Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.2 (Where Silence Has Lease)

Colm Meaney (Miles O’Brien)
Charles Douglass (Ensign Haskell)
Earl Boen(Nagilum)

Writer: Jack B. Sowards

This is a very unusual episode.  It has only one plot – many episodes have two things going on that somehow get linked, but this one concentrates fully on the one story.  The Enterprise finds a hole in space, and accidentally ends up inside it trying to get out.  The try flying out the way they came, going to maximum warp and hoping to fly out the other side… they try loads of stuff and basically it doesn’t work.

They encounter a Romulan vessel that turns out to be an illusion, they beam across to the USS Yamato (their sister ship, which also appears to be there but also turns out to be an illusion) and then they are tantalised with openings back into the real universe than vanish as soon as they set course for them.  In the end, they discover an entity called Nagilum that is effectively holding them prisoner in this void.  He kills a member of the crew just to see how much the human body can cope with, and asks Pulaski to demonstrate reproduction.  (Ugh, Troi would have been marginally better!)

Picard decides to destroy the ship (to prevent Nagilum studying human death, which he guesses will use between a third and half of the crew) so Nagilum sends duplicates of Troi and Data to talk him out of if, which of course doesn’t work.  They end up being set free.

Pulaski is still an odd character – she has taken a dislike (or at least an indifference) to Data who is at this point the most popular character on the show – last show she made a bit deal of pronouncing his name wrong (Daa-ta instead of Day-ta) and this time she questions whether or not he knows what he is doing when called upon to magnify an image on the viewscreen.  It is very hard to like her.

Oh, and there is this odd sequence on the holodeck with Worf at the start.  Has nothing to do with the story and shows him fighting monster things.  They do turn up again a number of times – presumably to justify the cost of the costumes and set in this episode.

This is just an odd episode.  It starts with Picard walking out of his ready room looking lost (perhaps he had a few too many in Ten Forward the night before) and just goes nowhere.  Hard to like, hard to have any opionions about at all really.

Crew Deaths: 1
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 5
Score: 3/10


September 13, 2008 Posted by | anomaly (spacial/temporal), chief o'brien, doubles or duplicates, inside another stafleet ship, self destruct, super beings, worfs holodeck exercise program | | 3 Comments

Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.23 (We’ll always have Paris)

Michelle Phillips(Jenice Manheim)
Lance Spellerberg (Chief Herbert)
Jean-Paul Vignon (Edouard)
Dan Kern (Lt. Dean)
Isabel Lorca (Gabrielle)
Rod Loomis(Dr. Paul Manheim)
Kelly Ashmore (Francine)

Writers: Deborah Dean Davis, Hannah Shearer

This is a funny bugger of an episode.  It is basically a meeting between old lovers – Picard and the now married Jenice Manheim.  The twist is that her husband is doing these strange experiments that lead to odd time anomalies.

And that’s it.  There’s no real threat, there’s no chance of this couple getting back together, nobody dies.  Really it’s a character piece with a time anomaly thrown in!

The time anomaly scenes are fun – I especially liked the moment where Riker, Picard and Data walk into a lift, and when the doors open the past versions of themselves are outside the lift having the conversation they were having when they entered the lift – and then they interact with themselves.

Then later in the episode, as Data has to put antimatter into the anomaly to close it properly, there are suddenly three of him and they don’t know which one exists in the correct time frame to insert the antimatter.  Then one of that Data’s exclaims “it’s me” with no explanation as to how he knows.

Also, the vision of the Paris of the future was not that great.  I looks as though it got flattened at some point and rebuilt from scratch – only the Eiffel Tower seems to have survived.  And the person who ran the cafe was rather happy for Picard to take in the view without ordering anything.  It would have been more realistic for him to say “order something or piss off!”

I don’t hate this.  It’s okay, but nothing special.  And very difficult to say much about!

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 4
Score: 5/10

September 3, 2008 Posted by | anomaly (spacial/temporal), asteroid, disease/sickness, doubles or duplicates, exes, time travel | | Leave a comment

Star Trek 3.9 (The Tholian Web)

Writer: Judy Burns, Chet Richards

Who said that the third season was full of turkies?  So far, I am finding it about as consistent as the last season, meaning not as good as the first!  However, there are some truly classic episodes.  This is one of them.

The Enterprise investigates the disappearance of the USS Defiant (no, not the one from Deep Space Nine) and finds the ship caught in some kind of dimensional anomaly, the ship seems to be phasing in and out of existence.  A landing party beams aboard, and it seems clear that something drove the crew insane, as the body of the Captain is found being strangled by one of the other bridge crew.  As the ship starts phasing again, most of the landing party managed to be beamed back (only just, since the transporter was playing up).  Kirk remains trapped aboard as the Defiant phases out of existence again.

All does not seem to be lost – the Defiant is due to phase back in in a couple of hours, and Kirk has just enough air for that.  But when a Tholian ship arrives, it upsets the anomaly, so the Defiant does not phase in on schedule.  The Tholians had given the crew the benefit of the doubt, and when the Defiant does not appear they assume that Spock was lying to them and opens fire.  Another Tholian ship arrives, and they start to build a web like energy field around the ship to trap them.  And to make things worse, it seems as though the madness that killed the crew of the Defiant is because of the area of space they are in and it starts to affect the crew of the Enterprise.

Of course, once the time is up and Kirks air supply must have run out, he is declared dead and Spock takes over.  When Uhura sees him in his space suit for a moment, they assume she is going mad as well.

I like this episode.  It is what they later referred to as a “bottle” show – little or no guest cast and filmed on existing sets, but it is really well done.  The Tholian web is fun, although it only works because the Enterprise is disabled – it does take them a while to build it. 

And what is it with Nurse Chapel?  When one of his staff attacks him, McCoy is almost killed and for ages Chapel just stands there and watches!  (Before she finally gets a hypo and knocks out the attacker).  And the cure for the madness that McCoy eventually finds is full of alcohol, and Scotty decides that it might make a good mixer for Whisky! 

Another thing I liked was they didn’t show anything of what was going on from Kirks point of view – the episode is all about what happened to the Enterprise crew, and this was a nice move – it was great that the episode focussed on someone other than Kirk for a change – nothing against him, but it made for a better episode.  This is something that later versions of Trek get good at, but it is unusual for this show.  Oh, and McCoy and Spock pretend that they never watched the tape of Kirk’s last orders to them after they declare him dead.
And we never see the Defiant – they rescue Kirk, but the ship vanishes into the anomaly.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 45
Score: 8/10

May 6, 2008 Posted by | anomaly (spacial/temporal), inside another stafleet ship, post death message, tholians, transporter problems | | Leave a comment