The Loop (TV)
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- Something that just bugs me is the lack of alien species depicted as members of each planet's space fleet. The Vulcan fleet is composed entirely of Vulcans. The Andorians likewise. While we don't see anywhere near the full fleet of any world during the course of the show, we still are shown that T'Pol and Phlox are seen to be anomalies. But what about migration over time? Vulcan and Earth have been buddies for ninety years. You'd think that there'd be some sort of immigrant wave of humans to Vulcan, seeing what conditions were like in the mid-21st century. Or something like that. But why isn't it depicted? It can't be that Star Trek races are completely static. There must be alien immigrant enclaves scattered throughout the known universe, especially since some species have been in contact with each other for centuries, and longer.
- This actually doesn't bother me as much. It's always struck me as highly unlikely that dissimilar species would be able to serve aboard a single vessel w/o significant issues occurring. Each species would require specific atmospheric and temperature settings,some would need higher or lower gravity levels and let's not even go down the "eating and procreation" roads,shall we? And as for moving to another planet,until warp travel (for humans,at least) became more widely available in the Star Trek universe,moving to another planet could have essentially been a decision to move there for the rest of one's life. Unable to afford to book more than one passage on a warp vessel (most people don't have money)returning home could be nigh unto impossible. So, it wouldn't just be like moving to another country. It would be like going back through time...and then having your time machine break in manner that you can't repair. Or that you CAN repair,but would take you many years and cost more money than you'll ever have.
- Considering how sneeringly disdainful the Vulcans were of humans prior to that three-parter in early Season 4, I find it hard to imagine that Vulcan would accept human immigrants at all, and harder still to imagine that they'd let them do something as important as serve on High Command ships of the line. Remember, they had decided it was in the best interest of all parties involved to limit Earth's access to advanced technology, so letting humans onto state-of-the-art ships would be the last thing they'd want to do. And don't say "But these would be humans who are naturalized Vulcan citizens," if such a thing is possible at all; the level of assholishness among Vulcans in those days was easily enough to ensure they'd look at humans with suspicion.
- This did eventually come up. Forrest was pushing for joint missions right before he died. The Vulcans were stonewalling him. Stands to reason that's been the precedent for the entire time they've been allies.
- In kirks time the romulans were sneaky, but honorable. In picards time they will use any means to achive their ends. The roumulans in archers time are acting like those from picards.
- It's called Flanderization
- True for the Klingons as well, though to their credit they did a halfway decent job of explaining that away as best they could. Actually, there's a lot that makes the 22nd century look much closer to the 24th than the 23rd.
- I see no way to call it anything other than careless writing. There are stray examples in our history of one generation going back to an idea that had been popular in an earlier generation but was discredited in an intervening generation. I don't think those are going to help us here, though.
- It's best not to think too hard about integrating TOS with the rest of canon. Roddenberry's stance on continuity when he was alive was that what was released last was right.
- In "The Expanse" Vulcan refuses to support Earth's plans for an expedition into the Expanse because they don't buy Archer's cock-and-bull story about a time traveler (this was before time travel became a fact of life in Star Trek) having told him that he needs to go into the most dangerous part of the known universe in search of some species no one's ever heard of. Fair enough. But throughout the series, Archer is able to produce more and more evidence that the threat is real, and some of it finds its way back to Earth in the form of reports. Now I guess it's possible that Forrest has decided not to share these reports with Soval (though he did tell Soval about the ship full of Vulcan zombies, which was the only thing Soval wanted to talk about when Archer got back). Still, I just can't believe that the Vulcans had no idea something was up. By the end of the season they really should have offered some support to the humans. Look at the consequences of not doing so:
- Both humans and Vulcans are forever referring to one another as "allies," which means they've got some sort of mutual defense arrangement. So Vulcan is breaking its treaty obligations--which makes their other allies, real and potential, inclined to distrust them.
- Humans had already been pursuing an increasingly independent foreign policy, but when the Xindi arc started they had depended on Vulcan military support, meaning that the Vulcans could use that to snap us back into line if we ever got too cute. But by refusing to provide that support when it was needed, they left a void . . . which was filled by their cold war archnemeses, the Andorians! How did no one think "Uh oh, if we break our treaty obligations and the Andorians send in The Cavalry, the humans might start siding with the Andorians against us."?
- Maybe the Vulcans didn't know about/believe in the sphere builders and the threat they posed to the entire Alpha Quadrant. But even if they didn't, they had to know that the Xindi existed. They had to know that the Xindi built superweapons the likes of which the Vulcans had never seen. They had to know that the Xindi attacked other species without issuing declarations of war or opening any diplomatic channels whatsoever; they just show up out of nowhere and fire off their Death Star. And now they want to operate in space--space in which they don't even pretend to have any territorial claims--that's well within the Vulcan sphere of influence. Who the hell would allow such people to operate with impunity in his own backyard?
