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Old 06-30-2022, 08:22 PM
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PICARD: I don't want anyone else going in alone.
LAFORGE: I can probably create a large enough subspace field to encompass everyone.

The idea of sending the entire senior staff is just ridiculous. First of all, why is Worf being considered, they know it goes to 19th century Earth. You can't just cover up his ridges with a hat like Spock did. Second of all, if the 1701 had a historian on staff to help in situations like this, I expect the E-D to as well. What has Whalen been up to, anyway?

WORF: If we find Commander Data, it may be our fate to die with him in the past. If our remains are in that cavern, they would have turned to dust long ago.

Bones will decompose in soil in a few decades, maybe a century. But in that cavern they'd last five hundred years easy.

GUINAN: It's a Tzartak aperitif. It's very, very touchy.

In a DS9 novel Tzartak apertifs were the most expensive drink sold at Quark's.

(Data picks up the anvil with one hand, then realises what he's done wrong and drops it)
DATA: Ow.

Saying Sound Effects Out Loud is always funny.

BELLBOY: What are you going to do with the anvil?
DATA: I require a low intensity magnetic field core. I believe the iron mass of the anvil will provide that.

And I believe that the odd shape of the anvil would result in an odd shape for the magnetic field. Stone knives and bearskins indeed...

CLEMENS: The eminent scientist Alfred Russell Wallace has revived the theory that Earth is at the centre of the stellar universe.

Wallace discovered the theory of natural selection/evolution independently of Darwin. He was one of the first scientists to worry about the environmental impact of human activity. He opposed eugenics, supported women's suffrage, and opposed militarism. His Wikipedia page indicates many opinions that indicate he would be an easy convert to the Federation gospel.

I don't find any references to Earth being the center of the universe, however.

CLEMENS: According to our best geologic estimate, the Earth is approximately one hundred million years of age. Perhaps it is less, perhaps more.

These days we think the Earth is four and a half billion years old.

GUINAN: But if the Earth is not alone, and there are millions of inhabited planets in the heavens.
CLEMENS: Quite my point. Man becomes a trivial creation, does he not? Lost in the vastness of the cosmic prairie, adrift on the deep ocean of time. A single one among countless others.
GUINAN: Someone may argue that a diamond is still a diamond, even if it is one amongst millions. It still shines as brightly.

There's a lot to break down here, however I won't do so.

DATA: The Enterprise.
GUINAN: Is that a clipper ship?
DATA: It is a starship.

In 1893 the USS Enterprise was a screw sloop being used as a training ship. "Screw" means steam-powered propellers, "sloop" means a sloop of war, a warship with only one level of large calibre guns.

CLEMENS: A starship? What registry would that be?

Shouldn't Clemens wonder what a "starship" is? The current Enterprise didn't have a registry.

GUINAN: Ah. Did my father send you here?

Guinan's father is mentioned in "Rascals" as still being alive.

DATA: I am from the twenty fourth century, where you and I serve aboard a starship.

Guinan may have an "official" civilian posting, but I'm not sure if that counts as "serving".

The Fiver

Captain's Log: The Enterprise has received an emergency summons to Earth. We're not overly concerned -- from here in orbit, Florida looks fine.

Grrrr, Enterprise, grrrr...

Picard: Your evidence that aliens were in California in the 1800s is all well and good, but why is it worth this specific ship's time? We're very important.

"We're supposed to be escorting ambassadors to a conference at this very moment!"

Yes, I'm sure there's a nebula somewhere that hasn't been scanned enough yet. So much for boldly going...

Picard: Mon Dieu! Data, is... is that....
Data: Fascinating. I am certain I did not leave my head in San Francisco.

"I Left My Heart in San Francisco" was written in 1953. The best known rendition is by Tony Bennett, but as a Millennial I best remember the reference from Joey on Friends.

Data: Do not be upset, Geordi. It is a relief to me to know that I am mortal.
Geordi: What, just because you don't want to outlive your friends? You'll always have Commander Riker -- he plans to live forever.

"Generations" reference aside, I think Riker's victory against the Borg has ensured his immortality already.

Riker: We can't let this happen! We have to find a way to keep Data's head and body together!
Troi: We could "accidentally" beam them into an enclosed space for a while, forcing them to work out their differences.
Riker: It's just crazy enough to work! And then more crazy, so no.

Groan.

Geordi: Anyway, the point is we can't see these aliens without a phase discriminator. And none of the ones on the ship are sensitive enough....

I think this joke was stretched a bit too far.

Data: I am afraid I possess no currency. My wallet was caught in a mechanical ricepicker.

City of the Edge of Forever references aside, the ricepicker story is hilarious and uncomfortable at the same time...

Picard: All right, I know we're all concerned about Commander Data....
Riker: We've got to get him back! He's worth fifty Dr. Crushers!

Where did that one come from?

Clemens: I have tried, Madam Goldberg, but such opponents tend to insist on getting a word in.
Data: Guinan! It is me. Your friend Data, whom you know.
Guinan: Huh?
Data: We serve on a starship together.
Guinan: Whoa. Uh, would you folks excuse me for a minute? This is my nephew, um, Rube... he tends to hit the sauce.

As much as I like Rube Goldberg, this joke was too much of a stretch.

Guinan: Starship, huh? Did my never-again-to-be-mentioned father send you?

Actually, he was mentioned back in "Rascals" as well...

Data: In my time, the opposite has been demonstrated. Even the Vulcan Science Directorate finally conceded the point when a disgruntled Starfleet captain arranged for their headquarters to be brought into the 653rd century for --

I can't find a reference to the 653rd century at Memory Alpha. What is this a reference to?

Memory Alpha

* Last TNG appearance of Marc Alaimo. Dukat appearances kept him busy after this.
* Data identifies the 1873 Colt 0.45 as being double action. It's only a single action, oops.
* Apparently Data used this definition of friendship in a conversation with Ishara back in "Legacy." I didn't remember that. Then again, I'm not fond of Ishara or that episode.

Nitpicker's Guide
* Captains not going on away teams is treated as official policy when in fact it's Riker who made up that "rule" specifically to keep Picard safe.
* Once again people board a turbolift and the thing starts moving without the new occupants giving a destination.
* Phil accepts the time offset creates invisibility thing, but thinks that Data should've just winked out instead of phasing out.
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  #302  
Old 08-07-2022, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
June 1st, 1992, "The Inner Light"

Fiver by me

I'm skipping the fiver coverage, given that I already made a dicer thread on it. Here's a link to the actual fiver, feel free to gush about it. My ego can never get enough stroking.
Quote:
Picard: Yeah, right, as if they could be Windows-compatible!
Probe: Wanna bet?
Picard: Yeazzzzz.....
Haha, sucker.

Quote:
Only mention of either of these, although a ship made out of "crystalline ceramic" appears in "How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth." I'm dubious as to whether you could make a spaceship out of ceramic materials.
Well, the space shuttles used ceramics to survive the heat of re-entry, right?

[quote]Various sources say that the Federation has about fifty planets during the TOS era and 150 planets during the TNG era. I'm not sure that even Kirk could memorize 50 planets.[quote]
People memorize 50 states and their capitals all the time? Also, 150 planets seems way low to me for TNG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
The Fiver

"I Left My Heart in San Francisco" was written in 1953. The best known rendition is by Tony Bennett, but as a Millennial I best remember the reference from Joey on Friends.
My best-remembered reference for it is The Far Side.

Quote:
Picard: All right, I know we're all concerned about Commander Data....
Riker: We've got to get him back! He's worth fifty Dr. Crushers!

Where did that one come from?
I hope Spiner wasn't being paid fifty times as much as McFadden . . .

Quote:
Riker: No sign of aliens so far, sir. We'll -- are you all right, Deanna?
Troi: I... I sense... humans!
Riker: (eyeroll) Yes, Deanna, there are humans. There's a Klingon and a part-Betazoid too.
Troi: I also sense hatred. Of you. By me.
Worf: Whoa! Even I sensed that.
Classic.

