illusions Archive

17

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Hollow Pursuits”

hollowpursuits021“Hollow Pursuits”
Written by Sally Caves
Directed by Cliff Bole

Season 3, Episode 21
Original air date: April 30, 1990
Star date: 43807.4

Mission summary

A lieutenant engineer we’ve never seen before, Barclay, is drinking in Ten Forward when La Forge reminds him that he’s on duty. Barclay blows off his superior, then wrestles even Commander Riker into submission and sends the two of them packing, while Counselor Troi looks on avidly. Just as she’s throwing herself at him, he’s ordered to report to one of the cargo bays. Guess they’ll have to pick this up later, which it turns out will be easy as easy as saying “Save program,” because he’s been playing out a fantasy on the holodeck.

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9

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

Allegiance“Allegiance”
Written by Richard Manning & Hans Beimler
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Season 3, Episode 18
Original air date: March 26, 1990
Star date: 43714.1

Mission summary

Picard’s chillaxin’ in his quarters, reading a book (or rather, sleeping with one) when a probe enters his room, scans him, and beams him away. When Picard awakes, he finds himself in a locked room with two others: a Bolian Starfleet cadet named Mitena Haro, and a milquetoast Mizarian named Kova Tholl.

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10

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

thebonding243“The Bonding”
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Season 3, Episode 5
Original air date: October 23, 1989
Star date: 43198.7

Mission summary

An Enterprise away team is rummaging through the remnants of yet another alien civilization that destroyed itself, the Koinonians, when it stumbles across a booby trap that explodes and instantly kills Lt. Marla Aster, the ship’s archaeologist. The sudden, violent death is all the more tragic because she leaves behind a 12-year-old son, Jeremy.

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10

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

“The Survivors”
Written by Michael Wagner
Directed by Les Landau

Season 3, Episode 3
Original air date: October 8, 1989
Star date: 43152.4

Mission summary

Enterprise responds to a distress call at planet Rana IV, which was reportedly under attack by an unknown ship. But by the time they get there, the enemy is gone—along with all life and buildings on the surface. Eleven thousand colonists have been wiped out. No wait, make that 10,998. Scans show that there are two survivors located in an improbably intact square of land that contains a house and plant life.

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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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44

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Arsenal of Freedom”

“The Arsenal of Freedom”
Written by Richard Manning and Hans Beimler
Story by Maurice Hurley and Robert Lewin
Directed by Les Landau

Season 1, Episode 21
Original air date: April 11, 1988
Star date: 41798.2

Mission summary

Enterprise reaches the Lorenze Cluster in search of the U.S.S. Drake, which vanished while investigating the sudden disappearance of all intelligent life on Minos, a planet of arms merchants. As soon as they arrive, Enterprise is hailed with a targeted advertisement from the self-proclaimed “Arsenal of Freedom.” Annoyed that he had to sit through a commercial, Picard sends a small away team to shut everything down.

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46

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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30

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

“The Battle”
Written by Herbert J. Wright, Story by Larry Forrester
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 1, Episode 9
Original air date: November 16, 1987
Star date: 41723.9

Mission summary

Dr. Crusher makes a house call to Captain Picard’s quarters. He has a headache, which is so rare in the 24th century, aspirin is apparently an old folk remedy, and thus no longer an option. The captain’s sudden malaise might have something to do with the Ferengi ship nearby, which summoned Enterprise to the Xendi Sabu system for some unknown purpose and has kept them waiting for three days.

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31

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Cage”

The Cage
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Robert Butler

Original Pilot
Production episode: 1
Original air date: October 4, 1988
Star date: Unknown

Mission summary

Without any helpful narration over the opening credits, or even some kind of “captain’s log,” it’s hard to tell just what’s going on here. This ship, which is called U.S.S. Enterprise, seems to be on a mission in space. The duration of its voyage and its purpose is unclear, but my instincts tell me the crew is seeking out new life and new civilizations, or vice versa, as the case might be. But they’re certainly going where no one has gone before.

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44

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Spectre of the Gun”

Spectre of the Gun
Written by Lee Cronin
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 3, Episode 6
Production episode: 3×01
Original air date: October 25, 1968
Star date:4385.3

Mission summary

En route to establish relations with the Melkotians–a reclusive, papier-mâché-mask-wearing race–the Enterprise is intercepted by a space buoy with a very serious warning:

Aliens, you have encroached on the space of the Melkot. You will turn back immediately. This is the only warning you will receive.

Kirk hears it in English, but Spock hears it in Vulcan, Chekov hears it in Russian, and Uhura hears it in Swahili. It’s using some kind of telepathy to communicate to all of them. Though he understands the message perfectly, Kirk decides to disregard it pretty much immediately because “Our orders are very clear. We’re to establish contact with the Melkotians at all costs.”

Involuntary peace ahoy!

After some failed attempts at hailing them, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and Chekov beam down to what they think is the planet, but is actually just a giant fog machine because planets are expensive. Worse, they quickly discover that their communicators no longer work and the Melkotians don’t like trespassers. A Melkotian appears and calls the men “outside, a disease,” and says that because Kirk ordered his crew to do this thing, “yours shall be the pattern of your death.”

They are then instantly transported to a low-budget, flimsy Hollywood set of the Old West.

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