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Old 03-19-2010, 08:41 PM
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Default "Shut up Picard"

Does anyone else feel that there are times when those rhetorical speeches that Picard tends to make can get really inappropriate for the situation.

I'll give some examples:

"Violations" -- at the end, when everyone's sitting around the table, and the last thing Picard does is to give a speech about violence and such. When essentially he's in the room with three of his crew members who've just found out they were victims of mind-rape.

"Homeward" -- the Enterprise crew is sitting back and watching a populated planet die because of Prime Directive blah blah blah. And Picard does his rhetoric about how much he is reminded At Times Like These about how difficult the Prime Directive is to keep and so on.

Picard's cool and all, but sometimes his "perfect rhetoric" does come across as kind of hollow. I'm sure there are other examples.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:47 PM
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Can't say I agree with you. Actually... I disagree with you. I like Picard's wise words
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukalakana View Post
Does anyone else feel that there are times when those rhetorical speeches that Picard tends to make can get really inappropriate for the situation.

I'll give some examples:

"Violations" -- at the end, when everyone's sitting around the table, and the last thing Picard does is to give a speech about violence and such. When essentially he's in the room with three of his crew members who've just found out they were victims of mind-rape.

"Homeward" -- the Enterprise crew is sitting back and watching a populated planet die because of Prime Directive blah blah blah. And Picard does his rhetoric about how much he is reminded At Times Like These about how difficult the Prime Directive is to keep and so on.

Picard's cool and all, but sometimes his "perfect rhetoric" does come across as kind of hollow. I'm sure there are other examples.
I agree - sometimes.

But usually it's the old Trek format of using a character's words to help get the point of an episode across at the very end.

It happened on other Trek series as well but I think because Stewart was such an excellent orator it comes across as being more theatrical than perhaps another actor would do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
So do I. People who don't like "Prime Directive blah blah" might wanna prefer to watch the mind- and soulless NuTrek but TNG is about moral issues from time to time.
I don't believe the issue Kukalakana raised was complaining about the presence of moral issues in Star Trek, but the relative appropriateness of the character's tendency to go into speech mode perhaps when one wasn't required in the given moment.

But again we have to go down the route of bringing in the new film (well, I guess nearly a year now is hardly new) into a discussion that does not actually involve it. Because seemingly, one can't bring up a little (valid?) issue about TNG without (obviously it seems) the film entering the equation?

The question was about Picard's tendency to slip into 'speech mode' at times and I think we all know that is a little quirk he had from time to time - even TNG riffed on this and make little jokes about it from time to time (as early as 'Code of Honor' if I recall) - and that there were probably times he could have trimmed it down a little bit.

-

However, in relation to the PD then I think there's a case that sometimes there's a disconnect between the words about the PD and the application of it.

Now, characters can be written with all the wise words they want to but I personally have always been of the approach it's not what people say, but what they do that matters more. Thus if Star Trek could actually keep to a consistent application of the PD and not have the Federation demonstrate the odd 'take it or leave it' to suit itself moments then perhaps such grand speeches about said PD ideals might actually just go over as having more weight and substance than some actual events in Trek indicate they practically do.
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Last edited by kevin : 03-20-2010 at 02:21 AM. Reason: Trying to work out WTF Abrams film has to do with this thread.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:35 AM
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Well, once Picard went into sex & action mode TNG went slowly but steadily downhill.
About the Prime Directive, Picard has never ever considered it as anything less than what it is, the first rule. But cases like "Who Watches the Watchers ?" and "Homeward" are complicated and include a violation of the PD by someone else than Picard. He reacts flexible to the situation and tries to do the best.

The very idea of such PD episodes is to play with our moral instincts and the PD is anything but morally intuitive. In fact it is highly counter-intuitive as it is no rule that we need on Earth, it has not evolved naturally but had to be implemented artificially.

Sorry for having gone into NuTrek-bash-mode but I am just appalled when I hear something like Prime Directive blah blah, when I see how someone has entirely missed the point of a Trek story.

Last edited by horatio : 03-20-2010 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:44 AM
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I'd agree that when it comes to the PD probably no character more than Picard has been the one to try to live by it and treat it with the importance that (in theory at least) the Federation and everyone else in Starfleet is supposed to treat it with as well.

Because Picard (in TNG the series anyway) was meant to be a man of high principle and ideals and he was the one to espouse them. Sure, he drifted off that role a little in the films but that's another conversation!

I think, obviously Kukalakana can elaborate more on the intent of the original post but I don't get the impression (hey, I could be wrong though) that it's so much about the PD specifically - that was just an example given of the gripe that sometimes Picard himself was very, very speechy.

He was written as literate, so of course he was but then sometimes you can just hear one speech too many......
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:58 AM
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Of course it can become annoying, just like Kirk screwing everything that has two legs can become annoying, just like Sisko's lack of enthusiasm can become annoying, just like Janeway being Mummy Voyager can become annoying, just like Archer being overexcited like a little schoolboy can become annoying ... just like every trait, every quality of a person, real of fictional can become annoying.
I still don't want my Picard any other way, he is the only intellectual among the five and that has to count for something.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:05 AM
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Agreed.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:52 AM
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I'm cool with speeches, as long as they are dramatically earned. The truth itself has to be earned, so as not to appear too on-the-nose. As paradoxical as it sounds, the honesty of the characters depends on them either not being fully 'in touch' with their truth, or not being willing to surrender it when they have it. If you must force the truth out of them, then you've earned it.

Picard gets more leeway in this regard because he's already established as an unusually more thoughtful and articulate person. And he has the performance of a highly disciplined actor to back it up (although there have been a few times when it seemed even Patrick Stewart had to struggle with what they gave him).

It is unfortunately my impression that Star Trek killed the Prime Directive, and perhaps vice versa. It seemed like the post-Roddenberry approach became "Prime Directive episode, people! They're real easy; you'll see. All you do is pick a debate, then choose which side captain Wizzersnitch should advocate. If you can't make an informed decision, flip a coin or something. Phlox advocates denying medicine to a dying people so their sister race might have a chance to evolve? Splendid, splendid! Write it. The fans will lap it up."
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:12 AM
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In "Dear Doctor" Phlox is against help while Archer is for it and the original script maintained the conflict between them, something the studio did not like.
In INS there are again two valid viewpoints, Dougherty's "we need allies in the Dominion War to survive" vs. Picard's "PD above all". I might disagree with Dougherty but he has a good point (and the wrong allies).
Or let's take "Pen Pals", my favourite PD episode. The main cast discusses the issue in Picard's quarter and Picard maintains his usual "Prime Directive hawk" attitude until the little girl speaks up.

I fail to see the one-sided-ness.
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