Truth OR Myth? Error, Error, Mistakes! – Star Trek: TNG Season 2 Part 3

Hello and welcome to Truth or Myth?  In today’s episode, we’re taking a fun and fast look at the mistakes made in the episodes 11-16 of Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Just a reminder, if you want to explain away any of the mistakes then it has to be with in-universe canon explanations only.  So Novels, Video games, tech Manuals and that guy you know that runs the corner store down the street are NOT valid sources to explain away the mistakes.  And so, with all that out of the way, let’s begin!

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Contagion

Ok, this is an episode I actually like but there is are a few problems I think that we need to discuss here, and the first is in regards to computer viruses.  Are we really supposed to believe that in the 24th Century no one knows about them?  That LaForge and his engineering staff wouldn’t know about reformatting and reinstalling their operating systems?  that’s basic knowledge in our century after all.  As a matter of fact, why isn’t this really advanced computer core built to automatically detect a virus or an attack on its systems and programmed to eradicate viruses in the manner I just described?  Seems a little too unbelievable.  That being said, however, the episode is good enough for me that I can give it a pass on these points.  It just goes to show that when an episode is done right, little details that don’t make sense, can be overlooked.

The second one is I I find hard to believe that I’m a little less forgiving about is with the scene in sickbay when Dr Pulaski has to inform a medical technician about a splint.  It’s a cute scene sure but makes absolutely no sense.  Even in the 24th Century something like a splint should be known and be part of basic first aid.  And indeed in future episodes, we see Starfleet officers using them all the time, so this whole scene is just completely unbelievable.

And finally, The Iconians also don’t seem to be a very smart species.  We are lead to believe that this ultra-sophisticated alien culture created a computer system that just accepts commands without asking if the user is sure they want to execute the said command.  I mean imagine if someone wasn’t paying attention and hit the wrong button and sets the auto-destruct for a 1-second countdown…  No wonder they were conquered…

So what with the Registry Number for the U.S.S. Yamato?  In the “Episode Where Silence Has Lease“, were told the Yamato’s Registry number is NCC-1305-E, but in this episode suddenly the Yamato’s Registry Number is NCC-71887.

In fact, the log entries Picard watches from Varley in this episode are all out of wack.  If you’re like me and paused and recorded all the Stardates and times given then you’ll notice that it simply doesn’t line up with what’s on-screen.  Actually the 3rd log has the biggest problem of all as for some reason suddenly it jumps 15 hours in the log without any reason given.

Watch LaForge as he sprints to a turbolift in an attempt to reach the bridge and warn them about the approaching Iconian probe while the Comm System is down, you can clearly see a line of sweat on his back.  However after an extremely taxing ride to the bridge, suddenly, the line of sweat is gone…

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The Royale

So we went from a pretty good episode to a pretty bad episode, let’s see what mistakes this episode holds, mistakes this episode won’t get a pass on…

Actually I couldn’t find many mistakes in this episode, I know Ironic right?  But one thing that did bother me was how Data had to explain the rules of Craps to Riker.  Now, remember, Riker is one of the best Poker players on the Enterprise, and yet they want us to believe that he doesn’t know anything about craps?

In “Encounter at Farpoint“, the audience is told by Data that in 2036 the United earth Government existed when Picard, Data, Troi and Yar are taken to Q’s Humanity Trial.  And Q tells us that the United Earth nonsense was over by the year 2079.  That means when Colonel Richey’s Spacecraft was launched in 2037, the United Earth Government was in full swing…  Why then are the markings on his craft that of the United States?  Wouldn’t this be a United Earth undertaking?  Just food for thought…

(CBS)

Time Squared

Making these TNG mistake videos the two things I’ve noticed are that season 2 isn’t as bad as I remember it was, and the other thing I’ve noticed is that season 2 is filled with either hit or miss episodes with very little grey in between.  For me, this was another hit episode.