Quote:
Geordi: Ahh, there are life signs here. They're just out of phase with us.
Riker: I guess you're the man for the job, then. Should I get Ensign Ro too?
Geordi: Different kind of phase. We're occupying the same space, just at different times.
Worf: Big deal. Oh, look! I'm standing where you were standing 20 seconds ago! I must be out of phase! Wooooo!
Riker: (pout) I wanted to get Ensign Ro.
Also a great bit.
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  #303  
Old 08-14-2022, 09:37 PM
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Maybe by "150 planets" they mean "150 subgovernments." One imagines that each of the four founders had many planets under their umbrella. We also know that Betazed has colonies, Rigel has many worlds, etc. Furthermore, you'd have to imagine that the Xindi count as one planet for the count.
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  #304  
Old 09-25-2022, 03:54 PM
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September 21st, 1992, "Time's Arrow Part Two"


SF Debris is right, they set up too much in Part One, there was no way they were going to be able to have a satisfactory resolution. Like I've said already, this really needed to be three parts. Part Two is the crew's antics in the past and reuniting with Data, Part Three with the Twain-in-the-future stuff and the resolution of the aliens, including either killing them or finding an alternate food source for them.



No fiver


The Episode

CLEMENS: I have long been interested in the notion of time travellers. In fact, I wrote a book about it. It chronicles the tale of a man of our era who fouled the sixth century by introducing newfangled gadgets and weapons all in the name of progress.



I can't remember if I've actually read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, but I know the major plot points, and this summary doesn't really work. The guy wasn't introducing new technology in the name of progress, he was doing it to make life easier for himself. This is trying to make a square peg go through a round hole.


CLEMENS: I have learned that, even now, there are people from the future right here in San Francisco and I have no doubt that their intent is to foul our world just as my Yankee did in King Arthur's time. Well, sir, let me serve notice. As soon as I have the necessary evidence, I intend to expose them and make it absolutely clear that they are not welcome here.



This is where the plot compression really backfires. Twain has no proof of any of this, all he's done is observe people from the future doing things that he can't understand. That's all. If this was going to work we really needed more interactions between Twain and our heroes. Place this accusation at the end of the second part of the trilogy I mentioned earlier, then have the third part convince him that he's wrong.


RIKER: If you were a time traveller with a taste for human neural energy where would you get your supply?
CRUSHER: I would travel back to a time when there were plagues and epidemics, so I could murder and use disease as a cover.



This sounds reasonable, but personally I'd go back to the Middle Ages when you could get away with this a lot easier.



CARMICHAEL: One o'clock on a Thursday. I'm sure I made it clear to you that the rent is always due, payable in full, by one o'clock on Wednesdays.



This whole subplot is just stupid. I get the humor, but this stuff is stealing time away from more important things. Once again, this would be more welcome in a three-parter.


BELLBOY: You'll see my name in print, too.
CLEMENS: I'm sure I will.

BELLBOY: Don't forget. The name's London. Jack London.



Jack London wrote The Call of the Wild and White Fang. This is what's called an obscure reference. More fluff better suited for a three-parter.


PICARD: Replacing the burners. City ordinance. Makes it safer in case of earthquake.
DOCTOR: There hasn't been an earthquake here in thirty years.



The year is 1893. The doctor is probably referencing the 1868 Hayward Earthquake. The next major quake in San Francisco will be in 1906, even bigger than the 1868 one. I imagine that this one flew over everyone's heads. Sometimes writers can be a little too smug (and yes, I know I've been guilty of this).

(Worf enters)
CLEMENS: A werewolf!



I never thought that this gag worked very well. Only in the loosest possible sense could you say that Worf looks like a werewolf. I would think that Twain would use "demon" or "monster" before "werewolf."


LAFORGE: Let's have Data's body taken to the science lab. I'll try and re-attach the head we have.
CRUSHER: Geordi, that head is over five hundred years old.



I have to wonder if they fixed the bitanium in the neural pathway links at some point. I don't like the idea that Data would die five hundred years earlier because his head expired before his body.


CLEMENS: Madam, I'd be delighted. So, this is a space ship? You ever run into Halley's comet?



Twain's birth and death occurred in years that Halley's comet went by. Another obscure joke.


GUINAN: So we become friends?
PICARD: It goes far beyond friendship.



This is a little icky. I know that Picard means that they're practically family, but from Guinan's perspective it could easily imply that they'll be lovers at some point.


CLEMENS: Any place that doesn't stock a good cigar doesn't rank high in my book.
TROI: If you must have one, I'm sure we can replicate it for you.
CLEMENS: You think one of these imitations can take the place of a hand wrapped Havana?



If replicators can't quite get alcohol right, it's not hard to imagine that they can't get tobacco right either. Then again, smoking doesn't seem to exist in the future. When Quark encountered a smoker in "Little Green Men" he didn't react well. Picard once smoked a cigarette in the Dixon Hill program, but you have to imagine that it was a tasteless prop.



In a TOS-era eBook tobacco was still available from Orion merchants. Another novel says that the Capellans have a tobacco-like plant that can be turned into cigarettes that are't toxic or addictive.



CLEMENS: Young lady, I come from a time when men achieve power and wealth by standing on the backs of the poor, where prejudice and intolerance are commonplace and power is an end unto itself. And you're telling me that isn't how it is anymore?



There's a whole essay to be written here examining this statement, but I'm not in the mood.


CLEMENS: My watch.
LAFORGE: Yeah. It was found in the cavern where Data's head was. I guess after five hundred years, that's not likely to work either.



I enjoy watching watch restoration videos. Since Twain's watch has no battery that can degrade, it's possible that it could be restored. You'd have to take it apart and clean everything, but it's possible.


ALIEN: Why have you interfered with us?
PICARD: You hunt us. You kill us. We cannot allow that.
ALIEN: We need your energy.



Even if you argue that the Crystalline Entity isn't sentient enough for it's mass murder to be wrong (a lengthy argument), it doesn't work here. These guys know that their prey is sentient, therefore this is wrong.


RIKER: Power up the photons, Mister Worf. Alert me when they're ready.



They haven't modified the torpedoes yet. They should be ready in mere seconds. I hate this false tension.


PICARD: Thank you. I wish, I wish time would have allowed me to know you better.
CLEMENS: You'll just have to read my books. What I am is pretty much there.



A loaded statement.



Nitpicker's Guide

* What happened to the crew's uniforms that they left in the past? (Maybe they vaporized them)
* The crew knows where they're going, so why didn't they replicate period-accurate clothes and money before they left?
* Would Mrs. Carmichael really let men and women share a boarding house room?
* Even if Geordi wore sunglasses, how do they hide his VISOR inputs?
* Wouldn't Data have money on him to pay Mrs. Carmichael?
* Why would Twain's watch be on the table, but not his glasses or gun? Phil speculates that they should be on their way to a museum by now.
* Data's head can operate independently, so why didn't they try to activate it back in Part One and discover the metal file?
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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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  #305  
Old 10-03-2022, 04:32 AM
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September 28th, 1992, "Realm of Fear"


Expect plenty of Treknology nits with this one. You have been warned.


Fiver by Marc


The Episode


RIKER: The last report we have says they were observing the streamer at medium range.



What counts as "medium range"? Are there specific "medium range sensors"?


PICARD: Can we tractor them out?
DATA: No, sir. Ionic interference is too heavy.



Tractor beams don't work, but transporters do? That's just ridiculous...


BARCLAY: Commander, if we bridged our transporter system with theirs we might be able to cut through the ionic field.
LAFORGE: That's a good idea, Barclay. Captain, I think we can do it. We're going to bridge the two transporter systems.



How? If there's too much interference for a transporter lock, there should be too much interference for an interlink between the computers.


LAFORGE: Aye sir. Barclay, I'm going to need a systems engineer on this Away Team.



