OEEG - Dear Doctor

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OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Mayabird » 2010-11-13 06:22pm

Genocide ahoy!



There's a second video on the Prime Directive coming up later tonight too.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Setzer » 2010-11-13 06:37pm

Alright! I didn't think Chuck would have this one out so soon.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Purple » 2010-11-13 06:42pm

Jesus Christ.
This is just wrong. This is why I hate archer!
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Thanas » 2010-11-13 06:49pm

The Federation - proudly choosing to committ genocide.

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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Setzer » 2010-11-13 06:55pm

I had an idea for how to improve this plot. Perhaps the Enterprise had discovered Valakis in a previous episode, and given them a cure for their illness. Instead of being something that will wipe out the species, just have the disease be something like smallpox that kills in huge numbers.

Now they come back, and find Valakis has gone from a model of social order to an overpopulated wreck. Without the disease limiting their population growth, and lacking the political sophistication to handle the demographic boom, the Valakian world now looks like something out of Soylent Green. The fighting over arable land has lead to chronic warfare between the Valakian nation states. The wars have killed so many of their best and brightest that the Valakians have no real hope of developing interstellar travel on their own now. I think that's a far better idea then arbitrary mangling evolution to justify some predestination nonsense.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 2010-11-13 08:18pm

Mayabird wrote:There's a second video on the Prime Directive coming up later tonight too.

Now available:


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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Mayabird » 2010-11-13 09:46pm

A good video day, then. First the secret origins of the Pakleds, and then a trashing of the Prime Directive.

Though I'd hate to see the Youtube comments he gets from these two. Huh boy.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Coalition » 2010-11-14 02:26am

Setzer wrote:I had an idea for how to improve this plot. Perhaps the Enterprise had discovered Valakis in a previous episode, and given them a cure for their illness. Instead of being something that will wipe out the species, just have the disease be something like smallpox that kills in huge numbers.

Now they come back, and find Valakis has gone from a model of social order to an overpopulated wreck. Without the disease limiting their population growth, and lacking the political sophistication to handle the demographic boom, the Valakian world now looks like something out of Soylent Green. The fighting over arable land has lead to chronic warfare between the Valakian nation states. The wars have killed so many of their best and brightest that the Valakians have no real hope of developing interstellar travel on their own now. I think that's a far better idea then arbitrary mangling evolution to justify some predestination nonsense.

Close, they could have had it set on the planet of Gideon. They see a disease ravaging the population, and provide a cure. You'd show the Enterprise crew creating quick solutions, that lead to later problems.

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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Metahive » 2010-11-14 06:14am

All hail Saint Archer and Saint Phlox, prophets of ye Lord Evolution who hast given us the path to follow without fail.
Truly, if one thing needs to change it's "science"-fiction shows portraying evolution in such a way. Babylon 5 did the same thing as did TNG and Voyger complete with "higher" and "lower" rungs on an almost literal "evolutionary ladder". I wonder how much in total they have contributed to this quite popular misconception.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Bladed_Crescent » 2010-11-14 11:41am

Metahive wrote:Truly, if one thing needs to change it's "science"-fiction shows portraying evolution in such a way. Babylon 5 did the same thing as did TNG and Voyger complete with "higher" and "lower" rungs on an almost literal "evolutionary ladder". I wonder how much in total they have contributed to this quite popular misconception.


Just a note on evolution:

Actually, the term "evolution" itself contributes to that particular misconception as before it was applied to Darwin's theory, it meant (and still means) "a process of change in a certain direction". Darwin himself hated the term and never used it, trying to fight against its usage; he preferred "descent with modification" to describe the evolutionary process, since he never considered it to be moving towards any specific goal. i.e. natural selection is a reactive process, not an anticipatory one - this is what most media presentations get wrong.

i.e. if you have a population of, let's call them, wassles. Their planet recently went through an ice age, so all the wassles have long, heavy coats, despite the fact that they live in increasingly-warm, soon-to-be tropical habitats. Now, their thick fur is going to be a hindrance in such climates, so the wassle population will be selected for those with lighter coats. Their heavy fur is a reaction to the ice age, not a step on Evolution's Road to Perfection. Once the next ice age hits, the short-furred wassles will be selected for those with longer coats and on and on, always in reaction to the environment rather than anticipating it. Sci-fi evolution is far more... prognostic in its portrayal.

However, after Darwin's death, his scientific contemporaries who much preferred the idea of humans being the pinnacle of this process (and also using it to "rank" human races) succeeded in getting it referred to as 'evolution'.

To sum up: it's not really fair to solely base the 'evolution is a move towards a specific goal' idea on science fiction writers, when it was named thusly to specifically portray (and advocate for) that concept.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Big Orange » 2010-11-14 11:45am

In a better Enterprise episode much later in S4 it's ironic that Phlox was disgusted with Organian beings who were possessing people out of curiosity and callously standing by while a pathogen was eating away at a few of his colleagues. :P
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Srelex » 2010-11-14 11:50am

Metahive wrote:All hail Saint Archer and Saint Phlox, prophets of ye Lord Evolution who hast given us the path to follow without fail.
Truly, if one thing needs to change it's "science"-fiction shows portraying evolution in such a way. Babylon 5 did the same thing as did TNG and Voyger complete with "higher" and "lower" rungs on an almost literal "evolutionary ladder". I wonder how much in total they have contributed to this quite popular misconception.


