Star Trek – The Next Generation – tape 1509

Back to season 4 of Star Trek the Next Generation on this tape, and first there’s Clues. The crew are enjoying some downtime.

Picard is playing his Dixon Hill roleplay with Guinan.

But it’s interrupted by an unstable wormhole that knocks out the entire crew except Data. When he wakes the crew he tells them that they were unconscious for 30 seconds.

The ship has moved almost a day’s travel in that 30 seconds, which Data explains as the wormhole shifting the ship.

But Dr Crusher was working on spore samples which show a whole day’s growth.

More clues emerge that the crew was unconscious for over a day, so everyone is worried about Data and why he’s insisting that only 30 seconds elapsed.

It all seems to come back to a planet they sent a probe to just before the wormhole struck. And oh great, Troi is taken over by an alien intelligence, and goes to Data to ask why they have returned, and suggesting the Enterprise will be destroyed.

Picard confronts Data and asks why he was lying about the missing 24 hours. He says he was ordered to. By Picard himself.

The aliens on the planet are xenophobes, and they intended to stun the crew and send the ship far away, but their plan was thwarted by Data not being stunned.

So Picard just tells the alien they’ll do the memory wipe again, and this time they’ll get it right.

I like this episode. There’s a nice mystery, and the alien threat is almost incidental. It’s basically a Starfleet procedural. It also reminds me of Conundrum which we saw on an earlier tape.

Next is First Contact. The teaser starts with some aliens treating an injured man, and getting confused by his strange anatomy. It’s Commander Riker, modified to look like one of them. Another episode that reminds me of another – Face of the Enemy where Troi was a Romulan.

Another link to that episode is the appearance of Carolyn Seymour as an alien scientist – she played a Romulan in Face of the Enemy.

As the episode title suggests, Riker is there to research the society, but he has no way to contact the Enterprise, and some of the people in charge are scared of the idea of alien contact. To confuse things, the doctor looking after him takes rather a shine to him, especially when she learns he’s an alien. She’s played by Bebe Neuwirth.

Another nice, mostly philosophical episode.

Next it’s Galaxy’s Child. Staying with the themes of episodes mirroring others we’ve seen recently, it’s a Geordi episode, and he’s thrilled when he learns that Dr Leah Brahms is coming aboard to study his engine modifications. In an earlier story, Booby Trap, Geordi had used a holodeck representation of Dr Brahms to help him out, and (as he always seems to) he fell a bit in love. So he’s absolutely sure that when they meet for real, they’ll be instant BFFs.

He’s not expecting her first words to him to be “LaForge? So you’re the one who’s fouled up my engine designs.”

The ship encounters a creature living in space, and when it starts zapping them with energy, they fire a phaser, killing the creature.

Geordi invites Dr Brahms to his quarters for a meal, and is really going for the seductive vibe. It’s a bit creepy. A lot creepy, actually, and if Geordi wasn’t such a nice guy this would be awful.

When she finds the holodeck program he used in the previous episode, she’s understandably outraged. Geordi’s defence is weak – “I was only trying to be friends”.

But a crisis arises, when the dead space whale turns out to have been pregnant. The Enterprise cuts it open and the baby comes out, then attaches itself to the Enterprise, suckling its energy. So Geordi and Leah have to find a solution to release the baby, so it can rejoin its space family.

At least they end of good terms.

Finally here, it’s Night Terrors. The Enterprise finds a missing ship, with most of its crew dead, and a surviving betazoid crewman. Signs show that the crewmembers all killed each other, but there’s no clue what caused the violence.

Troi has a nightmare of flying through green clouds as a voice talks about moons.

Pretty soon, the Enterprise crew are starting getting angry with each other, and the ship starts drifting. People start having nightmares. Data gets put in charge by Picard since he’s the only one not affected. And it’s up to Troi to use her slightly different REM sleep pattern to send a message to another ship trapped in the rift, and work together to free them.

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