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Old 07-06-2021, 07:43 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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February 11th, 1991, "Clues"

Fiver by Derek

The Episode

Captain's log, stardate 44502.7. Early completion of our mission at Harrakis Five has allowed me to grant extra personal time for many of the crew. This has come as something of a relief, since our recent tight scheduling has prevented pursuit of the leisure activities that are a normal part of life aboard the Enterprise. I expect our journey past the Ngame Nebula to be uneventful, and am personally using the time to fulfill a promise to a colleague.

I hate it when the captain's log outright says that the episode will take place in between the exploring that the show promised us. Hate hate hate. Furthermore, you can only hear Picard say "I expect the next few days to be boring" and be proven wrong so many times before it gets tedious. There's no particular reason why a mission can be important to one part of the crew but not to the rest, providing us with a counterpoint. Or maybe have the ship involved in a mission that can be dropped if necessary.

GUINAN: So I had a little trouble getting into the dress. It took me a little while to figure out exactly what I was supposed to do with these. (stockings and suspender belt)

Guinan was on Earth BEFORE the Dixon Hill era! Whatever clothes she had to wear around Mark Twain had to be less comfortable than this stuff! Yeah, yeah, "Time's Arrow" hadn't been thought of yet but her great age and time around humans has been established.

MADELINE [OC]: Captain Picard? Sorry, there's no Captain Picard here. You should try down at the docks. Ships come
DATA [OC]: Captain, Lieutenant Commander Data here. Please excuse the unusual interruption, but under the circumstances I thought that patching communications through the holodeck programme would be less obtrusive.

Data patched communications through a holographic telephone system but didn't remember that Picard is portraying Dixon Hill or to assume an era-appropriate character? I hate actions that require a character to be very smart and very stupid at the same time.

Furthermore, this whole bit isn't needed, the holodeck should instantly pause when a communication from outside is detected.

DATA: Sir, I should re-align the ship's clock with Starbase four ten's subspace signal to adjust for the time distortion.

What a coincidence, I just talked about this in the PNQ thread. I promise I didn't plan this.

CRUSHER: Nothing broken, Chief, but the ligaments around the elbow have been twisted pretty severely. What on earth were you doing when you fell?
O'BRIEN: Hanging a plant for Keiko. It's part of her running project to give me a green thumb.
CRUSHER: How's it working?
O'BRIEN: Everything I touch seems to turn brown and wither away.

It's amazing how much of O'Brien's DS9 characterization started in TNG. It's a shame that today's shows don't seem to believe in subtle character building.

DATA: Coming in now, sir. The probe is within visual range of the planet.
PICARD: On screen.
(the planet is green)
DATA: Sensors indicate a hydrogen-helium composition with a frozen helium core.

How could a planet develop a frozen helium core? I'd think there'd be enough gravity pressure to at least make liquid helium.

PICARD: Mister Data, run a full diagnostic to make sure the wormhole didn't permanently damage the sensors.

What? Wormholes can damage sensors enough to give distorted readings of this precision? I don't think gravity buckling can do that.

PICARD: Oh, Diomedian scarlet moss. I didn't know you were an enthnobotanist.
CRUSHER: It's a hobby.

Enthnobotany is an actual field, it's the study of how the people of a given region study and use the local plants. I don't think it's quite the correct term for this case. Exobiology would be more accurate.

You'd think that Diomedian scarlet moss would never reappear in the expanded universe, but a novel actually mentions it. Insert remark about the fans caring more about the Trek universe than the current producers here.

PICARD: Doctor, we were not unconscious for a full day. Everything on board indicates that we were out for thirty seconds. The ship's chronometer, the computer, everything.

The chronometer is not part of the computer? I wouldn't mind the idea of an isolated "black box" chronometer synchronized with Starfleet Command if such a thing were actually possible, but it's not.

DATA: Captain, I have a hypothesis. The twenty-second century physicist Pell Underhill conjectured that a major disruption in time continuity could be compensated for by trillions of counter reactions. That effect may have allowed Doctor Crusher's mosses to arrive at the other side of the worm hole with the unanticipated growth.

Pell Underhill also appeared in a few novels. I repeat my earlier comment. Oh, and Data's attempt to pull an explanation out of nowhere is just nonsense. If the wormhole affected these spores that much, it should affect other stuff as well. Doesn't Keiko have an entire arboretum of alien plants that could equally be affected by this affect?

CRUSHER: A transporter trace analysis might give us another indication of how much time has actually passed.

I get what they're going for, but anything a study of the transporter traces could reveal should be discoverable by a biobed a lot faster.

LAFORGE: I've got some good news, and some bad news. The good news is that we were right about the computer's chronometer. There's a security programme to prevent tampering, but it looks now like it was disabled and a new programme put in its place. Someone has reset the clock.
PICARD: If that's the good news, what's the bad news?
LAFORGE: That Data and I are the only ones aboard this ship capable of doing it.

How stupid are the other members of the Engineering staff? Does Geordi even have assistant Chief Engineers?

PICARD: Do you know what a court martial would mean? Your career in Starfleet would be finished.
DATA: I realise that, sir.
PICARD: Do you also realise that you would most likely be stripped down to your wires to find out what the hell has gone wrong?
DATA: Yes, sir. I do.

Meaningless aside, but the British spelling used by Chakoteya is starting to get to me. Those red squiggles get annoying sometimes. Back on topic, doesn't Data have the right to refuse any such intrusion?

The Fiver

hug: Stick 'em up!
Guinan: What's going on?
Picard: He thinks I cheated at Fizzbin.
Thug: Hey, all I want is a piece of the action.

Is this missing first line thing ever going to be fixed, Zeke? Nice Fizzbin joke, but don't forget that Kirk defictionalized the game afterwards and later the Ferengi discovered it.

Troi: Ugh.
Picard: Counsellor? Are you okay?
Troi: Sorry, I just thought about kissing Riker with a beard.
Riker: On you or on me?
Picard: Worf, why don't you escort Troi back to her quarters? And see if you can't plant seeds for future W/T 'shippers.

Troi: AHHHH!
Worf: What is it?
Troi: I just thought about marrying Riker with a beard.

I don't get this running gag, unless it's supposed to be a reference to the later movies. Furthermore, it's inconcievable that Troi never kissed a bearded Riker before the movies (even tossing out Tom Riker scenarios).

Data: It's possible that a planet might look like a giant smiley face.
La Forge: And how do you explain the words "Have a Nice Day" at the bottom?
Data: A virtually impossible arrangement of bread, apples, and very small rocks?

Now there's a subtle Monty Python joke.

Picard: Data, you've been lying this entire episode. What would you do in my place?
Data: I would drop the charade and make out with Dr. Crusher.

In the novel Immortal Coil when Data dates Worf's replacement as Security Chief Geordi disapproves. Data cites Troi/Riker and Picard/Crusher as previous examples of senior officers dating. Geordi says that Picard/Crusher was just theoretical. One wonders what conclusion you could reach about Geordi's lack of success with women being a result of him just not being able to recognize attraction in general.

Troi: Why am I always the one who gets possessed?
Data: Because if you weren't, you'd get even less screen time.

Actually, in this case all of the other senior officers were needed for the detective plot, so it fell to Troi by default.

Memory Alpha

* First appearance of Worf's mok'bara class.
* First mention of Alyssa's name.
* Picard uses the term Paxan without learning it. Oops.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Poor O'Brien. He had to fall off the chair with the plant three times, twice on purpose.
* Phil also mentions Data's rights as defined in "Measure of a Man."
* He also noticed that Picard never learned the term "Paxan."
* He also notes the ethnobotany thing.
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 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 07-06-2021, 08:14 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4,408

Oh, and while some alien species would have circadian rhythms that are close enough to 24 hours that they could be modified to a standard day, there have to be others that are nowhere near it. You couldn't possibly knock-out everyone and have them wake up with the expected amount of energy.
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 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.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2021, 01:57 AM
Nate the Great's Avatar
Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4,408

February 18th, 1991, "First Contact"

This one will be a lot more fun...

Fiver by IJD GAF

The Episode

NILREM: He took a severe blow. Possible trauma to the telencephalon.
TAVA: Start fifteen octares of quadroline. We'll need a complete del-scan series.
NILREM: I can't find his cardial organ.

I appreciate the alien medical terms, but you can go too far. "Cardial organ" instead of "heart" is just stupid. Telencephalon is another word for the cerebrum.

TAVA: He's missing three costal struts on one side and four on the other.

Costal cartilage means the bits of the ribs that connect to the sternum, flexible to allow for expansion during breathing. I think they're implying that Riker has fewer ribs than they do. Of course you wonder why any alien race that otherwise has bilateral symmetry would have different numbers of ribs on each side.

(holds up a foot)
NILREM: He has digits on his terminus.

Foot! Foot! Furthermore, how can a bipedal species walk without toes?

RIKER: It's for a neighbour's child. Was there anything else found? I had one piece of jewelry, a metal pin.
BEREL: No, I'm sorry, this was all we found.

This is a perfect mission for a subcutaneous communicator. And let me get this out of the way: Riker should not have been on this mission, there has to be a corp of pre-first contact people who could've done this.

(Everyone say hi to Carolyn Seymour, taking a break from being a Romulan)
MIRASTA: At twelve point four after launch, the warp field generator will be activated.

Seymour only played two Romulans, Taris in "Contagion" and Toreth in "Face of the Enemy". Her other Trek role is Mrs. Templeton in Janeway's stupid holonovel (I'm not looking forward to that one in the Voyager retrospective in 2025).

MIRASTA: We have the prototype design for the warp engine. It would simply be a matter of building the actual production units. If I get your approval today, ten months, maybe less.

Thank goodness people realize that it takes awhile to make a warp core. That's one of my problem with the sheer proliferation of starships between Wolf 359 and the Dominion War.

PICARD: My name is Jean-Luc Picard. This is my associate Deanna Troi.

Seriously, where are the First Contact specialists?

TROI: Captain Picard is from a planet called Earth, which is over two thousand light years from here.

Do the locals even have a unit comparable to a light year? You gotta feel bad for the Universal Translator sometimes. "153576.2 thingamajigs from here."

MIRASTA: You've had people on our planet?
TROI: For several years.

With the number of near-warp planets out there, how many people are in the pre-First Contact corps?

BEREL: Well, it's getting out of control. I don't know what else he is, but he is still a patient in this medical facility and we have a responsibility for his care and recovery. Remind them of that, will you?

Thank you for acting rationally.

BEREL: Mister Jakara, we have been unable to confirm anything you told us. No physician named Crusher is on file. Not on this planet. Your address in Marta's an eating establishment. The cook has never heard of Rivas Jakara.

Seriously, the pre-First Contact team didn't rent out an actual location on this planet to maintain the cover? And why would Riker provide info that can't be validated? Why are we paying these specialists if they're so bad at their jobs? (We should take their holodeck rations back! )

MIRASTA: He's an android, Chancellor. A constructed being.
DURKEN: A machine?
DATA: In a manner of speaking. The term artificial lifeform would be more accurate.

How is Data not a machine? If he had used a more demeaning term I could understand Data defending himself.

DATA: No, Minister. He has not returned to our designated transport coordinates. We have continued to scan the capital city without success.

He's in a hospital. No shielding and the only human being on the planet. The ship's sensors can't find him? How would the locals have the slightest idea about how to block sensor scans?

PICARD: I've been saving this for a special occasion. My brother on Earth produces fruit known as grapes, which he turns into wine.

Nice reference to "Family", but the bottle should've showed up again. Minimal research says it's about five glasses per bottle.

DURKEN: My world's history has recorded that conquerors often arrived with the words, we are your friends.

And Earth's as well. Thank goodness for common sense.

DURKEN: What do you want?
PICARD: A beginning.

Overly simplistic. We want to protect you from other races who would exploit you. We want to learn your culture and teach you ours. We want to shield you from the mistakes we made when we first ventured into space.

DURKEN: And if I should tell you to leave and never return to my world?
PICARD: We will leave and never return.

SF Debris approved of this, but I don't. I would certainly promise to stay away for a couple generations and check in again then, but "never return" is a little final.

We never get an indication that an exotic power source is being used, so we have to assume antimatter. You don't want to leave that stuff in the hands of people afraid of change, it's a massacre waiting to happen.

DURKEN: I can infer from that directive that you do not intend to share all this exceptional technology with us.
PICARD: That is not the whole meaning, but it is part of it.
DURKEN: Is this your way of maintaining superiority?
PICARD: Chancellor, to instantly transform a society with technology would be harmful and it would be destructive,
DURKEN: You're right, of course.

Exactly. This society hasn't proven that it can safely used the tech it has NOW, more would be disastrous.

DURKEN: I will have to say this morning, I was the leader of the universe as I knew it. This afternoon, I am only a voice in a chorus. But I think it was a good day.

A nice sentiment. I know I wouldn't handle it as well.

RIKER: Now, will you help me?
LANEL: If you make love to me.
RIKER: What?
LANEL: I've always wanted to make love with an alien.

If the Universal Translator is so sophisticated that it can translate an idiom as complicated as "make love", our heroes shouldn't have the problems that it keeps having with the thing. It should've just said "have sex."

LANEL: Will I ever see you again?
RIKER: I'll call you the next time I pass through your star system.

