Sunday, 12 October 2008

Star Trek: TNG 1.23 - Skin of Evil

Review 107 - Episode 103 (Apr 25th 1988)

The One Where Someone Dies

I don't know why I'm being coy about it, as surely everyone knows by now, but this is Tasha Yars swansong. The actual episode is average and rather simplistic, but has it's moments. Anyway, THAT death sequence.

I don't honestly remember if I knew she was getting killed off or not when I first watched it, but the suddenness and unheroic nature of the death is breath taking. Whether this was the writers deciding to make it low key or simply being bold and having her meet the same fate as red shirt, the result is dramatic. I've said for most of this season that Tasha cancels out Worf, and her leaving frees up more lines for the other actors, but Worf benefited the most from this. We can speculate on what would have happened if she stayed, and I think she has always regretted leaving so early, especially as 2 years later it would take off and become a phenomenon. She's very lucky then that she manged to make a comeback in one of the best episodes ever and get a character back in the series. Her funeral service is a bit over the top and you can tell the writers are struggling to give her things to say for ALL the bridge crew. How would she know they were there anyway? And when did she record it? Did she update it every week? The show benefited from her departure and it's not every day one of the main crew are killed off.

The monster Armus is at times incredibly powerful (affecting a shuttle craft and keeping a force field up) but he can affect the Enterprise or stop Picard leaving. He's quite effective and it's creepy to think there's this black ooze on a planet waiting to kill anything that lands on it. It's reminiscent of a Stephen King story actually.

Not a bad episode, but the death of Tasha overshadows everything else in it.

Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 307/540

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