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When The Prime Directive Is Wrong by Matt Sheean

When The Prime Directive Is Wrong

Comic book artist and guest Let’s Watch Star Trek writer Matt Sheean posits that Star Trek gets the Prime Directive wrong when it comes to situations involving world-wide catastrophe.

The Prime Directive, for those of you who have been deep in the Kolinahr for the last fifty years, is the guiding principle of interstellar exploration for Starfleet. It states that no member of Starfleet shall interfere with the internal development of an alien society. There should be no contact with pre-warp societies at all, since the introduction of such dramatically advanced technology or alien ideologies could not but interfere with the development of a society. During the course of Star Trek’s various series, the crews encounter a wide variety of situations that are rightly guided by the Prime Directive. However, there are a number of situations where the characters find themselves deciding how to apply the Directive when a world-wide catastrophe is occurring in a pre-warp civilization, and it’s my contention that absolute adherence to the Directive is wrong. I’ll be looking at this particular application of the Prime Directive in light of the way it is presented in the Next Generation episode “Pen Pals” and the Enterprise episode “Dear Doctor”.

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