That sounds more like a Kirk line.

TAVA: They've aggravated the injury to his renal organ.

Renal means the urinary system. If they're saying Riker damaged his privates, this is one subtle and dirty joke for the time period.

BEREL: I'm just a physician, Minister. I don't know much about affairs of state, but he is a living, intelligent being. I don't care if the Chancellor himself calls down here. I have sworn an oath to do no harm, and I will not.

Thank you.

PICARD: Centuries ago, a disastrous contact with the Klingon Empire led to decades of war.

First contact with other warp-faring species should have nothing to do with first contact with a species that has just developed warp. As for "decades of war", that's a rabbit hole lined with barb wire that I choose not to go down since it touches Enterprise, Discovery, etc.

RIKER: No. We're here on a mission of peace.
KROLA: Such noble creatures. Why do peaceful people develop such lethal weapons? Or do you still insist it's just a toy?

Riker never should've had a phaser on him. At the very least, they couldn't put a fingerprint scanner on the thing so only Riker could use it? I would've programmed these things to self-destruct unless touched by an authorized user every X hours during a mission like this.

KROLA: Perhaps, like many conquerors, you believe your goals to be benevolent. I cannot.

Oh boy, is that another discussion. You gotta give the writers props for not pulling their punches.

MIRASTA: I'm sorry to say he's probably right. Captain Picard, I have one last request. Take me with you.
DURKEN: She will be unhappy with the restrictions I must place on her at home, Captain.
PICARD: We may not be back here in your lifetime.

This line confuses me. Why can't they return in her lifetime?
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 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 07-07-2021, 01:58 AM
Nate the Great's Avatar
Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4,408

The Fiver

Tava: Actually I was thinking more along the lines of looking for a pulse.

Missing first line alert!

Berel: Chairs. By the way, do you have a rational explanation for your funktastical anatomy?
Riker: I'm from China. As a boy I was caught in a mechanical rice picker and --
Berel: I didn't think so.

Cute reference. And it wasn't rational in TOS, either.

Picard: Nanoo, nanoo!
Troi: Phone Home!
Mirasta: Hmm... you appear to be new around here.
Picard: Perhaps, but we can reverse the situation, right O'Brien?
O'Brien: (over the comm) Yub! Yub!

I get the Mork and Mindy and E.T. references, but what's with the yub yub thing?

Picard: Don't worry, they're all like that. Now then, what would happen if we hovered over the capital city with our saucer section and caused massive damage to major urban areas, at least until we were stopped by a computer virus?
Mirasta: I don't think my people would like you very much, but they'd still be dumb enough to spring for a sequel.

Was this written before or after the ID comver? And is Independence Day still the cultural touchstone that it was twenty years ago?

Lanel: Are you an alien?
Riker: Yes, Miss..?
Lanel: My name is as indicated, but you can call me
Lilith. Can you be my Kirk?

It may seem impossible to compare Lanel with Lilith, but then you remember some of the sillier moments from Cheers, like the time Frasier hypnotized her...

Krola: Hi I'm Krola, but you can call me Kroke.

I tried to find a Kroke that this could be referring to, but I came up empty.

Memory Alpha

* They had to break the rule that says that the main characters have to be the ones that stuff happens to. It was never broken again. You can learn more from SF Debris' review.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil also points out the subcutaneous transponder thing.
* He questions why the locals couldn't detect the ship in orbit.
* Why would Durken call his own planet "Malcoria III"? For that matter, why hasn't the pre-First Contact team told the Federation the real name of the planet by now? They really are incompetent!
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 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.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2021, 03:10 AM
Nate the Great's Avatar
Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4,408

March 11th, 1991, "Galaxy's Child"

It was good to see the return of Leah Brahms, but they really made the "ice queen" phase last for too long.

Fiver by Marc

The Episode

PICARD: Yes, Mister La Forge. It seems that the exemplary nature of your work has caught the attention of Starfleet Command. In fact, someone is coming on board just to see the engine modifications you've made.
LAFORGE: Who, Captain?
PICARD: The Senior Design Engineer of the Theoretical Propulsion Group. Doctor Leah Brahms.

This hardly seems like a job for Leah. Shouldn't she have an assistant who can do this?

GUINAN: You know, Geordi, everybody falls in love with a fantasy every now and then.

I'll buy that Guinan wouldn't be one of those "only weirdos fall in love with holograms" people, but she's still taking this too well.

LEAH: The matter-antimatter ratio has been changed. The mixture isn't as rich as regulations dictate.

Not the intermix ratio nonsense again! I'll be growling in the corner if you need me...

LEAH: The magnetic plasma transfer to the warp field generators doesn't correspond to the recommended specs.

Of course it doesn't! Some idiot is pumping extra matter into the warp plasma!

LEAH: You've charted a completely new swap-out schedule for main components replacement.
LAFORGE: You bet. I found the Starfleet estimates for the MTBF units to be unrealistic.

This seems a little petty and below Leah's level. She works in the theoretical field, not the nuts-and-bolts part.

DATA: The anomaly is orbiting the seventh planet, sir. It is a mass of plasma energy contained within discrete boundaries by an outer covering of silicates, actinides, and carbonaceous chondrites.

The actinides are all radioactive. Maybe I can buy that they're part of some interior fusion "stomach", but why would they be part of the skin?

Carbonaceous chondrites are a category of meteorite material. The Gekli (what the novels call this species) could sure make use of such a material for armor, but if they're implying that somehow muscles are made of this stuff, that just doesn't work.

RIKER: Alert science stations to standby. Tell them to coordinate all efforts with Commander Data.

I thought Data was already in charge of the science teams.

LAFORGE: You remember, the crystal's been reoriented to adjust the direction of the lattice structure.

Nice callback to actual technobabble used in "Booby Trap." They were trying to pump more matter and antimatter into the core, despite that not being the problem they were trying to fix.

LEAH: It's curious. this modification was due to be introduced.
LAFORGE: In the next class starship.
LEAH: Yes. How did you know?

The next class of starship should've already been introduced! You have to imagine that the Nebula class was a modification of the Galaxy specs. I jolly well hope that the modification has been introduced by now!

LAFORGE: I make a great fungilli.
LEAH: I love fungilli.
LAFORGE: Is that right?

This tidbit was in "Booby Trap", but it seems like reaching in this case. Incidentally, fungilli doesn't really exist, but of course the Star Trek Cookbook has a recipe for it.

DATA: Sensors are having difficulty penetrating the interior.

But you did earlier and found a mass of plasma energy! Besides, the skin is made out of meteorite material, something the Enterprise should know how to scan!

PICARD: Reverse course, Ensign, three hundred kph.

Quarter impulse is 18,665 kps or 67 million kph. Three hundred kph is a crawl, I wonder how few thrusters you need for that kind of speed.

COMPUTER: Warning. Radiation levels at sixty five millirads per minute and rising.

Fatal radiation levels vary by person, but let's use a common threshold of 1000 rad. 65 mrad/min means 50% casualties in 15000 min or 256 hours or 11 days.

RIKER: All decks prepare for radiation protocol.

You'd think this would be automatic, or Data would've done it by now. Now that I think about it, why doesn't each hull have an inner core with extra radiation shielding?

COMPUTER: Warning. Radiation levels at three hundred millirads per minute and rising. Lethal exposure in one minute.

300 mrad/min means 50% casualties in 56 hours. For lethal exposure in one minutes you need 1000 rad/min, or more than three times what they're currently getting. If only they were smart enough to toss an "iso-" in there...

DATA: Radiation patterns no longer coherent.

Thank goodness he didn't say that there was no radiation. As I mentioned before, the actinides in the skin will be radioactive by themselves for awhile. (The half-life of actinides is like 20 days, so these Gekli must eat a lot of meteorites).

PICARD: We're out here to explore, to make contact with other life forms, to establish peaceful relations but not to interfere. And absolutely not to destroy.

I'll just throw up a link to this powerful moment. Poor Picard.

TROI: Captain, everything you did was consistent with established Starfleet procedures.

Is that supposed to make him feel better, Deanna? Are soldiers supposed to not feel shock from killing people just because it's their duty? Go that way and you end up with Jem'Hadar, you don't want to go that way!

LAFORGE: Okay. Computer, subdued lighting. No, that's too much. I don't want it dark, I want it cozy.

I get that the computer can't possibly be programmed with every possible command to alter the lighting level, but I'd think "subdued" should be one of the possibilities.

COMPUTER: Please state your request in precise candlepower.

Is Geordi supposed to dig out a tricorder to measure the current candlepower?

Incidentally, "candlepower" was an obsolete unit even when the episode was made. We use "candela" now. Technically 1 candlepower is about 0.981 candela, but nowadays they're more or less equivalent.

But of course, given that the metric system has taken over by the 24th century, they should be using lumen (1 lumen=1 candela-steradian, where a steradian is the 3D equivalent of a radian, or the curved area of a light projection divided by the square of the distance from the light source to the curved area)

LAFORGE: See, it's not a matter of precision, computer, it's a matter of mood. Brighter than this. More. More. A little more. Hold. Right there. Perfect.

Seriously, dimmer switches are extinct in the 24th century? The computer can't configure a panel with a virtual scrollwheel for Geordi to do it himself? And frankly, with the number of failed dates Geordi has under his belt, he should've configured a "romantic lighting" preset with the computer by now.

LAFORGE: Now, some music. Maybe a little soft jazz. No, that's not right. Let me think here. Oh, I got it! Some Brahms! A piano etude. Nah, that's too corny. Probably everybody thinks of that.

Playing Brahms in front of Brahms IS corny. And by the way, an "etude" is just a short song designed to improve a player's proficiency with an instrument. He just told the computer to play a random song.

LEAH: Oh, you've changed.
LAFORGE: Yeah. The uniforms are so formal.

Yeah, you're having dinner in his quarters! Even if you didn't think it was a date, you should've known it would be informal! You're an idiot, Leah. Or in other words, they deserve each other.

LEAH: To be honest, people find me cold, cerebral, lacking in humour.

So the initial hologram design in "Booby Trap" was accurate, Geordi just didn't know it. It's a nice touch.

DATA: This new concentration of energy was detected only after the surrounding material became inert.

I'm having trouble with this. Data found the radioactive slush of the Gekli's stomach before and he didn't find Junior?

CRUSHER: It's dangerous to generalise about new life forms, but based on my experience with other beings who bear their young in this manner, I'd say that the offspring is still premature. Otherwise, it would be able to break through the outer body shell of the parent.

I won't get into a full gynecological rant, I'll just ask how Crusher came to this conclusion. You've never met anything like a Gekli before! Even Gomtuu seemed more-fleshy for lack of a better term, than this thing.

WORF: I advise against this, Captain. The parent proved to be a threat to the ship. We do not know how the offspring will react.

This would be a great time for a saucer separation. If only they'd filmed the model in more shots to begin with to allow for them. The ship won't separate again until Generations.

By the way, only the full six-foot model could separate. By this time the smaller four-foot model had supplanted it as the main model. However, reused footage could be used for most of it; the main problem was rebuilding the Battle Bridge set every time.

LEAH: The first thing I'd like to do is inspect the power transfer conduits.
LAFORGE: You realise the only way to inspect them is to crawl inside.
LEAH: I designed them, Commander. I know what's involved.

Do you? I thought you focused on the warp core.

LEAH: The acoustic signature doesn't sound right.
LAFORGE: You're probably the only other person in the galaxy who could pick that up.

I bet Data could.

LAFORGE: It's a mid-range phase adjuster. Puts the plasma back into phase after inertial distortion.

Inertia should only be an issue at impulse speeds. Why do you care about the plasma when the warp drive isn't in operation?
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 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 07-09-2021, 03:12 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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DATA: The first incision is complete.
CRUSHER: Ideally the offspring should now be able to push through the outer shell of the parent by itself.

So by "first incision" you meant "only incision." Data, I thought you were more precise than this, even if you keep lying about the contraction thing.

LAFORGE: How could it have been so far off? It was based on every piece of information on record about Leah Brahms. Okay, with an admitted margin for error. but this is an error that's a light year wide.

Or, y'know, she got married after the program got made. You wanted the design lab at Utopia Planitia as it was when the engines were being designed. That was five years ago, she's had time to get married.

LAFORGE: Computer never even told me she was married.
GUINAN: Computer glitch?
LAFORGE: Must have been.

Or you never asked. Although if the computer knew that the real Leah was married and then made a hologram that would flirt with Geordi, that's a whole other kettle of fish.

GUINAN: You saw exactly what you wanted to see in the holodeck. Sure, the computer made it look like her, gave it personality, but when it came to the relationship. La Forge, you filled in the blanks. And you had a perfectly wonderful, marvellous little fantasy. until the real Leah showed up and ruined it. She's probably done the most horrific thing one person can do to another, not live up to your expectations. So I'd take a good, hard, long look at her, La Forge. See her for who she is, not for what you want her to be.

Why couldn't Deanna have a few of these speeches? This is one instance where you don't need Guinan's wisdom to make the advice work.

RIKER: It might be wise to put some distance between us before we initiate warp drive.
PICARD: Very well. Five hundred kph. Ensign. Engage.

Actually, as long as you're not pointed at Junior, the warp field shouldn't bother it at all. The whole point of the compressed Z-axis is the forward lobe of the warp field going ahead of the ship.

