Half a Life

Dr. Timicin’s attempt to save his planet’s dying star has failed. Now, he has to kill himself. That has nothing to do with the failed science experiment. It’s just his time. You see, Timicin is turning 60. On his planet, that means a tiny taste of armageddon for the birthday boy or girl. But Timicin still has work to do. Plus, he’s fallen in love. Will he go gentle into that good night? Find out when we put Half a Life in the Mission Log.

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  • JusenkyoGuide

    In watching this, you realize just how good of an actress Majel Barrett Roddenberry was.

    • I am glad they fleshed her out…thought the crying was a bit forced though, but I really enjoyed her performance. The rest of her appearances were underwhelming imo.

      • Dave Steph Taylor

        Totally. Lwaxana was meant to be comical and a bit overbearing. In this one she really was able to show a gentler side.

  • Wildride

    “Oh, Qualon “two” — Yeah, I’ve never heard of that.”

  • nathankc

    “Ya see Timicin” – lol, well played

  • Wildride

    Degrees Kelvin is not a thing, despite them saying it repeatedly on Star Trek. Kelvins are absolute units, so there’s no reason to describe them as degrees.

    An exploding star has the same mass (with respect to anything outside the expanding shell of its debris) as the star itself. Mass-wise, a star wouldn’t have any significant impact on anything outside of its solar system.

    • it’s also a ship! lol and I think a race of aliens from TOS? or were they the Kelvans? hmmmm

  • nathankc

    When she says “that’s your Prime Directive, not mine”. Betazed is a member of the Federation, correct?

    In other words: I don’t know if the Prime Directive issue is clear cut 🙂

    Would that not mean that the Prime Directive applies to her as well as a Federation ambassador? Also, they were invited. I know the Prime Directive is somewhat like the transporter in that it has different rules when the story demands, but, they are directly intervening on behalf of this civilization. “Your star is burning out and you don’t have the tech to go find a test one yourself? Sorry dude: Prime Directive”. Even granting asylum would technically violate the Prime Directive because Timicin himself (and the prime minister of the planet and “Ro” Timicin all state it would be a planet-wide societal scandal for him to skip his death). So, it actually seems like Picard only appeals to the Prime Directive in the case of Timicin initially because it suits his purposes.

    • I take it that the Prime Directive does not apply to warp capable, non aligned planets. In S3 “The High Ground”- terrorist episode, Picard says regarding Rutia III, “Although not aligned they have enjoyed a long trading relationship”- or something to that effect. But there is still some measure of non interference philosophy of the Federation, like when in an upcoming, (ahem, cough cough) “issue” arises within the Klingon Empire.

    • Well, to be fair, her interpretation of the Prime Directive probably came from years of studying Kirk.

      • nathankc

        considering it is L.Troi – “studying” may mean a couple different things

      • Mark Sabella

        Hahahahahahah! She would have definitely tried to make some green memories w/him!

  • I just lost my Dad on April 4, 2016. Dialysis, fall, stroke, hospice. The roughest time of my life. I am an ER RN and if anything it made the whole experience…WORSE. During that rollercoaster I wrote Ken and John and told them how much I appreciate this podcast. It was a distraction to listen on the way back and forth to the hospital. Having familiar voices talking about your favorite show. Typing here and on the FB page w fans like you. It helps pass the time. I am sure there are others who really appreciate this show as much as I do. Again thanks !- My Dad was driving himself around prior to his stroke, was soon rendered unable to speak, in a diaper, weak and unable to feed himself. Before things got really bad, we had made the decision that he would move in with us. Thinking he would get better and still be able to walk around or even in a wheelchair and at least enjoy his grandchildren. It was not meant to be. He wasn’t getting better and we made the decision to go to hospice. It was brutal. Keep in mind, I am a nurse with an ER background, but when terms like “withholding nutrition” and “oral gratification” were being used, I thought, damnit, how did we get here? I was being asked if I wanted to “withhold nutrition”? from this loving sweet man, who fed me my entire life!?! How could I do that? So after we got home, we blended some fruits and Filipino food chicken adobo and rice and did our best to feed him. He seemed to enjoy it for that day, but being off dialysis he soon got worse and was unable to swallow properly, so we just did moistening oral sponges to prevent him from choking on food. He got home Friday April 1 and passed away April 4. Of course we wanted more quality time w him, but in retrospect it went as well as it could have. He died w my sister and mother holding his hands at 3:47 am. California just passed an “aid in dying ” law TODAY; June 9, 2016. These losses really make you reflect on you would like to die. It’s scary, sad depressing stuff to contemplate, but it has to be done. It should be done. I am grateful my Dad worked out his living trust w me back in 2004 and chose not be a “full code”- he was a “do not resuscitate”. Which is pretty much hands off policy…I think Star Trek did a great job of bringing this topic up in a sci-fi manner. I wonder if Timicin’s world hit a breaking point w high tech gadgets that kept people “alive” longer and longer to the point that perhaps 30% living population were supporting an ill, incapacitated 70%? or something a long those lines…