- The Vulcans knew about the Xindi? To them, the Delphic Expanse was like the Bermuda Triangle. I don't think the Vulcans would waste ships and crews trying to explore it after he explicitly said "Vulcan ships have entered it, but few have returned."
- At the start of the season, yes. But Archer confirmed that the Xindi weapon existed early on in his mission and shared that info with Forrest. Why wouldn't Forrest let the Vulcans know about it? Since they weren't offering assistance it makes sense that he wouldn't share anything very sensitive with them, but not even confirming the Xindis' existense? What, was he afraid that saying "Told you so!" would hurt the feelings Sovol doesn't have?
- And yet the Vulcans never helped the humans, and never suffered any of the above consequences. Soval's conversation with Archer in "Home" made it clear that none of these things had ever even occurred to him or his superiors, and after Archer vented a bit he, and every other human, shrugged his shoulders and said "Eh, it's all right, we're cool."
- I think the problem is that the only time the Vulcans were in a position to help was at the start of the mission. After that, Enterprise had such a head start on any Vulcan ship that might try to enter the expanse, and things were moving so quickly to a head, that there's not much they could have contributed. It'd be like Portugal changing its mind about Christopher Columbus after he's halfway across the ocean. The best thing the Vulcans could have done at that point would be to help bolster Earth's defenses in case Archer fails to stop the sphere. That doesn't seem to have happened either, in that there didn't seem to be any defenses in place whatsoever when the Xindi sphere showed up, so Earth and Vulcan seemed to have equally dropped the ball on that one (maybe they had a joint fleet hanging around somewhere and for some reason we just didn't see it onscreen).
- As the Andorians proved, if any actual superpower wanted to catch the Enterprise, it would have been unbelievably simple. Vulcan ships are a lot faster than the Enterprise is. What took them X amount of months a Vulcan ship could manage in half the time.
- Part of this sits on the fact that the Vulcans are characterized here as being flatly unwilling to cut humans the slightest amount of slack when it comes to technological advancement. They'll show up to prove they're superior, but they won't lift a damn finger if is in any way beneficial to humanity as a whole. They were probably also busy with their war with the Andorians and didn't want to spare the ships.
- Why would the Xindi test a prototype Planet Buster on the planet they want destroyed? If they are so deathly afraid of humans, then don't let them know that you're coming. Had they tested the weapon on a moon in their space, like they did with the second test model, and only attacked with the final product when they were ready then Earth never would've had a chance. The Xindi tipped their enemy off to their plans and gave them enough time to defeat them.
- As I recall, Degra or another Xindi mentioned that the Council insisted upon a "live demonstration", so to speak. They didn't want a mere test, they wanted to see it used on living beings.
- What bothers me most about the prototype Xindi weapon is that, while everybody acts like its some kind of super-weapon, it's actually quite weak. A few nukes would have done about the same amount of damage (7 million killed, hundreds of square miles uninhabitable) and been much, much smaller to move around. Why didn't the Xindi just send a couple dozen nukes at Earth instead? (A possible explanation is that Earth had some technology to intercept and/or defuse nukes which didn't work on the Xindi beam, but that's never mentioned in the series. The writers are just pretending nukes don't exist, when TOS clearly shows they do, and were used, around this period in history in the first war against the Romulans.)
- If the verteron array is capable of firing a FTL beam from Mars to Earth with enough accuracy to hit a specific building, why didn't they build one of those on Earth or the Moon after the Xindi attack? It would make short work of any hostile ship before they even got close to the planet.
- It takes two minutes to charge, so unless you have dozens scattered around the planet, it would only be good for a single shot. Starfleet also maintains a planetary fleet (at least in this time) to deal with close threats.
- What really gets me is "Zero Hour". Enterprise has been searching for the Xindi weapon for nearly a year. And when the weapon finally arrives...we see no operational defense platforms, no additional starships (Starfleet or Vulcan), NO indication that humanity was preparing itself for another attack. Did they pin all their hopes on the Enterprise and not establish any contingency plans? And remember, the Reptilians destroyed a space station! Shran showed up! The attack DID happen in the 22nd Century!
- And in "Home" we see a whole bunch of Starfleet ships come out to greet Enterprise. Why didn't they fly against the Xindi weapon? There were more of them than there were of the three little runabouts that flew against the Borg in "Best of Both Worlds Part 2," and the weapon was smaller than the cube.
