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Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.25 (The Neutral Zone)

Gracie Harrison (Clare Raymond)
Leon Rippy(Sonny Clemonds)
Anthony James(Sub-Cmdr. Thei)
Marc Alaimo(Cmdr. Tebok)
Peter Mark Richman(Ralph Offenhouse)

Writers: Deborah McIntyre, Maurice Hurley

Odd episode, this.  For the first two seasons, we don’t get the big two part story split over the season break.  At the end of season one, we get this.

Describe it, and it sounds rather dull.  Firstly, there are three people from 1990’s Earth who were frozen after their deaths and shot off into space.  Data finds a capsule full of people like this – most are decomposed, but three are not, so they are revived and cured of what killed them.

It is quite interesting as these characters are used to show the difference between the enlightened 24th Century and the backward 20th.  Of the three, the most sympathetic is Clare – her husband, she assumes, has her frozen as she knew nothing about it.  Sonny Clemonds, a drug taking heavy drinking guitar player doesn’t seem to care too much (he actually gets the best line – “We won’t be inviting these Romulans so our party, will we”) and Ralph who can’t get his head around the fact that capitalism has been and gone.

Woven around this is a mission to go to the Neutral Zone near the Romulan empire where several Federation outposts have been destroyed.  We are re-introduced to the Romulan Empire (one is played by Marc Alaimo, who will later become Gul Dukat on Deep Space Nine) and we find out that some of their outposts have also been destroyed, revealing that bigger things are going to come…

It’s not bad at all, considering it is such a simple idea.  The thought that there is something out there bigger and badder than the Romulans that is capable of scooping whole cities up is interesting, but it is not until much later that we find out who is behind it…

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 4
Score: 7/10


September 10, 2008 Posted by | people from the past, planetary population destroyed, romulans | | Leave a comment

Star Trek: The Next Generation 1.20 (The Arsenal of Freedom)

Vincent Schiavelli (Peddler)
Marco Rodriguez (Capt. Paul Rice)
Vyto Ruginis (Chief Engineer Logan)
Julia Nickson(Ensign Lian T’Su)
George de la Peña(Lt. Jnr. Grade. Orfil Solis)

Writer: Maurice Hurley, Robert Lewin, Hans Beimler, Richard Manning

The Enterprise investigates the missing USS Drake and they go to the planet Minos.  They receive a broadcast (which appears to be an advert for weapons manufacture).  The Drake was visiting the planet because all of the population have gone missing.

They beam down.  Crusher and Picard fall down a big hole, and the others (Tasha, Data and Riker) are chased by a probe that gets more and more difficult to destroy each time it appears.  Also, a massive version of the same probe attacks the Enterprise (of which Geordi is now in command).  Eventually Picard comes across the control centre of the machines (conveniently in the same hole he and Crusher fell down) and agrees to buy the weapons that are being demonstrated, which shuts the demonstration models off in the nick of time.  It turns out the people of Minos were destroyed by their own creations…

It is not very good, this one.  The opening moments where they get the transmisson of the advert come straight out of The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy(although not as good) and the level of coincidence reach stupid levels when it is revealed that the killer drone things are controlled from where Picard and Crusher come from.  And the set of the exteriors on the planet is the worst kind of crap soundstage.

There is some good.  There are some nice character moments for Geordi (who takes command, and has a row with yet another chief engineer) and also a bit of back story for Beverly (who was living in a colony where there was a major disaster when she was young).  But all in all the actual story is rubbish and it looks very, very cheap!

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 3
Score: 4/10

August 25, 2008 Posted by | destruction of a starfleet ship, planetary population destroyed | | 1 Comment