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I've always thought of this as the ST default plot. I call it "Something weird happens/we are being tested!" Pretty much any time a ST (any series) plot starts out with something totally bizarre, you know it's gonna end up being one of these. Of course we always Learn Something Special About Humanity in the end, but the main point is just that the writers want to have something weird/inexplicable happen, and the more outlandish it is the easier it is to just have some superior alien turn up and tack a "We are being tested!" scenario on to provide some kind of resolution.
I created a Playing With page
Can someone confirm that the Quote in the Stinger was from "All Good Things, Part 1"? (Or locate where it came from if not?)
Removed the spoiler in the Star Trek The Animated Series episode "The Magicks of Megas-Tu" example. The show originally aired in 1973, 39 years ago.
Anyone want to put an image on the top side of this one? I can't help but think a picture of Q in his judge robes or something else would be appropriate.
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How well does it match the trope?