Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Cage

TOS Original Pilot
Air Date: October 4th, 1988


Captain Christopher Pike, is having doubts about being a star ship captain and is thinking of settling down. As he is thinking of this the Enterprise receives evidence that a ship that has been missing for decades may have crashed onto the planet Talos IV. When they get there, they find the survivors but it all turns out to be an illusion. The people of Talos IV live deep underground and have the ability to make you see anything.

We learn that their planet surface was destroyed during war thousands of years ago and now that the planet is starting to recover they are looking to repopulate their planet. There was one Survivor, a woman named Vina. But Pike is able to eventually convince the Talosians that human's don't like being captive and are willing to die to prevent it. The Talosians morals didn't allow this (though they were fine with torture) and let Pike. Vina decides to stay as she is terrible disfigured from the crash and it is the illusion that makes her appear normal. The Talosians create an illusion of Pike so she can be happy.


This episode was the first Star Trek episode ever made. It was shown to executives at NBC, but they didn't like the characters and asked for a new pilot with a new captain. This episode was then buried and only shown on occasion until it was released in 1986 on VHS. Since this wasn't an air date and it was limited, I decided to watch it when I got to episodes from 1988.

In the first season of The Original Series, Roddenberry was unable to keep up with the demand the network put on him and the quality of the episodes was slipping because of this. In order to save some time, he re-cut this episode and created the only two part episode of The Original Series called The Menagerie. I was expecting that this episode would have contained many more scenes, but other then a few scenes at the end where Pike returns to the Enterprise, the entire episode was contained in The Menagirie.

Week Thirteen

The past few weeks has had very little TV watching time and I don't see it getting any better until the middle of the month. I was able to watch 10 episodes this week finishing Season One of The Next Generation.

The last half of the season was actually pretty good. Home Soil is the episode where Human's were called "Ugly giant bags of mostly water". Heart of Glory let us take a real look at the Klingons as we know them in TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Skin of Evil is the episode where Tasha Yar is killed. While I remember the episode being boring, this viewing it actually was more emotional then I viewed it with some really good quotes. My favorite episode of the season is Conspiracy which leaves a cliffhanger ending that will never be resolved.

Starting this week, I plan on streaming on Twitch a star trek game every Saturday starting at 10am PST. Everyone is welcome to watch and chat with me as I play. I will take on the 25th Anniversary adventure game again with the goal of finishing it and maybe it's sequel this month. I hope to have a few surprises during the stream.

TNG S1E18: Home Soil
TNG S1E19: Coming of Age
TNG S1E20: Heart of Glory
TNG S1E22: Symbiosis
TNG S1E23: Skin of Evil
TNG S1E25: Conspiracy
TNG S1E26: The Neutral Zone

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Neutral Zone

TNG Season 1 Episode 26
Air Date: May 16th, 1988


While waiting for Captain Picard to return to the Enterprise from a Starfleet captains conference, the Enterprise encounters a satellite or ship of some kind. it resembles a typical satellite used today with solar cells. Data and Worf beam aboard and find cryogenics tubes with three people still in good condition. Data decides to bring them to the Enterprise where they are revived by Doctor Crusher. They all had major issues that eventually caused their death, such as a aneurysm. But with medical technology they are all cured in the 24th century.

When Captain Picard returns he immediately calls for the Enterprise to head to the neutral zone. When they arrive they find all the listening outposts and colony along the neutral zone missing. It appears as if something or someone scooped them up. They suspect the Romulans whom they have not had contact with for decades, but when a Romulan war bird shows up saying the same thing happened on their side, it gives the Federation and Romulan empire some comon ground. The Captain of the Romulan ship finishes by saying "We're back"


I remember this episode well, but I didn't realize it was a season finale. To me it is a good setup for a finale but felt a bit lacking. Though I always thought that it was the Borg that was scooping up the colony and outposts. Doing some research shows that this was the plan but a writers strike during season 2 changed the plan and it isn't until Q sends them to the Delta quadrant that they find out about the Borg.

The story of the three people out of time due to cryogenics was interesting but didn't feel like it added to the plot. It could have been it's own episode with more story involving these characters.


"They were frozen. I thawed them." - Doctor Crusher

"This is the worst run ship I have ever been on. You should take some lessons from the QE2. Now, that's an efficient operation!" - Offenhouse
"Data, identify: what is a QE2?" - Picard
"It was a passenger liner, which mostly traveled Earth's Atlantic Ocean during the late 20th and early 21st centuries." - Data
"He's comparing the Enterprise to a cruise ship?" - Picard

"A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We've eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We've grown out of our infancy." - Picard

"This is the 24th century. Material needs no longer exist." - Picard
"Then what's the challenge?" - Offenhouse
"The challenge, Mr. Offenhouse, is to improve yourself. To enrich yourself. Enjoy it." - Picard

"Captain Picard, because your actions are those of a thoughtful man, I will tell you this. Matters more urgent caused our absence... now witness the result. Outposts destroyed. Expansion of the Federation everywhere. Yes, we have indeed been negligent, but no longer." - Tebok
"Commander, we've made some progress. Let us not ruin it with unnecessary posturing." - Picard
"Your presence is not wanted. Do you understand my meaning, Captain? We are back!" - Tebok

The Next Generation: Season One

Finally got to The Next Generation, my favorite Star Trek series. Going into this year I received many comments about how TNGs first few seasons are harder to watch and it really only gets good by the middle of season three. I have never watched TNG in order. I watched from season 4 through 7 in order as it aired, but every other viewing was in syndication. I was pleasantly surprised when some of my favorite episodes were in season one. There were some episodes that just didn't age well (if they were even considered decent when they aired) but the adcting on average was pretty good and there were some good introductory stories.

This season introduced a lot of things that are common themes throughout all series that followed. They introduce what Klingon culture is like. The Motion Picture and Search for Spock re-introduce the Klingons with their new look but we don't really get into their history or what makes them tick until TNG. The Ferengi are a new alien we see that become a reoccurring species in TNG and a regular in DS9.

This season also introduces the holodeck and what they are capable of. In The Animated Series they show a holodeck but it is a simple with environment only as is the one we see in Star Trek: Enterprise. TNG introduces the idea that characters can be introduced that act and feel like real people. There was no time travel in this episode, which is a good thing. I think every season of TNG going forward does have at least one and Voyager is horrible for it.


Worf starts as a minor role, a backup bridge officer who can't control his anger. He doesn't really have a specific job which is even mentioned in one of the episodes. It isn't until Lt. Yar's death that defines his purpose on the show. In this season he wears a gold baldric that looks exactly like the one we see in The Original Series episode Errand of Mercy which gets replaced in season two.

Wesley Crusher

Wesley is the annoying character that isn't well acted that people didn't like about TNG, the Jar-Jar Binks of Star Trek. And this was his worst season. As he grew as an actor and got older I found his character to be more likable (until his last episode where he acted like a jerk the whole time). Thankfully he only had a minor to non-existing part in most of this season.

Deanna Troi

A counselor as a bridge officer is something new to Star Trek. I don't even know if it is normal in the Federation or something that Picard explicitly was looking for. Voyager for instance didn't have a counselor on the bridge that I know of, even before being flung into the Delta Quadrant. Her telepathic abilities let her help the crew deal with unknown or hostile beings. They were smart to keep her from being too powerful by making her half human so she can only feel emotions and not read actual thoughts like her mother.

Gordi La Forge

In season one he was assigned as a helmsman. The choice to not have a fixed chief engineer was odd, and I does feel weird watching Gordi not play his part. He does have episodes where he shows his technical aptitude though which makes his lead into chief engineer believable. His friendship with Data starts right in season one. There is even an episode where Data is learning to paint creatively and Gordi is helping him.

Tasha Yar

Tasha's run in Star Trek was a short one. While her actor will be back a few more times to play an alternate Tasha and her half Romulan daughter, her actual character was cut short in the episode Skin of Evil. I was never a real fan of her character and thought Worf was a great replacement, but the episode where she died was actually a really good episode with a very emotional ending.

Doctor Crusher

The romance between Doctor Crusher and Captain Picard started right at the second episode. It felt odd given that Picard was the one that gave the order that got her husband killed. The pretext that goes on in the whole season that really doesn't go anywhere until the movies is at times uncomfortable. There were a few episodes where her medical abilities were the main plot, but I found her better seasons are yet to come.

Lt. Commander Data

My favorite character. Data's child like attitude, while being really intelligent and his quest to be more human. It is a perfect combination. In season one I felt that Brent Spiner was still learning his part and there were times where you could see emotion spill out of his character. But after the first few episodes he starts nailing the part.


