Author Topic: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)  (Read 49104 times)

daf

  • Hello Faithful Reader!
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1230 on: October 11, 2021, 08:41:29 PM »
088 | “First Contact



Loving The Alien

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed
• Watch That Man
• Hallo Spaceboy
• Let Me Sleep Beside You
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Scary Ministers (And Four-eyed Creeps)
• Strangers When We Meet
• The Malcorian Who Sold The World
• Jean, I'm Only Dying
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

Lemming

  • stevie nicks books about kleptomania
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1231 on: October 13, 2021, 10:12:34 PM »
S04E16 - Galaxy's Child

Dr Leah Brahms visits the Enterprise as it discovers a new lifeform.

- Geordi's great work has been recognised by Shitfleet, and  they're sending Leah Brahms to check out his famous engine modifications. Geordi's extremely excited because he made a hologram of her that one time.

- Guinan swoops down upon Geordi, who explains the story of the Leah Brahms hologram. Guinan correctly identifies the full horror of the situation and tells Geordi to watch himself, as he ignores her and gaily skips off to the transporter room to meet Brahms.

- Brahms is pissed because the engine modifications are whack, and Geordi's mad because his modifications are FIELD TESTED.

- If you recognise the actor playing the pilot here, you win like five 90s TV sci-fi fan points:


It's Lanei Chapman, who played Damphousse in Space: Above and Beyond!

- Geordi keeps tipping his hand and revealing details of the Brahms Hologram Nightmare Hell Incident to the real Brahms. He quickly tries to make things less creepy and awkward by inviting her to his quarters out of fucking nowhere.

- There's a lifeform and it's Like Nothing We've Ever Seen Before, so we decide to shoot a probe at it. Picard heavily romanticises the Shitty Space Thing and wishes he himself was a Shitty Space Thing so he could fly around without the limitations of a ship (went really well for him in Lonely Among Us).

- RED ALERT! Everythings gone completely to fuck over the course of five seconds and the Shitty Space Thing has hit the ship with a dampening field that's going to kill everyone in about a minute. The Enterprise is forced to fire on it, which kills it. RIP. Picard sits and wallows in the despair of being the worst captain ever to serve in Starfleet. He gives Riker the bridge so that he can skulk off to cry in the ready room, but then Data figures out that the Shitty Space Thing was pregnant.

- Meanwhile, Geordi's dressed in his Twatty Jumper and is preparing "cozy" lighting and soft fucking jazz to ensnare Brahms in the Dinner from Hell. Brahms shows up and Geordi makes an arsehole of himself for a bit. Brahms bails the fuck out.

- While Picard holds a meeting to discuss how to save the Shitty Space Thing's baby, which is now stuck inside the corpse of the parent, Geordi and Brahms put on some TOS-looking jumpsuits to go crawling around in Jeffries Tubes. She picks this opportunity to ask Geordi what the hell is wrong with him. Geordi claims to simply be a deranged super-fan who's studied Brahm's service record. Geordi says he'd like to be GOOD FRIENDS with Brahms, and she tells him she's married, which means she cannot have any GOOD FRIENDS.

- The crew phaser the shit out of the Shitty Space Thing's corpse, which allows the baby to flop out, whereupon it soon attaches to the Enterprise hull. Troi reckons that the baby thinks the Enterprise is its mother.

- Geordi goes to Ten Forward to complain that Leah Brahms is nothing like the weird version of her he has in his head. Guinan tells him to grow up.

- The baby is sucking all the Enterprise's power away. For some reason, Brahms is in the emergency "what the fuck do we do about this shit" briefing. Brahms wanders off to the holodeck and accesses the Brahms program from Booby Trap, and sees the freaky Brahms holoogram.

- Brahms says this is the shittiest thing ever. Geordi stands there stammering and trying to explain himself, and then decides to chance tack by yelling at Brahms. "I'm guilty, but not of what you think. Of something much worse. I'm guilty of reaching out to you, of hoping we could connect. I'm guilty of a terrible crime, Doctor - I offered you friendship." Hahaha no fucking way. Brahms found the freaky hologram, and Geordi's yelling at her. Something about this feels arse-backwards.

- The Enterprise has found the destination that the Shitty Space Thing was bound for, and it's the perfect environment for the Shitty Space Baby. It flies away to join other Shitty Space Things.