I found myself asking what a systems engineer does. They handle the interactions between the computers and other stuff. I'm not sure why one is needed on this mission, the stuff in "Hero Worship" seems more fitting.


BARCLAY: I'll ask Ensign Dern to join you.



There are actually two Ensign Derns on board. This one is an engineer, in Genesis a different one will serve as a Conn officer and die of Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome.



O'BRIEN: I'll have to send you over one at a time, Commander, because of band width limitations, and the transport cycle will take a little longer.
RIKER: How much longer?
O'BRIEN: Four, five seconds. About twice the normal time.



The transporter cycle is always five seconds. I think someone messed up their fact-checking with this one.



O'BRIEN: I'm afraid you're in for a bumpy ride, Commander.
BARCLAY: What do you? What exactly do you mean by a bumpy ride?
O'BRIEN: There may be a small amount of static charge accumulation. You'll feel a bit of tingling. It's nothing to worry about.



I kinda thought the whole idea of the transporter beam is that you're exchanging a cylinder of air from the destination with one from the origin. The transporter beam isn't skin-tight. If the static charge is distributed within the matter stream, wouldn't that muck up the rematerialization of the person's atoms, stopping them from forming living cells at the destination?



TROI: Reg, you were faced with a difficult transport. Anyone would have been apprehensive in that situation.



Yeah, but properly trained officers would suck it up.



BARCLAY: Actually, this isn't the first time I've been apprehensive. Every single time that I tried to do it, I had a certain feeling. I guess you could call it mortal terror.
TROI: Why have you kept it a secret?
BARCLAY: Why? Because my career in Starfleet would be over, that's why.



You gotta hand it to Reg, he cares so much about his career that he's willing to try to get a grip on this. It would be easy to ask for a planet-based post, but he believes in the Enterprise's mission.


BARCLAY: The idea of being deconstructed, molecule by molecule. It's more than I can stand. Even when I was a child, I always had a dreadful fear that if ever I was dematerialised that I would never come back again whole. I know it sounds crazy, but
TROI: It's not crazy about it. You are being taken apart molecule by molecule.



Ah yes, justifying mortal terrors. Great counseling work, Deanna.



TROI: Well, you might first try a relaxation technique, like plexing.
BARCLAY: Plexing?



There's a lively discussion on social media about the effectiveness of plexing. Some say this was a deliberate placebo invented by Troi. I'm not sure that qualifies as medically ethical. At least both Troi and Barclay did the plexing maneuver in later episodes to keep continuity.



The specific location mentioned corresponds with a Chinese acupuncture point that is responsible for regulating and calming the spirit. If it is a placebo, at least it's an educated placebo. The year after the episode was made a new placebo technique was invented called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) that is sort of the same thing as plexing.



As an interesting Trek parallel, someone on the TrekBBS says that if you do it repetitively it'll make you pass out. Real-life nerve pinch?


LAFORGE: There was an explosion. That much we do know.
RIKER: Any idea what caused it?
LAFORGE: I've ruled out a reactor core failure.



Well, duh. The ship is still here. Maybe Troi and Neelix are too stupid to grasp this concept, but I'd expect Geordi to know better.


O'BRIEN: I know how you feel about this, sir.
BARCLAY: You're afraid of transporting, too?
O'BRIEN: No. Arachnids. Sickening, crawly little things, don't you think? All those legs.
BARCLAY: Spiders? They've never bothered me.



Brannon Braga wrote both this episode and "Genesis", where Barclay turns into a spider. Coincidence?


LAFORGE: Mission logs, science logs, medical logs, they're all scrambled. Looks like the blast wiped out the ship's core memory.



You'd think they could build these things to avoid EMP-like side effects.


BARCLAY: There was phased matter all around. At first I thought it was some kind of energy discharge, but then it flew toward me and it touched my arm. How could something be in there? Molecules flying apart, half phased? I mean, it's impossible, isn't it?



Yes, it is impossible. This plot is stupid.



__________________
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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  #306  
Old 10-03-2022, 04:32 AM
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LAFORGE: Reg, there's a lot of energy floating around in the beam. Maybe you saw a surge in the matter stream.
BARCLAY: Yeah.



What? The transporter doesn't open a localized wormhole that sends you to another pad, it rips you apart into your component molecules! You shouldn't experience anything other than blackness during transport because your eyes don't exist, your ears don't exist, etc.


O'BRIEN: I'll run a scan on the Heisenberg compensators.



What do the Heisenberg compensators have to do with anything? They make it possible for the transporter to lock onto individual atoms and manipulate them, they don't have anything to do with the experience of someone in the beam.


BARCLAY: Well, if I didn't know so much about these things, maybe they wouldn't scare me so much. I can still remember the day in Doctor Olafson's Transporter Theory class when he was talking about the body being converted into billions of kiloquads of data, zipping through subspace, and I realised there's no margin for error. One atom out of place and poof! You never come back. It's amazing people aren't lost all the time.



Billions of kiloquads=teraquads.

Oh, boy, do the Trek writers not give a darn about what prefix to attach to "quad" when describing amounts of data. For example, the Voyager crew only got 60 teraquads of data out of scanning the graviton ellipse, The Doctor accumulated 1000 teraquads of data about his hobbies when his actual program is only 50,000 teraquads. I could go on, but I won't.


LAFORGE: Reg, how many transporter accidents have there been in the last ten years? Two? Three? There are millions of people who transport safely every day without a problem.



Actually, the population of the Federation at this time is 985 billion. I refuse to believe that over 99% of Federation citizens live in places where they never need to transport. Throw in the other galactic powers and this statement becomes even more ridiculous.


BARCLAY: Water.
COMPUTER: Specify temperature.
BARCLAY: I don't care. Just give me water!



Wouldn't the replicator be preset to make beverages at room temperature if another temperature isn't given?


BARCLAY: All right, Computer, let's try some music. Something soothing.



Oh, sure, THIS one the computer can pick a random result for! Grumble, grumble...


O'BRIEN: Sir, begging your pardon, but couldn't this wait til the morning?
BARCLAY: No. Chief.



Given that there are multiple transporter rooms on board, wouldn't O'Brien have a staff that covers for him when he's sleeping? This isn't TOS where there's only one transporter room and all transporter use is known in advance.


PICARD: Commander La Forge, get Mister O'Brien. Take that transporter system apart piece by piece if you have to. Mister Worf, I want a level three security alert until further notice.



What does any of this have to do with ship's security?


LAFORGE: It looks like he pushed molecular dispersion past the integrity point. Your patterns got caught in the beam.
BARCLAY: The residual energy from the plasma streamer. It must've amplified the charge in the buffer enough to keep your patterns from degrading.



Oh, the lecture on misused Treknology that I could give...


The Fiver


Barclay: Not me. I'm not finished working on this computer console.
La Forge: What are you doing with it?
Barclay: Trying to locate the text of the Twenty-Third Psalm.



Though I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no evil? Not sure of the applicability of this one.


Troi: Reg, what made you run away like that?
Barclay: Transporter phobia. Actually, more like transporter freakoutia in my case.
Troi: You mean you've never used a transporter?
Barclay: Never. I prefer to travel by Starfleet shuttlecraft -- they're much safer.



Ha ha. Unless you're on the Rio Grande, your safety is never assured.


Barclay: Has a flying sock puppet ever bitten your arm in the transporter beam?
La Forge: No. Why do you ask?
Barclay: It was, um, just sort of a nervous hypothetical question.
La Forge: Reg, get a grip on yourself. Transporters are the safest way to travel.
Barclay: Tell that to what's left of Commander Sonak.



Sonak, along with Lori Ciana, died back in STTMP. What we got back didn't live long and all that...


Barclay: Computer, what are the symptoms of transporter psychosis?
Computer: Stuttering, social ineptitude, chronic jitters and hypochondria.
Barclay: I'm doomed.



Ha ha.


