Captain’s log: stardate 41242.4
Ahhh, the melodrama trope of the evil twin. Datalore, written by Robert Lewin and series creator Gene Roddenberry from a story by Lewin and Maurice Hurley first aired on 18 January, 1988.
This episode introduced two recurring creations of The Next Generation, while also giving us more of a history on the android Data (Brent Spiner). Discovered on the planet Omicron Theta, the Enterprise stops by the world to see if they can learn more about their synthetic companion.
There they discover parts for another android, left behind by Data’s creator and we are introduced to the first creation, Lore (also played by Spiner) who, despite appearing to be an exact copy of Data, isn’t.
Lore has been working with another creation that recurs later in the series, the Crystalline Entity. This deadly, space-faring creature destroyed the colony on Omicron Theta, and Lore plans to offer up the Enterprise and its crew to it as well.
Young Wesley (Wil Wheaton) sees that Lore isn’t Data, when the evil twin swaps places with the Starfleet officer. Lore can use contractions, Data can’t, and Lore gives himself away.
Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart), Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and the rest don’t believe Wesley’s claims, but soon enough, the boy genius is proven right again, and together, they are able to stop the Crystalline Entity and rid themselves (for awhile at least) of Lore.
While I enjoy the fact that Spiner got to let out his evil side with Lore, and the rest of the story is enjoyable, it just felt like a typical sci-fi trope.
I do admit to enjoying Picard saying, “Shutup Wesley!”
Captain’s log: stardate 41636.9
Angel One, written by Patrick Barry first aired on 25 January, 1988. This one fails miserably as far as I’m concerned because it doesn’t do justice to the concept of a matriarchal society.
Deanna (Marina Sirtis), Tasha (Denise Crosby), Riker and Data beam down to the planet Angel One to not only to augment diplomatic relations, but also recover the crew of a missing freighter, the Odin.
The leader of the world, Beata (Karen Montgomery) deals with the Away Team, and is attracted to Riker, a man unlike most of the others on her world.
Tasha, Deanna and Data find the missing crew, who have been on the planet for seven years, and consider it home. Some of them have even taken wives and have families.
Beata seizes them, and is ready to have them executed, until Riker finds a way for the society to navigate around it and come to a precarious societal balance.
The b-story follows a virus that is spreading across the Enterprise, which is done rather poorly, but allows Worf (Michael Dorn) a deadpan moment, and La Forge (LeVar Burton) gets to take command.
We also get a hint of the Romulans reappearing soon…
This is a story, that if written more strongly could have been something but instead it flounders and brings the first season down another notch. Happily, we are now halfway through the first season, and soon the series really starts to shape up nicely.
The Human Adventure continues Thursday…