Star Trek – The Next Generation – tape 1505

Back to Sky One for another packed tape of Star Trek The Next Generation.

First up is Aquiel. A landing party visit a space station to find it abandoned. Crusher finds cellular residue, the remains of one of the crew. The only lifeform there is a small dog. We’ve all seen The Thing. Throw it out of the airlock.

The cellular residue matches with the eponymous Aquiel. There was another lieutenant on board, and Aqiel’s logs suggest they didn’t get on, so he’s got to be a prime subspace.

Geordi gets the job of decoding Aquiel’s logs. A seasoned TNG watcher knows what’s coming, and sure enough, as soon as he sees her picture, he goes a bit gooey. Geordi really needs an actual girlfriend.

It’s all a little mysterious. They can’t find the logs of the other lieutenant, and there’s traces of Klingon DNA. But when they contact the Klingons, they are a bit angry at the accusation, and they can prove it – by returning Aquiel to the Enterprise.

Now suspicion falls on Aquiel, and naturally Geordi wants to protect her.

Crusher is still scanning the cellular residue, when suddenly it starts morphing.

It becomes a perfect replica of Crusher’s hand. Again, we’re definitely in Thing territory.

They realise that there’s a shapeshifting creature at large, and it might be Aquiel, or the Klingon who is also suspected of being involved.

But we all know who it really is, and sure enough, the little dog soon turns into an unconvincing amorphous blob, which Geordi has to kill with a phaser.

The next episode is Face of the Enemy which has a killer teaser, as Troi wakes up to find that she’s suddenly a Romulan.

Carolyn Seymour off of Survivors plays the Romulan Captain.

This is a great episode for Troi. Although I note it does basically kick off with someone putting a roofie in her drink and controlling her body without her consent. But she’s remarkably good at the undercover stuff, presumably her empathy being a big help, so I’ll forgive the dubious setup.

The next episode is called Tapestry. Picard has been seriously injured, so he suffers a near death experience. Of course, it’s Q.

Q takes Picard on a trip through his life, so we get to see cool things, like Picard in one of the classic Trek uniforms.

What is it about ‘futuristic’ versions of games like pool, that they have to be clearly much worse than the originals. Look at the state of this, it looks ridiculous.

Q shows Picard what his life would have been like if he hadn’t been stabbed through the heart as a young cadet. He ends up a junior officer on the Enterprise, not outstanding. Of course, he’s horrified.

The moral of this story appears to be that it’s good to be a hot-headed teenager who gets stabbed through the heart because then you get to be captain of a starship. A lesson we should all learn.

The next episode is a crossover with Deep Space Nine, Birthright part 1. There’s a guest appearance from Dr Bashir.

He hooks up with Data to investigate a piece of equipment found in the Gamma Quadrant, but when they apply power, it zaps Data with an energy burst. Data has hallucinations in which he sees his creator, Dr Soong.

Worf is contacted by an alien who tells him his father is alive, held captive in a Romulan prison camp. Of course, this is appalling to Worf, because no Klingon would allow himself to be captured, it would bring dishonour to his whole family, the usual Klingon bollocks.

But he decides to go to find his father. But the Klingons in the camp tell him his father did actually die at Khitomer, and when he tells them he will rescue them, they refuse, because they are too ashamed to leave.

And he has to stay.

Frankly, I’m not surprised they’re ashamed, having to wear such fluffy dressing gowns.

I’m afraid I pretty much zoned out during this two parter, but you already know my antipathy towards Klingon bollocks.

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3 comments

  1. Ah, ‘Aquiel’… according to some, the worst ever TNG episode. That’s probably harsh, but goodness, it is so boring,,, ‘Birthright’ has its moments, but it is the worst of the two-parters, certainly. There is just so little on show that one can get emotionally invested in – an extraordinary thing to say about a story of a man looking for his long-lost father, I know, but there one has it.

    Some sections of fandom speak of season 6 in reverent tones. I don’t see why. This run is OK, but the long decline in script quality has clearly begun. Seasons 3 and 4 are close to flawless, and season 5 is very good indeed too.

    1. Surely ‘Masks’ is objectively the worst episode ever? Not counting the clip show they ended Season 2 with because of the writers’ strike.

      But 3-5 is definitely the peak of the show.

      1. Well, your mileage may vary. I vacillate with ‘Masks’, but on the whole I usually watch rather than skip.

        ‘Angel One’ and ‘Code of Honor’ from season one are both pretty grim, but if we’re after sheer inconsequential-ness, ‘Manhunt’ from season two and ‘Emergence’ from season seven take some beating. Both are forty-five minutes of pure, unadulterated meh.

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