Star Trek TNG: Elementary, Dear Data (S2E03)

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by doom1701, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

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    I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things this week. I don't know if I'll be able to get caught up with last week's episodes, but I'll try.
     
  2. kaszeta

    kaszeta $nullstring TCF Club

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    The thing that impressed me about this episode is that, unlike some of the other "period piece" holodeck episodes, it seemed to have a decently good budget for doing the set.

    And unlike some of his klutzy Season 1 work (much of which was due to uneven writing), Brent Spiner did a rather good job with this episode.

    Probably the best thing I liked about this episode, however, is that it was a good setup for "Ship In A Bottle" four years later in Season 6.
     
  3. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    +1. Plus, the outdoor shots came very close to looking like they were actually outside rather than on a soundstage.

    Excellent episode, IMO. Loved it when it aired and it was just as solid today. Daniel Davis was excellent. Pulsaki was even well-used as the driving force behind Geordi's mistake ("an enemy capable of defeating Data").

    I was very happy to see this one revisited in the already-metioned "Ship in a Bottle".
     
  4. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    Seriously, the fact that the ship's computer can create a conscious and sentient being out of thin air doesn't give anyone pause?

    Why bother with armies and Starship crewman, just have the computer crank them out.
     
  5. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

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    I was going to wait to comment until I had a chance to see the episode again, but yeah, that's a little much. And more than that, you've also got the fact that this sentient computerized life force is running using capacity on the Enterprise's CPUs, and is still able to cause harm to the ship's personnel and the ship itself.

    Sounds like the Enterprise needs better virus scanning.
     
  6. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's out there. But, overall I think the episode was executed well and I enjoyed it. I was entertained and in the end that's all that matters to me.
     
  7. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    I think for me, this instantly was a classic the moment it aired, and I believe it stands up well as one of the best episodes of the series. I loved Daniel Davis as Moriarty, and the other minor characters in Holmes' London were pretty good as well. I appreciated that they spent some considerable effort building the London sets, enough to sell it as a real place, not a soundstage.

    The only odd part, and it is minor, was when Data and Geordi came out of the holodeck with the piece of paper. Now, I know there is no "up" or "down" in space, but generally there is an "up" and "down" on the Enterprise. Both Data and Geordi were looking at the paper upside down, just so Geordi could do the big reveal to the audience by flipping it over. (It also didn't look like a hand drawing, although I'll let that go. Moriarty was a computer generated image, so he may end up producing an image that looks like it too was computer generated.)
     
  8. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    :eek::eek::eek:
    Classic?????
    "Best of the series"?????

    Seriously?????
    This is a joke, right???
    Seriously?????

    How many drugs did you take before watching?
    :eek:
    (Ok, I'm only half kidding there)

    You are the first person I have ever known to even think this episode is good, let alone a "Classic" or "Best of the series".
    This episode wouldn't even make my top 50.

    And that's factoring in that there are elements in it I particularly like.

    For the record, I liked the whole Sherlock Holmes motif and I like that Data would gravitate toward him.
    I liked the debate between him and Pulaski (even if I wasn't warm on her character) and I like the whole idea of the challenge between the two and I wanted to see if Data could do it.

    Then they decide, in one of the dumber moves of the series, to put in the literal Deus Ex Machina by having the ship's computer make Moriarty sentient.

    I mean, it's not because of Q or an alien influence or an alien something that's interfacing with the Holodeck, it's that the Standard Starfleet Mainframe installed on the Enterprise can create sentient life out of thin air.

    Can you possibly imagine the ramifications of this?

    I mean once Starfleet got the report, their next orders should have been to order the Enterprise back to Earth (or Vulcan) for a complete analysis.
    This is huge!

    (And with this capability, there's no need to worry about the Dominion or the Borg.)

    And not only does the main computer have this capability, it uses the template of a master villain!!!

    But Picard is like, "Ok, you're nice now so we'll just store you until we can make you a real boy."
    :rolleyes:

    Seriously????

    (In all honesty, Voyager handled this a lot better in "Worst Case Scenario".)



    Agreed. Davis is good in the role, his tour of duty on The Nanny not withstanding.

    Except for that fact that paper shouldn't exist outside of the Holodeck!
     
  9. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    Not true. The Holodeck will replicate certain basic objects, like water, and paper, and that sort of thing. More complex objects are just holographic projections. (I thought that an earlier episode even stated this outright. "The Big Goodbye" perhaps?)
     
  10. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

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    I believe we spent quite a bit of time discussing the whole "exist outside the holodeck" thing in the episode where everybody on the ship got sick. I don't think we ever really came to consensus, although I agree with Loadstar that it would make sense for the holodeck to replicate more tactile objects.
     
  11. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    Man, I agree just about word-for-word with this post.
     
  12. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    How do you know it wasn't ordered back to Earth (or Vulcan)?

    I don't see a thing wrong with that. Picard showed himself again and again to be extremely respectful of other life forms, especially new ones. Certainly Moriarty qualified as that. Putting the dude in cold storage until they could figure out what to do with him seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

    Now, that I can agree with. I've always taken the stance that what's created in the holodeck stays in the holodeck. Paper, water, Cyrus Redblock, whatever.

