Friday, May 17, 2019

The Masterpiece Society

TNG Season 5 Episode 13
Air Date: February 10th, 1992

The Enterprise is tracking a fragment of a white dwarf star when they discover it is going to come dangerously close to the planet Moab IV that has an unknown Human civilization. They discover that the civilization colonized the planet 200 years ago with the goal of genetically engineering every person. The society is engineered where each person is born to fit a specific role.

Originally they didn't want to even answer the Enterprise but when they realize that they wouldn't survive the approaching star fragment they reluctantly accept help. During the course of a week or so, some of the colonist see what life off their planet could be like and while they succeed in saving the planet from destruction, 23 of them want to leave with the Enterprise.

This raises the moral question on whether the Enterprise can or should interfere. Is this a violation of the prime directive. Riker says that since they are Human, it does not. But does being Human really mean you don't deserve the same rights as a primitive alien civilization? In the end the Enterprise does take anyone who wants to leave but does urge them to stay. Effectively this civilization would be crippled with the loss of even one person and adapting will be hard for them


"Oh, that's perfect." - Lt. Cmdr. La Forge
"What?" - Hannah
"If the answer to all of this is in a visor created for a blind man who never would have existed in your society. No offense intended." - Lt. Cmdr. La Forge

"It was the wish of our founders that no one have to suffer a life with disabilities." - Hannah
"Who gave them the right to decide whether or not I should be here, whether or not I might have something to contribute?" - Lt. Cmdr. La Forge

"All of us in this colony have been living in the dark ages. It's like we're victims of a 200-year-old joke. Until you came, all we could see was to the wall of our biosphere. Suddenly, our eyes have been opened to the infinite possibilities." - Hannah

"I replay each step in my mind, looking for the wrong turn, mistake in judgment. I can find only one and, as hard as I try, I cannot regret even that one. In fact, I'm quite certain that, given the opportunity, I would choose to make the same mistake again. I can only wonder why, with all the hundreds of genetically compatible women, I would fall in love with you." - Aaron
"Don't say that." - Counselor Troi
"Perhaps it's your imperfections which make you so unique. But I am in love with you, Deanna Troi, and I will always be." - Aaron

" If ever we needed reminding of the importance of the Prime Directive, it is now." - Captain Picard
"The Prime Directive doesn't apply. They're Human." - Cmdr. Riker
"Doesn't it? Our very presence may have damaged, even destroyed their way of life. Now, whether or not we agree with that way of life, whether they're Human or not, is irrelevant, Number One. We are responsible." - Captain Picard
"We had to respond to the threat of the core fragment, didn't we?" - Cmdr. Riker
"Of course we did, but in the end, we may have proved just as dangerous to that colony as any core fragment could ever have been." - Captain Picard

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