O'Brien: Meet my pet tarantula.
Barclay: She's kind of intimidating.
O'Brien: I thought so too until the day I tried to feed Data's cat.



Actually I think Spot would like O'Brien better than Geordi or Worf.


Memory Alpha


* This is the episode where O'Brien's pips are finally correct (one hollow pip). It was necessary for this episode for Barclay to outrank him.
* The only other usage of a first-person perspective of a transport is "Prototype."
* Barclay asks Geordi if he ever had an unusual transporter experience. Geordi doesn't mention being phase cloaked in "The Next Phase." Oops.
* Jeri Taylor doesn't understand why this episode isn't as popular. I do, it's a "people think a crewman is crazy" episode combined with a "someone seems like they're not Starfleet material" episode.



Nitpicker's Guide


* Crusher says that Lieutenant Kelley didn't die from his burns, but we never find out what did kill him.
* Why didn't Barclay ask one of the others to repeat his experience to see the "worms?"
* Phil is confused about O'Brien's new rank.

* Why didn't the medical monitor tell Crusher when Barclay collapsed and started glowing blue?
* How come Barclay can order O'Brien around when Troi has relieved him of duty?
* Barclay asks the computer for music, but he didn't ask for the lights to be lowered. Oops.


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Old 10-07-2022, 06:09 PM
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The 23rd Psalm is something people might recite to feel less fear and more calm. Personally I lean more toward "Guide me, O thou great Jehovah" but that's usually while in traffic.
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Old 10-13-2022, 05:47 PM
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October 5th, 1992, "Man of the People"

No fiver

The Episode

MAYLOR: You think he's attracted to you, but he isn't. You offer him nothing.
...
MAYLOR: Don't pursue him. I won't have it. I'll stop you.

Just like I'm not a fan of times when a main character is thought to be crazy, I hate it when characters are so enigmatic when pursuing their objective that they deliberately sabotage their own efforts. Just say "if you pursue this guy he'll suck your life away!"

TROI: I would imagine that your self-discipline helps you in your work.
ALKAR: I don't know about that. I think maybe my biggest asset is patience. I let everybody else talk until they're exhausted, and when I start, they're too tired to argue.

This sounds good in theory, but absolutely awful in practice.

TROI: Curiosity. What I sense from you is very unusual. Calmness, serenity, tranquillity.

Those three qualities seem a bit redundant, but maybe she's talking in Betazoid and there are secondary meanings we're not getting.

ALKAR: Mother, I told you that I'd be gone for over an hour.
MAYLOR: You're late because of her. Have you mated with him yet?
TROI: What?

If Maylor wants to stop Alkar's violations, why is she perpetuating this "mother" deception? I'd be miffed at the use of "mate" instead of "sex", but I'll chalk this one up to Universal Translator weirdness.

RIKER: Hi. It's that time again. The dreaded crew evaluation reports.
TROI: Does it have to be today?
RIKER: It's not going to be any easier tomorrow.

First, either of them should be able to delay these things when an important mission is in progress. Second of all, it's stuff like this that makes the early season weirdness more prominent. You're not allowed to grieve, but you can complain about work? You're not allowed to have money, but you can gamble? You're not allowed to be racist against humans, but you're allowed to be racist against aliens?

TROI: I've just had a disturbing encounter with Alkar's mother. She frightens me, Will. The feelings I sense from her are malevolent. They're out of proportion. They're evil.

Evil? Where did that come from? And in any case, shouldn't Troi be able to detect when something is messing with someone's thoughts?

TROI: Computer today's appointment calendar.
COMPUTER: Oh nine hundred hours, counselling session with Ensign Janeway.

The year is 2369. None of Captain Janeway's relatives are the right age to be this Ensign. It might be a cousin, I suppose. Amazingly the expanded universe never connected them.

CRUSHER: We'll have to sedate her. Twenty cc's of melorazine.

Melorazine makes many appearances in the Expanded Universe. Even an Okudagram in Discovery. In Star Trek Online it will cleanse someone of mental debuffs.

OGAWA: Doctor Crusher? I think you should see these readings, Doctor. Her neurotransmitter levels are three hundred percent above normal.

Wouldn't it be easier to say "Her neurotransmitter levels are at four hundred percent?"

ALKAR: Hear me out, Captain. It's important you understand. You see, I discovered long ago I had the ability to channel my darker thoughts, my unwanted emotions, to others, leaving me unencumbered.

Even given the wonders of the Trek universe, this seems a little silly. Furthermore, I'm reminded of Santa's bottle of evil in 1986's Babes in Toyland.

ALKAR: Captain. do you know how many people have died on this planet in the last forty eight hours? Thousands. Deanna Troi is just one individual.
PICARD: That does not justify brutalising her, nor any of the others you have used.

As Picard has said elsewhere, "I refuse to let arithmetic decide questions like that." At the end of the day Alkar isn't responsible for casualties in this war as long as he's doing his best to bring peace.

ALKAR: Ask the Seronian and Rekag children who go to bed each night in fear of their lives. Captain, I get no payment, I have no power base, no agenda. I am willing to risk my life simply to help others.

No agenda? The quest for fame is an agenda. This guy has no right to put himself up there with Riva and Sarek.

RIKER: Wait a minute. You're talking about killing Deanna!
CRUSHER: I'll be able to resuscitate her, Will, as long as it's not more than thirty minutes.

How did Crusher arrive at that number? I'm really interested.

PICARD: I intend to make certain that you answer for what you have done.
ALKAR: Your own Federation Council has granted me safe and timely passage back to my planet. I expect you to honour that, Captain.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Federation Council will retract that promise when they hear what's going on. For that matter, diplomatic immunity may extend to laws broken while on alien planets on a mission, I don't think it extends to Starfleet vessels.

Memory Alpha

* The creators were definitely homaging "The Picture of Dorian Gray", but I don't think they knew what they were doing. Dorian was using a painting, an act that he thought had no repercussions. Alkar is using up the life of another person.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil wonders why Crusher can only "kill" Deanna for thirty minutes when people who have been in stasis for hundreds of years can be revived. This is one place where he really drops the ball. Deanna can't be put in full stasis as long as her brain is connected to Alkar. Thus Beverly has to keep Deanna's vital functions suppressed while still keeping her cells alive. A much more difficult task.
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  #309  
Old 10-31-2022, 02:02 AM
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October 12th, 1992, "Relics"

I'd like to recommend the novelization on this one. Some Trek novelizations are quite literal, others add subplots that really add to the story. The book adds a lot more for the crew to do while stuck in the Dyson Sphere as well as an expanded subplot for Ensign Kane, the guy who escorted Scotty to his quarters. It was actually Kane's idea to give the shuttle to Scotty.

Fiver by IJD GAF

The Episode

DATA: Captain, I have identified the signal. It is from the USS Jenolen, a Federation transport ship reported missing in this sector seventy five years ago.

The Jenolan was Sydney-class in-universe, but of course it was a STVI-era shuttle with other starship parts kitbashed on it. And the Amazing Thing That I Learned Today is that the circular crystal thing at the rear of TOS film-era ship saucer sections is the "impulse deflection crystal." Of course it's also at the top of the warp core, which was impossibly tall on the Constitution class refit (still call it the Enterprise class, FYI). Forum thread that discusses it, including the revelation that the dome is only blue in the post-STTMP movies, it was red in STTMP. The STTMP novelization reveals that the crystal converted warp plasma into something suitable for the impulse engine. If you want to accept the STTMP novelization as canon, that is.

And that was your Meaningless Nate Rant for the day.

(the ship shakes)
PICARD: Report.
WORF: We have entered a massive gravitational field, Captain.
DATA: There are no stars or other stellar bodies listed on our navigational charts. However, sensors indicate the presence of an extremely strong gravitational source in this vicinity.

