ATTENTION: The Boards will be closed permanently on May 28th, 2014. Posting will be disabled on April 28th, 2014. More Info

Picard vs the Prime Directive

Ne vem

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 40

Report this Jul. 04 2013, 9:54 am

I just watched 'Drumhead' from TNG season 4 and the crazy witch-burning admiral said Picard had violated the Prime Directive 9 times...


Now I'm trying to remember what all those violations were and from what episode? Were all of them on the show?


Off the top of my head, I remember the volcano planet from 'Pen Pals', 'Data's Day', becoming the Klingon moderator, saving Wesley in 'Justice'...


Can anyone tell me all 9?


And which captain has violated it the most? Must be Janeway, right?


Why does no-one in Trek make zines?

buchworm

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 503

Report this Jul. 04 2013, 11:16 am

Actually, of all the captains, Janeway was probably the most idealistic about the prime directive.  I'd say that Kirk was the least.  You're right about Pen Pals and Justice, however, Picard did not violate the prime directive in Data's Day.  Data does mention that not conferring with Starfleet command before taking action as Picard did was a violation of standard procedure, but really in that situation action needed to be taken immediately.  From what I've seen in Star Trek, Starfleet seems to be understanding of such things and gives captains leeway when a decision needs to be made quickly, particularly if the outcomes aren't too terrible.


I'm sure I used to remember all nine, but I'm having trouble now.  Picard did tell Kimpek that it was inappropriate for a Starfleet officer to serve as arbiter of succession for the Klingon Empire, despite his conceding to do it, so that may be one.  Another happens in the episode with the Vulcanoid species.  Allowing Marasta Yale to stay aboard after that first contact situation didn't go well is probably one.  I can't think of more right now.

Ne vem

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 40

Report this Jul. 04 2013, 11:54 am

Yeah, I remember Janeway's idealism, but I also remember her hand being forced a lot due to Delta Quadrant issues. 


Was the alliance with the Borg a violation of the PD? It ended up damaging a lot of other cultures, but you could probably say the same about the alliance with the Klingons in the Alpha Quadrant...


Okay, so far we have:


First Contact [season 4]


Who watches the watcher


Pen Pals


Justice


Picard as Klingon arbiter


Just 4 more to get...


 


Why does no-one in Trek make zines?

buchworm

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 503

Report this Jul. 04 2013, 3:46 pm

Code of Honor - season 1, episode 3(Picard took action resulting in a change of leadership on a world)


When the Bough Breaks - season 1, episode 16(The crew's involvement seems to have impacted the future course of Aldayan society)


Symbiosis - season 1, episode 21(While he didn't help them later, Picard got involved in the affairs of two worlds, which I don't think were warp-capable)


The High Ground - season 3, episode 12(The crew helped authorities find a terrorist leader, which resulted in his death)


 


I'm a little iffy on the second and third selections.  Neither the alliance with the Klingons or that with the Borg are violations of the prime directive.  There is a distinction with getting involved with internal affairs and those which are external.  For instance, the Federation did not get involved in the Klingon civil war when the Durass sisters rebelled against Gowron.  However, the Federation will go to war if threatened.  This would be considered an external matter rather than one exclusively affecting the affairs of one group or another.  The alliance with the Borg was to avoid the potential destruction of all life in the Delta Quadrant at the hands of Species 8472 and given their power they could be a threat to the entire galaxy, hence it was a war.  Given the fact that the Borg are a constant threat externally, I think the Federation would consider any action taken against them to be legitimate.

Ne vem

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 40

Report this Jul. 04 2013, 7:56 pm

Symbiosis and The High Ground probably don't count. The first one, Picard was responding to a ship in distress, not the internal workings of a culture. At the end, he went out of his way not to directly help them which would break the PD, as he mentioned, but instead helped them in a different, less breaky way.


The High Ground was a response to a crime committed on a planet that knew who they were to begin with. Crusher was kidnapped by the terrorist leader, and later Picard too, so you would have to say they were only resolving the crime he'd committed, not hunting him for being a terrorist. You're right that his death would effect that planet, but they didn't have that agenda and it was the woman security guard who shot him anyway, the Enterprise crew would've stunned him. I think all of that together disqualifies it, but I could be wrong. I've never read the exact wording of the PD.


