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OKAY I am barely coherent when it comes to this episode but HERE IT GOES MY REVIEW.

I just love it. Did I mention that I love it? It's perhaps THE most typical TNG episode, and that's one of the reasons why I like it so much. It represents TNG and what it stands for perfectly. I love th plot, too - it's so simple and yet so filled with interesting things that I have no other choice but to love it.

AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE PERFECTION THAT IS JEAN-LUC YES. I mean I have to mention him first because he IS basically the main attraction of this episode, or rather, his love story with Dathon. (Did I mention that I ship them like Darmok and Jalad on the ocean, yes? The moment in which Jean-Luc tries to comfort poor hurt Dathon IT IS CANON OKAY.)

DAT JACKET. hnnnng

DAT RIPPED SHIRT IN HD. nopenopenope

DAT BUTT those uniform pants should be banned

AND THE THINGS HE SAYS.

"I certainly didn't come here to start a war." I love my pacifist husband.

*throws knife back at Dathon* "Sorry, Captain." BB BB BB

"What now, Captain? Will you attack me in my sleep? I'll freeze to death first." I'LL KEEP YOU WARM DARLING NO PROBLEM

"PICARD OF THE FEDERATION!" No, bb that's not how it works

"Now where have you gone to, my friend...?" DO NOT WHISPER LIKE THiS adhjfbahjsbda

And then my favorite exchange of pleasantries, from "I was curious, I meant not harm-" "SHAKA!" to "NO! ENOUGH!I'M NOT GONNA FIGHT YOU!" to "I'll go along with that." DARLING WHY ARE YOU SO PERFECT

AND THEN THERE'S THE SCENE in which he walks onto the bridge like a boss after they've beamed him back and saves the day by telling the Tamarians to STFU and that Dathon is dead. MY HERO DARLING

"New friends, Captain?" "I can't say, Number One. But at least they're not new enemies."

AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE READS THE GILGAMESH THING IN GREEK. IN GREEK. (HD allows you to freeze the moment and have a look.) Riker does ask "Greek, sir?" but I always thought he was simply referring to the fact that it's a Greek story AND NOT THAT BADASS JEAN-LUC READS THE DAMN THING IN GREEK.

AND THEN THERE'S THE FiNAL SCENE WITH HiM PICKING UP THAT KNIFE AND LOOKING OUT OF THE WINDOW. I've always wanted to write a sequel to this episode, the language lover in me would enjoy that, haha.

The other folks from the crew get a few nice moments as well, we have Worf with his "I have confidence in his ability as a warrior. He will be victorious." WORF HAS FAITH IN HIS BOYFRIEND and we have Riker's "Nice shooting." but EVERYTHING ELSE IS JEAN-LUC.

I have no choice but to give this episode a 10/10 this time because the HD version also fixed the phasers-from-torpedo-launcher blooper. Nicely done.

The favorite quote of the moment award for this episode goes to Jean-Luc's "I'm not much of a storyteller" line. DARLING YOU ARE A WONDERFUL STORYTELLER BECAUSE YOU USE YOUR HANDS AND ARMS AND IT'S JUST THE CUTEST THING EVER.

The favorite Jean-Luc moment award for this episode goes to the one in which he SMILES IN THIS ABSOLUTELY CUTE WAY after he realizes that he has figured out the Tamarian language. asdhbsajbdsajhdbajhsdbjsbdjhsabdjhsabdajhsbdsjhdab!!!!!!

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Agreed.

I love this episode (although for slightly different reasons... although I very much agree that Picard totally owns it). There is a reason this episode is included in the Jean-Luc Picard collection DVD set (which I am glad to say I own). I love the ideas of pacifism and building trust not only saving the day, but also bridging the understanding gap that plagues our world even today in the internet age (Roddenberry would've LOVED this one, I think...). It's a timeless story, and I just love it.

Loved Dathan (TWOK actor, the late Paul Winfield).

He conveyed a lot of expression through very heavy makeup. Kudos to a fine acting job from a character actor I've admired for a long time (long before TWOK). He was excellent in 1977's "Twilight's Last Gleaming" as well as the more recent "Catfish in Black Bean Sauce" (1999), where he played the Vietnam veteran half of an African-American couple who adopt several Vietnamese kids. Its not nearly as serious as it sounds...

The idea of a language based on metaphor is an interesting one, but my only (very minor) nit is that if the UT were able to decode individual words of the language? You'd think it'd grasp the intent as well... just saying.

I think ENT's Hoshi could've nailed this one. :laugh: But since many of our own languages here on Earth have their roots in phrases or expressions, it's not inconceivable that a culture (perhaps with millions of years of shared history & literature to draw from) might evolve a language largely (if not entirely) based on common allegory of a unified culture (which one assumes are the Children of Tanagra).