I wonder if they could've blamed the warp inability on the radiation from the actinides...

DATA: Sir, the life form is draining energy directly from the fusion reactors.

No, it's not. Junior is nowhere near the fusion reactors. And don't tell me that its sucking on plasma conduits or something, Data said directly from the reactors. And they could shut down conduits.

DATA: Sir, is the appellation Junior to be the life form's official name?
PICARD: No, it is not.

Cute moment.

HOLO LEAH: I'm with you every day, Geordi. Every time you look at this engine, you're looking at me. Every time you touch it, it's me.
(Geordi runs in, too late)

What? Leah wanted the program, not a recording of the previous session of the program. Furthermore, if the computer is recording every holodeck session whether it's asked for or not, that's invading on a lot of privacy.

WORF: Captain, its total volume has increased by eight point five percent in the last three hours. I now read it at forty six million cubic metres.

I really want to use these figures and e=mc^2 to turn the required mass into a required amount of energy that Junior would have to suckle, but that's too pedantic even for me.

The E-D is 5 million metric tons. Meteorites are 3 g/cm3, so 46,000,000 m3 is 138 million metric tons. With that discrepancy you'd have massive gravity effects, the structural integrity field must be working overtime.

LAFORGE: Okay. All matter in space vibrates in a specific radiation band.
LEAH: Twenty one centimetres. That's good, Commander, that's very good.

21 cm is the wavelength of interstellar hydrogen gas. That doesn't count as "all matter".

LEAH [OC]: Now at point oh two centimetres.

That counts as microwaves. 21 cm is radio waves.

The Fiver

La Forge: She's welcome to it, sir.

Missing first line alert!

Riker: Is that a spacegoing lifeform orbiting the planet up ahead?
Data: Yes, sir. Such a phenomenon has never been seen before.
Picard: It reminds me of the spacecraft-creature we discovered at Beta Stromgren last year.
Riker: And of the interstellar jellyfish we found at Deneb IV on stardate....
Data: I meant "before we started our first mission," sir.
Riker: Oh. My mistake.

Like I said before, this thing doesn't really resemble Gomtuu. As for the Farpoint Jellyfish, that's far enough to fit under "such a phenomenon". I actually think that the jellyfish could shift between matter and energy forms at will to travel or interact with other jellyfish.

Leah: People often find me cold, cerebral and humourless. They say I'd make a good hologram.

Is this an EMH joke as well as a "Booby Trap" joke?

Worf: The newborn infant is following the Enterprise!
Troi: Perhaps it thinks the ship is its parent.
Picard: Very likely. Something similar once happened to the U.S.S. Konrad Lorenz.

Konrad Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist. Part of his work involved how geese imprint. Talk about an obscure joke.

Memory Alpha

* The double joke involving the Galaxy-class Enterprise never occurred to me.
* First appearance of the Jeffries Tubes as seen going forward. "The Hunted" used a completely different design.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Geordi takes the dilithium chamber offline while the ship is still at warp. Oops.
* Phil has a long screed about the intermix ratios. At one point the creators tried to explain that the ratio differs with speed, but back in "Coming of Age" they were clear that 1:1 is the only ratio. Oops.
* Technically candlepower is just intensity of a light source, not the actual illumination of the room, what they really should've been using is luminance.
* They talk about Junior being over the spacedoor for Shuttlebay 2. However, Junior is over the starboard side shuttlebay, which is Shuttlebay 3. I guess the Okudas were asleep this week.
* If the ship is in energy-saving mode, why is the holodeck operational? Does Leah have an override code like Geordi did in "Booby Trap"?
* Phil asks why they didn't just shut down the warp engine to cut off the "milk" flow. I think Junior would've drained all the auxiliary energy modules and caused more trouble. Besides, they needed the engines to get rid of Junior.
* If the warp core is at full blast providing energy, why isn't the flashing of the core going at high speed?
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 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 07-11-2021, 11:51 PM
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March 18th, 1991, "Night Terrors"

Fiver by Standback (I've never heard of this guy, does anyone know anything about him/her?)

(transcriber's note - the view of the ships hull after the credits, and the subtitles, clearly say Brittain, but some okudagrams say Brattain. Take your pick)

You'd think they would've gotten something as simple as a spelling locked down in the beginning. There are a few people and places named Brittain, none particularly notable. However, there were a couple physicists named Brattain, brothers named Walter and Robert. Walter worked on semiconductors and magnetometers, eventually becoming part of the team that invented transistors. Robert leaned more towards chemistry, working on synthetic rubber and the structure of penicillin. Personally I lean towards Brittain since that's what's on the hull, but who knows.

(Incidentally, as far as the forum spellchecker is concerned Brattain is a word and Brittain is not. The more you know and all that)

PICARD: On screen. Magnify.
RIKER: That's the Brittain, all right.

How do you know? The Brattain is a Miranda-class, hardly uncommon. Incidentally, Memory Alpha claims that the motto on the plaque is "...a three hour tour, a three hour tour." Looks like the jokesters in the prop department had fun again.

(Memory Alpha uses Brattain and specifically says it was named after Walter Brattain).

WORF: Commander. Here's another one. This was done by a phaser on a setting of six or seven.

In the TOS days there were six settings: stun, heavy stun, kill, heat, disrupt, and dematerialize/vaporize. In the DS9 days setting 3.1 will stun a Changeling, you needed 3.4 or 3.5 to force it back to it's liquid state. In the script of "The Vengeance Factor" you need setting 8 to vaporize a humanoid.

And there's your useless knowledge for the day.

LAFORGE: Pre-heating injectors. Data, fuel flow?
DATA: Matter valves are open and operating. Magnetic containment of antimatter pods is constant.

This sounds like there's only a matter stream in the core, you'd think that if antimatter is leaving the pods the magnetic containment would alter to account for the smaller amount of antimatter.

LAFORGE: Okay, open injectors.
DATA: Injectors open. There is no engine activity at all, sir.

Of course not, there isn't an antimatter stream in the core! If there's both matter and antimatter in the core, I can't understand how nothing can be happening.

CRUSHER: I've been studying the autopsy reports. The conclusion is appalling. There was no outside source, no alien presence. All thirty four of them appear to have killed each other.

The crew was only 34 people? On a Miranda class?!? You couldn't run a Constitution-class on that many people for any real length of time. You need a couple hundred people at least!

VOICE: Eyes in the dark. One moon circles.

I despise it when alien languages are translated into gibberish English. And this race has direct contact with two Betazoids, surely they'd have access to the language centers of the brain for a proper translation.

Captain's log, stardate 44635.8. Four days have passed...

The previous entry is Stardate 44631.2. That's less than two days. Oops.

KEIKO: Boy, what a day this was. I'm doing an isozyme study on some populations of Cardilia but they're turning out to have these really weird polymorphisms.

In the real world Cardilia is a genus of clam. You'd think the scientific experts could've caught this one. Polymorphism just means that the plants don't look like they're supposed to.

KEIKO: Oh, no, I had a conference with Doctor Balthus. She wants to do a study on the laticifer ontogeny of the Kaladian Thorn Flower, but I don't have time to oversee another project.

Laticifer means a plant cell that secretes latex. Ontogeny means the study of a part of an organism throughout the organism's life.

O'BRIEN: Was Tom Corbin there?

Tom Corbin is a Senator from South Carolina, but he was barely out of college when the episode was made. This is what we call a pointless coincidence.

GILLESPIE: Hello, Chief. Having coffee?
O'BRIEN: No, I'm drinking too much coffee.

One wonders when he got addicted to raktajino.

GILLESPIE: You're not out of the honeymoon yet.

"Data's Day" was Stardate 44390.1, three months ago. I'm dubious that the honeymoon phase can last that long.

GILLESPIE: I've been hearing things. Kenicki in Engineering told me he saw a man in an old Starfleet uniform riding the lift near the engine core. When the lift got to the top, there was no one on it.

What does he mean by "old Starfleet uniform"? The "Cage" kind, the "TOS" kind, the STTMP white nightmares, the Monster Maroons, the early 24th century modified Monster Maroon, or those hideous Season One pajamas?

O'BRIEN: I'm surprised at you, Gillespie. A Starfleet officer. I have more things to worry about than shades and spirits.

The difference between shades and spirits seems to be that shades are dark and spirits are light. I like to think of myself as an aficionado of fantasy creatures, but some are more obscure than others.

(he gets to the door, it opens and there is no one there so he returns to his desk, and the doorbell chimes again, and again, and again. Then someone actually knocks at the door)

You can hear knocking on the other side of a door on the Enterprise? That seems like a bad idea to me. You'd want the walls of quarters to be soundproof, right? You'd think either Crusher or Troi could override the door.

PICARD: Go to warp engines, factor one. Engage.

One thing I like about the noncanon novel Federation is them explaining that the terminology evolved. Cochrane used "time-warp multiplier factor" (remember that with the TOS warp scale the speed is just the factor cubed times the speed of light), the Pike era used "time-warp factor", Kirk used "warp factor", and now we just use "warp".

Captain's log, stardate 44639.9. The Enterprise has now been adrift for a total of ten days. We have sent subspace distress calls, but because of our distant location, we cannot expect a response for at least another two weeks.

You're IN the Federation and subspace signals take two weeks to go across it? And you can't even say that there are nebula or whatever in between, there's over a hundred degress of arc that you could broadcast to!

PICARD: You mean a Tyken's rift.
CRUSHER: A what?
DATA: A rare anomaly named after Bela Tyken, the Melthusian captain who first encountered it.
LAFORGE: Tyken's rift. That would explain why we don't have engine power.

Only mention of Tyken or the Methusians, however Herman Zimmerman (famed art and production designer) said that the Methusians helped build Terok Nor/Deep Space Nine. It saddens me that we're not going to get creators who care about such "irrelevant minutiae" from Trek history ever again.

DATA: When Tyken was trapped in the rift, his analysis determined that a massive energy release might overload and dislocate the anomaly. Fortunately, his cargo included anicium and yurium, which he used to detonate the explosion. He then escaped through the ruptured centre of the rift.

There's a Discovery episode where Harry Mudd uses a anicium/yurium bomb. I pity that poor staff member who actually cares but is surrounded by apathetic creators.
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 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 07-11-2021, 11:52 PM
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CRUSHER: I'd like to do more cross-sections on the brain tissue of some of these bodies. Set up the positron emission sensor in Sickbay, and I'll decide which ones I want to study.

Between this and Data's positronic brain, one wonders if ANYONE on staff knows what positrons are. They're just antimatter electrons, you can't use them in medical equipment unless you're in an antimatter universe!

Furthermore, even if you argue that Data's head has a magnetic bottle to contain the positrons, what about the times he's been stunned? Does his head have that many redundancies?

CRUSHER: Deanna, nothing's working. I've tried somatic drugs, I've tried inducing theta waves into the entorhinal cortex.

The somatic nervous system is another name for the voluntary nervous system. Don't ask me how sedating the body but not the brain is supposed to help.

Theta waves are used by the brain for learning, memory, and spatial navigation. Nothing to do with sleep.

The entorhinal cortex creates and consolidates memories, and optimizes them during sleep. This one actually makes a bit of sense.

GILLESPIE: Well, I think it's some kind of experiment. You see, Captain Picard is trying to see how long we'll take it, stuck here like rats.
GUINAN: You couldn't be more wrong.

So Guinan is immune, fair enough. But how can she be the only one besides Data? Are there no Vulcans who can pick up some slack? Is there a Horta on board that may be immune? And now that I think about it, what about the whales and dolphins down in Cetacean Ops?

(Worf takes an ornate dagger from a box, anoints it with wine)
WORF: lujpu' jiH'e, Alexandrijn.
(he prepares to plunge the dagger into his throat when Troi runs in)
TROI: Worf, no!

"I have failed, Alexander." I shudder to think what the kids on board are going through.

Acting Captain's log, stardate 44642.1. I have assumed command of the Enterprise at the request of Captain Picard.

It's been nineteen hours since Picard's last log. I think more time has passed than that.

DATA: There is no technology to block telepathic transmissions, Doctor.

I agree with SF Debris, you'd think someone would've invented that by now.

DATA: You will have to communicate with the other ship within two minutes of entering REM sleep.
TROI: Two minutes. Is that all, Data?
DATA: Unfortunately, yes. We have only enough power to emit a hydrogen stream for that amount of time.

I have no idea of how long it takes to start dreaming after you fall asleep, but you'd think the cortical scanner would help make it uniform. However, an immediate start to dreaming seems implausible. I have experienced instant changes from dream to waking up, however.

DATA: We will have to draw power from the life-support systems in order to discharge the collectors. This is Acting Captain Data. All personnel will report to designated shelter areas immediately. Life support systems will continue only in emergency shelter areas.

Shouldn't the crew already be isolated in the emergency shelter areas to conserve power?

The Fiver

O'Brien: Keiko, you're cheating on me, aren't you?
Keiko: What? Of course not!
O'Brien: Oh, sure. And next you'll probably deny being a genetically-enhanced Cardassian agent from the Mirror Universe.

This confuses me. Mirror Keiko's biography at Memory Beta doesn't mention really being a Cardassian.

Captain's Log: The crew's hallucinations are getting worse. At this rate, I can get a date with Beverly by Tuesday.

