Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 28 (Where Silence Has Lease)

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

The Enterprise is out in space, apparently with little to do, when they notice some sort of void in space. Apparently, it’s something since they can’t see what’s on the other side. However, sensors pick up nothing in that vicinity. The ship moves in to get a closer look, but that doesn’t help. They launch two probes, but both disappear once they cross the threshold.

As they’re trying to figure out what this thing is or isn’t, it engulfs the Enterprise. Now, the Enterprise is surrounded by blackness. They can’t see any stars. However, they do pick up something on sensors. It turns out to be a cloaked Romulan ship, which they destroy way too easily. The Enterprise also comes across its sister ship, the Yamato. Commander Riker and Lieutenant Worf beam over to find that no one is there. The Enterprise is able to beam them back just before the ship fades away. Something’s going on here, and it doesn’t look good.

Eventually, an entity that refers to itself as Nagilum reveals itself. Again, sensors pick up nothing. Nagilum apparently knows quite a bit about the Enterprise, identifying the bridge crew by name. He says that he wants to study what we refer to as death. He even kills someone just to see him die. Nagilum assures Picard that it won’t cost more than half of the people on the Enterprise. (There are more than a thousand people on the ship.) Picard would rather destroy the ship and kill everyone than let Nagilum kill half of the people, so Nagilum lets the ship go.

I seem to recall something about a writers’ strike during the second season of The Next Generation. It really shows in this episode. After watching “Where Silence Has Lease”, I just have to ask, “What the f___?” Let me get this straight. There’s this entity that sucks the Enterprise into this void and toys with it, but when its new toy doesn’t want to play along, it releases it. However, it would seem that Nagilum can create illusions, so we’ll never really be sure.

Despite not having to pay writers, it looks like they were suffering budget constraints. Since the Yamato is the Enterprise’s sister ship, it looks the same. That means that the show doesn’t need to make new sets; it can just use the ones for the Enterprise. Also, since the Enterprise is in this big void, they don’t even need to generate stars for most of the episode. That just seems cheap.

Also, the effect for Nagilum is just horrible. Nagilum wasn’t even a complete face. He was just two eyes and a mouth. (I don’t think he had a nose, but I could be wrong.) That, set against a void, didn’t look right. The three body parts seemed to float around, which just made it look worse.

It’s just a bad episode all around. There doesn’t seem to be too much to it. There seem to be a few episodes that are nothing more than filler. The producers can’t seem to come up with anything interesting, so they just make an episode to meet their goal for the season. In this case, that was only 20 episodes. I mean, what’s the point of this episode? Why should anyone watch it? Fan and non-fan alike could skip this episode. I’m sorry that I didn’t. 

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