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Star Trek: The Next Generation Rant

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posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 01:56 AM
Specifically, the season 2 episode, "Measure of a Man."

There are always holes in TV plots, and particularly in sci-fi. But the ones that bother me the most aren't the improbable devices or outrageous "scientific" explanations, but the simple logical failings.

In the above episode, for those of you who don't remember (and if you don't watch the Trek, then this probably isn't the rant for you anyway, why are you even here?), a young officer decides to get Starfleet to agree to let him tear apart Data to study his android-ness. Picard obviously can't let the less-than-qualified dude do this, so they go to the JAG office, and the episode turns into a modern slavery allegory (can you call it an allegory when they actually say that's what they're doing?) and "what makes us human." The argument is that Data, being a machine, is property of Starfleet, and can neither refuse to be taken apart nor resign his commission.

It's that last bit that really just throws the whole episode (which, in fairness, is one of the better TNGs) out the window; they never brought up his commission. Why they hell wouldn't the Captain, especially one expressed as so intelligent and mature as Picard, not immediately say "Well, Starfleet allowed him to enlist under his own authority, and in doing so set the precedent (that the episode ultimately concludes with) that he is capable of making his own choices?"

Data enlisted in Starfleet; Data went through the Academy. It's not like Lore, where Starfleet literally found him as salvage on a planet. But yet, that's all forgotten.


posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 02:22 AM
a reply to: Apoplexic

As much as I love Star Trek, specifically TNG...

I'm not prepared to call this anything other than one of the weirdest out-of-left-field nitpicks I've ever seen posted

It's one of the best episodes of the series though.

I'm not sure how military rules work, but if Starfleet wanted to do a more invasive physical of an officer, aren't they able to order it?

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 02:37 AM
a reply to: Apoplexic

Let it go.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 03:03 AM
a reply to: Apoplexic
My local station ( rabbit ears ) plays all 5 shows starting at 8. I watch the original and tng, which is my favorite. Deep space, voyager, and entereprise (which has the worse theme song ever), never seemed as interesting. Interesting nit pik though. Picard and my bro from Reading Rainbow. Watched tng as a teenager, so it's nice to see it again over the past year or so. Still in love with counselor Troy, and she knew it. Make it so!

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 03:06 AM
As a huge TNG fan for decades, I do remember this episode. What an amazing series. So thought provoking and moral.

The question of what makes Data scenscient was the series heart-who cares about his commission-everyone knows he is non-human and therefore not equal as other officers. That was just a given. But his genius also.

As we all know, at the end Data was saved. It was a great episode. Data, Piccard, I miss them all so much.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 03:26 AM
Well, obviously, Picard was irrationally emotional and just couldn't control himself in that episode (and many others) LOL

I can forgive them. It was probably the best thing on TV the entire week that it originally aired. And considering the impact that show had on so many people, who cares if there were some plot holes, some really bad episodes, some really questionable philosophy and so forth?

They've been trying ever since they ended TNG to recreate the magic and they just plain can't.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 04:50 AM
a reply to: Apoplexic

I have just finished rewatching DS9 and imho it is just a far superior show.

Starfleet at war?!?!

Come on. It doesn’t get much cooler than that.

DS9 also has what is imho the best Star Trek episode period.

It is an episode called “in the pale moon light.” It is controversial because it is very different from a normal “the good guy always wins” Trek episode..

Was so good I rewatched the whole series.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 08:22 AM
This sort of highlights one of the issues I had with people criticizing Discovery.

Yes, Discovery had holes, but... previous trek series were notorious for the gigantic massive plotholes they developed, and their endless pressing of the rest button at the end of every episode to tidy up those gigantic plotholes.

Compared to earlier Trek series, Discovery was actually very sharp in its writing and plotting.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 08:33 AM

originally posted by: JoshuaCox
a reply to: Apoplexic

I have just finished rewatching DS9 and imho it is just a far superior show.

Maybe. But it's not really Star Trek. TNG was TOS on steroids. DS9 was kind of like a mishmash of a bunch of different SF type shows with a little bit of Star Trek mixed in just to say they did.

