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Old 08-20-2023, 06:31 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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The Fiver

Guinan: Doctor, it hurts when I do this.
Crusher: Then don't do that! Zing!

That joke is so old that it's positively creaky.

Crusher: I remember when I first met the crazy wide-eyed Ferengi scientist Dr. Reyga.
Reyga: Marty! You've got to come back to the future with me!
Crusher: Uh, no, more like --

Good thing 1985-A Biff wasn't around.

Reyga: I'm going to fly a ship directly into the sun!
Crusher: Won't your ship burn up?
Reyga: Nah, I'll go at night.

Ouch, the lameness of that one hurt.

Crusher: However, in a desperate grab for screentime, I decided to hold a conference on Dr. Reyga's ideas anyway. The first thing I made the attendees do was introduce themselves.
Kurak: I'm a Klingon engineer or scientist or something. Just think of me as Torres's Klingon half.

Not really. You're more like what Torres THOUGHT her Klingon half was before "Faces."

T'Pan: I'm the head of the Vulcan Science Academy and I'm only here to tell all of you that the Vulcan Science Directorate has concluded that anything you plan to do is impossible.

Enterprise jokes don't cut much ice with me. I think it's because there aren't that many of them to be had, the plot and characters never had much depth.

Christopher: And I'm here to reverse the stereotype of Vulcan male/Human female.

Actually Vulcan man/human woman really only happened with Spock. In the broader Trek mythos it was usually the other way around. I'm most reminded of Daniel Corrigan and T'Mir from Jean Lorrah's TOS novels.

Reyga: My metaphasic shield will work! I just need your help developing the shield.
T'Pan: The Vulcan Science Directorate has concluded that metaphasics is impossible.
Reyga: But I built a prototype!
T'Pan: The Vulcan Science Directorate has concluded that prototypes are impossible.

This joke wasn't strong enough for repeat use. Or maybe I just hate Enterprise that much.

Jo'Bril: Please let me out of here! I'm going to DIE!
Reyga: He's talking, so he must still be okay.
Jo'Bril: GAK!
Reyga: What, he's dead? Why didn't he try to warn us?

I still think GAK should be reserved for real death and ACK be used for fake deaths.

Picard: Unfortunately, you can't do an autopsy. His family wants to bury him in one piece.
Crusher: One piece? I thought Ferengi chopped up their dead and sold them in little containers!
Picard: They plan to do that after they bury him. They said it was "paydirt."

That pun hurt.

Data: Sir, someone just launched a shuttle.
Picard: Data, you don't need to say "someone". We all know it's the Doctor. Hail her.
Data: O great and healing Doctor, wisdom is your name! We extol your --
Picard: That's not what I meant, Data.
Data: My bad. Firing hailstones at the shuttle....

Jokes that would never work with anyone else have a tendency to work with Data. He really is the perfect straight man...

Crusher: Hey, Guinan. Thanks for the stabbing earlier. It really helped me out.
Guinan: Oh, no worries. I like to do it to help people out, or when they make bad puns, or when they're Q.
Crusher: Well, I bought you a whole set of forks for the future. That way the forks will be with you always.
Guinan: You obviously weren't paying attention to what I just said.


Memory Alpha

* Final appearance of Guinan before Generations. She really never appeared in the seventh season? That's news to me.
* The disconnect with the DS9 version of Ferengi death rites is brought up, along with the idea that it was all skipped because Reyga wasn't a great businessman.

Nitpicker's Guide

* How did Jo'Brill get out of the morgue, find his clothes, sneak to the shuttlebay, and hide himself before Crusher got there?
* Phil also brings up Beverly's unresolved legal problems.
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 09-02-2023, 01:44 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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May 17th, 1993, "Rightful Heir"

Fiver by Marc

The Episode

RIKER: Interesting night?
DATA: I found it extremely interesting. The lateral sensor arrays ran three separate spectral analyses of the Alawanir Nebula on three distinct frequencies.
RIKER: Sorry I missed it.
DATA: I will have the report sent to you, sir.

I'm having trouble with the idea that Data doesn't understand sarcasm yet. On the other hand, wouldn't the first officer have to read the report anyway?

RIKER: He's never late. Riker to Lieutenant Worf. Computer, locate Lieutenant Worf.
COMPUTER: Lieutenant Worf is in his quarters.
RIKER: Something's wrong. Mister Data, you have the Bridge. Security team, meet me on deck seven, section twenty five baker.

You'd think "Mr. Worf's quarters" would be adequate. Incidentally, Section 25 is the slice of the saucer that would be at 8:30 o'clock if you imagine Ten Forward at 12 o'clock and Shuttlebay One at 6 o'clock. Presumably "Baker" refers to a ring at a certain distance from the center.

WORF: It is difficult to explain.

Stewart's performance of that "Try" is classic.

WORF: Ever since I returned from the Carraya system I have felt empty.
PICARD: Does this have something to do with the Klingons you rescued from Carraya Four?

I thought Worf lied about the events of "Birthright" to protect the hidden prison camp there. Y'know, because if the prisoner's existence was known to the other Klingons a lot of people would become dishonored and it could start a Klingon-Romulan war?

Granted, it stands to reason that he would tell the senior officers and Starfleet Intelligence about this, but we were never explicitly told this.

PICARD: Is that what you're doing here? Trying to recapture those feelings?
WORF: Yes. I was trying to summon a vision of Kahless.
PICARD: It's a pity you didn't try using the holodeck instead of setting fire to your quarters.
WORF: Using the holodeck would not have been appropriate. Everything had to be real if Kahless were to appear.

I'm reminded of the times that Chakotay was allowed to leave the ship to do his religious stuff. Furthermore, why wouldn't Worf ask for shore leave to do this?

PICARD: Have you lost your faith in Sto-Vo-Kor?
WORF: To lose something, one must first possess it. I am not sure I ever had a true belief.

This doesn't make sense. Worf has always followed the Klingon culture even more rigidly than other Klingons in order to feel a connection with his people. Furthermore, it was made clear that the Roshenkos encouraged his exploration of his culture. For that matter, if he wasn't sure of what he was telling the young people on Carraya Four, why would he do it in the first place?

PICARD: Boreth is only twelve days from here by shuttle.

I get that people in the future have better memories than we do, but I will never grant that it extends to this degree. Odds are Picard hasn't thought about Boreth in decades, there's no way that he would know where it is relative to the Enterprise OR can do warp travel calculations in his head.

KOROTH: You're leaving us?
WORF: It has been ten days, Koroth. I have had no visions. I have received no insight. There is nothing here for me.

You can't rush spiritual experiences. If you could guarantee contact with the divine by doing A, B, and C everyone would do that.

KOROTH: What is the Story of the Promise, Worf?
WORF: When Kahless had united our people and gave them the laws of honour, he saw that his work was done. So one night he gathered his belongings and departed for the edge of the city to say goodbye.

Actually Kahless just told the people what they wanted to know so he could get away from the fame that he'd earned by "killing" Molor. I really would rather read the novel Kahless rather than watch this episode.

WORF: Then Kahless said, 'You are Klingons. You need no one but yourselves. I will go now to Sto-Vo-Kor. But I promise one day I will return.' Then Kahless pointed to a star in the sky and said, 'Look for me there, on that point of light.'
KOROTH: So here we are, on a world circling that distant point of light.

This is patently absurd. Kahless lived in a medieval period, astronomy was in its infancy at that point. There's no chance that they would have accurate starmaps, so there's no chance that his followers could write down the precise star.

(And the novel makes it clear that this was total nonsense. Kahless was trying to get rid of these rubes so he could escape his fame.)

(a figure appears)
WORF: I see Kahless.

How does he know what Kahless looks like? Furthermore, even if there were accurate paintings available, this guy wouldn't look like it because the blood they cloned from isn't actually Kahless' (it's his brother Morag, read the novel).

KAHLESS: I have returned. You doubt me. Who here knows the story of how this sword was forged?

THIS sword? That's a random bat'leth, the Sword of Kahless is currently in some Hur'q ruins in the Gamma Quadrant.

KAHLESS: I went into the mountains, all the way to the volcano at Kri'stak. There I cut off a lock of my hair and thrust it into the river of molten rock which poured from the summit. The hair began to burn. Then I plunged it into the lake of Lusor and twisted it into this sword.

Hair combined with lava is basically lava. You can't forge a sword from it. Any iron or aluminum in lava is in very small amounts. You'd have to refine the lava quite a bit to get swordworthy material.

The real Kahless made up the design himself and had it forged for him. The lava story was a fiction designed to attach meaning to it. Kahless wasn't out to become a spiritual figure, he just wanted to raise an army to defeat Molor.

WORF: How do you know my name?
KAHLESS: We have met before. I appeared to you in a vision in the caves of No'Mat. You were just a child then. I told you that you would do something that no Klingon had ever done before.

How did the Borath clerics know this story to program it into the clone? Did they hire a telepath to steal this memory to get Worf on their side?

CRUSHER: It's going to be very difficult to eliminate any possibilities at this point. He may be a coalescent being taking Klingon form, or a bioreplicant or even a Klingon who has been surgically altered to look like Kahless.

A coalescent? I'd hope after "Aquiel" they can detect such a facade.
Only mention of bioreplicants, one presumes there's a difference between a clone and a bioreplicant. Maybe a bioreplicant is the result of modifying the DNA of Person A to make a clone that looks like Person B.

DATA: Lieutenant? May I ask a question? In the absence of empirical data, how will you determine whether or not this is the real Kahless?
WORF: It is not an empirical matter. It is a matter of faith.
DATA: Faith? Then you do believe Kahless may have supernatural attributes? As an android, I am unable to accept that which cannot be proven through rational means. I would appreciate hearing your insights on this matter.

As I've mentioned in another post, in the novel "Guises of the Mind" Data asks many members of the crew about their feelings on religion. Worf is one of them. As he considers this a private matter, Worf refuses at first, then decides to talk with Data as he is a comrade in arms, almost a brother.

GOWRON: Where is he, Picard?
PICARD: I assume that you're referring to Kahless.
GOWRON: I am referring to the filthy pahtk who is using his name.

Pahtk? I get that Chakoteya has to transcribe Klingon from time to time, but the spelling "P'takh" (or "petaQ" in simplified English) certainly existed at this point.

GOWRON: What kind of medical analysis have you made? Do you have any theories about his true origin?
PICARD: We haven't done any analysis.
GOWRON: What kind of fools do you have working for you, Picard? The imposter's been aboard for nearly a day.
PICARD: If you wanted to run tests on Kahless, you should have sent a Klingon ship for him.

No, you should've asked him to do a medical analysis earlier. That's what subspace is for!

GOWRON: Kahless has been dead for a thousand years, but the idea of Kahless is still alive. Have you ever fought an idea, Picard? It has no weapon to destroy, no body to kill. The idea of Kahless' return must be stopped here, now, or it will travel through the Empire like a wave and leave nothing but destruction behind.

I wish Gowron was written like this in DS9. That's one place where the DS0 writers really dropped the ball.
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 09-02-2023, 01:51 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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PICARD: He has brought a knife with him, a knife is was supposed to be stained with the blood of Kahless.
TORIN: Gowron has brought the Knife of Kirom? No one is permitted to remove it from the sacred vault.

It ain't Kahless' blood! Kahless even tried to tell people that it was Morath's but the people wanted to believe that it was his.

CRUSHER: There, that should do it. Computer, run a genetic comparison on this blood sample and the tissue belonging to Kahless.
COMPUTER: The genetic patterns are identical.

I'm pretty sure they've mentioned single-bit errors in cloned material before.

WORF: I am sorry. Our replicators do not do justice to Klingon Warnog.

The only other mention of warnog in canon is in "Sons and Daughters", but I remember when Phil Farrand used it in the Nitpicker's Guide. A few novels mentioned it.

WORF: Kahless, may I ask you about death and Sto-Vo-Kor? Tell me, what awaits us beyond this life.
KAHLESS: I do not have those answers. I am merely a traveller, someone who has journeyed back and forth between this world and the next. While I am in this form, I know only about this world.

