OTNGEG - Pen Pals

PST: discuss Star Trek without "versus" arguments.

Moderator: Alyeska

User avatar
Serafina
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5246
Joined: 2009-01-07 05:37pm
Location: Germany

OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Serafina » 2010-10-09 01:36pm


Yet another review! Thanks Chuck. Not watched yet, so posted without further comment.
SoS:NBA GALE Force
"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

Divine Administration - of Gods and Bureaucracy (Worm/Exalted)

User avatar
Ghost Rider
Spirit of Vengeance
Posts: 27779
Joined: 2002-09-24 01:48pm
Location: DC...looking up from the gutters to the stars

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Ghost Rider » 2010-10-09 03:29pm

I find it particularly sad, is what Chuck notes at the end about the Prime Directive and the reality of how fucked it got. Good review, but that last part struck me.
MM /CF/WG/BOTM/JL/Original Warsie/ACPATHNTDWATGODW FOREVER!!

Sometimes we can choose the path we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all

Saying and doing are chocolate and concrete

User avatar
Serafina
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5246
Joined: 2009-01-07 05:37pm
Location: Germany

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Serafina » 2010-10-09 03:31pm

Ghost Rider wrote:I find it particularly sad, is what Chuck notes at the end about the Prime Directive and the reality of how fucked it got. Good review, but that last part struck me.
I found Picards "logic" quite stunning as well...
Either way, i am looking forward for that episode which will discuss the Prime Directive. Maybe it will be "Dear Doctor"? :wink:
SoS:NBA GALE Force
"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

Divine Administration - of Gods and Bureaucracy (Worm/Exalted)

OsirisLord
Youngling
Posts: 99
Joined: 2009-01-31 05:37pm

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby OsirisLord » 2010-10-09 06:49pm

I don't know about you guys but I came to sfdebris to see Voyager and Enterprise get roasted. While I enjoyed how August was a whole month of Voyager, I tire of TNG. Even when it was bad, TNG was never quite as bad as Enterprise.

That being said I find Riker's logic particularly distressing. What does this man think of modern medicine? No, we shouldn't treat Jimmy's polio, because for all we know know, him contracting the disease could be a part of some greater plan, and we are we as mere mortals to interfere. Honestly the Prime Directive is probably the worst part of all of Star Trek. This is supposed to be a more evolved human society, but we still cling tightly to some form of absolute truth or law. The Prime Directive is neither progressive, or enlightened. While I understand it's place in preventing less developed planets from being abused by more powerful ones, often times it does nothing but prevent Captain's from saving lives from pointless deaths.

User avatar
Formless
Sith Devotee
Posts: 3363
Joined: 2008-11-10 08:59pm
Location: the beginning and end of the Present

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Formless » 2010-10-09 07:06pm

Some of us like Chuck's positive reviews. Its always good to see what they did right, because frankly everyone and his dog already knows what they did wrong. Episodes like this are particularly nice because we get to see how Trek's brainbugs evolved to their current idiotic forms. If you just want to see bad writing get roasted, watch the Nostalgia Critic.
"Still, I would love to see human beings, and their constituent organ systems, trivialized and commercialized to the same extent as damn iPods and other crappy consumer products. It would be absolutely horrific, yet so wonderful." — Shroom Man 777
"To Err is Human; to Arrr is Pirate." — Skallagrim
“I would suggest "Schmuckulating", which is what Futurists do and, by extension, what they are." — Commenter "Rayneau"

The Magic Eight Ball Conspiracy.

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14656
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: In Denial
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Batman » 2010-10-09 07:25pm

The problem with the Prime Directive is that it there isn't, out of universe, such a thing as the Prime Directive. Nobody ever bothered to work out the actual terms and conditions of the bloody thing (possibly excepting 3rd party material, I never was much into the Trek EU), which resulted in stupidity like 'Pen Pals' - the generally quoted adage of 'preventing cultural shock for pre-Warp civilizations' is in my opinion pretty moot when it's cultural shock or complete extermination, the 'interfering with the natural development of the civilization' one is equally stupid, there isno such thing, and if there were, who are you to say them running into you to save them isn't part of that very process?
Especially as they're pretty selective about what is and isn't part of the natural development of a people to begin with. Excess amounts of Dilithium causing the extinction of people A-part of the cycle of nature. Perfectly acceptable. Their sun going wonky due to technobble and threatening to kills species B -pull out all the stops to prevent that from happening.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kids with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
Zor
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5494
Joined: 2004-06-08 03:37am

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Zor » 2010-10-09 09:13pm

OsirisLord wrote:I don't know about you guys but I came to sfdebris to see Voyager and Enterprise get roasted. While I enjoyed how August was a whole month of Voyager, I tire of TNG.


