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Loud As A Whisper (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Loud As A Whisper"
TNG, Episode 2x05
Production number: 40272-132
First aired: 9 January 1989
31st of 176 produced in TNG
30th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
136th of 728 released in all
Riva and Chorus
Written By
Jacqueline Zambrano

Directed By
Larry Shaw
42477.2-42479.3 (2365)
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The Enterprise brings a deaf negotiator to mediate the end of a planetary civil war.

Summary

Riva

The mediator Riva

The war-torn planet Solais V, desperate for peace, calls for the famous mediator Riva to hear their dispute. This man, being deaf, depends on his telepathic powers, and those of his three aides, to communicate with others. The USS Enterprise-D is dispatched to bring Riva to the planet, where Counselor Troi, through her empathic senses, becomes close to him.

Captain Picard, Worf, and Troi are transported down to the planet Ramatis III to pick up Riva. Prior to beaming down, Troi senses discomfort from Worf. At first Worf denies it, but Troi insists and presses the issue. When Riker and Picard turn to inquire, Worf admits to some discomfort because of Riva. Picard understands and explains to the others that Riva had played a key role in negotiating several peace treaties between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. Worf tells the away team that before Riva, there was no Klingon word for "peacemaker."

Riva and Troi

An intimate meal

After beaming down, Troi becomes a vital member in the away team because of her telepathic abilities. From their first meeting, Riva is impressed and attracted by her telepathic capabilities and, foremost, by her beauty.

Riva and Troi continually meet to show their affection. Riva, in his persistent behavior, has let his emotions takeover the mission that he set out to do. Over dinner, they carry on conversations through hand motions. During dinner, Picard discovers that the ceasefire on Solais V has been broken and that the two factions have continued their battle. Riva's dinner is interrupted when the two factions request his presence.

Upon Picard's request, Riva approaches the bridge to conduct the peace agreement between the two factions. Beyond all skepticism, Riva successfully stops the battle between the two factions and decides to locate a meeting spot on Solais V to conduct a peace meeting. Riva's aides each represent a fundamental emotional component of his psyche, and their mode of communication has evolved over many generations.

Rivas chorus killed, remastered

Riva's chorus executed

During the peace talks, a rogue member of one of the factions suddenly opens fire at the negotiation team, missing Riva but killing his whole chorus. The enraged leader of the faction instantly executes the rogue subordinate, and in the confusion Riva and the Enterprise crew return to the ship. Despite the subsequent pleas of both faction leaders, Riva becomes distraught and refuses to continue with the negotiations.

Data, through the computer, analyzes a number of different sign languages that help him to construct an index which he later uses to decipher Riva's sign language. Riva assumes responsibility for the deaths of his translators and is not willing to continue with the peace treaty. Riva explains that he cannot use Data because Data cannot deliver emotions found in his translator's voices.

LaForge and Pulaski

"This is a lot to think about."

Meanwhile, Geordi La Forge and Chief Medical Officer Pulaski discuss his medical case. Dr. Pulaski is apparently capable of repairing his eyes through two types of surgery: ocular implants, which would give him 80% of the vision provided by his VISOR, or extensive repairs done to the optical nerves and replicated eyes, which would give him normal vision but at greater risk. La Forge, overwhelmed, decides to take time to think about his decision.

Riva stands alone

Riva stands alone

Troi tells Riva that she will be conducting the negotiations in his place and asks for help. Riva explains several of the important aspects of negotiating peace between warring factions. One such idea, "turn a disadvantage into an advantage," inspires Riva to come up with a solution. Riva decides that the best way to resolve the confrontation is for him to teach sign language to both factions, believing that as the factions learn to talk to him, they will also learn to talk to one another. The Enterprise leaves Riva on the planet to resolve the issue and carries on.

Log entries

Memorable quotes

"Oh, cluck, cluck, cluck, Number One."
"Sir?"
"You're being a mother hen."

- Jean-Luc Picard and William T. Riker, on Picard joining the away team to Ramatis III


"Our job is not to police the galaxy."
"Isn't that my speech, Number One?"