If you haven't been driven insane by then. And being surrounded by insane people hardly sounds like a good date.

Troi: I have these strange, terrible dreams. I'm floating in a green cloud, and a voice whispers at me.
Riker: Well, either you're the Emissary of the Prophets, or else you should beware of a tall, dark stranger in the month of June.

This is one joke I don't get and my Google-Fu failed me.

Crusher: We're going crazy because we aren't dreaming.
Picard: I can solve that. Picard to all crewmen. Repeat after me -- "I firmly believe we shall soon see peace in the Middle East." Also, memorize that speech by that Martin Luther person. Anything else, Doctor?

Well, that's a little tasteless.

Crusher: Captain, I believe that making hundreds of people go crazy and try to kill each other is these aliens' form of communication.
Picard: My God... I never imagined there could be a race consisting entirely of talk show hosts.

I'll just link to Weird Al's Jerry Springer...

Nitpicker's Guide

* The stardates indicate that it's only been a week since "Galaxy's Child". How did the Enterprise get that far into deep space?
* If you separated the saucer would both parts have enough inertia to escape this thing? My response is even if eventually they would drift out of range, the people would be dead before that.
* Couldn't they create an explosion by self-destructing the Brattain?
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 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 07-14-2021, 02:58 AM
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March 25th, 1991, "Identity Crisis"

No fiver

Prelude: I hate that they crowbarred in the on-site cameraman. This isn't the kind of mission that would justify such. I even mentioned this in a recently launched trope "Convenient Photograph." This script needed a few more revisions. In particular shelling out a bit more for the planet set and taking ten seconds to come up with a plot beyond "lost outpost" to make the cameraman a good idea.

The Episode

(USS Victory NCC9754 away team sensor log stardate 40164.7 17.29.46 at the bottom of the screen)

Okay, this is just weird. Why would a stardate need a time added? A single day uses 2.74 units. Adding a decimal point or two could allow for the precision needed for a given time to be built in.

Incidentally, 40164.7 converts to about 3 AM on March 2nd, 2363. If you want it to be almost 5:30 PM you want 40165.05 or so.

BREVELLE [OC]: Tarchannen Three Investigation. Stardate 40164.7. Ensign Anthony Brevelle recording. Lieutenant Susanna Leijten in command.

But you're not going to mention Hickman or Mendez that are also on the Away Team. Where Geordi is during this away mission is beyond me.

PICARD: The original Tarchannen disappearances were never solved, were they?
SUSANNA: No, we never learned what happened or why. Forty nine people gone.

And you stopped investigating...why?

SUSANNA: What about you?
LAFORGE: I enjoy the bachelor's life too much.
SUSANNA: That doesn't sound like my little brother who always wanted advice on women.

Yeah, Geordi has made it pretty clear that he wants someone. It makes me wish that he had started dating Gomez...

DATA: The shuttle's acceleration is increasing.

The derivative of acceleration is called "jerk". And that's your pointless piece of trivia for the day. The amazing thing that I learned today is that the derivatives of jerk are called snap, crackle, and pop in that order.

DATA: He will reach an atmospheric interface at an altitude of two hundred and ten kilometres.

Assuming near-Earth conditions 210 km is within the thermosphere. Thermosphere/mesosphere is 80 km, thermosphere/exosphere is 700 km. I assume that the latter interface is meant. They might mean the thermopause. Above the thermopause there's mostly hydrogen and helium, below it it's a lot more active.

RIKER: If he stays at that speed, he'll self-destruct.

I don't think an explosion from external forces counts as a "self-destruct."

CRUSHER: You're worried about Geordi, aren't you?
DATA: I am an android. It is not possible
CRUSHER: for you to feel anxiety.
DATA: Starfleet personnel have vanished. Others may be at risk. We must do the best we can to find out why. However, I am strongly motivated to solve this mystery.

Nice moment and SF Debris would argue that just because Data doesn't have human emotions that doesn't mean that he can't have android equivalents.

CRUSHER: Her blood pressure's still falling. Apply the T-cell stimulator.

For once the technobabble makes sense. T-cells are a form of white blood cell that focus on destroying virus-infected cells.

LAFORGE: Any subspace projections, z-particle emissions, interferometric frequencies?

I won't touch subspace projections. Z particles carry the weak nuclear force. Interferometry involves the wave forms of particles. If phasing is involved this is actually reasonable technobabble.

LAFORGE: All right, let's say that my friend and I here are about the same size, say one point seven metres.

1.7 meters is 5 foot 7 inches. This is actually Burton's height, which surprised me. I would've expected a bit of inflation.

(Worf, Riker and two security guards enter)
WORF: You search the structure. I will take the perimeter.

As SF Debris said, why didn't they turn the holodeck off? Then Geordi wouldn't have anywhere to hide.

CRUSHER: He's going to need a sedative. Give me ten cc's of kayolane.

Only mention of kayolane. Why they didn't use one of the established Trek sedatives? Anesthezine already exists!

Memory Alpha

* The past mission was in 2362, but the stardate is 40XXX, which implies 2363. Oops.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Data can move his hands a lot faster than a human can, so why did he modify the beacon so slowly?
* Susanna says that the aliens can't see ultraviolet, yet the aliens respond to Data's beacon. Oops.
* Even when the holodeck is frozen, the background noises are still on.
* If Geordi is invisible to sensors, how did the transporter lock onto him?
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 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 07-18-2021, 08:44 PM
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April 1st, 1991, "The Nth Degree"

No Fiver

I'm not fond of this one. Far too many works of fiction don't understand what "genius" means. Genius is not intelligence, intelligence is just one piece of the puzzle. Furthermore, genius is not social skills like they'll try to portray in this episode. Genius is knowing how to use different forms of knowledge to create new ideas.

There's a whole other screed to be had here about brilliant vs. clever vs. genius. But let's move on.

The Episode

(A production of a scene from Cyrano de Bergerac, with Reginald Barclay in the title role and Beverly Crusher as Roxanne)

I have conflicting emotions about this casting. I can buy acting as a therapy method, but not as the lead.

DATA: Lieutenant Barclay's performance was adequate, but clearly not rooted in The Method approach.

It's nice that they bring up Data's familiarity with The Method, but this is not the place. It's almost like Data is implying that The Method is the only worthwhile acting philosophy. Of all people, Data should know that there are multiple ways to approach a performance.

BARCLAY: Well, I just feel more more comfortable playing somebody else. Maybe all this is not any better than escaping into a holodeck fantasy.
TROI: I disagree. This isn't fantasy, it's theatre. You used to withdraw onto the holodeck. You isolated yourself inside your own imagination, avoiding contact with real people. Look at yourself now. Look at all the other people you're with. You're not just acting, you're interacting. Give yourself some credit, Mister Barclay.
BARCLAY: Maybe you're right.

Ugh. This was a frequent problem with TNG writing, focusing so much on the simplest interpretation of the plot point that anything deeper is discarded. Even TOS did this better!

Barclay does present a good point. It could be argued that acting is acting and he's still not socializing as himself, but as someone else. Yet another screed that I could write but choose not to.

Captain's log, stardate 44704.2. We have arrived at the Argus Array, a remote subspace telescope at the very edge of Federation space. The unmanned structure mysteriously stopped relaying its data nearly two months ago.

How can you have an unmanned subspace telescope? This isn't the kind of thing that you can operate by remote control? Furthermore, if Starfleet is willing to post two people at a subspace relay you'd think they could spare two people for a subspace telescope.

I suppose now's the time for thinking up a Treknobabble explanation for how a "subspace telescope" is supposed to work, but I'm not in the mood.

DATA: The fusion reactors that power the array are extremely unstable.

I don't think leaving fusion reactors unattended is a good idea. Surely there's a more stable power supply for a subspace telescope.

RIKER: What about the computer systems?
DATA: They do not seem to be functioning at all, sir.

How are the fusion reactors working if the computer is off? Did some sort of automated shutdown happen?

LAFORGE: Reg, why don't we begin with the passive high-res series, all right?
BARCLAY: Electromagnetic band?
LAFORGE: Give it a try.

What is the "electromagnetic band"? Even for badly written Treknobabble, this is the definition of meaningless and incomplete.

BARCLAY: Couldn't you use a global mode in your scanner? It would be a lot faster.
CRUSHER: That's not possible. We're talking about human cells here, not isolinear circuits. I think you'd better stick to engineering, Lieutenant.
BARCLAY: A cell has a an electromagnetic signature just like a circuit element does.

No, it doesn't. At least, not the way that Reg means. Cells emit heat signatures, nothing coherent light EM waves. When we say that our bodies are like machines, that's just in a figurative sense, not in a 1:1 correspondence sense.

LAFORGE: Attempting to now, Commander. Isolate phasers eighty to one twenty.

The Enterprise has twelve phaser arrays (saucer top and bottom, stardrive belly, two on pylons, two at rear ventral, two at rear dorsal, two at stardrive aft head, and the concealed strip near the Battle Bridge on the stardrive). We've seen phaser blasts run along the array easily as though it's one track, so you can't tell me that the strips are made out of hundreds of smaller modules.

LAFORGE: I don't know how he did it, but shield strength has been increased by three hundred percent.

Unless you overhaul the hardware itself, you can't do that. You can't just pump more energy into the shields infinitely. Plus the energy conduits are rated for a specific amount of energy only (I'm pretty sure it was implied that extra conduit capacity had to be added to the deflector back in TBOBW).

BARCLAY: Well, it just occurred to me that I could set up a frequency harmonic between the deflector and the shield grid using the warp field generator as a power flow anti-attenuator, and that of course naturally created an amplification of the inherent energy output.

This here is what we in the trade call baloney. What does the deflector array have to do with the shield grid? An attenuator reduces the power of a signal without modifying its waveform. An anti-attenuator would therefore increase the power of a signal. I think Barclay is suggesting that you can add power to the shield bubble by synching it up with the warp field bubble and thus letting warp power turn into shield strength. Total nonsense.

BARCLAY: No, it's true. I can't explain it. In the last few days I've found confidence I never knew was there.

I hate it when screenwriters try to pull a Flowers for Algernon without actually doing the full implications of such a change. I'm reminded of MovieBob opining about how comic book movie producers keep wanting to jump right to Venom, Dark Phoenix, etc. without actually telling the whole story.

BARCLAY: Wouldn't you like to take a walk with me through the arboretum? The zalnias should be in bloom.
TROI: Reg, as your former counsellor, I don't think it would be appropriate.
BARCLAY: I don't need a counsellor. What I need is the company of a charming, intelligent woman.

Only mention of zalnias. And Reg is laying it on with a trowel. Do women really find such forwardness attractive?

EINSTEIN: G sub I, J of t as t approaches infinity.
BARCLAY: G of t over G naught.
EINSTEIN: So it is, so it is.

Ugh, what nonsense. I bet Einstein wishes he was playing poker with Data instead. It was even the same actor!

LAFORGE: Reg, ever since our run in with that probe, something's different about you.
BARCLAY: What, because I'm beginning to behave like the rest of the crew? With confidence in what I'm doing?

Reg, you aren't acting like the rest of the crew. You're acting like a smug Marty Stu.

BARCLAY: Yes. I've finally become the person I've always wanted to be. Do we have to ask why?

Yes, we do. You're supposed to be a genius, and you should know about Starfleet's desire to investigate everything.
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 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 07-18-2021, 08:45 PM
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CRUSHER: I couldn't even guess at your IQ level now.
BARCLAY: Probably somewhere between twelve hundred and fourteen fifty.

Technically the maximum IQ is 200, but we've had a few people between 200 and 300. Yet another example of the pop culture fallacy that IQ=knowledge. IQ doesn't work like that! Not that you care, but you need 140 for genius.

RIKER: Whatever that alien probe did to him, Barclay now seems to know more about the internal workings of the Enterprise than anyone else on board.

Shouldn't Data know more? What Barclay has is greater creativity to combine the Enterprise's parts in new ways.

PICARD: Has Mister Barclay done anything that could be considered potentially threatening?
TROI: Well, he did make a pass at me last night. (Riker and La Forge stare) A good one.

Cute moment, but not really relevant right now. How is "being good at flirting" be considered dangerous? Sexual harassment is different from that.

CRUSHER: There's something else, Captain. He taught violin technique at the music school last night.
RIKER: I didn't know Barclay played the violin.
CRUSHER: He didn't, not until last night.

Learning the technicals of playing isn't enough, you need to practice to master your connection with an instrument.

BARCLAY [OC]: My body is as you see it here, but much of my higher brain functions and memory have been transferred to the starboard computer core.

Thank you for remembering that there are three computer cores.

BARCLAY [OC]: I perceive the universe as a single equation, and it is so simple, I understand.

I suppose I should be referencing H2G2's "What do you get if you multiply 5 by 9? 42" joke.

BARCLAY [OC]: We have always perceived the maximum speed of the Enterprise as a function of warp, but I know now there are no limits. We will explore new worlds that we could never before have reached in our lifetime.

The Federation always thought warp was the fastest drive? I'm not touching the spore drive since it doesn't exist, but bare minimum we've been experimenting with transwarp for over a hundred years. Plus the advanced warp technology of the Kelvans etc. of course.

DATA: This disturbance is the result of a highly charged graviton field emanating from our warp nacelles.

