will have to work hard to earn our trust.
Q: I'm not worried about that, Jean-Luc. You only dislike me. There are others in the cosmos who truly despise me.

Nice foreshadowing, but also a little depressing when you think about it.

DATA: I was considering the possibility that you are telling the truth, that you really are human.
Q: It's the ghastly truth, Mister Data. I can now stub my toe with the best of them.
DATA: An irony. It means that you have achieved in disgrace what I have always aspired to be.

Nice character work. It's a shame the Trek writers forgot how to do that.

Q: Humans are such commonplace little creatures. They roam the galaxy looking for something, they know not what.

Too bad he didn't hang around Sisko more. "It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching--not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions."

LAFORGE: The moon will hit its perigee in ten hours. Now, we match its trajectory, increase emitter coolant rate so we can apply continuous warp-equivalent power nine to the tractor beam. We can push it for nearly seven hours and I think that just might do it. But, there's a problem.

Warp-equivalent power nine? [URL=""]Okay, just call this a warp field of 1.5 kilocochranes. Which can be generated for 12 hours of high warp. Frankly I'm surprised that the tractor beam can channel over half the power that the warp coils can.

Q: This is obviously the result of a large celestial object passing through at near right angles to the plane of the star system. Probably a black hole.

And that sort of thing wouldn't be detected by planetary or ship's sensors...why?

LAFORGE: You know, this might work. We can't change the gravitational constant of the universe, but if we wrap a low level warp field around that moon, we could reduce its gravitational constant. Make it lighter so we can push it. The gravitational constant only alters the acceleration of object near the moon's surface. What they're talking about is reducing effective mass. I think they mean that they're using a warp field to make the matter of the moon straddle the boundary between space and subspace. As long as part of the mass is no longer resisting being accelerated, it might work.

DATA: Although I do not require sustenance, I occasionally ingest semi-organic nutrient suspension in a silicon-based liquid medium.

Semi-organic? Is Data supposed to have tech that's the precursor of bio-neural gel-packs?

DATA: The replicator can make anything you desire.
Q: How do I know what I desire?

Seriously, Q? You've never tasted human food before while impersonating us? I refer you to the novel "I, Q."

Nate the Great 02-08-2020 01:41 AM

DATA: I've never seen anyone eat ten chocolate sundaes.
Q: I'm in a really bad mood, and since I've never eaten before, I should be very hungry.

Even so...ten chocolate sundaes? That's a bit much.

DATA: The Captain and many of the crew are not yet convinced he is truly human.
GUINAN: Really?
(So she picks up a fork and stabs it into Q's hand)
Q: Argh!
GUINAN: Seems human enough to me.

Come to think of it, wouldn't Guinan's extra senses twig to the fact that he's human? Wouldn't Q's aura look very different now?

Q: This is a dangerous creature. You have no idea. Why Picard would make her a member of the crew and not me

She's not a member of the crew! Even so, Picard trusts her because she has shown trustworthiness. Have you, Q?

Q: Sure, the robot who teaches the course in humanities.
DATA: I am an android, not a robot.
Q: I beg your pardon.

Technically, androids are a subset of robots. I understand why Data wouldn't want to be referred to in terms that place him closer to toasters than people, but he could've put it better.

COMPUTER: Signal patterns indicate intelligence. Unable to derive necessary referents to establish translation matrix.

I like that the Universal Translator isn't omnipotent, but if it can translate The Companion I fail to see why it can't translate the Calamarain.

RIKER: Fighting off all the species you've insulted would be a full time mission. That's not the one I signed up for.
PICARD: Indeed. Human or not, I want no part of you. We will deposit you at the first starbase. Let them deal with you.

The problem here is that while it's unfair for Q to put this burden on them, it would be equally unfair to dump Q onto a starbase. He's familiar with the crew of the Enterprise, anyone else would either treat him with more hostility or offend him with fake hospitality.

LAFORGE: I've been putting together a programme to extend the forward lobe of the warp field. The field coils aren't designed to envelop such a large volume. But I'm attempting to modify their alignment parameters.

A key reason why the Enterprise-E is the discovery of warp field efficiency with "greater z-axis compression." But that means longer and narrower warp fields are possible, not larger forward lobes that can encompass a moon. I shudder to think of the shear stress that would result if you pushed the apple core without pushing the rest of it as well.

Q: I'm not good in groups. It's difficult working in a group when you're omnipotent.

You mean groups with lesser beings. The rest of the Continuum doesn't seem to have a problem working in a group, even during a civil war.

DATA: Yes, Captain. We are unable to encompass the entire moon.
PICARD [OC]: Do you recommend that we proceed?
Q: The two parts of the moon will have different inertial densities.
LAFORGE: Stand by, Captain. I can adjust the field symmetry to compensate.
Q: I doubt it.

So do I.

DATA: Inertial mass of the moon is decreasing to approximately two point five million metric tonnes.

Luna is 73 trillion million metric tons. I'd say the Enterprise is doing a good job, considering the moon now weighs a fraction of a Borg Cube.

LAFORGE: We can try again when the moon comes back to its perigee.
RIKER: And when we drop our shields, the Calamarains go after Q again.
LAFORGE: Commander, he's not worth it.

SF Debris comments that if this WAS a Q scheme, Geordi's comment would be damaging to humanity's cause. But the thing is, even if Q heard Geordi, Geordi is still justified. Any good Q might have done is cancelled out by the grief he has given our heroes.

Q: There are creatures in the universe who would consider you the ultimate achievement, android. No feelings, no emotions, no pain. And yet you covet those qualities of humanity. Believe me, you're missing nothing. But if it means anything to you, you're a better human than I.

Always a touching thought.

Q: Where's the main shuttlebay?
COMPUTER: Main shuttlebay is located on deck four.

This is correct. Must be a fluke.

PICARD: This goes against my better judgment. Transporter room three, lock on to shuttle one. Beam it back into it's bay.
CREWMAN [OC]: Aye, Captain.
PICARD: It's a perfectly good shuttlecraft.

Always loved that little joke.

Q2: Actually, I was the one who got you kicked out. You know, you're incorrigible, Q. A lost cause. I can't go to a single solar system without having to apologise for you, and I'm tired of it.

So...don't refer to yourself as Q? Problem solved.

Q: I'm forgiven. My brothers and sisters of the Continuum have taken me back. I'm immortal again. Omnipotent again.
RIKER: Swell.

Text can't convey the dryness of Riker's line. Classic.