    • regeekery – JD

      Tough to read this about your father but it really moved me. I’m sorry for your loss. As I’m watching my parents get older I’m starting to TRY preparing myself for their inevitable health problems but I also realize that’s impossible… I hope when I’m in a caretaker role for them that I handle those duties as well as you did.

      • regeekery-JD :thanks for your kind words and thoughts. Sadly, it is better to knock out the legal stuff now, while they can verbalize their wishes. Living trust, medical wishes, advance directive, power of attorney. Not fun, but seriously the best thing my Dad ever could have done for us. Cherish moments and times w your folks. There are little trinkets around the home that may not be special to you at this moment, but when they are gone, will take on special meaning…I’m talking about spatulas, scribbled notes, fruit from the garden. You can never be fully prepared but the legal stuff will help immensely. Be well.

  • On a darker note. ISIS has videos that say “We love death as much as you love life”- pretty scary on the starkly different views on what is acceptable or worth killing for. Other’s religion or lack thereof, offensive cartoons or even behavior that is not in accordance w your own. “Fetishizes death”- makes me think of them or Thanos and his love of “Lady Death”. I really like Lwaxana’s point about why bother w their dying sun….let it be. The episode “Sarek” touched on elder Alzheimer issues and this is a great follow up. If we’re “lucky” we get to get that old and hopefully have a decent quality of life. Thinking about the nursing home option just recently for my father was not fun. I was ok w rehab so he could get stronger, but nothing beyond a few weeks. I would have wanted him to stay w my family and I know, yes, it would have been extra stress and headache, but it would be worth it. I feel sad when I think of the gut wrenching situations that arise every day, when families can no longer deal w an elderly loved one. Money, safety, marriage stress and relationships, are all factors.

  • I also, think a disaster or calamity or war could have easily influenced Kaelon II to such drastic measures, so we should not judge them too harshly. Hurricane Katrina- nursing home losses… Let’s remember, Terri Schiavo case in 2004, which was sad sad sad, but happens much more often than we know. Families arguing over end of life matters regarding a loved one…

  • Mihai Furtună

    Here’s my question about the whole “die at 60” thing:
    Does it have to be at 60 exactly? Can’t they leave the guy to finish his work and then have the whole resolution thing? What if there’s like a composer who’s just about to finish his greatest work, but it can only be done three days after he turns 60? Or a writer, who still has like 200 pages of his latest novel to complete at 60? What if there’s the Kalon 2 equivalent of , for example, George R.R. Martin? Who’s gonna write their Winds of Winter and Dream of Spring if he has to go at 60?
    My point is, I get why a society would consider that most people have outlived their use to society by 60. But what about those who haven’t? It seems unfair and stupid that a rule can be so fixed that it can’t be changed or allow for exceptions at all.

    • Well, therein lies the rub. They’ve probably enforced the hard rule of 60 years for so long specifically to avoid such bargaining. If one person needs “3 more days” what about the next who needs a week, or a month or 6 months? People might catch on and realize there actually is potential to do something with their lives after the age of 60.

      • We also do not know the status of their planet’s population. Could be brimming to the top w people. Maybe even w advanced tech birth control they happen to live long enough to just fill up the planet?

