The Enterprise is on a rescue mission. Two Starfleet officers have ended up on Turkana IV – failed Earth colony and birthplace of former Enterprise security chief Tasha Yar. Imagine their surprise when they meet someone who claims to be Tasha’s sister. But is she really? And even if she is, can she be trusted? Warring factions! Familial ties! An android that may or may not have feelings! Join the away team when we put Legacy in the Mission Log.
Tags: Alliance, Arcos, Beth Toussaint, Camus II, Coalition, colonists, colony, deception, Don Mirault, friendship, gang, gang war, Hayne, Ishara, Joe Menosky, Legacy, poker, proximity detector, Robert Scheerer, sister, Tasha Yar, The Next Generation, The Next Generation Season 4, TNG, Turkana IV, USS Potemkin
Still listening to your podcast, so I will change this if you address this issue, but… They returned Ishara to the planet without her implant. Isn’t that giving one side a BIG strategic advantage?? Hello, Prime Directive calling. This felt like a watchable episode, although at no point did I think Ishara was one of the good guys. There was no suspense at all there, and no surprise when we saw her true intentions. Anyhoo…
lol, yup they went there… I was listening early am, tidying house from daily toddler hurricane…I think, again, the persistent take away, is that Rodenberry’s vision is great and something to aspire for, but is pretty unlikely. Getting to a technological point to make hunger, war, and disease pretty rare on Earth is mayyyyybe attainable, kinda like how the Swiss, Austrians, Swedish, have pretty nice societies, w/o massive shootouts in ghetto or random home invasions, but that is because of a particular set of rules and confined space. Like hometown USA or suburbia can be pretty nice…but once you go beyond those confines…things can go sideways pretty fast. Is there enough resources in the Federation to feed the starving kids in Cardassia or on Bajor or anywhere…? nah, it’s just not likely. The scarcity of resources and conflicting beliefs will always lead to conflict. Who knows what the Coalition and Alliance were fighting for? Coulda been a transmitter or the assassination of a leader or the succession of leadership, it’s just humanity in a nutshell imo. If they were wanting to do a gang violence thing , which would have been pretty appropriate considering the year, 1990, they should have had younger fighters, who just fought for the sake of fighting. Having adults, made it seem a bit silly. For goodness sake, did they let the stranded crew even say one word? ugh, royalties….
I haven’t watched the episode like I usually do, but going through IMDB, I recall now they let the crew of shuttle speak on radio, because there is a credit for “Tan Tsu” Asian actor who I think said “thanks for trying Enterprise…”- and that’s my memory from 1990- lol, although of course I watched VHS repeatedly for 2-3 years after original run
I think we get very good episodes/movies when we explore just how hard it is to achieve and maintain that utopian society… and how easy it would be to lose it.
Yes, very true. I am pretty sure Rodenberry would not have liked how DS9 developed, but it’s the harsh reality of life. People fight.
I think the Ishara advantage would be minimal. She is still just one person. Not clear if they had transporter technology or not, but still one shot and she is toast. Now if they had medical types that would have been able to repeat what Crusher did to the chip, that would have been interesting, but probably good. Let them fight, die, evolve….
Crusher does outrank Worf… and everyone else save Picard. She holds equal rank as Riker, but has seniority. Riker is the XO, but Crusher’s position pretty much puts her outside of that line of command.
The only decent think about this episode Beth Tousant is nice to look at and te comedy that is Data saying I don’t have a magical qualities, but I do have those things described in mechanistic ways which is likely how they work in everyone… because there isn’t really a way for them to not work in that way… but I want the magical qualities that are indistinguishable.
It’s kinda like the Free will arguments. To describe freewill is to describe how just the regular old workings of the making a choice based upon data and this holds for determinism or “free will” they’re indistinguishable from each other, so it’s a pretty stupid argument. The only thing that could even possibly said beyond this in such arguments is that you’re not asking about the ability to choose from data, but rather the ability to not have any limits imposed on you in any way… for example the ability to magically jump from point A to Point B or to travel backwards in time any other number of things that are not logical such as having the choice to exist or not.
Hi Durraken, look for my comment on “Remember Me” regarding staffing of sickbay! lol- missed you last week!!??
I didn’t say anything last week. The episode isn’t really worth commenting on so I didn’t…
Well, I thought a key point was Turkana Iv was so violent and cut throat there were little or no oositive influences on her life. Tasha may have been the only light and she left.