Beardless, brash, he is always a main character that tries to be like Kirk but generally forgettable. I felt that in most episodes even though he was leading the away team, Picard still felt like the lead character.


Even from the first episode it is obvious that Patrick Stewart is an accomplished actor. Everyone else is trying to get their footing and you could believe that he was on the bridge for three seasons before this. His character is very different from Kirk's. After just one season I can definitely say I prefer Picard.

Red Shirts

TNG did a flip, making gold shirts for security and engineering and converting command shirts to red. This means I should expect to see less red shirts die. Interestingly enough this is true. The count is Red 1, Blue 0 and Gold 4.


TNG Season 1 Episode 25
Air Date: May 9th, 1988


Continuing the theme from Coming of Age, Picard is contacted by a close personal friend and captain of the USS Horatio. He and two other captains meet Picard in private warning that there is something taking over high levels of command in the Federation. Picard is at first skeptical but asks Data to look into all Starfleet logs over the past six months. Data does find a pattern that indicates some kind of invasion is immanent.

They head to Earth where Picard transports down to investigate while Riker takes a guest, Admiral Quinn on board the Enterprise. Admiral Quinn attacks Riker and when Worf and La Forge show up, beats them too. He showed way more strength then someone of his age should have been able to have. It took three phaser blasts in increasing power settings to take Quinn down.

Doctor Crusher analyzes Quinn and finds a parasite attached to his brain. It breaths through a small opening in the back of the neck. So she puts a prosthetic on Riker and sends him down. Riker is able to fool the rest and stun or kill the infected admirals. They track one of the parasites to Lt. Cmdr. Remmick who was hosting the queen parasite. They kill the parasite and everyone infected gets better.


This is in in my top 10 episodes of TNG. I remember as a teenager feeling true suspense and not knowing who to trust. There is a scene where they are all eating maggots and when Riker shows up he plays with them with a smile on his face and only before putting them in his mouth pulls out his phaser and takes out two of the admirals.

The only part that was disappointing was that we never saw these parasites again. The end of the episode said they sent a beacon out to guide them to Earth. Maybe it takes a long time or the episode did poorly so they never revisited it.

It is unclear if the people on Earth that got hit by phaser blasts actually died. There phasers were set to kill but with the creature in them it might have only stunned the hosts. The only known death was Remmick whoes head explodes and a creatures comes out of his gut. It is probably the most graphics scene I have ever scene in Star Trek.


"Have you ever been for a real moonlight swim?" - Troi
"One can swim in moonlight?" - Data

"Startling. Quite extraordinary, in fact." - Data
"Direction unclear. Please repeat request." - Computer
"That was not a request. I was simply talking to myself! A human idiosyncrasy, triggered by a fascination with a particular set of facts. Or sometimes brought about by senility. Or used as a means of weighing information before reaching a conclusion. Or as a" - Data
"Thank you, sir. I comprehend." - Computer

"Captain, you must set your phaser on kill. Stun has little effect." - Doctor Crusher
"Doctor, one does not beam down to Starfleet Headquarters armed." - Picard

Friday, March 29, 2019

We'll Always Have Paris

TNG Season 1 Episode 24
Air Date: May 2nd, 1988


The Enterprise experiences a moment of Deja Vu, where a few seconds repeat themselves. They trace the disturbance to an asteroid with a research base on it from a scientist that Picard knows, Dr. Manheim. He knows Manheim because he married Picard's ex-girlfriend Jenice who he stood up in Paris before going off to start his Starfleet carries.

Dr. Manheim had created a tear in space time to another dimension which was slowly killing him. Eventually it would cause the two dimensions to combine effectively destroying everything. Data was able to beam to the station and use antimatter to close the gap, though there were three Data's and they had to know which was the right one to insert the antimatter.


While this episode focuses on the past relationship between Picard and Jenice, it actually shows that there is a real attraction between Doctor Crusher and Picard. There is a scene where Crusher is talking to Troi talking about how she can't compete with someone Picard once loved.


"I believe what could be termed as The Manheim Effect is becoming more pronounced." - Data

"Data, I want this to be an away team of one - you. I don't think there's any reason to risk anyone else." - Picard
"It is reasonable, sir. After all, I am a machine, and dispensable." - Data
"In-dispensable is the appropriate word." - Picard

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Skin of Evil

TNG Season 1 Episode 23
Air Date: April 25th, 1988


The Enterprise is waiting to rendezvous with a shuttle returning Counsellor Troi to the Enterprise when they get a distress call from the shuttle. They trace the call to a planet where the shuttle crashed. When they beam down, they find a creature that is a puddle of tar, but it is powerful. When Lt. Yar tries to get around it to see the shuttle the creature kills her. He identifies himself as Armus.

Armus had been left on the planet by his people for an undisclosed amount of time, and he is angry at them and everyone for it. He looks at the crew of the Enterprise as being there to amuse him. When he talks to Troi in the shuttle craft, her counselor skills actually makes him feel the cause of his anger which lowered his ability to prevent transport. At the end the creature is left alone again, forever.


This was the episode where Lieutenant Natasha Yar is killed. It happens quick and at the beginning of the episode which leaves the viewer with the feeling of loss throughout the episode. The good bye recording that Tasha leaves the bridge crew was touching and left me liking the character more then I had in previous memories.


"Lieutenant Worf, you're now Acting Chief of Security." - Picard
"I will do my best, sir." - Worf

"I'm a doctor. I need to treat our injured comrades." - Doctor Crusher
"Say please." - Armus
"Please." - Doctor Crusher
"You asked nicely. I will allow it. Wait, I've changed my mind." - Armus

"They perfected a means of bringing to the surface all that was evil and negative within, erupting, spreading, connecting. In time, it formed a second skin, dank and vile." - Armus

"A great poet once said, all spirits are enslaved that serve things evil." - Picard
"You do not understand. I do not serve things evil. I am evil." - Armus
"Oh, no. You're not." - Picard
"I am a skin of evil, left here by a race of Titans, who believed if they rid themselves of me, they would free the bonds of destructiveness." - Armus

"Hello, my friends. You are here now watching this image of me because I have died. It probably happened while I was on duty, and quickly, which is what I expected. Never forget I died doing exactly what I chose to do. What I want you to know is how much I loved my life, and those of you who shared it with me. You are my family. You all know where I came from and what my life was like before. But Starfleet took that frightened, angry young girl and tempered her. I have been blessed with your friendship and your love. Will Riker, you are the best. You trusted me, you encouraged me, and most of all you made me laugh. Deanna, you are capable of so much love. You taught me without ever having to say a word. I realised I could be feminine without losing anything. Ah, Worf. We are so much alike, you and I. Both warriors, orphans who found ourselves this family. I hope I met death with my eyes wide open. Beverly. Your fierce devotion comes from within. It can't be diminished. From you, I have learned to strive for excellence, no matter what the personal cost. Wesley, I'm sorry I won't be able to see you grow into the exceptional man you'll be. But your kindness and innocence are ageless. Geordi, in those moments I felt the most despair, you took my hand and helped me to see things differently. You taught me to look beyond the moment. My friend Data. You see things with the wonder of a child, and that makes you more human than any of us. Captain Jean-Luc Picard. I wish I could say you've been like a father to me, but I've never had one, so I don't know what it feels like. But if there was someone in this universe I could choose to be like, someone who I would want to make proud of me, it's you. You who have the heart of an explorer and the soul of a poet. So, you'll understand when I say, death is that state in which one exists only in the memory of others. Which is why it is not an end. No goodbyes. Just good memories. Hailing frequencies closed, sir." - Yar
"Au revoir, Natasha." - Picard

"Sir, the purpose of this gathering confuses me." - Data
"Oh? How so?" - Picard
"My thoughts are not for Tasha, but for myself. I keep thinking how empty it will be without her presence. Did I miss the point?" - Data
"No, you didn't, Data. You got it." - Picard


TNG Season 1 Episode 22
Air Date: April 18th, 1988


While watching some interesting solar flare activity, the Enterprise gets a distress call from a freighter whose engines are failing and they are falling into a planet's atmosphere. The Enterprise is unable to save the ship but were able to save 4 of the 6 on board. The reason they couldn't save them all is they sent their cargo over first.

The cargo was a medicine that one planet in the system needed and the other was the only one able to produce. The medicine is said to keep a plague from killing the population. It is very clear at the beginning that the medicine was actually a drug and the people were not infected with a plague, but rather were just addicted to the drug.

Doctor Crusher wanted to provide them with a replacement drug that would let them get over the effects, but Picard would not allow it as it breaks the prime directive. He does though also not provide them with the replacement parts for their remaining freighters which means eventually they will run out and lose their dependency.


