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Star Trek Episode of the Week: The Arsenal of Freedom

IMAGE: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. COPYRIGHT CBS PARAMOUNT STUDIO.

Plot: Riker, Data, and Yar head down to a soundstage in the process of investigating the mysterious disappearance of a starship. Riker soon finds the captain, or supposed captain, of this vessel, whose name I think is Pockmarked Ugly Face. Ugly Face turns out to be a projection created by a weapons system which was once being sold by the inhabitants of the soundstage. Picard and Crusher join the away team only to be trapped in a cave together, where their characters are conveniently given something to do.

Character Development: In this episode, the three highest ranking officers of the Enterprise beam down to planet Minos and are subsequently stranded, leaving Geordi La Forge in charge. Geordi is given an opportunity to be confident and prove the worth of his ongoing existence.

Also, Picard and Dr. Crusher are shoved into a cave together to chat it up, thus teasing the audience with the potential for romance that will fail to materialize.

Forehead of the Week: This honour has to go to the great Minosians, who invented an automated weapon system so powerful it destroyed them as its sales pitch. I think all the Darwin Awards were given to them after that, forever.

Memorable Quote: “At your service, captain.” – Data, upon leaping nearly 12 meters and landing his hulking mechanical body dangerously close to an already wounded Dr. Crusher

Star Trek Episode of the Week: Heart of Glory

Star Trek The Next Generation Heat of Glory

IMAGE: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. COPYRIGHT CBS PARAMOUNT STUDIO

On this week’s episode of Star Trek, we are treated to a reasonably well written story with actual character development.

Plot: The Enterprise is called to the aid of a starship adrift in the neutral zone. Life signs are detected on board, and so a small away team is sent over to investigate. Geordi is given the chance to test out a “visual acuity transmitter” for his VISOR, which allows the bridge to see what Geordi sees. It turns out Geordi’s life is a non-stop acid trip in which light and shapes constantly flicker around him in a disorienting fashion. Oh yeah, and some Klingons are rescued. They come on board and mess with Worf’s head.

Character Development: In this episode, we learn that Worf is an actual character with an actual back story. He was rescued by a Starfleet officer and grew up as the adopted child of humans.

Forehead of the Week: There is no doubt that this honour should go to the mighy Klingons themselves. In this episode, we learn of their shouting-session as death ritual. We also get a chance to gain insight into the political discomfort some citizens of the Empire have with peace with the Federation.

Memorable Quote: “It is only a empty shell now, please treat it as such.” – A Klingon logically describing a dead body.

Star Trek Episode of the Week: Coming of Age

Star Trek Next Generation Coming of Age

IMAGE: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. COPYRIGHT CBS PARAMOUNT STUDIOS.

In this week’s episode, absolutely nothing happens of any consequence.

Plot: Two Starfleet personnel have come for a visit. They want to interrogate the entire crew of the Enterprise and probe for any flaws in Picard’s command. Remarkably, this leads to many references to previous episodes, but never degenerates into a clip show.

Meanwhile, Wesley Crusher takes the Starfleet Academy entrance exam on Relva VII. The entrance exams appear to have been stiffened up since the likes of Reg Barclay graduated. Wes must beat out three other obnoxious wunderkinds to even get in.

Character Development: In this episode, we learn that Wes is too nice for Starfleet. The examiners know he helped another student, but they reward the cheater, instead of the helpful acting ensign.

Forehead of the Week: That great honour goes to the Benzite. These fishy creatures need mysterious vapours pumped onto their faces through Neil Young’s harmonica at all times to survive.

Memorable Quote: “I failed the first time.” – Picard, revealing the entrance exam is meaningless.

Star Trek Episode of the Week: Home Soil

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. Home Soil.

IMAGE: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. COPYRIGHT CBS PARAMOUNT STUDIOS.

In this Star Trek episode of the week, we explore the meaning of life.

Plot: The Enterprise checks in on a terraforming colony operated by a handful of the shifty and shady. After a murder takes place on the colony by a rogue drilling laser, Data has to act fast to take the contraption down (see above). It turns out the machinery has been hijacked by a previously undetected crystalline life form.

Character Development: In this episode, Counselor Troi informs us that Director Kurt Mandl of the terraformers is nervous after he blatantly appears standoffish and, well, nervous. This is important to remember for later episodes when it becomes clear that the only interesting characteristic of Troi is her mother.

Forehead of the Week: That title goes to the unnamed crystal organism living on the supposedly dead world of Velara III. Some of the crystal is brought back to the Enterprise where it begins to reproduce. This chunk of material becomes known, insultingly, as the microbrain.

Memorable Quote: “Ugly giant bags of mostly water.” – The crystal life form in its astute assessment of the human interlopers.

Star Trek Episode of the Week: When The Bough Breaks

IMAGE: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. COPYRIGHT CBS PARAMOUNT STUDIOS.

On this week’s Star Trek episode, Wesley Crusher is asked by a group of aliens to repopulate their species.

Plot: The Enterprise stumbles upon the rumoured planet of Aldea, only to find its residents are not as awesome as legend would have them believe. The Aldeans have lost the ability to reproduce, and they kidnap children from the Enterprise with the hopes of kick-starting a new generation for their planet.

Character Development: In “When the Bough Brakes,” we learn that Harry Bernard, son of Starfleet lieutenant Harry Bernard, Sr., is not a fan of calculus.

Forehead of the Week: The Aldeans of Aldea have incredible lives. Their computers do everything for them, they are hidden from the rest of the galaxy, they get to spend their time doing whatever they want, and they have absolutely no children to bother them. Aldeans have the greatest culture in Star Trek history.

Memorable Quote: “Things are only impossible until they’re not.” – Picard, being profound.

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