Thursday, November 10, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 5 (Haven)

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

The Enterprise is in orbit of Haven, a planet said to be able to heal the sick simply by being there. Everything is going well until a Betazoid gift box is beamed over to the Enterprise. No one is sure what it is; it stays motionless until Deanna Troi, the ship’s half-Betazoid counselor arrives in the transporter room. It activates and plays a recorded message. Finally, it releases gifts. Troi explains that it means that she’s getting married.

Apparently, on Betazed, there are still arranged marriages. She had assumed that since she was so far away and that since her betrothed was human that she would never have to go through with it. However, the other family apparently insisted. Troi’s marriage means that she won’t be staying on the Enterprise. The man that she’s supposed to marry is Wyatt Miller, a medical doctor. Troi can sense that he’s surprised when he sees her. It isn’t until a little later that it’s revealed that he expected her to look different.

As if one problem wasn’t enough, a ship approaches Haven, but doesn’t respond to any hails. The ship is identified as Tarellian. It’s a mystery since the Tarellians were thought to have been wiped out. They carry a plague that apparently has a very high mortality rate; entire planets have been wiped out. Now, the Enterprise is in a difficult situation. They can’t just destroy the ship, but they can’t just let the people on the ship beam down. The Enterprise locks on with its tractor beam and tows them away. It isn’t until then that the Tarellians contact the Enterprise; one of the people on the ship is the woman that Wyatt expected Deanna to be.

I really didn’t like this episode. I won’t tell you how it ends. I don’t really see the point here. However, the solution seems too easy. Since Troi goes on to be in the remainder of the series, it’s safe to say that, at least to some degree, things work out for her. However, both ‘problems’ had one solution that didn’t really seem to have too much thought put into it. It just happened.

On a positive note, this is the first episode where we get to see Deanna’s mother, Lwaxana Troi. Lwaxana was a bit much when in this episode. She seems to have taken a romantic interest in Captain Picard. She’s telepathic and states that she can sense Picard’s interest in her. However, Picard shows no outward signs of any actual interest in Lwaxana Troi. I suppose that even telepaths aren’t above fooling themselves. The whole thing comes across as comical. When I first watched the series, I found Lwaxana to be irritating, mostly because I wouldn’t have wanted to find myself in Picard’s position. However, watching the episode now, it’s not that bad.

The character of Wyatt Miller still seems a little irritating. Neither he nor Deanna seems to want to go through with the marriage, but both realize that there’s little that they can do about it. Wyatt seems to be taking the marriage lightly, not really seeming to mind that he’s about to marry a woman that he’s hardly ever seen. Deanna has accepted this as part of her culture. However, Wyatt is human. I suppose that he’s also known about it his entire life, as well. However, I would expect some sense of something. Commander Riker is the one that isn’t at all pleased about it. He and Deanna had been romantically involved. Even though they had gone their separate ways years ago, he still has feelings for her.

In terms of graphics, I also wasn’t impressed. When the Enterprise locked on to the Tarellian ship, the Tarellian ship seemed to skip. If you look closely, you’ll see it move backwards a little bit. I don’t know what the deal was. Maybe no one caught it; maybe it was intentional. Still, I would have expected a little more.

This episode is worth only two stars. It seems like the earlier episodes are easier to pick apart. The scripts don’t seem to be as well written and the graphics aren’t as good as in later seasons. Also, the acting and the characters don’t really develop until the second season. If you’re buying the episodes on VHS, skip this one. 

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