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  #21  
Old 08-04-2012, 01:38 PM
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This was not a PD case, Janeway was literally thrown into the middle of the situation and had two options, to get her crew home or rescue the Ocampa from slaughter or enslavement. I do not have to point out that the well-being of the Ocampa is more important than the mere lack of comfort of being far away from home, that life and liberty matter more than having to endure an odyssey.
And yes, such a selfless act is radically ethical (which is precisely why so many Trekkers have an issue with it). She could have easily had a mutiny on her hands because of this decision.
Bull, she was not thrown into the conflict and had a clear way of removing herself from it. It's as blatent a PD case as there could be. And that's true whether or not it happened one light year from Earth or 70,000.

She actively chose a side in a conflict that did not involve the Federation.

So are you for Starfleet ethics or against? The prime directive is clear, non interference. I see no legal reasoning behind your rationalizations why the prime directive would not apply here. Because it leads to an ugly outcome, by human standards? Removing human standards from the equation is one of the tenants of the prime directive.

So again, this is their legal principle, not mine. Are you for or against?
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  #22  
Old 08-04-2012, 01:48 PM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
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I agree completely. They wanted to put them literally "where no one has gone before" without really exploring the idea of what happens to people that have been stranded like that.
I agree as well. The show dabbled in being about isolation, lack of support and limited resources. But it really wasn't. It was a vehicle for doing more Trek in the traditional formula.
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  #23  
Old 08-04-2012, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Tom Coughlin View Post
Bull, she was not thrown into the conflict and had a clear way of removing herself from it. It's as blatent a PD case as there could be. And that's true whether or not it happened one light year from Earth or 70,000.

She actively chose a side in a conflict that did not involve the Federation.

So are you for Starfleet ethics or against? The prime directive is clear, non interference. I see no legal reasoning behind your rationalizations why the prime directive would not apply here. Because it leads to an ugly outcome, by human standards? Removing human standards from the equation is one of the tenants of the prime directive.

So again, this is their legal principle, not mine. Are you for or against?
The caretaker died and there were two options, to use the station to get home or to prevent the Kazon from slaughtering the Ocampa. Voyager was an integral part of the situation, the Prime Directive does not apply.
If you wanna argue that this is indeed a Prime Directive case than the Voyager would not have had a right to use this piece of alien technology in order to get home, they would have had to totally stay out of the situation.

You try to rationalize a selfish decision via misapplying a rule you usually do not care about to make a cheap and pathetic shot against a show which is too bright for your taste. As I already said in my initial post, all this dark stuff is just a euphemism for a reactionary backslash against a progressive sci-fi franchise and the comparisons with the BSG reveal that it is indeed a political-ideological matter.
I will never understand this. I like Firefly and have absolutely no problem with admitting that it is a conservative show. If right-wingers had at least the guts to openly state that they want Trek to stop being a left-wing franchise I would at least respect them.

Last edited by horatio : 08-04-2012 at 01:57 PM.
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  #24  
Old 08-04-2012, 01:58 PM
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The caretaker died and there were two options, to use the station to get home or to prevent the Kazon from slaughtering the Ocampa. Voyager was an integral part of the situation, the Prime Directive does not apply.
If you wanna argue that this is indeed a Prime Directive case than the Voyager would not have had a right to use this piece of alien technology in order to get home, they would have had to totally stay out of the situation.

You try to rationalize a selfish decision via misapplying a rule you usually do not care about to make a cheap and pathetic shot against a show which is too bright for your taste. As I already said in my initial post, all this dark stuff is just a euphemism for a reactionary backslash against a progressive sci-fi franchise.
I will never understand this. I like Firefly and have absolutely no problem with admitting that it is a conservative show.
Nonsense, pure nonsense.

The caretaker did die, and did leave them with two options. To go home, or to interfere. One violates the prime directive, one does not. Going home is the only option in accordance with the non interference principal. This was not their conflict. It is a violation to not only interfere, but to actively take a side. It's blatent. I haven't misapplied a thing. Every Trek fan knows this principal.


The prime directive does not forbid them from using that technology to go home, because that isn't interfering. You're just making stuff up. Taht would seem to be misapplying the directive.

You made this about Starfleet ethics, well, these are their principals. I didn't write them. I didn't legislate them, and I didn't make it their prime law. It's not the "generally good idea guidelines when it's convenient rule", it's literally their number one law.

