Blessed Are The Geek


Before he gave his life to the service of the Church, the Reverend Peter Organ dedicated his passion to spaceships, sticker albums, orcs and laser-swords. Now married with two children of his own, he’s yet to find a cassock which covers the geek completely, and wonders how he’s going to explain his Warhammer collection to the Bishop…


Each episode is gets rated from 1 monkey (as bad as a Wesley jumper) to 5 monkeys ("I am Locutus of Borg"). Will I make it through the first season? Time will tell...

 

Justice 

The crew gets excited by the idea of shore leave, but Wesley puts his foot in it and we’re treated to half an hour of discussion of the Prime Directive. 

I really wasn't looking forward to this one as I remembered it being crummy when I first saw it. My memory was not playing tricks with me. 

Frankly, this episode is an embarrassment to watch, encapsulating a lot of the worse features of The Original Series, from outfits that the costume designer should be ashamed of (encouraging you to play "spot the exposed nipple"), to the old cliché of a group of people being "looked after" by a god-like alien/computer. Of course, in TOS Kirk would have wrestled the alien satellite thingy from orbit with his bare hands (ripping his shirt in the process), then spent some time in the arms of one of the scantily-clad locals; here, however, we get a turgid exploration of how much of a gyp the Prime Directive can be if you send down Acting Ensigns with away parties. To give him his due, Wil Wheaton does a good job of looking embarrassed at it all, but there was no acting required I suspect, plus there’s some shockingly bad performances from the Edo actors and some of the regulars too (McFadden, I'm looking at you). 

Clumsy, painful, badly-written cack; no fun at all, and with a crappy cop-out ending to boot. 

Riker: "They certainly are fit." Oh good grief! 

 

 

The Battle 

The Ferengi return, led by a DaiMon with a grudge against the Captain. We are introduced to his old ship and the actual Picard Manoeuvre (as opposed to Stewart’s shirt tug). 

In contrast to the last episode, I had fond memories of this story, partly because I remembered it having lots of spaceships (a rarity on TV at the time). The Stargazer is a lovely design, with enough winks to the original Enterprise to make it look old, helped by reusing the movie sets. We get more restrained performances from Ferengi actors this time, so they seem less gibbon-like than before and a little more threatening, especially seeing how they can literally mess with your mind (though I'm not sure this is a line of technology we see them ever dabble with again). 

The only things I have problems with in this episode are the concept of a ship the size of the Stargazer under complete computer control (if that were possible, why bother with big crews most of the time? It’s a problem I have with Star Trek III too), and the idea that Dr Crusher can sedate the Captain without prior warning or permission, which looks very dodgy when played out. 

So not without its faults, but still rather fun to watch. 

Bok: "And now my dear Captain, you are ready to live the past."

 

 

 

Hide And Q 

The Enterprise is heading to help with a mining disaster but it’s Q’s turn to make a comeback, and he’s offering to let Riker join him in the omnipotence club. 

This features a rather more comic turn from De Lancie than he gave us in the pilot, and to be honest it’s rather too OTT and annoying at times. There’s a pretty lame performance from Denise Crosby too, with her blubbing on the bridge (possibly an attempt to differentiate her from Worf - but originally she was supposed to be the hard-ass Vasquez of the series). The episode centres on Riker though, and Frakes puts in a good performance given that he’s got some rather crummy lines to deliver. 

There’s a somewhat clumsy exploration of the issues around becoming omnipotent, complete with a dead child for Riker not to save and the daft gifts for his shipmates (Wesley becoming a hunky adult in an instant, but still in that rainbow jumper, along with a Klingon mate for Worf, complete with fishnets!). Ultimately you know there’s no chance Number One will choose to keep the powers in the end, so it’s all rather pointless. 

The terrible planet set makes a return, looking for all the world like something from Blue Peter, and whilst the Napoleonic trappings of Q’s game are kind of novel, why his "vicious animal things" (Worf) have to have such naff monster masks is beyond me. Wesley getting bayoneted in the back was an interesting plot choice, but overall the episode drags a bit. It’s not at Justice levels of appalling, just rather meh. 

Riker: "I feel like such an idiot."


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The Great Star Trek: TNG Rewatch continues next week!