Trekathon 127: Symbiosis (TNG)

February 28th, 2010

Star Trek visits the always exciting world of pharmaceutical companies and contract disputes. And the politics are as always very subtle – why, no one has ever compared pharmaceutical companies to drug dealers before.

The entire plot rests on the assumption that the planet is completely full of idiots. No one who has ever tried not taking the drug. No one who has even noticed that it looks a lot like someone on a drug high.

And then there’s the dreadful ‘Tasha explains to Wesley’ about drugs bit, which is about as convincing as an episode of Different Strokes.

Not much to like: there’s some awesome ‘cranky Dad’ stuff from Picard in the otherwise interminable rescue scene at the start, but that’s about it.

This seems like as good a point as any to do my rant about the Prime Directive. In this episode we hear that the results of violating it is “invariably disastrous”. But that simply doesn’t match up with several of the times when the prime directive was broken. It also doesn’t match up with the fact that Picard was breaking the Prime Directive himself in this episode (with the coils). But fundamentally the Prime Directive is an argument that we shouldn’t ever help developing countries, because it might go wrong. It’s a nice story telling trick, but I think it’s fundamentally an immoral rule. People with a capacity to help have an obligation to help. If there are side effects, then you need to fix those too.

127 down, 610 to go.