How about Angel One? I'm a little hazy, only ever watched it once, but didn't they interfere in some way?


Why does no-one in Trek make zines?

buchworm

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 503

Report this Jul. 04 2013, 9:01 pm

Angel One is an interesting case.  When the Enterprise makes the initial contact with the planetary leader, it is established that the Federation has made contact with the planet before.  It is interesting because this planet is not much more advanced than we are technologically and later it is mentioned that first contact is made with civilizations that are at least warp-capable.  It could be that this warp-capable standard had not yet been conceived as part of the narrative of the Star Trek universe because season one of TNG is formulaically similar to TOS.  The episode, Justice, is interesting for the same reason as Angel One.  The Edo don't seem to be warp-capable and may not have even been as advanced as we are; we don't see much of their technology to know for sure.  We just know that they live simply and live for pleasure.  As I remember, the mission to their world was a first contact.  In TOS, some of the contact with less advanced worlds was for the purpose of cleaning up messes.  However, in the episode, The Serpent, it is mentioned that Kirk had befriended Tyree, a member of a bronze or iron age tribe, during a survey mission some years prior.  While it is true that Kirk didn't reveal where he was from, it is still an odd thing to do.  Also, Tyree does seem to understand that Kirk isn't from his neck of the woods, anyway.  An interesting sidebar involves Kirk's interpretation of the prime directive in this episode as maintaining a balance of power.  In TNG, Admiral Jameson used a similar interpretation to arm both sides in a conflict during the resolution of a hostage crisis.  Anyway, back to Angel One - The Enterprise made contact with the goal of rescuing the crew of a Federation civilian ship that had crashed there.  Since the crew had found wives and had children, they didn't want to leave and since they were civilians, Starfleet had no authority to force them to leave.  During this episode, there is no indication that the Enterprise crew revealed anything about the Federation that the government of Angel One didn't already know.  The closest thing that I could see in this episode to a prime directive violation is at one point Riker almost ordered the beam up of everyone in a room, which included some Angel One natives.  The civilian ship crew and these Angel One natives were going to be executed because of their egalitarian lifestyle.  Riker did nothing to force the Angel One government to stop the execution; he just used persuasion, charm, and sex appeal.  However, with a strict interpretation of the prime directive, Riker's attempts at persuading the leader of a world to change political policy could be viewed as a violation.  On the other hand, this leader wasn't ignorant of egalitarian ideals and what they meant so it's a toss up.

buchworm

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 503

Report this Jul. 04 2013, 9:25 pm

Also, I think that I'm right about The High Ground.  My understanding of the prime directive is that the Enterprise crew should have allowed Dr. Crusher and later Picard, as well, to die rather than interfere in the internal matters of a non-Federation world.  I don't know what the Federation's relationship with this world was; we only know the Enterprise was delivering medical supplies, which is interference in a broad sense.  The terrorist leader, Finn's, frustration with Federation policies regarding nonallied worlds is understandable, to a degree.  I don't know of anywhere in all of the Star Trek episodes where a full policy is articulated.  I agree that Symbiosis is the most iffy of the four I mentioned.  There are other examples of the Enterprise aiding other ships in distress, but I think in every other situation the ship was warp-capable.  As I said before, this warp-capable standard may not have been in place within the Star Trek narrative at this time.

duskh

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 24

Report this Jul. 06 2013, 7:23 pm

Quote: buchworm @ Jul. 04 2013, 3:46 pm

>

>Code of Honor - season 1, episode 3(Picard took action resulting in a change of leadership on a world)

>When the Bough Breaks - season 1, episode 16(The crew's involvement seems to have impacted the future course of Aldayan society)

>Symbiosis - season 1, episode 21(While he didn't help them later, Picard got involved in the affairs of two worlds, which I don't think were warp-capable)

>The High Ground - season 3, episode 12(The crew helped authorities find a terrorist leader, which resulted in his death)

