About Author: Torie Atkinson

Website
http://www.torieatkinson.com
Description
Torie Atkinson watches too many movies and plays too many games but never, ever reads enough books.

Posts by Torie Atkinson

24

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

“Symbiosis”
Story by Robert Lewin
Teleplay by Robert Lewin, Richard Manning, and Hans Beimler
Directed by Win Phelps

Season 1, Episode 22
Original air date:  April 18, 1988
Star date: Unknown

Mission summary

This week, on a Very Special Episode of ST: TNG…

The Enterprise is investigating some unusual solar flare activity in the Delos system when they receive a distress call from an Ornaran freighter. The freighter turns out to be the galactic equivalent of a Volkswagen minibus and the occupants onboard seem awfully mellow for people whose lives are in danger. The Enterprise‘s bridge crew is dumbfounded by the Ornarans’ lack of initiative to solve their crisis or expertise about the basic ship repairs necessary to save their vessel. The freighter is going to be destroyed as a result of sheer incompetence. The Enterprise beams them over to save their lives, but the Ornarans beam over their cargo first. By the time Yar can lock onto the passengers, only four of the six made it: two died because their cargo got priority. Harsh, dude.

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27

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Heart of Glory”

“Heart of Glory”
Teleplay by Maurice Hurley
Story by Maurice Hurley and Herbert Wright & D.C. Fontana
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 1, Episode 20
Original air date: March 21, 1988
Star date: 41503.7

Mission summary

The Enterprise is called out to the Neutral Zone to investigate a recent battle involving a Talarian freighter. Some life signs are aboard, so Riker, Data, and Geordi beam over to the ship, with Geordi transmitting VISOR-cam back to the Enterprise. The away team pokes through the damaged vessel until eventually they stumble upon the survivors, but they’re not Talarian or Romulan: they’re Klingon.

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13

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Home Soil”

“Home Soil”
Teleplay by Robert Sabaroff
Story by Karl Guers, Ralph Sanchez, and Robert Sabaroff
Directed by Corey Allen

Season 1, Episode 18
Original air date: February 22, 1988
Star date: 41463.9

Mission summary

The Enterprise pays a visit to Velara III, a Tattooine-like planet chosen by the Federation for terraforming. The leader of the terraforming team, Mandl, looks nervous and tries to discourage the Enterprise from stopping by. Picard knows something’s up (who wouldn’t want a hello from the inspectors?) and sends Riker, Yar, Data, and La Forge down to check things out. The rest of the terraforming team–Malencon, the hydraulics specialist; Luisa Kim, the biosphere designer; and chief engineer Bjorn Bensen–don’t seem to have any secrets. But when Mandl tells Malencon to get back to work, the specialist disappears into a room only to start screaming moments later. The crew finds him too late, badly burned by a ceiling-mounted laser drill.  Though they beam him to sickbay, he’s dead, Jean-Luc.

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47

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Too Short a Season”

“Too Short a Season”
Story by Michael Michaelian
Teleplay by Michael Michaelian and D.C. Fontana
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 1, Episode 16
Original air date: February 8, 1988
Star date: 41309.5

Mission summary

On Mordan IV terrorists have taken several hostages, including a Federation ambassador, and demand to negotiate with an elderly Admiral Mark Jameson. Despite (or perhaps because of) his advanced years, Jameson’s qualifications are self-evident: he negotiated a seemingly impossible hostage situation on that very planet forty-five years earlier that made him something of a diplomatic hero. Though Mordan IV eventually plunged into a bloody, forty-year civil war, the past five years have been peaceful. Picard wonders why the current governor, Karnas, can’t seem to handle the situation himself. (Obviously healing a rift as deep as a civil war has a difficulty rating of three, max.)

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23

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Angel One”

“Angel One”
Written by Patrick Barry
Directed by Michael Rhodes

Season 1, Episode 14
Original air date:  January 25, 1988
Star date: 41636.9

Mission summary

The Enterprise stumbles upon the remains of the Odin, a small freighter that collided with an asteroid seven years previous. While there are no life signs onboard, three escape pods are missing. The nearest class M planet where any survivors may have landed is Angel I, a matriarchal constitutional oligarchy with whom the Federation last had contact sixty-two years ago.

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47

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Big Goodbye”

“The Big Goodbye”
Written by Tracy Tormé
Directed by Joseph L. Scanlan

Season 1, Episode 12
Original air date: January 11, 1988
Star date: 41997.7

Mission summary

The Enterprise is en route to meet the Jarada, an insectoid species whose punctilious nature makes it difficult for the Federation to establish friendly relations.  The Jarada must be greeted by the captain (and the captain alone) in their native tongue with no errors. Any failure on Picard’s part will result in unspeakable consequences. Despite another lengthy cram session with Counselor Troi (reknowned exolinguist?), Picard is at an impasse. Troi suggests he take his mind off the Jaradans for a while and try out the latest holodeck upgrades. Recess! Picard brightens immediately and agrees that a 1940s hard-boiled crime game is just the thing to take the edge off.