Okay, even if you postulate a scan-proof alloy for the Dyson Sphere hull (a dubious claim given the neutronium in the Planet Killers), the gravity source should still be detected. The diameter of the Dyson Sphere is a little smaller than the Earth's, we can presume it's at the optimal M-class radius for this particular star. Furthermore, astronomers TODAY have to keep track of how the gravitational effects of everything affects the path of everything else. Even if there aren't any planets in this system there would be asteroids and gravel orbiting around to indicate the existence of a star.

PICARD: Mister Data, could this be a Dyson Sphere?
DATA: The object does fit the general parameters of Dyson's theory.

Dyson proposed this in 1960, but Olaf Stapelton thought up a similar idea in a novel in 1937. Dyson never really proposed a solid shell, he was thinking of a swarm of energy-collecting satellites and space stations.

Of course the most well-known variant in fiction is David Niven's Ringworld. Have I mentioned yet that my father was a fan of hard scifi fiction, but I am not? I actually tried to read Ringworld once, but gave up quickly. Much like Asimov, Niven seems to like pontificating about how realistic the science in his fictional worlds are more than actually making us care about characters.

PICARD: It's a very old theory, Number One. I'm not surprised that you haven't heard of it.

And why has Picard heard of it? He's into archeology, and I don't think twentieth-century speculative science counts as that.

RIKER: Are you saying you think there are people living in there?
DATA: Possibly a great number of people, Commander. The interior surface area of a sphere this size is the equivalent of more than two hundred and fifty million class M planets.

Class M planets should have a wide range of possible surface areas, based on the geologic materials, distance to the sun, and luminous output of the sun, etc. Assuming the surface area of the Earth, 250,000,000 Earths is 5(10^16) mi^2, or a sphere with a radius of 63 million miles. So are they assuming a star much more radiant and massive than Sol?

(after a short while)
DATA: I have located the Jenolen, sir. It is impacted on the surface of the sphere.

And yet it rumpled the surface of the Sphere. As SF Debris would say, this is like a spork making a dent in concrete.

RIKER: This air's pretty stale.
LAFORGE: Life support is barely operating.

Once again, treating "life support" as "breathable air." Grrr. Furthermore, why is the air stale if nobody's been breathing it?

LAFORGE: That's not all. The phase inducers are connected to the emitter array. The override is completely gone and the pattern buffer's been locked into a continuous diagnostic cycle.

Okay, even if you tell the computer to keep scanning and maintaining the matter stream, I can't believe that a proverbial fuse wouldn't blow at some point. Scotty's still brilliant, of course.

LAFORGE: There's a pattern in the buffer still.
RIKER: It's completely intact. There's less than point zero zero three percent signal degradation.

Some say that this degradation accounts for Scotty missing a few memories. For example, knowing that Kirk died on the E-B. Or that the E-A was destroyed over Chal just before the E-B was commissioned (Shatnerverse).

SCOTT: You've changed the resonator array.

This is weird, because the E-D transporter room (and Sickbay, and Engineering...) were used for the latter TOS films. And as Geordi will say later, transporter tech hasn't changed that much.

Only mention of resonator arrays.

SCOTT: What have you done with the duotronic enhancers?
LAFORGE: Those were replaced with isolinear chips about forty years ago.

Duotronics is of course a reference to "The Ultimate Computer." It's mentioned here and there in the expanded universe. It's amazing that the expanded universe never elaborated on the introduction of isolinear technology.

LAFORGE: You were saying its big as life. You mean the Dyson Sphere?
SCOTT: Aye, an actual Dyson Sphere. Can you imagine the engineering skills needed to even design such a structure?

I'm an engineer, and I can't. At all. Forget designing the thing, how would you even build it? Did they start with a Dyson Swarm and then start connecting them with "tiles" that would form the skin of the Sphere?

LAFORGE: I think you're going to enjoy the twenty fourth century, Mister Scott. We've made some pretty incredible advances these last eighty years.

Really? Yeah, everything is more efficient, but like they'll explain later they just built on earlier principles. The biggest technological leaps of the Galaxy-class seem to be based on the holodeck and overall operational range. Not exactly a huge leap.

CRUSHER: Other than a couple of bumps and bruises, I'd say you feel fine for a man of a hundred and forty seven.
SCOTT: I don't feel a day over a hundred and twenty.

Scotty was born in 2222, the only other event in this year is the activation of Pralor Automated Unit 3947 ("Prototype").

PICARD: I must say, I was little surprised when Commander Riker told me that you were aboard the Jenolen. Our records didn't show you listed as a member of the crew.

There wasn't a record of passengers? Are you telling me that the computer has better records of civilian ships that left Earth post-WWIII than Federation ships seventy-five years ago?

SCOTT: Bigger? In my day, even an Admiral wouldn't have had such quarters on a starship.

Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise lists floorplans for several sizes of quarters, sorted by rank. Ensigns barely get hotel rooms and Admirals get whole suites with separate offices and bedrooms. Scotty must mean the TOS days.

KANE: The holodecks, Ten Forward, and the gymnasium are all at your disposal. The computer can tell you how to find them. Until we issue you a combadge, just use one of these panels if you need anything.

And does Scotty know what "Ten Forward" is, Ensign? And wouldn't the Enterprise have several gyms?

SCOTT: You know, these quarters remind me of a hotel room on Argelius. Oh, now there is a planet. Everything a man wants right at his fingertips. Of course, on the first visit, I got into a wee bit of trouble.

"Wolf in the Fold" reference, of course. The planet has made several Okudagram references in recent series.

LAFORGE: I want you to shut down the warp engines and recalibrate the aft sensors while I work on the lateral array.

The lateral arrays are along the equator of the saucer section. They look like random circuitry.

SCOTT: I was a Starfleet engineer for fifty two years, Mister La Forge.

Assuming one continual block (a dubious claim), this is 2241-2293. This episode also establishes that he was born in 2222. To start at 19 indicates that he started out as an enlisted crewmember like O'Brien, then joined Starfleet later. He was in Starfleet for twenty years before TOS, and we know very little about any of it.

DATA: Sensor readings indicate the presence of a G-type star at the centre of the sphere.

Otherwise known as yellow dwarfs, Sol is another G-type.

PICARD: Mister Data, send out a series of class-four probes to survey the far side of the sphere.

Class 4 probes have many functions in Trek, almost as if the writers don't care to keep up to date. The TNG Tech Manual states that the Class 4 is basically an upgrade of the Class 3, faster and with a longer range and six ejectable subprobes.
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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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  #310  
Old 10-31-2022, 02:02 AM
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SCOTT: I remember a time when the old Enterprise was spiralling in toward Psi two thousand.
LAFORGE: Thank you.
SCOTT: The Captain wanted to try a cold start of the warp engines. I told him that without a proper phase lock it would take at least thirty minutes You canna change the laws of physics, I told him, but he wouldn't believe me, so I had to come up with a new engine start-up routine.

"The Naked Time", of course. There are a few novels that reference this thirty-minute requirement and Scotty's upgrade of the process.

LAFORGE: We recomposite the crystals while they're still inside the articulation frame.

Didn't Scotty do this in The Voyage Home? Many novels point to that as the start of the recrystallization tech used on the E-D.

SCOTT: How long will it really take?
LAFORGE: An hour.
SCOTT: You didn't tell him how long it would really take, did you?
LAFORGE: Of course I did.

The Search For Spock establishes that the average Scotty multiplication factor is four.

DATA: I believe I may be of some assistance. Captain Scott is unaware of the existence of synthehol.
SCOTT: Synthehol?
DATA: Yes, sir. It is an alcohol substitute now being served aboard starships. It simulates the appearance, taste and smell of alcohol, but the intoxicating affects can be easily dismissed.

Gene dictated that the Ferengi invented synthehol, yet it appears in Discovery before offical first contact was made with them.

DATA: No, sir. I am an android. Lieutenant Commander Data.
SCOTT: Synthetic Scotch, synthetic commanders.

Scotty isn't surprised, he ran into many androids in TOS. Memory Alpha lists four episodes in particular ("What Are Little Girls Made Of", "Requiem For Methuselah", "I, Mudd", "Return to Tomorrow.")

