When the Bough Breaks (TNG Rewatch: Season 1, Episode 16)

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. Advanced aliens from a mythical civilization kidnap children from the Enterprise to repopulate their dying world. The premise sounds pretty schlocky, and the script is full of familiar Trek cliches, such as the utopia with a dark secret, arrogant aliens who tsk-tsk at the very weaknesses that make humans special, and a society run by an all-powerful computer. Having said that, I enjoyed the…

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Too Short a Season (TNG Rewatch: Season 1, Episode 15)

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. I was underwhelmed. The Enterprise delivers an elderly Admiral Jameson on a mission to negotiate with terrorists on a planet where he brokered a hostage release decades ago. The regular cast has very little to do because the story follows the visiting admiral, who ends up being rather unlikable. When we meet him, he’s obviously played by a much younger man in heavy make-up.…

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Angel One (TNG Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 13)

The Enterprise visits a sexist planet run by women, where… well, that’s about it. There’s nothing particularly science-fictional about the plot, except that the Enterprise is tracking a space-freighter and looking for space-survivors who disappeared near this space-planet years ago. There’s nothing strategic about the planet, and the B plot about the crew coming down with a virus that makes them sneezy and the C plot about a crisis in…

Datalore (TNG Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 12)

In “Datalore,” an encounter with Data’s more human-like “brother” showcases Brent Spiner’s acting talents and the optical FX crew’s mad split-screen skillz. While I enjoyed the plot twists and character bits as they happened, as a work of science fiction this episode offers little beyond popcorn “evil twin” fare.

The opening captain’s log lampshades an unprompted, random visit to Data’s home planet. The “Data practice sneezing” scene is silly, but the character development subtly allies Data’s desire to be human with Wesley’s desire to be respected by adults. The scene also accustoms us to the idea that Picard uses Wesley to deliver in-person messages, which kinda sorta helps explain why in this episode Wesley ends up where he needs to be to witness just enough to suspect Lore, but not enough to prove anything to the dumb-as-a-fencepost adults.