At the beginning of this episode, the doors to Rikers Quarters act very oddly.  Watch Pulaski, after Data and Laforge enter Riker’s quarters, the doors begin to close right on Pulaski, before reopening for her and letting her in…

So in this episode, after the time-displaced Picard shows up, Our Captain Picard gives Troi a direct order to stay with the other Picard as he feels that Troi will be the first to be able to communicate with his doppelganger…  Yet moments later, after Pulaski ticks her off, Troi leaves…  Does she not understand a direct order?  maybe she needed a bathroom break?

Another Picard/ Troi Error happens during one of the last times Our Picard heads to sickbay.  We see Picard enter a turbolift, and shortly thereafter Troi follows him.  However, when Picard finally arrives at Sickbay, Troi is already there waiting.  How exactly did she get there before him?  Maybe HE needed a bathroom break before reached Sickbay?

When the 2 Picards leave for shuttlebay 2 the Enterprise is at red Alert, something that is reinforced by the flashing Red Alert lights corridor long shots we see.  However when closeups happen, suddenly the red alert lights aren’t flashing anymore…

The whole 2 Picard at the shuttle scene is a bit odd in my opinion.  Why did our Picard feel it necessary to kill his doppelganger?  I mean all he actually had to do was stun his other-self in order to prevent him from exiting the ship.  The result would have been the same with the 2nd Picard vanishing once the timeline had been fixed.  It just seems really odd that the great Captain Picard would choose murder, or is it a suicide, as the answer to his problems.

Actually another nitpick I have with the scene is how easy it is for Picard to get the phaser in the first place.  On a ship with civilians that includes children, it would be reasonable to assume that Phaser Weapons would be under lock and key, to prevent accidents from happening.  this is supported by the TNG season 1 episode 11001001, where Picard and Riker head into a phaser storage room that requires voice print authorization.  Why then in this episode are phasers so easily accessible?  If you think that it might be because the Shuttlebays would be secure areas that children would not be able to access, think again.  We’ve seen children easily access areas of the ship that should be off-limits, such as the bridge and the conference lounge.

When Picard leaves shuttlebay 2, he heads directly to bridge.  Shuttlebay 2 and 3 are on the same deck, deck 11.  yet when Picard enters the turbolift, it shows him on Deck 6.

And why when Picard calls for Dr. Pulaski to head to the shuttlebay does O’Brien accompany her?  Wouldn’t a medical Technician have been a better choice than a transporter chief?  And why, when the Enterprise is heading through the Vortex and everyone on the bridge is bouncing around, is O’Brien standing perfectly straight seemingly unaffected by the ships travel?

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The Icarus Factor

So at the end of this episode, we see a shot of the Enterprise moving counter Clockwise in orbit of the planet.  In the next shot, Wesley says, “Breaking Synchronous Orbit,”  Synchronous Orbit means that a starship is orbiting the planet at the same rotation rate of the planet over a given point on the planet.  This means that Wesley’s comment is simply wrong.

(CBS)

Pen Pals

This is another Miss Episode for me.  I have a huge problem with the entire idea, that Data, an android, who is well versed in the rules and regulations of Starfleet, including its number one law, the Prime Directive, would even start a conversation with a little girl over subspace.  I mean, it’s Data.  At the very least, after receiving the message, he would have informed Picard right?  But no, in this episode, suddenly Data is incompetent and completely ridiculous.

And then Picard in this episode is equally as ridiculous.  I think most of us can sympathize with Picard’s position here.  And I think that most of us would agree that we’d also want to help the planet out.  However, Picard gives a great speech about the Prime Directive and how it’s designed to not allow our emotions to overtake us and allow us to basically play god with the races we encounter in space.  yet right after this speech suddenly, Picard does a 180 and lets his emotions decide to allow them to help the planet.  this is just ridiculous in itself.  the very thing Picard says the Prime Directive is designed to ensure is the exact reason they help Drema 4…  This simply doesn’t jive with Picard’s already established character traits…  There are many times before this and many times after this that Picard refuses to help a society based on the Prime Directive.  So what’s different here?  I’ll tell you, the storyline…