- Brahms and Geordi are now Best Friends. Brahms apologises to Geordi (???) and they have a good laugh about the shitty Brahms hologram.

Uhhh. You can see the writer's intention here, I think - someone realised that the events of Booby Trap made Geordi look like something of a creepy bastard, a fact which Booby Trap itself was seemingly unaware of, and wanted to address it rather than just leave it lingering there. The problem is that this doesn't really make it any better. The scene where Brahms finds the Brahms hologram is just horrible with no catharsis at all - she immediately assumes the absolute worse (which, thankfully, isn't true), but Geordi immediately flies into some absolutely risible bullshit about how "SORRY FOR BEING NICE I WAS JUST TRYING TO BE YOUR FRIEND, YOU FUCKER" and the entire experience is just grim.

The best I can say is that I sort of like the idea of going back and addressing something which stood out as really unpleasant, but the execution is so bad that they just somehow make the original problem worse. They try to paper over everything by having Brahms and Geordi laugh about the whole hilarious chain of events at the end, but I don't know if it feels like the episode really did the actual work to earn that ending.

Geordi doesn't really apologise for the Brahms hologram in the way he should, either. In fact, the episode entirely takes his side, which it really shouldn't do if the goal was to drag Booby Trap into the light and properly come to terms with it. Brahms overreacts and (not unreasonably, given the absolute fucking state of the hologram) leaps to the worst conclusion that we know isn't true, and that serves to let Geordi of the hook for what he did actually do.

Other than that we've got the space baby plot, which is so standard and by-the-numbers that you can literally just imagine the events in your head and it's basically the same as watching it. 3/10


mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1232 on: October 13, 2021, 10:31:31 PM »
- If you recognise the actor playing the pilot here, you win like five 90s TV sci-fi fan points:


It's Lanei Chapman, who played Damphousse in Space: Above and Beyond!

The one that always blows my mind a bit is April Grace, who played transporter chief Hubbell, having a relatively significant part in Magnolia.

daf

  • Hello Faithful Reader!
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1233 on: October 13, 2021, 11:51:16 PM »
089 | “Galaxy's Child



Prickly Pair

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Pregnant Space-Bloater Harpwned
• Geordi's Dinner-Date Disaster
• Brahms Brush-off : Back-off Casanova!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• 3D Chess #6 : Geordi vs. Guinan's Reality-Check, mate!
• Geordi's Busted Holo-wank programme
• Sour the Sucking Space-Milk
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Living proof of everything wrong with the world
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1234 on: October 14, 2021, 12:45:41 AM »
Yeah, the Geordi-Leah thing doesn't sit right with me either and is the reason I dislike this episode.

Firstly I never thought the whole "Geordi is bad with women" thing was well-established. That aside, it could've worked as a standard "never meet your heroes"/"fantasy colliding with reality" story without Leah ever finding out about the Leah hologram. The biggest sticking point for me is Geordi's rant and how it's framed. "OH I'M GUILTY OF OFFERING YOU FRIENDSHIP". Well, no, Geordi, you didn't just do that, did you? You came on way too strong by inviting her to a candlelight dinner in your quarters. You behaved like a stalker, "oh you changed your hair" "I know about this hobby you're passionate about" "I coincidentally know how to make your favourite food really well". And then he storms out and she looks down and pensive, and later she's coming to him all "oh I have an idea if you're interested" like she's the one who did something wrong.

Now I know, I know - Deanna forgave Barclay for the Goddess of Empathy (she's friendly to him outside of just being professional) and Geordi himself more or less laughed off his own holographic portrayal. So obviously there isn't a universal cultural taboo around creating holograms of real people. But Leah's so angry and she has reason to be, doesn't she? We the audience know Geordi isn't a sex-case, but she doesn't. And their joking conversation at the end doesn't quite undo that, even though Geordi admits he should've told her about holo-Leah sooner. It dates the episode to the early 90s for me, with a character who behaves like a pushy stalker framed as an over-eager socially inept but ultimately goodhearted guy. And hey, the girl was kind of a huge bitch to our sweet boy so fault on both sides, amirite.