Q: Don't fret, Riker. My good fortune is your good fortune.
(two women are fawning over Will)
RIKER: I don't need your fantasy women.
Q: Oh, you're so stolid, Commander. You weren't like that before the beard. Very well.

He's using "stolid" in the sense of "showing little emotion." Q is missing the point. When it comes to romance, Riker can get his own dates. Or make his own holographic women, which is what Q's fantasy women basically are.

Q: Before I go, there's a debt I wish to repay to my professor of the humanities. Data, I've decided to give you something very, very special.
DATA: If your intention is to make me human, Q.
Q: No, no, no, no, no, no. I would never curse you by making you human.

Thank goodness. There isn't time to cover this idea in the rest of this episode. It's a shame we didn't revisit this idea in another episode, though. There's a short story where an alien race duplicates Data, only the duplicate is Data's memory in a human body that looks like himself.

Nitpicker's Guide

What biofunctions does Data have that need to be lubricated? Change it to pseudobiofunctions and I'd have no problem. He'd still need "tears" to lubricate his eyes in his head, etc.

Flying Gremlin 02-08-2020 06:00 PM


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81802)
Data will say that this is a satellite with a deteriorating orbit. Therefore this is a moon, not an asteroid.

Remind yourself again what the two moons of Mars are, and you'll see the need to specify.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81802)
Furthermore, the audience wasn't asking this question, so this exchange doesn't need to exist.

Uh... you just justified the need for the exchange.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81802)
I find that either the biggest joke ever or extremely depressing. Aren't there other species between human and Q in power that would actually be friends with Q?

It's probably more that he finds them amusing, and this was more amusing than anything else.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81802)
And that sort of thing wouldn't be detected by planetary or ship's sensors...why?

It doesn't really matter, mostly because by the deadline the people on the planet won't even be matter anymore. (Yeah, I know, that's not how it works, but the Men in Black reference was just too good.)


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81803)
Even so...ten chocolate sundaes? That's a bit much.

They went to McDonald's. Those things are tiny.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81803)
Come to think of it, wouldn't Guinan's extra senses twig to the fact that he's human? Wouldn't Q's aura look very different now?

Don't question Guinan's testing methods.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81803)
Technically, androids are a subset of robots. I understand why Data wouldn't want to be referred to in terms that place him closer to toasters than people, but he could've put it better.

He's technically correct.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81803)
You mean groups with lesser beings. The rest of the Continuum doesn't seem to have a problem working in a group, even during a civil war.

You mentioning this and pointing out this line makes it seem like this is a precursor to the Continuum civil war in Voyager, considering this experience introduces him into working with lesser species to come to a goal.

Then again, the writers probably weren't thinking that and were trying to rely on Rule of Funny way too much with this episode.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81803)
Q: Where's the main shuttlebay?
COMPUTER: Main shuttlebay is located on deck four.

This is correct. Must be a fluke.

The writer checked the map.

Nate the Great 02-14-2020 02:26 AM

February 12th, 1990, "A Matter of Perspective"

Fiver (by Kira)
Memory Alpha

The Episode

DATA: While suggesting the free treatment of form usually attributed to Fauvism, this quite inappropriately attempts to juxtapose the disparate cubistic styles of Picasso and Leger. In addition, the use of colour suggests a haphazard mélange of clashing styles. Furthermore, the unsettling overtones of proto-Vulcan influences
PICARD: Thank you, Mister Data.

Data's literalism and absence of guile can be a double-edged sword. Even so, art is more than technique analysis. Just like "Ode to Spot", technically perfect doesn't mean enjoyable.

Captain's log, Stardate 43610.4. After completing a delivery of dicosilium to the Tanuga Four research station, our away team has received an update from Doctor Nel Apgar on his efforts to create Krieger Waves, a potentially valuable new power source.

It seems odd that Riker and Geordi would be left alone for a mission like this. Another engineer (in fact, this seems like a job for Reg, if he existed at this point) or a security officer seems like a good idea. I do hate how often away team members are always senior officers. Even TOS had a specialist extra every now and then!

O'BRIEN: Transporter Room to Engineering. I have a power drain.

A phaser beam hitting the annular confinement beam creates a power drain? Just say that there's unexpected interference!

RIKER: Captain, may I have a word with you?
PICARD: Under these circumstances, Number One, I think that would be inappropriate.

Good for Picard. He gave Will a chance before he was formally charged, but Will refused.

WORF: Commander, sensors indicate a radiation burst on deck thirty nine, outside cargo bay twelve.
DATA: Source?
WORF: Unknown, sir.
DATA: Computer, identify type of radiation.
COMPUTER: Emission is not consistent with any known radiation.

I find this odd. Isn't the entire radiation spectrum mapped in the future? At least say that this kind doesn't come from any known device or astronomical phenomenon?

WESLEY: What kind of radiation could do this? Make any sense to you?
LAFORGE: I don't recognise it. Not even the main deflector puts out that kind of spillage.
WESLEY: Where would it be coming from?
LAFORGE: I don't know, Wes, but whatever it is, it's capable of putting a hole in solid duranium.

This is just weird. Do Kreiger waves phase in and out in "wavelengths", and only things at a peak or trough are damaged?

RIKER: We can't both be telling the truth.
TROI: It is the truth as each of you remembers it.
RIKER: But her version puts a noose around my neck.

Insert typical rant about how Troi's powers work here.

CRUSHER: If they're right, we should be able to predict the next event.
LAFORGE: We're expecting it in just over five hours.
PICARD: Take every precaution to protect the ship's vital areas.

How? They're not sure how the radiation works or where it will strike at this point.

PICARD: Of course he's innocent. But as a Starfleet Captain, I can't allow myself the luxury of yielding to my personal feelings. The evidence warrants a trial. I'll have to allow extradition.
TROI: Do you think there's enough evidence to prove his innocence?

This is one time when being the anti-Kirk is the right thing to do. Our heroes have to obey the laws of the locals, no matter what they are.

RIKER: But the holodeck can't create anything dangerous.
LAFORGE: Well, it didn't. When you get down to basics, the converter is nothing more than a complex series of mirrors and reflective coils. The energy from the field generator down on the planet simply reflects off of elements in the convertor which turns it into highly focused Krieger waves.

I'll accept that the holodeck could reproduce the mirrors and reflective coils. But the specific elements that these components are made of? No. It would be like the real thing being glass and the holoprogram being plastic.

