Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.17 (Home Soil)
This is the other episode from Season One that was never released as part of the original UK Rental VHS set – they released 24 out of 26 episodes. As with the other, you can see why they didn’t bother. Good it ain’t.
The Enterprise crew visit a planet where some Terraformers are converting what is basically a rock into a biosphere capable of sustaining human life. In the first ten minutes or so we are given a quite detailed account of how this process is supposed to work (I would almost argue too much detail). Then as soon as we know what these guys are up to, one of the scientists is killed by what appears to be a faulty laser drill. It then attacks Data. The race is on to find out what is going on.
Of course, naturally the crew assume that one of the remaining terraformers must be the saboteur who reprogrammed the drill. They quickly find some kind of life form that lives in the salt water that is being killed by the terraforming process. They beam a sample up to the Enterprise, and it gets bigger, resists analysis, starts communicating via the computer and breaks through the quarantine seal and takes control of the ship.
The story is very dull indeed. The life form refers to humans as “ugly bags of mostly water.” The voice is embarrassing. They start referring to the life form as a “micro brain”. They find out that it uses energy from the lights to reproduce. So they defeat it by turning the lights off, talk it down and beam it back down to the planet. The terraformers have to find another planet to mess about with.
I am trying to find something positive about this mess of an episode. It takes them ages to try and beam it back down to the planet – one of the first things I would have tried as soon as it looked as though they might not be able to control it. The episode only lasts for forty five minutes. If feels like hours!
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 1