I can’t think of any plot holes that haven’t been discussed to death, so I’ll just complain about the ridiculousness of “Pen Pals”
ok, so apparently it violates the Prime Directive to save planets from deadly natural phenomena. And they hand wave it away with a bunch of BS about ‘playing God’ and ‘the fate of people’.
This is the Prime Directive. THE PRIME DIRECTIVE. They probably took 6 years of courses on the PD. And yet, there the senior staff is having to get a lecture from Picard as if they never heard of it. As a viewer, I love it. But it’s silly. It shouldn’t even be a discussion.
And yet as soon as Picard hears a little girl’s plaintive voice, he throws it all out the window. I guess it’s a good thing for that entire planet Data’s friend wasn’t some nasty little boy.
Which brings up something I just thought of. As liberal as the Feds are…if an uninhabited (meaning no sentient species) class M planet is in danger of destruction from natural causes, SURELY the goody-two shoes Federation acts to prevent it don’t they? I mean right now we bend over backwards to save endangered species. I have to believe that if a planet chock-full of unique species is going to be plastered by an asteroid, the Feds will spare the resources to save the planet, yes? And we know the Feds will help a planet that asks for help from natural causes.
SO…it’s only the poor sentient bastards between monkeys and warp-capable (or those aware of space-faring races) people who are effed. Yeah, that makes sense.