- Think about it. Long range sensors picks up the Xindi weapon escorted by two Xindi ships and no Enterprise in sight. There's no way for these sensors to tell that the smaller Xindi ship has gone over to the good guys and is carrying a commando team that's ready to beam over and attempt to destroy the weapon from inside. Even if they did know this, AND knew that Shran was about to fly in out of nowhere and take out the larger ship, what's to gain by keeping the Starfleet ships grounded? It's not like Shran's ship plus the late Degra's shuttle have such an overpowering advantage over Dollim's ship plus the Baby Death Star that we can feel confident of the result to the point that we'd just be getting in the way if we tried to contribute.
- Oh, and let's not forget that at one point, Archer sent back details on the weapon they had obtained. Maybe communications aren't as fast as they are in TNG, but you'd think they'd say in the penultimate episode "HEY!!! The weapon will be there in ten hours! Have all possible ships ready!"
- How does the plotline of "Breaking the Ice" even work? A key plot element of that episode is that part of the crew is stranded on a comet, putting them in danger of burning up when their side turns to face a star in a few hours. Problem is: Unless I missed something, no nearby star is ever shown.
- Rigel is a blue supergiant star. Blue supergiants are up to a million times as bright as the Sun and have a lifespan of only a few million years. I'm all for creativity and fictional speculation, but to say that the existence of fully-evolved, intelligent life on a planet around Rigel is impractical would be a vast understatement.
- Why scratch your head about it here? Reference to Rigel as an inhabited system go back to the original series... and this is indeed mentioned on the Star Trek Headscratchers board.
- Why does the Royal Navy apparently still exist? I can see why they might maintain a small fleet for traditional and cultural purposes, but the story implies that it's still a full-scale military organisation. Not only does a single starship outclass even the most powerful navy hands down, but Earth has a unified world government by that point - what would it even be for?
- Probably that traditional and cultural role you mentioned. Also, pirates.
- A Night in Sickbay. Why was Porthos (a dog please remember) ever brought down to the planet, especially for delicate negotiations for a vital piece of equipment? Did it never occur to Archer that a dog might react in an unexpected manner that would dash these negotiations? He's lucky that all Porthos did was piss on a sacred tree.
- This spotlights an absurdity rampant through much of Star Trek. These ships are off to meet other civilizations, so shouldn't protocol be a huge deal? To the point that there should be people on board devoted to nothing else?
- In later series they do acknowledge the need and are occasionally shown being briefed on protocol. On Voyager, Janeway promotes Neelix into the role of ambassador due to his talent with such things and he's almost always shown as being good at it.
- Likely as a way of emphasizing that the humans on board Enterprise really don't know what they are doing. They talk a big game, but they demonstrate lots of times that they have no clue what they are doing in space. Hoshi brings aboard a pet slug-thing that starts dying because she took it out of its natural environment. Archer's dog pisses on a sacred tree. Trip embarrasses our species every time he opens his mouth. If not for T'Pol, the ship wouldn't even have survived its first mission. Its the show's way of saying that No, we aren't ready for that big step into space, but we'll go anyway, so that we can learn from our mistakes (except for Trip.)
- Twilight. So a top fan favourite, but the whole solution doesn't seem to really hang together. T'Pol and Flox get rid of some of the parasite, this apparently erases the infection not just now, but also in the past. Flox can't see the parasite on the old scans anymore. This being so, how the crap does he know the parasites were there? If the computer scans can't "remember" the parasite why can everyone else remember them? Shouldn't the first application of the technology have removed everything by a process of incremental timeline updates? The device removes a chunk, so timeline resets so that chunk never existed and so they target the device, when used for the first time, on a different chunk. Which then never existed and so, etc. etc.
- Either they didn't think of that or thought viewers would get confused. Also, it would have effectively killed the drama. The first use would have been an immediate success thanks to causality.
- Also, if Phlox had eradicated the parasite, which erased it from history, then he wouldn't remember it, and so would have targeted another parasite (otherwise he'd be aiming at healthy brain tissue), and erased that, then wouldn't remember it, so would have aimed at another parasite, and so on and so on until logically all the parasites would have been erased after a single treatment. Of course, if there were no parasites in the first place, Phlox wouldn't bother developing a treatment and so all the parasites would re-materialize...
- Storm Front. So the Xindi Aquatics deliver Enterprise back to Earth in one of their huge ships, but it turns out that the Enterprise actually arrives during WWII instead of the 22nd century. But at no point during the episode is the Aquatic ship mentioned again-- did it also travel in the past? Couldn't Enterprise just have radioed them up and said, "uh, hey guys, this isn't right..."? Did the Aquatic ship simply disappear (from Enterprise's sensors) after Enterprise left its cargo hold, and if so why didn't anybody on Enterprise mention it? Did the writers simply forget that Enterprise was travelling with another ship?
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