The Masterpiece Society
As this story plays out, one begins to wonder why
it takes our crew until the very last scene to mention
the Prime Directive.
Riker says it shouldn't apply, because today's colony is human.
Picard isn't so sure, because in the Prime Directive lies
the fall-back Starfleet template for respecting the colony's
wishes.... if this divided colony is at all congruent in
knowing its own wishes.
The story has some bigger fundamental problems.
First and foremost is the ridiculous idea that genes are
responsible for individual personality, choice of vocation,
place in society, etc., etc. This is in fact a fantasy
based on 20th century limitations in understanding humanity.
A colony established in the 22nd century and attempting to run
on this premise for 200 years would likely be a complete
unbalanced disaster long before the Enterprise comes to visit.
This eats into the story's believability big time. I laugh.
And besides, what kind of society is perfect by existing
in a bubble, with no chance for growth, and no way of
dealing with external issues?
Secondly, this colony that supposedly controls breeding
to a very careful extent proves the exact opposite.
Why wouldn't Aaron Connor already be in a relationship
with someone genetically chosen for him, long before he meets Troi?
This aspect is completely ignored in the story, and would
go a long way into making the colony feel populated with
3-dimensional characters. As it stands, the Enterprise
once more ends up visiting a collection of 2-dimension people
that all seem far too "wet" in their idealism and perfection,
a problem that crops up all too often on this show,
the ninth feature film "Insurrection"
feels at times like it is struggling to avoid falling into
the same trap.
So once again, here we have the Prime Directive trying to
protect lack of growth and lack of human learning. It's useless
here. If this were reality, it would be far more obvious
than this genetic fantasy can make out.
It is bizarre that, in the final scene, the story seems to
be trying to make a case that perhaps it should apply
even to human colonies. Lots. It's time to chuck the damn
Picard's actual behaviour in dealing with the colony
is in fact good though, and fair in balancing their
divided wishes. I don't mind his introspection at the end,
but I think he should finish with more pride and less doubt.