This is a good explanation. SF Debris even brought this up as a possible explanation for why Neelix didn't experience the afterlife in "Mortal Coil." It wasn't his physical brain that had those experiences, so he wouldn't remember them.

GOWRON: Don't you see? This is exactly why they want you to join them. Because your brother sits on the Council and your voice carries weight in the Empire. They want you to influence others to follow them.

And yet in three years Gowron will steal Worf's honor without backlash. Is Gowron really trying to butter up Worf here?

KAHLESS: Long ago, a storm was heading toward the city of Quin'lat. The people sought protection within the walls. All except one man who remained outside. I went to him and asked what he was doing. I am not afraid, he said. I will not hide my face behind stone and mortar. I will stand before the wind and make it respect me. I honoured his choice and went inside. The next day, the storm came and the man was killed. The wind does not respect a fool. Do not stand before the wind, Gowron.
GOWRON: What was his name?
GOWRON: If you were really there, you should be able to tell us the name of the man outside the walls. Describe him to us. What was he wearing? How tall was he? What colour were his eyes?

A good way to poke holes in Kahless' implanted memories.

TORIN: We found a way to imprint specific information in your neurosynaptic patterns. We gave you memories, and not just any memories. We gave you the experiences of Kahless as written in the sacred texts.

You'd think they'd hire a telepath to tie these memories together better.

KOROTH: It is not a lie. Genetically, he is Kahless, and he is needed by our people. You know better than anyone the corruption and dishonour that has destroyed the Empire. They need him.
WORF: They do not need a false god.
KOROTH: How do you know that this is not the way the prophesy was to be fulfilled? Who is to say that what we did was wrong?
WORF: I am. I will not let this fraud continue.

The most honorable man ever exiled from the Empire, ladies and gentlemen.

DATA: I am curious. Do you still think the real Kahless will return someday? Or has this experience only deepened the spiritual crisis which originally sent you to Boreth?
WORF: I do not know.
DATA: I understand your dilemma. I once had what could be considered a crisis of the spirit.
WORF: You?
DATA: Yes. The Starfleet officers who first activated me on Omicron Theta told me I was an android, nothing more than a sophisticated machine with human form. However I realised that if I were simply a machine, I could never be anything else. I could never grow beyond my programming. I found that difficult to accept, so I chose to believe that I was a person, that I had the potential to be more than a collection of circuits and subprocessors. It is a belief which I still hold.
WORF: How did you come to your decision?
DATA: I made a leap of faith.

It's a nice story, but I'm not sure that this is the right time for it.

WORF: You were right about one thing, Koroth. Our people are becoming decadent and corrupt. They need moral leadership. Kahless can be that leader, as Emperor.
GOWRON: There hasn't been an Emperor in three centuries!
WORF: The political power will remain with the High Council. Kahless would be a figurehead, but he will have the ability to rally the people, to lead by example, to guide them in spiritual matters.

I'll bet you anything nobody else would've thought of this plan. Once again Worf saves the Empire. If he isn't in the top five Trek characters who did the most to alter galactic history, I'd be very shocked.

The Fiver

Riker: Why isn't Mr. Worf on duty yet?
Data: Unknown. Perhaps he has become addicted to the Holodeck and is running some of Mr. Barclay's old programs.
Riker: Worf pretending to be Cyrano de Bergerac? This I've got to see.

Did Dorn ever play Cyrano?

Worf: A-koo-chee-moya....

I don't know if I like the reuse of Chakotay's line in this context.

Riker: Worf, why are you chanting in the middle of all these candles?
Worf: I am attempting to call up a vision of Kahless.
Riker: You should be on the Bridge at your post, mister.
Worf: But I am making progress, sir. At first, I could only get a busy signal. Now, I believe that I have been put on hold.

Wow, is that a blast from the past.

Worf: A true Klingon warrior does not retreat!
Picard: I meant to a Klingon monastery where you could subject yourself to deprivation, blood, pain, sacrifice, anguish and death.

"Sounds like marriage alright." Let me toss up a link to The Worf Song.

Worf: Very well. Ahem. "When Kahless was about to depart for Sto-Vo-Kor, he pointed to a star and said to his people, 'Look for me there.' And the people dried their tears and asked, 'In the Kamino system, Master?' And Kahless answered, 'No, a little further to the left.' And there was much rejoicing."

The fiver is from 2003, Attack of the Clones is 2002. I feel old again.

Gowron: I will not let myself be ousted so that a swaggering, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood can lead the Empire!

You forgot the "overbearing", Marc.

Gowron: It is said that the last Emperor quit because of inadequate retirement benefits.
Kahless: Could the pension plan be indexed to cover three centuries of inflation?
Gowron: You drive a hard bargain, Your Majesty.

People don't make accountancy jokes often enough.

Worf: Dr. Selar has suggested that I visit the rebuilt monastery on P'Jem and try to invoke a vision of Surak.
Kahless: Who?
Worf: The father of Vulcan civilization.
Kahless: If you happen to run into his clone, tell him I hope we can meet someday. I am sure we would get along like brothers.

I assume that this joke refers to other roles of the actors, but I don't get it.

Memory Alpha

* Apparently a present-day Emperor was mentioned in "Sins of the Father". Oops.
* Final TNG appearance of Gowron. He won't appear again until "House of Quark".

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil also pointed out the problem with Worf's story of seeing Kahless as a child.
* Kahless has been dead for a thousand years, but the clerics of Borath have been waiting for his return for 1,500 years. Oops.
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 09-03-2023, 07:30 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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May 24th, 1993, "Second Chances"

I need to get this out of the way up front: They severely mishandled Tom Riker. I'll save the Maquis stuff for "Defiant", but I will say that they should've had a few episodes with Tom present and not Will. Decompress Troi's emotional turmoil (and ditch the Worf relationship entirely, duh). Maybe they temporarily transfer Will to another ship. Probably have him cameo on DS9 for a two-parter (that would certainly help with DS9's ratings!), a short-term mission possibly including the Klingons or Romulans. While he's gone Tom stays on as helmsman of the E-D trying to catch up on the last eight years. The relationship with Troi would have a better arc, where Deanna realizes that she's grown beyond the romanticism of her initial relationship with Riker (as told in the novel Imzadi) and really loves Will for who he is now. Love means more than physical attraction or shared danger. Furthermore Tom realizes that the Command track isn't what he thought it was. He wants to transfer to Security or Conn. He transfers away and does occasional cameos on DS9. Totally toss Eddington and have Tom build up to his Maquis membership, only do it for the right reason this time. In "Defiant" Tom's motivation seems to be "do something completely different than Tom" and nothing else. There should be more meaning to it than that. When the Dominion destroys the Maquis he can have one last episode where he chooses to go to prison and then rebuild his Starfleet career offscreen. Toss in a cameo at Will's wedding and some guest appearances on Lower Decks and we're good.

The Episode

(it's jazz night, and the quartet are in full swing, with Riker on 'bone playing 'Tell them I remember you')

It's actually called "I Remember You". [URL="" Here's Tony Bennet's version[/URL]. Or maybe you prefer [[ Nat King Cole]].

TROI: Night Bird.
(Troi is given a Look)
RIKER: Any request?
TROI: Night Bird!
RIKER: Ladies and gentlemen, Night Bird. One, two.
CRUSHER: What was that all about?
TROI: Will's been trying to get this piece right for ten years now. He's never made it through the solo.

This is a fictional song, and of course it made a cameo in Lower Decks. Personally, I think Troi's efforts to publicly humiliate Will is a little cruel. Funny, of course, but still cruel.

RIKER: Is the planet's distortion field re-phasing sooner than we predicted?
DATA: No, sir. Using the Potemkin's transport logs from the original evacuation, Commander La Forge and I were able to modify the transporters.

It would've been nice if Geordi mentioned that Scotty gave him some pointers on modifying the transporter in unusual situations.

DATA: The transporters are considerably more efficient than those used on the Potemkin eight years ago.

I don't think "efficient" is quite the word to use here. "Advanced" or "adaptable" would be better.

DATA: Commander, someone is approaching. A humanoid. Forty metres due east and closing.

"Humanoid"? There's no reason not to specify "human" here unless they're going to have to look around a bit for Tom.

PICARD: Jean-Luc Picard.
RIKER 2: Lieutenant Will Riker.

The Battle of Maxia was in 2355. The prior Nervala III mission was 2361. I'd think that both Rikers would've heard about Picard's court-martial and therefore have at least heard of Picard. I'll forgive Will not mentioning it back in "Encounter at Farpoint", he wanted to be professional. Tom would have no such motive for not mentioning having heard of Picard.

LAFORGE: Apparently there was a massive energy surge in the distortion field around the planet just at the moment you tried to beam out. The Transporter Chief tried to compensate by initiating a second containment beam.
DATA: An interesting approach. He must have been planning to reintegrate the two patterns in the transport buffer.

The containment beam holds the actual matter, it's a big part of the "it's the same atoms, so it's the same person!" argument for the transporter. You can't split the atoms into two halves then build a person from just one half. Data mentions "two patterns", so the transporter chief scanned Will twice intending to use the patterns as error checks for each other. But then where did the matter for Tom's reintegration come from? Drop a technobabble line about the storm entangling with the transporter beam to provide the matter!

I apologize for making your brains leak out of your ears.

(The Lieutenant is in a fresh gold uniform).

I think I've already mentioned this, but this whole "different color uniform to make it easier for the audience to tell the difference" thing always seemed stupid to me. A different beard and haircut would be enough to tell the difference. Plus, y'know, Frakes is giving a very different performance.

Or maybe put Tom in a DS9 uniform that has the red in a different location.

RIKER 2: Come in.
TROI: Hello, Will.
(He sweeps her off her feet, literally, and kisses her)

Tom has been obsessed with reliving his relationship with Deanna for eight years, you'd think he'd remember the "feeling" of her telepathic aura and be able to sense her coming.

TROI: We need to talk.
RIKER 2: You're on board because of him.
TROI: No. Commander Riker and I are friends. Close friends, but nothing more.

Technically this is two different issues. Troi took this job because it was the right move for her career. At first she saw Will's presence as a complication much like Picard saw Beverly.

TROI: Do you remember the last time we saw each other?
RIKER 2: Like yesterday. The Janaran Falls on Betazed.
TROI: It was the day before you started your tour on the Potemkin.
RIKER 2: And we were going to meet on Risa, six weeks later.
TROI: We never did.

The Imzadi version of these events are quite different. There was no final farewell at Janaran Falls. Lwaxana yelled at Riker for sleeping with Deanna when he had no intention of a serious relationship (his career was too important and his stay on Betazed was always temporary). Deanna was still going to stay with Will, leaving with him if necessary. Too bad Will got drunk and slept with Deanna's friend Wendy, driving Deanna away.

Which is better? Probably neither. I just can't see Will as ever considering throwing away his career for Deanna at that age. It was probably a mutual breakup with no idea of seeing each other again anytime soon.

TROI: No, what I mean is, Commander Riker and I never did. You see, he earned a promotion very quickly.
RIKER 2: I know that too. 'For exceptional valour during the evacuation of the research station on Nervala Four'.

I fail to see the connection. Does being promoted mean you can't take leave for awhile? That makes no sense.

TROI: He chose to make his career a priority. There wasn't much time for anything else.

It does make you wonder why he was on Betazed for that long to begin with. The novel makes it clear that the Betazed mission was just to keep Riker occupied while the Potemkin was undergoing refit.

RIKER 2: Deanna. I know it's been a long time since we've been together, and I know your feelings have changed. Mine haven't. I can't just give up. I'd like to be with you again.

This is an interesting question. Is the ship's counsellor allowed to have a relationship with a fellow officer? That sounds like a conflict of interest nightmare.

RIKER: You know, I've been thinking we should probably let Dad know what happened.
RIKER 2: I'm sure he'll be thrilled to know there are two of us now.
RIKER: Actually, he and I have been able to patch a few things up.
RIKER 2: I've been able to get by for a long time without seeing him. I'm not about to start now.

In the comics Kyle will visit the ship again in a couple years. One really does wonder how he'd react to having two sons. Kyle will die in a novel ten years from now.

