Star Trek: The Next Generation (1991) – First Contact, and Galaxy’s Child

Captain’s log: stardate unknown

Marc Scott Zircee came up with the episode’s story that was adapted to teleplay by Dennis Bailey, David Bischoff, Joe Menosky, Ronald D. Moore and Michael Piller.

Airing on 18 February, 1991, this Riker (Jonathan Frakes)-centric story puts the strange new worlds shoe on the other foot. Riker is undercover on the planet Malcora III, ascertaining whether or not they are ready for first contact. He is helping to study them, and understand their culture.

Unfortunately for Riker, there was an accident, and he ends up in a hospital – where the doctors there soon realise that he is not a local… he is in fact, an alien!

The episode explores the concept of First Contact from the receiving side. It’s a fun episode, plays with a couple of the UFO and alien abduction tropes, ever so lightly, including a woman (Bebe Neuwirth) who has always wanted to have sex with an alien.

Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the rest are searching for some way to retrieve Riker without upsetting the planet’s culture. But it may rely on Riker to engineer his own escape, before he ends up being dissected.

A scientist, working on the planet’s space program, Mirasta Yale (Carolyn Seymour) is contacted by Picard, and Troi (Marina Sirtis), which shocks her perception of reality as they make overtures of first contact, while asking her to help Riker.

As Riker finds a way to escape, the planet’s government must decide on whether or not to step into the future by dealing with the arrival of the Enterprise, or to remain sheltered in their little corner of the galaxy for a while longer.

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Captain’s log: stardate 44614.6

Galaxy’s Child gives Geordi (LeVar Burton) a chance to shine, as he and Leah Brahms (Susan Gibney) are thrown together again, for the first time.

With an airdate of 11 March, 1991 the episode was penned by Maurice Hurley from a story by Tom Kartozian.

Geordi is delighted to hear about Leah coming aboard, but when he meets her, she is not the woman that was created by the holodeck during the episode Booby Trap. And when she learns about the holodeck program what will happen then?

Along with the problems that quickly arise, and the dashing of Geordi’s expectations, a spacefaring creature has attached itself to the hull of the Enterprise, and the two engineers must figure out a way to work together, and save the Enterprise before its systems are drained.

Much like Booby Trap, the episode is a bottle show, taking place entirely on the ship.

I do like the friendship that develops between the two characters, and despite the fact that things don’t work out the way Geordi wants them to, he and Leah make a good pairing.

And of course, once they work together, they are able to solve the Enterprise’s problems, and carry on on their explorations.

The Human Adventure continues… Thursday…

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