Thursday, November 10, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 25 (Conspiracy)

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

If you’ve been reading my reviews of the first-season episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, you may have gotten the impression that I don’t care for them much. That would be a pretty accurate impression; there weren’t too many episodes from the first season that I liked much. However, “Conspiracy” had promise.

Earlier in the season, there were hints that not all was well at Starfleet Command. Now, Captain Picard receives a message from friend and fellow captain, Walker Keel. Keel doesn’t know who to trust. He tells Picard to report to a remote and deserted planet. Picard tells his crew nothing. When the Enterprise arrives, Picard beams down and meets with Keel and two other Captains. While they have no proof of anything specific, Keel has noticed very odd transfers and orders coming out of Starfleet. Officers that are otherwise rational people are giving orders that make no sense.

Picard is dismissive of it at first, but when Keel’s ship is destroyed, Picard decides to head back to Earth. He tells Data to analyze all orders coming out of Starfleet. (Being an android, Data can take in and evaluate large quantities of information quickly.) Data does find very odd patterns. It looks like Picard will have to confront several admirals about this. It turns out that several admirals are infected by parasites. I don’t want to say too much more than that; it would ruin the surprise.

This episode, taken alone, was a lot better than the rest of the first season. It was dark and seemed to have consequences that would last well beyond that episode. In that respect, it was a disappointment. The series never followed up on this episode. There were hints of an invasion, but the parasites were never seen again.

The acting was great, but the graphics left something to be desired. The effect for the parasite looked a lot like claymation. Also, there is some gore in this episode. The effect for that scene also didn’t work very well. When you see the effects in that scene, everything will look a little off. It will also look out of place for the series. Looking back, I find it hard to believe that the series even attempted anything like this.

I can give this episode four stars, mostly because I don’t want to give it just three. I can’t really use the lack of follow-up as an excuse to take away from this one. That doesn’t mean that the quality of this episode is diminished. It really takes away from the overall quality of the series, if anything. I would have liked to see some future episode that dealt with the ramifications of this episode. Even a passing mention would have been something. I’d definitely recommend this episode.

No comments :