Blumf

  • Not long now
    • IGNORE ME!!!
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1235 on: October 14, 2021, 01:29:29 AM »
Been looking forward to the take down on this episode. I really do like it that they tried to address the Booby Trap issue. Unfortunately, it's a swing and a miss. Would like to see a redo on this, with a bit more thought put into it. Looking at the Memory Alpha Notes, it was predominantly a male created script, with a little bit of uncredited help from a woman writer. I wonder if giving her, or anyone else, the whole thing would have helped.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Living proof of everything wrong with the world
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1236 on: October 14, 2021, 01:35:30 AM »
As for the rest of the episode, I like that Picard is devastated that they killed the mother. He can't even stay on the bridge.

Also, randomly, any time Worf is in the background or in a scene but not the focus of it, watch his reaction faces. Not just in this episode, any episode.

Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1237 on: October 14, 2021, 08:23:24 AM »
Another example of Worf being ordered to fire a weak shot to deter an inferior aggressor, so naturally he destroys it.

Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1238 on: October 14, 2021, 08:57:34 AM »
A lovely(?) postscript to this episode is in the show's finale, wherein it's implied that future Geordi and Leah Brahms are married. Maybe her husband was a hologram too.

MojoJojo

  • Member
  • **
  • Between a cow college and a MetaLab.
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1239 on: October 14, 2021, 10:35:25 AM »
Been looking forward to the take down on this episode. I really do like it that they tried to address the Booby Trap issue. Unfortunately, it's a swing and a miss. Would like to see a redo on this, with a bit more thought put into it. Looking at the Memory Alpha Notes, it was predominantly a male created script, with a little bit of uncredited help from a woman writer. I wonder if giving her, or anyone else, the whole thing would have helped.

Maybe. It feels a bit like the Measure of a Man, in that the structure and shape of it is right, but if you actually listen to what people are saying it doesn't make any sense.

Not really about this episode, but I've had thing working around in my head for a while. So TNG predicted tablets, but didn't predict the internet and we often see people passing tablets around. While reading about all the depressing anti-vax, incel, Trump stuff on the internet, I've developed this head canon that some time in the trek universe they realised the internet was a terrible idea and kicked it into the bin.

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1240 on: October 14, 2021, 05:40:39 PM »
Now wondering if Star Trek Minus Context is following this thread.

https://twitter.com/nocontexttrek/status/1448679797622722561

Lemming

  • stevie nicks books about kleptomania
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1241 on: October 14, 2021, 06:55:48 PM »
Another example of Worf being ordered to fire a weak shot to deter an inferior aggressor, so naturally he destroys it.

Also another example of:
WORF: Recommend we raise shields.
PICARD: No.
(ship begins to be ripped apart by a Fuck Wave)
PICARD: Raise shields!
WORF: (glare)

Maybe. It feels a bit like the Measure of a Man, in that the structure and shape of it is right, but if you actually listen to what people are saying it doesn't make any sense.

Not really about this episode, but I've had thing working around in my head for a while. So TNG predicted tablets, but didn't predict the internet and we often see people passing tablets around. While reading about all the depressing anti-vax, incel, Trump stuff on the internet, I've developed this head canon that some time in the trek universe they realised the internet was a terrible idea and kicked it into the bin.

Data accessed the KLINGON CENTRAL INFORMATION NET or something a few episodes ago, so the Klingons at least seem to have an internet (which is probably why they're like they are).

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Living proof of everything wrong with the world
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1242 on: October 14, 2021, 11:38:06 PM »
Data accessed the KLINGON CENTRAL INFORMATION NET or something a few episodes ago, so the Klingons at least seem to have an internet (which is probably why they're like they are).
The Children of Tama have the Internet, since they speak entirely in memes, but I'll talk more about that when we get to Darmok.

Endicott

  • I've done no research
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1243 on: October 15, 2021, 05:18:58 PM »
Not really about this episode, but I've had thing working around in my head for a while. So TNG predicted tablets, but didn't predict the internet and we often see people passing tablets around. While reading about all the depressing anti-vax, incel, Trump stuff on the internet, I've developed this head canon that some time in the trek universe they realised the internet was a terrible idea and kicked it into the bin.

They could have an internet, but it would lack corporations hosting social network platforms using algorithms to manipulate people so that the corporations can make money.

Lemming

  • stevie nicks books about kleptomania
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1244 on: October 15, 2021, 10:04:46 PM »
S04E17 - Night Terrors

After finding a derelict Starfleet vessel with the crew dead, the Enterprise crew begin to hallucinate.