SCOTT: What is it?
DATA: It is (looks at bottle) It is (sniffs contents) It is green.

"By Any Other Name" reference aside, you'd think Data would be programmed to at least identify the major categories of booze (wine, ale, sake, beer, etc). Even if Guinan has every bottle memorized, wouldn't she still want these things properly labeled so waiters like Ben can ID them as needed?

Guinan appears in the novel and is much more supportive of Scotty. I hope he met Dax at one point, as well.

COMPUTER: Please enter programme.
SCOTT: The android at the bar said you could show me my old ship. Let me see it.

Oh, boy. Scotty and holodecks. The rec room in TAS immediately comes to mind. In any case I think Data should've accompanied Scotty to show him how to work it.

SCOTT: The Enterprise. Show me the Bridge of the Enterprise, you chattering piece of
COMPUTER: There have been five Federation ships with that name. Please specify by registry number.
SCOTT: NCC One Seven Oh One. No bloody A, B, C, or D.
COMPUTER: Programme complete. Enter when ready.

Like I've said elsewhere, the computer shouldn't have assumed "Federation ship." In any case Scotty should've provided a specific date, the TOS bridge had at least "The Cage", TOS, TAS, and film versions.

PICARD: Constitution class.
SCOTT: Aye. You're familiar with them?
PICARD: There's one in the Fleet museum, but then of course, this is your Enterprise.

The novel "Crossover" will establish the one in the fleet museum as the USS Yorktown, only with the TOS Bridge module that was removed in the refit. Scotty steals it and hooks his shuttle into it, creating an even more advanced version of the automation system that he invented in Search for Spock.

PICARD: The first ship I ever served aboard as Captain was called the Stargazer. It was an overworked, underpowered vessel, always on the verge of flying apart at the seams. In every measurable sense, my Enterprise is far superior. But there are times when I would give almost anything to command the Stargazer again.

I find it disappointing that Picard would resent the Stargazer not having tech from twenty years in the future. He's supposed to be an archeologist, and that seems like anti-scientist thinking.

SCOTT: When I was here, I could tell you the speed that we were traveling by the feel of the deckplates.

I hope he means at impulse speeds. Inertial dampeners should be able to stop such things at warp speed.

PICARD: Seventy five years is a long time. If you would care to study some technical schematics or
SCOTT: I'm not eighteen. I can't start out like a raw cadet.

The novels establish that he does in fact get up to date to work with the Corps of Engineers.

DATA: Commander, I believe I have found something on the sphere which could be a communications device. There's an antenna array approximately four hundred thousand kilometres south of our present position. It is emitting low intensity subspace signals.
RIKER: Can you open a channel?
DATA: No, sir, not from our present orbit. The array is currently directed away from us.

Does neutronium block subspace signals? That seems farfetched.

LAFORGE: If this ship were operational I bet she'd run circles around the Enterprise at impulse speeds.

I find this claim dubious.

PICARD: Very well. Mister Data, begin a scan of the interior surface for life forms. I want to know who brought us in here and why.
DATA: Aye, sir.

In the novel they meet the natives, sort of. It's a long story.

LAFORGE: The tank can't withstand that kind of pressure.
SCOTT: Where'd you get that idea?
LAFORGE: What do you mean, where did I get that idea? It's in the impulse engine specifications.
SCOTT: Regulation forty two slash fifteen, pressure variances on IRC tank storage?
LAFORGE: Yeah.
SCOTT: Forget it. I wrote it. A good engineer is always a wee bit conservative, at least on paper. Just bypass the secondary cut-off valve and boost the flow. It'll work.

Geordi has this kind of stuff memorized? And we're supposed to believe that genetic modification isn't being used? And seriously, where is the 47 cameo?

DATA: The interior surface area is over ten to the sixteenth square kilometres.

More like 13 times 10 to the sixteenth square kilometers. Do the math!

(outside the main sphere hatch, and looking at short range scan 0407.7)

Not just a 47 reference, but a MASH reference.

LAFORGE: You can't be serious. That hatch is huge. It'll crush this ship like an egg.
SCOTT: Geordi, the shields will hold. Don't worry about that. I can get a few extra gigawatts out of these babies.
LAFORGE: Scotty, it's crazy.
SCOTT: Geordi. I have spent my whole life trying to figure out crazy ways of doing things. I'm telling you, as one engineer to another, I can do this.

You have to admit, by TOS standards this engineering feat is rather pedestrian.

LAFORGE: I've lost helm control. La Forge to Enterprise. Captain, we're not going to be able to move this ship out of the way when you get here. You're going to have to destroy it in order to escape.

Given the size of the doors, I find that claim dubious. Now is not the time to stick to the rules of the road!

LAFORGE: So, this alien space baby, which was about the size of a four story building, really thought the Enterprise was its mother.
SCOTT: You're pulling an old man's leg.
LAFORGE: No, really. It was suckling power directly from the ship's fusion reactors, so Doctor Brahms and I changed the power frequency from twenty one centimetres to point oh two centimetres.
SCOTT: You soured the milk.
LAFORGE: That's right.

I'm trying to think of another TNG event that has TOS-worthy levels of engineering ludicrousness. "Booby Trap" is the first example I can think of.

SCOTT: You're giving me one of your shuttles?
PICARD: Well, call it an extended loan.

This is the Goddard (last seen in "The Next Phase"), although the novelization calls it the Christopher in honor of the guy from "Tomorrow is Yesterday." The novel Crossover reveals that he renamed it the Romaine after his love from "The Lights of Zetar". She eventually married Scotty's friend Morgan Bateson, ouch.
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Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

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

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

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 10-31-2022, 02:03 AM
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The Fiver

Scotty: I've got a friend in there!
Riker: Was he a TOS regular?
Scotty: More like a redshirt.
Riker: Then he's history. Want some pie?

Hehe.

Scotty: You know Ensign, these quarters remind me of "Wolf in the Fold" and "Elaan of Troyius".
Kane: Sorry sir, I only follow Trek from TNG forward. I'll leave you alone to contemplate your utter uselessness in this century.
Scotty: In my day you would've been killed before being able to recite that many lines....

He's probably right. The way Kane acted he seems like a prime candidate for a Ceti eel or mugato attack.

Scotty: Computer, show me the Enterprise.
Computer: There have been countless capitalistic endeavors in history; please specify.
Scotty: THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE, NCC-1701. NO BLOODY--

As I've said before, there have been a LOT of ships with bridges in history.

Data: Now that we're orbiting the star, it's solar flaring.
Picard: If this isn't the sun, Sol, wouldn't it just be a Stellar Flare?
Data: Yes, but I find no flare to that particular Incubus song.

Actually there are a number of songs with that title, along with a My Little Pony character.

Picard: Are we screwed yet to the point that only Scotty can rescue us?
Data: Aye.
Picard: Excellent. Break out the Parcheesi.

Parcheesi?

Memory Alpha

* Dyson himself enjoyed the episode, even if he thought the science was ridiculous.
* It's weird for Troi to kiss Scotty goodbye since they never interacted, but there was a deleted scene where they did. Geordi sends her to counsel Scotty, but he doesn't like the idea of being treated like he's crazy.
* Actually, in "The Naked Time" it was Spock who came up with the new startup routine, but maybe Scotty helped offscreen.
* Only time Scotty is addressed as a Captain, even though he's been one since Search for Spock.

Nitpicker's Guide

* How does the transporter work through the Jenolan's shields? I would argue that it's the same principle as "Trials and Tribbleations"-the older tech has holes that the E-D can exploit.
* Does Guinan really let just anyone access her private stash?
* Wouldn't the Jenolan have taken an established warp route to Norphin IV? How come nobody found this thing before now?
* Aren't there any historians besides Picard on board that would want to talk to Scotty?
__________________
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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  #312  
Old 11-07-2022, 01:12 AM
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October 19th, 1992, "Schisms"

Fiver by Kira

The Episode

LAFORGE: We've been testing a way of channelling warp energy directly to the main deflector grid. It should enhance the long range sensors.

