Friday, 17 October 2008

Star Trek: TNG 2.1 - The Child

Review 111 - Episode 107 (Nov 21st 1988)
The One with the Star Child

So, Season 2 and there have been some big changes, which are more interesting than this episode.

The first big change is that Dr Crusher has left and Dr Pulaski is now on board. Apparently, the writers wanted to shake things up and decided to bring in a Dr McCoy type character who would be more grumpy and not so familial with the crew. This was a mistake. Beverly's character was weak at times and her relationship seemed to be solely as a mother and potential attraction with Picard. But dammit, she created a different dynamic on the ship and I would want to be treated by her before any of the other Docs. And frankly, she was a MILF and this new Doctor is not. The fact we know that Pulaski lasts one season and Crusher is back for Season 3 means it's probably going to be hard to invest in her as a character, but she didn't really annoy me this episode, it's just that Bev had to go for her to come on board. And why is nobody bothered by Beverly's leaving? Surely Picard would have mixed feelings about it?

Anyhoo, Guinan makes her first appearance as does Ten Forward. This set is excellent, the lighting especially and it's a mystery why every starship doesn't have something similar in later series. Guinan's relationship is very mysterious and she comes across okay as a sage but we never really find out WHY she's so important to Picard. Surely these dialogues could have been assigned to Bev or Troi? In many ways, Guinan devalues their characters slightly as Picard seeks her opinion over there's. But that's for the future (and my memory is hazy) Her scene with Wesley is nice (though his acting is suspect at times here - he's not quite unannoying yet) and at least raises the issue of Beverly.

Worf now has head security officer rank and gets the yellow uniform as does Geordi who is now Chief engineer. It was a sensible move for the writers and gives his character more to do, but I think they always struggled with him at times beyond being a nice guy. Riker is sporting his beard and the uniforms may have been tweaked slightly (this could be my imagination) but Troi is now wearing her purple jump suit and her hair is less severely styled. Sadly, TCW is on hold as her betazoid assets have been put away, but don't worry Troi fans, they pop up again in the next costume change (where the writers appear to decide that if Troi is going to get dodgy storylines for the next few years, she may as well have a bit of sex appeal to pull in the punters, IMO)

The story is a never-used TOS script and it shows its age. Troi is impregnated by a light and gives birth at exceptionally quick rate. The annoying wee bastard gives of a radiation that threatens a deadly component the Ship is transporting (which is quite interesting but really doesn't join well with the A story). He tops himself and turns into a light and leaves. Nobody really comes across as believable in this episode and the reactions to the child are bizarre, plus all the characters seem to have reversed into early season 1 mode with Picard being cold and aloof. Pretty dire and I fell asleep for 5 minutes watching it, so tells it's own tale.

Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 319/560

Troi Cleavage Watch is on hold for the rest of the season, so for Season 2 It's going to be Beverly Crusher Appreciation Corner (or BCAC) from now on. It was such a bone headed move to ship her out, so there's going to be picture down here every episode. Why? To remind you how good she is dumbass!


Siskoid said...

To be more precise, the script was originally for Star Trek II, the tv series that became The Motion Picture. So I guess Ilia missed her chance to become pregnant by an energy alien (wait, that still sort of happened, right?)

Dave said...

ach, so it was. Funnily enough, I was wondering how the hell this would have fitted into TOS, but didn't even think of Phase 2. I'd convinced myself Uhura would take the role (actually, Shatner would have been up for it I bet!) Cheers