- Oh hey, Damphousse is still the pilot. I don't remember how much she's in it, although I do remember she gets taken by the aliens in "Schisms".

- Ship floating in space, Troi says there's something well off about it. Because this is an ultra-dangerous away mission, only the most competent commander can lead the... anyway, it's Riker.

- Riker discovers the captain dead with a knife stuck in her chest. The corpses of the rest of the bridge crew are scattered aboot the place, with only one survivor - a Betazoid hiding in a closet who's too traumatised to speak.

- Beverly has had a look around and discovered that most of the crew were killed by each other in combat. Troi tries to get through to Betazoid guy on a telepathic level, but he's all fucked up and can only talk vaguely about VOICES.

- Picard and Bev check out the last captain's log entry, which shows the cap being absolutely off her rocker. Meanwhile, Troi has a strange dream in which she's walking through an unconvincing greenscreen and then starts flying towards a light that begins to speak to her.

- By the way, look at Troi's pyjamas! It's like a gala dress! And her going-to-bed hair is somehow more elaborate than her usual hairstyle! 24th century culture.


- One of Geordi's engineers becomes irritable and frightened, and Keiko relates a weird experience of people being short with her all day. O'Brien, totally unaffected by the phenomenon and acting like his normal self, goes on a deranged rant at her and accuses her of cheating on him.

- O'Brien heads to Ten Forward to calm down by getting drunk. He meets his pal who says there's all kinds of weird ghostly and spooky things happening on the ship.

- Picard is tormented by the ready room door making funny noises. Troi and Bev are concerned that the force that caused the Brittain's crew to kill each other is now affecting the Enterprise crew. Presumably the nursery is just an absolute scene of carnage right now.

- Damphousse (she's actually called Rager but in this thread will be constantly called Damphousse) is all spaced out and can't remember how to fly the ship. Doesn't matter because the engines have died anyway and now the Enterprise is stranded just like the Brittain.

- Ten days later, everyone's well stressed. Data has discovered that the Enterprise is stuck in a Tyken's Rift. The solution is to cause a massive energy burst to free your ship, including the chemical Yurium. Increasingly rare Dirty Pair reference!

- Funniest scene in all of TNG: Picard gets in the turbolift and the roof moves down to crush him to death. Just a hallucination, and now he looks like a dipshit in front of the whole bridge. "NOO! NOOOOOO!"

- Bev decides it's a good idea to walk around the morgue while hallucinating OH GOD THE BODIES ARE ALL SAT UP

- Troi reckons the mental disturbances are to do with sleep. Bev looks into it and finds that the crew can't enter REM sleep, and can no longer dream. This causes mental deterioration and makes dreams appear while awake or some shit. The only person who can still dream is Troi, who keeps having the same dream of flying through hilarious-looking greenscreen clouds towards lights that talk about moons. These dreams suck and will cause her to end up like the PTSD Betazoid from the Brittain.

- Worf shits himself and goes to his quarters to commit suicide, because he senses that SOMETHING is lurking out in space waiting to kill them and he's not strong enough to fight it. Troi rushes in and tells him not to jab the Klingon Special Ceremony Knife through his neck.

- Troi's figured it out: everyone's getting fucked over by aliens who are trapped in the other side of the rift, who communicate through dreams. Humans (and Vulcans and Klingons and etc, I guess) aren't equipped to deal with this form of communication, and the result is dreamless insanity. Troi is the only one who can receive the dreams the aliens are sending, vague as they are. Based on her knowledge of psychotherapy, she thinks she can recite a short message to the aliens next time she dreams.

- Data and Troi go looking through the BIG COMPUTER's list of elements. Troi sees the atomic structure of hydrogen and recognises it as the lights in the dream, represented as one moon (electron) circling another (proton). They realise that the aliens are indicating hydrogen in order to produce an explosion to free both ships from the rift, but because these aliens are really really shit at talking, it's not clear whether or not they're saying they have hydrogen or need hydrogen. Troi decides they're probably asking for hydrogen.

- While Troi gets ready to enter DREAM MODE, a bunch of shit kicks off in Ten Forward. Guinan fires her mega-laser-plasma-rifle into the roof to get everyone to stop fucking about. Gun ownership laws in the 24th century!

