Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993/1994) – Parallels, and The Pegasus

Captain’s log: stardate 47391.2

Brannon Braga pens this episode that is one of the highlights of the seventh, and final season, and also gives Worf (Michael Dorn) a fantastic story that debuted on 29 November, 1993.

Returning to the Enterprise by shuttle after winning a bat’leth competition, the Klingon officer notices subtle differences aboard the ship. In fact a number of them seem to be in constant flux, and only he is aware of them.

He charts his anxiety up to the fact that it his birthday, and he is worried about a surprise party. But very quickly we realise things are very odd, and Worf is the only object not in flux.

He is moving in and out of parallel realities and the episode layers out his character nicely as we are given slice of life moments even as Worf tries to figure out what is going on.

Does it have something to do with a malfunctioning array and the Cardassians who altered it? And what caused the quantum fissure that is central to the mystery?

This is a fun episode and explores the idea of infinite universes. I love stories like this that play with quantum physics and good writing.

This is the first episode that hints at a Troi (Marina Sirtis) and Worf romance, something that came out of left field for most viewers, but something that the showrunners wanted to explore, or at least play with over the course of the season.

parallels

Captain’s log: stardate 47457.1

LeVar Burton directs this superior episode that was written by Ronald D. Moore, and is a wonderful Riker (Jonathan Frakes) story.

Starting with a hilarious Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) day, the episode, which first aired on 10 January, 1994 sees Terry O’Quinn appearing as Admiral Eric Pressman.

It seems Pressman was Riker’s commanding officer when the First Officer served as the Pegasus’ helm officer. Starfleet has discovered the location of the Pegasus, previously thought lost, and Pressman comes aboard the Enterprise to reclaim it before the Romulans find it.

But there is a level of secrecy to events that Picard is unaware of, something from Riker’s past which makes him reevaluate decisions he made.

This one is very enjoyable, and puts Riker in a precarious position, his loyalty to the mission or to his captain come into play, and also affects and defines the character in a new way.

There are rumours of mutiny, a secret project, and decisions made that haunt the First Officer.

This is a great one, and much like Parallels is a highlight of the season.

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

USS_Pegasus

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