- Riker and Picard


"Before him, there was no Klingon word for "peacemaker"."

- Worf, on Riva


"Then Riva, the mediator is..."
"Deaf."

- Picard and Riva's chorus


"Your method of communication is most elegant and quite beautiful."

- Deanna Troi, on Riva's chorus


"The time for killing has come to an end."

- Riva, through his chorus


"Listen to me! You are not alone! We are all in this together... now."

- Picard, trying to calm Riva down after his chorus was killed


"Data is a fine machine but he cannot take the place of my chorus."

- Riva, after Data learns his sign language

Background information

Story and script

Filming Howie Seago

Howie Seago during filming

  • Howie Seago, who played Riva, is in fact deaf and uses American Sign Language. He petitioned the producers to create a show about deaf people, in part to dispel untrue and prejudiced myths about them. In the first draft, Riva learned to speak overnight after a mechanical translator he used to communicate with his chorus failed. Seago suggested the ending used in the finished episode the day prior to shooting. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., p. 73)
  • The script of this episode stated that Riva was forced to learn sign language while mediating a conflict in the Plaeties system. The beings involved in the conflict were extremely paranoid and did not allow Riva's Chorus to accompany him, so in order to communicate on his own behalf, the deaf mediator had to learn sign language. However, this information did not make it into the final cut of the episode. Nor did the fact that members of the family to which Riva belongs do not read or write (although Riva's refusal to write down what he wishes to say suggests this possibility). [1]

Production

Shooting Loud as a Whisper

Reviewing the script between takes

  • The scene in Picard's ready room during the teaser for this episode is one of only two instances during the entire run of the series that the holographic interface on the desk is seen in operation. It was also seen in use in "The Child".
  • The moment featuring Riva and his entourage selecting a beam-down site from the bridge features one of only several instances during the series' run when live video monitors were used on the bridge set of the Enterprise, as opposed to backlit graphics or a post-production burn-in. In this instance, only one such monitor was used, in the Science I console. This technique would again be used in "A Matter Of Honor", in the same location; after that it would not be used again until "All Good Things...", when all five aft stations would receive video monitors. This modification would carry over into Star Trek Generations.

Continuity

  • Dr. Pulaski raises the possibility of treating La Forge's blindness via corrective surgery. LeVar Burton had at one time campaigned for his character's sight to be restored so he could use his expressive eyes. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 73) suggests that this scene was added to prepare for this possibility. Following this episode, the idea is dropped, and is never mentioned again during the course of the series. Later, La Forge "grew" new eyes as a result of the effects of the anti-time distortion in the series finale "All Good Things...", and eventually had his eyes replaced with ocular implants sometime prior to the events of Star Trek: First Contact. His eyes indeed regenerated temporarily in Star Trek: Insurrection because of the Baku planetary effects. They manifested the same effect as Dr. Pulaski described.

Reception

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Special appearance by

Guest stars

And

Co-stars

Uncredited co-stars

Stand-ins

References

9th century; As You Like It; blindness; cease fire; chicken; deaf; Denkir IV; ear; Earth; empathic; Federation; Fendaus V; fingerspelling; gestural language; Goddard, Robert H.; hemophilia; House of Hanover; Jupiter; kilometer; Klingon Empire; Klingonese; laser weapons; lateral sensor array; Leyron; Lima Sierra system; M-9; magnetic field; magnetosphere; Malkus IX; Milky Way Galaxy; NASA; NCC-7100; ocular implant; optic nerve; optic nerve laser welding; Pioneer 11; Plaeties system; Ramatis III; Ramatis system; Saturn; Serpent's World; Sol; Sol system; replicator; sign language; Solais V; Solais system; solar wind; Solari; Solari wars; telescope; Transporter Room Five; United States Declaration of Independence; VISOR; Zambrano, Battle of

External link


Previous episode:
"The Outrageous Okona"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 2
Next episode:
"The Schizoid Man"

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