Don't forget Pokémon. Although in fairness I hear the Japanese version used another term.

Anyway, the Youtube comments were pretty predictable. :lol:
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby OsirisLord » 2010-11-14 02:05pm

Bladed_Crescent wrote:
Metahive wrote:Truly, if one thing needs to change it's "science"-fiction shows portraying evolution in such a way. Babylon 5 did the same thing as did TNG and Voyger complete with "higher" and "lower" rungs on an almost literal "evolutionary ladder". I wonder how much in total they have contributed to this quite popular misconception.


Just a note on evolution:

Actually, the term "evolution" itself contributes to that particular misconception as before it was applied to Darwin's theory, it meant (and still means) "a process of change in a certain direction". Darwin himself hated the term and never used it, trying to fight against its usage; he preferred "descent with modification" to describe the evolutionary process, since he never considered it to be moving towards any specific goal. i.e. natural selection is a reactive process, not an anticipatory one - this is what most media presentations get wrong.

i.e. if you have a population of, let's call them, wassles. Their planet recently went through an ice age, so all the wassles have long, heavy coats, despite the fact that they live in increasingly-warm, soon-to-be tropical habitats. Now, their thick fur is going to be a hindrance in such climates, so the wassle population will be selected for those with lighter coats. Their heavy fur is a reaction to the ice age, not a step on Evolution's Road to Perfection. Once the next ice age hits, the short-furred wassles will be selected for those with longer coats and on and on, always in reaction to the environment rather than anticipating it. Sci-fi evolution is far more... prognostic in its portrayal.

However, after Darwin's death, his scientific contemporaries who much preferred the idea of humans being the pinnacle of this process (and also using it to "rank" human races) succeeded in getting it referred to as 'evolution'.

To sum up: it's not really fair to solely base the 'evolution is a move towards a specific goal' idea on science fiction writers, when it was named thusly to specifically portray (and advocate for) that concept.


Hurray for science. Either the scientific terms are so heavily laden with the professional vernacular that laymen can't understand it, or, as the case with the Big Bang for instance, unintentionally misleading, so laymen end up with an idea, it's just the wrong one.

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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Formless » 2010-11-14 02:16pm

Srelex wrote:Don't forget Pokémon. Although in fairness I hear the Japanese version used another term.

Anyway, the Youtube comments were pretty predictable. :lol:

You can't blame Poke'mon for that though-- that misuse of terminology came from Tomagotchi and other digital pet games long before they ever localized Red and Blue. Nintendo just followed suit because it was in that genre (to some degree at least). Besides, making fun of Poke'mon's evolution/metamorphosis mixup is so cliche among its own fanbase I doubt it has anything to do with the mainstream confusion. Not compared to Star Trek and other "adult" sci-fi media.

P.S. youtube comments are stupid? Say it ain't so! :lol:
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Metahive » 2010-11-15 05:13am

Bladed Crescent wrote:To sum up: it's not really fair to solely base the 'evolution is a move towards a specific goal' idea on science fiction writers, when it was named thusly to specifically portray (and advocate for) that concept.

Well, good then I didn't. I only asked how much they contributed to it. And if my rusty high school latin still serves me "evolvere" whence I presume evolution was taken just means "develop", so I don't think it's all that unfitting.

Srelex wrote:Don't forget Pokémon. Although in fairness I hear the Japanese version used another term.

Or Marvel Comics. "Next step in human evolution" indeed. When will my kids get their very own weather control powers or eyelaser beams?
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby RedImperator » 2010-11-15 07:15pm

This is the episode that got me to throw in the towel on Enterprise. I know there was network meddling in this episode, but I can't understand what was going on in the writer's room when they came up with this episode.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Ghost Rider » 2010-11-15 09:06pm

Dear Doctor was a mess. I'm glad that Chuck reviewed it, and had far kinder words then I did for it. Add in the Prime Directive review and it gives a lot of the reasons I truly began to wonder about Trek.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Freefall » 2010-11-16 06:09am

If there is a cosmic plan, is it not the height of hubris to think we can or should interfere.


What gets me about this kind of attitude, is that it is itself in a way, the height of hubris, because even if there were a "cosmic plan," why would they assume that they are not a part of it? Wouldn't it be reasonable to think that any force capable of such grand manipulations would also be capable of preventing the Enterprise from actually ruining any plans it had if it really wanted to? In fact, that's sort of what happened in that season 1 episode with the planet where everyone got laid all the time and breaking any law was a capital offense. The Enterprise starts messing in their affairs, and their god shows up and says, "stay the fuck away from my children or I'll kick your ass."

And again, there is the inherent hubris of assuming that humanity is simply outside the plan in the first place.