RIKER: I didn't. He came on board the Enterprise to brief me when I was offered the Aries.
RIKER 2: What did he say when you turned down your own command?
RIKER: He couldn't understand why I did it.
RIKER 2: For once he and I agree on something.

I'm still curious on why he did it. Cue Riker's speech in Best of Both Worlds:

RIKER: What am I still doing here? Deanna, I pushed myself hard to get this far. I sacrificed a lot. I always said I wanted my own command, and yet something's holding me back. Is it wrong for me to want to stay?
TROI: What do you think?
RIKER: Maybe I'm just afraid of the big chair.
TROI: I don't think so.
RIKER: Maybe that's the problem. I'm too comfortable here.
TROI: I'm not sure I know what that means. You're happy here. Happier than I've ever known you to be. So, it comes down to a simple question. What do you want, Will Riker?

I don't think that he's afraid of command. I think I prefer the "too comfortable" argument. Plus Picard's opinion that Riker likes the "celebrity" that comes with the Enterprise gig.

(there's another note, tied with a pink flower and bow)
TROI: (reading) It pulses unendingly all through the night. Seek out the crystal that powers our flight.

A get the poetry, but dilithium does not "power" the flight, the matter/antimatter reaction does.

TROI: So, how does it feel being with people again?
RIKER 2: Great. Strange. For a long time I did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It's been hard taking orders again.
TROI: I can imagine.

If this was supposed to be extrapolated into his Maquis career, I call shenanigans. One reason why the Maquis failed is that they didn't have the proper centralized command structure to do big things. To get anything done people will have to obey orders that they don't like.
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 09-03-2023, 07:31 PM
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RIKER 2: Remember, I'm the one who wanted to make Captain by the time I was thirty five.

So he turned down the Aries...why? Furthermore, this seems rather myopic. If your sense of self-worth is dependent on attaining a position of power ASAP, you've got bigger problems.

RIKER 2: Sometimes I would look up into the sky and I'd think, if I tried hard enough, I could make you feel my presence. That if I could let you know that I was alive, maybe you'd wait for me. I know it sounds crazy, but there were times when I could've sworn. What am I talking about?

The telepathic range of people in Trek seems to be rather set. You just can't concentrate extra hard to extend it.

In the novel "Guises of the Mind" Deanna was a prisoner along with an untrained telepath. She was able to take control of the telepath's ability to extend the range of her telepathic distress signal. Seriously, the early TNG novels were really good.

PICARD: Lieutenant Riker has been to see me to talk about the away mission. He believes that the only way to retrieve the database is by directly accessing the main core underneath the station.
RIKER: The seismic activity makes those caverns very unstable. In my opinion, it's too risky.
PICARD: He said that he was down there recently. He seemed confident that it could be done safely.
RIKER: There's a good chance we will be able to retrieve the database from one of the consoles inside the station.
PICARD: But if it doesn't work, we won't have another chance for eight years.
RIKER: Lieutenant Riker's plan is more dangerous, but it does have a better chance of succeeding.
PICARD: Given the importance of the data, I think that it's worth the risk.

This is a pointless rehash of the Riker/Shelby rivalry in "The Best of Both Worlds." Furthermore, the seismic instability is rather pointless except for artificial drama at the end. This screentime should've been devoted to more important things.

RIKER: I just met with the Captain about your mission recommendation. I would appreciate it if next time you came to me first.
RIKER 2: I tried talking to you yesterday on the station. You wouldn't hear me out.
RIKER: I heard you, Lieutenant. I rejected your plan.
RIKER 2: May I ask what the Captain decided?
RIKER: The Captain has decided to go with your recommendation, but that's not the point.

Another rehash of BOBW. Ugh.

TROI: It's really hard for me to separate my feelings for them.

It is? Will loves what you are NOW, Tom loves what you were THEN. Will loves real things about you, Tom loves the idealized version of you that he's created in his head. Furthermore, if Deanna wanted to be with Will that much she could've resigned her commission and stayed on as a civilian specialist.

(and now she has him on the floor, lips connect in a prelude to horizontal jogging)

Ick, Chakoteya. Ick.

RIKER: Do me a favour. Be careful.
TROI: Will, I know you and he have had some problems.
RIKER: That's not what I'm talking about. If he had gotten off the planet instead of me, don't you think he would have made the same choices that I made? I just don't want you to be hurt again.

On the surface this is a fair question, but the butterfly effect does still apply. We make major life decisions based on the most frivolous reasons sometimes.

RIKER: Why don't we get this over with? I'll call your three, and I'll raise you anything you've got left. Well?
RIKER 2: Take it. You always had the better hand, in everything.

Better hand? Another short-sighted decision. They are IDENTICAL. I see no reason why Tom wouldn't have the exact same career that Will did. At the time they were separated they had the same feelings for Deanna and their careers. They would've ended up as a "Will" and a "Tom" regardless of whether Riker Pattern A or Riker Pattern B was rescued.

RIKER 2: Captain Picard made has some inquiries. He managed to get me a posting on the Gandhi. And considering how long I've been out of commission, it's an amazing opportunity.

I get wanting to honor the man, but I doubt he would be in favor of a warship being named after him.

Furthermore, I'd think Tom would need to return to the Academy to catch up on the last eight years. Not just the technology, but the entire geopolitical status of the quadrant! When he was stranded the Federation was at war with the Cardassians, the Romulans were still in isolation, nobody had ever heard of Q or the Borg, etc.

RIKER 2: Deanna. After I've served for six months, I'm eligible to bring family aboard. If we got married--

What? Where did that tradition come from? Either a ship is family-compatible or it's not. And the Gandhi is Ambassador-class, so I doubt that it is. Furthermore, we're not talking about kids yet, we're talking about a married pair of Starfleet officers. Is there a counselling position open on the Gandhi or not?

TROI: You said those exact words to me before you went to serve on the Potemkin.

Really? The Potemkin is Excelsior-class. I don't think those are rated for families. Furthermore, at that earlier time Riker would've been so focused on his career that a long-term stay on any ship would've been out of the question, so families would not have been on his mind.

TROI: It's not just that. I've worked hard to make a life for myself on the Enterprise. I'm happy here.
RIKER 2: If the situation were different, I'd stay. But I can't. Not while he's aboard.
TROI: I know.

This is an interesting situation. If Tom stayed on as helmsman, he'd be in continual contact with Will. But if he transferred to Security there would be less risk of that. He wouldn't have a conflict with Worf, and Worf is honorable enough to not let his feelings for Will interfere with a working relationship with Tom.

DATA: Lieutenant, I am curious about something. If you met a double of yourself, would you have difficulty interacting with him?
WORF: I think so.
DATA: Why?
WORF: I am not easy to get along with.

Oh, do I get that. I would find a duplicate of myself insufferable.

Conclusion: What was resolved here? At no point do they talk to each other about their feelings and sort out what they're going to do. The episode is just drama until it...stops. That's bad writing.

The Fiver

Riker: Who are you?
Lt. Riker: (mockingly) I know you are, but what am I?

That joke is exceedingly juvenile and I never liked it.

Lt. Riker: That's easily fixed. One stroke of the razor and I'll once again be as smooth as an android's bottom.
Picard: Okay, that was one image I did NOT need replayed in my mind.

That was a good bit in Insurrection, even if I don't like how Frakes looks without a beard.

Lt. Riker: Sorry I'm late, I'm still getting used to the time zone difference.
Data: You realize, Lieutenant, that all Federation outposts have synchronized chronometers and that the time on the planet is the same as that on the Enterprise.

Wait...what? Do all outposts use the same time, or does the ship synchronize with whatever city they're hovering over? Those are mutually exclusive things!

Troi: Ooh, Will left me another note on the warp core.
La Forge: Aaaaaagh! He taped it on! I spent hours polishing that!

Putting aside the fact that by the 24th century there have to be adhesives that won't leave a residue, why would Geordi need to polish the warp core? That's what the drones hidden in the consoles are for!

Riker: Here, I'd like you to have my trombone.
Lt. Riker: Great! I haven't played one of these for years! Well, I'm out of here. Take care of her, Will.
Troi: Aww, I want you to play me "Nightbird!"
Lt. Riker: I take that back. Cause her great, great pain.

Hehe. It's a shame that a subplot involving Tom replicating a trombone and perfecting "Nightbird" during his exile wasn't included. He could've even written a song in Deanna's honor!

Memory Alpha

* There seems to be confusion among the creators about what job Tom would've taken. Helmsman makes sense, security officer makes sense, but Jeri Taylor thinking Operations does not.
* First episode directed by Burton.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil brings up Riker's feelings about clones from "Up the Long Ladder". Whether this is applicable to Tom is complicated. Or maybe Will has just matured since the second season. Or maybe "Up the Long Ladder" has been reduced to pseudo-canon along with most of the first two seasons.
* If Will was promoted for his actions during the mission, why wasn't Tom?
* Phil also brings up the bad idea of sending Tom to another assignment, but he specifically mentions counselling. I forgot about that.
* Phil suggests combining the transporter tech from this episode, "Relics", and "Lonely Among Us" to create disposable duplicates of crew members for dangerous away missions. If the crew member returns you can dispose of the double in transporter suspension, if they don't you can rematerialize the double. Truly a philosophical headache that I'm glad the creators didn't think of.
* Phil forgot the name "Night Bird". He was embarrassed to have to be educated on this point by Max Grodenchik.
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 09-03-2023, 11:29 PM
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June 14th, 1993, "Timescape"

CRUSHER: I give up. What was it?
RIKER: I was trying to feed Spot.
CRUSHER: Data's cat?

Is there more than one Spot on board?

(Data joins the others for a meal. The runabout is huge, there is even a corridor between the cockpit and this area)

I find it odd that they'd use the larger budget of TNG to make a rear runabout set, only to never use it again on DS9. If I was the creators, I'd be exploiting the larger TNG budget to make things on DS9 all the time!

TROI: I was just leaving the reception when this Ktarian walks up to me and says, (slightly Irish) hello, Diane. I understand you're an empath. I'm a very sensitive man myself. I'm doing a thesis on interspecies mating rituals. Would you care to join me in some empirical research?

This is a great scene, but instead of copying all the dialogue I'll just link to a YouTube video.

PICARD: There was no opportunity. There was no pause. (mock Teutonic) He just kept talking in one long, incredibly unbroken sentence, moving from topic to topic so that no one had a chance to interrupt. It was really quite hypnotic.

Has enough time passed that I can provide a link to the [[ Picard Song]] again?

LAFORGE: The starboard antimatter pod is completely drained. The fuel reserves are empty.
PICARD: Is there a fuel containment leak?
LAFORGE: No, sir. The containment field is intact. all engine systems are operational. The fuel is just gone.
DATA: Geordi, I believe I have an explanation. According to the plasma conversion sensor, the starboard engine has been in continuous operation for forty seven days.

Okay, I'll buy that the strut on each side has a separate warp engine and antimatter pod. What I don't buy is the runabout still being intact if only one half of the ship has a functional warp coil. That sounds like cause for a spinout followed by an explosion.

(Picard goes to the console, then smells something. The fruit in the bowl has become moldy. He reaches towards it and shouts in pain. His fingernails have grown a good half inch. The others rush in.)

Yeah, this is impossible. If his hand intersects with a bubble of space where time is passing at a different rate, that would result in an amputation at the edge of the bubble. Or rather, his fingertips disintegrating upon crossing the boundary.

TROI: The cells are metabolising at an incredible speed. Almost fifty times normal.

How? The energy available for fingernail growth is limited to what's in the blood contained in his hand. The fingernails wouldn't be superlong, he'd have a dead lump of flesh where his hand used to be!

DATA: Captain, I am detecting a temporal disturbance intersecting the table. It appears that within the disturbance, time is moving at an accelerated rate, approximately fifty times faster than normal.

Like SF Debris said, that's WAY too slow for the fingernail growth that we've seen (if you ignore the problems in the prior paragraphs, that is).

PICARD: Scan for life signs.
DATA: Sensors cannot penetrate the subspace field. I am unable to scan within the vessels.