The scene with command staff debating the Prime Directive is actually a great scene, I do like it a lot.  However, even in that scene, there is another moment that bothers me.  At one point Picard tells Data to sever the communications with Sarjenka.  Obviously at that moment, Picard has decided to uphold the Prime Directive.  yet when data goes over to the panel in Picard’s Quarters instead of severing the link, he opes the comm channel so everyone can hear Sarjenka’s pleas for help, and this sways Picard.  Why would Data, an android incapable of emotions, do this?  We know from the TNG episode clues that data is sworn to obey Picard’s orders no matter what, yet here, he casually disobeys one with puppy dog eyes…

And to make matters worse, after they save Drema 4, data is ordered to take the little girl to sickbay to have her memory erased.  Presumably to keep the integrity of the Prime Directive as best as possible now.  yet when data returns the girl to the planets surface, he leaves Pulaski’s singer stone with her, a stone I might add not from this planet.  that means, the girl has tangible proof of the enterprises visit in her hands, something again, that is a clear violation of the Prime Directive. 

And did data just steal the stone from Dr Pulaski?  After all, she agreed that erasing Sarjenki’s memory was the best idea so I doubt she would have given Data permission to give her that object…

And what about Starfleet command.  Would they really have let this situation happen without a court-martial for at least data and Captain Picard?  I mean, how do some people get away with violating Starfleet’s highest law, while others are arrested and sent to penal colonies for eternity?  This episode just brings up so many questions and violates so many already establish character and series traits that it certainly is one of TNG worst episodes ever created.

(CBS)

Q Who

After the previous episodes nonsense, it’s somehow fitting that to end this video with a look at my favourite episode of Season 2, Q Who.  This episode would flesh out a race and a storyline that would have lasting repercussions for Star Trek that are still felt and debated to this day.

When Q is requesting to join the Enterprise Crew Picard says that the agreement with Q was that he was to stay off the Enterprise.  Actually this isn’t true at all.  The exact agreements were for Q to stay out of humanities path forever.  Of course, if he had abided by this agreement, we would have never had this episode…

The season 1 episode “The Neutral Zone,” is a set up for this episode, with dialogue inferring that the Borg were responsible for the missing Federation and Romulan stations along the Neutral Zone.

Then in the “Best of Both World Part 1“, Admiral Hanson states that they believed the Borg were still a long way away based on the Q Who encounter at System J25 in this episode.  Does this seem right?  After all, the Neutral Zone has to be fairly close to Earth itself as evidenced in other series since the Romulan was introduced.  So if the Borg were at the Neutral Zone in Season 1, how does Starfleet believe they’re still years away?

And Guinans comment at the end of this episode, though chilling, is also meaningless.  As if the Borg scooped up the Federation Outposts along the Neutral Zone, then clearly they were aware of the Federation during TNG’s season 1.

these points are actually just a symptom of a bigger problem when it comes to the Borg in Star Trek as time and time again through out Voyager and even Enterprise, the Borgs first contact with humanity would be written and rewritten making for confusing canon debates in Star Trek fandom.

After Q snaps his fingers and flings the Enterprise 7000 light-years away, Picard orders full stop, and Wesley complies stating, “full stop.”  Yet a few shots later when Q is leaving the ship, the starfield is still moving…

When the Borg locks a tractor beam on the Enterprise, Picard orders Worf to target the origin of the beam with the Enterprise’s weapons.  I guess Worf is still getting used to being the tactical officer, as his first shot doesn’t even come close to the tractor emitter.

Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth OR Myth.  Have an explanation for any of the mistakes I’ve listed here?  Or do you see one I’ve missed?  Then leave a comment in the section below.  And don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to channel hitting that little bell icon so you don’t miss a single video we release.

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Thanks again for watching…  Live Long and Prosper…

Watch episode 109