    Regardless of any nitpicking, I loved it. As I said before, I was entertained and that's what matters.
     
  13. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    No, that's a retrocon introduced later.
    (even Memory Alpha is schizophrenic about it)

    Even in "Ship in a Bottle", Picard tosses a book out of the Holodeck and it promptly disappears.
     
  14. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    Because Federation society didn't change.
    As I inferred earlier, this would be huge and rock the foundations of the Federation.

    Creating sentient beings out of thin air with standard Starfleet equipment?
    That's absolutely huge and they would have never had to worry about the Borg.
    (Try imaging the Borg trying to assimilate a battalion of Holographic soldiers.)
    And manual labor for organics is totally in the past.
    Need something to remove those tree stumps.
    *Zap* Holographic worker.


    And whole idea of the main computer creating sentient beings out of thin air is laughable.
    Certainly Data is far superior to the computer and he is considered sentient while the Ship's computer is not.
    And yet it can create life with qualities it itself does not have?

    It's like saying my Dell Lattitude can create a Cray Mainframe out of thin air.
    It's so unbelievable that it totally blows out my suspension of disbelief circuit.

    I didn't have a problem with Picard not killing him.

    What I had a problem with was promising an evil master villain that they would to let him leave the Holodeck as soon as they worked it out just because he says "I'm nice now".
     
  15. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    You imply that this is something not only intentional, but reproducible, two things I don't agree with. I would rather suggest that a series of random factors came together at the right time in the right way to allow this to happen, and it wouldn't be something easily repeated.

    And I find it interesting that you referred earlier to Voyager, which in fact DID have a sentient holographic person, and in fact later in that series developed a plotline where there was a whole *race* of sentient holographic persons that ended up being manual labor, all done using standard Starfleet equipment. I think the creation of Moriarty was unexpected and not reproducible at the stage that the technology was at in this episode, it clearly served as the foundation for later research that allowed the creation of the EMH.


    I didn't hear Picard promise that. What he said, if this transcript I have here is accurate: "We will save this program of you. You will not be extinguished. We will save every aspect of you that exists now. And I promise you we will try to discover a way to bring you back in a form capable of leaving the Holodeck."

    He promises to find a way that it might be possible - not that he would necessarily allow Moriarty to do so.
     
  16. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    It's interesting... there apparently is a deleted scene at the end that relates directly to the debate about the piece of paper leaving the holodeck:
     
  17. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    Except for the fact it was easily repeated in "Ship in a Bottle".
    One moment it's just Moriarity, the next scene, bam, the Countess is right there.

    Except for the fact that the EMH wasn't created by a non sentient standard Starfleet main frame that decided to fart out a fully formed sentient being.

    We know that years of work and programming went into the EMH (and Data, for that matter).

    No doubt Dr. Zimmerman built upon the work of Graves and Soong and he worked with people like Barclay (and likely Maddox or at least used his research as well).

    Certainly that's far more believable than the Ship's Computer creating sentient beings out of thin air.


    The implication is that Moriarty will be allowed to leave.
    Unless you're saying that Picard lied.
    You're not calling Picard a liar, are you?

    :)


    (Yes, I'm aware of the deleted scene and why it was deleted. BUt I still spotted the paper issue the first time I watched this episode.)
     
  18. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

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    Finally watched this one without falling asleep last night (not an issue with the episode--just been a tiring few weeks lately). It was very good. As with any holodeck centered episode, I think you need to check your brain at the door with regards to it's technology.

    I think comparisons to season 1 are interesting; Spiner often had to ham it up in Season 1, but when he hammed it up as Holmes in this episode, it was so much better. And he really showed some impressive acting in how he switched back and forth, often in the same scene.

    If you're looking for an episode that has solid technology behind it, this isn't it. But it was a good piece for a couple of characters, and a lot of fun overall.

    Edit: Forgot to mention one thing--why is Geordi assembling the model ship in Engineering? Seems like a bad place for it.
     
  19. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    Truth be told, I don't think it's that good of a character piece either.
    The whole "sentient being out of thin air" issue aside, I don't care for the ending either.

    They basically got back control because Moriarty "decided to be nice because he's alive".
    Uhm, what?
    :confused:

    They didn't get control back because they outsmarted him or Data grew or Picard negotiated with him.
    They got control back because Moriarty says, "I'm alive therefore I'm nice now. Here's control of the ship".

    In that sense, I think I would have preferred the original ending expect that would have opened the door to "the Ship's computer can create sentient beings that can exist in the real world out of thin air".

    It's a shame because I think the episode started off well and could have been a good character piece but then took a left turn into Lost in Space territory.
     
  20. gchance

    gchance 4 8 15 16 23 42

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    OK, I finally rewatched this one, and you know what? I enjoyed it as much now as I did when it aired, or in any of the reruns. One thing though.

    SHUT UP ABOUT DATA, Pulaski, before I slap you. You gave Moriarty less crap for being a holographic construct than you do with Data. You're lucky Data doesn't have the feelings to make him throttle your ass.

    Greg
     

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