Since when can the nacelles create a highly charged graviton field?

BARCLAY [OC]: Yes, sir, I'm altering subspace in a way that's never been conceived of before. I'm fairly certain it will allow us to travel half-way across the galaxy in a matter of only--

I'd like to make a Ska-Ka-Ree joke here, but nothing's coming to mind.

ANAYA: Unless something's wrong with our sensors, sir, we're almost thirty thousand light years from where we were.
PICARD: The centre of the galaxy.

Why are they assuming that their trajectory was a radial one? They couldn't have gone around to the far side of Beta Quadrant or something?

ALIEN: Emotive. Electro-chemical stimulus response. Cranial plate, bipedal locomotion, endoskeletal. Contiguous external integument.

"Contiguous external integument" just means "skin". Technobabble should make sense!

Oh, and someone actually wrote a song called "Contiguous External Integument." I find the song a little eerie and unsettling.

BARCLAY: Yes, sir. The Cytherians are exploring the galaxy just as we are. The only difference is that they never leave their home. They bring others here. Their only wish, an exchange of knowledge. They want to know us.

You can't explore the galaxy this way, just meet other species. This premise is nice and futurey, but falls apart under the most basic scrutiny.

Nitpickers Guide

* Phil complains about how Shuttle 5 has changed names and designs so many times on the show. As long as they don't appear in the same episode, I don't have a problem. Shuttle designs get retired, shuttles get destroyed and the name applied to other shuttles, etc.
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 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 07-20-2021, 02:11 AM
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April 22nd, 1991, "Qpid"

Fiver by Silvia and Gwen

The Episode

Captain's log, stardate 44741.9. We have arrived at Tagus Three where the Enterprise is to serve for host of the Federation Archaeology Council's annual symposium. I look forward to giving tomorrow's keynote address with great anticipation.

I hate it when the Enterprise is used as a taxi and mobile convention center. it's a lazy plot device.

PICARD: Tomorrow I'll be addressing some of the greatest scientific minds in the Federation. Switzer, Klarc-Tarn-Droth, McFarland. Giants in the field of archaeology. Compared to them I'm just an enthusiastic amateur.

You know, with the number of times that Picard's archeology hobby comes up, it was a missed opportunity that we never established a friend of his in the field. A more blatant "the road not taken" example than Professor Galen.

PICARD: I had no idea you were a member of the Archaeology Council. You are a member, aren't you?
VASH: More or less.

Ugh. Blatant lie from Vash AND Picard should know the names of everyone on the Council already.

CRUSHER: I'm sorry I'm late. Oh. Excuse me. I didn't realise you had company.
PICARD: That's all right. Er, allow me to introduce you.

Picard is an idiot for the rest of the act. He should've been up-front with Vash at the start and told her to go away, Risa was a one-time thing. At the very least, what was his intention now? Double-dipping a fling doesn't seem like him. That's for Kirk and Riker.

CRUSHER: Well, I'm surprised he never mentioned you.
VASH: So am I.

Why would Vash think that Picard would talk about her? That's a whole other screed.

RIKER: Eternity never looked so lovely.
VASH: Excuse me?
RIKER: I was referring to the view. Eternity never looked so lovely.
VASH: You must be Commander Riker.
RIKER: I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage.
VASH: I didn't mean to interrupt. I believe you were about to tell me that my eyes are as mysterious as the stars.
RIKER: You're Betazoid.
VASH: Not at all. It's just that Jean-Luc does a very good imitation of you.

This doesn't seem like Picard.

WORF: I had not been informed that Council Members had been granted bridge clearance.

Actually, Worf should've looked up the Council Members before now, just in case.

VASH: I don't understand, I thought being the ship's Counsellor meant the Captain confided in you.
TROI: He does, when he thinks it's necessary.
VASH: And he never spoke to you about me?
TROI: Not that I recall.

They devoted WAY too much screentime to this plot point. We're talking about "show off the refit Enterprise with a shuttle flyby" amounts of screentime. Furthermore, it wasn't necessary to show the entire senior staff reacting to this. Riker and Crusher of course, but the rest could've heard from Riker offscreen and saved the time.

PICARD: A Captain does not reveal his personal feelings with his crew.
VASH: Is that a Starfleet regulation, or did you just make that up yourself?
PICARD: I'm sorry if you're upset.
VASH: And I'm sorry if my being here embarrasses you.

No, you're not. Furthermore, this whole thing seems weird to me. Riker sent Picard to Risa specifically to get him laid. Furthermore, the mere existence of Risa speaks of the Federation's acceptance of casual affairs. And I will repeat, Picard should've cut all ties with Vash as soon as he saw her, asking her to stay away and not mention their encounter.

PICARD: Out of the question. That would mean breaking Taguan law.
Q: Must you always be so ethical? I suppose we could travel back in time. You could see what Tagus was like two billion years ago. They really knew how to party back in those days.

We see Q's earlier visit in the novel Q-Space.

PICARD: I've just been paid a visit from Q.
RIKER: Q? Any idea what he's up to?
PICARD: He wants to do something nice for me.
RIKER: I'll alert the crew.


Q: Do you deny that you care for this woman? Believe me, I'd be doing you a big favour if I turned her into a Klabnian eel.

A DS9 video game actually mentined Klabnian eels. It's sad when the people in charge of the expanded universe care more about continuity than the people making the shows, isn't it?

(a heavily Hollywood-isd version of the old ballads, with Picard as Robin, and the senior staff as the outlaws. This is my local tradition and I personally hate the US messing with it....)

I didn't know that Chakoteya was British.

PICARD: I think this is supposed to be Earth, somewhere round about the twelfth century.

Somewhere about? The Robin Hood stories are pretty clearly set in the reigns of Henry II, Richard, and John, 1160-1200 or so. That's pretty precise.

WORF: Sir, I protest. I am not a merry man.

One of the truly classic TNG quotes.

Q: I would prefer if you addressed me as His Honour the High Sheriff of Nottingham.

While we usually just call the character the Sheriff of Nottingham, when Richard was away during the Crusades the post was held by William de Wendenal. When Richard returned he gave the job to William de Ferrers (and not Little John as the legends tell us).

Today the title is held by Professor Harminder Sing Dua CBE. It's a ceremonial position since the police handles most of the official duties these days. The Sheriff is appointed by the Mayor of Nottingham.

Q: What is the one thing that Robin Hood is most famous for?
LAFORGE: He robs from the rich and gives to the poor.
Q: Besides that.
DATA: Perhaps you are referring to the rescue of Maid Marian from Nottingham Castle?
Q: Yes, Data.

Watch SF Debris' review for more options. It's interesting looking at the evolution of the Robin Hood mythology. Maid Marian didn't get connected to Robin Hood until relatively late, she had her own stories. As for Robin Hood's most famous story, I'd argue for the archery tournament in Nottingham. The rescue of Maid Marian from Nottingham Castle isn't that big of a deal. For that matter Guy of Gisborne really isn't that important. His biggest impact on the story is when the Sheriff hires him as a deputy-for-hire to arrest Robin Hood, Marian rarely comes into contact with him.

I take my Robin Hood seriously, maybe even more seriously than Arthurian mythology. And oh yes, read Ivanhoe if you want a different version of Robin Hood.

Q: You know, Worf, you'd make a perfect throw rug in Nottingham Castle.

Actually he wouldn't. Worf may have long hair on his head, but not so much on the rest of his body. Not to the level of "fur" anyway.

Q: You see, I've given this fantasy as you call it, a life of its own. I have no more idea what's going to happen than you do.

This is a whole nother screed that I won't bother with, but it has interesting implications.
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 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 07-20-2021, 02:20 AM
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NURSE: Milady, everyone in Nottingham knows, Sir Guy of Gisbourne.
VASH: Sir Guy of what?

There are places in Australia and New Zealand called Gisborne, it would be interesting to learn if either are derived from the Hood legend.

(Geordi is still plucking at the instrument when Worf walks over, takes it off him and smashes it against a tree trunk)
WORF: Sorry.
(Troi is still learning to use a bow and arrow, She aims at a tree and hits Data instead)
TROI: Data, are you alright?
DATA: The arrow impacted just above my sixth intercostal support, penetrating my secondary subprocessor. Fortunately, none of my biofunctions seem affected. Do not be concerned, Counsellor. I believe your aim is improving.

It's nice when our heroes get to do some old-fashioned physical comedy.

SIR GUY: You're mistaken, Sheriff. Maid Marian has promised to be my wife.
Q: What? But that's impossible?

It's always nice to see Q flustered.

VASH: I can take care of myself.
PICARD: You are the most stubborn woman I ever knew.
(and puts her over his shoulder)

Actually I'd argue that. In terms of stubbornness I'd at least put Phillipa Louvois above Vash.

(Data takes something from his forearm and throws it into a fire as Picard's head goes down onto the block. The axe is raised, there's a boom, and the fight starts)

I don't like Data being a utility belt in situations like this. He had enough time in Sherwood Forest to MacGyver himself some basic explosives. If Kirk can do it, Data can do it.

Besides, it raises the question of how much of Data is replaceable with Starfleet tech. Is it everything except his positronic brain itself? Could they build a heavy-duty body to transfer his head to?

SIR GUY: I'll have you know I'm the greatest swordsman in all of Nottingham.
(Guy and Picard duel. Worf and Geordi kill guards while Beverly and Deanna smash crockery over heads)
PICARD: Very impressive. There's something you should know.
SIR GUY: And what would that be?
PICARD: I'm not from Nottingham.

"I'm not left-handed either."

PICARD: Computer, locate Council Member Vash.
COMPUTER: Council Member Vash is not aboard the Enterprise.

She's not a member of the council! Did Worf program this into the computer?

PICARD: He's devious, and amoral, and unreliable, and irresponsible, and, and definitely not to be trusted.
VASH: Remind you of someone you know?
PICARD: As a matter of fact, it does.

Why Muppet Christmas Carol popped into my head I'll never know. "He is odious, stingy, wicked and unfeeling, and badly dressed..."

Q: We're going to have fun. I'm going to take her places no human has ever seen.
VASH: Who can resist an offer like that?

In one of the Strange New Worlds collections Vash gets assimilated by the Borg and Q un-assimilates her.

The Fiver

Q: I'm here to grant you anything you wish.
Picard: I wish you'd disappear.
Q: I mean almost anything.

Is this a reference to "The Most Toys"?

Q: Your girlfriend is in danger, Picard.
Crusher: No I'm not.
Picard: He means Vash.
Crusher: Hey!

Actually, I think being around Q counts as "dangerous" by itself.

Crusher: (hits guard over the head with a bowl of chips)
Troi: Twelfth-century potato chips?
Crusher: If you don't tell anyone, you can have the other bowl.
Troi: Deal.

Potato chips were invented prior to 1817. I bet you thought they were newer than that!

Picard: Why are you going with Q?
Vash: He made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
Picard: What's that?
Vash: Free internet, cable, and phone service for the rest of my life.
Picard: Wow! That is good.

The fiver was written in 2002. I did some research and I was surprised at what phones of that era could do. Touchscreens and apps! I didn't get a cellphone until much later, the early 2010s.

Memory Alpha

* Only one day of on-location shooting in a nearby garden.
* I'm irked that Sirtis and McFadden were the only ones trained in sword-fighting, but of course they weren't allowed to do so on screen. The cartoonish pot smashing seems degrading. The director was asked about this, and his argument was that he had to stay faithful to the 12th century setting. Hogwash, this is a Q generated fantasy. I'm reminded of Kasidy's lecture about Vic's in "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" about how it was the way things could've and should've been.

Nitpicker's Guide

* In other episodes it's made clear that people without combadges can't be located by the computer. Vash isn't wearing one either, so why does the computer conclude that she isn't on board if it never knew that she was on board?
* In "The Naked Now" Data implies that he can leak, but he doesn't in this episode just like he won't in First Contact.
* For that matter, Data can dodge energy blasts! Why can't he dodge an arrow that's not even at full velocity (I doubt Troi has full draw strength for that thing)?
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 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 07-25-2021, 09:36 PM
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April 29th, 1991, "The Drumhead"

Fiver (by Marc)

The Episode

Captain's Log, Stardate 44769.2. For some weeks we have had a Klingon exobiologist on board as part of a scientific exchange programme.

It's a shame that they didn't mention the officer exchange program from "A Matter of Honor" and "Sins of the Father." Memory Alpha claims that J'Dan's posting was part of the program, but the name wasn't used in dialogue.

I will refrain from making Klingon scientist jokes, I've made enough of them in the past.

RIKER: What were you doing accessing the propulsion system files on Stardate 44758?

It took four days to investigate this?

RIKER: Yes, you did, from computer twelve B nine, deck thirty six. The computer logged in your identification from your communicator.

Wait, what? A commbadge counts as a contactless ID in proximity to other equipment? That just raises further questions!

TROI: J'Dan, we have confirmed reports that schematic drawings of our dilithium chamber fell into Romulan hands one week later.

Why would it take a week to reach the Romulans? If all they want is schematics of the dilithium chamber wouldn't they have gotten them when the Enterprise was being built? Or back in "Family" when the ship was undergoing a major refit?

And then there's the question of why they'd want schematics of the dilithium chamber if they don't use traditional warp cores. I doubt dilithium tech can be translated to artificial singularity drives.