The Defiant wasn't a Starfleet looking ship at all. It was comical looking. Avery Brooks was completely wrong for the character. His acting was horribly overwrought to the point to where I often wondered if someone was going to come out from behind the camera and say "We're just kidding! This isn't really the captain!"

Honestly, if they just wanted a black captain there were so many other black actors I'm sure who would have been so much better.

It had some (really) good stuff in it but there was so much that just wasn't Star Trek. And I was frankly underwhelmed by the series finale. And again, just every time Avery Brooks was onscreen was so much cringe I was jolted out of my suspension of disbelief.

Don't get me wrong. Picard was kind of overwrought at times but he didn't stand out like a sore thumb. Every other actor on that show was either good or great when DS9 started or they improved a lot over time. Sisko never did. There were so many times when I just wished Worf would toss him out an airlock and take over the station or something.

Starfleet at war?!?!

Could have been pretty cool but really wasn't. At least the battle scenes just didn't do it for me. I enjoyed the show but it was no TNG.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 08:41 AM
He does. He even goes so far as to insist that Data's commendations be read into the record:

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 10:51 AM
a reply to: BrianFlanders

1) DS9 is startrek when the galaxy is not just puppies and rainbows.

It shows a far more realistic take on a space opera future.

No one is perfect (like Picard is perfect), but no one is wholly evil either.

It is 2 dozen different factions, all with competing philosophies and goals.

It is a weird mix of game of thrones, a world war 1 movie and Star Trek..

The dominion isn’t inherently evil, they just have competing goals with the federation. Which is personified by the fact they make peace in the end.

B) I agree, the defiant ship design was definitely boring.. especially compared to other federation ships, but that was kinda the point. It was supposed to be the federations attempt at a functional war ship. No style, all substance.

But meta wise they could have had both.. its fiction. So there is no need choose really.

C) I agree about Siskos over acting, but it really , really works as often as it doesn’t. Plus he holds it the whole series, so it becomes who he is by the end.

Imho I kinda just decided he was a weird dude lol..

Smart and qualified , but a weird dude.

Kinda the opposite of Adama in BSG.

D) brooks did WAY better than janeway, discovery Capt. and Kirk.. imho TOS is unwatchable by modern standards.. I don’t like discovery..

So that puts him as the second best captain in the cannon..(didn’t watch enough of archer to make a call.)

Picard was the best Capt.. but that is kinda a plot point..

Picard IS the best Starfleet captain (in cannon) .. Sisco is just a really good one.

Something that pissed Sisko off because his wife was killed by locutus (borg Picard).

E) I think the black captain was handled masterfully in DS9..

It is only even referenced one time in 8 years.. when a holoprogram of the 1960s edits out the racism of the time.. sisko finds it fake and watered down. So he chooses to avoid it.

THERE IS ZERO talk of racism in the present day cannon.. because we as a species stopped being racist centuries ago.

Conclusion) DS9 was a very “real life “ take in startrek where every other series is a HUGELY idealized version..

It was dark and gritty, haveing to weigh Starfleet morality against survival and the partisanship of war.

Nog is great..

Garak is great..

Odo , Kira, miles, ducat, literally everyone they cast just killed their role..

It did highlight brooks over acting, because no one else is lol..

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 11:13 AM

originally posted by: intrepid
He does. He even goes so far as to insist that Data's commendations be read into the record:

Aye, but only to highlight the "grandeur" of those particular medals. They weren't all simply "he's a smart machine so he did smart things" medals, they included medals for bravery and superior service in the line of duty; Picard-character used them as an indirect and very military way of saying "this isn't just some peon we wouldn't care to send as shuttlecraft bait to the Cardassians." But even doing this bypasses my point, which is one I feel any competent Captain who has ever had any dealings with a JAG (which, thanks to the ridiculous backplot of romance between Picard and JAG-Officer, we know he has).

Starfleet let Data enlist, attend the academy, and eventually granted him the commission of Lieutenant Commander sometime during the never-shown interim period. This isn't "special" or honorary, as specifically pointed out by Data himself during the Farpoint episode here. And Data can't be the only one in the Federation to not know that his position is somehow special and that the CoC falls apart around him and literally every other officer in Starfleet would have to know that he's not to be listened to despite the pips on his collar, something that would've been impossible to do.

