Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.17 (Home Soil)

Walter Gotell(Kurt Mandl)
Elizabeth Lindsey (Louisa Kim)
Gerard Prendergast (Bjorn Benson)
Carolyne Barry (Female Engineer)
Mario Roccuzzo(Arthur Malencon)

Writers: Karl Geurs, Ralph Sanchez, Robert Sabaroff

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
Score: 3/10


July 28, 2008 - Posted by | inorganic life form, ship/station taken over |


  1. Some of the acting is horrendous, but the ideas are sound. But I agree; “microbrain” is best suited as a slur from Q to Worf…

    But I’m surprised the UK didn’t have this on VHS. With luck I’ll find out what ‘the other’ episode is. I hope it’s “Justice” as that one is unworthy of release… as is “The Naked Now”, but that’s 2…

    Comment by DPC | May 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. mostly agree with you about this episode but i have to say that the phrase “ugly bag of mostly water” was apropos and hilarious and has stuck with me. let’s consider, for a moment, that there are more than six billion “ugly bags of mostly water” on this planet – how much water is tied up in them/us? and how much heat do these ugly bags produce? and how much do they/we gas off? surely we, all together, without any other effort, are doing quite a lot to destabilize our own planet. do you think maybe the silicon-based lifeforms foresaw this? LOL

    Comment by hvh | May 20, 2010 | Reply

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