Daily Archives: December 26, 2018

Episode 2-12, The Royale

I used to HATE this episode as a kid not only because I don’t like Star Trek episodes that take place on 20th century earth (though there are a few examples of good ones), but also because they used to play the shit out of it in syndication. I never understood why such a weak episode got so much rerun time. Anyway, the episode isn’t quite as bad as I remember but like all weak episodes the focus is on the wrong thing. This should have focused more on why the aliens ever built the hotel and less with trying to escape the second rate novel they based it on. Funny how Fermat’s Last Theorem was unsolved when this was filmed and is mentioned as still unsolved yet in reality it was solved less than a decade after this episode aired.

Episode 2-11, Contagion

Contagion has what I believe is the first time Picard orders a tea, Earl Grey, hot, and introduces Picard’s interest in archaeology. Otherwise the episode was pretty standard dealing with an ancient, more civilized race that disappeared 200,000 years ago. This had some cool ideas, but overall was too unfocused. They are dealing with the Romulans well by not overplaying them and giving us just enough of a taste to keep them an interesting and manageable threat.

Episode 2-10, The Dauphin

The Dauphin is not a bad episode, in fact this has probably the best acting Wesley gives on the show, but the story doesn’t quite hit home how lucky the Federation is and how other races are still stuck dealing with war and other tragedies. The other problem is the shapeshifters here. Not that it’s bad for this episode, but later when DS9 focuses so much on how shapeshifters are a huge threat to the Federation. Did they forget this episode? Maybe this gets addressed in a later episode like how maybe these shapeshifters are different from the Founders, but it is a pretty big plot issue if left unaddressed.

Episode 2-9, The Measure Of A Man

This is the one, the moment when the Next Generation not only equaled everything great about all the Trek that came before it, but surpassed it and defined what Star Trek really is and what makes it the greatest work of science fiction above all others. It’s almost breathtaking to watch this episode knowing that you’re watching greatness unfolding before you. You can even tell from the performances in this episode that every actor knew they were doing something special. From here on out thru the rest of this series and DS9, Star Trek was fully realized and running on all cylinders. The likes of a show like this (and DS9) may never be seen again.

Episode 2-8, A Matter Of Honor

A Matter Of Honor might be one of the most important Star Trek episodes ever made. Before this episode all anyone knew of the Klingons came from the Original Series and (more importantly) their appearance in the movies (1, and 3; 6 hadn’t released yet) and so this episode lays the foundation for the Klingons and their culture. Star Wars struggles because they haven’t figured out how to expand the Star Wars universe whereas Star Trek’s focus on character and culture means it’s far richer of a world. Also, this episode could have been a movie; it’s that good, in fact it’s one of the all time best Trek episodes.