J'DAN: No. I was not involved. You accuse me because I am Klingon.

The Klingon Empire and the Federation are allies right now, right? I think it's more plausible that they accuse him because he's not a Starfleet officer. It wouldn't matter if he was Klingon, Tholian, Breen, whatever.

J'DAN: On the Klingon Home World your name is not mentioned. It is as though you never existed. A terrible burden for a warrior to bear, to become nothing, to be without honour, without the chance for glory. I have friends, powerful friends, on the homeworld. I could talk to them. They might help to restore your name, if you could just take me to a shuttlecraft.

The name Kronos (or rather Qo'noS, although these days the typo Q'onoS is used more) won't be mentioned until Star Trek VI. In the TOS days unofficial documents used "Kling" or "Klingon", although Phase II intended to use "Ultar" and pre-Star Trek VI reference materials used Klingonii AKA Epsilon Sagittari V or Kazh or Klinzhai.

Cue series bible rants. The major galactic powers should've been established way earlier in TOS.

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure the House of Duras is still powerful enough to quash any attempt to restore the House of Mogh.

J'DAN: It could be done without any one knowing about it.

What? Even without the House of Duras interfering, I'm pretty sure that Klingon houses gaining or losing honor is news that everyone would notice.

Captain's log, supplemental. Retired Admiral Norah Satie, whose investigation exposed the alien conspiracy against Starfleet Command three years ago, is arriving to assist in our inquiry.

Alien conspiracy three years ago? If they're talking about the events of "Conspiracy", I'm pretty sure nobody outside the Enterprise and Picard's cohort had anything to do with it.

(a picture on the monitor of the warp core, labelled sensor log playback 44765.3 Part of the core goes bang)

44765.3 is October 7th, 2367, around 8 AM. If is supposed to be an extremely precise time near 3:01 AM, that's wrong. If times are going to be given in addition to stardates, the stardate shouldn't have decimal points.

And if they think that J'Dan sabotaged the core on 44758, why would he set the "fuse" to take two and a half days?

You know, it's times like that that I wish that stardates had never been invented in the first place.

DATA: Slow motion study of the explosion suggests that the articulation frame collapsed.
SATIE: The schematics that were stolen from the Enterprise, I believe some involved the articulation frame of the dilithium chamber.

I'm still confused as to why the same guy would be sent to do espionage AND sabotage. That seems like two separate missions.

PICARD: There are disturbing overtones in the idea of a Klingon providing information to the Romulans. Are you aware of any other Klingon-Romulan connection that Starfleet Command might have encountered recently?

Ugh. If this is supposed to be a hint of the Klingon Civil War that's coming at the end of the season, it could've been done better.

PICARD: This ship has encountered several incidents which might suggest a potential alliance between those two powers.

Seriously, why not namedrop Duras?

WORF: (hands over a hypospray) This is J'Dan's. A hypospray he uses to treat his Ba'ltmasor Syndrome. But this has been fitted with an optical reader specially modified to read data from Starfleet isolinear chips. He can extract digital information from a computer, encode it in the form of amino acid sequences, and transfer those sequences into a fluid in the syringe. Then he injects someone, perhaps even without their knowledge.
SATIE: Or perhaps with their knowledge.
WORF: The information would be carried in their bloodstream in the form of inert proteins.

This is a headache waiting to happen. How would the receiver find these coded amino acid sequences? This bit of technobabble could've used another draft.

WORF: I have tracked the movements of every person who has left the Enterprise since you have been here. I traced one Tarkanian diplomat as far as the Cruces system where he disappeared and has not been seen since.

We never see a Tarkanian, but Voyager will namedrop a few things from their planet.

J'DAN: The blood of all Klingons has become water. Since the Federation alliance we have turned into a nation of mewling babies. Romulans are strong. They are worthy allies. They do not turn Klingons into weaklings like you.

I refer you to the Byrne comics to show the background of the TOS-era Klingon-Romulan alliance. Even then the Romulans showed that they didn't see the Klingon as allies, but as henchmen.

SATIE: You knew my father?
PICARD: Only from his writings. His judgments were required reading at the Academy.

It's shocking how much "required reading" there was at the Academy. I get the worry willies thinking about how much a cadet would have to read. Cultural and historical backgrounds of hundreds of planets are just the start.

SABIN: Yes, I can see that. I don't mind telling you I'm surprised. Frankly, when I first heard about your father.
WORF: My father?
SABIN: Yes. There are some who believe he betrayed your people to the Romulans.
WORF: What he did or did not do is no one's concern but my own.

Picard made it clear that holding the son responsible for the father's crimes is a Klingon thing, not a Federation one. Furthermore Sabin must've read Worf's profile that says that he was SIX when Mogh died and the Rozhenkos adopted him. How could Worf have absorbed political leanings of that sort at that age?

PICARD: Tell me, how long have you held your appointment onboard this vessel?
TARSES: Since Stardate 43587.

Back around "Deja Q". He's been here about fourteen months.

Can I just state for the record that I find it dubious that people can memorize all these stardates in the future? Is there some sort of memory therapy that they undergo at the Academy?

SATIE: If Counsellor Troi suggested to you that someone on the ship were dangerous, would you not act on that? Observe him? Curb his activity?
PICARD: Yes, I admit I probably would. And perhaps I should re-evaluate that behaviour.

A problem with this premise is that "keeping a secret" and "dangerous" are not synonymous and only a crazy person would think so.

SATIE: Oh, nonsense. Let's keep our priorities straight. The important thing is to uncover the conspiracy on this ship and to prevent further damage. Now, if Tarses is a possible saboteur, you cannot allow him access to sensitive areas of the ship, and I strongly suggest continuous surveillance.
PICARD: If we had clear evidence.
SATIE: We will have clear evidence. Sabin and Lieutenant Worf are continuing to investigate. But if you don't act until then, it may be too late.

Yeah, no. Investigating someone just because they COULD commit a crime is a slippery slope that the Romulans and Cardassians already fell down. And I gotta ask, too late for what? The warp core is still off limits, I don't think things are as urgent as Satie is claiming.

PICARD: No. I won't treat a man as a criminal unless there is cause to do so.
SATIE: And while you're being so generous, you give a saboteur a chance to strike again. Last time it was just a hatch cover. What if next time it's more serious? What if lives are lost? Can you afford not to act?

Ugh. This is the point that I would've kicked her off the ship. I despise fictional characters who insist on undue speed based on things that aren't worth the risk. You already have all of the suspects in custody, is she suggesting a third unknown saboteur?

DATA: Those fractures suggest nothing more than simple neutron fatigue. I would speculate that when the engine was last inspected at McKinley station, the hatch casing was replaced with one which had an undetectable defect. I believe, sir, that the conclusion to our investigation must be that the explosion was not intentional.

I wonder why the entire core wasn't replaced after the Borg invasion. Geordi jerry-rigged half the ship to channel the warp core through the deflector, there's probably unexpected stress aging all over the place!
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 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 07-25-2021, 09:36 PM
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SATIE: Let us keep our perspective, gentlemen. Just because there was no sabotage doesn't mean there isn't a conspiracy on this ship. We do have a confessed spy.
SABIN: And he had confederates.
PICARD: Do we know that for sure?
SATIE: Of course he did. Do you think J'Dan could have come on board the flagship of the Federation and accomplished what he did without help from within?

You have a spy who confessed A and denied B. You don't have confederates, you have a guy who is hiding something. And how could someone inside the ship help get J'Dan on board? If he was an agent of the underground Klingon/Romulan alliance, I would think that some Romulan posing as a Vulcan would've assigned him to the Enterprise.

Later they'll accuse Worf of being a part of the conspiracy. Do they think that he faked his rejection by the Empire in order to do...what? See, it falls apart at the slightest touch. If Satie is going to go this far, she might as well claim that the Romulans planted Worf in the rubble of Khitomer Colony to eventually join Starfleet and destroy it from within.

PICARD: You've opened the hearing to spectators?
SATIE: It isn't good to have closed door proceedings for too long. It invites rumour and speculation.

Rumor and speculation from whom? Starfleet will be watching a recording of the hearing, what does she care about the spectators? Is she hoping to use their reactions to find more Romulan sympathizers? Ugh.

SATIE: And whom else have you observed at these occasions?
CRUSHER: I don't understand what relevance that has. It was an innocent social gathering.
SATIE: If it was so innocent, why do you hesitate to give us the names?

I hate the "if you're innocent, you have nothing to hide" maneuver. Hate hate hate.

SABIN: And isn't it true that your security clearance allows you access to all the stores and files in Sickbay? Access which you can exercise at any time?

This is just painful. Claiming that any man has the ability to be a rapist, or any bank employee has the ability to be a thief, is a warped argument.

SABIN: What would you say if I told you there is evidence that the explosion in the engine room was caused by a corrosive chemical. One that is kept stored in Sickbay.

I'd call BS. Anything corrosive enough to damage the warp core would destroy flesh, unless there's a Horta on board that we don't know about.

SABIN: Isn't it true that the paternal grandfather of whom you speak was not a Vulcan but was in fact a Romulan? That it is Romulan blood you carry and a Romulan heritage that you honour?

You shouldn't have to lie about this in the Federation. Everyone should be judged on their own merits, not their race. And where's the proof that Tarses honors his Romulan heritage?

PICARD: This is not unlike a drumhead trial.
WORF: I do not understand.
PICARD: Five hundred years ago, military officers would upend a drum on the battlefield sit at it and dispense summary justice. Decisions were quick, punishments severe, appeals denied. Those who came to a drumhead were doomed.

The concept of a drumhead trial goes back to at least 1807, but most references are from World War II. There's a long screed to be had here about the validity of the reference and the episode title, but I'm not in the mood to type it.

WORF: He refused to answer the question about his Romulan grandfather.
PICARD: That is not a crime, Worf. Nor can we infer his guilt because he didn't respond.
WORF: Sir, if a man were not afraid of the truth, he would answer.
PICARD: Oh, no. We cannot allow ourselves think that. The Seventh Guarantee is one of the most important rights granted by the Federation. We cannot take a fundamental principle of the Constitution and turn it against a citizen.

Only mention of the Seventh Guarantee, you'd think it would come up more often. The only other Guarantee we ever hear about is the Twelveth, which had to do with the rights of artists to their work.

Don't ask me what the connection is between the Constitution of the Federation and the Charter of the Federation.

PICARD: But I do. This must stop. It has gone too far. You lied to him about the Engine Room. There were no volatile chemicals found there.
SATIE: It was a tactic. A way of applying pressure.

Technically she said "what if", but it was still a sleazy thing to do.

SATIE: How can you be so incredibly naive? Captain, may I tell you how I've spent the last four years? From planet to Starbase to planet. I have no home. I live on starships and shuttlecraft. I haven't seen a family member in years. I have no friends. But I have a purpose.

I fail to see how the consequences of her choices are Picard's problem. Many people sacrifice much for their careers, but the smart ones don't begrudge others for them. Her choice to not take vacations is not relevant to the current discussion.

SATIE: I'm going to get to the heart of this conspiracy if it means investigating every last person on this ship. And every hearing from now on will be held in the presence of Admiral Thomas Henry of Starfleet Security. I've requested he be brought here at once.
PICARD: You never told me about this.
SATIE: I report to Starfleet Command directly. I do not need your permission or your approval for my decisions.

She doesn't need his permission or approval, but it's common courtesy.

SABIN: Your full name?
PICARD: Jean-Luc Picard.

He doesn't have a middle name?

SABIN: How long have you held this post?
PICARD: For three years, since stardate 41124.

"All Good Things" will say that Satie herself will give him command on stardate 41148. "Encounter at Farpoint" is 41153.7. Does nobody believe in keeping notes?

SATIE: Would it surprise you to learn that you have violated the Prime Directive a total of nine times since you took command of the Enterprise? I must say, Captain, it surprised the hell out of me.

It shouldn't confuse Picard. That's the sort of tally that I would keep track of in my head.

Nine times? That's something to discuss later.

PICARD: My reports to Starfleet document the circumstances in each of those instances
SATIE: Yes, we're looking into those reports, Captain, very closely into those reports, after which I'm sure we'll have more questions for you about your so-called commitment to Starfleet's Prime Directive.

You'd think Satie would've done that before this hearing.

SABIN: In fact, she was not a Vulcan at all, was she? She was a Romulan spy.
PICARD: That's correct.
SABIN: A spy whom you were delivering back into the hands of the enemy.
SATIE: Tell me, Captain, when the deception was revealed and she stood proudly on the bridge of a Romulan ship, did you make any effort to retrieve her?

The Enterprise against two Romulan Warbirds? I call that a suicide. Even if you argue that T'Pel was important enough that a kamikaze run on the Romulans would've worked, there were TWO ships. The other one would've reported Picard's suicidal tendencies, tarnishing Starfleet's reputation.

SATIE: No. Even though you knew she carried Federation secrets that she'd been accumulating for years?
WORF: The Enterprise could have been captured by the Romulans! Captain Picard did the only thing he could.
SATIE: Really, Lieutenant? And where were you when this traitor was on board the Enterprise? Where was ship's Security?

She was good enough to fool Data at the time. The kind of paranoia that Satie is recommending seems more like Section 31 behavior to me.