Again, this is the kind of episode that ST really does best (in all of its incarnations, from TOS' "Devil in the Dark" & "The Voyage Home" to ENT's "Vox Sola").

Sokath, his eyes opened.... "Darmok" is a 10.

And yes, Picard reciting the tale of Gilgamesh (from the ancient Greek!) is really cool! Love the idea of understand a culture by comparing and contrasting mythologies. An elegant idea, well executed.

This is one of my

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Well they DO grasp the intent themselves at some point, they don't need the UT for it. They can tell that the captain and first officer disagree about the course of action, for example. They just are at a loss to figure out the language that goes with it. They can understand the general ideas well enough but they lack the reference to understand more and, worse, to talk back. The UT can only translate words, not emotions or backstories. I for one think it's awesome enough that it picks up the metaphors. It's at least SOMETHING to go on. It could just as well have blurted out random words that make no sense whatsoever.

Now, again, about Jean-Luc's ripped shirt in HD... this NEEDS to be discussed because his shirt hardly EVER rips... :P

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And yes, Picard reciting the tale of Gilgamesh (from the ancient Greek!) is really cool! Love the idea of understand a culture by comparing and contrasting mythologies. An elegant idea, well executed.

I'd be the first to commend anything using original Greek properly (as I am half), but Gilgamesh is a Sumerian writing. The Greek version is only a translation, but I do love that our good Captain is so fluent in Greek. :happy:

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Yeah he has a LOT of language skills. English, Klingon, Latin, Greek... weird that he can't even pronounce his own name correctly in French, though.

/could not resist I AM SO SORRY

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How is it supposed to be pronounced? I thought he did pronounce it decently well (but with kind of an English accent).

Is it not Juuuhn-Luke- Peeh-car? (but kind of dragging out the joooooohn)

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^ No, the stress is actually on the second part of his first name, on Luc. AND the u is an ü sound, something that a native speaker of the English language has extreme difficulties with because the sound doesn't exist in the English language. And the surname actually is pronounced Picaaaaahr. Stress on the a. No d sound at the end at all, it gets dropped. So, basically... he pronounces as wrongly as it can get. lol The only character who ever pronounces his first name almost perfectly correct is Walker Keel.

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^ No, the stress is actually on the second part of his first name, on Luc. AND the u is an ü sound, something that a native speaker of the English language has extreme difficulties with because the sound doesn't exist in the English language. And the surname actually is pronounced Picaaaaahr. Stress on the a. No d sound at the end at all, it gets dropped. So, basically... he pronounces as wrongly as it can get. lol The only character who ever pronounces his first name almost perfectly correct is Walker Keel.

Keel had a more accurate pronunciation of it, true.

Riker kind of sounded like Count Dracula when he pronounced it in "11001010"; "Zhone-LUUUC Picaaaaad." :laugh:

Maybe Picard is deliberately 'Americanizing' his name for the benefit of his non-Francais speaking crew. Yeah, that's it. There. Retcon completed and engaged. :P

Of course, it doesn't explain why he mispronounces it around his family in LaBarre.... :giggle:

And yes, Picard reciting the tale of Gilgamesh (from the ancient Greek!) is really cool! Love the idea of understand a culture by comparing and contrasting mythologies. An elegant idea, well executed.

I'd be the first to commend anything using original Greek properly (as I am half), but Gilgamesh is a Sumerian writing. The Greek version is only a translation, but I do love that our good Captain is so fluent in Greek. :happy:

It's all Greek to me.... :P

But BOT: I love this episode... in fact, just talking about it is putting me in the mood to watch it sometime soon.

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He's not Americanizing anything because he pronounces it the way a BRITISH guy would. :P The American pronunciation differs once again, as demonstrated by Riker, for example. I also forgot to add that there is no 'n' sound in 'Jean' when pronounced in the correct French way. So, THAT one is wrong, too. It just continues to amuse me for some reason

that he pronounces his own name so horribly wrong. OF COURSE IT'S CUTE THOUGH and I realize that they cast a British actor and that he could only go SO far with things. He doesn't speak ANY French, after all.

And yes, Sehlat, make it so. I always recommend Darmok. Correct pronunciation or not. :P

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He's not Americanizing anything because he pronounces it the way a BRITISH guy would. :P The American pronunciation differs once again, as demonstrated by Riker, for example. I also forgot to add that there is no 'n' sound in 'Jean' when pronounced in the correct French way. So, THAT one is wrong, too. It just continues to amuse me for some reason

that he pronounces his own name so horribly wrong. OF COURSE IT'S CUTE THOUGH and I realize that they cast a British actor and that he could only go SO far with things. He doesn't speak ANY French, after all.

