For general discussion on this episode, visit the ENT forum at The Trek BBS.
Wasn't there some controversy about this episode, with many feeling that the ethics of witholding the cure were not sound? If there wasn't, there damn well should have been - particularly as the reasoning they gave for the decision employed the traditionally confused Star Trek version of evolution and was veering dangerously close to the ideas of the eugenicists.
Interestingly, the season 4 episode "Observer Effect" has the exact opposite scenario - with aliens being in a position to cure the humans. Perhaps not surprisingly, the moral message changed to saying that it would be wrong not to help. Some kind of atonement on the part of the producers perhaps?
- If I remember correctly, Observer Effect was not at all a comparable situation, as it was the aliens themselves that infected the humans, rather than a naturally occurring disease. In terms of controversy for this episode, I don't know of any, and there probably wasn't much. Star Trek has done far more controversial things, and the world simply doesn't revolve around Trek, and small controversies. --OuroborosCobra talk 21:57, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
- Not to continue an argument, but the Organians specifically denied any responsibility in causing the infection, and Enterprise's crew determined that the pathogen had probably arrived on the planet by hitching a ride on an asteroid. The Organians did, however, choose to set up shop near the planet to watch humanoid reactions to the disease, which seems sort of like setting up a hidden camera in a minefield, rather than a sign that reads: "Warning- Minefield". A better parallel to the "Dear Doctor" scenario might be the claim of a Terra Prime member that the Vulcans were being malicious by not intervening in Earth's World War III, which sounds fairly petty in the context it's given. Wolff359 02:57, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
I'd definitely recommend checking out the SFDebris.com review of the episode, which can be found here: http://sfdebris.com/enterprise/e113.asp Definitely one of the better reviews on the site, and it brings up some really good points about the morality of the situation and the Prime Directive as a whole. Even if you don't agree with his interpretation of the episode, it's worthwhile to check out the review regardless. The Phoenix King
- Thanks for that "The Phoenix King." I saw this episode tonight and found it extraordinarily repugnant (far beyond that of the "Founder genocide" in DS9; the Founders actually advocated genocide themselves). I was wondering if something like that existed. If there is a bigger controversy (not just some guys review on a site), it definitely needs to be added to the wiki. I would understand not adding it if it didn't elicit a peep in a larger context. Still, wow, not getting sleep tonight... 184.108.40.206 09:01, September 8, 2009 (UTC)
- The review you posted nails it. It's clear from this episode and VOY:Threshold that Bragga simply does not understand the theory of evolution. He sees evolution as a predetermined course with a preset destination, and seems completely ignorant of how natural selection works--shocking for a sci-fi writer. Presumably, Berman suffers the same ignorance--otherwise, letting this steaming pile go into production without an extensive rewrite was an unconscionable display of incompetence. In the immortal words of Comic Book Guy, "worst episode ever." --anonymous Trek love/hater
"First time" for Prime Directive Edit
When I encountered this article, there was this statement:
- This is probably the earliest point in Star Trek chronology where the thought of a Prime Directive is conceived.
I took it away because it's obviously false and requires no discussion for anyone whose watched Star Trek: First Contact even half sober. Now I find the thing has come back but in this form:
- This is the earliest known point in Star Trek chronology where the thought of a Prime Directive in Starfleet is conceived.
The introduction of the word Starfleet doesn't make it any more true because, well, Vulcans are a foundational part of Starfleet. Their philosophies are inherent to the concept of the PD. When the local planetary governments gave some measure of their autonomy to the centralized federal government, what they got was the right to sit at the negotiating table during the creation of the Articles of the Federation. The resulting legal framework is thus a blend of several cultures, not just an extension of Human jurisprudence. While Starfleet is a direct successor to the Earth Starfleet, it's also a direct successor to the Andorian, Vulcan and Tellarite fleets. It's possible for a Starfleet idea to have its origin on a planet other than Earth, and the PD came from Vulcan. It received support from Earth no doubt because Archer eventually realized, with T'Pol's help, why the Vulcans had developed their own protocols long before the NX-01 launched — but coming up with one's own version of an existing idea isn't the same thing as creating it anew.
Beyond this, however, it's not even the first instance of the basic ideas of the PD in Enterprise. "Civilization" is clearly based on elements of the PD. "Terra Nova" has shades of the PD about it. And "Broken Bow", as the effective sequel to Star Trek: First Contact, as well as most encounters between Soval and Forrest, are peppered with what would become the PD. The basic tension between Humans and Vulcans throughout season one is essentially about creating the Prime Directive. The question Archer and Tucker are constantly asking in the early episodes is, "To what extent do we, as the "contacted" race, deserve to be equals with the people who contacted us? Why are these Vulcans keeping information from us? Why do they say we're 'not ready' for deep space exploration?" The Prime Directive is the answer to those questions. In many ways, the search for Vulcan-Human consensus about the Prime Directive is one that started in the closing moments of Star Trek: First Contact, and continued through to the closing sequence of "Terra Prime".
This contention that "Dear Doctor" is the home of the first reference to a Prime Directive in Starfleet, in Star Trek history — even in Enterprise chronology — should be entirely excised from this article. CzechOut ☎ | ✍ 07:26, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
- I agree with the above. A statement that the episode is clearly intended to foreshadow the Prime Directive is more correct.– Cleanse 10:19, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
"Data's Day" Parallel?Edit
Does anyone think that there is a parallel between this episode and "Data's Day" from TNG....in that respectively Dr. Phlox and Data are both discovering what it means to be human?
--RomulanHand 02:27 EST on the 15 of January 2008
Not particularly. For one thing, the situations are different-Data has aspirations to be Human and notes Human characteristics with that in mind, Phlox notes them with more of a I'm-living-with-humans-so-I-should-learn-about-them kind of scientific interest. I'm not exactly sure if that made sense, but anyways. I think there is more of a parallel in the style of narrative-both episodes are in the format of letters. Data13 19:44, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
the movie Edit
What's the movie the crew are watching called? The one with the ridiculously repetitive lines? --220.127.116.11 23:37, August 14, 2010 (UTC)
This episode not available on StarTrek.com, Hulu.com or CBS.com Edit
This episode is not available for free online. As far as I can tell this is the only episode from the first season of Star Trek: Enterprise which is not available on CBS.com (or StarTrek.com or Hulu.com.) Does anyone know of a reason why this episode is missing? I.E. Does this episode have licensing issues or was it considered objectionable for some reason?– The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk).
- You can buy it on iTunes. I can't speak for the others since I'm not in the US.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 00:15, February 24, 2011 (UTC)