Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.16 (When the bough breaks)

Wesley and another annoying Enterprise child.

Cast:
Philip Waller (Harry Bernard)
Ivy Bethune(Duana)
Jerry Hardin(Radue)
Brenda Strong(Rashella)
Paul Lambert(Melian)
Amy Wheaton (Tara)
Jeremy Wheaton (Mason)
Jandi Swanson (Katie)
McKenzie Westmore (Rose)
Dan Mason(Accolan)
Vanessa Bova (Alexandra)
Jessica Bova (Alexandra)
Michele Marsh (Leda)
Connie Danese(Toya)
Dierk Torsek (Dr. Bernard)

Writer: Hannah Shearer

This is another extremely clunky episode from this very very average first season of The Next Generation.  A planet called Aldea (which is a myth rather like Atlantis) appears out of nowhere – it seems that they have hidden behind a cloaking device.  Now, they are ready to be found as they cannot reproduce anymore and they want the help of the Federation.

Rather than asking for medical help though, they decide to just take a selection of children from the Enterprise, including Wesley Crusher.  They are not cruel to them (apart from the fact of their kidnap) and they want to nurture their latent talents (one finds out that he has a gift for art, another for music and so on).

The problem with this episode is that there is no real threat.  The Aldeans are not nasty people, just deperate, and you know that at some point everything would get sorted out.  So when you watch this you don’t really care because you know exactly what is going to happen.  Even when they throw the Enterprise across space as a minor demonstration of their power you know by the end everything will be okay.

Add to all of that, you have “The Custodian”.  The whole planet is run by a computer, so the citizens of the planet don’t have to do anything.  It is not all powerful and it does not rule them, so it is not quite a crappy classic Trek supercomputer.  And by the end we find out that the shield that has protected them is what is causing them to be sterile, and the Enterprise children will also be unable to reproduce. 

Also, this is the first of a handful of appearances by Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat in various X-Filesepisodes) and I also noticed for the first time that two of the other Enterprise kids are played by the younger siblings of Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher).  None of this makes the episode any better though!

Everything gets talked down nicely and the Enterprise gets their kids back, including Wesley.

Very poor and rather dull.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 1
Score: 3/10

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July 25, 2008 - Posted by | cloaking devices, disease/sickness, super computers, thrown through space |

1 Comment »

  1. I have a soft spot for this story as well. It’s definitely family-friendly, though flawed in that the Aldeans only heist 7 kids out of a ship containing up to probably 300 or more.

    I like the concept – a race builds a means to protect itself to survive, but the means is the cause for their own sterility (the ultimate death). They lost certain technological skills over time, so they think that abducting children is going to save them.

    It is flawed; would the radiation poisoning really go away? With apparently only one woman being viable and she’s about 30, they’d still be in trouble.

    It is predictable – does the map the Custodian show represent the whole planet?!

    Good effects of the inner chamber with the power source…

    It’s an oddball, but underrated in my opinion. (5/10) Far worse exist.

    Comment by DPC | May 13, 2010 | Reply


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