- Data fires a hydrogen stream out into the rift while Troi flies into the greenscreen to talk to the aliens. She's successful and the aliens detonate the hydrogen, causing an explosion with sufficient force to blast themselves and the Enterprise out of the rift.

- I really like that weird blue thing that flies past the Enterprise as it leaves the rift. Is it the Brittain exploding, or is it the ultra-weird alien ship?

- With the ship freed and everyone's ability to dream restored, Data takes command of the ship while Picard, who is FUCKED, goes to sleep.

This is great, it's got the old atmosphere of slowly-growing dread that the show sort of lost after season two. What makes it especially good is how mundane the situation is when you finally understand it - there's all kinds of crazy possible explanations for why the Brittain crew killed each other and why the Enterprise crew is now going insane, but in the end it turns out to just be a classic run-of-the-mill "oops our minds aren't compatible with the people trying to communicate with us" scenario.

I wonder how the whole thing went from the aliens' perspective. Shit, we're stuck in a rift! Oh, great, there's another ship, we can ask them for help. Hmm, they're not responding. Let's keep trying. What the fuck, they all killed each other. Damn, now what are we going to- oh, hey, another ship, let's ask them for help. Hmm, they're not responding. Well, let's keep doing the same thing over and over again, it's bound to work eventually. Yep, there we go, hydrogen stream, that's us vindicated.

8/10


Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

  • Living proof of everything wrong with the world
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1245 on: October 15, 2021, 10:27:45 PM »
"First Officer Brink and his men were behind it. They did something to the engines. They don't work any more. Had to eliminate Brink. The ship is out of... out of... We're running out! Too dangerous! Out of Brink... and his men!"

I love this episode. The bodies all sitting up, oh god pure horror. If there's a weak point at all it's how the crew attempt to act sleep deprived by uhm-ing and uhh-ing constantly. I don't mind the implication that all other species aboard the Enterprise enter REM sleep at the same frequency(?) since presumably that's got to do with Betazoid telepathic/empathic ability. Or maybe the attempt at telepathy is blocking out all other frequencies.

Also I think it's hilarious that the fight in Ten Forward starts with them all randomly punching each other.

daf

  • Hello Faithful Reader!
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1246 on: October 18, 2021, 08:46:53 PM »
090 | “Night Terrors



Grave Brittain

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Troi's Green Dream Cloud
• The Doorbell Sketch
• Riker's Electric Blue Jimmy-Jams
AARGH!! Snake-foot Attack!!
• Worf's Knife-mare
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Other Bits :
• Brattain? (computer readout) or Brittain? (Ship's Hull)
• O'Brien Jealous Bell-end
• Tyken's Space-Quicksand
• Picard's Turbo-lift Ceiling-Squish
• Guinan's Gold Glitter-Gun
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

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(Sorry about the delay - I meant to post this on Saturday, but got sidetracked, and then forgot all about it!)

Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1247 on: October 19, 2021, 09:53:16 AM »
For all that people wax lyrical about Star Trek as an optimistic, utopian franchise that reflects real world issues etc, for me it's at its best when it's just a spooky mystery show in space. A futuristic Twilight Zone. This sort of episode is exactly what I like best.

Lemming

  • stevie nicks books about kleptomania
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1248 on: October 19, 2021, 03:13:33 PM »
Speaking of which, something I'm noticing on the rewatch is that people tend to overstate the optimistic and idealistic aspects of Star Trek, or at least TNG. It's a world where bigotry and social divisions are (supposedly) over and where poverty/capitalism has ended under ambiguous circumstances, but that almost never comes up, especially after the first two seasons. And there's a lot of horrific and violent things happening all over the place, albeit usually depicted in a very sanitised way.

I suppose most of the utopian element comes from the fact that it's a world where 99% of conflicts can successfully be solved with dialogue and cooperation, and that the show and its characters frequently reject violence, which is probably the reason Discovery and Picard can tend to feel jarring (Romulan samurai cutting people's heads off while saying his catchphrase).

Wonderful Butternut

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Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1249 on: October 19, 2021, 03:36:15 PM »
A lot of the negativity and conflict is from external sources, often aliens of the day, in TNG.[1] Especially early on as Rodders wanted to show humans now effectively had utopian society. Of course there is an argument that such a utopian society may be unrealistic.