The planet that provided the drug knew that it had that effect as they used it when they had the same plague and were able to wean off of it. But they exploited the other planet who were more advanced at the time, using the drug to trade for everything they needed. This is why Doctor Crusher was so insistent that they tell the ones addicted since it was more like exploitation. Picard has to explain to her why it is so important to follow the prime directive.

This episode had two actors that were in The Wrath of Khan. Judson Scott who played one of Khan's men and Merritt Butrick who had played Kirk's son David. He is one of the tragedies that came from the AIDS virus, eventually allowing toxoplasmosis to take his life before his 40th birthday.


"Beverly, the Prime Directive is not just a set of rules. It is a philosophy, and a very correct one. History has proved again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well-intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous."

"Believe me, Beverly, there was only one decision." - Picard
"I just hope it was the right one." - Doctor Crusher
"And we may never know." - Picard

"Mr. La Forge, take us out of orbit." - Picard
"Destination, sir?" - La Forge
"I don't care. Let's just get some distance between us and this system." - Picard
"Aye, sir. Course 9-7-0 Mark 3-1-8, speed... warp 3." - La Forge
"Where will that take us, Mr. La Forge?" - Riker
"The Opperline system." - La Forge
"An interesting choice. Why?" - Riker
"Curiosity. We've never been there." - La Forge
"Engage." - Picard

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Arsenal of Freedom

TNG Season 1 Episode 21
Air Date: April 11th, 1988


While looking for the USS Drake, the Enterprise finds a world that specializes in the manufacturing and trading of weapons completely uninhabited. They beam down and investigate only to be attacked by one of the weapons. It is a flying machine that when it is destroyed it learns it's mistakes and figures out a way to improve. It is concluded that during a demonstration the weapon had destroyed all sentient life on the planet but the automated salesman was still in tact. They were able to stop the machines from attacking but agreeing to buy them from the salesman.


The idea of a machine that can adapt to tactics and even improve its own technology is an interesting premise. It is something that we worry about today, giving AI control of things like nuclear missiles ir or even self repairing technology. But I felt that the interesting story in this episode is what happened on the ship.

While Picard, Riker, Yar, Data and Doctor Crusher were stranded on the planet, Lt. LaForge was given command of the Enterprise. This was the second time we see him sit in the captains chair. The first time you see a smirk on his face but he wasn't tested. This time the machine that was attacking the away team was also attacking the Enterprise, only it would remain clocked until it was ready to attack.

During his command, the chief engineer engineer Lt. Logan who outranked Geordi (who was a Lt Junior Grade) and demanded to be placed in command. Geordi held his ground saying only Picard or Riker can take command of the ship back from him and orders him back to his post. After almost losing to the machine he splits the saucer section off and tells the Chief Engineer to take command of it and head to safety. He then returns to the planet, and uses the atmosphere to make the machine visible where he defeats it.


"Tell me about your ship, Riker. It's the Enterprise, isn't it?" - Rice
"No, the name of my ship is the Lollipop." - Riker
"I have no knowledge of that ship." - Rice
"It's just been commissioned. It's a good ship." - Riker

"In view of the present crisis, I believe you should relinquish command to me." - Logan
"No." - La Forge
"I outrank you." - Logan
"Mr. Logan, I'm in command." - La Forge
"The Captain did not anticipate the Enterprise would come under attack. If he had, would he have left the bridge to you?" - Logan
"If he had, he wouldn't have left the ship!" - La Forge

"Relinquishing command, Captain." - La Forge
"As you were, Lieutenant." - Picard
"Sir?" - La Forge
"Mr. La Forge, when I left this ship, it was in one piece. I would appreciate your returning it to me in the same condition." - Picard

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Heart of Glory

TNG Season 1 Episode 20
Air Date: March 21st, 1988


The Enterprise receive a distress call from a Talarian freighter in the Romulan neutral zone. When they get there there are only a few life signs and the ship is about to explode. They were able to rescue the survivors who ended up being Klingon. They lie and say they were passengers on the freighter and the Ferengi attacked. The Klingons took command to defeat the Ferengi but the crew didn't survive. We later learn that the Klingons are fugitives of the Klingon Empire and attacked the Talarian freighter. When the Klingon's arrive to claim the fugitives they try to escape and die in the process.


The first TNG episode with Klingons in it (except for Lt. Worf of course). In TOS the Klingons were represented as a barbarian race but they didn't get into the culture very much. The Motion Picture and The Search For Spock both revealed a different version of the Klingon warrior but it is this episode that really starts to dive into what being a Klingon is.

Worf, being a survivor of the Khitomer attack by Romulans at a young age. He was taken in by a Human family. Even though he grew up learning the Human ways of doing things he always was interested in his culture.

In this episode, the two surviving Klingons (one dies in sickbay) try to escape as they were to be sentenced to death and there is no honor in not dying in combat. I felt they escaped custody just so they could die a warriors death, in combat. They showed an interesting Klingon ritual when a warrior dies where they force open the eyes as death occurs and yell in the air telling the afterlife to be ready, a Klingon warrior is coming.

When the Klingon ship contacted the Enterprise we see the Klingon Empire symbol, but they also show the Federation symbol which is interesting as the Klingon Empire is never really shown to be part of the Federation but rather just in alliance with. I don't think we see this again.

In the beginning of the episode, Geordi is able to feed his visor information directly to the Enterprise's viewscreen so the bridge crew can see what he does. It is hard to understand and they even show how Geordi can see metal fatigue where others just see a metal wall. It is the only time we see this.

Two security officers (gold uniforms) were killed during the Klingon escape.


"Is there any special arrangement you would like for the body?" - Doctor Crusher
"It is only an empty shell now. Please treat it as such." - Korris

"I believe, sir, that was the first time outsiders have witnessed the Klingon death ritual." - Data
"I can understand them looking into the dying man's eyes. But the howling?" - Picard
"It was a warning." - Data
"To whom?" - Picard
"They are warning the dead, sir. Beware, a Klingon warrior is about to arrive." - Data

"Tell me, what is it like for the hunter to lie down with the prey? Have they tamed you? Or have you always been docile?" - Korris
"Why do you mock me? Why do you wish to anger me?" - Worf
"Only to see if it is still possible." - Korris
"It is." - Worf

"You look for battles in the wrong place. The true test of a warrior is not without, it is within. Here, here is where we meet the challenge. It is the weaknesses in here a warrior must overcome." - Worf
"No." - Korris
"You have talked of glory and of conquest, and legends we will write." - Worf
"Yes. The birthright of every Klingon." - Korris
"Yet in all you say, where are the words duty, honor, loyalty? Without which a warrior is nothing!" - Worf

Coming of Age

TNG Season 1 Episode 19
Air Date: March 14th, 1988


The episode has two plots. The first is Wesley Crusher taking a test to enter Starfleet Academy. It is a competition with 3 other candidates. Wesley passes all the tests with flying colors but struggles on the psych evaluation. In the end he lost mostly because he helped one of the other candidates one of the tests hurting his score. While the proctor said it was not for just that reason, it shows Wesley's character and he should try again next year.

The second part involves an investigation on the Enterprise by Admiral Quinn and his assistant Lt. Cmdr. Remmick. We learn that it is Captain Picard that is under investigation as Admiral Quinn believes there is something taking over the Federation and that secrecy is necessary. He needed to make sure Picard was not in on whatever is going on, which is why the investigation was done.


This is a precursor to an episode at the end of the season that deals with this threat to the Federation, which is one of my favorite episodes


"You don't like me very much, do you?" - Remmick
"Is it required sir?" - Worf

"It's a good thing you're cute, Wesley, or you could really be obnoxious." - Mirren

"I thought there was nothing that could frighten a Klingon warrior." - Wesley
"Only fools have no fear." - Worf

"It is very difficult for me to depend on anyone for anything, but especially for my life." - Worf
"But on the Enterprise, you do that every day. Everyone depends on everyone else to protect them." - Wesley
"Yes." - Worf
"So you overcame it?" - Wesley
"No. It is still my enemy." - Worf

"Mr. Remmick, you've talked to every member of this ship; I think you had enough time to find out whatever it is you're looking for." - Picard
"Are you afraid, if I keep looking, I'll find that you're guilty?" - Remmick
"The only thing I am guilty of is allowing this charade to go on so long." - Picard

"The only person you're truly competing against, Wesley, is yourself." - Picard
"Then you're not disappointed?" - Wesley
"Wesley, you have to measure your successes and your failures within, not by anything that I or anyone else might think. But, if it helps you to know this. I failed the first time, and you may not tell anyone!" - Picard

Monday, March 25, 2019

Home Soil

TNG Season 1 Episode 18
Air Date: February 22nd, 1988


The Enterprise shows up at the planet Valara III, a planet that is being terraformed but behind schedule. When contacting the planet the leader Troi detected that he was trying to hide something. Picard insists that they beam down to get a tour so they can investigate. While the away team is down, a laser loses control and kills one of the terraforming engineers.

