Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993) – Frame of Mind, and Suspicions

Captain’s log: stardate 46778.1

Frame of Mind is a Brannon Braga scripted tale that first aired on 3 May, 1993, and is a Riker (Jonathan Frakes) centred story.

The Enterprise’s First Officer is afraid he is losing his mind, as he seems to be slipping between realities – he is by turns aboard the Federation starship rehearsing and starring in a play overseen by Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) and in an alien hospital that relates directly to the plot of the play he is to be in.

It’s an unnerving, an actual pyschological terrifying episode, as Riker tries to puzzle out what is going on and whether he is truly insane.

It ties in with a mission he has to undertake, undercover, to find some Federation scientists, and a strange lieutenant appearing around the ship, and a doctor interrogating him in the hospital.

Things ratchet up as Riker struggles to hold onto reality, but it keeps shifting around him, and he begins to truly doubt his sanity, fighting to hold onto who he is, but even that comes under question.

The first time I saw this episode it really got to me, and the aliens with their strange forehead appliances got under my skin.

Frakes turns in a great performance in this episode, laying it all out there, and playing the role to the hilt, and it works fantastically. This ends up being a superior episode that scares as it entertains.

I love this one.

riker-star-trek-frame-of-mind

Captain’s log: stardate 46830.1

Airing on 10 May, 1993, this episode, penned by Joe Menosky and Naren Shankar finally gives Crusher a good spotlight story.

It opens with the reveal that she is no longer the Chief Medical Officer or even a doctor aboard the Enterprise. She violated Starfleet regulations and medical ethics over a creation of a metaphasic shield by a Ferengi scientist, Dr. Reyga (Peter Marx).

Crusher arranges for representatives from all over the Federation to come and witness the testing of the shield.

Unfortunately during the testing, one of the representatives, Jo’Bril (James Horan) is almost killed, and dies in sickbay afterwards. Shortly after that, Reyga himself ends up dead. Crusher, with Data’s (Brent Spiner) assistance begins to believed the experiment was sabotaged, and Reyga murdered.

She digs into everything, and will risk everything, including her career to discover the truth.

McFadden was due a really good story and she gets one with this, as she applies science, medicine and her own tenacity to come to the truth and the real culprit. I quite liked this one, and it’s fun to see Crusher centre-stage.

The Human Adventure continues on Thursday when I return to Deep Space Nine.

suspicions

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