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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 13 November 2007 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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Lately I’ve been concerned about an episode of “Enterprise” I recently saw, in which Captain Archer attacked a ship of peaceful alien explorers and stole their warp coil (a vital part of any starship engine) because his own coil was damaged and he needed to get to an important rendezvous.  Star Trek has always taken morality very seriously, but in this case it looks as if they had their main character go back on his own moral code purely for dramatic effect.  I’ve mentioned this is a Star Trek forum I visit, but no one seems to think twice about it.  Some are even glad that Archer isn’t the “goody-goody” type that Picard and Kirk were.  What do the rest of you think?

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Posted: 13 November 2007 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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Deep Space 9 was my favorite ST series.  The episode In the Pale Moonlight epitomizes the difference between DS9 and the rest.  Sisco has Garrak help him lie to the Romulans to bring them into the war with the Dominion.  The Romulan senator catches the lie but Garrak somehow destroyed the senators ship killing all aboard.  And the Romulans come into the war after examining the wreckage thinking the Dominion did it.

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/DS9/episode/72359.html

The goody two shoes, butter won’t melt in their mouth of STNG sometimes made me want to puke.  I wanted to shoot Picard in the head in The Pegasus episode.  Revealing the phased cloak technology to the Romulans.  He should have left some time delayed photon torpedoes in the asteroid so the Romulans would think he had blown up the ship and just flown off.  If the explosion was powerful enough to destroy the Romulan ship, so much the better.  LOL

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TNG/episode/68634.html

psik

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Posted: 13 November 2007 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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advocatus - 13 November 2007 07:23 AM

Lately I’ve been concerned about an episode of “Enterprise” I recently saw, in which Captain Archer attacked a ship of peaceful alien explorers and stole their warp coil (a vital part of any starship engine) because his own coil was damaged and he needed to get to an important rendezvous.  Star Trek has always taken morality very seriously, but in this case it looks as if they had their main character go back on his own moral code purely for dramatic effect.  I’ve mentioned this is a Star Trek forum I visit, but no one seems to think twice about it.  Some are even glad that Archer isn’t the “goody-goody” type that Picard and Kirk were.  What do the rest of you think?

I don’t consider Enterprise Star Trek.  It is not a thing like the Trek we know and love.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 13 November 2007 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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Mriana - 13 November 2007 04:53 PM

I don’t consider Enterprise Star Trek.  It is not a thing like the Trek we know and love.

Would you explain that further?

The thing about a whole sci-fi universe would be having a history.  This showed up in Space Seed in TOS and became Wrath of Kahn and Augments in the Enterprise series..  So Star Fleet itself would have had an origin and history.  It is just a question of the fictional universe being filled in enough.

This is where reality collides with fiction.  TV series costs money and to what extent are the producer willing to sacrifice canonical purity to stay on the air and misjudge fans in the process.

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Posted: 13 November 2007 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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For me, it lacked Gene’s philosophy and aside from the Vulcans and alike, it seemed too much like this time period.  I did not see any of the TOS episodes you just mentioned in Enterpise.  It just was not Trek to me.  Gene was all about going forward, not backwards.  We didn’t need any prequels and we sure don’t need this next movie they are making that is a prequel.  Trek needs to continue forward if it’s going to continue.  Otherwise, it’s going to crash into the ground never to return again and I think that is what TIIC are trying to do.  There was no canon to Enterprise.  The canon is TOS and TNG.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 14 November 2007 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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I agree with Mriana that “Enterprise” doesn’t have the feel of Star Trek, and their various attempts at references to Star Trek history (like the Augments) are feeble.  But please let’s focus on the topic I wanted to talk about in the first place.

Did Archer do the right thing?  Or did he cave in to the pressure he was under and just slip?  Or did the writers just want to appease fans like Psikey who thought Picard was a wuss for doing the right thing?

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Posted: 14 November 2007 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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advocatus - 14 November 2007 08:20 AM

Did Archer do the right thing?  Or did he cave in to the pressure he was under and just slip?  Or did the writers just want to appease fans like Psikey who thought Picard was a wuss for doing the right thing?

First of all I would like to point out I am a Science Fiction Fan NOT a Star Trek fan.

That being said I was never that concerned about strict adherence to Roddenberry’s vision whatever it was.

I don’t think I saw the episode advocatus is referring to but from his description this becomes a question of relative goods.  What would have happened if he hadn’t stolen the coil and then failed to get where he had to go?  If doing the “right thing” does a lot more harm than doing the wrong thing then you just have to face the reality of this being an extremely imperfect and messy universe.  To me that is part of the difference between SCIENCE Fiction and FANTASY.

In my opinion Kirk was The Lone Ranger with a libido and Spock was an Uncle Tom Tom alien.  Like the Green Hornet and Kato.  Somewhat like Napolean Solo and Ilya Kuriyakin.  That is part of why I like the Mirror, Mirror episode so much.  I loved it when Mirror Spock told Kirk he had orders to kill him.  Television science fiction can’t have the freedom of SF literature because the higher cost demands a bigger audience.  I don’t read Star Trek books though.  I tried 5 and managed to get thru 2.  Trek is good enough to watch.