But the base argument here is that they let him join. A judge some-odd years down the line should not have had to rule that he had the power to make his own decisions; the entrance committee of the Academy did that for them, when instead of immediately seizing upon this piece of unclaimed property (at the time, everyone thought Soong dead, Data included) and "owning" it from the start. JAG chick later said that there was precedent for this sort of thing ruling against Data's favor, but everyone ignored the glaring precedent that Starfleet already concluded he had freedom of choice by letting him join in the first place. In what's billed as the second episode of season 2 (the one with Nigilim, the mad scientist alien existing in its non-existent laboratory null-space), Pulaski herself apologizes to Data, stating "your service record says that you are alive, I must accept that." This was aired and billed prior to the "Measure of a Man" episode; whether it was written in that sequence or not, I don't know, but this is the linear story we've been given.

Had they left out the ridiculous love affair with Picard and the JAG-chick, they probably could have fit an episode of "JAG" into the show. Catherine Bell would have made for a much better advocate than Picard in this case (and certainly more interesting to watch!

NarcolepticBuddha: "I'm not sure how military rules work, but if Starfleet wanted to do a more invasive physical of an officer, aren't they able to order it?"

Starfleet and RL military parallels only draw so far, with the exception of DS9 during an active wartime environment. Yes, Starfleet is the Federation police force and invading party simultaneously, but their mission is ultimately of diplomacy and scientific growth. The Federation model has worked markedly well as a form of passive conquering anyway, so the need for outright and violent territorial expansion is gone. It's not exactly part of the show, or the message that's supposed to be delivered here, but Starfleet's First Contact procedures really rather resemble Commodore Perry and Edo Bay; your civilization has just branched into an entirely new area of world-changing technology, and here come giant ships using far better versions of what you just invented, saying "come, trade with us, and we'll teach you to be like we are." And while the Federation always says they'll leave if the planet says so, how do you think the conversations go in those administrative complexes on the surface? Awe and terror.

Um, I got sidetracked; so yes, they probably could, and in that non-video link above, Picard pretty much kills some young ensign he didn't like from the recent past. But their mission is to study, contact, and preserve life, and the guy doing the procedure on Data wasn't sure he could put him back together, or even assemble a new one from what he gathered by doing the procedure. As they point out, Data's the only (known) one, so it's essentially the same as the WWF saying "kill and dissect the last breeding pair of this species, and then try to grow some in the lab" but back in the 70's before we could actually do that.

RE: Other series.

William Shatner was the first Starfleet Captain. That's really all that needs to be said as far as actor portrayals and general silliness of character goes.

I kid, of course; I had to grudgingly watch Enterprise twice before I accepted Bakula as, indeed, the first chronological Cap'n. Voyager's need to focus on two non-human-that-wants-to-be-human stories always baffled me; forgoing the Kes character for the sex appeal of Jeri Ryan is too much of an argument to go into, but maintaining this second "learning to be human" plot just seemed unnecessary and weird. Watch anything enough, and you'll start to pick it apart in any silly way you can, like this entire thread.

I love them all, though, for different reasons.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 11:32 AM
a reply to: Apoplexic

Have you ever seen DS9 episode “in the pale moon light”, the most loved and hated trek episode of all time ??

It gets crap for “not being Star Trek”, because sisko ends up internationally ,doing something horrible for the war effort. That becomes a flat out atrocity and war crime.. and it turn out to benefit Starfleet immensely..

In fact it almost certainly wins the dominion war.

Then has to decide how he feels about it..

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 11:48 AM
I hate to double post on my own thread, but this merits a response of its own.

a reply to: BrianFlanders

B: Agreed, it was boring by design. They even mentioned (and I've been rewatching TNG, thus the fresh memory; I don't know where these come from at all) the guns were too powerful and the engine couldn't deal with the bulk. Not only was it a warhorse, it was the prototype. Although Defiant 2.0, with the projected hologram viewscreens was silly; there's little need for that level of immersion between combat starships, though the premise would be nice on the Enterprise and science vessels. Being "inside" the other ship would really hinder your view of your own ship and this was war time. It's like they just wanted to make sure the DS9 viewers knew the Fed's had made contact with Voyager 'cause here's the hologram reference.

