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Old May 17th 10, 21:59   #40
Estelyn's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 134
Re: EpDis: Believers

This episode provides much food for thought. The question, whose religion is right, is shown to be unanswerable. Is life to be preserved, no matter what the cost? How could this child have lived on, rejected by his own parents? As is asked in the story, what makes a religion false? And what I appreciate most is that there is no right answer, no happy ending, no moral precision. The parents do not come around and see the correctness of the doctor's actions. This ain't Star Trek, boys and girls!

However, I think the true contrast is not between Franklin and the parents - it's between Sinclair and Franklin. The Commander is willing to see the larger picture, to make his decision based not on his own feeling of superiority, to display wisdom and humility. The doctor - a character whom I don't really like, though his stories are often well worht watching - is arrogant, with the delusions of Godhead that some doctors show. He's also hypocritical - he criticizes his fellow doctor for insulting the patient's god ("What kind of god do you worship?"), yet his actions say exactly the same thing.

Dr. Franklin continues to be one of the characters I like least, and I think much of that feeling is based on this episode.

On the other hand, I love the light-hearted way that Ivanova uses sarcasm to get the assignment to fly the mission! That was very funny. I thought it was a bit of a copout to have her return after a situation that seemed hopeless without a word on how it was resolved. JMS did say something about it on the Lurker's Guide though.

Interestingly, JMS compares the main plot to a classic and much lauded episode of original Star Trek - "The City on the Edge of Forever", where it is necessary to allow the death of a character to save millions of lives later on.

One of Sinclair's sentences seems to sum it all up: "Sometimes doing the right thing doesn't change anything."

Oh, and I agree with what was said earlier - Franklin should have been punished for his disobedience. Letting him carry on means he doesn't suffer any consequences of his action - and maybe suffering consequences would have been a good lesson for him, perhaps even saving him the future problems ahead...
'The road goes ever on and on...' (JRRT)
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