Star Trek: The Next Generation (1992) – Rascals, and A Fistful of Datas

Captain’s log: stardate 46235.7

Airing on 31 October, 1992, Rascals was written by Allison Hock from a story by Ward Botsford, Diana Dru Botsford and Michael Piller.

So hey, it’s been a few episodes since we did a kid-centric story, so how about we do one, this time with a transporter accident thrown in for flavour?

Returning from a relaxing getaway via shuttle Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart), Ensign Ro (Michelle Forbes), Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) and Keiko (Rosalind Chao) encounter a strange energy field which necessitates an emergency beam-up.

When O’Brien (Colm Meaney) brings them aboard, they’ve been regressed in age to tweens.

This causes problems for the crew who have problems relating to their captain appearing as a child, O’Brien dealing with his wife, Keiko, as a kid, and Guinan showing Ro how to have a good time, giving her the childhood she missed having growing up.

More problems arise when the Enterprise is needed on a science mission, and a group of Ferengi find their way aboard and cause problems taking hostages – causing a few comedic moments when Picard (David Birkin) pretends Riker (Jonathan Frakes) is his father.

Through it all, Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) works on restoring the captain and the others, and she, alongside O’Brien and Geordi (LeVar Burton) eventually figures out how to return them to their proper age, allowing them to resume their lives.

Of note is that the episode is directed by Adam Nimoy, the son of Spock, himself, Leonard Nimoy.

It’s fun, and has some nice beats, but after all the kid-centric episodes last season, and knowing there’s another up next, it’s just a little annoying.

star trek rascals

Captain’s log: stardate 46271.5

Patrick Stewart directs the western themed episode that sees the holodock going awry again. Written by Brannon Braga and Robert Hewitt Wolfe, from a story by Wolfe, this episode first aired on 7 November, 1992.

Worf (Michael Dorn) and son, Alexander (Brian Bonsall) go on a holodock escapade`to the ‘ancient west’, when the crew has some down time.

Unfortunately, something goes wrong (surprise, surprise).

An experiment in Engineering goes wrong, and the holodeck is taken over by images of Data (Brent Spiner), and Worf and Alexander will have to find their way out, as they deal with western tropes while facing off against seemingly countless versions of the ship’s android officer,

Troi (Marina Sirtis) gets in on the action as a mysterious gunslinger named Durango, who comes to help Sheriff Worf and his deputy.

In terms of continuity, this is one of the only episodes which features Geordi with a beard (or the beginnings of one, anyway). And the teaser featuring Picard just wanting to relax and play his flute, but being constantly interrupted, is prime comedic material.

I love that most of the holodeck parts of the episode are shot on location, and that we also get glimpses of other crew members just relaxing – and Data’s Ode to Spot shows up in one of Crusher’s play rehearsals.

Of course everything gets sorted, after a showdown, and the Enterprise sails into the sunset.

The Human Adventure continues Thursday…

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