Review 99 - Episode 95 (Feb 1st 1988)
The One where the Enterprise is nicked
Wahey! The first TNG episode I can recommend. In a nutshell, the Enterprise is stolen by a race called the Bynar - unfortunately, Picard and Riker are still onboard.
So, the opening 20 minutes are brilliant. The Enterprise docking with the space station is amazing effects and nice use of the effects from Star Trek 3. There's a real feel of size and grandeur when it comes in. I liked Riker wandering the ship, seeing Tasha and Worf (his oneliners are dynamite), Beverly rushing of the ship, Data and Geordi (who even this early on you think of as best friends) painting and Wesley acting normal and likeable. Rikers scenes with Picard are excellent and there's real chemistry between them, an honest respectful friendship. Troi is AWOL this episode, probably because Rikers love interest might conflict.
The holodeck scenes let this episode down slightly. They're still good and the Jazz club is an interesting location, but Minuet simply isn't as enthralling as the script and Rikers reaction suggest she should be. Picard and Riker practically fawn over her and I was left wondering how this 80's chick had become a sex goddess in their eyes.
The evacuation scene is well done and Riker and Picard retaking the ship is good. The basic plot, of the Bynar's storing all their info on the ships computer and transferring it to their home planet is a bit weak and doesn't quite add up when you think about it - surely there has to be easier ways to move the info than steal the Federations flag ship and their end game of keeping Riker and Picard on the ship was daft.
But overall this is very watchable, everybody seems real for the first time, and it's reminiscent of the movies, which is good.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 283/500