Compare that to Picard where Starfleet are dicks, Raffi is a drug addicted conspiracy theorist, Rios is a haunted edgelord alcoholic and Seven, although still actively working to do the right things by being a Fenris Ranger, is cynical and world-weary. I think there's a balance point somewhere in between all that and utopia. Late TNG and DS9 generally did a good job finding that spot, imo.
 1. Although occasionally it comes from a nutty Admiral.

Lemming

  • stevie nicks books about kleptomania
Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1250 on: October 20, 2021, 11:39:36 PM »
S04E18 - Identity Crisis

Members of an away team Geordi participated in years ago aboard the USS Victory begin to lose their minds and transform into non-human creatures.

- Turns out Starfleet actually record away missions after all, so there's a recording of Geordi prancing about the place with his old mates. Love how when they tell the computer to freeze, it cuts to the briefing room and the screen displays the image of several frames before the freeze command was given. Episode ruined.

- We're looking for missing people, Brevelle and Mendez. Brevelle became ill and then fled a starbase (another back-of-the-net goal for Shitfleet security) and Mendez deserted her ship. We're also looking for Hickman - he's a FAMILY MAN, Geordi says, and vanishing into the cosmos is out of character.

- Hickman has stolen a shuttlecraft (Starfleet security triumph counter: 2) and the Enterprise races to intercept. Meanwhile, Geordi and Leijten, another old Victory crewmate, catch up.

- According to Memory Alpha's trivia section, the Ensign piloting the ship is portrayed by Miss Universe 1990! Prestigious.

- Hickman self-destructs his shuttle by flying it into a planet and burning up in the atmosphere or something. The Enterprise's top officer, Riker, assembles an away team to go down to the planet and get infected with whatever's killed the Victory away team investigate. There's a bunch of weird shit on the surface, footprints but no life signs and no visual sign of any life.

- Leijten freaks out and goes all weird and has to be taken to sickbay. She's gone all fucky and become hyperactive and her hands are shaking, meaning IT HAS BEGUN and whatever happened to the others is happening to her.

- Data races to discover what's happening. Bev asks him if he's worried about Geordi. "I am an android. It is not possible for me to feel anxiety... However, I am... strongly motivated to solve this mystery." More slightly awkward writing for Data IMO, I get what they were going for but again he ends up essentially sounding like a Vulcan.

- Leijten feels an overwhelming need to get off the ship, just as the other disappeared Victory crew did. She's also got weird bright blue varicose veins all over her back and her fingers are fused together. This is considered sickbay-worthy.

- Pretty soon her eyes start glowing too. She says that "it's inside of me" and that "I can't fight it". Bev gives Geordi the good news that this is gonna happen to him next.

- Geordi replicates the away team footage on the holodeck, and then notices his hand is shaking. On the holodeck, actors fail to effectively act being paused, shaking around all over the place. Geordi adjusts the lighting until a humanoid shadow is revealed crouched next to the away team, but it doesn't correspond to any of them. The computer estimates that there was something just in front of the away team.

- While Geordi gets the weird veins, Leijten is way fucked and has turned into a weird zombie thing. Bev has discovered that this is caused by a parasite which hijacks the host's nervous system and alters their DNA to match its own.

- Geordi is NO LONGER ABOARD THE ENTERPRISE, because he's mutated into a weird bastard thing. His last known location was the holodeck, so Worf and Riker rush there to investigate. They walk around the spooky recreation of the away team's landing site in search of Geordi, instead of just saying "computer end program".

- But Geordi isn't on the holodeck anymore - he's turned invisible and reached the transporter room, where he deploys The Shove against the transporter chief, a shove powerful enough to knock a person out. He beams down to the planet.

- Leijten is, amazingly, fine now, because her "regenerative systems" have returned her to human status after the parasite was removed. She tells Bev that it's not a parasite, it's an alien method of reproduction. She insists that an away team will be unable to locate Geordi, and only she can do it. She rushes to the surface, but does her hair up first.

- UV light reveals creepy alien things made of veins, one of whom is Geordi. Leijten calls out to him and is successful in reaching the small part of his mind left that's still him. She's able to convince him to approach the away team and be beamed to sickbay, where he can be saved.