The Fiver

Inspector Krag: I'm here to take that scumball off your hands.
Picard: Certainly. Wesley's over there.
Krag: Not him -- the useless one.
Picard: Counsellor, you heard the man.
Krag: No! I mean Riker.
Picard: Oh. Well, you can't have him...are you sure you don't want Wesley?

Good joke, but I question the classification of Wesley as "scumball". Wouldn't "nuisance" or "criminal" or "idiot" work better?

Riker: They're lying! I'm innocent! Innocent, I tell you! You believe me, right Troi?
Troi: I'm sure you'll make lots of new friends in prison.
Riker: I thought you were here for moral support.
Troi: Meh. I wonder what Worf's doing tonight....

It's a bit early in the series for that joke, isn't it?

Memory Alpha

* The Kreiger waves were supposed to create "a field that suppressed the strong nuclear force, making any matter exposed to it fissionable". I'm glad they chucked this, because what would this do except make impulse engines more efficient?

Nitpicker's Guide

* If O'Brien can detect a firing weapon mid-transport (see "The Most Toys"), why couldn't he debunk that theory here? Furthermore, if Riker was beamed out while firing his phaser, why didn't he beam in holding a deactivated phaser?
* Do Kreiger waves phase in and out, or are they continuous? Either theory introduces nits.

Nate the Great 02-21-2020 08:36 PM

February 19th, 1990, "Yesterday's Enterprise"

Fiver (by Marc)
Memory Alpha

The Episode

GUINAN: You see? It's an Earth drink. Prune juice.
WORF: A warrior's drink.

The start of a classic. I'll just toss in Quark scoffing at the order here.

WORF: I would require a Klingon woman for companionship. Earth females are too fragile.

Given later events with Troi and Dax (and Dax...), I question this line. I'll lump the Daxes here since we have no indication that Trill are supposed to be more durable than humans. It's interesting that Worf is still on his romance=sex=marriage kick. Furthermore, since when does romance require sex as a component? Is this just another example of Gene's free-love future?

I'd also like to bring up the aborted Worf/Selar plotline. Where did Worf get the idea that his only alternative to a Klingon woman is a human woman? Just going by the expanded universe, a few Federation races that come to mind as durable and plausible alternative are Rigellians (the Zami, particularly), Bolians, and Lurians.

GUINAN: Not all of them. There are a few on this ship that would find you tame.

I'm a mild Worf/Yar shipper, and that comes to mind here. One also wonders if Jadzia finds him tame.

DATA: It does not have a discernible event horizon.
WESLEY: Sir, navigational subsystems are unable to give coordinates on the object.
DATA: Confirmed. The phenomenon does not have a definable centre or outer edge.
RIKER: Are you saying it is and yet it isn't there?

What does this exchange do except annoy me? This thing exists, it has effects, triangulating a center shouldn't be that hard!

RIKER: There's no record of the Romulans ever assaulting the Enterprise C.

I fully admit that this one is very petty. Is this really the sort of thing that would be taught to officers as a need-to-know factoid?

PICARD: Avoid all discussions of where and when they are.

How? If anything this seems like a time when you'd beam over some anesthezine gas, treat them while unconscious, then put them in stasis until you decide what to do with them.

GUINAN: Families. There should be children on this ship.
PICARD: What? Children on the Enterprise?

"Why would Starfleet give me a ship full of kids when I'm on record as disliking them? And why would there be families here when we're never more than a week from a starbase? It's not like we're supposed to leave Federation space for twenty years, that would be crazy!"

CREWWOMAN [OC]: Doctor Selar, report to pathology ward stat. Doctor Selar, report to pathology ward stat.

So Dr. Selar only appeared once because Suzie Plakson was recast as K'ehlyer. My question Jeffery Combs appeared over and over in Trek! Plus the Vulcan makeup and Klingon makeup are different enough that anyone who would care about recycling actors wouldn't notice!

GARRETT: We were responding to a distress call from the Klingon outpost on Narendra Three. The Romulans were attacking it. We engaged them, but there were four warbirds.

No matter what specific class these are, four seems like overkill for a Klingon outpost or one Federation starship. Two would seem adequate for overwhelming odds.

TASHA: She was the first Galaxy Class warship built by the Federation.

We know that the E-D was at least the third of the Galaxy-class in "our" timeline, it seems odd that it would change in the altered timeline. The tradition of naming the first ship after the class doesn't seem likely to have changed in the alternate timeline.

Of course, the biggest problem is why you would design a "warship" of this shape. Wouldn't a more efficient design for battle be used? Something closer to the Nebula-class, for example?

TASHA: Capable of transporting over six thousand troops.

It's an interesting question: how much extra space could you make by eliminating all the jumbo-sized quarters, classrooms, civilian-run science labs, etc.? Furthermore, the use of "transporting" raises another question: Is the six thousand the standard ships compliment, or is that only for short-term use, i.e. moving troops akin to the massive evacuations in "our" universe?

GUINAN: Forty billion people have already died.

According to Memory Alpha, in the prime timeline there were 985 billion people in the Federation in 2370. 40 billion is four percent. In WWII it was more like 10-15% for the countries that had the most combat. So, horrifying as it sounds, 40 billion is TOO LOW.

TASHA: Deflector shield technology has advanced considerably during the war. Our heat dissipation rates are probably double those of the Enterprise-C, which means we can hang in a firefight a lot longer.

Why is she saying this? I doubt the Federation has the time to completely replace the E-C's shield grid, as most of the hull would have to be removed. If she's still operating on the principle of the E-D going back to help the E-C against the Romulans, remember FOUR warbirds!

TASHA: Standard rations. Food replicators are on minimum power, so everything else is diverted to defensive systems.

You can't live on rations forever. Even the Army doesn't intend for MRE's to be a long-term basis for a soldier's diet. Three weeks max, in fact. Just toss in a line saying that since battle is expected in the next few days we're stockpiling energy for the next few days!

TASHA: The Enterprise-C would be outmanned and outgunned.
LAFORGE: Unless we were to re-arm them with modern--

How? The E-D doesn't have the supplies, time or capability to refit the E-C. At best, with a few days, MAYBE they could refit their torpedoes to fit the E-C.

RIKER: Sir, Lieutenant Castillo is the last surviving senior officer. He will have limited support from Ops, no Tactical, reduced staff in Engineering.

Will the writers please stop pretending that the crew consists solely of senior officers and the ensign/enlisted plebes? PLEASE? If Worf was killed, he would have an assistant who can step up and take his place. He shouldn't have taken Data's place in "The Most Toys" as a matter of fact.

