Thursday, November 10, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 6 (Where No One Has Gone Before)

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

Even though the Enterprise is a new ship, Starfleet feels that an engineer by the name of Kosinski can do quite a bit for the Enterprise’s warp drive. The warp drive is what allows ships to go faster than light. Kosinski claims that he can make the engines more efficient.

Upon arriving in engineering, he has his assistant enter the equations. (The assistant is known simply as The Traveler, as his given name is unpronounceable to us.) The chief engineer of the Enterprise thinks that the equations are full of crap, but things seem to go pretty well, if only for a few minutes. Soon, the Enterprise is sent millions of light years away. Using the warp drive, it would take over 300 years to get home.

Wesley Crusher was the first to see what was really going on. He noticed The Traveler phasing in and out of our reality. He tries to tell Commander Riker, but Riker won’t listen to him. When the ship tries to get back home, things get even worse; the ship ends up on the outer rim of the universe. The thing is that Commander Riker notices what Wesley had.

The Traveler is drained, but feels that he can make one more attempt. Before trying, he tells Captain Picard that Wesley is different. Much as Mozart was a prodigy for music, Wesley is an prodigy when it comes to Engineering. Picard agrees to encourage Wesley. Fortunately, the third time is a charm; the Enterprise ends up back where it started, but The Traveler disappears. On the bridge, Wesley is made an acting ensign.

There are two things that I noticed about Kosinski. First, despite being in a Starfleet uniform, he has no combadge. It seems that everyone in the uniform has the small communications device where they can reach it; not Kosinski. The second thing is that he’s pretty arrogant for an ensign. He’s convinced that he’s the best thing to happen to engineering since the slide rule. He’s not going to let anyone tell him he’s wrong. (Especially not some lowly chief engineer or first officer.) When Kosinski is finally proven to be wrong, it comes as a great shock to him that everyone else really was right, after all.

There’s also the issue of Wesley. This episode sets into motion his Starfleet career, which would also end with The Traveler seven years later. This episode would set up several others and have long-lasting effects. I don’t know if the writers had necessarily planed it that way, but it was a good thing that this was dealt with so early in the series.

I’d give this episode four stars. It’s a simple episode, but there’s something to be said for simplicity sometimes. If you can make it this far in the series, you might see that Wesley isn’t the only one with promise. It seems like the main characters are beginning to find themselves. I would definitely recommend this episode to anyone.

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