What subspace field? You mean the temporal bubble? You wouldn't be able to scan ANYTHING inside radius (or see anything either, for that matter).

DATA: That would be inadvisable, sir. In each of the three instances we came into contact with one of the temporal fragments, we were integrated into its time frame.
LAFORGE: If we beamed aboard the Enterprise, we'd be frozen in time just like they are.

No, the transporter beam wouldn't be able to penetrate the boundary of the temporal bubble! They shouldn't be able to even SEE the ships!

PICARD: Well, we have to find some way of staying unfrozen. Mister La Forge, what about a subspace forcefield like the one we used on Devidia Two?

SF Debris liked the continuity drop, but I'm not sure how similar the two phenomena would be.

LAFORGE: Possibly. We'd need an awfully sensitive phase discriminator in order to moderate that kind of field.
DATA: The emergency transporter armbands contain a type seven phase discriminator.

Are you seriously telling me that in less than a year the phase discriminators in ordinary equipment is better than it was in DATA?

LAFORGE: Yeah. Yeah, that would certainly isolate us from the effects of the other time frame. But if we wanted to interact with that environment, we'd have to restrict the field. It would have to be practically skintight.

"Practically" skintight? Try BETTER than skintight!

LAFORGE: We've channelled all communications through the subspace relays in the armbands. That way we'll be able to be in continual communication.

Because the sound waves of their speech wouldn't penetrate the field anyway.

(Geordi switches on the armbands and Troi falls into Data's arms)
DATA: Counsellor?
TROI: I got a little dizzy for a second.
LAFORGE: We've created an artificial pocket of time around you, so it's probably playing tricks with your equilibrium.

No, it cut Deanna off from the telepathic "white noise" that she's used to experiencing. Why would a time-warping effect affect her sense of space?

DATA: Captain, the equipment is no longer functioning. However, the information currently displayed indicates that there was a massive power surge in Engineering.

I'm not sure if "frozen in time" is the same as "nonfunctional."

(Picard checks the tactical station. Worf is not on duty)

Stewart forgot that the equipment wouldn't respond. I wonder why they didn't reshoot the scene.

DATA: Captain, I believe I have found the cause of the power surge. There is a warp core breach in progress.
(there's a puff of smoke/steam coming out of the warp core)
DATA: It is the flashpoint of a warp core explosion.

What's smoke doing in a warp core explosion? Matter/antimatter explosions don't really burn in the traditional sense.

PICARD: Counsellor, you spent several days on a Romulan vessel. You probably know more about the layouts than anyone here.

It seems odd that Troi wouldn't write down everything she learned about Romulan layout.

The amount of continuity in this episode is staggering. It really shows how the show evolved past what Gene wanted it to be.

DATA: Geordi, the engine core is completely inactive.
TROI: That's impossible. The Romulans use an artificial quantum singularity as their power source. Once it's activated, it can't be shut down.

Actually, it stands to reason that a properly calibrated subspace field could "smother" the singularity given enough time.

DATA: I am not certain. They exhibit a complex bioelectric patterns. Very possibly organic.
LAFORGE: Organic?

Trek uses "organic" as a synonym for "life" far too often. It's not that simple, especially when you remember in chemistry the word means carbon compounds and we've seen plenty of non-organic life forms.

TROI: There isn't time. He's dying.
(she takes Geordi's armband off)
TROI: At least this way, he'll be alive in the other time frame. We might have a chance to save him later.

Deanna's really come a long way since the pilot, hasn't she?

ALIEN: We must use a natural gravity well to incubate our young. We thought the Romulan core would suffice. It did not.

Oh, the screed of Treknobabble I could come up with about the difference between a black hole and a quantum singularity if I wanted to.

PICARD: Is it possible to lock onto the core itself, beam it into space?
DATA: No, sir. We would have to surround the core with a subspace isolation field. It is not possible to generate a field of that magnitude from the runabout.

Actually this wouldn't work. Even if you could surround the core with a subspace isolation field there'd be a split-second during which the core would experience normal time, enough time to explode.

DATA: The alien who attacked me has vanished, sir.
PICARD [OC]: The warbird has vanished as well.
DATA: Judging from the residual temporal fluctuations, I believe they have returned to their own time continuum.

What? What does spatial location have to do with temporal location?

The Fiver

Data: "Used to?" Ah! As in "accustomed...inured...desensitized...mmm-mmm-mphh!"
Picard: Thank you, Mr. La Forge.
La Forge: No handyman should ever be without duct tape.

As a Minnesotan I've been in the Church of Duct Tape since childhood. Duct tape jokes will never not be funny to me.

Troi: (finishing a joke) "...but the Ferengi in the gorilla suit has to go!"
(Picard, Data and La Forge remain completely motionless)
Troi: Uh, I need to explain the punchline or what?

Now there's a subtle Generations joke. Although it does occur to me that the Farpoint mission was too early for Ferengi jokes to make sense.

La Forge: No. There must be a temporal anomaly affecting us.
Picard: Oh, good Lord, I hope I don't get turned into a kid again....

"Rascals" didn't have a temporal anomaly.

Picard: Ha-ha-ha! Look: Mr. Warp Core Breach!
Data: Perhaps I should try that with a tricorder someday.

That was a fun scene in Generations.

Memory Alpha

* Brannon Braga wanted to out-do his work on "Cause and Effect."
* Troi takes the opportunity to do some plexing, like she taught Barclay back in "Realm of Fear."

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil questions how this combination of senior officers would be allowed to be off the ship at the same 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.
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Old 09-04-2023, 02:07 AM
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June 21st, 1993, "Descent Part One"

I can finally catch up on DS9 S1 after this...

Fiver by Zeke

The Episode

HAWKING: But then I said, in that frame of reference, the perihelion of Mercury would have precessed in the opposite direction.
EINSTEIN: (laughing) That is a great story!
DATA: Quite amusing, Doctor Hawking.

First, let's have a YouTube link. Secondly, here's some vocab:

Perihelion-the point in a planet's orbit when it is closest to the sun. For Earth this happens in early January after the solstice.
Precession-the change in orientation of the axis of rotation of an object. Imagine how a top wanders back and forth between "leaning" toward one direction and the other. For Earth it takes 26,000 years to complete one cycle. In astronomy the term is more specific, the apparent difference in direction of a star or planet in the sky caused by the precession of the planet you're on.

The joke is actually more subtle than general technobabble. Newton derived the first laws of planetary motion purely in terms of gravity. Einstein built upon the work specifically in terms of Mercury by using the laws of relativity to show how there's a component of precession that's explained by the warping of spacetime caused by planetary gravity wells. You can read the scientific paper yourself here.

By the way, the precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit is a hundredth of a degree per century. It really only matters to hardcore astronomers.

Don't ask me where this ties into Hawking's work, I have no idea.

HAWKING: Not the apple story again.
DATA: That story is generally considered to be apocryphal.
NEWTON: What? How dare you!

The apple story was invented by Newton biographer William Stukeley. Consider it on the same level of history as Washington's apple tree.

EINSTEIN: Perhaps we should return to the game. Let's see, where were we? Yes, you raised Mister Data four, which means that the bet is, er, seven to me?
NEWTON: The bet is ten! Can't you do simple arithmetic?

The "Einstein was bad at math" thing was also a myth. At best it took him a little longer to learn how to read and talk, but even that is possibly apocryphal. When confronted with this rumor Einstein refuted it.

EINSTEIN: The uncertainty principle will not help you now, Stephen. All the quantum fluctuations in the universe will not change the cards in your hand.

I was surprised to learn that the uncertainty principle covers more than just position and velocity. Another example is the "waveness" and "particleness" of a phenomenon that exhibits characteristics of both waves and particles.
The Heisenberg Compensator exists to avoid this problem.

DATA: Could you describe feeling angry without referring to other feelings?

I'm not sure you can describe any emotion without referring to other emotions.

NECHAYEV: There will be fifteen starships in this sector by the day after tomorrow. The Gorkon will be my flagship.

The Gorkon is an Excelsior-class? Why wouldn't the Enterprise be the flagship of the fleet for this mission?

This is the first Starfleet ship named after an alien.

NECHAYEV: You'll take command of task force three, consisting of the Enterprise, the Crazy Horse and the Agamemnon.

The Crazy Horse is also an Excelsior-class. Being a Midwesterner I'm most aware of the guy in relation to the controversy of the monument being built in his honor near Mount Rushmore. You can read the Wikipedia article if you want. Personally my biggest problem is that it won't even look like Crazy Horse as there aren't any photos or paintings of him from the time.

For that matter, he wouldn't want to be the namesake of a warship any more than Gandhi would've. He would've been on the Maquis' side.

PICARD: When Hugh was separated from the Borg collective he began to grow and to evolve into something other than an automaton. He became a person. When that happened, I felt I had no choice but to respect his rights as an individual.
NECHAYEV: Of course you had a choice. You could've taken the opportunity to rid the Federation of a mortal enemy, one that has killed tens of thousands of innocent people, and which may kill even more.

Nechayev makes many appearances in the novels after this, but I don't think she ever directly interacted with Section 31. She would certainly be someone they would keep an eye on.

DATA: Anger is a negative emotion. I wanted to concentrate on something more positive.
TROI: Data, feelings aren't positive and negative, they simply exist. It's what we do with those feelings that becomes good or bad. For example, feeling angry about an injustice could lead someone to take a positive action to correct it.

Oh boy, is this not a simple issue. I don't care to write a screed about this one, I'll just say that Deanna is being overly simplistic again.

LAFORGE: It's crazy. There's got to be another way. Can't you think of something other way to make yourself angry.
DATA: I have tried other stimuli, but they have been unsuccessful. I understand your objections, but it is my life and I have a right to risk it if I choose.

This is a dangerous and very slippery slope. The moral implications are numerous, so I'll skip them. I will say that Data asking to turn off the safeties in this case is not the same as Worf doing so. What is the hologram going to do, rip off Data's arms? Arms that can easily be repaired?

DATA: We are being pulled inside.
(and Enterprise disappears into a Whovian/Stargate style wormhole effect)

Tardis wormholes and Stargate wormholes aren't really that similar.

RIKER: This is another change in the Borg behaviour. They left their dead instead of vapourising them.

That's another screed that I'll skip.

CROSIS: If it meant that you could feel emotions again the way you did on Ohniaka Three, would you kill your friend? Would you kill Geordi?
DATA: Yes. I would.

Clearly this is manipulation, but I wonder why Data doesn't find it odd later once he's out of range.

LAFORGE: Our current theory is that the Borg have established several transwarp conduits through subspace. A ship, when entering the conduit, is immediately accelerated to an extremely high warp velocity. It's like falling into a fast moving river and being swept away by the current.
PICARD: How fast would a ship travel through one of these conduits?
LAFORGE: We don't know. Normal subspace limitations don't apply to transwarp variables. But I'd say based on the distance we covered during our trip through the conduit, the speed would have to be at least twenty times faster than our maximum warp.

Just twenty times maximum warp? Seems rather slow. Voyager traversed half the galaxy in a transwarp conduit in a matter of hours.

LAFORGE: The Borg ship emitted some kind of high energy tachyon pulse just before we saw the subspace distortion. It seems as though the conduits are keyed to respond to tachyon transmissions of a specific frequency.

How? What's responding to the transmission? These things aren't Babylon 5 jumpgates, ya know!

PICARD: Assuming that they're still together, how far could they have travelled in three hours?
LAFORGE: Well, Data can move pretty fast even over rough terrain, but based on what we know about the Borg, I don't think they should be able to move any faster than you or I.

I have trouble believing that Data would be that fast on rough terrain. By all means he could move pretty fast on level ground, but rapid changes in gait and trajectory would slow him down quick.

PICARD: If the Borg should attack, don't wait for me or anyone else to return to the ship but take the Enterprise to the transwarp conduit. Return to Federation space.
CRUSHER: Got it. Good luck, Jean-Luc.
PICARD: Good luck, Captain.

Come to think of it, she should've been in command of the saucer section back where they started this trip. And Picard should've commanded the stardrive section, not searching down here.
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 09-04-2023, 02:08 AM
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The Fiver

Data: Computer, end program.
(All but Hawking vanish)
Data: Curious. You are still intact.
Hawking: That's what... my doctors... say.