GUINAN: But I do know it was an empty death. A death without purpose.

A worthwhile purpose, anyway. I think that we can agree that "to amuse Armus" doesn't count as worthwhile.

PICARD: Attention all hands. As you know, we could outrun the Klingon vessels, but we must protect the Enterprise-C until she enters the temporal rift. And we must succeed. Let's make sure history never forgets the name Enterprise. Picard out.

And history never will. I just hope that the original universe is remembered more than that Kelvin nonsense...

The Fiver

Guinan: Would you like some 200-proof chech'tluth?
Worf: A wussie's drink. Got anything prune juice?
Guinan: Yes, but I'll need to see some I.D. first.

You'll remember chech'tluth as the steaming stuff Worf orders in "Up The Long Ladder."

Data: What we are seeing is a temporal rift in space.
Picard: Are you sure it isn't a spatial rift in time?
Data: Same difference.

I get the joke, but I'm not sure a "spacial rift in time" is possible. Maybe a hyperspacial rift...

Picard: So what is the real timeline supposed to be like?
Guinan: You're supposed to have children on the ship and a Betazoid Counselor.
Picard: Good Lord, how horrible!

Should've used merde, but it's still terrifying...

Castillo: These standard rations taste like cardboard.
Yar: It's been a long war. We're down to eating empty cereal boxes.

When the Mythbusters tried to make mice live on cereal boxes, they ate each other instead. Just delivering your pleasant thought for the day...

Guinan: (over the comm) Bridge, is everything cool up there?
Picard: You mean are we at peace with the Klingons? Of course.
Guinan: And is Counselor Troi with you?
Picard: Yes, but she's not saying anything today.

"We're keeping her mouth busy eating chocolate. The icing is all the box tops I'll get!"

Guinan: Geordi, were you ever attracted to Tasha Yar?
La Forge: No, but I've always fantasized about meeting a blonde Romulan....

Eww! Tasha was busy enough with Worf, Data, and Wesley (in the comics). And La Forge and Sela….ewww!

Memory Alpha

* The creator forgot to add the "transition to a new timeline" thing at the end of the episode.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil brings up the contraction between "The Neutral Zone" (the Romulans were isolationist for the last fifty years) and this episode (they attacked twenty years ago).

Flying Gremlin 02-22-2020 11:04 PM

This is one of my favorites.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81816)
One also wonders if Jadzia finds him tame.

An interesting premise. Probably a lot of sex is tame for joined Trill, considering they remember it all. Also, with how Curzon is remembered and his... appetites, having a few Klingon women in there would not be out of the question as appealing.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81816)
I fully admit that this one is very petty. Is this really the sort of thing that would be taught to officers as a need-to-know factoid?

Trivia about the other ships to bear the name Enterprise is not exactly that far-fetched, especially about how the last one was lost and if it was while doing something prideful.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81816)
How? If anything this seems like a time when you'd beam over some anesthezine gas, treat them while unconscious, then put them in stasis until you decide what to do with them.

Despite this being one of my favorites of the series, this has always bugged me too. If nothing else, why not have them use older style uniforms, then? Temporal Prime Directive and all that.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81816)
So Dr. Selar only appeared once because Suzie Plakson was recast as K'ehlyer. My question Jeffery Combs appeared over and over in Trek! Plus the Vulcan makeup and Klingon makeup are different enough that anyone who would care about recycling actors wouldn't notice!

Watch your mouth, pinkskin.

That preceding joke is so wonderfully meta, I could not help it.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81816)
No matter what specific class these are, four seems like overkill for a Klingon outpost or one Federation starship. Two would seem adequate for overwhelming odds.

There's no kill quite like overkill.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81816)
RIKER: Sir, Lieutenant Castillo is the last surviving senior officer. He will have limited support from Ops, no Tactical, reduced staff in Engineering.

Seriously? NOTHING about the guy being Christopher McDonald? The guy that played, among other things, Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore? I am disappoint.


Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 81816)
* Phil brings up the contraction between "The Neutral Zone" (the Romulans were isolationist for the last fifty years) and this episode (they attacked twenty years ago).

While a good point, I always got the distinct impression that during the time of isolation, the only places Romulans were seen were either away from the Federation or in places where no Federation citizens were left to tell the tale, either by death or capture. Whether that was just an impression I took as fact or reality, I cannot say.

Nate the Great 02-23-2020 01:50 AM

Never watched Happy Gilmore.

Flying Gremlin 02-23-2020 06:14 PM

I'd drop my monocle into my glass of champagne in shock at that admission, but I admitted to watching Happy Gilmore, so that would never happen on several different levels.

Nate the Great 03-16-2020 12:52 AM

March 12th, 1990, "The Offspring"

Fiver (by saxamaphone)
Memory Alpha

I'd never heard of saxamaphone. Apparently he was around in the early days, but mostly stuck to the game threads which I avoided. This was probably also before Marc took over NextGen.

Oh, and I'll be chainsawing this thing apart as usual, but most of it is the Treknobabble stuff, there are good performances here.

The Episode

Captain's log, Stardate 43657.0 While Commander Riker is away on personal leave, the Enterprise has travelled to sector three nine six to begin charting the Selebi Asteroid Belt.

This is extremely petty, but I don't like it when the flagship is given this type of mission. This is what small science vessels are for, or the Excelsior class at most. I understand that this episode is about character work and not action, but at least think of something that needs the resources of the flagship!

Furthermore, an asteroid belt? You don't even need a starship for that sort of thing, just send some probes! At least toss in a line that justifies why this asteroid belt needs a bigger ship. Maybe it's near the Romulan border, maybe it's a known hiding place for Orion pirates, something!

TROI: It's not like Data to be so secretive.
WESLEY: And cautious. He kept the lab locked every minute.

I guess we're supposed to chalk this up to pre-emotions on Data's part. It's definitely been implied by previous events that finding a way to make working sentient androids is a matter of utility and not fame (except for Maddox, of course). Why wouldn't Data share his project, at least with Geordi? Surely by now he knows that from time to time a second set of eyes (no joke implied) are important in problem-solving.

I admit to being curious as to the level of "lockness" that Data is using. Surely the writer is implying something beyond the usual "the doors won't open unless you're an authorized user or allowed in by an authorized user." The easiest answer would be an extra external lock applied to the door by Data himself, but that doesn't seem likely. Equally implausible is that he is working from an external "public" lab and not his own personal lab, a lab that isn't supposed to be locked under normal circumstances.