Data enters the room when the laser is off and tries to recreate what happens. When the laser attacks again he is able to destroy it but in the process discovers a microscopic life form that isn't carbon based but we learn is intelligent. When they transport one to the Enterprise it starts taking over and multiplying. They finally are able to communicate with it and convince it that they didn't know they was life on the planet and promises to leave.


This episode has one of my favorite Star Trek quotes. "Ugly giant bags of mostly water" to describe humans. It shows the ignorance that we sometimes have on other life forms.


"You're a man obsessed with what you do. Who knows what an obsessed man will do to keep going. Kill, perhaps?" - Picard
"I create life, I don't take it!" - Mandl

"Ugly giants bags of mostly water" - Silicon Life Form
"Bags of mostly water?" - Picard
"An accurate description of humans, sir. You are over ninety per cent water surrounded by a flexible container." - Data

"We mean you no harm. Do you believe me?" - Picard
"Yes." - Silicon Life Form
"Good. It is important that you trust us." - Picard
"Not yet. You are still too arrogant. Too primitive. Come back three centuries. Perhaps then we trust." - Silicon Life Form

Sunday, March 24, 2019

When the Bough Breaks

TNG Season 1 Episode 17
Air Date: February 15th, 1988


The Enterprise found some bread crumbs to a system that they think might contain the hidden planet of Aldera. It is similar to the city of Atlantis. A planet that is very advanced but doesn't want visitors so they hid their planet with a cloaking shield. When they arrive the planet de-cloaks and the Aldeans scan the Enterprise and kidnap some children. They are an honorable race and want to give the Federation knowledge in exchange. They can't reproduce and hope to keep their dying civilization going by getting new children in their society.

While the Aldeans are technologically more advanced, due to their stagnation of remaining on their planet and having everything they needed provided by their computer, they lost their ability to do stuff for themselves. This is how the Enterprise was able to break through their shields and disable the computer.

Doctor Crusher discovers that the cloaking shield that the Aldeans used is causing their ozone to deteriorate which causes infertility. The Enterprise infuses new ozone into the atmosphere but Aldea won't be able to cloak anymore.


Most episodes of TNG I can recognize in the first 30 seconds of the episode and know what the main plot is. This one I was thinking I had never seen before, and only starting remembering it about 20 minutes in.

The Aldeans take children based on their aptitudes in different areas of study, Music, Art, Science, etc... We learn that they can make music by thinking about it, or carve a statue out of wood by imagining the statue and letting a machine make it happen. It shows how technology can make things easier but it diminishes the things we used to be able to do by hand.


"We do not condone your actions. You're attempting to salve your conscience by offering us goods in exchange for our children." - Picard
"Why do you want them back so badly? You can always have more." - Radue
"You are trifling with the primal instincts of our species. I must warn you that human parents are quite willing to die for their children." - Picard

"Data, find a way to defeat that shield." - Picard
"That may be impossible sir." - Data
"Things are only impossible until they're not!" - Picard

Week Twelve

This week has been pretty busy as well so I only got to 7 episodes. But I am enjoying the first season of TNG more then I was expecting. There have been some episodes that I have had fond memories of and have been a joy to rewatch. Hide and Q is the second episode with Q in it, and any episode with Q is worth watching for the most part. The Big Goodbye had Picard playing the role of Dixon Hill Private Eye on the holodeck. Data meets his brother in Datalore and 11001001 lets us explore more of what is possible on the holodeck where we meet Minuet.

TNG S1E10 - Hide and Q
TNG S1E11 - Haven
TNG S1E12 - The Big Goodbye
TNG S1E13 - Datalore
TNG S1E14 - Angel One
TNG S1E15 - 11001001
TNG S1E16 - Too Short a Season

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Too Short a Season

TNG Season 1 Episode 16
Air Date: February 8th, 1988


The Enterprise is called to Mordan IV that just ended a 40 year war to rescue Federation representatives that have been taken hostage by terrorists. The Mordan governor Karnas suggests that Admiral Mark Jameson be brought to negotiate with the terrorists. Jameson had history negotiating with the Mordan people before the war broke out. During those negotiations Jameson also was trying to get hostages released and the cost was to give Karnas weapons to defeat his enemy. Jameson's view of not breaking the prime directive was to give both sides weapons, which is why the war lasted 40 years.

During the course of the episode, Jameson who is is elderly and suffering from a disease that confines him to a wheelchair, takes a rare drug that can reverse the effects of aging, but he takes a much larger dose then perscribed and it works more effectively then expected. By the end of the episode he looks like he is in his 20s. It eventually kills him, but not before he can confront Karnas who is the one that actually has the hostages. He frees the hostages when Jameson finally dies from the drug.


"The Admiral?" - Riker
"Sickbay. Not good is a galactic understatement." - Picard

"You blamed your war on him. And there's no doubt he had a lot to do with it. But you had the weapons and you used them. You could have tried for negotiations for peace on your planet long ago. Instead you chose to fight. How many of those forty years of civil war are on your head, Karnas?" - Picard

"The quest for youth Number One, so futile. Age and wisdom have their graces, too." - Picard
"I wonder if one doesn't have to have age and wisdom to appreciate that, sir." - Riker
"I hope not, Number One." - Picard


TNG Season 1 Episode 15
Air Date: February 1st, 1988


The Enterprise is at starbase for a computer update, including the holodeck which has had a few issues lately. The Enterprise is credited for having the most powerful mobile computer in the Federation. The Bynars, a race that always work in pairs and have evolved to have direct connections to their computer home world and communicate with each other using binary, are tasked to do the upgrade. Though they secretly plan to take over the Enterprise when it is running a skeleton crew and use it to download their planets computer system while a solar flare passes by.

Riker and Picard are the two left on the Enterprise when this happens, both spending time with a new holodeck program and more specifically with a holodeck character named Minuet. When they finally leave the holodeck they find the ship abandoned and heading to the Bynar's home world. They end up figuring out that the data was backed up from their planet and the code to send it back, 11001001.


This was a memorable episode for me. I was in 8th grade when I saw it, and while having used computers, never really understood how they worked. This was my introduction to binary. I wouldn't say it led me to my career choice but it definitely planted a seed.

This episode also featured Minuet. A life like hologram, and the first one that was able to truly adapt to the scenario. The character was created to keep Riker on the ship and at the end of the episode she was gone, replaced with a standard holographic character.

This episode had a flaw that I didn't notice until this viewing. Riker was kept on the holodeck because the Bynars needed someone to perform the download after the solar flare passed since it would incapacitate them. But when they go to do the transfer, it turns out two people are needed. But the Bynars never planned for Picard to be on the Enterprise.

This was also the first episode in TNG where they activated the self destruct. It was different then in TOS, where the destruct sequence only needed two bridge officers and a fingerprint scan. In later episodes when it is used they revert back to a pass code, but usually one that is specific to the officer.


"Well, what do you think?" - LaForge
"Tell me what it's supposed to be, then I'll give you my opinion." - Riker
"It is an attempt at pure creativity." - Data 
"What we're investigating is, can Data be creative?" - LaForge 
"And this is my attempt, with guidance from Geordi." - Data
"I suggested the zylo eggs." - LaForge
"Is that what those are? Keep notes. This project might turn out to be of interest to scholars in the future." - Riker
"Really?" - LaForge
"Well of course. Think about it. A blind man teaching an android how to paint? That's got to be worth a couple of pages in somebody's book." - Riker

"If winning is not important, then Commander, why keep score?" - Worf

"Believe it or not, Worf is developing a sense of humor." - Yar
"I hope so, for their sake." - Riker

"What's a knockout like you doing in a computer generated gin joint like this?" - Riker

Angel One

TNG Season 1 Episode 14
Air Date: January 25th, 1988


The Enterprise finds the remains of a long lost freighter with three escape pods missing. They calculate the most likely planet they could have gone to is a planet called Angel One. The planet is pre-warp and society developed where the women were the dominant gender, generally bigger and stronger then the men. Counselor Troi takes lead in the first half of the episode to negotiate for help finding the survivors. When it is discovered that they are alive but fugitives sentenced to death, Riker convinces their leader, who he had relations with, that killing them would make them martyrs. They get sentenced to living in exile instead.