Well that's...dark.

Riker: They were all "me, me, me." It looks like Hugh's individuality made it into the Collective.
Picard: Looks like we may have a Hughge problem on our hands. Ideas?

That pun hurt.

Worf: Distress call from New Berlin! They --
Riker: What? False alarm?
Worf: No, it's real, but that colony isn't on the list of places where Captain Picard knows someone.
Riker: Ah. First Officer's Log: Sucks to be that colony.

That joke is dark but still funny.

Data: My cat will reassure me that I am not becoming evil.
Data: I need a new cat. Perhaps a female one this time.

It won't be until "Force of Nature" next season when Spot will explicitly be called "she."

After Data's death she will adopt Worf as her new owner.

La Forge: It looks like there's an entire network of these transwarp conduits. It could even spread as far as Earth....
Picard: Don't be ridiculous. If there were one right in front of Earth they'd have used it by now.

I wonder how long it takes to make a transwarp conduit. Maybe they're still making the one near Earth.

Crusher: You want to put me in command? I'm a doctor, not an commander!

One of the Strange New Worlds collections features a story where Kirk forced McCoy to be in command of the ship. It's a good one.

La Forge: Hmmm, there's nobody here.
Vast Multitudes of Borg: CHARGE!
Picard: Perfect. Your visor couldn't detect their body heat?
La Forge: Well, sir, it's not all-powerful --

It stands to reason that the body heat of a Borg drone would be rather minimal. As for the mechanical heat, no doubt they've figured out how to "cloak" that from casual scans by now.

Memory Alpha

* The meaning of the Newton/Einstein Mercury joke is explained.
* I had forgotten that Quinn shook the tree that dropped the apple.
* Data says that the anger was his first emotion when Q gave him laughter in "Deja Q." Oops.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Why didn't the away teams use the commando uniforms from "Chain of Command?"
* Troi says that the only Borg who had a name was Hugh. I guess she forgot that Picard was once Locutus.
* Phil also mentions the "Deja Q" thing.
* If the dampening field suppresses all sensors, how is Geordi's VISOR working?
* When Data says he'd kill Geordi to feel emotions again, a security officer is guarding the brig, yet she doesn't mention this to Worf or anyone else. Oops.
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 10-07-2023, 06:41 PM
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September 20th, 1993, "Descent Part Two"

Fiver by Zeke

The Episode

LORE: What do you think of my followers, Picard? Impressive, aren't they?
PICARD: I'm not particularly impressed. All you've done is teach them to enjoy killing.
DATA: You are wrong, Captain. My brother and I serve a much higher purpose.

And that purpose is...what? Gradually conquer the galaxy using a small number of Borg drones and one ship? We really did need more exposition on this point.

DATA: Yes. My brother has made that possible.
PICARD: He gave you the chip. The one Doctor Soong made for you.
LORE: No, no, no, no, no. I still have the emotional programme my father designed. I wouldn't want to give it up.

Oh, here we go. They really needed to exposit more about the emotion chip. Soong made it clear that this thing was just a program. It wasn't some key that would unlock Data's potential (if it was it would be useless to Lore), and Lore acts like he can't just duplicate the program. If this thing contains hardware that was omitted from Data's design on purpose, once again it would be useless to Lore.

Lore says that he's broadcasting emotions into Data in order to control him. I'm not sure how this is possible, since Data would've had access to all of Lore's schematics back in "Datalore" and would know how to block any transmission that Lore was able to output. There's no way Soong would've built into the chip an override command to allow it to push emotions onto any other Soong-type android in range.

So we are forced to conclude that Lore modified this chip to gain this transmitting ability. I'd think it would be simpler to install the thing into Data after modifying the programming and adding a receiver to allow him remote access to it.

Furthermore, what is Lore trying to accomplish here? Data isn't going to admit that he's inferior to Lore unless Lore pushes said thought onto him. And victory by brainwashing hardly seems like a real victory.

LORE: They're no longer simply mindless automatons. They're passionate. Alive.

Let's put aside the revelations from Voyager and First Contact about how the Borg work. The basic fact is that Lore wouldn't want these drones to be alive (or rather sentient, which is what Lore really means). That would interfere with his plan. The only explanation is that he's put failsafe programming into each one of them. So he's going to spend his time sending programmed orders to the drones, which will control humanity like sheep. And to what end?

TROI: Are you saying that you caused them to become individuals?
LORE: No, you did that. You and your friends. All I did was clean up the mess you made when that Borg you befriended returned to his ship.
DATA: Hugh interfaced with the others and transferred his sense of individuality to them. It nearly destroyed them.

You'd think Borg would be programmed to reject corrupting programming and restore to an earlier version in situations like this. Or that the programming conflict triggered their self-destructs. I just can't see "let them work through their problem" as a viable Borg solution to situations like this.

LORE: What's important is what I've done here. How I found my calling. I know now why I was created. No one can ever take that away from me. Without me, they would have perished. When I stumbled on their ship, they were lost, disoriented, they had no idea how to function as individuals. They couldn't even navigate their own vessel. They had lost their sense of purpose. I gave them their purpose. And they gave me mine.
DATA: The Borg aspire to the perfection my Brother and I represent. Fully artificial life forms. We are their future.

Again, we'll skip scenes in Voyager showing how disconnected Borg react to their situation. If the Borg were interested in shedding their organic components they would've figured out a way eons ago. Furthermore, I fail to see how androids are "perfect" by Borg standards. Especially since they're the antithesis of what they want: perfection via absorbing what makes other species special. At best assimilating Data and Lore would be a stepping stone to their ultimate goal.

CRUSHER: Well, Taitt, I'll bet you never thought you'd be serving as Tactical Officer after only six weeks.
TAITT: No, sir, I sure didn't.

Ugh. They know the Borg could be around here somewhere, Worf has no business being on the planet. And even if Picard wanted Worf on the planet, he would have an assistant who can instantly take over at Tactical when Worf is off the ship. The idea that Crusher is the only officer on board with any real world experience is ludicrous.

PICARD: Data, you must realise that something has happened to you. The Data I know would never have agreed to be a willing party to Lore's plan.
DATA: I now realise that my life aboard the Enterprise was a waste. My quest to become human was misguided. An evolutionary step in the wrong direction.

I'm still confused about how much Lore can influence Data. This seems more like genuine reprogramming, not simply influence. And Lore couldn't hack into Data and control all movements and speech remotely, what would be the point anyway?

LAFORGE: Data, just because you haven't experienced certain emotions doesn't mean they don't exist. Lore is only feeding you the negative ones.
DATA: Counsellor Troi told me herself that feelings are not negative or positive. It is how we act on them that makes them good or bad.

Yeah, she screwed up last episode. I'll skip this screed, but suffice to say there are 100% bad emotions. Racism for example.

CRUSHER: I'm not leaving those people stranded back there. An emergency buoy can transmit a copy of our log entries to Starfleet just as easily as we can. Ensign, prepare a buoy and launch it when ready.

Emergency buoy? I think you mean "probe", Beverly. Buoys aren't generally known for moving very fast (or at all).

DATA: All the Borg you have experimented on so far have suffered extensive brain damage.
LORE: Using the humans to perfect the procedure will allow us to prevent any further Borg deaths.

The logic here is as twisted as Lore's mind. My question is how Lore can influence Data this much without direct control.

LAFORGE: Lore must have told Data to take my visor because he realised I could see a carrier wave that was radiating from him.
PICARD: A carrier wave? Is that how he's manipulating Data?
LAFORGE: I think what's happening is that Lore is tapping into the chip he stole from Doctor Soong and somehow he's found a way to transmit part of that emotional programme to Data.

I've already covered the technical aspects of this plan, I'll just mention how amazing it is that people in 1993 could predict the full potential of wifi. At the time wireless networks were still in its infancy.

HUGH: You don't know the condition we were in when he found us. Before my experience on the Enterprise, the Borg were a single-minded Collective. The voices in our heads were smooth and flowing. But after I returned, those voices began to change. They became uneven, discordant. For the first time, individual Borg had differing ideas about how to proceed. We couldn't function. Some Borg fought each other. Others simply shut themselves down. Many starved to death.

We're led to believe that only one ship was tainted by Hugh, but that doesn't make sense if you consider what we know about the Borg, even at this early stage.

It's the "starved to death" that I find most intriguing. Surely the regeneration alcoves would work on a very primitive program, at least when it comes to basic power transfer and organic component maintenance. It occurs to me that the drones would be stuck in their alcoves, their bodies being maintained but their minds/programming stuck in logic loops. I don't see why a drone would be allowed to disengage from their alcove before the programming conflict was resolved.
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 10-07-2023, 06:42 PM
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HUGH: You probably can't imagine what it is like to be so lost and frightened that you will listen to any voice which promises change.
WORF: Even if that voice insists on controlling you.
HUGH: That's what we wanted. Someone to show us the way out of confusion. Lore promised clarity and purpose. In the beginning, he seemed like a saviour.

Would it be insensitive to make a Trump joke here?

RIKER: What happened to them?
HUGH: Lore began to experiment, trying to re-make us in his image.

Like I said, the organic is a necessary part of the Borg. Without it the Collective has no hope of becoming more superior. They would stop what Lore is doing.

DATA: I am implanting nano-cortical fibres in your cerebrum. They are designed to learn and mimic your neural firing patterns. Once they are in place, I will destroy the existing brain cells. We'll see if the artificial neural network is able to take over your cognitive functions.

I'm reminded of an episode of Teen Titans. Cyborg would have some interesting things to say to Lore, I'm sure.

CRUSHER: Helm, set a new course, heading three four four mark six. Full impulse.
HELM: Aye, sir.
TAITT: Sir, that heading takes us directly into the sun.

Yeah, and at full impulse it'll take half an hour to get there, not less than a minute. That's a big problem with Trek, they seem to think that as long as you're inside a solar system a quarter of the speed of light is fine. Well, it's not.

They imply that the trip from the planet to the star can be done in less than a minute. Okay, I'll Do The Math. Assuming an orbit analogous to Earth's, 93 million miles in 60 seconds is over eight times the speed of light. Or in other words, Warp 2, not full impulse!

PICARD: I just hope this force field has enough energy to trigger the pulse.
(he slides the tiny device forward, and the blue is sucked into it)

Is it weird that THIS is the part that I find most implausible? While I have no doubt that Data would be able to pull a component out of himself that could do this job, a random Borg component shouldn't. The Borg are built to power their components with a very specific power source and energy pulses at very specific frequencies. They wouldn't be this adaptable.

LAFORGE: You decided to go swimming, and when you jumped out of the boat you sank straight to the bottom.
DATA: I did not have enough buoyancy to get back to the surface.

Was his Insurrection floatation device a later modification?

TAITT: We need to direct a highly energetic particle beam onto the sun's surface. That should produce a superfluid gas eruption. If we target the right spot, the eruption would envelop the Borg ship.

This one sounds pretty plausible by Treknobabble standards. At least compared to whatever Lore is thinking.

LORE: I'll give you the chip our father made. It contains much more than just emotions. It has memories. Memories our father wanted you to have.

I wonder why we never addressed that one in Generations. I'm even more surprised that this never came up in the expanded universe. The memories in the chip would make for a great Strange New Worlds story.

(Data is holding a small circle with a triangle cut out of it in a pair of tweezers when the doorbell rings)

I get why this thing had to be redesigned for Generations, but they definitely went too far. We've seen the inside of Data's head, and there would be no room for that gumball-sized chip.

The Fiver

Taitt: The Borg ship is getting closer! We have to put up the shields!
Crusher: No! Keep beaming people up, and just polarize the hull plating or something!
Crusher: Or take us out of orbit.

I never liked the idea of "polarizing the hull plating" as a more primitive form of shielding. Maybe it would be useful for weapons fire, but shields have to handle more than just weapons fire.

Taitt: Thank you, sir! Say, with almost all the crew back on board, isn't it funny that no one's come to try and replace you?
Crusher: They're afraid of ripping off "The Arsenal of Freedom."
Taitt: Ah.

