Archive for September, 2012

34

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Pen Pals”

“Pen Pals”
Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass, story by Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Season 2, Episode 15
Original air date: May 1, 1989
Star date: 42695.3

Mission summary

Enterprise enters the Selcundi Drema sector to investigate unusual geological instabilities that are destroying its planets, and Commander Riker decides this would make a great test of young Wesley Crusher’s ability to command a survey team to study the problem. Wesley is eager as always, but apprehensive about his performance and whether he’s qualified to give orders to officers who are older and more experienced than him. Meanwhile, Data is experimenting with enhancing the ship’s sensors and picks up a troubling transmission: “Is anybody out there?”

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14

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Icarus Factor”

“The Icarus Factor”
Teleplay by David Assael and Robert McCullough
Story by David Assael
Directed by Robert Iscove

Season 2, Episode 14
Original air date: April 24, 1989
Star date: 4268.4

Mission summary

Though it’s not on their official itinerary, the Enterprise is stopping at Starbase Montgomery to diagnose some funky readouts, as well as receive “priority personnel directives.” Picard meets his first officer in the observation lounge, where he praises Riker’s impressive manual docking from their first meeting, with a straight face, even. Now he has new congratulations to offer: the captain of the USS Ares is retiring, and Riker has been offered a promotion and his own ship! It’s an assignment way out in the boonies, but it’d be his. He has 12 hours to make his decision, and to help him, a “special attaché” from the Federation has come to brief him on the frontier region the Ares is studying.

Riker goes to the transporter room to meet the attaché and it’s none other than Kyle Riker, Riker’s estranged father. Man-off to commence in 3… 2… 1…

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16

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Time Squared”

“Time Squared”
Written by Maurice Hurley, story by Kurt Michael Bensmiller
Directed by Joseph L. Scanlan

Season 2, Episode 13
Original air date: April 3, 1989
Star date: 42679.2

Mission summary

Riker decides to cook scrambled Owon eggs the old-fashioned way for his friends, but it turns out that while food prepared by the computer might lack “flair or individuality,” the resulting “artistry” is not necessarily palatable. Only Worf is disappointed when their meal is interrupted by an urgent call to the Bridge: sensors have picked up a signal from a Federation shuttlecraft out in the middle of nowhere, with one human aboard.

They intercept and pull the unidentified craft into their shuttle bay, only to discover that it’s one of their own—the El-Baz, shuttlecraft 5. What! Impossible! They already have one of those. When they open her up, they summon Captain Picard to take a look, because there’s another Picard inside. Inconceivable!

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27

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Royale”

“The Royale”
Written by Keith Mills
Directed by Cliff Bole

Season 2, Episode 12
Original air date: March 27, 1989
Star date: 42625.4

Mission summary

A Klingon cruiser alerts Enterprise to some strange debris orbiting around Theta 8, an unmapped, poisonous ball of nitrogen and methane. They beam a chunk of the debris over and it’s a panel from a 21st-century spaceship, with the American flag and NASA’s logo emblazoned on it. But we’re too far from home! How can this be?

PICARD: We’ve got ourselves a puzzle, Number One.

Do we? Must we? Can’t we just tape the pieces together, pat ourselves on the back, then maybe dissolve it in acid over a live flame?

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