Don’t let the door hit you on your way out of Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II Omnibus – Vol.13

Here’s your weekly Omnibus Edition of Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II covering Season 4 episodes 12 to 18:

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#StarTrekTNG S4E12 - The Wounded ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's finally time to keep up with the Cardassians as Star Trek: The Next Generation introduces later Trek's most fully realised, successful new alien race. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's fitting that the first Cardassian is played by the actor who would go on to play one of the best Cardassians of all - Marc Alaimo. Riffing on #HeartOfDarkness, The Wounded is a gripping thriller which puts Picard in the middle of a cosmic quagmire as he struggles to deal with an apparently renegade Starfleet Captain threatening the fragile and recently-won peace with the Cardassian Empire. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's a serious episode that showcases the strengths of the series and the quality of the cast. Miles O'Brien finally steps fully into the limelight, filling the gap in the cast left by Wesley's departure with a more seasoned and arguably more interesting character. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #thewounded #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #colmmeaney #cardassians

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#StarTrekTNG S4E13 - Devil's Due ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After the sobering introduction of the Cardassian Empire in the previous episode, it's time for some fun again - and what better way to let loose a little than to brush off another of those old #StarTrekPhaseII scripts and rewrite it for the TNG crew? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's a play on Arthur C Clarke's maxim that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic as the planet of Ventax II must deal with the return of a quasi-mythical figure from their past who has apparently returned to collect on a thousand-year covenant. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Guest star Marta DuBois has a whale of a time chewing the scenery as Ardra, the scam artist exploiting a planetary legend for her own gain. Of all the scripts adapted and rewritten for the TNG crew, this is the one where it's easiest to see how the original version would have played out. Data occupies the Spock role as the impartial judge during the trial while even in the authoritative timbre of Patrick Stewart, you can hear the Kirk in Picard's lines. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Goofy, lightweight and cutely clever, this is Trek as comfort food and there's nothing wrong with that at all. ⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #devilsdue #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #Ardra

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#StarTrekTNG S4E14 - Clues ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In which Data attempts to gaslight the entire crew of the USS Enterprise, but it’s for their own good. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It may bear more than a passing resemblance to the Red Dwarf season 2 episode 'Thanks For The Memories' which aired some two years before this did but even if it is a remake of sorts, it's a pretty darn good one. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There's a nice slow reveal to the central mystery as the crew try to wrestle with their suspicions and trust in Data. It's essentially Agatha Christie in space only this time, nobody's wondering why they've been gathered together - it's so they can accuse Data. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #clues #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration

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#StarTrekTNG S4E15 - First Contact ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Very different from the movie which would share its title, the story opens like an episode of 'Alien ER' as a prone and prosthetically enhanced Riker is wheeled into emergency surgery and looks like he might be heading for his very own alien autopsy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Unusually for a Riker episode, this time it's his *internal* organs that get him into trouble as his obviously alien nature poses social and philosophical conundrums for the ever-so-slightly-pre-warp civilisation on Malcor III. Picard and Troi make the unusual decision to make contact with the lead scientist of the planet's warp experiment, Mirasta (veteran (usually Romulan) guest star Carolyn Seymour) to discuss the situation and pull his favourite trick of beaming someone up to the Enterprise to blow their mind. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While Picard and Troi attempt diplomatic gymnastics to locate their missing first officer, Riker finds himself on the receiving end of the sexual harassment for once as a nurse (an almost unrecognisable Bebe Neuwirth) offers to help him to escape in return for a close encounter of the fourth kind but the escape attempt fails and he falls into the clutches of Krola, the paranoid Malcorian Security Minister. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's a thoughtful and deliberate examination of the political and sociological of first contact and has the courage to end on an atypically (for Trek) downbeat note as a civilisation chooses not to join the Federation's utopic fraternity and opts for 'ignorance is bliss' instead. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #firstcontact #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #bebeneuwirth #carolynseymour #jonathanfrakes

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#StarTrekTNG S4E16 - Galaxy's Child ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In which Geordi catfishes himself thank to his deepfake version of the designer of the Enterprise's warp core. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When Dr Leah Brahms visits the Enterprise, Geordi can believe his luck as he's been literally Stanning her on the holodeck. Only the real thing is frosty and annoyed at Geordi's under-the-bonnet tinkering (of the engines, that is). Things go from bad to worse for our incel engineer with severe boundary issues when she ends up checking his holodeck browser history. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Meanwhile, the rest of the crew manage to seek out a strange new life form and promptly kill it only to find out it was heavily pregnant so they add injury to insult by slicing it open in a kind of space caesarean. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is an atrocious episode in which few of the characters emerge unscathed and the integrity of the series as a whole takes a hit. The story of the hitherto undiscovered lifeform is almost farcical and would fit better on, say, The Orville where it could be dealt with the deadpan irony the absurd tragedy requires but the hands-down worst thing about this episode is how it handles the whole Geordi/ Leah Brahms situation. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What Geordi has done is tantamount to identity theft revenge porn and yet he faces zero consequences for it when in reality you'd expect him to at least be relieved of duty and forced to attend Counselor Troi's mandatory sexual harassment seminar and regular counselling before being allowed to work unsupervised ever again. Even worse, the episode somehow contrives to have Dr Brahms experience this #MeToo moment and end up *apologising* to Geordi and hoping they can still be friends. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ People say The Original Series hasn't aged well in terms of its casual sexism but this episode has curdled more than the 'sour milk' metaphor it uses to rid itself of the orphan alien the crew themselves orphaned. This is some straight-up Harvey Weinstein apologist bullshit. ⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #galaxyschild #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII

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#StarTrekTNG S4E17 - Night Terrors ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Fittingly spooky as we near #Halloween, this episode has a lot of good ideas and chilling horror movie moments but ends up wasting them in service of a sci-fi story that's kind of bland and trapping Troi in a nightmare of shitty special effects. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Attempting to rescue the USS Brattain (or Brittain depending on whether you're reading the script or the spelling error on the model shots), the Enterprise becomes trapped in a Tyken's Rift. As the usually shiny, happy people of the crew begin to lose their tempers and hallucinate, Dr Crusher works out its due to a lack of REM. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With only Data and Troi unaffected, the former having no need of sleep or dreams, the latter plagued by nightmares about whispering voices and one moon circles, the increasingly irascible crew work out there must be a conveniently undetectable ship of psychic aliens trying to communicate via Counsellor Troi's dreams. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It all ends with a big explosion freeing the trapped vessels, finally allowing the crew to get some much-needed shut-eye, joining the audience who likely nodded off about halfway through. ⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #nightterrors #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration

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#StarTrekTNG S4E18 - Identity Crisis ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Inexplicably unregistered sex offender Geordi LaForge remains on duty and is visited by a former crew mate from a previous assignment who has some concerns she wishes to share. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thankfully, it's not a historic sexual harassment complaint against Geordi but instead is disturbing news that many of their other crew mates have deserted their posts, stolen shuttles and headed to Tarchannen III, site of a previous away mission. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In what surely should have been a Riker episode, it turns out that this time LaForge was the one who contracted an infection on an away mission, this time a parasitical one which can rewrite DNA and effectively reproduce its species by rebooting its host. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Despite its body horror premise, the episode keeps its creepiness quite restrained, preferring the suspense and mystery angles over the horror of the transformed man (not the album by William Shatner). There's probably a joke somewhere about somebody with Geordi's history being able to be tracked using ultra-violet light but I'm trying not to lower the tone any further. ⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #identitycrisis #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration

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Tune in next week for the next Omnibus or follow @TheCraggus on Instagram to get Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II directly in your feed. 🖖

 

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