LAL: Purpose for exterior drapings, Father?
WESLEY: (mouthed only) Father?
DATA: It is an accepted custom that we wear clothing.

Ugh! Repeat previous comments about memorizing all of Earth knowledge if not all of Federation knowledge here. Lal must have an interior dictionary to know what words are and how to use them, the interior dictionary would be connected to an interior encyclopedia for deeper knowledge. You can't do this sort of thing! Lal clearly has access to an English dictionary because she doesn't have to be taught how to speak!

You could easily turn this topic in a slightly more thoughtful direction by having Lal remark that the reasons that humans use clothes don't apply to androids as they don't need clothes and don't have sex drives or get embarrassed. Data can then explain that this doesn't matter, humans get awkward around naked people and wearing clothes makes it easier to interact with them.

DATA: True, but here was a new submicron matrix transfer technology introduced at the conference which I discovered could be used to lay down complex neural net pathways.

I get what they're going for, but the problem as I saw it wasn't making the positronic brain more complicated across the board, it was making it sentient! In addition, how did Data get the plans for these "complex neural net pathways"? Did he tell the computer to deactivate him, do the scan, and then activate him? Can Data move all of himself from RAM into ROM? That seems doubtful. Could he temporarily move himself into the ship's computer to free up his positronic brain to be scanned? Equally doubtful.

PICARD: Data, I would like to have been consulted.
DATA: I have not observed anyone else on board consulting you about their procreation, Captain.

Whether Data or Picard is right depends on your interpretation of Federation humanity's ideals. A big landmine is whether or not you can call what Data is doing true procreation in a sense that's legally defendable.

Then again, there must be Federation members that are truly asexual (in the physiological sense) and depend on external mechanisms (no matter how primitive) to procreate. There's a discussion to be had here.

TROI: Why didn't you give it a more human look, Data?
DATA: I decided to allow my child to choose its own sex and appearance.

Another philosophical and religious minefield. Let's skip to the chase: for androids wouldn't this sort of thing be easy enough to mod via refit? The notion that this is a one-time deal that can't be changed later is absurd.

PICARD: I insist we do whatever we can to discourage the perception of this new android as a child. It is not a child. It is an invention, albeit an extraordinary one.
TROI: Why should biology rather than technology determine whether it is a child? Data has created an offspring. A new life out of his own being. To me, that suggests a child. If he wishes to call Lal his child, then who are we to argue?

Given the events of "Measure of a Man", Picard's opinion here seems unusual. Couldn't we have brought in a minor character (one of Crusher's nurses?) who could've been the scapegoat?

PICARD: Well, if he must, but I fail to understand how a five foot android with heuristic learning systems and the strength of a ten men can be called a child.

Ten men? I think Data's stronger than that. And the last time I checked, "child" wasn't a definition based on ultimate mental or physical potential.

PICARD: Have you any idea what will happen when Starfleet learns about this?
DATA: I have followed all of Starfleet regulations to the best of my ability. I expected they would be pleased.

There are Starfleet regulations for this? Surely this would fall under "there aren't Starfleet orders about it because we didn't expect anyone would do it!"

LAL: I am gender neuter. Inadequate.

Oh boy, another minefield! Seriously, this is the wrong word to be using here. "Incomplete" would even have been a better word. Surely Data's plan to let her choose would've been in her initial programming.

LAL: I choose your sex and appearance.
DATA: No, Lal. That would be confusing.

And illegal, as I'm pretty sure the "no holograms of real people without permission" thing extends in more directions, just like our laws about using the images of others today.

DATA: We are taking you to the holodeck to show you several thousand composites I have programmed.

That's one thing that will get (even more) annoying in the future: so many options that you get paralyzed.

DATA: An Andorian female.
TROI: Interesting. You'll be the only one on board the Enterprise, Lal.
DATA: That could make socialisation more difficult.

Ugh. You can only be close friends with people of your own species? That's absurd and completely Anti-Federation thinking. Also, 1012 people on board and not one Andorian? They do remember that Andor was a founding member, right?

DATA: A human male.
TROI: Very attractive. There's no problem with socialisation here.

Seriously, physically attractive=socially active? Yikes is there a lot to unpack in that single sentence. I'm getting flashbacks of "Is There in Truth No Beauty" here...

DATA: A Klingon male.
TROI: A friend for Worf.

More racism? And for Worf? Have we ever seen him have trouble making friends (higher lifeforms, body-swappers, and Romulans don't count)? Of course not, he believes in the Federation ideals that Troi is throwing out the window for this entire scene!

DATA: I have completed the assembly of the replicated anatomy. I was able to provide Lal with more realistic skin and eye colour than my own.

Is Data's skin not replaceable or modifiable? First Contact suggests otherwise. This line implies that Data is displeased with his appearance, but it would be easy to fix!

LAL: Home. Place of residence. Social unit formed by a family living together.
DATA: Yes. We are a family, Lal. Chair. To sit in. Sit. Good. Painting.
LAL: Painting. Colours produced on a surface by applying a pigment.
DATA: Yes. I will teach you to recognise the artistry in paintings.

Lal's habit of defining everything she sees was never funny. (Neither was Data's, to be honest) Oh, and Lal didn't define "painting" correctly. You aren't applying a "pigment" to the surface (or even producing colors i.e. a chemical change to the surface), you're applying a material that contains pigment to a surface. Hey, if she's going to parroting dictionary entries at me I want them to be accurate!

DATA: No, that is a flower, Lal. Inhale.

I hope Data kept a live flower around to show her, because he wouldn't need one otherwise.

WESLEY: What does Lal do while you're on duty?
DATA: She studies in our quarters.

Does she read PADDs or just jack herself into the wall?

Nate the Great 03-16-2020 12:52 AM

CRUSHER [OC]: Doctor Crusher to Ensign Crusher. Aren't you supposed to be getting a hair cut, Wesley?

Is this an official duty as chief medical officer, or did she just make a personal call on company time? And wouldn't it be more embarrassing for her to ask Mr. Mot to page Wes? She's really dropping the ball...

LAL: Why do we have two hands? Why not three or four? Why is the sky black? Why do
(He switches her off in mid-question)

I get the joke, but after what we went through in "Measure of a Man" I find this insensitive. You stun a kid with a phaser just for asking questions. Plus, all this stuff should've been in the initial encyclopedia Data put in her brain.

PICARD: I assure you, Admiral, there's no better guide into this life for Lal than Data.

I find myself wondering if Data had an equivalent to Dr. Mora who could be called...