Why would someone want to take the bridge, Beverly is handling it just fine!

La Forge: Before they took my visor, I could see an invisible beam radiating into Data's head.
Picard: Invisible? It must be from the One Chip.
Troi: Didn't Dr. Soong have a poem about that chip? Something like "Chip of wonder, chip of might... chip to succour Data's plight...."

Star of the night, star of the day, come to take my cares away. Make my life, always bright...

Data: (in Picard's voice) Geordi! Shh! We are getting you out of here! But we will have to hurry, Data is coming....
La Forge: I know it's you. The captain uses contractions.

Come to think of it, it would've been neat if the contraction thing was used as evidence of Lore's influence...

Crusher: This was a great idea, hiding from the Borg ship on the opposite side of the planet. They won't notice us for a good minute or so. Start beaming up the leftovers!
Transporter Chief: (over the comm) We can't. They're on the opposite side of the planet.

And that matters? I don't think the stated transporter range of 40,000 km has an asterisk that says "unless a planet is in the way."

Data: He said something about target practice. I expect he will send me for an apple shortly.
Picard: You must realize that Lore's orders are wrong, Data. Apples deserve to live free, like the people of Gamma Trianguli VI.

Usually I'm all for TOS references, but I think this one is a bit too much of a stretch.

Picard: Now that Hugh've defeated Lore, the Borg need a new leader. I nominate Hugh, you.
Hugh: Hmmm... I suppose I could be our Omega Male.
Riker: Isn't Alpha Male the highest?
Hugh: Not to us. We worship omega particles.
Riker: Never heard of them. Have you, Captain?
Picard: (hurriedly) No, of course not.

Hehe. The only way to make this one better is to capitalize Omega Particles and then have Riker say "I know those are important, I could hear the capital letters!"

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil also takes issue with someone who's only been on board six weeks being on the bridge.
* When Hugh, mentions Lore, neither Riker nor Worf are surprised, and they should be. At this point only Picard, Crusher, and LaForge know that Lore is here.
* Phil says that Lore has rights as a sentient being and shouldn't be disassembled. I would counter and say that Lore could break out of any prison you put him in. I have no doubt that Lore knows how to reconstruct an arm or leg if he destroyed one in an escape.
* Everyone acts like the metaphasic shields are the only way to survive inside a star, when they went even deeper than the corona in "I, Borg." Y'know, the episode that introduced Hugh?
* Why does it take so long to beam up 26 people? There are at least twenty transporter rooms on board, and each has six pads!
* I forgot that the emotion chip was shown in "Brothers." So this thing will have THREE appearances in canon!
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 10-08-2023, 09:09 PM
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September 27th, 1993, "Liasons"

Fiver by Wade

The Episode

RIKER: If I didn't know you better, I'd say that you were procrastinating.
WORF: Klingons do not procrastinate. It is a tactical delay.

He learned from the best. "There is no delay, it is the time that I have chosen."

WORF: I do not see why it is necessary to wear these ridiculous uniforms.
RIKER: Protocol.
WORF: They look like dresses.
RIKER: That is an incredibly outmoded and sexist attitude. I'm surprised at you. Besides, you look good in a dress.

I never understood the skirted dress uniform. Good punchline, though.

LOQUEL: You have no food on your plate. Are you going to eat?
TROI: Oh, well, actually, I was waiting until we got to the desserts.

Ugh. You can't make a meal out of dessert, no matter how nutritionally balanced the replicator base material is.

TROI: Oh, well, let me introduce you to some of my favourites. This is peach cobbler with whipped cream. Tarvokian powder cake. And this is my favourite. Ktarian chocolate puff.

"Tavorkian powder cake" must've been a typo, since we encountered Tavorkian POUND cake back in "The Game."

I was surprised to see "Ktarian" appear since I thought that was introduced for Voyager, and I doubt that Samantha Wildman was part of the series bible.

Then again, we encounter two completely different alien appearances both called Ktarian (the other variety was also seen in "The Game"). I wonder if this is a Rigelian or Xindi thing, where multiple species share a name.

BYLETH: This is unacceptable.
WORF: I am sorry you do not care for our
BYLETH: Bring me new food. I require a higher protein and enzymatic content.

If you want more enzymes look toward honey, tofu, or certain tropical fruits. Add in the protein requirement and the safest bet is probably tofu.

WORF: The Engineering sections encompass twelve decks of the secondary hull.

Well, that's unexpected. Although I suppose it depends on what you call "Engineering sections", as it would be more than just the warp engines.

BYLETH: I wish to see the Bussard collectors. Take me to them.
WORF: This way.

"Don't mind the two skeletons that have been baked into that bulkhead. I'm fairly certain that won't happen to you." Hehe.

TROI: Next we're going to go to deck eight, which is interesting because it's not really finished. It's sort of a multi-purpose deck. Sometimes when we need an extra lab or...

This is a surprise. Even if I'll accept that certain nonessential sections were unfinished at launch while people decided what to do with it, I'm fairly certain that all sections were completed in the refit during "Family".

ANNA: I knew from the moment I saw you that you were here to save me. I'll do anything you want. Just don't leave me. I don't ever want to be alone again.
(Anna kisses Picard)
ANNA: I love you.

The first line is fair enough. Any castaway who's been alone for seven years would be a little warped and needy. It's the second line that bugs me, that's blatant emotional manipulation. I'm reminded of "Groundhog Day" when Phil is desperately trying to recreate his successful date with Rita, looking absolutely ridiculous in the process.

PICARD: Anna, I'm grateful to you for saving my life, and I think that you are a warm and compassionate person, and I feel a great sympathy for what you've been through alone here on this planet, but I don't think that you can really be in love with me.
ANNA: How can you say that? Of course I love you.
PICARD: No, I'm the first person you've seen in seven years. I'm bringing you the hope of leaving this place. Don't you think that you could possibly be just a little confused right now?
ANNA: So you're not attracted to me.

Anna just jumped to a completely different topic. Or maybe it's just that annoying cliche that emotional affection requires physical attraction or vice-versa.

PICARD: You don't have to do this. I found Voval, the shuttle pilot, he's still alive. He can help us get away from here.
ANNA: I don't care. I'll jump unless you promise to love me.

Oh boy, is this pathetic at this stage.

VOVAL: In the logs, she described many concepts we found difficult to understand. Pleasure, antagonism, love. These were alien to us. We wished to experience them for ourselves. Ambassador Loquel was sent to experience pleasure. Byleth was sent to experience antagonism. And I was sent to experience love. Was this wrong?

My problem is that in all three cases the aliens focused on the most superficial aspects of these emotions without considering the possibilities of their true depth and range.

BYLETH: Lieutenant Worf was kind enough to engage me in eleven hours of holodeck battle exercises.
RIKER: Eleven hours.
BYLETH: Yes, I learned a great deal about the concept of antagonism.

After eleven hours of battle I think you've gone beyond "antagonism" into "stubbornness." Furthermore, I don't think even Klingons can battle for eleven hours straight.

VOVAL: I am sorry if our diplomatic methods offended you.
PICARD: No, on the contrary, I found your approach intriguing.

I find it interesting to contemplate how Kirk and crew would react to this scenario.

The Fiver

Captain's Log: Diplomacy time! As a precaution against plot twists, I've ordered all technobabble protocols disabled. La Forge and Data are already going through withdrawal symptoms.

"And Starfleet Academy has informed us that Wesley suddenly went catatonic at the same time."

Byleth: And I will condescend to accept the big one in yellow -- the color of cowardice.
Worf: Definitely feeling aggressive tendencies, Captain.

This is a rather clunky Insurrection reference. I wonder what Klingons consider the color of cowardice, it's probably not yellow.

And if you're wondering why "yellow" means "coward", the Straight Dope has multiple possible explanations, I think I prefer the yellow bile theory.

Picard: Shuttlepod One, Shuttlepod One. Hoshi, can you hear me?
Voval: Who are you talking to?
Picard: I'm just trying every possible option, that's all.

That Enterprise joke seemed a little crowbarred.

Troi: They're just different, Worf. For instance, Loquel is seemingly preoccupied with my figure.
Worf and Riker: Hey who isn't?
Troi: Why do I even bother?

Obvious joke is obvious.

Picard: Anna, please hand me one of your emery boards.
Anna: What for, sugarplum?
Picard: I'm trying to make a battery for us. I saw MacGyver do it.

This never happened.

Picard: Let me get this straight. You wanted to study human emotions, so your test subjects were a Klingon, a Betazoid and a man brainwashed by the Borg?
Voval: Would that skew our results at all?
Picard: Accuracy is futile.

A good point.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil has a speech about how little these dress uniforms look like dresses, especially compared to earlier dress uniforms as seen in "Manhunt" and similar. At least this time our crew is wearing pants and not pantyhose.
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 10-09-2023, 09:28 PM
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October 4th, 1993, "Interface"

(Geordi has normal eyes and no visor)
RIKER [OC]: Geordi, have you found it yet?
LAFORGE: Not yet. I'm starting to get some fumes. Ammonia, chlorine, potassium chloride.
(Geordi climbs up into the fumes to the next level)
LAFORGE: I can feel the heat from here.
(he crawls along an access tunnel)
LAFORGE: There it is.
RIKER [OC]: How far?
LAFORGE: About ten metres up the ODN line. Boy, it's hot. I'd say over two thousand degrees. I'm going in.
(Geordi reaches through the flames to pull levers)
LAFORGE: We're okay. I've activated the emergency suppression system.

Okay, let's talk about this interface system. Slaving the probe's sensors into his VISOR inputs, fine. My problems come down to the following:
1. Is Geordi consciously switching the spectrum that he's seeing from temperature, to chemical analysis, to straight vision, etc. or is the probe's sensors displaying information on a virtual HUD for Geordi? If the former, it would take a lot of time to train Geordi to interpret the various spectra, if the latter there isn't much point in putting Geordi in this situation, is it?
2. So Geordi is wearing an interface suit that translates his gestures to probe movements. This is blatantly ridiculous, nothing about his movements can be translated to the motions of a cylindrical probe. I mean, surely it would be easier to have a few joysticks in a holodeck where you are surrounded by everything the probe sees, where different consoles have different kinds of information.
3. We're not even given a handwave that the exocomp's replicator omnitool has been copied over to this probe. Even IF you could slave the probe's movement to physical feedback, you can't slave all possible onboard tools to this suit in a way that would be more effective to the joysticks I mentioned earlier.

(Geordi is the contraption used in Offspring and Best of Both Worlds, wearing a virtual reality suit)

I'm amazed that they kept this set for that many years.

CRUSHER: The probe is designed to respond to any movement Geordi intends to make. When his brain sends a message to move his leg, the interface should move the probe instead.
DATA: Apparently the tactile sensors are too low. I will increase the input.

So is the problem the signal being sent from the probe to Geordi, or vice versa? Because this seems like both, which would have two different sets of hardware responsible for them.

PICARD: Any life signs?
LAFORGE: Our biosensors are useless. There's too much interference in the atmosphere.
RIKER: The crew might still be alive. There's no way we can tell from up here.
PICARD: Will the probe be able to transmit through that interference?
DATA: The probe sends information via a focused particle beam. It should be able to cut through the interference.

I don't like this handwave. It makes no sense. By all means plant a breadcrumb trail/relay network of probes going down there, but don't say that experimental tech is better at a basic task than proven technology.

PICARD: How's life on DS Three?
HOLT [on monitor]: We're hosting this year's palio. The Ferengi have already been accused of trying to bribe the Breen pilot into throwing the race.

A palio is a sort of tournament held in Italy ever since the Middle Ages. Usually some sort of riding race or archery contest. Don't ask me why such an obscure word is being used when the focus of the episode isn't on it.

HOLT [on monitor]: Nothing at all. I wish I could say I was just calling to catch up on things. Nine days ago, the Hera left here on a routine courier mission. We were in contact with them for five of those days. Then the ship disappeared without a trace.
PICARD: The Hera?
HOLT [on monitor]: I'm afraid so. The Excelsior and the Noble have been retracing its course for the last seventy two hours. Nothing. I'm going to keep them at it for another seventy two. But to be honest, I don't think another week would make any difference.
PICARD: I'll inform Commander La Forge.

