Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993) – Gambit Part II, and Phantasms

Captain’s log: stardate 47160.1

Ronald D. Moore pens the second part of this two-parter, based on a story by Naren Shankar. Airing on 18 October, 1993, it completes the story of Picard (Patrick Stewart) posing as Galen with a gang of intergalactic pirates who pillage archaeological sites.

Riker (Jonathan Frakes) is still held by Baran (Richard Lynch) but is still able to save the Enterprise, resolving the cliffhanger moment. But soon the pirates on their search for more Romulan artefacts.

Will the captain and his first officer be able to figure out what the gang is looking for, and will they be able to stop them? To say nothing of escaping back to the Enterprise.

The pair pose as enemies so as Riker ingratiates himself with Baran, Picard as Galen begins to throw seeds of dissension amongst the crew even as he tries to figure out the artefacts. He also discovers that Tallera (Robin Curtis) is not who she appears to be, and that what they are looking for is a terrifying weapon, created by the ancient Vulcans.

Meanwhile back on the Enterprise, Data (Brent Spiner) and Worf (Michael Dorn) have assumed command, as captain and first officer respectively, and Data reestablishes the chain of command with the Klingon officer. It is a great moment between the characters.

There are some great action and character beats throughout the story. It’s a great adventure story, and also works incredibly well within the Trek universe. It’s a great entry for the series, even as we dive deeper into the final season.

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Captain’s log: stardate 47225.7

Brannon Braga pens this episode that Patrick Stewart directs. This Data story first aired on 25 October, 1993. The story follows Data who beings exploring his dream programme, resulting in a number of nightmares while the Enterprise has a new warp core installed, and Picard tries to duck a boring banquet.

The dream sequences are unnerving, and spooky.

This is an episode that couldn’t be done earlier in the series, it’s all about characters, things that have been established, and lots of slice of life moments that make the story more intimate and smaller in scale than some of the stories earlier in the show. It’s not always about saving a civilisation, sometimes it’s just an exploration of the self, as they try to repair their ship, and avoid a dull meal.

But is there a connection between Data’s dreams and the new warp drive? The android begins to investigate deciphering dream imagery and see where the narrative takes him.

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

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