PICARD: This starship's mission is to seek out new life and that is exactly what Commander Data is doing.

No, it's not. Data is parenting, not exploring. Unless you're going to call all parents explorers...

PICARD: As do I. I would be willing to consider releasing Lal and Data to you so that he may continue his work with her.
HAFTEL [on monitor]: His presence would undoubtedly retard the new android's progress.

Where did Haftel get that idea? Is there a history of androids being lousy teachers for other androids?

PICARD: Admiral, to you, Lal is a new android. But to Data, she's his child.
HAFTEL [on monitor]: His child?

Yadda yadda yadda should've been in Picard's report yadda yadda yadda...

HAFTEL [on monitor]: Starfleet's policy on research is clear. You're making your stand on very uncertain ground.

Really? There is policy on teaching blank slate androids? I'm gonna need to hear more if you want to make me agree with that argument...

BALLARD: It isn't working out that way.
(She shows him the classroom. Lal is standing by the wall while the children are around a table together)
BALLARD: The children were afraid of her.

Thank goodness, a realistic action. Things that look like adults but acting like children would be scary to them. She talks weird, moves her head weird, and talks to herself a lot. What kid would want to hang out with that kind of person?

The problem is that we're supposed to belief that children in the future don't need to grief and take calculus at a young age AND belief this stuff at the same time. Sorry, but that doesn't work. At the least have her project herself into a hologram during a field trip to the holodeck. Don't tell me Data couldn't do that!

LAL: Why would they wish to be unkind?
DATA: Because you are different. Differences sometimes scare people. I have learned that some of them use humour to hide their fear.
LAL: I do not want to be different.

There's a lot to unpack here about when it's okay to conform and when it's not, but that would be depressing even to me.

DATA: I do not know how to help her. Lal is passing into sentience. It is perhaps the most difficult stage of her development.

Ugh. Lal was sentient from the moment she woke up. It was the wrong word to use here. "Maturity" would've been much better.

DATA: I have not told Lal how difficult it was for me to assimilate. I did not wish it to discourage her. Perhaps this was an error of judgement.
CRUSHER: You didn't have any one experienced to help you through sentience. She at least has you. Just help her realise that she's not alone, and be there to nurture her when she needs love and attention.
DATA: I can give her attention, Doctor. But I am incapable of giving her love.
(Data leaves)
CRUSHER: Now why do I find that so hard to believe?

Good scene.

(Picard is in bed, resting)
WORF [OC]: Captain, incoming signal. Starfleet priority one. Admiral Haftel.
PICARD: On my monitor, Lieutenant. Admiral.
HAFTEL [on monitor]: Captain Picard, I hope I didn't disturb you.
PICARD: Not at all.

Ugh. I had a rant about time differences between ships and planets started, but I gave up. Let's just chalk Haftel's remark up to courtesy and move on...

HAFTEL [on monitor]: I should advise you, Captain, that if I'm not satisfied with what I see, I am empowered to take the android back with me.

Empowered? We proved last season that Data isn't the property of Starfleet, so why doesn't that apply to Lal? Or are you going to tell me that if Lal isn't determined to be sentient she belongs to Starfleet? Yeah, no. In that case she belongs to Data, who I'm sure requisitioned the supplies from his own account.

Captain's log, supplemental. We are holding position pending the arrival of Admiral Haftel from Starfleet Research. Commander Data is completing his final neural transfers to the android he has named Lal, which I have learned, in the language Hindi means beloved.

Way too late to share this factoid. Way, WAY too late.

LAL: I am functioning within normal. I am fine, thank you.

Nice touch, if a bit late in the episode for it...

LAL: Father says I would learn a great deal from working with someone as old as you.
GUINAN: You're hired.

You don't get to be half a millennium old without developing a sense of humor, do you? Or going insane, I guess...

LAL: I've been programmed with a listing of fourteen hundred and twelve known beverages.

Forget the contraction, the Federation has only heard of 1412 beverages? Let's say the Federation has 150 members, that's only ten beverages per world. That figure needs to be an order of magnitude higher, if not TWO orders of magnitude!

GUINAN: You said I've instead of I have.
DATA: It is a skill my programme has never mastered.
LAL: Then I will desist.
DATA: No. You have exceeded my abilities.

Always hated the contraction bit, but I've already preached long and hard on that issue...

PICARD: He believes the Daystrom annex on Galor Four would be more suitable.

Putting aside the question of why the Cardassians would name a class of starships after a Federation world, I was surprised at how much the expanded universe uses Galor IV, particularly the RPG modules. Of course the interesting part is that according to some this planet was once known as Mudd's World (see "I, Mudd"). If the Federation could study the androids there, what took Soong so long?

DATA: Then he is questioning my ability as a parent.
PICARD: In a manner of speaking.
DATA: Does the Admiral have children?
PICARD: Yes, I believe he does, Data. Why?
DATA: I am forced to wonder how much experience he had as a parent when his first child was born.

Another nice touch. Not to be too cynical, but I gotta ask: does Discovery have conversations like this? Or the Kelvinverse, for that matter?

(A couple by the far wall are gazing into each others eyes and holding hands)
GUINAN: You see?
LAL: What are they doing?
GUINAN: It's called flirting.

Not sure this can be called "flirting".

LAL: He's biting that female!

Always a great line, but it's time for that downloaded dictionary rant again...

LAL: Why are they leaving?
GUINAN: Lal, there are some things your father's just going to have to explain to you when he thinks you're ready.

I'm pretty sure Data downloaded "The Talk" into her already, although you gotta wonder when he would decide that she's experienced enough to experience sexual intimacy for herself. Although Guinan's line is great, it's the wrong thing to say in this situation.

(Guinan moves away, and Riker comes in. Lal promptly starts flirting, and her voice deepens)
RIKER: You're new around here, aren't you?
LAL: Yes.
(She reaches across the bar, pulls Riker towards herself and kisses him. Data enters)
GUINAN: Lal! Lal, put him down.
DATA: Commander, what are your intentions toward my daughter?
RIKER: Your daughter? Nice to meet you.
(He beats a hasty exit)

Great scene, and a great teaser for a TNG sitcom...