      • Mark Sabella

        Think about the average human lifespan 1500 yrs ago. 60 would’ve been quite old. It was probably not an arbitrary decision that brought them to this age for their “resolution”. Unfortunately, stubborn adherence to this “ideal” has clouded the collective judgment as a species. Their own short-sightedness will be their undoing.
        Timicin [root name: “time”?, numerology = 6 (short for 60?)], likewise cannot simply change 15 centuries of dogma on a wild weekend – lest his society ends up like that of Gideon, or are forced to “resolve” their issues like Anton Karidian / Kodos…

    • I would think for this concept to work, people would be retired for the 2-3 years prior. Wrap up loose ends, kick the bucket list and spend quality time w family. Timicin’s field of work allowed/forced him to keep grinding, since it was so important for the planet/species. I do have one question…Did anyone not think…”Dude!!! you just destroyed a STAR?!!??!!?” – Secret Section 31 Weapons Program anyone?

  • Death Watch Facilities- nursing homes. I have seen my share of nursing homes while in nursing school. It is where most nursing schools start of course, because we gotta practice on people it “won’t matter as much if we make a mistake”- harsh truth. Some smell of urine, w random screaming if there is a Alzheimer’s dementia type patient, (let’s be honest there always would be). People restrained in chairs wearing a safety vest w ties or cloth mittens to keep themselves from grabbing at stuff. It is utterly brutal and not a way most of us would want to live…IF we had a CHOICE. But timing is everything and when would that choice be made? Age 60 or 70 or TBA…based on user experience… Hard tough questions. Great Star Trek.

  • Toriach

    Excellent episode Ken. I appreciated you letting the emotions the episode was bringing up for you through in your recap. I too was tearing up through much of it. A lot of the power of the episode for me comes from the performance of David Ogden Stiers. When I was young watching Charles Emerson Winchester The Third was a huge influence on me. My politics might come from Hawkeye, but much of the way I carry myself comes from him. When I first saw the character I thought he was a blowhard and a buffoon, but then came the episode which shows many of the characters nightmares. In his he is a magician who is failing and suddenly I had a new appreciation of the character. I watched closely and saw a man who held himself to a standard that would be almost impossible to meet in the everyday world. And he is not in that world. He is in a world where shortcuts are not only expected but even necessary, and although he learns to accept that he still continues to hold himself to the exact same standard. It was from Charles that I learned to carry myself with a dignity and grace that is not dependent on situation or circumstances. It is from him that I learned to never let myself be hurried by others. “I do one thing at a time. I do it very well. And then I move on.” It has defined my life as much as my favorite Picard quote from Encounter At Farpoint. So getting to see Stiers bring all that skill to one of my favorite shows was just magical. I loved how gentle and soft spoken he is as Timicin. And then when he is shouting at the terminal, “Even if I find a solution you will Not Hear It!?” it is every bit as effective probably more so than if he had gone into a full blown throwing things fit. This also proved that if you gave Majel good material she was a good actor.

    Now as for the other guy on the podcast, John something or rather? Yeah he’s dead to me. He needs to get himself squared away poste haste, watch Homicide: Life On The Streets, and then The Wire if he ever wants back in my good graces. 😉

    • Send the DVDs along – I’ll put them on the pile right after Star Trek! 🙂

      • Toriach

        Hey if I was gonna loan those puppies to anybody it would be you. But my wife would pretty much kill me. And not the oh hey thanks to a magnificent plot contrivance I’m alive again kind of kill me.

      • Dave Steph Taylor

        The series is on Netflix

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      I totally agree with David’s portrayal on Mash.

      He came in replacing Frank Burns who was a goof, but a thorn in the side of Hawkeye and B.J. As the series and Charles developed he was shown to have many admirable qualities. Charles tried to bring some civilization to an extremely difficult situation. I still remember the episode of the prisoners he formed a band with and the Christmas delivery.

    • I never watched MASH, ironically in San Diego in the 1980s KFMB CBS 8 showed MASH on the weekends at 330p followed by…..Star Trek TOS…I actually disliked MASH because I wanted it out of the way so Trek would come on…lol- and then I joined the Army to be a medic, how funny

  • Mike C.

