Star Trek (TNG): Loud as a Whisper – SF Debris

Opinionated Next Gen Episode Guide meets Riva, the most renowned mediator in the Alpha Quadrant. Naturally, that means our heroes don’t know a damn thing about him.

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21 comments

  1. TragicGuineaPig

    11:15 – What about the house that Jack built?

  2. I can imagine an alternate version of this episode where Riva is shot and the chorus comes to realize that after years of doing everything for him, any one of them is capable of doing his job probably better then he did.

    • Except they can’t, because Riva was the one who had the training. All the chorus did was parrot Riva’s thoughts. Without Riva, you don’t have any thoughts for them to parrot.

    • I half expected something similar as a twist — that, after the chorus is shot, it turns out that Riva was a complete fraud and it was the chorus doing the work all this time.

  3. I was always struck by how much Riva looks like Jesus–I’m surprised there was no mention of that.

  4. Did he have a chorus in school? They must have written tests for him, though I guess he could have been literate in some alien language that nobody else onboard the enterprise could read. The chorus did have on the job experience, which means more then school anyhow. Plus they did read his thoughts constantly. If Starfire can learn a language instantaneously I’m sure they picked up a few things, assuming they weren’t really doing all the real work for him all along.

    • They said what he told them to say, they themselves admitted that. He is speaking through them, thus he is doing all the work. That doesn’t mean that they are trained ambassadors, they just happened to have the fortune of having a trained ambassador use their voices because his own happened to be non-functional.

      In other words, they did slightly more then jack and shit.

      • What you say doesn’t address any of my points. For years they observe him doing his job, they read his thoughts as he does his job, they speak for him, they may have even attended school with him. Is is so hard to believe if they combine their experience they can do his job.

        The episode goes out of its way to convince you Riva is special, and I’m not talking about him overcoming a disability, they make him look like *%&%& Jesus. He’s a person. Other people can learn to do what he can. I’m not even convinced he’s competent since everyone in the episode blindly accepts that he deserves all the credit for the three people we see doing the actual work.

        • You mean those three people who just stand there, while Riva actually works out the diplomatic stuff? The three people who aren’t even bright enough to dive for cover when somebody points a gun in their direction? Yes I’m sure those twits would make excellent ambassadors.

          Oh and their “experience” involves saying what Riva tells them to say. That’s it.

          • Can you give an example of diplomatic stuff that Riva does? And as I recall Riker had to pull Riva out of the line of fire.

            I get you probably think I’m jerk because I’m arguing against the competence of a deaf man, but I don’t believe it proves much to anyone that four people can do the job of one. The first time we see Riva he gets pissy with Picard for daring to respond to the person whose mouth actually moved when talking to him, so his people skills are not very persuasive. As it was pointed out he doesn’t even display basic literacy. I just don’t like being told a character is great and expected to accept it. And I’m not generally fooled by over sized shoulder pad.

  5. So they left Riva outside on top of a mountain with no provisions and only a table for shelter? He didn’t know if/when the representatives were coming back. He was counting on fairly quick negotiations in the beginning and had the Enterprise to go to at the end of the day. Presumably the place chosen isn’t controlled by either side and there doesn’t appear to be anything nearby.

    While it probably sent the wrong message for this episode, I don’t really have a problem with the Geordi/Pulaski scene other than it didn’t go anywhere. It highlights two differences. Geordi’s condition is treatable and Riva’s isn’t. Both make use of a prosthetic of sorts (visor and chorus), so it’s not as if either is a averse to the idea using other means to compensate for their condition. In Geodi’s case, he’s given a choice to consider. Ultimately, it seems he chose to keep the visor, possibly because it gives him advantages in his job that normal vision does not. Riva has different options, which he utlimately takes.

    The chorus is interesting, but one has to think it can’t have been the first time someone lost their whole chorus (fire, accident, etc) and it seems there’d be some mechanism to replace them. It might not have suited the timeline for these negotiations. As you stated, these people aren’t just extensions of Riva. They probably have lives. Wouldn’t it be likely for important people on Riva’s world to have multiple choruses for different shifts, illness, etc.

    • “So they left Riva outside on top of a mountain with no provisions and only a table for shelter? He didn’t know if/when the representatives were coming back. He was counting on fairly quick negotiations in the beginning and had the Enterprise to go to at the end of the day. Presumably the place chosen isn’t controlled by either side and there doesn’t appear to be anything nearby.”

      I guess that could be a rainy cloud of reality on the sunny day of optimism.

      Presumably both sides would have to start bring provisions to keep things going. Including office supplies and other crap to build on the concept. Maybe a little village will form around it.

  6. I sometimes think Trek writers get tired of the Captain’s Logs, last minute briefings, and “as you know” speeches for exposition. To mix it up they throw in “surprises” like in this episode that make it look like basic information is being withheld from the crew just to make them look stupid.

    It’s like the whole Trill thing in The Host, which was completely contradicted by DS9. How is it possible for an entire planet that’s a member of an interstellar Federation manage to keep that sort of thing a secret?

  7. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    It actually would’ve been interesting to see where they would have taken that fixing him being blind in everything but nope they don’t Even mention it again and honestly that scene should have been cut out entirely. I also feel the background friends to that other character were useless. Love the pokes at the kardashians and Game of Thrones and I hope I can watch your other star trek reviews that are from other series besides TNG.

  8. Yay! Ray guns that work!

    Oh… Ew. Never mind.

  9. 5:40 – Not sure what the Cardassians have to do with the speech about Englsh royalty. The description about intrigue fits but I think the desire to be worshiped is unique to Dukat. I was under the impression that most Cardassians view religion as a detrimental to the state.

  10. Anyone else love those holographic tables from early TNG?

  11. Ah, Riva. A classic example of a Star Trek diplomat: arrogant, selfish, bossy, and self-absorbed.
    All the qualities you look for in diplomacy!

    Though all your talk about Troi reminds me of my favourite line from her ever:
    “It’s not my job to tell a boy how to grow up.”
    (Really, counsellor?)

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