Monday, March 13, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 67 (Captain's Holiday)

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

The episode starts with two aliens looking for Captain Picard in a hotel on some distant planet. He’s not staying there, nor does he have reservations. The two aliens are certain that he’ll arrive.

Captain Picard never was the kind of character that was willing to show signs of wear. After a difficult negotiation process, the crew is beginning to pick up on the fact that he’s had a difficult time. His responses are short and he doesn’t seem to be in the mood to be with others. Commander Riker and Counselor Troi decide to get him to take a vacation on a planet called Risa.

Risa, which has made other appearances throughout the series, is a resort planet; the entire economy is based on tourism. It doesn’t take long for Picard to realize that the planet is more suited for Riker. Beautiful women are everywhere and many keep coming up to Picard, even though all he wants to do is read a book. On his way back to his room, Picard meets Vash, a woman who’s on the run from a Ferengi named Sovak. (Sovak is played by Max Grodenchik, who plays Quark’s brother on Deep Space Nine.)

They’re both after something called the Tox Uhtat, which is a device so powerful that it can stop the nuclear reactions inside of a star. To make matters more complicated, the two aliens from the beginning of the episode, who call themselves Vorgons, are also after the Tox Uhtat. They are from the future and believe that Picard will lead them to it.

The way that the story plays out, the Vorgons say that history has unfolded as it was supposed to. The end of the story was a bit of a disappointment. It almost seemed too easy. It seemed like it just ended. However, we get to see Patrick Stewart shine in this episode as Captain Picard. Picard is often described as a very private man, and that’s made clear in this episode

Grodenchik was also great as Sovak. The Ferengi of the first season weren’t that well developed and it was difficult to see them as anything other than comic relief. Sovak was the first real threat to anyone. The Vorgons were never seen or heard from again, so far as I can recall. The two characters seemed to be there just to further the story line and came across as being two-dimensional. (I think it had to more with bad writing than bad acting, though.)

If you missed this episode, I think you could get through the rest of the series and not be too confused. Even with the episodes where Vash appears, you could still follow those story lines without being confused. (If this episode had never aired, the other episodes would require very little rewriting.) I’m in between recommending it and not recommending it. (It’s because of things like this that I’d be in favor of doing away with mandating the recommendation.) I’ll recommend it only because I really can’t find any real reason to not recommend it.

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