This episode is clearly trying to do a gender flip to make a sociological point. Watching the episode today it seems to have fallen flat as many of the issues they bring up almost seem to be siding with men on Earth rather then trying to show how sexism is bad. But I can see how it might have been considered a valiant effort for it's time.


"It's not my function to seduce or be seduced by the leader of another world." - Riker
"It's not the reason." - Beata
"No, it's not. But will you still respect me in the morning?" - Riker

"Mistress Beata invites you to witness this morning's reaffirmation of Angel One's moral imperative." - Trent
"Is that the civilized word for 'murder' on this world?" - Yar

"When you spoke of the prisoners, you used the term revolutionary. Indeed, death has been known to stop revolutions. But I suspect it's not a revolution that Angel One is hoping to stop. It's evolution. Mister Ramsey and the Odin survivors did not initiate the waves of dissent that are rippling through your planet. Their presence here merely reinforced the change in attitudes between men and women that was already well under way. They became symbols around whom others who shared their views could gather. You may eliminate the symbols, but that does not mean death to the issues which those symbols represent. No power in the universe can hope to stop the force of evolution. Be warned. The execution of Mister Ramsey and his followers may elevate them to the status of martyrs. Martyrs cannot be silenced." - Riker

"It looks horrible. Tastes worse. But it's absolutely guaranteed to make you feel better." - Doctor Crusher

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


TNG Season 1 Episode 13
Air Date: January 18th, 1988


The Enterprise arrives at Omicron Theta, the planet where Data was discovered 20 years prior. The planet is found completely devoid of life, even bacterial. They learn that Dr. Noonien Soong was Data's creator but they also find a second android, Data's brother Lore. Lore starts playing a more emotional but generally nice android but we learn that he had teamed up with a crystalline entity that lives in space and consumes organic matter. In a final conflict, Data is able to beat Lore and transport him into space.


This is the first episode that focuses on Data and both his quest of being more human and his past. At first we see Data dealing with the discovery of his brother as a child that learns that he has a brother. While Data cannot experience emotion, it was hard to tell that he wasn't happy. It also showed that Data's emotionless demeanor is a design choice and not due technical abilities. The excuse Lore gave for making Data was that the colonist felt that Lore was too realistic and that they wanted an android that was more like a machine.

This episode introduces Data's On/Off switch that at this point only Doctor Crusher, Wesley and Riker knows about. There are a lot of awkward scenes in the episode since there are now two androids that look the same. Picard even had to put it forward that human's are a kind of machine too and that it shouldn't be awkward.

This isn't the first time, but I find it odd that Doctor Crusher has been as involved in maintaining learning about how Data works more then any engineer. In earlier episodes when Data needs to be checked, it is Doctor Crusher who does the exam and she is involved in helping to put Lore together.

In the scene that Data fought Lore, there were clips where you could see the face of the stunt double. Much like the original series, they probably relied on the lower quality of TVs at the time to make it hard to tell.


"Dr. Soong made me perfect in his first attempt. But he made me so completely human, the colonists became envious of me." - Lore
"You lived with the colonists?" - Data
"Until they petitioned Soong to make a more comfortable, less perfect android. In other words, you, Brother." - Lore

"You'll feel uncomfortable about aspects of your duplicate, Data. We feel uncomfortable too, and for no logical reason. If it feels awkward to be reminded that Data is a machine, just remember that we are merely a different variety of machine, in our case, electro-chemical in nature." - Picard

"Sir, I know this may finish me as an acting ensign, but" - Wesley
"Shut up, Wesley!" - Picard
"Shut up, Wesley?" - Doctor Crusher
"Doctor." - Picard
"And since I am finished here, sir, may I point out that" - Wesley
"Shut up, Wesley!" - Doctor Crusher
"that everything that I have said would have been listened to if it came from an adult officer." - Wesley

"Number One, have you ever considered whether Data is more human or less human than we want?" - Picard
"I only wish we were all as well-balanced, sir." - Riker
"Agreed!" - Picard

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Big Goodbye

TNG Season 1 Episode 12
Air Date: January 11th, 1988


Picard takes some time to relax in the holodeck since he was being stressed out trying to learn an alien language for a diplomatic mission where one mispronunciation could result in bad diplomatic relations. The holodeck had just been upgraded to support AI characters and playable stories. Up to this point we have only seen scenery and this is the first time AI characters interact with people.

But a holodeck malfunction occurs trapping Picard, but also Data, Doctor Crusher and the historian Dr. Whalen. The malfunction prevents the exit to appear but also turns off the safety protocols. Eventually Wesley and LaForge are able to open the holodeck and in order to escape a mob boss, they trick him into exiting the holodeck where he disappears.

Picard gets to the bridge in time to recite the alien greeting, which he performs flawlessly.


The holodeck is one way that Star Trek is able to go to places that don't always make sense in a space travel show, and also reduces the number of times that time travel gets used to save money on production. From this point forward there are at least a few episodes a season of every series that takes place in some kind of holographic simulation.


"But you spell knife with a k." - Troi
"I spell knife with an n. But then I never could spell." - Picard

"Hiya, Doc, what's cookin'?" - Data
"You know, I had some trouble getting through. Where's Captain Picard?" - Doctor Crusher
"He's on ice." - Data
"Pardon?" - Doctor Crusher
"He's being grilled." - Data
"What is he, a fish?" - Picard

"So, Data, how was it?" - LaForge
"It was raining in the city by the bay, a hard rain. Hard enough to wash the slime" - Data
"Data!" - Picard
"Sorry, sir." - Data

"So have a nice vacation?" - Riker
"It was a nice place to visit, number one, but I wouldn't want to die there." - Picard

Monday, March 18, 2019


TNG Season 1 Episode 11
Air Date: November 30th, 1987


Deanna Troi is to be married to her child hood friend in a sort of arranged marriage. At first she doesn't seem to want to go through with it but once meeting her fiancee Wyatt Miller she starts to fall in love with him even with her mother and his parents at each others throat. Wyatt is a doctor who also has artistic talent, but he only draws pictures of a blond haired woman he has never met.

The Enterprise is orbiting a planet called Haven, a planet that is known to have healing properties when they detect a ship approaching the system at sub-warp speeds of Tarellian design. The Tarellian all died from disease many years prior and it appeared as though this ship was heading to Haven to hope that it can cure the last of the Tarellians.

When they see the Tarellians for the first time, one of them was the woman that Wyatt was drawing. He realizes that he is destined to beam over to the ship where he can try to cure them but also that he truly loves this woman. Troi understands and the wedding is called off.


This is the episode that introduces Lwaxana Troi, Deanna's mother. She is played by Gene Roddenbarry's wife Majel Barret who also played Nurse Chapel in The Original Series and the voice of the computer in TAS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Normally in every episode that she appears there is a scene where she curses at the computer, which is ironic given the source but I realized that I don't think the computer has been given a voice yet, and that it is only in the next episode where the computer actually talks back.

The actor that played Wyatt Miller was familiar to me, and it took a few minutes to realize he was a young Robert Knepper, a creepy looking actor known for his role in Prison Break and currently in iZombie.


"Whatever happened to Mr. Xelo?" - Deanna
"Oh, I was forced to terminate his employment. Xelo was strongly attracted to me; his thoughts became truly pornographic!" - Lwaxana

"Mr. Data." - Picard
"Sir?" - Data
"You're circling the room like a buzzard." - Picard

"I am Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. Who are you?" - Lwaxana

"Stop this petty bickering, all of you! Especially you, Mother!" - Deanna
"Could you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intriguing." - Data

"They've decided that the joining will be half Betazed, half Earth. The Captain will do the ceremony, and Mr. Homn will be my best man." - Wyatt
"And we'll take half our clothes off?" - Deanna
"Some of us still go naked. You do, I do, your mother, my father, but not my mother or the guests." - Wyatt
"Captain Picard will be very relieved. How did you manage it?" - Deanna
"Your mother relented. And I just caught my father practicing naked in front of his mirror!" - Wyatt

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Hide and Q

TNG Season 1 Episode 10
Air Date: November 23rd, 1987


On their way to help a mining colony that had a cave in, Q shows up and tries to convince Riker to join the Q continuum. He does it by playing a game, taking the bridge staff other then Picard to a battlefield. Once given the power of the Q, Riker is able to save the bridge crew but makes a promise to Picard that he would not use the power anymore. But when they arrive at the mining colony, a child was caught in the cave in and died. Riker wanted to save her, but couldn't because his promise.

To prove a point about the corruptive nature of power, Picard allowed Riker to give each bridge officer anything they wanted, but none of them were willing to pay the price. Riker realized how foolish he was and gives up the power.


