Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.12 (Datalore)

Cast:
Brent Spiner (Lore)
Biff Yeager (Lt. Cmdr. Argyle)

Writers: Maurice Hurley, Robert Lewin, Gene Roddenberry

As they are passing, the Enterprise visits Omicron Theta, the planet where Data was found.  They visit the exact spot where Data was found, and Geordi sees something the original people who discovered Data never saw – an entrance into a base.  There, they find a laboratory and another android like Data.  They beam the components up to the Enterprise, and put the android together.  He is Lore, the android made before Data.  His behaviour is a little strange, but when Lore deactivates Data and swaps places with him he contacts the crystalline entity that killed the colonists.  Wesley realises that there has been a swap (although as usual people don’t listen to him straight away) and eventually (just as the entity starts attacking the Enterprise) Wesley convinces Beverly that he is right, they find Data, reactivate him, and stop Lore.  He is beamed into space.

This episode is a bit of a cliche – the moment that we saw Lore it was obvious that at some point they would swap places.  But Spiner plays boths parts so well he is a joy to watch.  There are many scenes that are just the two of them together, and they are really interesting to watch.  The episode is a little predictable, but the performance more than makes up for it.

And once again we have an episode where Wesley Crusher has worked out what has happened ahead of everyone else, and nobody takes him seriously.

This also features the second and final appearance by Chief Engineer Argyle.  We see at last one more Chief before Geordi takes over Engineering.

The only bit of this episode that is bloody stupid is the assertion that Data cannot speak using contractions (can’t instead of cannot etc) but Lore can.  Talk about creating a rod for your own back!  Data has on occasion used contractions in the past, and he will again, but for f**ks sakes, in the one episode where it is vital you don’t balls it up, what is the first thing Data says when asked if he is okay just as they have beamed Lore off the ship?  He says “I’m fine.”   Aaaaaargh!  Cretins!  Is this some subtle message telling us that actually Lore is the one that has survived?  Sadly, it is nothing that clever, just a silly cock up in the script department (or possible in Spiner’s performance, though I somehow doubt that).  A stupid end to an otherwise okay episode.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 1
Score: 7.5/10

June 20, 2008 Posted by | androids, chief engineer argyle, doubles or duplicates, family members, lore, space creatures | | 1 Comment

Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.5 (Where no one has gone before)

Cast:
Eric Menyuk (The Traveler)
Stanley Kamel(Kosinski)
Charles Dayton (Crew Member)
Biff Yeager (Lt. Cmdr. Argyle)
Herta Ware(Yvette Gessard Picard)
Victoria Dillard (Ballerina)

Writers: Michael Reaves, Diane Duane

A warp engine specialist (Kosinksi) and his colleague (The Traveler) board the Enterprise to do some adjustments to the warp engines to make them more efficient.  Wesley watches the Traveller work and suggests some amendments to the warp field settings.  When the ship goes into warp they travel 2.7 million light years in a matter of moments.  Wesley comments to the Traveller, saying that the equations suggested that Space and Time and Thought were not the separate things that they were understood to be.  Kosinksi is not able to explain why it happened, and when they try to go back they end up somewhere so far from conceivable space it is not even charted – Picard says it is over a billion light years from our own galaxy!

Everyone soon realises that the speed was more due to the Traveler than Kosinksi (the fact that he almost phased out of existence) – the Traveler has the ability to use the power and energy in thought to help them travel.  They are in a place where thought shapes reality – Yar sees her cat, Worf his Targ (vicious Klingon Dog thing) and Picard his mother.  So the return journey is simple provided that everyone thinks of home, and they make it back easily even though the Traveler phases out of existence.

This is the best episode yet – Menyuk is very good as the Traveler, and Wesley is actually not irritating.  It turns out that The Traveler travels to meet geniuses – and Wesley is one such, with the knowledge of time, energy and propulsion.  He tells Picard this in confidence, and that this talent needs to be nurtured, which means that Picard ends up making him an acting Ensign with bridge duties.

This is a bottle show (I don’t know if it was done to save money) but it works rather well.  We spend quite a lot of time in engineering, and we introduced to, and I quote, “one of our chief engineers” – a line presumably added to cover the fact that we have a different Chief to three episodes ago.  This is Chief Argyle (it was nice to hear a Scottish lilt in the voice of the Chief Engineer again) but at this point it must have been obvious that at some point they were going to have to put a permanent character down there.

It is also obvious that we will see the Traveler again at some point – not that that is a bad thing, but I remember being suprised that it was not until season four.  Oh, and nobody has died yet!

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 0
Score: 8/10

June 11, 2008 Posted by | chief engineer argyle, family members, the traveler, thrown through space | | 1 Comment