Riker: Gee, we can't save you, because for all we know, God wants you all to die, and we can't interfere with his plans. It would be really conceited to do so.

Native: Uh, what if God's plan is to have you save us to usher in a new era of peace and enlightenment for our people as we discover we're not alone in the universe? I mean, what could possibly be the point of just letting us go extinct? And why would you respect a God who openly condones planetary genocide? And wouldn't it be even more conceited to presume that God somehow failed to account for you in his cosmic plan, or that you're so powerful you can affect it anyway?

Riker: Well, the problem with that is it would require me to actually get off my ass, do something, and take responsibility for my own actions. My way's a lot easier.

And no, I'm not advocating a "cosmic plan" at all, I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy of the attitude.

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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Metahive » 2010-11-16 06:29am

Indeed, whenever people babble about Grand Cosmic Schemes and God's Mysterious Ways or whatever, it's really just them first projecting their own opinions and attitudes upon the universe and then using that as an excuse to not take any responsibility for them. "Sorry, victim of deadly disease I could cure but am too lazy or deluded to, I would help, but conveniently the Great Cosmic Scheme says I shouldn't waste my time and rather go and watch the Superbowl and I for sure wouldn't argue with the Cosmos, would you? See ya, or rather don't, lol".

There's also the hypocrisy of them not helping by declaring it an "undue interference with natural development" or grand-standing crap like that but never explaining why this particular interference with nature is somehow against da rules, but FTL travel, phasercannons and photon torpedos are not.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Zor » 2010-11-16 07:25am

RedImperator wrote:This is the episode that got me to throw in the towel on Enterprise. I know there was network meddling in this episode, but I can't understand what was going on in the writer's room when they came up with this episode.


The way i see it, this episode was created because similar takes on the Prime Directive were allowed (Time and Time Again and Prototype to name a couple) and gradually, the writers got it into their mind that they could go this far and that fans would buy it (at least in being controversial).

Also, another failure is how they introduce the dawning of the ideas of the Prime Directive. In of itself this is a good idea for this series. It would have been better to have Enterprise come in to a scenario, try to help out people by actually doing something with the best of intentions and making a pigs ear out of it and making things worse. It could make an interesting story arc to be the truth.

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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Formless » 2010-11-16 02:17pm

And no, I'm not advocating a "cosmic plan" at all, I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy of the attitude.

Actually, the real stupidity is the unstated assumption that just because there is a plan means we must give a damn about it. Hitler had a plan; it involved tyrrany, conquest, and... of course... genocide. Once we were done beating up his country's military, we hung his underlings for trying to carry out his plans, and would have done the same to Hitler himself had he not bit a bullet in his personal bunker first.

If the plan itself is evil, if the plan requires people to die unnecessary deaths, then why should it deserve any more respect from us than numerous other plans made throughout history by human and/or mortal villains and criminals? If the Cosmic Plan Maker has a problem with our morality, he can say hello to Mr. Photon Torpedo and/or James T. Kirk's Rightious Fists of Fuck You. That's how real Star Trek Heros roll. 8)
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby neoolong » 2010-11-17 02:06am

So, if there is a grand cosmic plan, how would Q fit into all of it?

If they're supposed to be so gosh-darn omnipotent, then is it their grand cosmic plan? A group of beings that the lowly humans don't always agree with and don't even like all that much.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Deathstalker » 2010-11-17 04:16pm

It's a good thing the Q don't have a Prime Directive, or the Federation may not have found out about the Borg until a cube started carving up Earth.


Or the Organians, who stopped a small squabble before it escalated into a war.
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Stofsk » 2010-11-17 07:02pm

Deathstalker wrote:It's a good thing the Q don't have a Prime Directive, or the Federation may not have found out about the Borg until a cube started carving up Earth.

Q was the one who introduced the Federation to the Borg, the Borg didn't even know who or what the Federation was or where Earth was prior to their meeting. If he had not done so, who knows how long the Federation would have gone without meeting the Borg?

Although I actually agree Q did the Federation a favour, as it turns out, he was punished for doing so by the other members of the Continuum. (not specifically for introducing humanity to the Borg, but for sowing chaos throughout the universe, which includes his interference in Q Who but is not limited to it) Though they don't as much say so, I'd suggest it's implied the Q have some kind of rules and policies when it comes to interfering with others.

Or the Organians, who stopped a small squabble before it escalated into a war.

Funnily enough, the Organians themselves only did so reluctantly, and they even said 'We find interfering in the affairs of others most disgusting.'
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Re: OEEG - Dear Doctor

Postby Kythnos » 2010-11-17 07:11pm

Stofsk wrote:Q was the one who introduced the Federation to the Borg, the Borg didn't even know who or what the Federation was or where Earth was prior to their meeting. If he had not done so, who knows how long the Federation would have gone without meeting the Borg?


I think the Borg knew about the Federation from the episode "Neutral Zone", they had to assimilate some information from those cities. I just imagined that the Federation was not high on their priority list, in fact I always thought that the single Borg cube seen at Wolf 359 was the same first encountered.
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