It’s important to reach out to people in the dark despairing times. I cannot recall if Trek ever did a suicide type episode. I think the Lwaxana Troi episode regarding euthanasia or the elderly was a close one, but not exactly. Deep stuff. I enjoy your commentary last week, make sure you post ahead of time if you will be absent! lol- I think “Remember Me” is a decent enough episode, lol- not as bad as “A Matter of Perspective” or “Shades of Grey”…hmmm both Riker episodes…Grey Matter..lol-
VOY had a suicide episode, “Death Wish”. It’s pretty good for that show. Which is to say, a spectacularly mixed offering of good guest performances and WTF writing.
lol, ahhhh Voyager, the mixed bag of the Delta Quadrant! hahaha
OMG, I had completely forgotten about Kurn!
DS9, “Sons of Mogh”. Kurn arrives on the station, asking/begging Worf to help him kill….himself…
ETHICS!!! Ahem, “Ethics”. Which I mentioned only last week. This time Worf is asking/begging Riker to help him commit suicide.
I wonder how many other Klingon suicide cases I’m forgetting about….
Great recap! We have lots to look forward to!
That’s”death” in a nutshell, very good, your ST episode skills are impressive. Profit.
No can do cuz I only know if I’m going to comment once I listen to the podcast ^.^
But if I disapear for a month or two I am likely dead. I currently have some medical problem that I don’t know what it is, but it could be serious and end in me ending up dying within the year. Hopefully not, but its a possibility.
In terms of Suicide episodes… there are aspects touched upon by multiple episodes, such as that one with the military guy who could magically evade sensors. That one wasn’t about suicide but it had a lot of aspects to it in there.
Crap. Hoping things get better for you. I enjoy your insight. Muthasharh made a good list of suicide themed episodes.
Don’t leave us just yet, there’s a whole bunch of episodes, seasons, series, movies and who knows what else may”show” up.
I don’t comment often but do read all comments and have found your commentary as well as others very interesting and illuminating at times.
Hang in there, get well and maybe will bump into at a convention or Starfleet recruiting center :p You never know.
“Ishara Yar”- Beth Toussaint
5 strips of gold pressed latinum to anyone who can identify this guy…Asian security guy in a few episodes of S2, this pic is from S3 E1 “Evolution”. I just can’t figure out who he is! lol-
I have such a hard time understanding the need to revisit Tasha Yar’s character so often. imo, Denise Crosby betrayed the crew by quitting on the show. Dramatic, yes, I know, but really. She made one of Hollywood’s most infamous career decisions and the show creators felt some need to keep squeezing her into the show, until the very end. wOw. Unfathomable. Such a waste of time, considering they squeezed in Geordi’s family in one episode and killed off one of them!?!?!? Bizarre. ok, <<>> for now…lol
Found this release from Paramount ( as John mentioned in trivia) ….
I like this episode, but have a hard time explaining why. Ishara is a compelling and tragic character, though I wish they hadn’t told us of her betrayal when they had, it woulda been a great fifth act twist (in that it totally makes sense, but still seems to have been abandoned since the leader-type guy first foreshadowed his interest in the Enterprise back at the end of the first).
And Ken, John, her hair looked magnificent, and not in a tragically dated sense. She has basically the same ‘do as Thor. Only a little bit shorter.
I liked it for the shoot em up, rescue mission aspect. The Yar connection, grown men in a “gang”, w blinky lights plot devices were pretty lame. The appearance of any compelling characters that were just one and done, was always disappointing to me about TNG. “The Hunted” Roga Danar, “The Outrageous Okona” Holo- Minuet, Lt Cmdr Shelby, are all characters that should have at least one more appearance-(I am not counting the faux Minuet from the alien mind trip, ) sigh, Ishara…nothing special though..I still cannot believe Vash got 3 appearances!! ugh…..
Regarding the perennial “Does Data have emotions?” question, after listening to this episode I felt I just had to make a comment and offer my perspective on it. This post will probably be far too long and meandering (and I’m currently pretty sleep deprived…) but I hope at least some of what I’m saying makes sense.