The second episode with Q, we learn that after the Encounter at Farpoint, the Q have become interested in humanity and specifically with Riker. They believe that one day, Humans may even become more powerful then the Q. They try to recruit Riker to see if they can learn about what it is that makes Humans different.

Once Riker gets the power of the Q, you can see an almost immediate change in his demeanor. He starts referring to Picard by his first name. He acts like everything is beneath him. It tries to demonstrate that anybody with too much power will inherently become evil and giving up the power is the road to redemption.


"You seem to find this all very amusing." - Q
"I might, if we weren't on our way to help some suffering and dying humans." - Riker
"Ah, your species is always suffering and dying." - Q

"Geordi, can you see Worf?" - Riker
"I'd see the freckles on his nose if he had them, sir." - Gordi

"Hear this, Picard, and reflect. All the galaxy is a stage." - Q
"World, not galaxy. All the world's a stage." - Picard
"Oh, you know that one. Well, if he were living now, he would have said galaxy. How about this. Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." - Q
"I see. So how we respond to a game tells you more about us than our real life, this tale, told by an idiot? Interesting, Q." - Picard

"Perhaps maybe a little, uh, Hamlet?" - Q
"Oh, I know Hamlet. And what he might say with irony, I say with conviction. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form, in moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god!" - Picard
"Surely, you don't see your species like that, do you?" - Q
"I see us one day becoming that, Q. Is it that which concerns you?" - Picard

"He's nothing but a flim-flam man." - Picard

"Perhaps they're all remembering that old saying power corrupts." - Picard
"And absolute power corrupts absolutely. Do you believe I haven't thought of that, Jean-Luc?" - Riker
"And have you noticed how you and I are now on a first name basis?" - Picard

"No! No, sir." - Data
"But it's what you've always wanted Data, to become human." - Riker
"Yes, sir, that is true. But I never wanted to compound one illusion with another. It might be real to Q. Perhaps even you, sir. But it would never be so to me. Was it not one of the Captain's favorite authors who wrote this above all, to thine own self be true? Sorry, Commander. I must decline." - Data

Week Eleven

As mentioned in my last weekly summary, I have been very busy lately which is making me post these summaries late. Last week ended with the first episode of TNG which leads into this week getting through the first third of season one. When I started this venture it was a common theme of people saying the first few seasons of TNG are hard to watch, and I was expecting this to be so. But I have been surprised how many of the good episodes from my memory were in this season.

The episode with the Traveler (Where No One Has Gone Before) is one of my favorite early TNG episodes and The Battle where Picard is being mind controlled by the Ferengi. This week did yield two episodes I dislike. The Naked Now which is a copy of an original series plot and Code of Honor which is generally accepted as the worse TNG episode.

There was only one death that would qualify for the red shirt race, the death of a lead engineer who wears gold in the episode Lonely Among Us.

TNG S1E3: The Naked Now
TNG S1E4: Code of Honor
TNG S1E5: The Last Outpost
TNG S1E6: Where No One Has Gone Before
TNG S1E7: Lonely Among Us
TNG S1E8: Justice
TNG S1E9: The Battle

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Battle

TNG Season 1 Episode 9
Air Date: November 16th, 1987


The Ferengi make an arrangement to meet the Enterprise, specifically Picard to give him a gift. The identify Picard as the "Hero of Maxia" where Picard as captain of the USS Stargazer destroyed an unknown ship when they were attacked. The unknown ship turned out to be a Ferengi ship. DaiMon Bak gives the ship to Picard but leaves a mind control device on the ship that is tuned to Picard's brain waves. Picard starts getting headaches and eventually believes he is back on the Stargazer flying into battle.

He almost destroys the Enterprise but Data was able to calculate a counter to the expected attack. They are able to communicate with Picard and get him to destroy the mind control device. The first officer of the Ferengi vessel takes Bok into custody as he decides revenge was not profitable and broke Ferengi law.


I didn't realize how prevalent the Ferengi are in the first season. Only 9 episodes in and they have been mentioned once and are the main protagonist of two of the episodes. This episode started to focus the Ferengi into a species where profit is priority.

This episode defined the Picard maneuver, which was the trick he used to defeat the Ferengi in the Stargazer. The maneuver involved making a micro warp jump towards he ship you wanted to attack which for a split second would make the ship appear to be in two places at once making it less likely that the ship would shoot the correct ship. Later we will see a variant called the Riker maneuver.


"The android was mentioned, too. What is its price? We should like to purchase it." - Kazago
"He is not for sale. Commander Data is, um, is, um" - Picard
"is second-hand merchandise, and you wouldn't want him." - Riker

"As you Humans say, I'm all ears." - Kazago

"Die well, Captain." - DaiMon Bok

"Where is Bok?" - Picard
"Removed from command, sir, and placed under guard for his act of personal vengeance. Seems there was no profit in it." - Riker
"In revenge there never is." - Picard


TNG Season 1 Episode 8
Air Date: November 9th, 1987


The Enterprise discovers a new planet where the people called the Edo are in peace and everything they do is about pleasure. They decide it is a perfect opportunity for shore leave. The initial landing party included Wesley Crusher who while playing with local teenagers stumbled on a garden, a capital offense on the planet. With Wesley sentenced to death, Picard is at odds on what to do, save Wesley or follow the prime directive.

Meanwhile in space, they detect a ship that is only partially in our reality. They are able to communicate with it and find out that these beings look after the Edo below. This puts a technological restriction on the Enterprise who has to convince the aliens that Wesley should be let go. Eventually the ship agrees and lets the away team beam back to the Enterprise.


One of the first episodes of TNG that really deals with the prime directive, though in a flawed way. In future episodes it is clear that if a civilization is pre-warp, the Federation cannot make first contact. The more generic part of the directive is that no citizen of the Federation may influence the natural development of a population. In this case, the people on the planet are definitely not a pre-warp society.

Ignoring that, the dilemma that Picard faces is real. The prime directive does not allow him to stop legal proceedings and by transporting Wesley to the Enterprise, while saving his life will have consequences (though I don't think we ever see said consequences). But in the end it is the right choice.

The Edo are very Original Series kind of characters. They all wore next to nothing, always gazed at others longingly. Their greeting is a sensual embrace which was a little awkward. They had a neat rule that the only way to get from place to place was to run.


"Data, don't babble." - Picard
"Babble, sir? I'm not aware that I ever babble, sir. It may be that from time to time I have considerable information to communicate, and you may question the way in which I organize it." - Data
"Please, organize it into brief answers to my questions." - Picard

"Sharing an orbit with God is no small experience." - Troi

"I don't know how to communicate this, or even if it is possible to do so... but the question of justice has concerned me greatly of late. And so I say to any creature who may be listening: There can be no justice, so long as laws are absolute. Life itself is an exercise in exceptions." - Picard
"The Edo want to execute my son. I will not allow that to happen, Jean-Luc!" - Doctor Crusher
"Most interesting, sir. The emotion of motherhood is, compared to all others felt by human." - Data
"SHUT UP!" - Doctor Crusher
"You were right, sir. I do tend to babble." - Data

"When has justice ever been as simple as a rule book?" - Riker
"Seems the Edo Lord agrees with you, Number One." - Picard

Friday, March 15, 2019

Lonely Among Us

TNG Season 1 Episode 7
Air Date: November 2nd, 1987


The Enterprise is transporting two sets of delegates who hate each other to a peace conference. While en route, they pass a space cloud that is going at warp speed and fly by to investigate. In the process they pick up a life form that exists as energy in the cloud that is now trapped in the Enterprise. It jumps from person to person trying to get the Enterprise back to the cloud. Finally it ends up in Picard but when the crew realize that Picard is not himself, they challenge the energy creature who explains himself and claims that Picard wants to join him as energy in the cloud.

Picard beams himself into the cloud but doesn't rematerialize keeping him as energy. Troi senses Picards presence in the cloud and is able to bring him back using the transporters. His memory in the energy cloud is missing since the pattern used was when he transported into the cloud.


The best part of this episode wasn't the main plot but the side plot of the two delegates. One set of delegates are from a species known as Selay that look like walking snakes and the other are the Antican that look like hairless rats. Throughout the episode there are scenes of the two factions bumping into each other or being caught spying and the encounters are comedic. At the end, there is a report that one of the Selay was missing and the Antican, who only eat freshly killed meat is serving a lizard dish.

While trying to investigate the issues they were detecting on the Enterprise, including crew with lost memory, Data becomes fascinated with Sherlock Holmes. He uses a pipe and words like indubitably.