    One word from another sci-fi property comes to mind with this episode:


    • Where is that from?

      • Mike C.

        Logan’s Run.

        • AHHHH..thanks, I do recall watching that a little…blinky lights

  • I think in this world it would be understood that most hard work would have stopped by this point. Maybe 5 years of retirement, make the most of time w loved ones? I guess Timicin’s project was too high priority…

  • Troy Brooks

    You seem to just accept that there is something wrong with their society. And I’ll point out that the only on the ship that had that same reaction was Lwaxana.
    I really saw this as a cultural difference episode, with a added message about questioning our own culture.

    • Muthsarah

      There IS something wrong with their society. It’s unwilling to bend to prevent itself from breaking. They’re on the verge of planetary…not just catastrophe, but…utter destruction. Sun dies, planet dies, whole system dies, how could anyone – or any of their values – survive that?

      Flexibility, at least in the face of potentially-fatal stresses, is a virtue. A virtue of common sense. Potentially one of the keyest of key virtues of any species struggling to survive.

      Timicin was this society’s finest….sun-bursty scientist-man. Or else they woulda sent someone else, not someone days away from (pre-arranged) death, who wouldn’t even have had time to follow-up on any successes or failures in the experiment. But, despite being faced with imminent destruction – three years ago, this borderline-xenophobic-and-isolationist society nonetheless reached out to the Federation for assistance – they still chose to ignore their brightest hope for survival, because it would require them to bend ONE rule of their society. Bend. Not break. Sure, if Timicin lives, how many others? Tough choice. Might require thinking. Thinking’s too hard, let’s just follow 1500 year old rules, right off the cliff. Better to die en masse than question tradition, right?

      When Lwaxana suggests that Timicin’s whole society might as well accept death – assuming it’s its time, as it’s just passively accepted to be – because that’s apparently what they hold above survival or flexibility, I’m 100% with her. Fine, let them die. If you can’t even QUESTION tradition (not even listening to Timicin, or accepting his suggestions for corrections to this star-blowy-up procedure), let alone consider changing them when they not only don’t serve your society, but actively threaten it/guarantee its destruction, fine. Good-bye. The universe won’t miss you, and your stupid thick-headed values, which won’t survive you.

      Common sense has to come into this somewhere. And, yeah (especially in light of recent comments in US politics), “common sense” can mean different things to different people, but all the same. It’s better to be open to new ideas, it’s better to be willing to discuss them, or allow them to be discussed, and it’s better to be willing to accept new ideas once thought heretical rather than shut out potentially useful ideas, simply because they’re different. If one can reason one’s way to it, if it can be argued that it’s for the greater good of the greater whole. Blind obedience to tradition, because tradition, is insane if not eventually suicidal. Always question. Always be open to debate. Always lead with reason, instead of knee-jerk close-mindedness. That’s a typically Trek message I can get behind.

      • great analysis as always! Yup, totally agreed w Lwaxana’s point..of “why bother?!!?” Common Sense is not that Common…lol. Blind backwards traditions. I understand their point w dying w dignity etc..but give some latitude, control, power, decision making to the individual. A great societal message, wrapped in sci-fi imo. I think for the audience, not everyone will have some defining inter-racial/species, same sex, free speech, political, ethical situation that Trek is great at getting us to examine and re-examine…but EVERYONE will get sick and die. How will we handle it? What will our concerns be when we become to weak and ill to make our own decisions? Great episode.

      • Low Mileage Pit Woofie

        Agree with you totally. I lived in Northern Ireland for many years, where one faction had a tradition of marching through the neighbourhoods of the other faction, a triumphalist display of the victory of one faction’s ancestors over the other faction’s ancestors. It was nothing more than a naked middle finger from one side to the other side.

        The parades went on for generations, and every attempt to protest, to get them to shift, was met with hostility, intransigence. This was tradition, after all. You can’t break with tradition.

        Except for when you can. People took courageous stands, on both sides, negotiations raised, compromises were made (or betrayals, depending on your point of view of course). And the Old Guard protested. But in the end, changes occurred. There’s still much lingering hostility, of course. Still room for improvement. But it can happen.

