S03E04 Who Watches the Watchers


The Enterprise must undo the damage when a primitive civilization discovers a Federation observation team and concludes that the Starfleet personnel are gods.

This planet is not small - it's far away

This planet is not small – it’s far away

First Broadcast:  16th October 1989.

Quote:  “Perhaps one day, my people will travel above the skies…

Score: 8

MP3 can be downloaded here. More episode info on IMDBMemory Alpha, and Wikipedia

3 thoughts on “S03E04 Who Watches the Watchers

  1. Star Trek’s relationship with religion is embraced through its alien cultures. From the Ferengi’s commercialized death rituals, to the Klingon obsession with an honorable death, to the highly-ritualized Vulcan “faith” in logic, each of these cultures (and many more) comment on different aspects of the human search for meaning. Indeed, one could even argue that the Borg are in search of a greater meaning as they aggressively absorb the galaxy in their search for total perfection.

  2. Here’s a puzzler:

    Can the humans in Star Trek really take credit for their society of peace and betterment?

    In the film First Contact we’re told that meeting the Vulcan race “unites humanity in a way no one thought possible”.

    So, like the Mintakins, human understanding of our place in the universe is augmented by first contact with alien life.

    This begs the question: Did we need THEM to do it?

    If not for the Vulcan encounter, would Cochrane have sold his warp engine to the highest bidder and watched the destruction of humanity from his island of naked women?

    We’ll never know. The Vulcans didn’t give us an opportunity to prove we could come together our own.

    I love Star Trek’s overall belief that we can overcome our history of self-annihilation, I just wish they didn’t write the Vulcans in as a the key to the equation in First Contact.

  3. Mindy raises a very nice point there – you guys should consider doing in-show follow ups!

    For my take, I’d always assumed that the ‘proto-Vulcans’ phrase meant that they were part of the Vulcan family – a la Romulans. So a long time ago, the Vulcan society of yore spawned many dissenting or perhaps hermetic offshoots. Those that stayed behind, embracing Surak’s ways, are the inheritors of the name Vulcan, but the Romulans (and in my mind, the Mintakans) were just those that set off on another path.

    Once ‘re-potted’ on another planet, I assumed that the lack (loss, forefeit, other?) of warp drive meant they were again on the other side of the fence where the Prime Directive was concerned, hence why they were more likely to be studied intimately – they could be entirely ignorant of their spacefaring history and have to be deliberately investigated in the first instance to work out whether they’re an isolationist sect of Vulcans (like rivals of the monks in that monastery that the Andorians took umbrage with in Enterprise?) or something more difficult still?

    Not just your normal society.

    That they’re *native* to the planet and an example of very-specific convergent evolution was news to me, but then I can see why that might be better suited to dealing with in a stand-alone episode. I wonder if my confusion stems from an idea that was considered by the writers, or if it’s just a lack if attention and too much imagination to fill in the gaps?

    Anyway – keep up the great work!

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