In my opinion, simple ability to spew profanity laced bile does not constitute a good reviewer. Giving credit where credit is due is just as important. I actually like reading Yathzee's Text based Extra Punctuation because they are less spiteful.

Even when it was bad, TNG was never quite as bad as Enterprise.


I am going to dispute this. The best of Enterprise blows the worst of TNG out of the water. This may be setting the bar low, given some of the shit in the earlier seasons, but simply being from what was on the whole a better constructed series does not excuse crap when it comes up.

Then again, i am a bit softer on Ent than most people here.

Zor
HAIL ZOR! WE'LL BLOW UP THE OCEAN!
Heros of Cybertron-HAB-Keeper of the Vicious pit of Allosauruses-King Leighton-I, United Kingdom of Zoria: SD.net World/Tsar Mikhail-I of the Red Tsardom: SD.net Kingdoms
WHEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE ON EARTH, ALL EARTH BREAKS LOOSE ON HELL
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/ind
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/tra
Terran Sphere
The Art of Zor

User avatar
Srelex
Jedi Master
Posts: 1445
Joined: 2010-01-20 08:33pm

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Srelex » 2010-10-09 09:15pm

Watching that clip made me wonder just how one rides a holographic horse.
"No, no, no, no! Light speed's too slow! Yes, we're gonna have to go right to... Ludicrous speed!"

Prometheus Unbound
Jedi Knight
Posts: 793
Joined: 2007-09-28 06:46am

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Prometheus Unbound » 2010-10-09 09:33pm

OsirisLord wrote:I don't know about you guys but I came to sfdebris to see Voyager and Enterprise get roasted. While I enjoyed how August was a whole month of Voyager, I tire of TNG. Even when it was bad, TNG was never quite as bad as Enterprise.
Whilst it may not be THE POINT, that's the point.

He reviews TNG episodes (and DS9) but they are always (99% of the time) better than VOY or ENT. That's the point.

The reason we dislike Voyager and Ent is because what came before it was so much better, even if it was one on 25% the budget (relatively) and corney... at least the worst TNG had was on par with average Voyager etc.
NecronLord wrote:
Also, shorten your signature a couple of lines please.

Prometheus Unbound
Jedi Knight
Posts: 793
Joined: 2007-09-28 06:46am

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Prometheus Unbound » 2010-10-09 09:35pm

Srelex wrote:Watching that clip made me wonder just how one rides a holographic horse.


In what way? If you mean literally, then.. he just jumps on the saddle and goes.

If you mean how does the horse go 20 miles (or at least further than the walls of the holodeck go) ... use your imagination. Conveyer belt type stuff. Very advanced conveyer belt but conveyer belt nonetheless.

Think of those exercise machines at the gym where you can run for miles but stay on the same spot.

Except with holographic ground and stuff.
NecronLord wrote:
Also, shorten your signature a couple of lines please.

OsirisLord
Youngling
Posts: 99
Joined: 2009-01-31 05:37pm

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby OsirisLord » 2010-10-10 01:27am

Batman wrote:The problem with the Prime Directive is that it there isn't, out of universe, such a thing as the Prime Directive. Nobody ever bothered to work out the actual terms and conditions of the bloody thing (possibly excepting 3rd party material, I never was much into the Trek EU), which resulted in stupidity like 'Pen Pals' - the generally quoted adage of 'preventing cultural shock for pre-Warp civilizations' is in my opinion pretty moot when it's cultural shock or complete extermination, the 'interfering with the natural development of the civilization' one is equally stupid, there isno such thing, and if there were, who are you to say them running into you to save them isn't part of that very process?
Especially as they're pretty selective about what is and isn't part of the natural development of a people to begin with. Excess amounts of Dilithium causing the extinction of people A-part of the cycle of nature. Perfectly acceptable. Their sun going wonky due to technobble and threatening to kills species B -pull out all the stops to prevent that from happening.