        Timicin’s final decision remains a disappointment in an otherwise moving story.

  • Muthsarah

    This is 90% a very, very good episode, but I agree that the ending is a little unsatisfying. Obviously, we can think that maybe Timicin’s…day?…of hesitation and the brief armed standoff might have drawn a little more attention to the validity of this tradition, but that would just be us writing a more conclusive ending than the episode does.

    To me, it felt like the ending was determined early, and the writers had to later figure out how to get the rest of the fifth act to arrive there. And it doesn’t entirely fit. Timicin’s reversal is too quick (and off-screen), his motivations confusing, his reasoning unsatisfying. He was willing to place the long-term well-being of his planet above this tradition, but having his daughter (with her hideous hair) tell him that he’s going to be worse than dead to her, that just breaks him? He made a hard choice to sacrifice himself for his family and his people by staying alive, but instead, he decides to sacrifice himself for his family and his people, by dying. He was convinced that his species had a greater chance of total destruction without him, and he was willing to be the one guy to defy a planet in order to save it, and he reverses himself again with just the slightest nudge? The ending’s beautiful, in a way, but the “resolution” of the story, and of its character, just makes him seem like a complete pushover. Maybe Steirs’ lowkey performance, and Timicin’s possible tunnel vision and/or the conflict of interest from his new romance, was making me already think that was the case, but the ending still comes off to me as forced. Like a steady, slowly-building arc just veers off back where it started instead of going where the first 90% of the episode was pointing it.

    Or maybe I’m just feeling Lwaxana’s frustration. To me, she’s by far the more compelling character (not a knock against Stiers, as my issue is with the writing). As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always loved Lwaxana as a character. “Haven” is a terrible episode (with hideous hair), but she’s the only character having any fun in it, and so she almost saves it. “Manhunt” is pretty weak, and is, to me, her weakest showing, but she’s still, on the whole, better than most of the room, for Season Two. Menage a Troi…has issues, but her scene at the end with Picard (especially when the camera’s on her and he’s still yelling off-screen) saves it, and she and Deanna play off each other spectacularly.

    And then there’s this episode. Easily her best outing, including the three on DS9, and I think that’s especially apparent from how well her presence elevates the characters around her, from Troi’s annoyed opening voiceover Picard’s hiding, Worf’s irritation over his name, Mr. Hom’s apparent valuelessness, and the many tender, combative, and/or heartbreaking scenes with Timicin.

    She’s a beautifully flawed, and very sympathetic, character, if you can look at her from her own point of view. Her aggressive attempts to push her values onto others clearly veil her desperate insecurities about feeling unappreciated, her selfish desire to make others see the world her way because she feels typically ignored, and her shameless, fearless determination to convince others to love her, because she feels unwanted. And she more she pushes others, the more they resent her. She’s, in a way, the most helpless and hopeless character on the series. Yeah, even more than Barclay and his obsessive reclusiveness or Geordi with his impossible romantic life. What Picard was like after the mind-meld with Sarek, that’s Lwaxana on only a slightly bad day.. Whether she’s just frustrated and lonely, or if she has something akin to manic depression, I think she probably knows she’s damaged somehow (though it’ll take until “Dark Page” to spell it out), but she’s gonna cover it up as best she can while she tries to fix herself. She wants what she wants, all the moreso when she doesn’t get it, and she’s probably long since stopped letting that discourage her. So when the universe, through Timicin and his traditions, comes up with (probably) a brand new excuse for her not to get what she dearly wants, she’s determined to fight.

    When Timicin (inadvertently) challenges her long-time treatment of her daughter – feeling that Deanna owes her love and happiness and so should do what Lwaxana wants her to do for a change – she doesn’t give an inch (“Well why the hell not?”). When Timicin puts his foot down and declares that it’s time for him to die, even if he doesn’t want to, she declares that it’s just as right his whole species should throw itself off a cliff if he’s gonna do it. And when Picard quotes legal precedent and his duty to the Federation, she Lwaxplains that not only do his rules not apply to her, she implies they shouldn’t even apply to him if it goes against her desires. It’s all selfish, but it’s 100% honest, and straight from the heart. She is all heart, all desire, for good and (usually) for ill, since she’s as hard-luck of a character as you’re gonna find in this ideal future. She’s not just a mother(-in-law) stereotype to be mocked, not just an ancillary character, Deanna’s mom, she’s her own being. And there’s no one else in Trek like her (closest maybe would be Apollo, a far more unsympathetic and two-dimensional character). And this is the episode where it finally comes together.