He begins the program of  “Dixon Hill,” a sort of 1940s Philip Marlowe-cum-Sherlock Holmes, and discovers a beautiful woman sitting in Hill’s–his–office. Picard’s mildly interested in her flirting but is more fascinated by the cars zooming by outside the window. He only half-listens to her pleas for safety; she’s convinced she’s about to be murdered. But Picard’s really got to be getting back, so he puts the program on hold and calls a staff meeting to tell everyone what an awesome show this holodeck thingy is and I guess there’s some diplomatic thing he should be worried about but LOOK CARS DID YOU SEE THEM? He invites a 20th century historian and Dr. Crusher to join him next time. My instincts tell me it still doesn’t excuse them from the company retreat, but maybe it’ll look good on next year’s review.

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40

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Hide and Q”

“Hide and Q”
Story by C.J. Holland
Teleplay by C.J. Holland and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Cliff Bole

Season 1, Episode 10
Original air date: November 23, 1987
Star date: 41590.5

Mission summary

The Enterprise is en route to Sigma III, where an explosion has threatened a mining colony.  Hurtling through space at warp 9.1, the ship gets caught in a net–the same stock footage they saw back near Farpoint station. Sure enough and with his usual bad timing, Q blinks onto the bridge and informs Picard that the Q have become impressed by humans, and as such are offering Riker–and only Riker– “the realization of your most impossible dream.”

Alas, he doesn’t mean skipping to season 3.

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37

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

“Justice”
Teleplay by Worley Thorne
Story by Ralph Willis and Worley Thorne
Directed by James L. Conway

Season 1, Episode 8
Original air date: November 9, 1987
Star date: 41255.6

Mission summary

After settling some colonists in the Strnad solar system, the Enterprise comes across a Eden-like M-class planet called Edo in the adjoining star system. A small away team has been down to make contact, and the locals are party animals. LaForge describes the Edo as “wild in some ways, actually puritanical in others. Neat as pins, ultra-lawful, and make love at the drop of a hat.” While Riker’s already got his bag packed, Picard thinks there must be some negatives. He allows a small party–including Wesley Crusher, for some reason–to beam down to test the place’s suitability for shore leave, but warns that they should “just hope it’s not too good to be true.”

Right on cue, the sensors start to go crazy–it’s reading that something else is in orbit around Edo, but no one can see it. Oh well. Nothing worth getting in the way of hot sex, right?

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40

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Where No One Has Gone Before”

“Where No One Has Gone Before”
Written by Diane Duane and Michael Reaves
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 1, Episode 6
Original air date:  October 26, 1987
Star date: 41263.1

Mission summary

The Enterprise accepts the assistance of a Mr. Kosinski, a propulsion specialist who claims he (along with his nameless alien assistant) can improve the efficiency of the ship’s engines. Data and Riker are not convinced–they’ve run the models, and the models indicate no improvement in speed or performance. Moreover, Kosinski is an arrogant, self-satisfied schmuck (and yet strangely not a commodore!), and both Riker and one of the chief engineers, Argyle, hesitate to allow Kosinski access to their engines at all. They eventually decide that if his calculations are gibberish no harm can come to the ship anyway, and allow Kosinski to go through with his experiment.

Beginning at warp 1.5, the Enterprise steadily accelerates–but something goes wrong. Suddenly the ship is zipping past galaxies at incalculable speeds. Picard orders an emergency reverse of the engines, and when the ship comes to a full stop they realize they are (improbably) in the galaxy M33: 2.7 million light years from home. It will take over 300 years for them to return their own galaxy.

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42

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Code of Honor”

“Code of Honor”
Written by Katharyn Powers and Michael Baron
Directed by Russ Mayberry; Les Landau (uncredited)

Season 1, Episode 4
Original air date:  October 12, 1987
Star date: 41235.25

Mission summary

A devastating plague threatens millions of Federation lives and only one planet seems to have abundant supplies of the vaccine: Ligon II. The Ligonians, who are all black, are described as “proud,” “structured,” “ritualistic,” and “honor-based,” because I guess positive adjectives are supposed to make their African tribal vibe seem less racist.

Picard greets the leader, Lutan, and his first officer equivalent, Hagon, aboard the Enterprise. Lutan is immediately taken by Lt. Yar because on their planet “it is the duty of women only to own the land, and the duty of men to protect and rule it.” Picard gifts them some pottery and they get a tour of the Enterprise, then Yar gives them an aikido demonstration as a way to show off both the holodeck and her own physical skills. All seems to be going well, as Lutan appears both pleased by Picard and willing to negotiate for the vaccine. He politely says his goodbyes, but just as he’s beaming out he abruptly snatches Lt. Yar and transports her with them to the surface.

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