I originally thought the Prime Directive dealt with time travel. You know "if you go back in time don't touch anything or you could fuck things up." But then I heard it was about preventing the exploitation of pre-warp civilizations, which I thought sounded okay. But for some reason Star Trek writers could never seem to wrap their heads around what that means. The Cardassian occupation of Bajor is a good example. The Federation couldn't do anything to stop the Cardassians, because that would mean they would have to interfer with a pre-war civilization. Except the Cardassians have already interferred so what's the point? And once the Cardassians left, the Prime Directive left with it. I though the Federation should have enforced the Prime Directive by preventing the Cardassians from exploiting the Bajorans. At what point did Federation officers decided to let their Federation principles start thinking for them. And if your thinking is based on what a bunch of principles and directives tell you and are treated as absolutes, then how is this any different from religious thinking?

User avatar
CaptainChewbacca
Browncoat Wookiee
Posts: 15745
Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby CaptainChewbacca » 2010-10-10 03:16am

The Bajoran occupation was a tricky thing. The Cardassians managed to get more and more troops around Bajor for some pretext, then they worked to install a pro-cardassian leadership in the Bajoran government. After that, they engineered some fake disaster and then the 'government' of Bajor called for Cardassian peacekeepers, which resulted in the annexation of Bajor into the Cardassian Union.
Stuart: The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.
You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker
ImageImage

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 29383
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Thanas » 2010-10-10 07:11am

Do any other nations even recognize the prime directive? It seems more of a Federation thing than anything else. The Ferengi certainly do not, and I doubt any other grand power does as well.


EDIT: Also, props to Picard. He recognizes the law is the law, but also recognizes that when actual people are dieing, he needs to do something. Unlike Janeway.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

User avatar
Stofsk
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12924
Joined: 2003-11-10 12:36am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Stofsk » 2010-10-10 09:28am

By a remarkable coincidence, I've just rewatched the 'Sins of the Father/Reunion/Redemption' saga. Picard doesn't involve the Federation in the Klingon Civil War in part 1. IKC Bortas was attacked by two heavy birds of prey and Gowron sent out a general distress call. Picard turned the Enterprise around and ordered his helm to give the battle a wide berth, drawing a surprised reaction from Riker. His response was if he were to commit the Enterprise to coming to the Bortas' aid, he would be drawing the Federation into a conflict which by definition was an internal matter. Later in the same episode, even when Gowron makes his formal petition of Picard and the Federation to enter the conflict on his side, Picard refuses, for the same reason. This seems a bit strange as the prime direction was formed to prevent interference with pre-warp civilisations, and we know that despite it being starfleet's general order number one, there exists some leeway for its enforcement and it's not set in stone (otherwise Picard and Kirk would have been reprimanded severely for each of their violations of the PD over the courses of their command). In 'Redemption 2' Picard petitions a Fleet Admiral to get involved in a very important albeit nondirect manner, in an attempt to expose the Romulans' involvement. However the prime directive isn't really the issue here, but involving the Federation in other people's business - particularly their bloody civil wars.

There have also been many instances where the Federation has come to someone's aid in humanitarian situations. On the other hand, I haven't seen this episode at all, and I do remember one particularly egregious episode in season seven that involved the PD preventing anyone from coming to the aid of a pre-warp civilisation which was about to be annihilated by a planetary mass-extinction event. Worf's human brother took the law into his own hands and a small village survived.