    “Half a Life” is good enough that it doesn’t need her to save it, but she still redeems the unsatisfying ending. The rest of the episode is well worth it just to behold such a complicated and contrary character let loose in Trek’s typically sedate, well-ordered universe.

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      I don’t know. Often in shows the ending is made for us, the audience. Oft times in real life the endings are much more like this episodes endings.

      • Muthsarah

        Yeah, as a fan of the bittersweet ending, I’m usually both perfectly fine with the messy ending and suspicious (if not contemptuous) of the too-neat or super-happy ending.

        I’m not saying this isn’t a fantastic, even great episode. Life’s complicated, usually, and it sucks, far too often. But…whenever an episode or movie sucks me in and gets me to both feel (badly) for a character and identify with them, and then it just….leaves off somewhere I wouldn’t want to be…(aside, if you’ve ever seen the movie/read the book “Atonement”, that’s an even worse case). It stings. I wanted this episode to have a more satisfying ending, because this episode really won me over to Lwaxana’s perspective.

        I could go on, but it’s ultimately an emotional, subjective, matter. And what can you say about that, really? Great episode, perhaps all the great in how much it frustrates me.

        • Dave Steph Taylor

          I think we all wanted Timicin to fight and not give in.

    • nathankc

      His ‘quick’ reversal occurs because he realizes that his main motivation (continuing to work to save the planet) will be worthless because his society will cut him off and not listen or work with him at all. So all he would accomplish is alienating his family and shaming them.

      • Muthsarah

        The man spent 40 years of his life on a singular task. After it initially failed, and a long argument with Lwaxana in which he stands his ground point for point —

        beautifully, I wanna single out Stiers for one particular line reading. When Lwaxana brings up his grandson, I LOVE the way he raises and yet toughens his tone of acknowledgement when he says that he’s almost seven, as he clearly doesn’t want to get into his family during a tense argument, but he’s not going to shush Lwaxana altogether (at roughly 27:30). It reveals both his love for his grandson, and his new love for Lwaxana, and his struggle to honor both of them even though they are, currently, by proxy, in conflict with one another. I think it’s notable that a very short line reading stands out, but it does, and bravo to Stiers for that. While I adore Lwaxana and Deanna’s more-melodramatic scene in the transporter room, the scene with Lwaxana and Timicin halfway through, I feel is one of the best Trek’s ever managed

        — he eventually is convinced to take a daring stand against all that he’s ever known, in order to save all that he’s ever known. But they shut him out, and he immediately collapses.

        40 years of effort, surrendered. Yeah, he surely felt pressured by his society and his daughter in particular. But the man gave in to his society’s expectations, then gave in to hope, then gave in to his people again, then claims he ALMOST gave in to Lwaxana.

        A man that determined to save all that he’s ever known and cherished, especially one who had already demonstrated by that point that he was willing to fight for what he believed in, once he changed what he believed in (if only in a highly contextual way), he shouldn’t have backed down so quickly. It took a hell of a lot to change his mind, and almost nothing to change it back. It makes him seem high susceptible to pressure. I’d like to believe he was overcome with some infatuation with Lwaxana, and that had something to do with it, but…well…maybe it’s – again – Steirs’ very low-key performance, or how Lwaxana is, for me, the more identifiable character. Or, of course, the needs of a 44-minute scripted drama, but it just didn’t ring right at the end.

        Thankfully, every other bit of the non-Treknobabblish parts of the episode work so well, and Lwaxana is especially delightful, that I can forgive the abrupt and unsatisfying ending. I can’t overlook it, just forgive it. It’s well worth a re-watch.

  • Todd Goul

    I recommend Roger Zelazny’s “Angel, Dark Angel” as another excellent take on the theme.

