Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 133 (Rascals)

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

Sometimes, even “Star Trek: The Next Generation” has a totally ridiculous story. Captain Picard, Ensign Ro, Keiko O’Brien and Guinan are returning via shuttlecraft to the Enterprise when the Enterprise gets a distress call. Picard orders Commander Riker to lay in a course and prepare to get going as soon as the shuttlecraft is back onboard. Suddenly, the shuttlecraft is caught in some sort of energy field. Transporter Chief Miles O’Brien (Keiko’s husband) has trouble locking on with the transporter, but is able to beam them out at the last moment. Seeing a 40% drop in mass, he assumes that he’s lost one of them, but all four make it back – as children.

It’s not easy for any of them. Picard has to step down as captain and let Commander Riker take over. Picard realizes that there’s no way that he could be taken seriously. Guinan, who basically runs a bar, can’t really go back to serving alcohol even though she’s really well over 500 years old. Miles has trouble accepting that his wife is now in the body of a twelve-year-old girl. Ro doesn’t particularly feel like being a child again. She spent most of her actual childhood in a labor camp.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse, it turns out that the distress call was a setup. Several Ferengi got their hands on some Klingon Birds of Prey and want the Enterprise, which they figure will sell for quite a bit. As for the crew, all able-bodied adults are ordered down to the surface to mine the planet. Dr. Crusher has found out what’s gone wrong with the shuttlecraft survivors, but the crew hasn’t had a chance to do anything about it. It’s up to Picard, Ro, Guinan and Keiko to save the day.

The whole story is ludicrous. For starters, I’d like to know about the 40% loss in mass. Where did the 40% go? When everyone is returned to normal, the 40% miraculously comes back. It’s truly amazing. Also, we have a new fountain of youth. All someone has to do is go through a transporter that’s programmed to block certain genetic sequences. And that’s not even counting the weight loss. I also find it a little odd that no one noticed that the young Picard is wearing a uniform. Granted, the Ferengi that have taken over the Enterprise might not know what a Starfleet uniform looks like, but they’re getting a good look now.

Of the four characters that had to be reverted to childhood, Guinan was the best. The child Guinan was the most like the adult Guinan. Both were very calm and held back. Picard was a close second. It was almost like a teenager that reading lines written for Picard, but it was still believable. I didn’t quite buy into Keiko and Ro. I suppose you can’t ask for everything. All four were lucky that a cure was found. The possibility of having to grow up again was discussed and even though it was appealing to some degree, everyone was happier as adults.

IMDb page

There were aspects of the episode that were below average, such as the concept, and there were aspects that were above average, such as the acting. I have to settle on three stars. It’s an enjoyable episode if you don’t really think about it too much.

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