Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993) – Force of Nature, and Inheritance

Captain’s log: stardate 47310.2

Naren Shankar pens this episode that first aired on 15 November, 1993. Trek stories have always been able to deal in analogy fairly well, but this episode proves to be a little heavy-handed.

The Enterprise is searching for a missing Federation vessel, when two scientists from a nearby world arrive aboard, and confront them with the fact that warp drives, and the excessive speed they provide, which have been used all over the galaxy since its discovery are in fact bad for subspace, tearing the very fabric of it, and ruining the, well, environment.

The episode also seems to spend an absurd amount of time highlighting Geordi (LeVar Burton) and Data’s (Brent Spiner) friendship as they discuss the android’s cat, Spot, and whether or not Geordi should get one.

The pair are driven to discover the truth of what the scientists claim, especially when to prove their point, one of them ends up dying, This pushes Geordi and Data to work to understand what is going on, and if warp drives truly are bad for subspace.

… and what would that mean for the Federation if it is.

Of course there has to be more to the episode than that, so the rips in subspace have cause a rift, which is where starships have been disappearing, and the Enterprise may be trapped in it, unless Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew find a way out.

The end of the episode is all about demonstrating how bad things are going to get if warp drives aren’t brought under control. In fact, the Federation Council declares that ships are only allowed to travel at warp five, unless an emergency.

But will the rest of the galaxy reduce their warp speed use as well and save the planets, and environments that are being affected?

Data_with_display_of_Hekaras_Corridor

Captain’s log: stardate 47410.2

Rene Exhevarria and Dan Koeppel write the teleplay for this episode from a story by Koeppel. It first debuted on 22 November, 1993.

This brings us another Data story. The android gets more of his family filled out when his mother, Dr. Juliana Tainer (Fionnula Flanagan) comes aboard when the Enterprise arrives to aid the planet of Atrea IV.

It seems Tainer was married to Noonian Soong (Brent Spiner), and the two begin to interact, but there may be a secret being kept that neither of them know about. And is she more than she seems?

Flanagan is always enjoyable, and it’s a fairly well-crafted episode, but there’s no real surprise to the story, you can guess what the secret is, and how it will play out.

Not a bad episode, but I’m more eager for the next couple of episodes with the Enterprise and crew.

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

inheritance

 

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