This was the first episode where a crew memeber dies. The Chief engineer was attacked by the space creature. Engineers wear gold in TNG but they did wear red in TOS. So this could be considered a red shirt but I am going to tally it accurately and do an analysis at the end of the year to see if red shirts become gold shirts after TOS.


"We no longer enslave animals for food purposes." - Riker
"But we have seen Humans eat meat." - Badar
"You've seen something as fresh and tasty as meat, but inorganically materialized, out of patterns used by our transporters." - Riker
"This is sickening. It's barbaric!" - Badar

"The immortal Sherlock Holmes would have an interesting view of our mystery, I believe." - Picard
"But I'm afraid we're going to have to find our solution without history's greatest consulting detective." - Riker
"Holmes?" - Data

"You're on notice that all of your weapons, no matter what their basic function, are being confiscated. Violence will not be tolerated on the Enterprise." - Riker
"Of course not. And if any does occur, let me assure you, it will not be we Anticans who start it." - Badar
"Thank you, sir." - Yar
"But we will finish it." - Badar

"A mystery is only a mystery as long as it remains uninvestigated, sir." - Data

"Sorry, Commander, but Security Team Two reports they've discovered a puddle of blood outside the Selay Quarters and they can't find one of the delegates and so" - Yar
"Lieutenant. This couldn't have waited a moment?" - Riker
"It's good to see you, sir. The problem is that one of the cooks has just been asked to broil reptile for the Anticans, and it looks like the Selay delegate." - Yar
"Riker, with the peace delegates and all, I think I do need a rest. Take charge Number One." - Picard

Where No One Has Gone Before

TNG Season 1 Episode 6
Air Date: October 26th, 1987


The Enterprise is having it's engines tuned by a Starfleet engineer Mr. Kosinski and his assistant. During the test run, the assistant gets distracted while talking to Wesley and something goes wrong sending the Enterprise millions of light years in the matter of minutes. Mr. Kosinski thinks that it was his calculations that brought them that distance but Wesley knows it is the assistant. When trying to reproduce the error to return to the Milky Way, they go billions of light years. This time, Riker sees the assistant phase and realizes what is really happening.

The assistant who identifies himself as the traveler tells Picard that he is a tourist trading his skills in propulsion in exchange for a ride. He is weakened from the first two jumps but promises to return the Enterprise home. He succeeds but completely phases out of our existence. Before he left, he told Picard that Wesley is a special person, like Mozart and should be encouraged. Picard gives Wesley the role of acting Ensign.


This is the first of two episodes involving the Traveler. If Wil Wheaton didn't leave the show I am sure we would have had a few more. After the second test, they show outer space a billion light years away as a blue light with balls of light moving around. Almost as if they were the size of an atom.

When the crew end up in this blue light area of space, the imaginations of the crew seems to come to life. In one scene Picard is exiting the turbolift but instead of a corridor he sees space. A Klingon Targ appears on the bridge, which looks similar to a warthog. Only like the original series which once used a dog in the place of an alien pet, this looked like a pig dressed in a costume.


"What is our velocity?" - Picard
"It's off the scale, sir." - Data
"Reverse engines." - Picard
"Captain, no one has ever reversed engines at this velocity." - Data
"It's because no one has gone this fast. Reverse engines." - Picard

"And you have this ability, to travel?" - Riker
"Yes." - The Traveler
"And others of your kind have the same ability?" - Riker
"Oh, yes." - The Traveler
"Then why, in all of our history, is there no record of you or someone like you ever having visited us?" - Riker
"What wonderful arrogance! There is no record because we have not visited you before." - The Traveler
"Why not?" - Riker
"Well, because, up until now if you'll forgive this, you've been uninteresting." - The Traveler

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Last Outpost

TNG Season 1 Episode 5
Air Date: October 19th, 1987


The Enterprise is chasing down a Ferengi star ship that is suspected of stealing some federation equipment. When they catch up at the planet Delphi Ardu IV, a planet that once had a powerful civilization but died off many millennia ago, they are stopped by an energy draining force coming from the planet. At first they think the Ferengi is using a weapon against them but learn the Ferengi think the Enterprise is doing the same.

When they beam down to the planet, the Enterprise and Ferengi away team discover a being called Portal, possibly a computer program that has been sleeping all this time. He doesn't know that his Empire is gone. The Ferengi try to convince Portal that they are the civilized ones and that the Human's need to be punished. But Riker outwits the Ferengi and Portal takes a liking to him.


This is the first episode where we see the Ferengi. They were mentioned in Encounter at Farpoint. We learn in this episode that they are a people that value commerce above all. They do have honour but only as far as in what is equitable. They still value gold and that they find the idea of women wearing clothes grotesque.

There are a few concepts of Ferengi that are only part of this episode. I don't remember ever seeing the whip beam weapon that they use. In episodes of DS9 you see Quark using a Ferengi phaser instead. The Ferengi were also more aggressive then they usually are actually fighting the away team.

This as the episode where Data was using the Chinese finger puzzle where he can't figure out how to get it off while in a bridge officers meeting. At the end Riker and LaForge are both using them and they send a box over to the Ferengi.


"The Ferengi are believed to conduct their affairs of commerce on the ancient principle caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware." - Data
"Yankee traders. I like the sound of that." - Riker
"Well, sir, I doubt they wear red, white and blue, or look anything like Uncle Sam." - Data
"Uncle who?" - Worf

"Sometimes, Riker, the best way to win a fight is not to be there." - Picard
"Yes, sir. He will triumph who knows when to fight and when not to fight." - Riker
Glad the Academy's still teaches the strategies of Sun Tzu." - Picard

"Where's Wesley?" - Picard
"He's in our quarters. I was tempted to give him a sedative." - Doctor Crusher
"You shouldn't." - Picard
"I know, but he's my son. I love him." - Doctor Crusher
"He has the right to meet death awake." - Picard
"Is that a male perspective?" - Doctor Crusher
"Rubbish!" - Picard

"Unlike these little ones who close their minds, your mind holds interesting thoughts. Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will always be victorious. Why that thought? And who is this Sun Tzu you revere?" - Portal
"An old Chinese philosopher from ancient Earth history." - Riker

"What of them? Shall I destroy them?" - Portal
"Then they would learn nothing." - Riker
"A most interesting conclusion, but... what if they never learn, Riker?" - Portal
"Is this a test also?" - Riker
"In life, one is always tested." - Portal
"I find them very much as we were a several hundred years ago, but possessing the technology they have now, they're very dangerous." - Riker
"Untrue. We seek friendship with you." - Kayron
"But we can hardly hate what we once were. They may grow and learn." - Riker
"And learn ways to destroy you." - Portal
"Our values require us to face that possibility. What of you, with your empire gone?" - Riker
"The universe exists to me to create life. I shall sleep, until needed again." - Portal

"One final request, sir. Permission to beam a box of Data's Chinese finger puzzles over to the Ferengi? A thank you, for all they tried to do." - Riker
"Make it so." - Picard

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Code of Honor

TNG Season 1 Episode 4
Air Date: October 12th, 1987


The Enterprise arrives at the planet Ligon II where they need to pick up a shipment of vaccines for an Anchilles fever outbreak. Ligon II is not part of the Federation and is willing to join and provide the vaccines necessary. In a visit aboard the Enterprise the leader Lutan is attracted to Lt. Yar and when he heads back to his home world he kidnaps her.

We learn that Lutan wants to make her his first wife and his current first wife challenges Yar to a duel. Lutan says the only way to get the vaccines is if Picard honors this duel. Yar ends up winning the duel striking Lutan's wife with a poison. But Picard was ready for this outcome and has her beamed to the Enterprise where Doctor Crusher is able to revive her.

Once she beams down, Lutan is outraged as he wanted her lands and Yar as his wife. But now that she is alive she realizes the person cheering her one was Lutan's second in command, Hagon. She chooses to be his first wife and all leadership changes hands.


This episode is widely considered to be the worse episode of TNG. Most dislike it mainly due to the blatent racism and sexism. The Ligonians are all people of color and they wear clothes that resembles African attire but to an extreme that is considered stereotypical. When I watched it as a kid I never really noticed but 30 years later it is hard to not notice. I even read that the director of the episode was fired while making it.


