Captain’s log: stardate 41601.3
Skin of Evil.
Written by Joseph Stefano and Hannah Louise Shearer, from a story by Stefano. This episode which aired on 25 April, 1988 was Tasha Yar’s (Denise Crosby) swan song. The series to this point despite being touted as an ensemble had yet to deliver any real meat in terms of character and story for Yar, and Crosby wanted out.
This was the result.
The Enterprise warps to an unknown world to recover a crashed shuttle carrying Troi (Marina Sirtis). Unfortunately they are unable to beam her up from the surface. Tasha, Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Data (Brent Spiner) and Crusher (Gates McFadden) investigate.
There they find a strange liquid-like being, one that is filled with hatred. It is callous and violent, and strikes without warning. In fact it claims Tasha’s life before the end of the second act of the episode.
Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the rest of the crew are stunned and he goes down to the surface to confront the being, and hopefully save Troi before more lives are needlessly lost.
Crosby was right, her character wasn’t being given enough to do, and it’s too bad, but after she leaves the cast really begins to come together, as do the stories (though the next one surpasses horrible in my opinion – one world: chemistry). And hey, this is science fiction, no one is every truly dead.
The memorial sequence is done very well, and apparently Crosby shot her part in one take. It’s a divisive episode due in fact to the pointless death of Yar, but that could totally happen in the line of duty. It also shook up the viewers, because now, as far as the audience was concerned – no one was safe.
Oh, and hey look, another chief engineer, Leland T. Lynch (Walker Boone). Worf (Michael Dorn) moves into the role of Security Chief, a role he holds for the rest of the series.
Captain’s log: stardate 41697.9
We’ll Always Have Paris which aired on 2 May, 1988, is a less than stellar episode, and it’s sad to see this coming in near the end of the season when it was beginning to show some signs of picking up.
Written by Deborah Dean Davis and Hannah Louise Shearer, the story focuses on some time experiments, that are causing ripples through out the galaxy. The Enterprise investigates, and learns that the project is being overseen by a long thought lost and now injured professor named Manheim (Rod Loomis).
They are summoned to Manheim’s world by an automated message sent by his wife, Jenice (Michelle Phillips). Here’s where things get tough to believe, as we are supposed to accept that Picard and Jenice were engaged at one point, by he left her behind to pursue his Starfleet career.
Except the complete lack of chemistry between Phillips and Stewart makes you question the possibility of such a relationship ever existing.
While that is all going on, Data is able to work with Manheim and may be the only person who can stop the experiments from proceeding to their disastrous conclusion.
We do get the first introduction to Picard’s enjoyment of fencing.
Next week, we come to the conclusion of Season 1 and boldy go forward as the Human Adventure continues…