The Hera is Intrepid class, with a majority Vulcan crew. It won't be recovered for another ten years in a novel.

We haven't a clue what class the Excelsior was, it's only other appearance was in an Okudagram back in "The Measure of a Man."

The Nobel (Chakoteya made a typo) would later fight in the Dominion War. It was of the Olympic class (the one that with the spherical primary hull).

RIKER: Geordi, the probe has entered the planet's atmosphere and I'm ready to take it onto the ship. If you would like to take a couple of days off, I'll run the interface.
LAFORGE: The interface is calibrated specifically to my visor's inputs. It would take you at least ten hours to convert it, and those crewmen down there can't wait.
RIKER: The interface doesn't have to be fully compatible. I could run it right now. I wouldn't have the same control that you have, but it would still work.

Let's put aside the question of how fast Riker could have VISOR inputs temporarily connected to his brain, he hasn't been trained to interpret the visual signal. The obvious backup would be Data, it surely can't be that hard to run the signal through one of those hookup cables from "A Fistful of Datas."

I get that Riker wants to give Geordi a break, but they've served together long enough for him to know that Geordi knows his duty and would want to help people in trouble. Geordi can focus on the mission for a few hours and return to grieving afterwards.

LAFORGE: About twelve metres up the main corridor. He's trapped under some conduit from the bulkhead. I can't move it. I'm going to need more power to the tractor beam.
CRUSHER [OC]: Go to eighty percent of tolerance, Data. No higher.

What does the power in the tractor beam have to do with the power being channeled through Geordi's brain? Did they really program this probe to require more concentration from Geordi to increase power to something.

[La Forge's quarters]

(his Dad's on the monitor - played by Ben Vareen)

I watched Zoobilee Zoo as a kid, but of course I had no clue who Ben Vareen was until I watched Roots.

LAFORGE: Dad. Don't you think everybody's jumping the gun here? Last I heard there were still two starships out there looking for them. They've found no debris, no residual warp distortion.

Geordi may be clutching at straws, but you have to admit that he has a point. If I was in the Corps of Engineers I know I'd want to design warp cores so that if they explode people would be able to track it.

This is a big problem with this episode. Geordi's journey may be about letting go of his mother, but they never bothered to actually reveal what happened to the Hera!

DATA: No. I have completed the adjustments on the interface. I am now waiting for Commander Riker to finish moving the probe. Do you need to be comforted?

That last line irks me for some reason. It seems more like a Season 2 or 3 line, not Season 7. Data should be more astute than this.

DATA: I am using the time to catch up on my study of poetry.
LAFORGE: Data, there's nothing on the screen.
DATA: That is not entirely correct. While it is true the display is currently blank, this emptiness has a poetic meaning. Therefore it cannot be considered nothing as such.

The word "poetry" doesn't really apply here. Poetry by definition includes words. By all means if Data wants to search for artistic meaning in blackness it's his right, but he shouldn't call it poetry.

LAFORGE: Says who?
DATA: The ancient Doosodarians. Much of their poetry contained such lacunae or empty spaces. Often these pauses measured several days in length, during which poet and audience were encouraged to fully acknowledge the emptiness of the experience.

Of course this is the only mention of Doosodarians. I would argue that meaning derived from silence is different from meaning derived from blackness.

LAFORGE: Am I crazy to think that she's still alive?
DATA: Your sanity is not in question. However, your evaluation of the available information is biased.

Thank goodness someone was willing to say it.

LAFORGE: It's just that, if she really is dead, I don't know what I'm going to do.

Are you telling me that Jeremy Aster accepted death better than this guy?
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 10-09-2023, 09:28 PM
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TROI: What's your mother like, Geordi?
LAFORGE: If you think I'm going to start talking about my childhood, Counsellor, you're way off.
TROI: That's not what I asked.

As someone who's worked with mental health professionals I can tell you that this kind of nonsense is self-defeating. Obstinate insistence that you're not crazy will NEVER convince anyone that you're not. Furthermore, approaching counselling with the mindset that you won't let yourself be helped just means that you're wasting everyone's time with wheelspinning.

TROI: When was the last time you saw her?
LAFORGE: About seven months ago, when she first took command of the Hera. I went to a party she had for her crew. She wanted me to come over and see her, but I was really busy at the time. I mean I suppose I could have made the time to go and see her, but, you know, I just didn't think that. I mean, you know, I, I didn't think that
TROI: You didn't think it would be your last chance to see her.
LAFORGE: That's not what I was going to say.

Self incrimination and coulda/shoulda/woulda statements aren't constructive, and frankly Starfleet Academy should train their cadets to recognize this destructive behavior in themselves.

TROI: You're worried about the disappearance of your mother, guilty that you didn't see her when you had the chance, so you're unwilling to consider that she might be dead. Your need to believe she's alive is so strong that it manifests itself as a physical image.
LAFORGE: But she told me she's trapped on that planet, that she's in danger. Now, if this was some kind of wish fulfillment, don't you think I'd be fantasising her safe and sound?
TROI: No. Because that would be the end of your fantasy. You'd know it wasn't true. The more involved and complicated and unending your story is, the longer you can believe your mother's still alive.

They both have good points here, but I think Troi dropped the ball here by not considering the third option: there's an external alien influence here.

DATA: I have been exploring the possibility of using a tractor beam to pull the Raman from the atmosphere. However, the high level of interference prevents a positive lock.
RIKER: If we set up some sort of relay system?
DATA: That is my conclusion as well, Commander. Two shuttlecraft, staggered between the Enterprise and the Raman, with their shields adjusted to refocus the tractor beam.

I find this idea ridicuous. I would prefer using a small group of shuttlecraft above the interference using their tractor beams to maintain the position of the shuttle that's deeper down looking for the Raman.

LAFORGE: Well the Hera could have accidentally created a distortion that emptied out right here at Marijne Seven.
PICARD: Why here?
LAFORGE: The Hera passed near this planet just ten days ago.

This would've been nicer to know earlier. Furthermore, Geordi would've been able to come up with this theory after his first encounter with his "mother."

PICARD: I want you to know that I am not unsympathetic to what you're going through. Your mother's disappearance is tragic, but I cannot risk your safety on the basis of a dubious hypothesis.
LAFORGE: Captain, if I'm right and there's just one chance in a million that she's alive
PICARD: I'm sorry, Geordi. My decision is made.

Yeah, this is where you relieve Geordi of duty.

RIKER: I just don't like the idea of one of my best officers putting himself in unnecessary danger.
LAFORGE: I guess I feel like I should be the one to decide whether it's unnecessary or not.

Oh boy, is that NOT Geordi's call. It's Riker's. This one needed more discussion.

RIKER: My mother died when I was a baby. All I have is pictures, and the stories that my father used to tell me about her. I begged him to tell those stories over and over. When I was five and I went to school, I started to tell my new friends those same stories, pretending that she was alive. Then I started believing that she was alive, that she'd just gone away, that she was coming back. The teacher got wind of this, and she and my father had this talk with me. They told me it was important to accept the fact that my mother was dead and that she wasn't coming back. And all the hoping in the world wouldn't make it so. In my mind, that was the day that my mother actually died. I cried all that night. But after that, it started feeling better.

A good speech, but it would've been nice to have it earlier, probably in "The Icarus Factor."

LAFORGE: Your mother was dead. There was proof. There was a body, and a funeral. It was a reality.
RIKER: Geordi.
LAFORGE: If I could see a body, if there were wreckage, I could accept it, but my mother has just disappeared.

Again, Starfleet training should've covered this. And Geordi is operating on the premise of "I need to be convinced 100% that she's dead, anything less might as well be nothing." Complete nonsense. As we all know, only Sith deal in absolutes.

DATA: I suspected you would attempt to operate the interface alone.
LAFORGE: Did you?
DATA: I am familiar enough with your behaviour patterns to predict certain decisions.

You'd think Picard would've ordered the thing locked down ages ago.

LAFORGE: Data, if I leave without knowing for sure, then I'll have to live with that for the rest of my life, wondering if I left her to die. I couldn't do that. That's why I've got to do this.

Even IF she's down there, it's Picard and Riker that would be guilty of her death, not Geordi. By anyone's definition he's done all that he can, enough to have a clear conscience.

DATA: I will monitor the interface and attempt to keep you safe. I can not have you confined to quarters for something you have not yet done.

Oh boy, is Data dancing on that mutiny line. Starfleet has confined people for mere intent lots of times in the past.

DATA: We are at ninety percent of tolerance. My calculations show you will reach one hundred percent of tolerance before you are in range of the Hera.
LAFORGE: Then we're going to have to go beyond tolerance.

Ugh, is that a stupid statement. Would people on both sides of the camera stop acting like things like thin lines between safety and danger exist?

PICARD: Meanwhile, I will have to write this incident into your permanent record.
LAFORGE: Yes, sir.
PICARD: Dismissed. Geordi? I'm very sorry that you didn't find your mother.
LAFORGE: Thank you, sir. You know, it was funny. When I was down there, it was so real. I felt like I had a chance to say goodbye.

Well, now Geordi is in the same camp as Worf and Riker. The resolution of Geordi's issue was way too easy, though. I despise it when the writers run out of screentime to resolve the moral properly.

The Fiver

Holt: Oh yes, our ships are so much safer in fleets, like the fleet at Wolf 359.
Picard: Um... transmission loss, breaking up....

Missing first lines alert!

La Forge: Don't worry sir, I'm sure everything will work out. Starfleet declares people dead all the time and yet they turn out alive.
Picard: That regulation only applies to the senior bridge crew of the Enterprise.
La Forge: Mom's doomed!


Riker: Well couldn't we route it through the Holodeck or something?
La Forge: Oh please, like the Holodeck could control anything.

This would've worked better if the episode was BEFORE "Ship in a Bottle".

La Forge: The Raman is a mess. Dead bodies, flashing lights, fire. Why do we want her back again?
Data: The Raman will be issued a new crew to go out and die valiantly.

I don't get where this came from. The Raman will return in the game Starship Creator, but the events were set before this episode.

Data: I have an explanation. Geordi had his hands too close to my bread heater implant.
Crusher: Bread heater implant? You mean a toaster? You're a walking toaster!
Commander Maddox: (over subspace) I KNEW IT!

That joke was too much of a stretch.

Picard: Geordi, I don't mean to call you a liar, but isn't your explanation a little farfetched? I mean, ships just don't appear out of nowhere.
Riker: (over the comm) Captain, I've updated our itinerary with USS Bozeman.

This doesn't work. The Bozeman came out of a known spatial anomaly. There's no proof of such here. And generally speaking spatial anomalies in Trek tend to make themselves known.

Picard: I've decided your punishment will be to listen to my newest speech on the Prime Directive. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

You monster!

Memory Alpha

* They would've done the story with Riker earlier, but apparently it was too similar to "Emissary." I don't see it, none of the Prophets pretended to be the people that they looked like, even the one that took over his mother.
* The crew thought that it was scraping the bottom of the barrel to introduce Geordi's mom. I think they were being overly pessimistic, and perhaps a bit lazy. Any premise, no matter how "lame" can be made into a good episode. "The Thaw" comes to mind immediately.
* The script used Noble, not Nobel, maybe that's where Chakoteya got it.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Geordi asks for a tractor beam to pull the debris off the dead crewman before checking to see if he's dead. Oops.
* The ship is full of ammonia and methane, so Phil has a problem with the probe blowing a hatch. I would argue that for ammonia and methane to explode you also need oxygen, which Geordi doesn't mention.
* The holodeck thing also occurs to Phil.
* Actress Madge Sinclair also appears as the captain of the Saratoga in STIV. She's probably Geordi's great-grandmother.
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 01-14-2024, 11:12 PM
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October 11th, 1993, "Gambit Part 1"

Fiver by Derek

The Episode

TROI: You're lying.
BARTENDER: And you're a Betazoid. I thought so.

All Betazoid actors wear contact lenses that make their irises look a bit bigger than humans. I don't think it was worth the trouble since it was never pointed out often enough. I do recall how it was used as a plot point in the novel "The Minds Eye."