C: He was conceived by noncorporeal aliens that exist outside of linear time. The man's nuts.

D: Janeway's character is really odd. We get a bit of her past, but, immersed in the conflict with the Maquis as they are, we see her on this military mission, and I think that confuses her character. Janeway is the Science Officer, moreso than any of the other Captains. Picard had his archaeology; Sisko had baseball and depression over loss as a result of Starfleet action, something entirely unique and his driving factor until he becomes an alien religious icon, which is also a level of cultural involvement we don't see elsewhere, because they're largely confined to one space, and that's around Bajor; Kirk had his women, since his Trek is a different Trek than the rest; and Archer was just a captain. Any time pre-Seven that there was a genuine "science" problem, Janeway worked on it. And Janeway solved it, too; even when it didn't need to serve the plot for her to have done so, like when she and Chakotay are trapped on that planet via virus or something, she still "solves" the "science" behind it. If we look at her from that angle, her odd reactions to things begin to make sense; she's in genuine awe of some of the marvels of space she gets to witness, in a way that only someone who understands the science behind it can.

E: You forgot when they traveled back in time and he's a past civil rights icon. I thought that entire line was ridiculously pushing it on us, and the "black captain" angle would have indeed worked better if they'd just left it at that single instance in the holosuite. However, it did serve to highlight his alien birthright, but they could have traveled in any temporal direction to any event and done that.
edit on 25-3-2018 by Apoplexic because: probably not all of the typo's

Edit: I'm not going to triple-post.


Yes. I agree with the majority of your assessment, in that DS9 gets to present the Federation in a fashion we aren't otherwise privy to. The battles could have been better, but then they'd've been more expensive, so it is what it is.
edit on 25-3-2018 by Apoplexic because: ninja'd in on me you scoundrel

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 12:36 PM
I'm actually finding the Orville to be a good successor to TNG, even though it has no connection to the trek universe. Seth is a big trek fan, so while it's mainly comedic, I feel he takes it seriously and wants to do the genre in a respectful way.

TNG is still the best IMO.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 02:55 PM
a reply to: Apoplexic

I found voyager , TOS and somewhat TNG just unwatchable after DS9...

DS9 was just so gritty and real... the lore concerning Klingons, Bajorans, dominion and cardassia just exploded..

All of the normal tropes surrounding the good guys in fiction are pooped on.. but in a good way.

Even Picard.. who is lorewise the best captain imho..

He would risk his crew to uphold Starfleet principles..

Sisko was playing to win... like he was legit worried about the outcome.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 03:01 PM
a reply to: JoshuaCox

Can't disagree with the writing of DS9. The best in Trek. They could develop long story lines though that TNG didn't. That made for a great story. TNG had some damn good writing too. Who Watchers the Watchers and Darmok come to mind. TNG is still my fav.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 03:12 PM
a reply to: Apoplexic

C) I said the only time sisco mentions it IN THE FUTURE is the holodeck scene..

The time travel where he is a writer isn’t set in the future. Setting up the dynamic that though it mattered in the past . It doesn’t now..

You also have to think the “writer in the 60s” scene colored his later option of the Vic fountain program..

I think the fact racism was excluded effected him more because of that experience. He lived “ a life “ in that era. So he noticed the difference far more acutely than anyone else involved.

I don’t think anyone can ever say race was over played...

In 8 years it was mentioned twice and ONLY concerning a time that even predated our own time.

Imho it was just one more way DS9 excelled at crafting a universe that felt real and lived in..

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 03:15 PM
a reply to: intrepid

Let’s be real..

TOS wasn’t very good just a cool premis..

TNG made Star Trek.. it established the status quo and created its place in pop culture.

posted on Mar, 25 2018 @ 03:20 PM

originally posted by: JoshuaCox
a reply to: intrepid

Let’s be real..

TOS wasn’t very good just a cool premis..

TNG made Star Trek.. it established the status quo and created its place in pop culture.

I guess you had to be there. Different times. TNG is still my fav though.

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