The PD is an interesting thing. A lot of people don't like it because it seems to constrain humanitarian involvement, however I have to say the instances of that are outnumbered by the instances where the Enterprise (under Kirk or Picard) have intervened. In general though I think it's a good idea, especially as it relates to not interfering in a culture from a damage mitigation angle. In TOS there is no problem with say, offering an apparent pre-warp civilisation medical and educational assistance - Kirk petitions the council of elders on Organia to let the Federation help them and offered them such assistance - but the biggest reason to not get involved usually stems from internal conflicts: 'The Omega Glory', 'A Private Little War', and 'Redemption' being relevant examples. If the choice is either to interfere or stand by and watch the culture die due to cataclysmic events, generally the episode falls in favour of intervention, and in 'Return of the Archons' Kirk explicitly mentions that the PD applies to normal, healthy cultures which are proceeding at their own pace - and if a culture is abnormal by some measure or has already been interfered with already, or is not healthy and is self-destructive, then interference is warranted.
Image

User avatar
Stofsk
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12924
Joined: 2003-11-10 12:36am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Stofsk » 2010-10-10 09:59am

Destructionator XIII wrote:Though, it surprising Riker means it probably was the normal and legal thing to do, and Picard just used his authority as captain to make an alternate decision in that situation.

Riker noted that the Bortas was Gowron's flagship and Gowron was the legitimate ruler, so it could come down either way. Picard is just an overly cautious person and thinks more like a diplomat. I bet if Riker were in command that scene would have been handled differently.

There have also been many instances where the Federation has come to someone's aid in humanitarian situations.

In how many of those does the captain's log say something like "they requested the Federation's assistance"?

I don't recall many. There was one instance where the Enterprise came to the assistance of a planet which was threatened by a moon impacting on their surface in 'Deja Q'. They were a technological society but I can't remember if they were pre-warp.

But there have nevertheless been many examples of the Enterprise arriving at a scene to help people.
Image

User avatar
Patrick Degan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14847
Joined: 2002-07-15 08:06am
Location: Orleanian in exile

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Patrick Degan » 2010-10-10 01:16pm

One of the worst aspects of "Pen Pals" is that its construction of the Prime Directive, which grew to monumental idiocy as the years wore on, had to have been written in total ignorance of how the PD was conceived in TOS. It only stated it was bad to culture-shock a primitive people, but not that it was necessarily wrong to contact or even trade with them ("Errand Of Mercy", "Friday's Child") and certainly not that it was meant to mandate that Federation personnel just stand by and let a whole culture/race die if it can be prevented:

For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky wrote:"Captain, informing these people that they are on a spaceship might be interpreted as violating the non-interference directive."

"Well, Mr. Spock, the people of Yonada might be changed by the knowledge, but that's better than exterminating them."


Zor wrote:
Even when it was bad, TNG was never quite as bad as Enterprise.


I am going to dispute this. The best of Enterprise blows the worst of TNG out of the water. This may be setting the bar low, given some of the shit in the earlier seasons, but simply being from what was on the whole a better constructed series does not excuse crap when it comes up.

Then again, i am a bit softer on Ent than most people here.

Zor


Don't worry. There's help for people like you.
When ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided, there can be no successful appeal back to bullets.
—Abraham Lincoln

People pray so that God won't crush them like bugs.
—Dr. Gregory House

Oil an emergency?! It's about time, Brigadier, that the leaders of this planet of yours realised that to remain dependent upon a mineral slime simply doesn't make sense.
—The Doctor "Terror Of The Zygons" (1975)

User avatar
Stofsk
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12924
Joined: 2003-11-10 12:36am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Stofsk » 2010-10-10 03:33pm

Full frontal lobotomies? :D
Image

User avatar
spaceviking
Jedi Knight
Posts: 853
Joined: 2008-03-20 05:54pm

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby spaceviking » 2010-10-10 05:26pm

It's not a bad statement if you define the best of enterprise to be one maybe two episodes and do the same for the worst of TNG.

User avatar
Formless
Sith Devotee
Posts: 3363
Joined: 2008-11-10 08:59pm
Location: the beginning and end of the Present

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Formless » 2010-10-10 05:37pm

You are right: then its just a pointless statement.
"Still, I would love to see human beings, and their constituent organ systems, trivialized and commercialized to the same extent as damn iPods and other crappy consumer products. It would be absolutely horrific, yet so wonderful." — Shroom Man 777
"To Err is Human; to Arrr is Pirate." — Skallagrim
“I would suggest "Schmuckulating", which is what Futurists do and, by extension, what they are." — Commenter "Rayneau"

The Magic Eight Ball Conspiracy.

