Try not to get too excited too quickly, but it’s time for Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II Omnibus – Vol.16

Here’s your weekly Omnibus Edition of Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II covering Season 5 episodes 7 to 13:

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#StarTrekTNG S5E07 - Unification, Part I ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ RIP Gene Roddenberry, who died before this episode aired and to whom this and the second part are dedicated to. It's curiously fitting, then, that this episode sees the most significant cross-over to date of Rodenberry's original creation with its successor as Picard and Data are sent in Search of Spock...again. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With Spock deciding to do a Luke Skywalker from The Force Awakens, much of the episode is spent padded out with Picard and Data enjoying the 'hospitality' of a Klingon ship commanded by K'Vada (Stephen Root) and cosplaying as Romulans in homage to "The Enterprise Incident". ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Again, TNG demonstrates why two-parters weren't really the series' forte as the episode consists mostly of set-up for the pay-offs of part two. Only the brief appearance of Sarek - and the news of his death - lend the episode much in the way of dramatic weight, unlike Riker's weak sauce detective story. ⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #unificationpart1 #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #stephenroot #leonardnimoy #spock #romulans #generoddenberry #marklenard #sarek

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#StarTrekTNG S5E08 - Unification, Part II ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Given it's the second part of a two-part story, it feels like bad planning (or desperation for the Spock reveal to be the cliffhanger) that this episode has to cram so much exposition in to bring the story to a close. Riker and crew are off visiting alien bars in scenes which feel lifted directly from Glen A Larson's Buck Rogers and meanwhile, our favourite blonde Romulan Sela is back with her latest wheeze being to attempt an invasion of Vulcan under the Federation's nose. After the Klingon civil war debacle, it's clear that blondes have more fun in the Romulan Empire too. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nimoy is reliably good value as Spock and it's fun to see him interacting with his successor character of Data although it's between Stewart and Nimoy that the episode finds its best moments as they compare and contrast their connections to the recently deceased Sarek. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The worst thing this episode ends up doing, though, is opening the pandora's box which leads directly to the Kelvin universe. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #unificationpart2 #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #romulans #leonardnimoy #stephenroot #spock #denisecrosby #sela #patrickstewart #brentspiner #kelvinverse

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#StarTrekTNG S5E09 - A Matter of Time ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When the Enterprise detects a temporal disturbance followed by the appearance of a small space/ time capsule piloted by an eccentric scientist, for one brief moment a million geek fantasy cross-over wishes seem like they're about to be fulfilled. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Alas, this episode is no Gallifreyan gallimaufry but we do get an amusingly impudent turn from Matt Frewer as a supposedly time travelling historian intent on witnessing a pivotal Enterprise mission. And, for once, both the a and the b story here are interesting and successfully executed, dovetailing neatly in a finale which unfortunately adds Berlinghoff Rasmussen to the catalogue of TNG villains who never reappear. You know, the list we wish Lursa and B'Etor were on. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #amatteroftime #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #mattfrewer

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#StarTrekTNG S5E10 - New Ground ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Solitons and silly sons do not a happy episode make. Worf's domestic troubles don't really make for compelling viewing, although Brian Bonsall is undeniably adorable Klingon moppet as Alexander Rozhenko. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Meanwhile, the sci-fi supporting story of warp speed without the warp drive by blasting out unpredictable energy waves from planet to planet never feels developed enough to earn the stakes the episode ends up having to get the characters to repeatedly remind us of. ⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #newground #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #brianbonsall

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#StarTrekTNG S5E11 - Hero Worship ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The Next Generation's unnerving fondness for traumatised children continues with this tale of another sole surviving orphan who, in order to cope with his ordeal, bonds with a member of the crew. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This time it's Data and, refreshingly, it's not played for laughs but instead provides a touching insight to both the survivor guilt of young Timothy but also Data's ongoing quest to become more human. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Again, the emotional story has a sci-fi backdrop although this one's more successfully developed even if it's another example of exponentially escalating stakes which are abruptly resolved when necessary. ⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #heroworship #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #brentspiner

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#StarTrekTNG S5E12 - Violations ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A profoundly dark episode of Star Trek which introduces the sci-fi concept of telepathic rape only to use purely for edgy exploitation. It's a bold concept that's let down not necessarily by its execution but by its denouement when the culprit is basically handed over to the authorities for what they assure us will be severe punishment. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's especially galling that he's simply released into the custody of his own people because the Federation 'doesn't have any laws against telepathic memory invasion' - which seems off for an enlightened society which includes the likes of Vulcans and Betazoids amongst their number - but also because by the end of the episode, the psychic assaulter abandons all pretence and assaults Troi physically. Surely there's a law against that, Captain? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It feels like an accidentally apt allegory for the real-world paucity of justice for sexual assault victims and the preachy end of episode musing by Picard smacks of a hastily put together 'moral of the story' bookend because having raised a thorny and problematic issue, the episode didn't really figure out what it wanted to say. ⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #violations #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration

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#StarTrekTNG S5E13 - The Masterpiece Society. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A place for everything and everyone in their place. When the Enterprise discovers a human colony threatened with annihilation by a stellar core fragment, their offers of assistance are rather reluctantly received. The reluctance, it turns out, is due to the fact this society is one of eugenic perfection, with each colonist genetically bred to fulfil their specific role perfectly. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Given the Federation's experience and innate hostility towards the concept of selective breeding and genetic manipulation, you'd think Picard would simply declare a 'Prime Directive' mulligan and stand back while the Nazis-in-all-but-name get squished by a billion tonnes of stellar matter but nope, instead he sends an away team down to teach them the value of diversity and while Troi falls in love with the head Nazi, a few of the other 'perfect individuals' decide to take the opportunity to literally jump ship and free themselves from their straight-jacketed lives, indicating that their supposedly perfect genetically engineered predisposition to their societal roles was actually a bit slapdash. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's an overly talky episode that meanders clumsily around its subject matter, completely ignores every franchise precedent around the history and dangers of genetic engineering and inadvertently (I hope) spouts a bunch of ableist, fascist nonsense dressed up as sci-fi allegory. ⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #themasterpiecesociety #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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