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Star Trek Episode of the Week: Too Short a Season

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

This is the second episode of Star Trek in a row to offer an intriguing plot. A first for TNG.

Plot: Admiral Mark Jameson has been tapped to deal with a hostage situation on Mordan IV. He dealt with the governor there, Karnas, during a similar hostage situation 45 years ago. It turns out Jameson had gotten up to some Iran–Contra style arms-for-hostages shenanigans the last time around, and Karnas wants revenge.

Character Development: In this episode, we learn that 24th century sensibilities have trained the crew of the Enterprise to refrain from commenting on the molten-like state of Jameson’s skin. Only as he de-ages and begins to look human again does anyone complain.

Forehead of the Week: “Too Short a Season” largely revolves around the political problems of a species known as the Mordanite. They look, dress, and act exactly like humans.

Memorable Quote: “I’m fit! I’m fitter than you are Picard and I’m getting younger!” – Mark Jameson, raising hope that he and Picard may awkwardly grapple.

Star Trek Episode of the Week: 11001001

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

On this week’s episode, we get an inside look at a mad pimp’s holiday. As a bonus, this episode marks the first signs that TNG might be a decent series.

Plot: The Enterprise is in for some maintenance and upgrades. Most of the crew leaves to play made up games that require diving suits, but Riker decides to stay on board to watch over the aliens working on the ship’s computers. Leaving Wes Crusher to do the actual supervising, the Commander ends up on the holodeck, stretching his jazz skills. It’s here that he becomes entranced by holodeck character Minuet.

Character Development: This Riker-heavy episode reveals that the man isn’t even into womanizing for the sex, he just loves the thrill of flirting. He does this by grinning devilishly and speaking in calm, confident tones. Fascinating.

Forehead of the Week: The purple-headed Bynars take this supreme honour. They are a species interconnected with a main computer that keeps them organized in pairs. They hijack the Enterprise to back up their computer when it is in danger to keep their species going. Apparently, the Enterprise’s computer is the only one the galaxy awesome enough to do this.

Memorable Quote: “If winning is not important, then Commander, why keep score?” – Worf, unleashing some profundity on Riker.

Star Trek Episode of the Week: Angel One

February 27, 2011 Star Trek Episode No Comments

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

On this week’s episode of Star Trek, issues of gender are awkwardly discussed. Much of the action takes place on a planet called “Angel I” (above) which happens to look an awful lot like many other alien planets visited in Star Trek history.

Plot: The Enterprise crew has deduced that a Federation freighter that was lost seven years ago may have had survivors who managed to escape to the planet Angel I. It turns out Angel I is inhabited by an intelligent, female-dominated, species, whose members happen to look exactly like humans, except the dudes tend to be shorter and less hairy. As the episode develops, we learn that the women of Angel I are still vulnerable to sexist writers looking to prove that women just want strong, hairy men like Riker.

Character Development: In “Angel One,” we learn nothing about our favourite characters as they all act exactly as expected. Wesley Crusher is a moron, Captain Picard is married to his job, Worf sneezes loudly, and Riker’s got a way with the ladies.

Forehead of the Week: I’m going to go with the less obvious choice, and award this title to the mystery virus which infects much of the crew in this episode before a last minute treatment is discovered by Dr. Crusher. Its first victim was Wesley Crusher, who seemingly got it from a holodeck ski trip. How that is possible, or why the phenomena was not studied further, I have no idea.

Memorable Quote: “Engage.” – Riker, after a sore-throated Picard was unable to say it. See, it’s a joke.

Star Trek Episode of the Week: Datalore

February 20, 2011 Star Trek Episode No Comments

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

On this week’s episode of Star Trek, Data discovers he has a brother. As it should happen, he’s a total dick.

Plot: Picard decides he’d like to check out Data’s mysterious home planet, Omicron Theta. It contained a human colony that was entirely wiped out except for Data, or so everyone thought. The power of Geordi’s visor leads the crew to discover a secret lab hidden on the planet which contains another Soong-type android. His name’s Lore, and man is he evil! Once reassembled, he tries to hand the Enterprise crew over to the life-sucking Crystalline Entity which is what actually destroyed Omicron Theta.

Character Development: In this episode, the Enterprise crew acts as though they’ve never asked Data about his origins or studied the history of his home planet. This conveniently allows them to ask Data about these subjects, enabling the audience to be informed along the way. It turns out the colonists who died around Data transferred their memories to him. Suddenly, Data starts remembering things. Most of the memories must have been pretty meaningless though, as he stops remembering as soon as the episode ends.

Forehead of the Week: The Crystalline Entity which Lore is so fond of is a wonderfully complex evil space crystal that eats life. It can travel at warp speeds and apparently has the ability to reward androids for doing its bidding.

Memorable Quote: “Shut up, Wesley!” – Picard, silencing the person trying to save him from the really obvious ploy by the bad guy.

Star Trek Episode of the Week: The Big Goodbye

February 13, 2011 Star Trek Episode No Comments

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

As is the case with so many first season TNG episodes, a brilliant concept is introduced and then completely mishandled.

Plot: Captain Picard decides to try out this new thing called the holodeck he’s been hearing about. Always eager to display how boring he is, Picard opts not to check out anything erotic, or even interesting, but instead chooses to take on the role of Dixon Hill, a film noir style detective. To no one’s surprise, some alien technology causes the holodeck to malfunction, trapping Picard and several others in the fictional world.

Character Development: I’m going to bend the rules a little and discuss the holodeck itself here. Early in “The Big Goodbye,” Picard is kissed by a holographic woman. When he leaves the holodeck, he caries with him the lipstick she left on his face which is later physically removed. It must therefore be assumed that makeup is replicated for use by holodeck characters. The episode concludes with some of Dixon’s enemies disappearing as they step out of the holodeck (obviously, they are “photons and forcefields”). Their clothes, stomach contents, and anything else they may be carrying disappear at the same time. It is therefore clear that the holodeck possess extreme artificial intelligence, capable of deciphering which materials to replicate, and which to project, in order to best suit the needs of the plots of both its own programs, and the TV series in which it is featured.

Forehead of the Week: This goes to the Jarada. The insect-like aliens put so much stress on Captain Picard through their demands that he speak to them perfectly in their own language without use of universal translator that he chose to escape to the holodeck for some relaxation.

Memorable Quote: “Hiya Doc. What’s cookin’?” – Data, providing minor amusement in an episode that should have been significantly funnier.

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