User avatar
Coalition
Jedi Master
Posts: 1237
Joined: 2002-09-13 11:46am
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Coalition » 2010-10-10 09:20pm

Stofsk wrote:In 'Redemption 2' Picard petitions a Fleet Admiral to get involved in a very important albeit nondirect manner, in an attempt to expose the Romulans' involvement. However the prime directive isn't really the issue here, but involving the Federation in other people's business - particularly their bloody civil wars.


Redemption Pt 2 where they used the Tachyon sensor grid could be a form of obeying the Prime Directive. They are making sure other empires do not interfere with the 'normal' functioning of the Klingon government/civil war.

Would the Monroe Doctrine be a good comparison for the Prime Directive?

User avatar
tim31
Sith Devotee
Posts: 3388
Joined: 2006-10-18 03:32am
Location: Tasmania, Australia

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby tim31 » 2010-10-11 05:04am

That still doesn't work; it would have made more sense if there was a line about exploiting a clause in the Khitomer Accords. But involving the prime directive is too much of a stretch.
lol, opsec doesn't apply to fanfiction. -Aaron

PRFYNAFBTFC
CAPTAIN OF MFS SAMMY HAGAR
ImageImage

User avatar
Temujin
Jedi Master
Posts: 1300
Joined: 2010-03-28 07:08pm
Location: Occupying Wall Street (In Spirit)

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Temujin » 2010-10-11 10:01am

Some of the TNG wackiness regarding the Prime Directive could be a brain bug from "Bread and Circuses", where the line "No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space or the fact that there are other worlds or civilizations" was used.

I've heard the creation of the Prime Directive attributed to a few people including Gene L. Coon; does anyone know what Roddenberry's thoughts on the matter were?
Image
Mr. Harley: Your impatience is quite understandable.
Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I'm very sorry... I wish it were otherwise.

"I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe.
If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other." – Frankenstein's Creature on the glacier

User avatar
RedImperator
Roosevelt Republican
Roosevelt Republican
Posts: 16465
Joined: 2002-07-11 07:59pm
Location: Delaware
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby RedImperator » 2010-10-11 10:05am

Picard being unwilling to drag the Federation into a Klingon civil war on his own initiative is pretty reasonable on its own; I'm not sure why the writers resorted to the Prime Directive there.
Image
Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves…We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.--Ada Louise Huxtable, "Farewell to Penn Station", New York Times editorial, 30 October 1963
X-Ray Blues

User avatar
Skylon
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1652
Joined: 2005-01-12 04:55pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Skylon » 2010-10-11 10:39am

Temujin wrote:Some of the TNG wackiness regarding the Prime Directive could be a brain bug from "Bread and Circuses", where the line "No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space or the fact that there are other worlds or civilizations" was used.

I've heard the creation of the Prime Directive attributed to a few people including Gene L. Coon; does anyone know what Roddenberry's thoughts on the matter were?


One note I find interesting about the P.D. in that Memory Alpha article is that a Voyager episode states there are 47 "sub-orders" to the Prime Directive. That sounds horribly complex for something that claims to be a "Prime Directive". It'd be like adding a dozen sub-sections to the first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Is it possible, what was a simple rule to not fuck up pre-warp civilizations in TOS was legislated to death by TNG, so you got stuff like letting races die, and Picard's actions in "Redemption"?
-A.L.
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence...Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - Calvin Coolidge

"If you're falling off a cliff you may as well try to fly, you've got nothing to lose." - John Sheridan (Babylon 5)

"Sometimes you got to roll the hard six." - William Adama (Battlestar Galactica)

User avatar
Stofsk
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12924
Joined: 2003-11-10 12:36am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: OTNGEG - Pen Pals

Postby Stofsk » 2010-10-11 11:19am

It's possible that what started off as a general rule over time became burdened with complication after complication as a result of constant revising by legislators. Although bear in mind General Order 1 is a Starfleet rule, not a Federation one. Though the two are often interchangeable I don't think we ever hear about it being a Federation law as opposed to a Starfleet one, which leads to the possibility that civilians can 'violate' the prime directive or at least aren't held to the same standard.
Image


Return to “Pure Star Trek”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests