Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1 Disc 2

Continuum-ing my celebration of Star Trek’s fiftieth year by watching The Next Generation on Blu-Ray and sharing random thoughts on each episode.

1.05 The Last Outpost

A historic episode as it marks the first appearance of the Ferengi, and much importantly, the first appearance of Armin Shimerman as a Ferengi.  But more importantly than anything else, Tasha Yar isn’t totally useless.  Hooray!

There’s also some guff about some ancient empire… the T’Kon Empire.  Not to be confused with the Iconian, although this episode does feel very similar to the one in which they’re first mentioned.

I get the feeling we’re supposed to take the Ferengi seriously here, but… you can’t.  They just look too ridiculous both in their make-up and the way they act.  ‘Pygmy cretins’ is how I believe Worf refers to them, in another stirling example of Star Trek being very sensitive about race.

But although it’s not a great episode, it is a slight improvement over what’s happened previously.  Don’t expect it to be only an upward slope from here though.

1.06 Where No One Has Gone Before

This episode teaches us how dire the consequences can be if you don’t respect Wesley.

I don’t really like it when you’re just told a character is special – we get it: he’s a boy genius.  We’ve already seen him build a working tractor beam out of Lego.  We don’t need some creepy balding guy to come along and tell us that he’s gifted (it seems like the kind of fantasy lots of parents have for their kids, although the decision not to tell Wesley is right, as kids who are told how special they are will often underachieve later as they succumb to pressure).

But as it is a Wesley episode, I give it twenty out of ten, as I’m afraid he’ll find a way to reverse gravity around me if I don’t.

1.08 Justice

1×07 ‘Lonely Among Us’ was… it was dull.  There were some dog and lizard people, something about a cloud, Data had a pipe, there was a fish… and that’s all I remember.  Even though I only watched it yesterday, I’ve forgotten about it already.  So let’s just move one to ‘Justice’.

Enterprise officers, and Wesley, beam down to a white supremacist’s paradise… a planet filled with fit, young blonde people who spend all day exercising and making out while wearing the scantest white outfits.  Okay, maybe I’m being unfair – my immediate negative reaction to the Edo is shaped by my own world’s history and culture and not due to anything they’ve done.  They’re aliens, after all, and probably not Nazis and the whole concept of such is probably alien to the Edo.  It’s totally unjust of me to label and stereotype them.  But, they are really, really dumb.

Apparently, they have only one punishment for all crime committed on their world no matter how small – execution.  Which creates some problems for the Enterprise when Wesley accidentally breaks some glass.  And they didn’t think to tell their visitors about their one law when they arrived, even though it would have only taken a few seconds?  Tasha, who’s in charge of security, didn’t think to ask about their rules?  No one else did?  Riker?  Worf?  Were you too busy oogling to inquire at all about their laws before letting a teenager beam down?

There’s also some weird ship in orbit that the Edo think is a God, but it’s hardly important.  This about the law, whether or not it should be absolute, and the famous Prime Directive not to interfere with other cultures and developing civilisations.  Which leads to my biggest problem with this episode… the Enterprise shouldn’t be there at all.  The Edo are not a space faring civilisation nor is there any sign of advanced technology from them.  The Enterprise’ presence would only make sense if the Edo had contacted the federation first, but they didn’t.  The Enterprise found them and the crew that the prospect of sex on demand with a race of fit young blonde people was worth forgoing all their usual rules.  Now, if that is really what humanity escaped the bounds of earth and journeyed to the stars for, then,,, I’m in.  Where do I sign up?

This show lasted seven seasons… jesus…

1.09 The Battle

Haha… it’s the Ferengi.  Oh, wait… we’re still supposed to be taking them seriously as villains at this point.

Still, this episode isn’t too bad.  Not great, but compared to everything that’s gone before it’s David blooming Copperfield.  Still, some aliens show up and offer a gift of a ship that destroyed their comrades years earlier.  Yyou didn’t know who they were at the time but they’re telling you now, so… you’d… well, you’d think something was up, wouldn’t you?

The Enterprise crew kind of dropped the ball on this one.  Just thank Q Wesley was there to save them.

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