SABIN: Don't you think it's questionable judgment, Captain, to have a security officer whose father was a Romulan collaborator?

Again I ask, what do Mogh's crimes have to do with Worf?

SATIE: It must have been awful for you, actually becoming one of them, being forced to use your vast knowledge of Starfleet operations to aid the Borg. Just how many of our ships were lost? Thirty nine? And a loss of life, I believe, measured at nearly eleven thousand. One wonders how you can sleep at night, having caused so much destruction. I question your actions, Captain. I question your choices. I question your loyalty.

Oh boy, is this a biggie. Putting aside Picard's guilt, which Troi should've handled, let's move on to his choices and loyalty. What choices? Picard was on the bridge and he was kidnapped, how could he avoid it? What loyalty? Is she saying that Picard is a spy for the Borg? How?

WORF: I believed her. I helped her. I did not see what she was.
PICARD: Mister Worf, villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.
WORF: I think after yesterday, people will not be as ready to trust her.
PICARD: Maybe. But she, or someone like her, will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish, spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance, Mister Worf, that is the price we have to continually pay.

How would Picard respond to Section 31? Presumably Worf informed him about it at some point.
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 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 07-25-2021, 09:37 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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The Fiver

Troi: That's not true. Humans gave up the practice of ethnic profiling a very long time ago.
J'Dan: My great-uncle Klaang was shot on sight by the first human to see a Klingon!

I haven't seen "Broken Bow" since the premiere, but I don't think it was that simple.

Worf: Shall I cease the interrogation, then?
Satie: Yes. Please thank Mr. Data for letting us borrow his Irving Berlin recordings.

I think this is just a "one person's music is audio torture to another" joke.

Picard: I disapprove of your opening this inquiry to spectators. You're making it look like a show trial.
Satie: Crewman Tarses will be more inclined to admit his guilt under the bright light of public scrutiny.
Picard: I also object to the fact that you've seated a kangaroo next to him.
Satie: He can't afford his own lawyer, so he has to be satisfied with whatever counsel the public defender's office can provide him free of charge.

At least it's just a kangaroo. Imagine if one of the dolphins down in Cetacean Ops was a lawyer...

Satie: Are you or have you ever been a member of a communist organization?
Picard: No.
Satie: Really? What about when you were assimilated by the Borg?
Picard: The Borg hardly qualify as a communist organization.
Satie: They live in a commune, don't they?
Picard: It's called a "collective," not a commune.
Satie: Close enough.

Even if you buy that the Borg are communist, Picard was a prisoner, not a collaborator with them.

Picard: How far are you going to take this travesty of justice?
Satie: As far as I have to! If necessary, I'll put all of humanity on trial to answer the charge of being a grievously savage race!

You forgot the "child" in there. Imagine the fun Q would have with her!

Memory Alpha

* Jeri Taylor's original intent was witch hunts, not drumhead court martials. I think using the witch hunt analogy would've worked better.
* Last episode with Ron Jones custom music. Watch SFDebris' reviews for his commentary on Jones' music.
* The McCarthy trials were mentioned, which would've been another better comparison in the actual episode than drumhead court martials.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Lots of twentieth-century slang used by Satie. I fail to see how this is a nit.
* Being part-Romulan is a problem for the Federation, but Sela (and Charvanek, for that matter) proves that being part-human isn't a problem for the Romulans. It's a shame when the bad guys are more tolerant.
* If Satie is an admiral that was brought out of retirement, why doesn't she wear a uniform?
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 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 07-27-2021, 02:58 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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May 6th, 1991, "Half a Life"

I have to get this out there, I have no clue why Timicin would be attracted to Lwaxana. None at all.

Fiver by KLP

The Episode

Counsellor Deanna Troi, personal log, stardate 44805.3. My mother is on board.

This makes sense as a setup for the joke, but not as a valid log entry by itself.

PICARD: Mister O'Brien, energise.
(Charles Emerson Winchester III beams in, having escaped from the 4077 MASH)

My parents were big MASH fans, but I haven't seen that much of it. I know David Ogden Stiers better from his voice work in cartoons.

PICARD: I beg your pardon. Doctor Timicin, allow me to present Lwaxana Troi of Betazed. She's also a guest on board, and
LWAXANA: And Daughter of The Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir of the Holy Rings of Betazed, and what are you doing for dinner?

At this point the rattling off of titles is really getting old. Furthermore, why should an alien who probably has never ever even heard of Betazed care about these relics?

Captain's Log. Stardate 44805.7. For generations, the people of Kaelon Two have been working to revitalise their dying sun. The Federation has offered to assist in testing what may be a solution to this problem.

And evacuating the planet isn't an option...why? It's a shame that they didn't have Iconian tech to beam out the old sun and beam in a new sun...

LWAXANA: What does that little one do, Mister Woof?

The Mr. Woof thing is another joke that went on way too long.

WAXANA: You know, one thing I don't understand. If your people have known for generations that their sun is dying, why not simply evacuate the planet?
TIMICIN: It is our home. It defines who we are as a people. If Kaelon Two ceases to exist, so do we.

So they give a reason, even if it is an exceedingly stupid one.

TROI: That's not very telepathic of you.
LWAXANA: Oh, I tried telepathy on him. He's the wrong species. Right species for everything else, though.

There's a discussion to be had here. Back in "Manhunt" she said that she prefers humans. On the other hand, does she like the idea of a man that she can't learn everything about? A man that she can't manipulate? It's a shame that they used her as a punchline so much, there's a lot to unpack here that would've humanized her.

LAFORGE: Torpedoes now entering the stellar core.
TIMICIN: Their shields are holding. Guidance systems normal.

Torpedoes with shields, that's another interesting discussion. Did Soran's trilithium torpedoes have shields?

LWAXANA: Well the next thing to it. When a person on this benighted little planet reaches the age of sixty, which Timicin is about to do, they're expected to simply kill themselves. Did you know that?

Look, even if I condoned the voluntary execution of the aged and infirm, sixty seems a little young for such a thing. Picard himself is 62 at this point and nobody is acting like he's out of his prime.

Furthermore, this particular custom needs more explanation. Is it population control? Is it a religious custom? Does this society still use money and primitive medical tech that means that medical care will get excessively expensive as time goes on?

DATA: The people of Kaelon Two are isolationists, almost to the point of being xenophobes. Regrettably, we know very little about their customs.

And yet they have no problem asking the Federation for help. A prime example of two contradictory facts that both need to exist for the plot to work. Ugh.

O'BRIEN: I'm sorry, Counsellor, I'm not sure what to do here.
LWAXANA: Well, I am sure! I am a Betazoid ambassador. I'm a Daughter of the Fifth House, and those people are going to answer to me! So you just energise this damned thing and get me down there!

Thank goodness they address this. You can't have someone just walk into a transporter room and ask to be beamed down. What if the person is a carrier for a disease that Crusher just discovered? What if this is part of an attempt to commit suicide or carry out a crime?

LWAXANA: I don't know. I just can't accept that fate will allow me to meet him like this and then take him away. I mean, he's not ill. He hasn't had a tragic accident. He's just going to die, and for no good reason. Because his society has decided that he's too old, so they just dispose of him as though his life no longer had value or meaning. You can't possibly understand at your age, but at mine, sometimes you feel tired and afraid.

It's a good Trek message even if it is hamfisted.

TIMICIN: I want to explain. I want very much for you to understand. Fifteen or twenty centuries ago, we had no Resolution. We had no such concern for our elders. As people aged, their health failed, they became invalids. Those whose families could no longer care for them were put away in deathwatch facilities, where they waited in loneliness for the end to come, sometimes for years. They had meant something, and they were forced to live beyond that, into a time of meaning nothing, of knowing they could now only be the beneficiaries of younger people's patience. We are no longer that cruel, Lwaxana.

This is an example of a Message Show that gets way too preachy. Before this point the message to the present day was subtle and the viewer could absorb it unconsciously. They didn't need a two by four whacking people upside the head. This is one of the reasons why I don't like Voyager and Enterprise that much.

LWAXANA: (to the replicator) Oskoids.

I never noticed this callback to "Menage a Troi."

TIMICIN: Setting a standard age for the Resolution makes it uniform for everybody. To ask individual families to decide when their elders are to die, that would be heartless.

This is where it falls apart. Even if you want to spare the families the decision, it should be possible to set standards beyond a single age. Is the family predisposed to cancer? When and how did the person's parents develop their terminal conditions? Don't some terminal conditions progress slowly enough that you can choose a date in the near future?

TIMICIN: What do you think, Captain? Have I done the right thing?
PICARD: I'm afraid you're the only one who can answer that.

You have to wonder how the other captains would react to that question.

(everyone say hi to Michelle Forbes)
DARA: Father.

She won't be cast as Ensign Ro until next season.

LWAXANA: I am suddenly suddenly not sure of myself. It's a feeling I'm not at all used to. I don't think I like it very much, little one.

Lwaxana needed more lines like this, and way earlier than this.

The Fiver

Counselor's Log: Mom's here!

Captain's Log: Crap.

Watching Picard peek out into a corridor to see if it's safe will always be funny.

La Forge: Our calculations are complete, and we're ready to go.
Picard: Very good. Dr. Timicin, you may now lay your egg.
Timicin: Excuse me?
Picard: Sorry, I was thinking of someone else.

This reference to "Evolution" seems like a bit of a stretch.

La Forge: Whoa, we got new bidders, we got 222, we got 250, we got 300, we got 407.7, look out, she's gonna blow!
Timicin: Crap.

Now there's a subtle MASH joke.

Picard: Oh. Well, I still can't do anything. I'm bound by the Prime Directive.
Lwaxana: But I thought that only applied to pre-warp cultures?

Actually in TNG it seems to apply to all non-Federation worlds.

Timicin: Captain, I just spent the night with Lwaxana, and now, I don't want to kill myself.
Picard: Well, there's a switch. But what about the color of the crystal in your palm?
Timicin: It turns out that's from an entirely different movie.

I'll assume this is a reference to another Stiers role, but I don't follow it.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Once again people who are holding hands are beamed out together, and once again Phil calls it a nit. I still don't have a problem, it's not outside the realm of possibility that transporter pads can be linked for larger objects.
* Phil wonders about the havok to the engineering console Lwaxana did when she sets up a picnic on it. I actually don't have a problem with this one, the equipment must be durable enough for this sort of thing. It wouldn't surprise me if localized pressure or body heat would be required to activate the controls.
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 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 07-29-2021, 03:51 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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May 13th, 1991, "The Host"

I've said it before and I'll say it again, they should've called the DS9 race something else. It's another case of "the people who didn't watch 'The Host' won't care, and the ones that did will question why so many changes were made."

Fiver by Marc

The Episode

Doctor Beverly Crusher, personal log, stardate 44821.3. Began an analysis today of the respiratory problems being experienced on the beta moon of Peliar Zel. Finally got an actual letter from Wesley. Topped the class in exo-biology, but he's still struggling in Ancient Philosophies. And there's someone new in my life.

One wonders if the Ancient Philosophies are all human, or if they actually talk about Surak and such.

CRUSHER: I'll set you up at the medical monitor, Data. It'll take you a while to input the figures, won't it?
DATA: At least an hour, but I do not believe much time can be saved by exhibiting such haste now.

Really? Can't Data hook himself to the computer and "think" the data into it?

ODAN: Do you know, when I first met the formidable Doctor Beverly, what, ten days ago? I thought to myself, this woman is ice through to her bones. Who would have ever guessed that instead of ice, there is fire.

Beverly doesn't seem like the type to fall in love this fast.

TROI: It's Ambassador Odan. I continually feel fluctuations of emotion from him.
PICARD: Perhaps it's perfectly normal among the Trill.
TROI: It could be. We know so very little about them.

This seems like one of those cases where more information would be required before sexual liasons are approved. Goodness, am I saying that NextGen should be more like Voyager? Is it Opposite Day?

CRUSHER: I am a grown up and I know the difference between love and infatuation. All I know is, I haven't felt this way for a long time.

"Transfigurations" was ten months ago. Whether that counts as "a long time" is a discussion that I'll skip.

ODAN: Captain, you know her better than I. Do you have any idea how committed she is to remaining with Starfleet?
PICARD: I wouldn't presume to speak for her.
ODAN: Oh no, of course not. I just thought, well, you've known her so much long than I.

We don't actually know when she met Picard. She met Jack Crusher in 2347 or 2348, so it's probably been twenty years or so. The "Generations" photo album has Picard's invitation to her wedding to Jack, although it has other mistakes.

ODAN: If you transport me, it will kill me. Please.

Another thing that should've been in the initial briefing, and another thing that DS9 ignored. The simplest solution is that he was just lying and wanted to hide his symbiote (although in this case, I think "parasite" is more applicable) from them.

ODAN: This body is just a host. I am that parasite. That is what must survive. It has always been this way. The Trill are a joined species. A host and a symbiont, and in this fashion we have survived for millennia.
CRUSHER: You're dying. What can I do?
ODAN: The host body is dying. You must contact the Trill quickly. Tell them I need another host. They will send a replacement.

The implication that the host doesn't matter is unsetting. Does this version of the Trill labgrow humanoid bodies for the symbiotes to walk around in?

DATA: Would it be possible for me to serve as a temporary carrier?

Data, how is that even remotely possible? You're an idiot, or maybe it's just the writers.