- Geordi's fine, no worries, human "regenerative systems" are unstoppable. What about Mendez and Brevelle? Leijten reckons they're probably fucked, so Picard says we should fly away immediately. They do at least leave a beacon to warn anyone else who encounters the planet.

Generally a fan of the spooky "ooooh fuck weird space shit" episodes, but not so much this one. It's not that interesting, it's a pretty standard Brannon Braga plot - something bad has happened and now everyone's getting a dose of body horror.

The tone is very effectively creepy and unpleasant, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing in this case, or at least not to my personal taste. It's similar to Voyager's "Threshold" in terms of essentially just making you watch people suffer painful and horrific things happening to them for 45 minutes with no real catharsis or any reward at the end, but without Threshold's vaguely interesting concept of Warp 10 being so fast that it turns you into a big lizard.

The one scene I really like is Geordi's holodeck reconstruction, which is extremely effective and properly unnerving.

You can probably tell from the way I wrote it, but the ending winds me up as well. Picard asks Leijten if there's any hope for the others, she says none, and he's like "well, good enough for me". Come on, can't we at least inform Starfleet and have some doctors and scientist come over to investigate and work on a cure? It feels so awkward to just say "nah they're fucked, Leijten says so, let's never come back", especially after the miraculous recoveries of Geordi and Leijten.

I'm not exactly sure what it is I don't like about this episode, but there's something about it. The most I can say beyond that is that I don't think it's very entertaining, it's just the usual methodical "things are getting worse and worse until the miracle cure arrives" stuff that Braga has written quite a bit of for Star Trek. I want to give it 3/10 but I don't think I could explain why beyond just saying that I don't like the episode, which is pretty naff if I'm meant to be reviewing these, but I don't know what else to say.


daf

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Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1251 on: October 21, 2021, 08:41:48 AM »
091 | “Identity Crisis



Blue-Veined Monster

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Susie-Anne with the Shaky Hands
• The Paul Bogroll Sketch
• The Great Shadow Mystery
• Grey Holo-blob
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Beepy Video Clock
• Brevelle Ghoster
• Palm Torches #6
• The Invisible Man Sketch
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

Blumf

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Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1252 on: October 21, 2021, 09:56:53 AM »
Huh, I quiet like this one, not a stone cold classic but a nice body-horror + atmosphere episode. Sure the ending is rather pat, and how do those creatures reproduce when there aren't visiting aliens? Didn't seem to be any other bipeds, or any other suitable lifeform, about. Are they all stealth? But I love the holodeck recreation, wouldn't mind chilling out there, and it is an interesting alien lifecycle concept. Somewhere in 5 to 7/10 range I'd say.

Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1253 on: October 21, 2021, 10:18:24 AM »
Yeah, the old 'alien parasite taking over human body' trope is well-used but I didn't mind it here. Couple of moments where you can see Geordi is actually shitting it, though I agree the ending feels a bit rushed, like the writer(s) got a bit carried away and realised they only had two minutes to wrap it all up.

mothman

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Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1254 on: October 21, 2021, 05:05:50 PM »
I’ve always liked this one for the holodeck recreation scenes. It’s something they’ve rarely done well - the other two I can think of are both TNG and both involve Riker, so I can imagine what Lemming would think of that!

Lemming

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Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1255 on: October 21, 2021, 06:42:16 PM »
• Brevelle Ghoster

Been laughing at this on and off for about five minutes, excellent.

I’ve always liked this one for the holodeck recreation scenes. It’s something they’ve rarely done well - the other two I can think of are both TNG and both involve Riker, so I can imagine what Lemming would think of that!

I remember the one from Schisms, which is really good and has a similar vibe of escalating creepiness to the Geordi one. Though I remember finding it very funny that Troi more or less says "computer, spawn table. No, a slightly different table. No, an even more different table with an extra bit on it," and somehow ends up with an exact replica of the alien surgical bed.

Re: Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)
« Reply #1256 on: October 21, 2021, 08:46:23 PM »
Been laughing at this on and off for about five minutes, excellent.

I remember the one from Schisms, which is really good and has a similar vibe of escalating creepiness to the Geordi one. Though I remember finding it very funny that Troi more or less says "computer, spawn table. No, a slightly different table. No, an even more different table with an extra bit on it," and somehow ends up with an exact replica of the alien surgical bed.

Plot twist: it was actually the ship's computer abducting them.

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