Nate the Great 03-16-2020 12:54 AM

LAL: I watch them and I can do the things they do but I will never feel the emotions. I'll never know love.
DATA: It is a limitation we must learn to accept, Lal.
LAL: Then why do you still try to emulate humans? What purpose does it serve except to remind you that you are incomplete?
DATA: I have asked myself that many times as I have struggled to be more human. Until I realised it is the struggle itself that is most important. We must strive to be more than we are, Lal. It does not matter that we will never reach our ultimate goal. The effort yields its own rewards.
LAL: You are wise, Father.
DATA: It is the difference between knowledge and experience.
LAL: I learned today that humans like to hold hands. It is a symbolic gesture of affection.

Great scene. Whether or not Data is wise is a subject for another day, although Riker sure thought so...

HAFTEL: Captain, are we talking about breaking up a family? Isn't that rather a sentimental attitude about androids?
PICARD: They're living, sentient beings. Their rights and privileges in our society have been defined. I helped define them.
HAFTEL: Yes, Captain, and I am more than willing to acknowledge that. What you must acknowledge is that Lal may be a technological step forward in the development of artificial intelligence.

My immediate response That doesn't negate their rights. He's making no argument that doesn't boil down to "I don't really think they're sentient and have rights" or "they may be sentient, but they're still a lower life form and I can make them slaves if I want to." I wonder what Captain Louvois is doing this week...

HAFTEL: She is capable of running over sixty trillion calculations per second, and you have her working as a cocktail waitress. There are plenty of doctoral students who have to work in restaurants to make money! Is Haftel claiming to have the right to not only own Lal but actually reprogram her and control all of her actions when he's out of sight?

HAFTEL: I'm not convinced the sort of behaviour she observes here will be a positive influence. Even if Haftel determines that Lal is Federation property, she wouldn't be his property. He sound's more like a grumpy dad judging his son's date than a Starfleet admiral who supposedly has experience working with people...

TROI: Come in.
(Lal enters, obviously upset)
TROI: Hello, Lal. How are you?
LAL: Troi. Admiral. Admiral. An admiral from Starfleet has come to take me away, Troi. I am scared.
TROI: You are scared, aren't you?
LAL: I feel it. How is this possible?
TROI: I don't know.
LAL: This is what it means to feel. This is what it means to feel.

Like I said on TV Tropes, this scene is a tearjerker. She's terrified, but she doesn't have the words yet to talk about it properly or dispel her fear. I'm also reminded of Doc in "Latent Image" after he killed Ensign Jetal.

HAFTEL: All the other arguments aside, there's one that is irrefutable. There are only two Soong-type androids in existence. It would be very dangerous to have you both in the same place. Especially aboard a starship. One lucky shot by a Romulan, we'd lose you both. They aren't the property of Starfleet yadda yadda...

HAFTEL: Captain, you are jeopardising your command and your career.
PICARD: There are times, sir, when men of good conscience cannot blindly follow orders. You acknowledge their sentience, but you ignore their personal liberties and freedom. Order a man to hand his child over to the state? Not while I am his captain.

"Sometimes I think the only reason I come here is to listen to these wonderful speeches of yours." Hehe...

HAFTEL: She won't survive much longer. There was nothing anyone could have done. We'd repolarise one pathway and another would collapse. And then another. His hands were moving faster than I could see, trying to stay ahead of each breakdown. He refused to give up. He was remarkable. It just wasn't meant to be.

"You didn't call him 'it'!"

LAL: I love you, Father.
DATA: I wish I could feel it with you.
LAL: I will feel it for both of us.

I'd make an onion ninja joke, but those are really overplayed.

DATA: I thank you for your sympathy, but she is here. Her presence so enriched my life that I could not allow her to pass into oblivion. So I incorporated her programs back into my own. I have transferred her memories to me.

Icky, morally questionable, and completely unnecessary. If they HAD to do this, at least use it to get rid of that stupid contraction thing!

The Fiver

Lal: NOOOO... I mean, yes.

I think we have another case of "first lines missing" syndrome!

Picard: You know this is going to be a big responsibility.
Data: I have prepared by reading a book by Ambassador Spock, A Logician's Guide to Baby and Child Care.
Picard: Fascinating.


Haftel: I'm here to take Lal.
Picard: But you'll be breaking up a family.
Haftel: Nonsense -- they're both toasters.
Picard: I hear this from everyone! Look, if you put bread in Data, you're not going to get toast!
Haftel: Do you speak from experience?
Picard: Erm, no.

Interesting mental image...

Lal: I feel sad!
Troi: I sense that something's wrong, Lal.
Lal: I feel annoyed with you.

She learns quick...

La Forge: So, she's going to be all right?
Haftel: No, unfortunately.
Troi: I knew something was wrong when I saw her wearing a red shirt today.

Security wears yellow at this time yadda yadda yadda...

Nitpicker's Guide

Actually, Phil had many of the same complaints that I did (if I copied from him it was subconscious), but in particular he points out that this would've been a great opportunity to get rid of the contraction thing, but they didn't take it.

Nate the Great 03-26-2020 03:15 AM

Marth 19th, 1990, "Sins of the Father"

Fiver (by Marc)
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, Stardate 43685.2 As part of an exchange programme, we're taking aboard a Klingon officer to return the recent visit of Commander Riker to the cruiser Pagh.
PICARD: We must take care that while he is with us, Commander Kurn is accorded all the rights and responsibilities due the first officer of this ship. If he should feel patronised in any way
RIKER: I'm sure we'd know. One does not patronise a Klingon warrior.

Why is Riker here? Don't tell me that the guy he temporarily replaced back in "A Matter of Honor" suffered a temporary demotion! That guy was probably recently killed in battle or on medical leave. You don't need two first officers, Riker should be on vacation or something.

KURN: I have studied all of your service records. Impressive. We shall see if you live up to your reputations.

Presuming that Klingon standards of "impressive service record" are different from Federation ones, what has the Enterprise done in battle to impress him at this point? The Romulans haven't fully made their presence known yet. Is he referring to first contact with the Borg? They had to beg Q for help!

KURN: Do you wish to speak, Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher?

Here's a question for you-how much would the Klingons respect officers that don't have official commissions yet? From what Martok said, he was stuck with being a laborer without an official commission. Wouldn't Kurn ignore Wesley unless it's to give him an order?

WESLEY: He just doesn't seem to like me. I can't do anything right for him. Every time I respond to an order he jumps down my throat. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Klingons don't like the weak. Wesley probably isn't showing enough confidence. I can't really blame Kurn for this one.

LAFORGE: He pulled a surprise inspection in the middle of a maintenance cycle! I tried to explain it to him
RIKER: But he wouldn't listen.
LAFORGE: We're all going to be doing double shifts down there just to ready for the next inspection.

