Who Watches The Watchers
Think of the worst game of hide-and-seek you have ever had. Now quintuple it. Yours may have ended with name calling and hurt feelings. This one is derailing the development of a civilization and reigniting a belief in magic and superstition. What does Captain Picard say when asked if he is a god? Find out when Mission Log watches Who Watches the Watchers.
Tags: bronze age, God, Hans Beimler, holy war, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Liko, logic, Mitaka III, Montanans, Nuria, Oji, Overseer, Pamela Segall, Prime Directive, proto-Vulcan, Ray Wise, religion, Richard Manning, Robert Wiemer, science, superstition, The Next Generation, The Next Generation Season 3, the Picard, TNG, Who Watches the Watchers
The daughter “Oji” had a slightly nasal voice? Pamela Segall/Adlon would go onto voice Bobby Hill from “King of the Hill” ! WoW
That boy ain’t right.
THE “Religion” episode for TNG! Just rewatched and enjoyed. The concepts and possibilities making us wonder if Roswell, New Mexico was real. Were they “Watchers”? Have we been observed like a herd of bison? Are they here now? Walking among us? Was Jesus or Budda or any religious figure an advanced visitor? Why did Palmer look like a zombie? Why not have the physical exterior of duck blind be actual rock or fake rock?!? Just like the security cells relying on energy barriers instead of good old fashion bars? Why not have some Vulcan crew join the away team? Oh yeah you’d have to pay em to talk. Bummer.
Riker fits in with the Mentakins, by portraying ‘Let It Be’-era Paul.
The default of “angry god” makes sense: The world and life are consistently terrible to us. If you imagine someone taking personal responsibility for doing all that to you, it’d be hard to come to any other conclusion.
Honestly, the biggest distraction for me was that you had Ray Wise on a show where he had to keep saying the name “Palmer” and NOT be talking about Laura. Couldn’t they have changed the character name once they cast Wise?
the same thing happens in “Cabin in the Woods” where you have Sigorney (sp) Weaver in a scene with a character named “Dana”.
Actually, the real reason Picard doesn’t believe in God is because he knows that Kirk found him at the center of the Galaxy
Hi Lou – this episode of TNG was released a good six months before Twin Peaks premiered, and produced well before that.
well then I redirect my outrage and say “shouldn’t david lynch rename his main family’s character’s names? Didn’t he know that they just used that on a syndicated space show?”
as Dr. scholl once said “I stand corrected”
Well, maybe “Who killed Laura Zimmerman” didn’t have the same ring to it.
On the debate between atheist and agnostic, Ken was correct — emphasis on WAS. It seems that within the last three years, Merriam Webster has changed their definition of atheism from what Ken implied to what John implied. My MW dictionary, published in 2000, states that an atheist “denies the existence of god(s).”
And since that is the definition I have known for the last 64 years of my life, I cling to it as accurate. As far as I am concerned, you either have a definitive answer (one way or other) of you are not sure. If you are not sure, then you are agnostic.
Asking a theist to “prove” the existence of god implies that you are looking for evidence (or spoiling for a fight) and that implies an open mind. It is the hesitation we appreciate in the sciences.
TO me, an atheist will never challenge a theist on his practices or his deity. First, atheists are unconcerned with religion. Atheism is based in an existential perspective, thus an atheist has no desire to play Socratic Irony games. And second, the point is academic because an atheist see a deity as a curiosity, not an issue.
The nice thing about being an atheist, I don’t have these squabbles about the validity of a deity, that I see daily in this medium. Once you eliminate the debate over beliefs, you can discuss topics more relevant to our culture.
Of all the ideas that TNG put forth, the idea that the Mintakans put away religion and superstition a thousand years prior is one of the most far-fetched. Especially given how quickly they’re willing to go back.
Kathryn Leigh Scott. “Nuria”
In “Wo Watches te Watchers”. When Picard said to Chrusher, “Why didn’t you let him die?” It would ave been a good time for her to say “I’m a Doctor, not a…”
A great example of how decrease of sexism in writing equates to every other part of the episode being stronger. Well-written female characters and treatment of gender also result (whether directly or indirectly) in better-written male characters, strong acting performances, profound messages, nuanced exploration of those messages, etc. Good job, guys.
Thank you, Rebecca.
I get the biggest kick out of John and Ken’s interaction, especially when they tease each other. That makes it so much more enjoyable.
One: Picard and Crusher were really sniping at each other in sickbay. I know he was annoyed with her about saving the guy but then the whole thing about “Dr. Pulaski’s technique” was a huge snipe that, at least to me, distracts from the scene.
Two: How much did we know about the Vulcan/Romulan schism at this point that was canon? I know that Spock and Romulan Commander had a talk and Troi talks a bit about it first season, but doesn’t it really go pretty much unexplored, canon-wise?
Ah yes, the episode where Picard rejects the idea of showing himself as a superior being and giving guidance in favor of showing himself as a superior being and giving guidance.
The difference being one of those superior beings actually exist.
How are the locals suppose to know the difference, especially in a couple of generations?
In “TNG” episodes “The Host” and “The Outcast”, I was told that they were showing homosexuallity and they hid it. On “DS9” with Jadzia Dax and they other lady, they didn’t.
Love it when actors from one beloved cult franchise appear in another. At least 2 other Dark Shadows actors have appeared in Star Trek. Ben Cross (Barnabas Collins in the 1991 remake of DS), played Sarek in ST (2009). Mitch Ryan (Burke Devlin, DS) played Riker’s dad.
Diana Rigg (Emma Peel, The Avengers) appeared in a Doctor Who episode.
I’ve encountered hordes of hardline “There is no God, and if you believe there is, then you should DIE!” atheists. For a bunch that claims to have no religion, they go around shoving their dogma down other’s throats with a religious zealotry that surpasses even the Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Even the JW’s will leave you alone, if you ask them, and politeness is one of their trademarks.)
Roddenberry was an atheist, and in the only ST movie he produced, he allowed the idea of V’Ger looking for its creator, and the possibility that there are higher levels of being, as Spock said, the existence of which cannot be proven logically, therefore, V’Ger was incapable of believing in them, which was the roadblock to the next step in its evolution. Perhaps God and evolution work hand-in-hand, and only human stubbornness maintains that the two are mutually exclusive.
In any event, I respect those people with open minds more than those who deny a possibility on the grounds of personal dogma.
It appears you’re the one trying to shove your beliefs down the throats of rational people.
Something I only noticed when watching this episode recently. They used subcutaneous communicators so as not risk leaving behind any tech. Much like the Codec from the Metal Gear Solid series, which works by manipulating the small bones in the ears.
As you guys mentioned in “Trivia”-
Paper Scissors Lizard Spock Fan Club Issue#72 Feb 1990.
How could they be “proto-Vulcans”? That bit absolutely makes no sense.
Follow the gourd!
You mentioned that if we don’t understand something, we tend to attribute it to God. I would posit that that is a possible definition for God, by any name – a term referring to something we don’t understand. I think religious texts make more sense that way.
This once again brings me to wonder: is it possible to do a “there is no God” episode with a light touch? I support exploring the message but *every* time it feels heavy handed.
That being said, I enjoyed the episode. The characters are rich, the drama is high, and the writing is great. The scene where Picard tries to explain how he isn’t a God drew me in as well.
Star Trek shines brightest when it doesn’t pull its punches and it certainly didn’t in this episode.
Side note, I adore how uncomfortable you guys get when talking about religion-themed episodes.
Ahhhh… and we may have addressed that last bit on Supplemental 37, thanks to you!