Thursday, November 10, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 15 (Angel One)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Just when you thought that the first season couldn’t get any worse, “Angel One” comes along. You’re going to see me make a lot of complaints that you’ll find elsewhere, including other reviews on this site. If you’ve seen this episode, you’ll realize that all of the complaints are valid. You’d make them, too, if you wrote a review.

The Enterprise is looking for survivors from a freighter that was destroyed many years ago. They find several male survivors on a female-dominated planet called Angel One. If you read my review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you’ll recall me complaining how uninspired “The Chosen One” was. The leader of the planet has the title of Elected One. (How pathetic is that?)

Commander Riker, Chief of Security Yar, Counselor Troi and Lieutenant Commander Data beam down to the planet to negotiate for the return of those survivors. Those in power aren’t willing to give much up at first, but reveal that the survivors are, indeed, somewhere on the planet. They’re considered renegades and the government of Angel One is more than willing to be rid of them, assuming that the Enterprise can find them. The trouble is that the survivors have a life on the planet and don’t want to leave. Things change when The Elected One announces that they’re to be put to death.

Simply beaming them up isn’t an option since this mystery virus simply appears. Wesley Crusher and a friend of his are the first to come down with it. It quickly spreads, infecting about 300 people on the Enterprise. No one dies from it and the symptoms seem to be confined to the cold-like variety, such as sneezing and coughing, but there’s no point in deliberately infecting anyone. To make matters worse, the Enterprise is supposed to deal with a problem in the Neutral Zone, which gives them a deadline. Dr. Crusher is able to find a cure in time and everything works out.

The biggest complaint I have is with the writing. (Actually, I have two complaints with the writing; this is just one of them.) Angel One’s female-dominated society seems to be like a male-dominated society found on Earth, only with the genders reversed. Women are bigger and stronger. They hold the positions of power and are aggressive. The men are smaller and are considered inferior by the women, who constantly comment on their lesser abilities. It’s very stereotypical and not well written.

The other complaint I had with the writing was the whole virus thing. No one mentioned where it came from or exactly what it was. In fact, I don’t get the impression that it was any worse than the common cold. For all anyone knows, it would have eventually gone away. Of course, the thing with the Neutral Zone did make finding a cure a priority, as did the fact that any good doctor wouldn’t just wait to find out. However, I don’t think it was mentioned if Dr. Crusher did any research. So far as I can tell, the virus just popped into existence.

This episode gets one star. Neither plot is really that good. The female-dominated society is a thinly veiled attempt to show how ridiculous sexism is by showing the reverse. It comes across as a caricature. The virus plot is nothing more than a crisis-of-the-week type thing. A little more detail would have made this a lot better. With no real story, everything else falls flat. I’d recommend avoiding this episode.

No comments :