And yes, Sehlat, make it so. I always recommend Darmok. Correct pronunciation or not. :P

* picks up the remote control... *

Engage!! Or is it s'engager?

I've been in America so long, even I forget... :laugh:

And yes, you're right; he's Britishizing it, not Americanizing it. :biggrin:

I see that sometimes with 2nd or 3rd generation Americans of French, German or Russian descent who (badly!) mispronounce their own names. Kind of funny (and a bit sad, too)... :P

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If Sir Patrick were to Americanize the name, it'd end up sounding like how Q pronounced it in "Tapestry."

JOHN-LUCK PICKERD? I can't even. :P

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I found this episode illogical and confusing, probably because I'm a linguist/translator and no language would work like that.

And I didn't change my mind on second viewing either! I know it's a fan favorite, but definitely not one of my favorites...

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I found this episode illogical and confusing, probably because I'm a linguist/translator and no language would work like that.

And I didn't change my mind on second viewing either! I know it's a fan favorite, but definitely not one of my favorites...

Sad to hear... :(

3qj4gd.jpg

But it does an create opportunity for one of my bad jokes.... :laugh::P

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I found this episode illogical and confusing, probably because I'm a linguist/translator and no language would work like that.

And I didn't change my mind on second viewing either! I know it's a fan favorite, but definitely not one of my favorites...

My biggest problem with it logically is that there had to be some base language upon which the Federation and the Tamarians could find common ground.

If you communicate through metaphor, there has to be an understood basis for the metaphor, otherwise it's just gibberish. Darmok is a proper name. A young Tamarian would have to know who Darmok was and something of what he did to glean meaning. You literally can't teach every single thing through metaphor.

Maybe the base language is something they they all kinda, sorta forget as they grow older?

I still like the episode despite the seeming implausibility.

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There has to be SOMETHING to it because the episode is actually used in linguistics seminars sometimes. I studied (English) linguistics for a while and every single professor was well-acquainted with the episode and they all liked it. So, something about it DOES resonate.

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^ Same. I used to nitpick about that one for ages, heh. But "Darmok" is one of the few fan favorites that I also name as a personal favorite. (Generally, fan favorite episodes are often not MY favorites. /walking unpopular TNG opinion)

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(Generally, fan favorite episodes are often not MY favorites. /walking unpopular TNG opinion)

At least you own that. A lot of people just go along to get along.

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I've never been someone who likes things 'because everyone else does'. I do acknowledge TNG's fan favorite episodes and whatnot (most of them, anyway, there are some whose appeal I honestly don't GET) but I prefer to choose my own favorites, I have a very... 'unique' taste, lol. But "Darmok" I can absolutely agree on.

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There has to be SOMETHING to it because the episode is actually used in linguistics seminars sometimes. I studied (English) linguistics for a while and every single professor was well-acquainted with the episode and they all liked it. So, something about it DOES resonate.

Found this little bit at Memory Alpha, regarding how the Tamarians learn to communicate:

The Tamarian language is explored further in the short story "Friends with the Sparrows" from the TNG anthology The Sky's the Limit. In the story, it is explained that Tamarians have a fundamentally different brain structure to most humanoids, and as such experience concepts such as time and self differently.

The story explains that Tamarian children learn the stories behind the metaphors, and thus their meanings, through enactment and repetition. Variations of meaning in metaphors were conveyed through subtle vocal and gestural cues that the universal translator had previously missed. In fields such as engineering and programming, a musical language was used to convey precise equations, numbers and instructions; thus explaining how Tamarians could effectively operate starships.

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Was this episode "inspired" by Enemy Mine? Two people, one human and one alien, trapped on a potentially hostile planet. They don't speak each others languages and have to learn it. They are even attacked by some dangerous "beast" on the planet. The Drac and Tamarians even look similar...

Dathon.jpgem_large.png

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Long recent article which extensively analyzes this episode on The Atlantic's web site.

Its summary:

In one fascinating episode, Star Trek: The Next Generation traced the limits of human communication as we know it—and suggested a new, truer way of talking about the universe.

My first time including a link in an Omega Sector post... hope it works!

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/06/star-trek-tng-and-the-limits-of-language-shaka-when-the-walls-fell/372107/

This article takes a while to get to the point, so you have to stick with it. The author is apparently, among other things, a game developer (also almost certainly a TNG fan) which implies a computer programming background and his interpretation has that slant. I think the comments are also of interest.

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Another small issue, when Riker and Troi are pouring through the computer database, they are able to find references to the proper nouns as place names on the planet. This leads to Troi's 'Romeo on his balcony' analogy. How would the computer have that info considering there had been no previous successful communication? If it was gleamed from races who could understand them and maybe traded with them, why not just ask them how they understand the Tamarians?

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