"Damn. Where are the calluses we doctors are supposed to grow over our feelings?" - Doctor Crusher
"Perhaps the good ones never get them." - Picard

"What Lutan did is similar to what certain American Indians once did called "counting coup." That is from an obscure language known as French. Counting coup." - Data
"Mr. Data. The French language, for centuries on Earth, represented civilization." - Picard
"Indeed? But surely, sir" - Data
"I suggest you drop it, Mr. Data." - Riker

The Naked Now

TNG Season 1 Episode 3
Air Date: October 5th, 1987


A similar plot to The Original Series Episode The Naked Time, the Enterprise answers a distress call from a science vessel at a collapsing star. The collapsing star has an effect on water molecules that makes people effectively get drunk, and eventually causes people to do stupid things that get themselves killed. This episode shortcuts the discovery of the cure slightly by having Riker remember that it happened to the first Enterprise (well second) when he read all the old logs. But the cure wasn't quite right and Doctor Crusher had to figure it out, herself under the effects during some of it.


A lot of the episode was derivative of the original, but they did create some character development out of it. We learn that Data has circulatory system that is effected, which means he can bleed. We also learn he is "fully functional" and that Data and Yar get intimate, something that will be very important later. Under the influence, Picard and Doctor Crusher have a moment that hints that there is an attraction.


"If you were any more perfect, Data, I'd have to write you up in a Starfleet medical textbook." - Doctor Crusher
"I am already listed in several bio-mechanical texts, Doctor." - Data

"There was a rather peculiar limerick, being delivered by someone in the shuttle craft bay. I am not sure I understand it. There was a young lady from Venus, whose body was shaped like a" - Data
"Captain to Security, come in!" - Picard
"Did I say something wrong?" - Data
"I don't understand their humor either" - Worf

"What I want now is gentleness. And joy, and love. From you Data, you are fully functional, aren't you?" - Yar
Of course, but" - Data
"How fully?" - Yar
"In every way, of course. I am programmed in multiple techniques. A broad variety of pleasuring." - Data

"We are more alike than unlike, my dear Captain. I have pores, humans have pores. I have fingerprints, humans have fingerprints. My chemical nutrients are like your blood. If you prick me do I not, leak?" - Data

"Beverly." - Picard
"Yes, Jean-Luc?" - Doctor Crusher
"You will address me as Captain." - Picard
"Captain? Oh, well then, my dear Captain, you will address me as Chief Medical Officer, or Doctor." - Doctor Crusher
"I will? That's true. I started off by calling you Beverly, and, of course, naturally, you... I'm still not thinking straight." - Picard

Week Ten

I am getting to the week summary a bit late. I was able to get a decent amount of Star Trek watching for week ten but week eleven was a busy one so I didn't get time to do my write ups on time. Week ten I finished watching The Animated Series, watched the first four Star Trek movies and watched The Next Generation pilot Encounter at Farpoint. Other then the first Star Trek movie, all the content from this week was really good.

The animated series had zero deaths, so no red shirts were added to the tally. The first TNG had no crew deaths either (though two people got frozen). The movies did have some fatalities though they didn't wear the typical Red Blue and Gold color uniforms. My best guess of how it played out is 1 Red, 1 Blue and 2 Gold. I did include Spock's death in Wrath of Khan as gold, but his revival is a -1 so it cancels out. Note that Spock is a Captain in the movies so he no longer is attributed to his blue uniform.

TAS S2E5: How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth
TAS S2E6: The Counter-Clock Incident
TOS Movie 1: The Motion Picture
TOS Movie 2: The Wrath of Khan
TOS Movie 3: The Search for Spock
TOS Movie 4: The Voyage Home
TNG S1E1 & S1E2: Encounter at Farpoint

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Encounter at Farpoint

TNG Season 1 Episode 1 and 2
Air Date: September 28th, 1987

My father used to watch Star Trek: The Original Series when I was young, but I didn't really get into Star Trek until 1991 which was in the fourth season. Once I started watching it I got hooked. I would watch every episode on the air date and anything I could find in repeats. By the time the series finished in 1994 I had watched every episode at least twice.

When writing my blog posts for the original series episodes I focused mostly on the plot since it was new for me. But for TNG, what I will find more interesting is remembering how the episodes made me feel and interesting things I noticed about them. So the plot sections may not feel as fleshed out as previous posts but I hope to have more commentary.


The maiden voyage of the Enterprise, heading to a station on the edge of Federation space called Farpoint. The people of Farpoint, the Bandi had captured a creature that naively lives in space that can turn energy into matter at a thought. They used it to create a base for the Federation hoping to use it as a bartering chip to enter the Federation. When the Enterprise arrives they realize things are too good to be true and meet the mate of the captured creature. They help the creature by giving it energy which lets it get back into space.

The real plot of the episode isn't so much about the Bandi and this creature but more about Q, an omnipotent being that claims humanity isn't ready or more so, is too violent to be out in the galaxy and orders the Enterprise back to Earth. Picard resists and challenges Q to a bet, where if they win, they can keep exploring. The bet was that they could be tested not to be the barbarians that Humans once were. Q expected the Enterprise to destroy the creature to save the Bindi people but instead they sided with the creature, surprising Q.


When I first saw this episode I looked at it from the perspective of a teenager with his whole life ahead of him. I was just learning about world issues so the episode seemed more current then it really was. I felt that like the Federation, we had learned to not use violence to solve all of our problems and that we had made peace with everyone. Then I grew up and realizedthat our world if full of hate and suffering. The world trade center fell that led to two more wars. The issues like what is happening in the middle east to things at home like #blacklivesmatter and things that happened in Charlottesville. The country that the Federation is modeled on is today closer then ever to civil war. I only hope it doesn't go that far.

Q's concerns about humanity seems to be warranted this time around. The court that Picard sat in was from the mid twenty first century. We are only 60 years away from that predicted future and unlike Back to the Future, 2001 A Space Odyssey and even the TOS episode Space Seed that introduced Khan and the Eugenics war this vision of the future may be on track.

In the end Picard showed that while we were barbaric in our past, we had evolved socially and only use violence to defend ourselves and others and never for personal gain. One can only hope that we can get there before we annihilate each other.

The episode did have some moments though. Deforrest Kelly makes a cameo appearance as Dr. McCoy, at 137 years of age. Wesley has the reputation as being an annoying character but one of my best memories was Wesley Crusher sitting in the captains chair informing the Captain that there was a proximity alert and Picard getting mad at him. As a 13 year old kid at the time, I looked at myself in Wesley's position.


"Space, the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Star Ship Enterprise. Its continuing mission to see out new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before." - Picard

"Thou art notified that thy kind hath infiltrated the galaxy too far already. Thou art directed to return to thine own solar system immediately." - Q

"Lieutenant! Do you intend to blast a hole in the viewer?" - Picard

"But you can't deny that you're still a dangerous, savage child race." - Q
"Most certainly I deny it. I agree we still were when humans wore costumes like that, four hundred years ago." - Picard
"At which time you slaughtered millions in silly arguments about how to divide the resources of your little world. And four hundred years before that you were murdering each other in quarrels over tribal god-images. Since there are no indications that humans will ever change." - Q

"Objection, your honour. In the year 2036, the new United Nations declared that no Earth citizen could be made to answer for the crimes of his race or forbears." - Data
"Objection denied. This is a court of the year 2079, by which time more rapid progress had caused all United Earth nonsense to be abolished." - Q

"You will now answer to the charge of being a grievously savage race." - Q
"Grievously savage could mean anything. I will answer only specific charges." - Picard
"Are you certain you want a full disclosure of human ugliness? So be it, fool." - Q

"How old do you think I am, anyway?" - McCoy
"137 years, Admiral, according to Starfleet records." - Data
"Explain how you remember that so exactly!" - McCoy
"I remember every fact I am exposed to, sir." - Data
"I don't see no points on your ears, boy, but you sound like a Vulcan." - McCoy
"No, sir. I am an android." - Data
"Hmph. Almost as bad." - McCoy
"I thought it was generally accepted, sir, that Vulcans are an advanced and most honorable race." - Data
"They are, they are. And damn annoying at times." - McCoy

"I see in your file that Captain DeSoto thinks very highly of you. One curious thing, however, you refused to let him beam down to Altair Three." - Picard
"In my opinion, sir, Altair Three was too dangerous to risk exposing the Captain." - Riker
"I see. A Captain's rank means nothing to you." - Picard
"Rather the reverse, sir. But a Captain's life means a great deal to me." - Riker
"Isn't it just possible that you don't get to be a Starfleet Captain without knowing whether it's safe to beam down or not? Isn't it a little presumptuous of a first officer to second guess his captain's judgment?" - Picard
"Permission to speak candidly, sir?" - Riker
"Always." - Picard
"Having been a first officer yourself, you know that assuming that responsibility must by definition include the safety of the captain. I have no problem with following any rules you lay down, short of compromising your safety." - Riker
"And you don't intend to back off that position?" - Picard
"No, sir!" - Riker