The Enemy (ST:TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 7) — LaForge and a Romulan Cooperate to Survive

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break.

LaForge is stranded on a hostile planet with a nervous, injured Romulan.

The “mutual enemies must learn to cooperate” storyline is by-the-numbers, but I still enjoyed it. I don’t remember ever seeing this episode before, but seeing the frequently reused “planet hell” set (featuring a distinctively stair-stepped sloping wall) was like visiting an old friend.

Some camera angles, like an overhead shot of LaForge climbing out of a watery pit, do a good job creating the illusion of space, but dim lighting isn’t enough to keep the various set locales from looking cramped and fake and disconnected. I would have liked to see an establishing shot showing how far LaForge had wandered from the beam-down spot, or just a matte painting showing a crater or debris field to mark the crash site, but no, because budget.

Back on the Enterprise, Dr. Crusher tries to save the life of a prisoner, Picard responds to Worf’s stubbornness, and the Romulan Commander Tomalak (Andreas Katsulas) shows up for some thrilling Neutral Zone brinksmanship. Data has little to do other than push buttons and confirm Wesley’s brilliant mission-saving technobabble. Nice production touches include the blue light under the gurney, suggesting it’s hovering, and a nice tracking corridor shot.