Star Trek in the News: Syria and Fairpoint

The pilot episode of Star Trek:  The Next Generation Encounter at Fairpoint provides a gateway into what kind of greatness the program would involve.  So often the first episode of a series involves stiff character introductions where it is obvious that even those onscreen aren’t entirely certain of the direction they should take. By and large the primary roles are demonstrated rather seamlessly around a plotline that further demonstrates the cerebral approach to intergalactic issues the crew of the Enterprise will continue to pursue.

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”. 

Before Jean-Luc Picard is even able to settle into his new Galaxy Class digs he is met with a ‘powerful mind’, an individual that identifies himself as a collective known as ‘Q’.  Q demonstrates his power by freezing a crewmember while morphing into representatives of humanity’s more murderous stages in history all while working to indict humanity’s barbarism and prevent its further penetration into deep space.

Picard is not impressed and provides a window into his militant pacifism.  He refuses to directly engage Q, but likewise points out the insincerity in its accosting the Enterprise.  The Captain lumps Q in with other “self-righteous life forms that are eager not to learn but to prosecute and judge anything that they don’t understand”.  As this was aired in 1987 before the Cold War had officially sputtered to an ending, one wonders what might have inspired such criticism as at the time it was generally accepted that the U.S. was entrenched on the side of good versus the Soviet’s evil.

The crew is allowed to proceed to pursue its mission of investigating a potential space station at Deneb IV.  Commander William Riker, the Enterprise first officer, had been on the surface making observations about the unique structure and energy demands he suspects the station required.  A series of peculiar events inspired further curiosity when it appears as if the station is able to create anything that different members of the crew desired after an outward expression.

Further investigation with the ship’s counselor Deanna Troi, a half-Betazed capable of feeling others’ emotional status, indicates that a life form on the planet is suffering from intense loneliness.  Additional curiosity is aroused when the Enterprise is joined in orbit by a second and massive ship that begins assailing the city from outer space by pummeling the area surrounding the base on the surface.

In a rush toward resolution that may feel like anticlimax for any hoping for a flurry of phasers, photon torpedoes and subsequent explosions, Picard was able to avoid unnecessary destruction while directing wrongdoers into their proper place.  As Q watched on it was discovered that the Bandi at Deneb IV had encountered a life form that fed off of energy, something their planet had in abundance.  They provided the visitor with life-force, though merely enough to remain alive while forcing it to do their bidding.  Picard ordered an energy beam to be sent down to the base which was happily absorbed.  With its newfound strength the alien separated from the planet’s surface and rose into space toward its mate.

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”. 

While it is the crew of the USS Enterprise that are made to answer for what would include 21st century humanity’s cruelty, viewers cannot help but wonder how Q would respond to the current pursuits of the vessels currently marked USS.  Indeed, the recent humanitarian effort in Libya might seem as if contemporary Americans are more Bandi than Federation.

You may remember what had happened in Libya last spring.  President Obama announced that military action needed to take place before Muammar Gaddafi realized his potential for terror.  So the U.S. led NATO into the violent removal of what may have proven (in hindsight) to be a stabilizing presence.  That Gaddafi had not yet been violent, and that his eradication was generally without the bounds of the rule of law was relatively immaterial.  We were told that what was important was violence against civilians was avoided.

What’s most surprising after such a dismissal of western ideals is another Near Eastern country seems to be begging for a sequel.  That Syria is being ruled by a tyrant is beyond discussion (though, how tyrannical is increasingly difficult to discern…).  What’s amazing is after the rumors of the real inspiration in the ‘humanitarian’ effort in Libya, anyone genuinely worried about Syria and Syrians might question Western motivations.  Indeed, as bad as Libya may have been under Gaddafi, tribal civil war is…better?  And this is what Syrians are clamoring for?

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”. 

Just as the life form that wound up making a space-station on Deneb IV approached desperate and starving, death may have been preferred to its subsequent anguish as Troi felt while on the surface.  And observers in the West and participants in plagued countries are right to wonder if NATO is not precisely like the Bandi and wearing seeming benevolence as a cloak for hoped for future gains.  If nothing else, the subsequent civil wars are surely providing Q with more evidence of human barbarianism…


Contact DS Palmer at

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”. 




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