I don't think it's the first officer's perogative to pull a surprise inspection, that's the chief engineer's job. Furthermore, how much could Kurn know about the Enterprise engines to do the inspection himself? On a Klingon ship wouldn't it just be a matter of raising the standards that the chief engineer has to meet and threatening punishment if they fail.

And double shifts to get ready for an inspection? Geordi is that far behind? I find this dubious.

RIKER: This is not a Klingon ship, sir.
KURN: No, Commander, it is not. If it were a Klingon ship, I would have killed you for offering your suggestion.

On the one hand I can understand Kurn's position: on a Klingon ship nobody criticizes you except someone of higher rank. On the other hand, on a Klingon ship nobody would make an unsolicited criticism in the first place! In other words, lighten up, Kurn!

KURN: How long has the bird been dead? It appears to have been lying in the sun for quite some time.
LAFORGE: It's not dead, it's been replicated. You do understand that we cook most of our foods.
KURN: Ah, yes. I was told to prepare for that. I shall try some of your burned replicated bird meat.

I'm disturbed at the notion that for Klingons "any amount of cooking of meat=burned meat." You can't tell me that Klingons never cook meat. That's absurd. SF Debris once listed the reasons why we cook meat, I believe in the review for this episode. It's enough to say that while I can understand a Klingon being ready to eat meat raw if that's all that's available during a hunt, they still have scientists who would tell them that cooked meat can be converted into energy by the body more efficiently. Plus there are many mentions of Klingon cooked dishes that include blood or other organs, why is this different?

PICARD: [Caviar is] A delicacy from the Caspian Sea on Earth. It's a favourite of mine. Our replicator's never done it justice.

Would the writers STOP IT with the "replicators can't make anything that tastes like the real thing" gag? PLEASE! It gets more nonsensical every time. I'll forgive such jokes in TOS when replicators were in their infancy, but it's been over a hundred years and this ship has the largest mobile computer in the known galaxy! If a given food can't be perfectly replicated, it shouldn't be available as a replicated food in the first place.

KURN: I never kill anyone at the supper table, Mister La Forge.

Why not? Is this supposed to be a joke?

CRUSHER: Don't you like it, Commander?
KURN: Our food has much more taste to it.

Okay, some people like rare steaks, but the Klingon diet is more than meat, we've seen it. This conversation has gone on way too long, we get the point! Kurn doesn't like the food and Worf does, so Kurn looks down on Worf.

KURN: This entire ship seems built on comfort, relaxation, being at ease. It is not the ship of a warrior, not the ship of a Klingon.

I get that Kurn is baiting Worf, but anyone else hearing this would conclude that Kurn is xenophobic, which wouldn't reflect well on him.

KURN: No. Much more. You are the eldest son. The challenge is yours to make.
WORF: Challenge?
KURN: The Klingon High Council has judged our father a traitor to the Empire.

I find this odd. Kurn has just dropped the bombshell about being Worf's brother, and before they can even properly reconcile Kurn drops this bombshell. Worf should've had a scene, probably with Troi, to process this. And he should've told Kurn to go to Ten Forward to wait for him, maybe order a prune juice while he was at it. I would've liked to have seen Guinan's reaction to Kurn.

PICARD: We're changing course. Set coordinates for the First City of the Klingon Imperial Empire.

No, you're setting course for Qo'noS. Picard's order would only make sense if you're already in orbit and are taking a shuttle down. I suddenly wonder if the First City has a landing pad large enough for Voyager...

DURAS: You claim a birthright you have forsaken?
WORF: I have not forsaken my heritage. I am Klingon. My heart is of this world. My blood is as yours.
DURAS: Yet you come to us wearing a child's uniform.

A good point. Worf isn't here on Starfleet business, so why isn't he wearing Klingon clothes?

(Duras tears off Worf's baldric)
DURAS: You will not wear the emblems of our people.

I'm not sure Duras has the authority to do that. In fact this seems like duel challenge material...

K'MPEC: If you leave before the Mek'ba, no shame will come on you. Return to your ship. Go back to your life. The challenge will be forgotten.

But Worf wouldn't be let back into the Empire ever. I don't think that Worf considers this an acceptable solution.

RIKER: What Federation starship was closest to Khitomer at the time of the attack?
DATA: The USS Intrepid was the first ship on the scene, sir.

This is the NCC-38907, Excelsior class. There have been many Intrepids in Starfleet history, but they don't use the letter addendum system, just different registry numbers.

PICARD: jIlajneS. ghIj qet jaghmeyjaj.

"I accept with honor. May your enemies run with fear."

WORF: tlhIH ghIj jIHyoj.
K'MPEC: biHnuch.

"I fear your judgement." "Coward."

The Fiver

Kurn: Worf, I am your long-lost younger brother.
Worf: Why did you insult me with your patronizing behaviour?
Kurn: I wanted to test your character. This table you smashed with your fist proves that your heart is truly Klingon.
Worf: I must confess that I picked up this habit from my long-lost girlfriend.
Kurn: Ah! Then she too must be Klingon!
Worf: Sufficiently.

Ha ha. I wonder if Kurn would've liked K'ehlyr.

Duras: If I cannot turn you, then perhaps my sisters will. Here -- look at their photograph!
Kurn: Nice try...but it takes more than a little cleavage to distract a Kling--GAK!
Duras: Heheheh.

Kurn's not dead. Don't we use "Ack!" for wounded and "Gak!" for dead?

Worf: To preserve the peace within the Empire, I will accept discommendation.
Picard: Discommendation? What does that mean?
Worf: There is no greater shame in Klingon society. The closest human equivalent is being forced to relinquish the key to the executive washroom.


Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil asks why they would replicate meat with the bones instead of just the meat.
* Kahlest mentions the Emperor when there isn't one at this point. The Kahless clone won't exist for several years.

Zeke 03-26-2020 06:25 AM

I've always appreciated how Marc used the end of this fiver to set up a running gag from my earlier "Redemption" fiver. (Anybody who reads this site "in order" probably ends up very confused...)

Flying Gremlin 03-27-2020 07:29 AM

On the issue of the replicator, I think the point they're trying to get across is that there's no variation for personal tastes. The computer may be able to make a pie perfectly ten out of ten times, but the pie would be just the same pie. A home-cooked pie takes into account palette preference and ingredient selection - if baking an apple pie, for example, what apples did you use, did you grind the cinnamon yourself, are you using real vanilla beans or an artificial extract, how much salt did you add, did you add one pinch or two of nutmeg.

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