First I have to say I’m coming from a certain perspective on this issue: I have autism. Although I have learned to deal with it in a lot of ways, when it comes to my understanding of my inner life and feelings it still has a huge impact. Because of this I often find myself relating to the character of Data. I certainly don’t believe I lack emotions, but I do have a lot of difficulty understanding the sensations of emotion and knowing what to think about the things I feel. So a lot of the discussions you’ve had on the podcast about Data and his feelings remind me a lot of my own experiences.
For example: There was a time in my life when I remember thinking “I know what love is. It’s the feeling of wanting to be with a person, and enjoying being with them.” I genuinely thought I felt love in that moment.
And then… I *actually* felt it for the first time, and realized I had previously had no idea what love meant. The feeling itself – not the intellectualization around it, or the justifications, but the feeling at the core of the experience. It was as real and vital as anger, or fear – or hunger or pain, for that matter. It bypassed my thoughts entirely. It was quite literally indescribable.
In this episode, when explaining how he can have friends, Data talks about becoming accustomed to certain sensory input patterns and anticipating that input. It’s certainly true that what he describes describes a lot of human experiences too. On a basic level, it’s the same reason why when you wear glasses you don’t see them right in front of your face all the time. Or why if you live in a house where someone smokes you eventually stop noticing the smell, whereas someone who’s never lived there will find it overpowering the moment they step through the door.
Much like Data, our mental pathways become accustomed to certain sensory input patterns all the time. And in some cases if they’re taken away we will also notice their absence, and our functioning may be lessened because of it. We might even say they are “missed”. It certainly makes sense that this process is a big part of what friendship is, too. We get used to them being there for us, we learn to predict their responses and value their perspective on things. But I vehemently disagree that’s all there is to these kinds of human connections. What Data is missing in his experience is the visceral sensations of those emotions, like the feeling I felt when I felt love for the first time.
Remember in The Offspring when Lal starts feeling fear for the first time, in the scene with Deanna? She experiences it not just as an abstract but as a real, immediate physical sensation. She even starts impulsively jabbing her hand against her stomach, like it’s literally something inside of her that she’s trying to dig out. I don’t know how it is for non-autistic people, but that portrayal really rings true to my own experiences with debilitating fear. She didn’t start saying “my sensory inputs are experiencing [insert technobabble here]” in a calm voice to explain the feeling. Instead the feeling robs her of her ability to intellectualize. She had no idea how to articulate it beyond repeating “this is what it feels like”.
Whether it’s romantic love, or platonic love, or fear, I think it’s that kind of sensation that Data utterly lacks.
Data certainly has the intellectual ability and the social understanding to know what emotions do and where they fit into everyday human interaction. He can use those things about him that are very human-like, like that “sense of familiarity”, to start to understand how a person might arrive at emotional sensations. He can even understand the role that emotions play in wider issues of identity; how they help us to understand ourselves and our place in the universe – something he grapples with in Brothers. He is incredibly good at doing all of these things to the point where we start to question whether they are a fitting substitute for emotion.
However despite all that he still lacks the real visceral sensation of the thing. Until he has that he will always only be able to feel around the edges of what emotions are. He knows their shape, but he does not know them.
Really appreciate your personal insight into this. On “Brothers” I mentioned that it seems Lore has had his emotions cranked up to “11” whereas Data is at about a 2 (Lore’s emotions also seem to be less predictable). I don’t disagree that Data can/does intellectually “get” what emotions are, but it also seems that he does things and/or reacts for purely emotional and/or sentimental reasons – even when no one else is looking. Yes, he is trying to “understand” emotions, but at the same time he seems to be feeling something even if it doesn’t register quite as strongly as it would in a human (or Lore for that matter). Of course, its all academic at a certain point, and that’s what we’ve tried to get across: as long as the people around Data are acting/reacting in an emotional way, it’s academic to decide whether or not Data’s emotions are “real.” They are reactions to stimuli: ours biological, his electronic.
Crossing the timeline here (actually, I’M not bound, am I?), but looking ahead to a late Season Four, “In Theory”, Data actually enters into a romantic relationship with a woman, Jenna D’Sora. Which is probably 99-100% her idea, he just treats it as an experiment, or curiosity. Or even just emotionally-detached politeness. She’s all emotions (of the sort she’s not really directing at Data for being Data, but at Data for being…a type), and he’s….to cross the timeline again, “an Ice-Man”. Even facing her very emotional entreaties for affection, he never once acts beyond the simplest levels of his programming. He actually seemed to feel more for Ishara here than for Jenna there.