And this has nothing to do with left wing/right wing. You bring that into everything, but you're the only one framing this conversation those terms.
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  #25  
Old 08-04-2012, 02:05 PM
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It is spelled principle and if you do not understand that Picard has every right to interfere in Who Watches the Watchers? because he is no longer an outsider but a part of the equation I cannot help you.
When somebody who cares far less about the Prime Directive than a crazy PD dogmatist like myself actually uses it against a show he doesn't like because it is too bright and in order to rationalize a selfish decision it is crystal clear that the real issue at stake is the ideological background of Trek.

So let's cut the crap and focus on the real issue, how the show could have been better. I wanna hear the arguments from the folks of the dark side about how glorious the show would have been if Janeway had called Chakotay names and if there had been regular raygun or better fist fights among the two crews. Or whether they really would have wanted to see more food scarcity, more of this stupid root that Neelix cooked to the distaste of everybody. Or perhaps some antimatter scarcity but then again the very word is already soo technobabbly. Or, this is the heart of the matter, whether they want the Voyager crew to throw the rulebook overboard and behave like the crew of the Equinox.

Last edited by horatio : 08-04-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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  #26  
Old 08-04-2012, 02:14 PM
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Janeway chose an unselfishing course of action rather than use the array and cast a blind eye to tip in balance in the local region.

Were they involved?
Voyager was placed in a situation in which they needed the array to return home.
Acting to destroy the array when it's self destruct failed was interference but not a true violation of the Prime Directive because Higher Powers, namely the Caretaker had requested their assistance and the Caretaker's technology was far surpassing Federation Technology. This was in essence rendering aid or can easily be argued as such.

No True interference with the Occupan culture actually happened.
No Technology transfered,
No particular knowledge reshaped their culture

Voyager maintained the Status Quo and nothing else.
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  #27  
Old 08-04-2012, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Tom Coughlin;3yu25828
And this has nothing to do with left wing/right wing. You bring that into everything, but you're the only one framing this conversation those terms.
I think that element could play a part from time to time............but...........that is not the root of the conceptual flaws in the show.

As has been stated more often than naught, the problem is that the show's core premise should have lent itself naturally to certain themes and storylines as a result of the stranding. VOY isn't the only show to have had such a concept to explore but it chose it's path tonally and that's fine.

It just wasn't a path that took a real look at those possibilities in leiu of staying family friendly. But looking at them never automatically meant being AS dark as BSG was all the time. BSG was set in the aftermath of an annihilation and a few leftovers being hunted by their annihilators. That kind of show IS going to skew dark long term. It had a totally different concept underpinning the journey home central story.

VOY even looking at the issues more interestingly would never have had to go that dark for it's whole run.

But why not have it take longer for the two crews to bed in after the initial decision? Why not have limited resources? Why not have people get withdrawn and depressed after enough time had passed and the true reality they weren't getting their old lives back quickly really sank in and became their day to day? Why not show the adjustments were harder for some to make than others? To encounter challenges to their vaunted ethics and find that their principles might get pushed and pressured out in the wild like they would never be back in the comfy safe zone home by other races that don't give two hoots about them? The show touched on some of this from time to time (such as 'Alliances' which I just conveniently rewatched on my rental project after writing this last night and finally contains some actually interesting discourse about their position in the Delta Quadrant even if the episode's plotting ensures that it turns out not too well) but there's still a raft of material there for satisfying stories that don't have to be bleak.

Ach - the party's over for that show a long time now anyway.
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Last edited by kevin : 08-05-2012 at 12:17 AM. Reason: Anything to escape 'Batman & Robin' - it's Godawful.
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  #28  
Old 08-04-2012, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
It is spelled principle and if you do not understand that Picard has every right to interfere in Who Watches the Watchers? because he is no longer an outsider but a part of the equation I cannot help you.
When somebody who cares far less about the Prime Directive than a crazy PD dogmatist like myself actually uses it against a show he doesn't like because it is too bright and in order to rationalize a selfish decision it is crystal clear that the real issue at stake is the ideological background of Trek.