>I'm a little iffy on the second and third selections.  Neither the alliance with the Klingons or that with the Borg are violations of the prime directive.  There is a distinction with getting involved with internal affairs and those which are external.  For instance, the Federation did not get involved in the Klingon civil war when the Durass sisters rebelled against Gowron.  However, the Federation will go to war if threatened.  This would be considered an external matter rather than one exclusively affecting the affairs of one group or another.  The alliance with the Borg was to avoid the potential destruction of all life in the Delta Quadrant at the hands of Species 8472 and given their power they could be a threat to the entire galaxy, hence it was a war.  Given the fact that the Borg are a constant threat externally, I think the Federation would consider any action taken against them to be legitimate.

>


 


In the case of When the Bough Breaks, it's been a while since I saw it, but I would think an exception would have been made there, because the Enterprise's children were kidnapped.  Breaking Federation law, so he had to do something, especially under the pressure of Dr. Crusher.  Correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.

buchworm

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 503

Report this Jul. 06 2013, 8:16 pm

@duskh - Of the episodes I listed, I'm least certain about When the Bough Breaks.  I was trying to think of nine since that is the number stated by Admiral Satee and Picard did not dispute it.  I was pretty sure that all nine were covered in episodes because I was thinking that at one time, I'd had all nine times in my head.  Maybe, I should replace it on the list with the episode, Angel One.

willowtree

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 1137

Report this Jul. 08 2013, 6:26 am

you should check out the Memory Alpha page about the prime directive. It's interesting. It gives examles of when the prime directive is suspended, when it doesn't apply, and a pretty comprehensive list of when it was broken including which captain and what episode (and Janeway has the LEAST number of times the PD was broken)


http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Prime_Directive

chator56

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 498

Report this Jul. 08 2013, 7:17 am

Janeway violated the Prime Directive in the VOYAGER pilot. She didn't seem to care much about the PD IMHO.

miklamar

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 2159

Report this Jul. 08 2013, 7:41 am

Starfleet Command could get martinetish about strictly adhering to the Prime Directive, but it was often pushed aside for survival and morally acceptable reasons.  I personally interpret it as a guideline--an important one, to be sure--for commanders' decisions.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

willowtree

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 1137

Report this Jul. 08 2013, 8:20 am

Quote: chator56 @ Jul. 08 2013, 7:17 am

>

>Janeway violated the Prime Directive in the VOYAGER pilot. She didn't seem to care much about the PD IMHO.

>


No she didn't.


I assume you are referring to destroying the array.


The caretaker had set the self destruct. If Janeway hadn't been there the array would have blown up. Janeway's presence and firefight with the Kazon damaged the self destruct. By blowing up the array herself she ensured that the array was going to be destroyed just as it would have been had she not been there

willowtree

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 1137

Report this Jul. 08 2013, 8:20 am

Quote: miklamar @ Jul. 08 2013, 7:41 am

>

>Starfleet Command could get martinetish about strictly adhering to the Prime Directive, but it was often pushed aside for survival and morally acceptable reasons.  I personally interpret it as a guideline--an important one, to be sure--for commanders' decisions.

>


ther are many circumstances written into the prime directive when it can be suspended

Ne vem

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 40

Report this Jul. 08 2013, 9:10 am

It seems that the case in 'Justice' was the biggest violation. For shock value alone it would've been great to have seen Wesley executed, but probably a little un-Trek.


I still don't think 'The High Ground' is a violation as Riker and Picard worked with the recognised Govt. of the world to get Crusher back from the bad dudes. They only used their own resources when the terrorists attacked and killed members of the ships crew. They didn't actively take sides, they just worked to find their kidnapped crew member. This is reactive, not active, so surely the PD would be suspended in such a case?


Also, they shouldn't have to let Picard/Crusher die, because neither of them had violated the rules of that world, like jumpsuit in 'Justice'. They were victims of a crime.


Why does no-one in Trek make zines?

Recently logged in

Users browsing this forum: FleetAdmiral_BamBam

Forum Permissions

You cannot post new topics in this forum

You cannot reply to topics in this forum

You cannot delete posts in this forum