Obviously, there is no Data, whatever. Inconsistencies are gonna happen, especially in an episodic show from the arly 90s.
But still, if we are going to treat Data as a serious character, with feelings and emotions that he can and does express, even if it doesn’t often understand them or why he’s feeling them, he can and does go right back to being…well…a machine. Even when he’s got the perfect opportunity to open himself up more. Could be he’s apprehensive/cautious somehow, but…
Well…maybe it’s just too hard to look past the inconsistencies. But, if we were, I’ve always gotten the impression that he SAYS he wants to understand emotions, but the more emotions he’s exposed to, the more he runs away from them, back to the safety of being “just an android”. Which…is something I can identify with, actually. The idea of exposing myself to something new is exciting…right up until the terror of being exposed to something new confronts me. And I beat a hasty retreat back to the familiar and safe.
More excellent comments – thanks!
More and more as we analyze Data, I think of the T-800 Terminator and his questionable return in T2. I know many people loved him in T2, but ugh, I thought it was too corny, sappy, kidd-i-fied. The truly accurate way to play Data, and have us believe he has NO EMOTIONS, would have been to have Brent Spiner do the flat affect, deadpan, monotone version. Yes, I know it would have been boring, but that’s the way to make us believe. Data’s many facial expressions, show of concern for those around him and childlike curiosity which really should not be so pronounced in a Lt Cmdr w 20 years experience on different vessels – show us a machine that clearly emulates human emotions/habits VERY well. I really would have like to see “Terminator Data”- snapping necks, punching through torsos…damn…too dark?
oh, no!! Big Bang Theory is fun! lol
Oh, I bet you like Star Trek ’09 too, don’tcha? And the new Star Wars movie. And puppies.
lol, they were ok entertainment, but not able to truly capture the magic of the originals imo. Puppies are awesome! hahaaha
The non-reaction to D’Sora could just be Data not feeling it. Plenty of people throw themselves at one person while simultaneous having no feeling to another to the point they are “cold” to them even when there is deep love on the other side. Thats how you can look at it from an in-universe thing…
From an out-of-universe thing… The writers are inconsistent often enough… even within the same episodes. Data here is saying he has no emotions while displaying emotions, nor by way of acting, but by way of its a necessity of the script.
Whatever the truth is in fact, it is purely stupid to say Data has no emotions. He may not have human emotions, but neither do Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, Breen, Tellarites, etc… Heck, even the borg have emotions, which is what got them destroyed in the end. I think some of the directors, writers. and Spiner picked up on this, while other writers and directors were just clueless and as such a better understanding og what’s going on from an in-universe viewpoint is probably Data has emotions, recognizes he has emotions, and then because he has those emotions realizes that he wants Human emotions and in recognizing the reaction of Humans to him probably denies he has them for a number of reason, perhaps even self-hatred, one of which is so that he can be helped in pursuing his desire to get human emotions…. which would likely be blocked and treated as a mental disorder if others saw him as having emotions…
Kinda crazy to think that the reality of the situation is that Data is actually deranged, but so smart that he compensates for that derangement in lies convincingly, because they are the truth, but only believable because everyone else isn’t really thinking about it.
great analysis. Yeah, love, holy cow what a Pandora’s Box. We can give advice about all day long, but when we step in hit, get hit in the gut or worse, it is amazing and devastating all at the same time. No wonder, we are always dealing w this issue w Data! I agree, I think Data can “fake” it good enough for government work…lol. But I still think this guy needs a kill switch. A remote controlled kill switch, because we know “Wild Data” will make a few more appearances, and dang it, fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice..hahaha. Good stuff!
So, mega genius Wesley ends up failing to get into Starfleet Academy a million times, but everyone lets the ignorant gang member Ishara think that she has a chance to get in (even if it’s just an act)?
And I wonder about the Federation policy regarding colonies as opposed to indigenous societies. If they break off contact from the Federation, do they retain Federation citizenship? What if someone disagrees with the government’s position and wants to remain in the UFP? It seems catastrophically unfair (Sorry, still reeling from the recent EU vote here in Britain)
In no universe or alternative universe is the TNG cast able to fight gang members. Or fight anyone at all. Maybe Stewart. Ok Worf.
Ishara is not a gang member. Look at her hair. The planet was not a gang planet.
And Data’s emotions? Again with the emotions?