Just finished watching the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode entitled “Chain of Command.” That’s the one where Crusher, Worf, and Picard go on a seekrit mission and Picard gets captured by the Cardassians. He is then systematically tortured for a while, wherein the Internet eventually received the “There are…four lights!” meme.
It’s mentioned by Picard that torture is usually unreliable, and that it’s hard to see why it’s even used. In the end, it comes down to revenge power fantasies, not actual information gathering. I’ve never been tortured, nor have I seen someone in real life be tortured, so I don’t know how accurate this is. I’m reasonably assured it happens and despite the show’s philosophy, I would think people would break all the time and give up information if they have it. TV seems to think that never happens and the person being tortured either doesn’t know or won’t give it up or just makes up anything needed to stop the torture. Regardless, it’s brutal, time-consuming, and just plain sadistic.
Brian Warner, the actor playing the Cardassian interrogator, did a good job, as well did Patrick Stewart (AS IF THAT WERE IN QUESTION). It’s a classic episode that makes you think. Hey, it inspired a whole post from me, at least.