Sunday, 7 September 2008

Star Trek: TNG 1.7 - Lonely Among Us

Review 91 - Episode 87

The One with Giant Cloud
D.C. Fontana, what has happened? from being the best writer on TOS, she has been struggling with TNG in these early episodes, being credited with episodes that are poor at best. Where's the natural funny dialogue, the good twists? To be fair, this feels like a VERY early episode, so you have to give a bit of slack. but I don't think she got a chance at later episodes to shine.
Anyway, the Enterprise is transporting two races who hate each other to a peace meeting when they brush against a cloud and accidentaly take possession of an electrical being who starts to possess crew members and jump from person to person.
The Delegates sub plot is largely ignored, which is a shame given how extensive the makeup is. They seemed to be largely used as humour and were never taken seriously.
The effects of the Cloud are very impressive (I've always liked these nebula since Wrath of Khan) and the electricity bolts are okay for 80's TV.
The Cast are all over the shop here however. Beverly being possessed comes across as stoned and Picard isn't much better. I think Stewart made the best of it, but he just comes across as goofy and weird. Riker is in black and white mode, either smiling away, or barking out orders and looking raging. Wes and his wacky jumpers comes across as a whiner again and unfortunately was about to solve the problem until he had to go school. Worf has a nice scene with Geordi at the start about taking extra responsibility's, but the pair of them and Tasha are ignored for most of the episode. Tasha has some dodgy acting scenes as well, especially with the final shot of her standing with her mouth open for ages. Data is still being played for laughs and the Sherlock Holmes angle starts here. Spiner actually just about pulls this off, but I did groan when I seen him smoking the pipe.
This next section is extremely juvenile so feel free to skip it if you wish, but I have to address this. Deanna Troi's Cleavage makes it first appearance here and once you notice it, the episode kind of derails as I started wonder if the Director was aware of it and started adjusting his shots. It will make many more appearances over the next few years and probably saved many a dull episode, including this one. The trouble is, it distracts from potentially important scenes. Here are some examples in a new feature i'm calling Troi Cleavage Watch (for scientific purposes of course!):

Notice the Cute reference to TOS in the background? Me neither.

Notice Geordi in the background? Me neither.

Whats Troi saying? Who knows
Is Troi making an important point here? Who knows.

And finally, the Director may have noticed there were too many cleavage shots of Troi, so wisely tipped the camera slightly upwards so teenage boys across the globe back in the 80's and grown men who should know better in 2008 could focus on the plot (which isn't really worth it)

Right, I think I've ran that joke into the ground, So, too many meetings , dodgy acting and a plot idea stretched out over 45 minutes mean this is a loser. Nice cloud and cleavage save the day slightly

Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 261/460

1 comment:

Samuel Walters said...

Hahaha ... Nice critique of Deanna Troi. I hadn't noticed that angle to the episode before (consciously at least). But it makes the review of an otherwise abysmal episode quite enjoyable.