But back to reality.  But because Star Trek has so many writers it isn’t nearly as consistent as Babylon 5.  The Picard in Star Ship Mine wasn’t like the Picard in Pegasus.  I prefer the former.  It looks like he must have left “Tuvok” strapped to the bed in sick bay.  We are left to wonder if he was conscious when that beam killed him.

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TNG/episode/68594.html

What about The Enterprise Incident?  Was that an example of “the right thing”.

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TOS/episode/68778.html

psik

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Posted: 16 November 2007 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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First, I don’t care whether you are a Star Trek fan or not.  I probably should have phrased the statement more clearly, but I meant fans “like Psikey” (and like the people I talked to my forum), that is to say fans who apparently think that morality is only for wimps.

“Relative goods”—that’s a good point.  Archer was treating these people not as people but as a means to an end.  They had something he needed, so he took it.  When it was pointed out to him that without their warp coil they would be stranded in an dangerous area of space without adequate supplies to return them home, he just shrugged those concerns off, claiming that he was trying to save an entire planet and sacrifices might be necessary.

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Posted: 16 November 2007 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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Well, to be honest, advocatus, Enterprise was not Trek IMHO. It had no sign of Gene in it. That said, maybe Archer did treat them as a means to an end.  I didn’t watch much of Enterprise because it was not Trek.  Archer wasn’t a great captain either, so yeah, I guess he wasn’t doing the right thing.  That’s my opinion at least.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 16 November 2007 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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advocatus - 16 November 2007 07:52 AM

When it was pointed out to him that without their warp coil they would be stranded in an dangerous area of space without adequate supplies to return them home, he just shrugged those concerns off,

So did he leave them any extra supplies or go looking for them in a later episode once the crisis was over?  That would be the way to help maintain the good guy but firm in a crisis image.  LOL

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Posted: 16 November 2007 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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From your short description, Advocatus, it sounds as if Archer was unethical.  However, without seeing the entire episode, I can’t judge since, I would have guessed that the writers wouldn’t let the hero do something like that without having some reason to justify it, to give the people more in return for what he traded, or that they caused that behavior by their prior actions.

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Posted: 19 November 2007 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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Obviously we can’t really discuss the episode if we haven’t all seen it.  Archer did leave the aliens some supplies, but not nearly enough to get them home (without warp drive, it would have taken YEARS, as they pointed out), plus they would have been at the mercy of raiders.  I could understand that he was under a great deal of stress (the episode before, he had been captured by the Xindi and tortured), so I could forgive him for a brief lapse in judgment.

What really bothers me is the reaction of some people (Trekkies!) who don’t like rules such as the Prime Directive, and who actually LIKE the idea that Archer is willing to do whatever it takes.  In “Enterprise”, the Earth was the victim of an unprovoked attack by the Xindi, and Archer was on a mission to find the Xindi home-planet before they could attack again.  This is a clear parallel to the 9/11 bombing, so I’m wondering if people are reacting to that.  (Of course, it could be I’m making too much of this.  You often can’t tell how old your fellow forumites are—I might be talking to 12-year-olds for all I know!)

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Posted: 19 November 2007 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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Mriana— I would be interested in knowing what other Trekkies (on your forum) think about this episode.  I eventually settled on TheStarTrekForum.com, where there are only about four or five active members.  I have fun there, but I have to honestly admit that it’s unsatisfying, because they seldom want to have discussions about anything serious (when I brought up “I, Borg” and asked the classic question about whether Picard was right or wrong in his decision not to plant the virus, that topic was good for about three exchanges).  You can browse most of our forum without registering—I think only the Fan Fiction and RPG sections are restricted to registered users.

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Posted: 19 November 2007 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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advocatus - 19 November 2007 08:44 AM

In “Enterprise”, the Earth was the victim of an unprovoked attack by the Xindi, and Archer was on a mission to find the Xindi home-planet before they could attack again.  This is a clear parallel to the 9/11 bombing, so I’m wondering if people are reacting to that.  (Of course, it could be I’m making too much of this.  You often can’t tell how old your fellow forumites are—I might be talking to 12-year-olds for all I know!)

Actually that was a major reason why I quit watching Enterprise.  I didn’t want to watch a sci-fied 9/11.  That plus the fact that I am generally somewhat turned off by time travel stories. 

The really strange thing was watching an old DS9 episode Homefront made long before 9/11 and what it was about was so much like America today.  Kind of freaked me out.

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Posted: 20 November 2007 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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psikeyhackr - 19 November 2007 01:26 PM

Actually that was a major reason why I quit watching Enterprise.  I didn’t want to watch a sci-fied 9/11.  That plus the fact that I am generally somewhat turned off by time travel stories.

I know exactly what you mean.  That’s why I never got into the new “Battlestar Galactica”.  And my major gripe with “Enterprise” is that it over-uses time travel.  It seems like they can’t go five episodes without tripping over a time traveller.  :(

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