What do the long-range sensors have to do with the deflector grid?

DATA: The modification would increase our sensor efficiency and imaging resolution by twenty five percent or more.

I'll accept the first part, but the second part is just nonsense. If you want to overclock the sensors I would just pump more power into the sensor arrays and slave more computer power to coordinating the sensors of probes sent into the Armagosa Diaspora.

LAFORGE: We'd channel it through the EPS mains on deck four, near Cargo bay four.

I know that this is setting up later events, but I still don't get why you would route power up to Deck 4 only to send it down to Decks 10 and 11 where the lateral sensors are.

DATA: That poem was written in anapaestic tetrameter.

Anapestic tetrameter means four anapestic metrical feet per lines. One foot has two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable. Two notable examples are "The Night Before Christmas" and a lot of Dr. Seuss.

da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM

On the FIFteenth of MAY, in the JUNgle of NOOL,
In the HEAT of the DAY, in the COOL of the POOL.

DATA: Throughout the ages, from Keats to Jorkemo, poets have composed odes to individuals who have had a profound effect on their lives. In keeping with that tradition, I have written my next poem in honour of my cat. I call it Ode to Spot.

Original version, Doubleclicks version. Of course it also made a cameo in "A Fistful of Datas."

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature.
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature.

Your meaningless bits of cat nomenclature trivia for the day:
Male-tom/tomcat if intact, gib if neutered
Female-queen if intact, molly if spayed
A group of cats is a clowder or glaring.

CRUSHER: Drink this before going to bed.
RIKER: What is it?
CRUSHER: A recipe for a warm milk toddy.

One recipe is like a vanilla milk with whiskey, another is milk with nutmeg, honey, and brandy. There's actually a blog post about what Aunt Adele's recipe would be.

If you want nonalcoholic warm milk, most recipes focus on vanilla, honey, and nutmeg as the additives of choice.

Don't ask for my personal preference. I'm with Neelix and Chakotay, warm milk sounds disgusting. If I want a warm beverage to make me sleepy I'll stick with apple cider, thank you.

LAFORGE: If you want to touch people, don't concentrate so much on rhyme and metre. Think more about what you want to say instead of how you're saying it.

I can't say that I agree with Geordi on this one. Poetry has to have structure, or else it's not poetry. By all means, bend the mold to avoid monotony, but throw out the baby with the bathwater.

RIKER: Could we pick this up in the morning, Geordi? Get a fresh start? Would you do me a favour? Stop by my quarters, oh seven hundred hours. I'm having trouble waking up.
LAFORGE: Sure, Commander.

Surely there are other alarm options from the computer available. Or at least replicate a mechanical alarm clock!

LAFORGE: Just before the grid alarm sounded, we were running warp power through this junction.

I presume that there aren't any warp plasma conduits in the saucer, so how is "warp power" different from the power from the impulse engines?

DATA: You are correct. Ninety two minutes, seventeen seconds have passed since you left the room.
LAFORGE: What have you been doing all this time?
DATA: I have no memory of events during that period. When we are finished here, I will perform a self-diagnostic.

Unless there's some time dilation nonsense going on in here a la the Mannheim Effect, I don't see how Data's perception of time can be affected in this case.

TROI: Well, you all remember a table, so let's start with that. Computer show me a table.
COMPUTER: There are five thousand forty seven classifications of tables on file. Specify design parameters.
TROI: Can you be more specific about the table? You mentioned it was smooth and cold. Can you remember what shape it was?
KAMINER: Long. It was long.
LAFORGE: Yeah, and it had a rectangular shape.
TROI: Computer, show me a rectangular conference table.

SF Debris was more forgiving of the culling process than I am. I get it, we can only allow so much screentime to this scene, but that doesn't make it any less of a plothole.

PICARD: Raise shields. And I want a level four security alert. I need to know if anyone comes on or off this ship.

Shouldn't that be the default?

CRUSHER: It looks as though your arm has been severed and then reattached.
RIKER: What?
CRUSHER: The skeletal structure in your radius and ulna is offset by point zero two microns. Your arm has been amputated then surgically reattached.

Like Chuck said, this is like knowing you're on the wrong planet because a grain of sand is missing. 0.02 microns is a tenth the length of a bacterium.

The Fiver

Data: And now for my forty-seventh poem. There was a Lieutenant named Yar, who was killed by a big ball of tar; she once lost her head, and took Data to bed -- which was more than a little bizarre.
Crew: Groooaaan.

It could be argued that Yar wanting to feel love was one of the least bizarre things in "The Naked Now."

Mott: What will it be today, Lieutenant? Shampoo? Shave? Highlights?
Worf: That would bring out my cheekbones....
Mott: You know what you need? A manicure.
Worf: Now you've gone too far.

One "t" in "Mot."

La Forge: Time flies when you're having fun.
Data: It does seem that the passage of time is accelerated when boring coworkers are absent.

I don't think Data would think of Geordi as boring.

Worf: Say, this table looks familiar.
La Forge: Oh my God! We were abducted by aliens!
Riker: I thought that only happened in cornfields.

I hope this wasn't a "Broken Bow" reference.

Nitpicker's Guide

* The exact location of Cargo Bay 4 varies depending on if you believe the dialogue or the Okudagrams.
* The "CONN panel" looks a lot more like the "OPS panel." Phil speculates that the stations have been reconfigured like the Tech Manual says that they can.
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Old 11-13-2022, 04:11 AM
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October 26th, 1992, "True Q"

No fiver (who has this one reserved?)

The Episode

Captain's log, stardate 46192.3. We have arrived at Starbase one one two and are loading relief supplies destined for Tagra Four, an ecologically devastated planet in the Argolis Cluster.

I thought that the Argolis Cluster showed up more often than it did, but it turns out it was only in two TNG episodes and two DS9 episodes. Rene Echevarria wrote three of these. It makes a few appearances in the expanded universe.

AMANDA: Yes, sir. I still can't believe they chose me. There were lots of other people with better records.
CRUSHER: Your transcript is very impressive. She's done honours work in neurobiology, plasma dynamics, and eco-regeneration. I'd say that's pretty well rounded.

Makes you wonder how these fields are related or what "eco-regeneration" is.

RIKER: It'll take a few days before you know where everything is. If you need any help, you just use one of these comm. panels.
AMANDA: We're on deck seven, section four.

I have to wonder how anyone other than Data knows where everything is on a ship this big. Whatever happened to the wall arrows from "Encounter at Farpoint", anyway?

CRUSHER: See all these readouts? That's your heart rate, your blood pressure all your vital signs. You're in good shape. You might just live to be my age.

She's majored in neurobiology, I think she knows how to use a medical tricorder! Just skip to the next line!

AMANDA: So I should scan myself with each one to make sure all the readouts are working?
CRUSHER: Any unit that doesn't, put it aside and we'll do a diagnostic on it later.

They can't do this automatically? You can really tell that this is pre-USB, can't you?

AMANDA: It's amazing to think that they go to such lengths to clean the air instead of regulating the emissions that cause the problem.
LAFORGE: You're right. Actually, the only thing the filters can do is keep things from getting worse.

Did Trek really do an anti-pollution episode before the Malon showed up?

AMANDA: It's hard to imagine how much energy is being harnessed in there.
DATA: Imagination is not necessary. The scale is readily quantifiable. We are presently generating twelve point seven five billion gigawatts per-

And what does "12.75 billion gigawatts per whatever" mean in terms that a person can imagine? Today we can compare energy output to old-style lightbulbs, a dam, or a whole city. Furthermore, why not use 5 petawatt instead of 5 billion gigawatt? In any case, modern aircraft carriers are about a gigawatt. The TNG Tech Manual implies 5(10^18) W for the warp core at maximum output. So 12.75(10^12) W is a relatively low value for idling power.