So let's cut the crap and focus on the real issue, how the show could have been better. I wanna hear the arguments from the folks of the dark side about how glorious the show would have been if Janeway had called Chakotay names and if there had been regular raygun or better fist fights among the two crews. Or whether they really would have wanted to see more food scarcity, more of this stupid root that Neelix cooked to the distaste of everybody. Or perhaps some antimatter scarcity but then again the very word is already soo technobabbly. Or, this is the heart of the matter, whether they want the Voyager crew to throw the rulebook overboard and behave like the crew of the Equinox.
I don't need your help, we arent' talking about Who Watches the Watchers, we are talking about Caretaker. In who watches th watchers, the Federation was the direct cause of the contamination, so Picard was justified in acting. In Caretaker, the Federation is not involved in any manner. They are strictly a third party. The caretaker did not even place them in the conflict, he only brought them into proximity with it. Which in substance is no different than had they come across the situation in Federation space. There is no comparison to be made between the two cases. Picard's actions have no bearing on this debate.

And autospell correct made the error in principle, pointing out typos and spelling error is petty, small and weak and beneath you.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:28 AM
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I didn't want this to become a tedious Prime Directive debate but I don't mind talking about it as it is after all my favourite Trek topic.

The C did not violate the Prime Directive when she fought against Romulans attacking Klingons. Why? Because a) this is not an internal conflict and b) the species are known to the Feds. You see the same pattern in Redemption, interfering into a civil war is forbidden but once another species gets into the Feds have every right to stop them and the main part of the episode is plain sophistry, about them having to prove what they already know.

Back to Voyager, the Kazon and Ocampa are neither pre-warp nor unknown outsiders. Their conflict is not an internal one either as they are two species, two cultures (A tricky question arises when this distinction is fuzzy, what to do with a species who has been subjugated by another and already become a part of their culture, i.e. whether you have a right or duty to liberate people who have been conquered by the Klingons or Romulans or whether you gotta stay out. Given the experience with the Borg my guess is that it is plain power politics which prevents the Feds from messing with one of the two empires and not the Prime Directive.).
About the second point, them not being unknown outsiders, before Janeway destroyed the phalanx she already got into a fight with the Kazon and liberated a torture victim plus her own folks who have been abducted by the caretaker woke up among the Ocampa.

The Prime Directive does not forbid you to interfere into a conflict between post-warp species whom you are familiar with (Enterprise C) and especially not when you are already part of this conflict (Voyager).
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  #30  
Old 08-05-2012, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kevin View Post
I think that element could play a part from time to time............but...........that is not the root of the conceptual flaws in the show.

As has been stated more often than naught, the problem is that the show's core premise should have lent itself naturally to certain themes and storylines as a result of the stranding. VOY isn't the only show to have had such a concept to explore but it chose it's path tonally and that's fine.

It just wasn't a path that took a real look at those possibilities in leiu of staying family friendly. But looking at them never automatically meant being AS dark as BSG was all the time. BSG was set in the aftermath of an annihilation and a few leftovers being hunted by their annihilators. That kind of show IS going to skew dark long term. It had a totally different concept underpinning the journey home central story.

VOY even looking at the issues more interestingly would never have had to go that dark for it's whole run.

But why not have it take longer for the two crews to bed in after the initial decision? Why not have limited resources? Why not have people get withdrawn and depressed after enough time had passed and the true reality they weren't getting their old lives back quickly really sank in and became their day to day? Why not show the adjustments were harder for some to make than others? To encounter challenges to their vaunted ethics and find that their principles might get pushed and pressured out in the wild like they would never be back in the comfy safe zone home by other races that don't give two hoots about them? The show touched on some of this from time to time (such as 'Alliances' which I just conveniently rewatched on my rental project after writing this last night and finally contains some actually interesting discourse about their position in the Delta Quadrant even if the episode's plotting ensures that it turns out not too well) but there's still a raft of material there for satisfying stories that don't have to be bleak.

Ach - the party's over for that show a long time now anyway.
Exactly. You look at a show like DS9, it worked in part because they fully embraced the premise of the show. They embraced the idea that they were on this remote station that suddenly becomes important because of the wormhole. They embrace what it meant to raise a kid there, the budding relationship between the Federation and the Bajorans, a people who have been through a lot and are not totally trusting of powerful outsiders. They explored all of these ideas fully.


To say we like this show because it's dark, or to say that our criticisms of Voyager are based on it being too bright aren't really accurate and miss the point. The problem with Voyager, and Enterprise for that matter, is that they played it safe. They had these interesting premises, and essentially wasted them. It's not about dark or light, it's about quality.

Some of my favorite Trek episodes are light hearted and fun. "Take me out the Holosuit" is an example of that. "Little Green Men" is another example, as is "Trials and Tribulations". These are all light hearted, fun, and very good. Some of the best Trek, just good TV.
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