Thursday, November 10, 2016

Star Trek The Next Generation - Episode 19 (Coming of Age)

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

The Enterprise is orbiting Relva III, primarily to allow Wesley Crusher to take the entrance exam to Starfleet Academy. He’s very bright and expected to outperform against three other competitors for the same spot. Admiral Quinn happens to be on Relva III; he wants to beam up, but won’t say why. When he and his assistant, Lieutenant Commander Remmick, beam aboard, Quinn announces that he’s going to perform a thorough investigation of the Enterprise.

The admiral won’t explain what he’s looking for. This puts the crew on edge. To further make matters worse, someone steals a shuttlecraft and nearly crashes it on Relva III. The captain gets the pilot safely back to the Enterprise. However, Remmick is still persistent to find something out of the ordinary.

Meanwhile, Wesley is acing his tests. The only thing he has to worry about is the psychological evaluation. In it, he’s supposed to face his worst fear. He can’t prepare because even he doesn’t know what it is. In the end, he just barely misses the cut, which allows him to stay on the Enterprise for a few more seasons.

As for investigating the Enterprise crew, Remmick finds nothing wrong. I won’t go into the exact details, but this episode is a setup for a later episode. If you were to buy this episode on VHS, you’d have a complete story. However, I’d recommend renting this as part of the entire DVD set.

Partly, it’s so you can see the other episode, Conspiracy. Mostly, it’s because this one episode alone isn’t really worth the purchase price. The acting was pretty good, but you can make out the use of forced perspective in several scenes. (That’s when they paint a wall to make it look like an area extends further than it really does. In one scene, you can see where a wall was painted to make it look like a corridor continues on.)

The main problem that a lot of the first-season episodes suffered was that they weren’t that great. Even the good ones tended to be rather plain and, on occasion, were used to establish later episodes or themes. (Those that weren’t good simply served no purpose.)

I thought “Coming of Age” was only worth three stars. It was interesting to watch, but the replay value is very low.

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