Wakey! Wakey! It’s Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II Omnibus – Vol.18

Here’s your weekly Omnibus Edition of Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II covering Season 5 episode 21 to Season 6 episode 1:

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#StarTrekTNG S5E21 - The Perfect Mate ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Another episode where TNG homages TOS, there's more than an echo of #ElaanOfTroyius in this episode which sees Picard and his crew transporting a precious and mysterious gift to help seal a peace treaty between the Valtese and the Kriosians. But when two scheming Ferengi wangle their way onboard, it leads to a little trouble and a lot of heartache for Picard. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's a credit to the episode that the idea of a perfect woman who shapes her personality to suit her partner doesn't come off as misogynist wish fulfilment and ends up being a tenderly romantic and empowering story of self-discovery. It’s also fun to see Riker pacing around like a dog in heat, unable to get an opportunity to take a shot at Kamala and we should all be thankful she wasn't stuck having imprinted on him. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Patrick Stewart and Famke Janssen would, of course, work togehter again on the #Xmen movies and in both franchises, Janssen plays an empathic mutant. It's a lovely episode, with a great guest cast including Deep Space Nine's Max Grodénchik as one of the Ferengi and Tim O'Connor, familiar to sci-fi fans as Dr Huer in #BuckRogersinthe25thCentury. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Grodénchik isn't the only link to Deep Space Nine - Famke Janssen was originally slated to play Jadzia Dax but when she passed on the role, the production team preferred her spotted make-up here over the lumpy forehead of #TheHost and used it for Trills from then on. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's a nice change of pace to see Picard in one of TNG's trademark doomed romance tales and the ending, in particular, is bittersweet indeed as their shared sense of duty prevents them from remaining together. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #theperfectmate #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #kamala #famkejanssen #ferengi #MaxGrodénchik

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#StarTrekTNG S5E22 - Imaginary Friend ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What would life on the Enterprise look like through the eyes of a child? And what if an alien visitor to the Enterprise encountered that child first instead of one of the main cast? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Despite its cutesy premise being ripe for cheesy naffness, the episode is actually pretty good thanks to a likeable performance from Noley Thornton as Clara, whose vivid imagination gives the alien visitor form and information. The best thing about the story, though, is that what starts out as an E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial retread takes a sharp left turn into pseudo horror story territory when Clara's imaginary friend Isabella goes from playfully mischevious to purposefully malevolent. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Elsewhere, there's a #Blakes7-style web in space that gets thicker and thicker, slowing the Enterprise and luring them into a trap, keeping those pesky grown-ups away from the action. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #imaginaryfriend #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration

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#StarTrekTNG S5E23 - I, Borg ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Picard might be channeling the fourth Doctor as he questions whether or not he has the right, but this is genocide of the Borg rather than #GenesisOfTheDaleks. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Recognising the popularity of the Borg but the importance of not just retreading #TheBestOfBothWorlds, TNG brings back the big bad to use as the springboard of a moral dilemma of the kind which forms the heart of Star Trek. Although it's Crusher and Geordi who propel the plot forward, the story really favours Guinan and Picard who find themselves each confronting their history with the Borg, pushing both characters to darker places than usual. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The long dark night of the soul for both Picard and Guinan is helped by a sympathetic performance by Jonathan Del Arco as Hugh, the Borg who learns to refer to himself as 'I' a little ahead of the point where it becomes a plot point, but you can't have everything. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #iborg #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #theborg #thirdoffive #hugh #jonathandelarco

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#StarTrekTNG S5E24 - The Next Phase ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Exciting sci-fi action with a dash of philosophical Bajoran soul-searching as the producers continue trialling pairing the character of Ro Laren with various main cast members to see which pairings work best. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While assisting a crippled Romulan vessel, La Forge and Ro Laren are presumed dead after a transporter accident but, in fact, have been knocked out of phase by an experimental new cloaking device gone awry. As they try to find a way to return to the land of the 'living' they must also evade some Romulans who have found themselves similarly knocked out of alignment with the rest of space/ time. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's a solid action episode with an interesting story (which hints at future Enterprise-ruining episode The Pegasus) but the pairing of Ro and LaForge fails to provide any notable chemistry. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #thenextphase #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #michelleforbes #levarburton #romulans #ensignro

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#StarTrekTNG S5E25 - The Inner Light ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ An episode that's not as good in concept and perhaps execution than it is in memory, it's still an indisputable top tier episode of Star Trek The Next Generation and a tremendous showcase for Patrick Stewart. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When an ancient probe encountered by the Enterprise seemingly knocks Picard unconscious, the crew race against time to save their captain. Meanwhile, Picard finds he has all the time in the world - enough for a lifetime. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Utterly devoid of any action, this is a thoughtful, experimental slice of sci-fi television. It's a quietly absorbing family drama wrapped up in the cautionary environmental tale of a world on the brink of collapse and while the ending is one of bittersweet optimism, it's still a tragic tale. Beautifully written and well-performed, there's a lot to enjoy in the theatricality of the last days of the settlers of Kataan. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In many ways, while the series doesn't dwell on it too much, this experience was probably every bit as traumatic - if not more so - for Picard as his brief assimilation by the Borg, something Deep Space Nine would explore in more detail in the O'Brien episode #HardTime. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #theinnerlight #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #patrickstewart #kamin #kataan #ressikanflute

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#StarTrekTNG S5E26 - Time's Arrow, Part I ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Summoned back to Earth to answer questions about Data's head (he's had no complaints), the mystery then takes our heroes to the remote world of Devidia II where they discover a phase-shifted portal to the past, 19th century Earth to be precise. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thrown back in time, Data encounters an unexpected familiar face in 19th century San Francisco while back in present-day 24th century, Guinan finds that she must encourage Picard to close a five-century-long causality loop. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With #Redemption marking the last time TNG would gradually build a story arc towards a season finale, Time's Arrow ends up being more of a standalone romp, with special guest star Mark Twain and an expanded role for Guinan too. It's all good fun in and of itself but seems to lack any kind of gravitas after the previous couples of season finales. In many ways, it feels like a #DoctorWho story rewritten for Star Trek, not that that's necessarily a bad thing and it doesn't suffer as badly as previous two-part stories from the set-up/ pay-off imbalance. ⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #timesarrowpart1 #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #Guinan #WhoopiGoldberg #MarkTwain #SamuelClemens

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#StarTrekTNG S6E01 - Time's Arrow, Part II ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's almost a case of never the Twain as the crew of the Enterprise, stuck in 19th Century San Francisco must locate Data, attempt to prevent his decapitation and stop the sinister Devidians from interfering with history. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Star Trek continues playing #DoctorWho as the crew bumble around the past trying to be inconspicuous and avoid messing up the timeline while hunting aliens who are feeding off the life force of terminally ill humans. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's still a frothy costume dramedy with plenty of hi-jinks even if the new HD transfer is particularly unsympathetic to the use of stunt doubles, particularly "Data" driving the getaway carriage. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's resolved in a suitably wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey way and, as of this moment, Data becomes an old head on young shoulders as his noggin becomes permanently 500 years older than the rest of him. ⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #timesarrowpart2 #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #samuelclemens #guinan #whoopigoldberg #sanfrancisco #brentspiner

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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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