  • Dave Steph Taylor

    I totally get the point of the society. Nursing homes and the Elderly can be depressing, disheartening. Not to mention the expense, it gets very expensive as we attempt to keep family members alive well beyond any usefulness. On the other hand, our elderly provide wisdom, a link to the past, and opportunities to serve.

    The right to die is an ongoing debate. In 1999 Dr. Kevorkian had just been convicted for his role in self-suicides, I can only imagine this might have inspired the episode.

    I think that the issue comes from the age of the participants of the Resolution. Assuming a similar lifespan to humans, many more productive years could be had by many of these people.

    On a lighter note, Kirk so would have gone down to the planet, shamed them all and made them change.

    • Yes, Death Watch facilities was definitely a dig at modern nursing homes. I have spent time there as a nursing student…God bless the people who do that work well, because it is very hard and demanding. Sad we have so many in that situation….

      • Dave Steph Taylor

        My wife works in the memory care department of a nursing home. The stories can be very disheartening.

        I also have had grandparents and my father in care and it can be quite troubling.

    • nathankc

      This episode was made several years (1991) prior to Kevorkian’s first trial (1994) and about 10 years before his 1999 conviction – so his influence is not likely (unless otherwise noted somewhere)

      • Dave Steph Taylor

        I seem to remember discussing him in High School, which was right in the Next Gen time frame, before he went to trial. I could have this time frame confused in my brain though.

  • CmdrR

    Have to wait to listen to the podcast until I get back from China. Love the perfect use of Majel’s talent and Lwaxana’s character to create a comedy-to-drama arc within this ep. DOS’ Timicin is wonderfully bemused by her as well as being conflicted by his people’s idiotic (and familiar) strictures. Anyway — looking forward to listening.

  • JusenkyoGuide

    That question about if kids owe parents back… that’s a hard on. I mean, I kinda agree with Ken, there’s factors. I would hope love and bonds would be reason enough, but…

    But what if the parent cannot function as an adult anymore due to dementia or other mental illness?

    The more I chew on the podcast, the more this ep makes me uncomfortable, which I know is what Star Trek is supposed to be doing, but it doesn’t have to take such perverse pleasure in doing it!

    • Muthsarah

      Ideally, if the parent does a good enough job raising the child, the child would be willing and able to take care of the parent when the time comes. Obviously, that’s an ideal, and one that, increasingly, seems to be the exception.

      Yeah, this is the kind of episode that just raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions. Bravo to the show for that, as these are matters worth bringing up, but….there’s only so much guilt or self-doubt one can take before you just tune out. This is an episode worth considering, but you gotta be strong if you’re going to take all of its messages as seriously as I feel it means to address them. I don’t think it means to be taking pleasure in it, though. I feel like this was always meant to be a difficult episode to digest. A “Very Special Episode”, in the old style, but with more subtlety than usual.

  • Mission Log Podcast : You forgot me!!!?!?!? THE ONE AND ONLY..Tam Elbrun?? lol

    • Mark Sabella

      Thank you! I wanted to yell his name to John and Ken during the podcast. (one of my favorite NG’s btw. 🙂

  • Mark Sabella

    I’m just going to put this out there because although the podcast was stellar, and the show was great, what never seemed to be clearly mentioned was the hypocrisy of the the whole thing… An aging star – a vital sun – is to be brought back from the end of it’s life into usefulness – a repurposing. The society’s view of aging things is to find them superfluous, but in this case they will make an exception! Really? Perhaps this notion not Timicin will be the seed of change…

  • Low Mileage Pit Woofie

    What enormous pressure you’d be under all your life, to achieve, to have family and friends and colleagues, all there at your Resolution. What about the folk who have no family, who work alone, with no real ambition to make their mark in the world? Or worse, if they were malcontents,
    misanthropic? I wonder if they have a thriving Resolution industry who have to be really creative with the speeches: “Krankor was a lighthouse keeper, and a damn good one. He never suffered fools gladly – or anyone really. And his opinions on people from the Ornaki Province were… singular…”

  • PureLimbic .

    I wonder why no one (especially Deanna and Picard) notices that the ship’s computer sounds like Troi’s mom. You would think Picard would jump out of his skin every time the computer said something.