Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 46 (The Emissary)

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

The Enterprise gets a message to go to a set of coordinates. Nothing is given in the way of explanation or further instructions. Just go to a point in space and wait for someone, who will explain everything. When the ship arrives, they find a probe, or at least the shell of a probe, gutted and fitted with life support. It’s not much to look at, but it’s enough to transport one person. It’s opened to reveal a woman, Klingon in appearance, who identifies herself as K’Ehleyr. She’s actually half Klingon, half Human.

She and Worf (who is 100% Klingon) had an affair several years ago. They broke it off and now Worf doesn’t seem to want much to do with her at first. When he tries to rekindle their relationship, she goes along with it at first. However, she’s not as marriage-minded as Worf is.

K’Ehleyr was sent as an envoy to help the Enterprise with a very important mission. There was an old Klingon ship used as a sleeper vessel. The crew is about to come out of a 75-year stasis. 75 years ago, the Federation and the Klingon Empire were at war and the ship is in Federation space, so there’s a good chance that the Klingons will pick one of several nearby targets and attack. A Klingon ship is on its way, but the Enterprise is the closest ship.

If the Enterprise can get there in time, it’s just a matter of resetting the stasis controls so that the Klingons stay asleep until another Klingons ship can arrive and bring them up to speed. If not, then it may be necessary to destroy the sleeper ship. Fortunately, Worf is able to come up with a solution. Worf decides to stay on the Enterprise while K’Ehleyr beams over to the sleeper ship to wait with them.

I have a few questions, mostly about the sleeper ship. First, what would a warp-capable species need with a sleeper ship? If you can travel from one side of your territory to another in a matter of months, a 75-year stasis is a long time. Romulans, I could understand because Romulans of the era might not have had warp drive. However, Klingons always had warp drive.

Secondly, why did the Klingon government wait so long to do anything about it? In 75 years, no one was able to go to the ship and wake them up a little early? No one stumbled upon the vessel? Either the Klingon Empire lost the ship and was lucky enough to find it in time or they were just lazy about it. I find it hard to believe that it took them 75 years to get around to it.

K’Ehleyr also breaks a glass table. Just as the original series seemed to have a rule about security personnel not coming back from an away mission, The Next Generation had a rule about glass objects not surviving Klingon guest characters. I think in every episode where there was a visiting Klingon, something transparent was shattered.

Worf and K’Ehleyr played well off each other. She tends more toward human values whereas Worf is more of a traditional Klingon. It’s a shame that she was in only one other episode. If you can look past the makeup, you may remember Suzie Plakson as Dr. Selar in “The Schizoid Man”.

I can recommend this episode, but I’m only giving it three stars. Those that aren’t fans of the show may not understand Worf and what his heritage means to him. (Even those that have been watching the series up until now may not fully understand everything.) I don’t think that you’d need to be a fan to understand it, but it might help. It was a good episode, but I don’t usually go out of my way to watch it in reruns.

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