YRANAC: The man you're looking for was here several weeks ago. There was a group of aliens sitting at this table. He was asking them questions.

Yranac is a Yridian. What he would consider "alien" is a question. Frankly, I think that in the Trek future the term shouldn't be used for the humanoid races, only the truly different like Tin Man, Q, Sheliak, etc.

YRANAC: He was thrown against that wall and fell there.
(Crusher scans it with her tricorder)
CRUSHER: I'm picking up some Starfleet fibre traces and human cellular debris.

The inconsistent scanning range of tricorders is always annoying. Especially in a place like this where there would be no reason for a dampening field.

RIKER: You don't understand. I can't give the eulogy because I won't be at the service.
TROI: A memorial service helps to give everyone a sense of completion. Helps them begin the healing process.
RIKER: That's exactly the point. I don't want to heal.
TROI: Will.
RIKER: I've an open wound, right here. It hurts like hell. I don't want it to get better, and I don't want to pretend that everything's all right.

Every time stuff like this comes up it makes the events of "The Bonding" more ridiculous.

TROI: I know you're angry.
RIKER: You're damn right! And I intend to stay angry until I find whoever's responsible for the Captain's death.

TROI: That's pretty selfish of you. Do you think you're the only one in pain? Do you think you have the monopoly on loss? Well, let me tell you something. We're all hurting, and we're all angry. And whether you like it or not, you have a responsibility to this crew, and you can't just indulge your personal desire for revenge.
RIKER: That is enough, Counsellor. Deanna. I'm sorry. This is not about revenge. This is about justice. The Captain died in a bar fight for nothing. Somebody has to answer for that. Then I can mourn.

I think there's a difference between revenge and justice, and it's bigger than most people think. Troi did go too far, by the way. Riker isn't claiming a monopoly on loss or anger and frankly it sounds like Troi was the one that snapped, not him.

WORF: Commander, I am receiving a transmission from Admiral Chekote at Starbase two twenty seven.

I have to scratch my head at this name choice. Surely Chakotay's character had been written by now even if Beltran hadn't been cast yet. Why create confusion?

There is speculation that Chekote was supposed to appear on Voyager, but I doubt that. Incidentally "Chakotay" supposedly means "Man who walks the Earth but who only sees the sky".

CHEKOTE [on monitor]: I suspect you're right. The question remains, are you the one to pursue this?
RIKER: The Captain's death hit me pretty hard, and I may not be completely objective, but there is no one who is more determined. I won't rest until I find out who's responsible.
CHEKOTE [on monitor]: All right, Commander. I'm officially placing the Enterprise on detached duty. Your mission is at your discretion. Good luck.
RIKER: Thank you, sir.

My biggest problem is that the Enterprise has other missions to do. Riker should've been given a firm deadline. "I can reassign your next few missions, but remember that the Enterprise is needed on Planet X for Reason Y in 2 weeks, so that's all you get to investigate."

YRANAC: Ah, Commander Riker. I've been meaning to speak to you. I was wondering if you could move me to better quarters. I don't care much for the decor here.
RIKER: These are the best quarters we have.

Does the decor really change all that much between standard guest quarters? I don't think this guy is worthy of the fancier suites that the admirals stay in. Actually, this reminds me of that holographic wall thing that the quarters were supposed to have in the series bible. Each guest can configure it to their liking.

RIKER: What do you want?
YRANAC: Not a great deal, Commander. Just a shuttlecraft. I believe I'd like to travel for a while, see more of the galaxy. You understand.

I have trouble with the idea that a person can live in a shuttlecraft long term. Even a runabout (which we know the Enterprise has) would get claustrophobic eventually.

RIKER: Take us out of orbit. Set course for the Barradas system, warp six.

Enjoy warp six while you can, Will, the speed limit hits in two months!

DATA: Aye, sir. Commander, as Acting First Officer, I must question your decision to accompany the away team. If Captain Picard were here
RIKER: He's not.
DATA: I realise that, sir. But if he were, and he wanted to lead an away team, you would tell him that the Captain's place is
RIKER: On the Bridge. Not this time.

Actually, Will, there isn't any particular reason why you would be more effective on this away mission. At least when Picard takes charge there's a reason, whether it's historical curiosity, the need for diplomacy, or whatever. In this case Data can arrest these guys and shoot a phaser at least as good as Will can.

A key problem with this episode is that we're too far into the series for it to be plausible. The whole point of Best of Both Worlds is that Riker was mature enough to be captain. His antics here just serve to prove that Jellico was right. And you never want Jellico to be right!

DATA: Bridge to Transporter room two. Can you get a lock on the away team?
CHIEF [OC]: Negative, sir. There's too much interference.

I suddenly wonder who the transporter chief is now, and how well O'Brien trained him. I realize that it was too far into the series to introduce a new transporter chief, but giving these people names would've been nice.

NARIK: (more spiky, Harper-esque) I warned you not to push the engines so hard. Two of the power shunts are on the verge of collapse. We'll be lucky if we can maintain warp six.
BARAN: How long will it take to repair?
NARIK: I can try to realign the warp core. It'll take at least eleven hours, but I'll have to shut the engines down completely.
BARAN: We're not stopping. We can't afford to be sitting helpless in space. I want warp eight available in five hours, and I don't want to hear your excuses.

I hate captains that are this poorly written. I know that the short definition of "captain" is "wants the impossible", but Baran is taking things too far. He should be asking for viable options, like a nebula or planet with thick atmosphere, not this "rewrite reality to suit my whims" nonsense.

RIKER: William T. Riker, Commander, SC two three one dash four two seven.

The whole name, rank, serial number thing is just stupid, at least in Trek.

BARAN: Dangerous? It might be profitable. A Starfleet Commander is a valuable hostage.
VEKOR: Starfleet won't negotiate with us, but they'll pursue us as long as we have him.

This is another interesting screed that I could write, but I'll skip it.

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 01-14-2024, 11:13 PM
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RIKER: And what Riker might that be?
PICARD: Commander of the Enterprise formerly assigned to the USS Hood.
RIKER: That's right.
PICARD: Then you must be the William T. Riker with a history of insubordination. He was even once relieved of duty, during the Cardassian incident at Minos Korva.

This is a reference to "Chain of Command". I'm surprised that the name Riker isn't better known for that itsy bitsy thing called "saving the entire Alpha Quadrant from the Borg."

DATA: Perhaps these artefacts have a special value to the Romulans.
WORF: The Romulans?
DATA: These structures were built by the Debrune. That race is an ancient offshoot of the Romulans.

In the comic prequel to Trek 11 it was stated that Nero's staff was a Debrune artifact. Yet another example of the support staff trying to respect continuity even if the writers don't.

RIKER: A witness said they saw you vaporised.
PICARD: These mercenaries use weapons that can activate their transporter. It gives them the opportunity to beam things quickly, just by firing at them. That's what they did to me.

Are these projectile weapons, or some sort of energy beam that leaves a charge on the victim? Either way, there are further questions that must be answered.

PICARD: The site that I wanted to study had been raided. A lot of the artefacts had been stolen. The site had been practically destroyed. I wanted to find out who was responsible. I tracked them to that bar on Dessica Two. I must have asked too many questions. They captured me.

And you didn't inform Starfleet...because?

PICARD: What? Calder Two isn't just another archaeological site, you know. It's a Federation outpost there.
PICARD: They also have a minimum of two phaser banks and possibly photon torpedoes. Is that enough to worry about?

From Generations we know that planet-based torpedo/probe launchers exist, I just question their effectiveness in a battle situation on a planet. Firing on a target within the atmosphere would require thrusters which are slower than impulse engines, giving time for a counterattack. Firing on a target in orbit would create disturbances large enough to give the ship ample opportunity to return fire or move out of the way.

TALLERA: Do you enjoy living dangerously, Galen? Baran can kill you in an instant if he activates his control device.
PICARD: I doubt that he'll do that. I've increased the accuracy of the identification process by a factor of ten. I'm the best person to analyse these artefacts. Baran knows that.
TALLERA: He may need you now, but I know Baran, and I can tell you he's not going to back down forever. You accomplish nothing by provoking him.

A good point. I think that on some level Picard is enjoying playing out a Dixon Hill scenario in real life. He shouldn't be this dumb.

WORF: Commander, we are receiving some kind of signal from the mercenary ship. These are Commander Riker's access codes. He is attempting to shut down our shields.
TROI: That doesn't make any sense. He knows those codes would have been changed as soon as he was captured.
DATA: That is correct, Counsellor. He does know. Mister Worf, prepare to drop the shields.

We could have a jolly time debating whether or not Data has learned intuition since "Redemption," but I'd rather give the credit to his Holmes program.
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 01-14-2024, 11:14 PM
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The Fiver

Riker: Admiral, I'd like to find the people who killed Captain Picard.
Chekote: I understand. I'm sure finding them will help you deal with your grief.
Riker: Grief? I'm in command of the Enterprise because of them, I'd like to buy them a drink!

Root beer, I presume. It's so cloying and bubbly and happy...

Geordi: It's strange. These artifacts look like they've been scooped off the face of the planet.
Riker: Wait, so the Borg did this? I thought we'd laid to rest the Locutus storyline.

In your dreams, Will.

Baran: What should we do with the Starfleet officer?
Narik and Vekor: Burn him!
Baran: And what do we burn apart from Starfleet officers?
Galen: More Starfleet officers!
Baran: Suddenly I am overcome by a very strange sense of irony.

This Monty Python joke needed a little more meat to it...

Narik: Aah! The ship's just kicked into overdrive! It's going to explode!
Galen: The computer seems to be infected by an Iconian virus like that one time on the Enterprise.

It seems to me that a "11001001" reference would be funnier, but whatever...

Tallera: What's your malfunction? Why are you opposing Baran?
Galen: I'm just trying to prove that I can be a shady, amoral mercenary.
Tallera: Don't give me that. I know you're just a Mary Jayne.

I'm missing some references here...

Baran: So now what are you going to do?
Riker: I saw this in a movie once. We get the command codes for the ship and tell it to lower its shields!
Baran: Sounds like a pretty stupid movie.
Tallera: It was. I much preferred the two after it.

I know this is a Generations joke, but the Wrath of Khan interpretation is also interesting when you think about it...

Memory Alpha

* Gene was adamantly against space pirates, it goes back to the series bible. Rick Berman jokingly blindfolded the bust of Gene on his desk when talking about this episode. My immediate rejoinder is that there are few plots that wouldn't work with the right writing, but unfortunately this episode does not have good writing. I remember when SF Debris complained that Gorta back in "Firstborn" had more personality in ONE SCENE than these pirates had in TWO EPISODES.
* Shankar's problem with the episode is that nobody will buy that the Captain is really dead, so we're just killing time until the Captain comes back. I agree, if we wanted to do this story it really needed three episodes and Picard wouldn't have appeared until the end of the first one to provide the cliffhanger.
* The bridge of the marauder ship is a redress of the battle bridge. Which surprised me, I thought the battle bridge was converted into other sets after "Best of Both Worlds".
* The TNG Companion speculates that Picard may have chosen "Galen" to honor his old professor. My immediate rejoinder is whether or not the TNG Companion can provide any alternate hypothesis. I mean, I want to scream "DUH!" in the Companion's proverbial face.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil is shocked that Data would lecture Riker about the whole "captain's place is on the Bridge" thing, then lead an away mission himself when he becomes acting captain.
* Back in "Chain of Command" when Data became acting First Officer he changed to a red uniform, but he doesn't when it happens again here. I would argue that in this episode it was explicitly temporary (Data would've asked for a replacement captain after this mission) while in "Chain of Command" it was a bit more permanent.
* Phasers don't work at warp, yet Data tries to lock phasers at warp. Oops.
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 01-15-2024, 02:22 AM
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Jayne is an amoral mercenary in Firefly. I don't know where the Mary comes from.
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Old 01-15-2024, 09:40 PM
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Presumably it's a modification of the cliched Mary Sue (who did originate in a '70s TOS fanfic, incidentally).
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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