RIKER/ODAN: It never occurred to me. This is what I am. Did you ever tell me that you are only a single being? Of course not. That was normal to you.

This is beyond idiotic. I don't buy this sort of argument for a second. The Trill deliberately hid this aspect of their biology until it was necessary to talk, so they must've known how other species would react.

CRUSHER: You know, Deanna, the first man I ever loved unconditionally was named Stefan.

Maybe it's just cause I've never been in love, but the idea of loving "unconditionally" is a little unsettling to me. Forgiving absolutely everything seems like something a doormat or victim of abuse would say.

CRUSHER: I feel his pull. It's very powerful. I wish he'd never come on this ship.
TROI: Don't wish that, Beverly. You can't be open to love if you don't risk pain.

I get the message, but this doesn't seem like the place for it.

RIKER/ODAN: Can you make balso tonic?
COMPUTER: There is no formula on record. Please supply a molecular structure.
RIKER/ODAN: Never mind.

Did joining with Will make you stupid, Odan? Your people are isolationist, of course they haven't shared replicator patterns!

CRUSHER: Perhaps it is a human failing, but we are not accustomed to these kinds of changes. I can't keep up. How long will you have this host? What would the next one be? I can't live with that kind of uncertainty. Perhaps, someday, our ability to love won't be so limited.
KAREEL/ODAN: I understand.

So they make the new host a woman to subvert expectations, but they decide to do nothing with it? What's the point? They can't have Beverly expressing homophobia outright, they can't declare that all Trill are bisexual, nothing?

On the whole this almost seems like a plot that would've worked better in the Voyager days when things were a little looser.

The Fiver

Troi: Beverly, are you sure your feelings for Odan aren't just an infatuation?
Beverly: I don't think they are -- though I admit that I do have a weakness for men with long, dark, wavy hair.

Where did this come from? Ronin is the closest to this description, and his hair barely reached his shoulders.

Odan: Before I shuttle down to the negotiations, I have a gift for you -- a pair of Trill earrings.
Crusher: They're lovely! could you have bought them for me? We hadn't met before you came aboard.
Odan: Actually, they're mine. I mean, uh, they're sort of an old family heirloom. Yes, that's it.

The fiver tradition of characters being lousy liars lives on.

Crusher: The Ambassador's in shock, he's lost as lot of blood....
Nurse Ogawa: ...and he also seems to be pregnant.
Crusher: But that's impossible! We were really carefu--

"We even put condoms on the magic telepathic rocks!"

Blerg, "Unexpected" was a real stinker.

Riker/Odan: Will you allow me to serve as mediator?
Alpha Moon Delegate: Not if you are acceptable to the Beta delegate!
Beta Moon Delegate: Not if you are acceptable to the Alpha delegate!
Riker/Odan: Since each of you finds me unacceptable, does this mean that you both agree to my offer of service?
Both Delegates: Of course.
Leka: (aside to Picard) He's good.

I wonder if Marc is a Phantom Tollbooth fan. I was shocked to see that his last visit was in 2005...

Crusher: I was, uh, thinking that...if Deanna were to be attracted to Worf, that would hypothetically make it all right for me to be interested in you.
Riker/Odan: And how likely is that, do you think?

Troi/Worf won't really be a thing for another couple seasons, and I never did like the pairing. Then again, I never really liked Dax/Worf either.

Memory Alpha

* They had to shoot around McFadden's pregnancy. You'd think they'd put off the script until next season for that reason.
* The creators had to answer the questions of homophobia. Marvin Rush's explanation might make sense if they had actually devoted some screentime to it. But they didn't, so it sure looks like homophobia was a factor.

Fan attempts to reconcile the Trill contradiction

* There really are two different species that just happen to both be called Trill. This wouldn't necessarily be without precedence, given the Xindi and Rigellians, among others.
* Apparently there's a short story that declares "Host"-style Trills to be a subspecies. Someone compares it to Pon Farr being unknown before "Amok Time". I call that one very easy to reconcile, they stated in the episodes that outsiders aren't told and until Spock joined Starfleet it was never allowed to be a factor/
* Ex Astris Scientia tackles the question. They also bring up the reassociation issue which hadn't occurred to me.
* The fans at Jammer's Reviews tackle the episode. I find the notion that Pulaski would be more accepting intriguing (even if I don't quite buy it). Another fan raises the valid point that if the host is just a puppet being driven around by the symbiote, why would they care about having sex with a humanoid? Another correctly points out that Trill hosts are treated as slaves by the symbionts.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Odan called himself a parasite, in case any of the viewers missed the point. Awkward.
* Phil has some interesting points on the TNG/DS9 disconnect, but they've been covered elsewhere for the most part.
* Our heroes are handling the parasite thing rather well considering the events of "Conspiracy" and "Identity Crisis", aren't they?
* Why didn't Beverly implant Odan into herself for a short time?
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 forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

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

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

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

Last edited by Nate the Great; 08-04-2021 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 08-10-2021, 02:04 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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May 27th, 1991, "The Mind's Eye"

Fiver by Kira

The Episode

LAFORGE: How about a game, computer?
COMPUTER: Please restate request.
LAFORGE: Something to pass the time, you know, a diversion.

I'm irked at this exchange. I'll forgive the lack of traditional computer games in the NextGen era, remember that in 1991 we were still in the 16-bit era. But Geordi should've prepared a game or movie for this trip. We've seen short shuttle trips before, even Picard brought a book to read.

Captain's log, stardate 44891.6. The Enterprise has been ordered to accompany a special emissary from the Klingon High Council to the Kriosian System, where one of their colonies is fighting for independence.

Geordi was abducted on 44885.5. That was two days ago. Geordi was expected on Risa three hours after his entry. Wouldn't it be standard operating procedure for Geordi to inform Risa that he was coming, and for Risa to inform the Enterprise when he doesn't arrive on time?

I'm irked whenever the writers act like there wouldn't be thousands of transmissions coming into and going out of the Enterprise on a daily basis. This is another thing that DS9 got right!

KELL: There was a time when the Empire would crush a rebellion. Now it is tolerated. We have enough problems on the home planet. We don't wish to divert resources to such a trivial war.
PICARD: You're prepared to grant them independence?
KELL: Perhaps. We'll conquer them again later, if we wish.

It's sad when we learn more about the Klingons in episodes that don't have the spare time to devote the needed attention to it. So interesting topics are brought up only to be shoved aside immediately. And the stupid thing is that we don't learn more about the Romulans either, both sides are dumbed down to make room for less interesting stuff elsewhere.

KELL: It was my decision to invite you to accompany me, Captain. Many on the Council have great respect for you.

Many, but not all. Even if the Duras faction no longer has access to the High Council, only a fool would think that everyone else is pro-Gowron or pro-Federation.

PICARD: Indeed. Ambassador, I will ask our Chief Security officer, Lieutenant Worf, to make a report
KELL: Captain, Worf's discommendation makes that very awkward. If I could work with one of the other security officers
PICARD: Lieutenant Worf is my Chief of Security and my tactical officer. This matter clearly falls within his jurisdiction.
KELL: As you wish.

Sometimes the level of continuity nods in TNG makes you feel sad for the potential that Voyager had and never used because the creators were cowards. There, I said it.

WOMAN: Will there be any physical evidence of what you are doing to him?
(hmm that voice sounds familiar)

Ugh, just call her Sela! Only Trek fans would be reading this transcript anyway.

KELL: There have been two rebel attacks on neutral freighters. One a Ferengi, the other Cardassian.

What are Cardassian freighters doing in Federation space?

KELL: The actinides in the asteroids provide positive protection against our sensors.

The actinides are the elements from 89 to 103, all radioactive. I get irked whenever conventional radiation blocks anything in the 24th century, that's absolutely ridiculous.

WORF: Captain Picard does not lie. If he says there is no Federation assistance to the rebels, there is none.
KELL: Good. Because I risked my own reputation and honour coming to Picard.

Section 31 aside, we've seen other operations unknown to the flagship captain. All Picard can guarantee that he personally knows nothing about Federation assistance.

KELL: There are some members of the High Council who would thank you, Worf.
WORF: Thank me?
KELL: For killing Duras. No doubt that had he lived, one day he would ascended to head the Council. Many were not looking forward to that.

An interesting question. If Worf hadn't have killed Duras, would Picard have seriously given him control over the Empire? Didn't they have evidence of Duras's collusion with the Romulans even back then?

WORF: My motives were personal, not political.
KELL: Motives? Who cares for motives? Humans perhaps.

Ha! Klingons don't act based on motives, what a concept. Is there a single race in Trek who doesn't act based on motives?

TROI: You had a good time.
LAFORGE: Does it show?
TROI: You're more relaxed than I've ever seen you.

I'm disturbed that Troi can't tell between different forms of relaxation. There are times when you really wish that she was a full telepath.

VAGH: This is the only Klingon colony on the border of Federation space. You cannot deny that Starfleet would be happy to see Krios gain its independence. It would reduce your vulnerability to an attack.

This whole thing is ridiculous. The portion of the Federation-Klingon border occupied by a single colony is so small that it's ridiculous. Furthermore, the military in this system is no match for the Federation.

Plus, and let's be real here, any attempt by the Federation to occupy Klingon space would only leave it vulnerable to Romulan attack. And we're not even talking about a Klingon/Federation war, just occupying Klingon space bit by bit is an expenditure that the Federation can't afford after the Borg invasion. Add in the tenuous state of the treaty with the Cardassians and you have a Federation willing to do anything to avoid war, including encouraging Klingon civil war. The more the Romulans upset the balance in the Klingon empire, the more possible it is for the Romulans to sneak attack from within Klingon territory.

And people wonder why Voyager and Enterprise did so much worse than TNG...

PICARD: Governor, you speak as if we are enemies, not allies.
VAGH: And you speak the lies of a taar'chek.
PICARD: Qu'vath guy'cha b'aka.
KELL: Gentlemen.
VAGH: You swear well, Picard. You must have Klingon blood in your veins.

We don't really know what they said, I'm surprised Marc Okrand never attached a meaning to this exchange.

I'm reminded of when General Chang claimed that Kirk was part Klingon and thus an exception to the traditional wisdom that all humans were cowards.

LAFORGE: The Romulans. They fashioned a perfect Federation rifle but they had to charge it from their energy sources. So the discharge crystal and the emission beam pattern correspond to those you'd find in a Romulan disrupter.

I'm dubious at this. First, that the Romulans don't have any captured Federation tech around to charge a phaser. Second, that they couldn't buy Federation phaser crystals from the Ferengi or Orions. Third, that you could even make a phaser duplicate act like a disrupter. Why make a counterfeit rifle this good, only to make the beam so obviously wrong?

PICARD: Do you know which transporter was used?
LAFORGE: I'm not sure, Captain. Whoever did it apparently used the planetary array to bypass the transport sensors.

Yeah, that's nonsense. I'm not in the mood to even create appropriate Treknobabble in this case.

DATA: The primary plasma system does not indicate a power drain from any of the transporters.
LAFORGE: Then whoever used the transporter must have bypassed the primary feeds.
DATA: Tracking power from secondary systems. No surges to any of the transporters indicated.

Ugh, making the transporter work from a battery would be child's play compared with making a disrupter look like a phaser.

CRUSHER: What about your visor? Has it been giving you any problems lately?
LAFORGE: Nothing out of the ordinary.
CRUSHER: All the same, it might be a good idea to have it examined when we get to Starbase thirty six next month.

Considering that LaForge is one of the only people with one of this model of VISOR, shouldn't the Enterprise already have whatever tech is necessary for a full diagnostic? What makes Starbase 36 so special?

DATA: Computer, scan the shuttle's structural integrity.
COMPUTER: Sub-microscopic deformations are present in the nose section and aft thrusters.
DATA: Probable cause of these variations?
COMPUTER: The shuttle has been subjected to stress consistent with a tractor beam.

And the computer didn't say that up-front...because?

The Fiver

La Forge: There...are...four...lights!
Taibak: I haven't started the interrogation yet, you wuss. I'm just looking for the play button...ah, here it is.
La Forge: What the...Aaaaaaaaa! Make it stop!
Taibak: And after "Angel One," we're going to make you watch "Shades of Gray."

You monster!

Taibak: You must kill Chief O'Brien.
La Forge: But I like Chief O'Brien. He's a recurring character, which makes for really good continuity.
Taibak: Pretend he's Wesley Crusher.

I'm unsure about this one, Geordi seemed to like Wesley. I'd have used Barclay or Sonia Gomez instead.

Memory Alpha

* First appearance of Sela, but Denise Crosby only did the voice. I get the foreshadowing, but the problem is that it's never paid off. Geordi never recognizes her later from this episode.
* The appearance of the planet Krios changed between "The Perfect Mate" and here. You'd think they could use stock footage.
* First appearance of the 24th century phaser rifle.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Why is Geordi doing a three-hour trip at sublight speeds?
* If the Klingons occupy Krios, how can Krios be at war with Valt?
* Why didn't the investigators find Geordi's fingerprints on the weapons that he beamed down?
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 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 08-12-2021, 12:54 PM
Nate the Great's Avatar
Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4,408

It's official, there would've been romantic tension between Tasha and Wesley according to the series bible.

Remember when I mentioned this before?
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 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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