Furthermore, you don't add a "per time unit" for power output. Power is already energy/time.

DATA: Temperature in the reaction chamber has increased by forty seven percent.

Sheesh, they're not even trying to hide the 47s at this point, are they? What the temperature inside the warp core would be is an interesting question that I could pontificate on for some time, but I won't.

(the chamber explodes, but Amanda holds out her hands and pushes the reaction back inside and seals it again)

Amanda doesn't have full access to Q knowledge yet, so I have to wonder how she knows about the construction specs of the warp core enough to rebuild the thing. And don't forget that she has to rebuild the core AND the dilithium chamber AND the confinement beam emitters AND force the matter and antimatter back into the injection systems. And probably deenergize the warp plasma all the way to the nacelles at the same time.

Q: Well, not exactly. They had assumed human form in order to visit Earth, I suppose for amusement. But in vulgar human fashion they proceeded to conceive a child. And then like mawkish humans, they became attached to it. What is it about those squirming little infants that you find so appealing?

In the Q Continuum books when Beverly finds out about Q Junior she asks about how he's different from Amanda Rogers. The implication is that Amanda's parents were fully locked in "human mode" when she was conceived, thus she was born locked into "human mode". Her powers slowly emerged, but she needed Q to unlock her into full Q mode here. Q and Lady Q didn't do that, their bodies were still in avatar mode when their energies united to create Q Junior. He was born as a real Q, looking as the Q really do. Q was nudging him into looking like a baby for Janeway's benefit.

Then again, one of the Strange New Worlds stories reveals how Dr. Selar had to act as a midwife to Lady Q, but that's a story for when I get to "The Q and the Grey."

TROI: What happened to Amanda's parents?
Q: They died in an accident.

It's not often that Q outright lies. One wonders why he didn't just say "it's a long story" and quickly moved on to the next topic.

Q: None of us knew whether she had inherited the capacities of the Q, but recently they've began to emerge, and as an expert in humanity, I was sent to investigate.
RIKER: You, an expert in humanity?
Q: Not a very challenging field of study, I grant you.

How is Q not an expert in humanity, at least by Q standards? "Death Wish" revealed that he was one of the only Q who still bothered to travel the universe among the locals.

Actually, this is another plot point that was explored in the Q Continuum novels. Q's antics were indirectly responsible for the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs, so the Q Continuum made him look after the lifeforms that would evolve on Earth. It's a long story.

PICARD: I want to know about her biological parents, about their death. I find it odd that any Q could die in an accident.
DATA: It is not consistent with what we know of them, sir.

No duh. It takes another Q-level species to kill a Q. There's the Calamarain, the M Continuum, 0, The One, (*), the Travelers, the Organians...

I do recommend the novel I, Q where we meet the M Continuum. Q's counterpart M is even more annoying than he is.

PICARD: Amanda, allow me to introduce, er, Q. He's er, he's an acquaintance of ours. We've er, we've known him for years.

An acquaintance? Gotta love Picard for refusing to lie even under these circumstances.

Q: Don't worry. With time you'll overcome the disadvantages you suffered as a child. No one will hold it against you for having been human. Let's go.
(Amanda sends Q flying across the room)
AMANDA: Leave me alone! I'm not going anywhere with you!

Q doesn't get his butt kicked nearly often enough. It's a shame that Guinan isn't in this episode, she would've loved this and been a useful mentor for Amanda. Then again, that would've stolen screentime away from Crusher.

AMANDA: He's so horrible.
CRUSHER: He is the only one who can help you to understand who you are.

I suddenly wonder if Quinn would've been an improvement in this scenario. Too bad he's still trapped in a comet.
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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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Old 11-13-2022, 04:12 AM
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Q: Well. to put it simply, we're omnipotent. There's nothing, nothing we can't do.
AMANDA: And what do you do with this power?
Q: Anything we want.
AMANDA: Do you use it to help others?
Q: I think you've missed the point, my dear.

I don't think she has. What the Q actually does is one of the most conflicted issues in all of Trek. Sometimes they're totally indifferent to mortal species, sometimes they act like self-appointed judges and mentors to mortals, sometimes they like to play games with the mortals like Mr. Mxyzptlk, sometimes they're just another alien race that happens to be of a higher power level, etc.

Furthermore, it's infuriating how much they don't seem to care about any race other than humanity.

AMANDA: No, think about it. Really think. If suddenly you could make anything happen, what would it be?
CRUSHER: Well, I would probably want to heal people. People who are hopelessly ill.
AMANDA: Would you bring your husband back?
CRUSHER: Amanda, I don't know.

I prefer to think that there's a limited time window during which a Q can resurrect people. If Q can bring back anyone who died at any time at any location, that introduces philosophical and ethical questions that couldn't possibly be adequately explored in a single episode.

DATA: I have some information regarding Amanda Rogers' parents. Records indicate that they died in Topeka, Kansas. Their home was destroyed during a tornado.
PICARD: A tornado? Why wasn't it dissipated by the weather modification net?

if someone ever makes a fiver, I hope they insert a Wizard of Oz joke here. In any case, it staggers the mind to think of how much control you'd have to have over the atmosphere to prevent tornadoes and hurricans from happening. It's almost like the genetic enhancement debate, but for weather.

DATA: The bodies were found in the rubble after the storm had passed.

So did Amanda's parents voluntarily lock off their powers to the point that their bodies became fully human, or did the Q Continuum create simulated corpses to avoid further suspicion?

Q: You're attracted to him.
AMANDA: I am not.
Q: I think you are. How repulsive. How do you stand that hair all over his face?

This seems needlessly petty. I'm pretty sure that there are some Q Continuum members with facial hair. Furthermore, why is Q so biased against Riker? Is he still bitter about "Hide and Q"?

AMANDA: Do you love me?
RIKER: More than anything.
AMANDA: You're right. None of this is real. I thought it would be romantic, but it's empty.

It's nice how Amanda figured this out faster than Riker did in "Hide and Q".

PICARD: You would be so despicable?
Q: Don't be naive. You have no idea what it means to be Q. With unlimited power comes responsibility. Do you think it is reasonable for us to allow omnipotent beings to roam free through the universe?

You have to wonder why he can't lock Amanda into human form like her parents so she can't use her powers or be a threat. Later he'll say that she can choose to not use the power, but that didn't work very well with Riker.

PICARD: Yes. I recall how you used your superior morality when we first encountered you. You put us on trial for the crimes of humanity.
Q: The jury is still out on that, Picard, make no mistake.

I presume that they knew how the series had to end even this early.

PICARD: I would put human morality against the Q's any day. And perhaps that's the reason that we fascinate you so. Because our puny behaviour shows you a glimmer of the one thing that evades your omnipotence, a moral centre. And if so, I can think of no crueller irony than that you should destroy this young woman, whose only crime is that she's too human.
Q: Jean-Luc, sometimes I think the only reason I come here is to listen to these wonderful speeches of yours.

Time to link to the Picard Speech compilation again.

AMANDA: I hope I can come back and see you.
CRUSHER: You're a Q. You can do anything you want.

Oh, the speech I could make on this point.

Memory Alpha

* Last appearance of Q in TNG where anyone other than Picard sees him.
* Amanda's precise status among the Q is explored and she is killed in the VOY novel "The Eternal Tide."

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil also wonders about the medical tricorder thing.
* He also thinks that the Q didn't care about humanity before "Encounter at Farpoint" and that this is in conflict with Amanda's parents settling on Earth. I see no conflict. Q made it clear that the Farpoint mission marks a point where humanity had spread too far into space without being ready. There's a difference between monitoring and interfering. They obviously knew about humanity, like they know about all other races.
* If there's an emergency on Tagra IV, how come it doesn't seem like the Enterprise is at warp at any point during the episode?
* How come Amanda never wears a commbadge? This is a valid point, since we've seen people with a far less official status have commbadges.
__________________
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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