Captain’s log: stardate 47423.9
Surprise! Worf (Michael Dorn) has another brother, a foster one, Nikolai Rozhenko (Paul Sorvino) – and he is violating the Prime Directive!
This episode was written by Naren Shankar from a story by Spike Steingasser. It first aired on 17 January, 1994. And for the first time, we see Dorn in an episode without his Klingon make-up, but with a nose appliance.
Nikolai is attempting to save a group of villagers who are living on a doomed planet. He was a cultural observer, but he was unwilling to let them die, so he has been helping them, even using a protective shield in a series of caves to keep them safe.
He violates it further when he beams the villagers aboard, creating a replica of their caves on one of the Enterprise’s holodecks.
Worf and Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) are furious at this discovery, but Nikolai has a plan to ease the villagers into their new environment and plans to guide them on a journey through the holodeck even as the starship looks for a suitable M class planet to house them on.
Unfortunately, the holodeck is malfunctioning (surprise) and it may fail and reveal the true nature of where the villagers are before they can be saved.
It’s an interesting story, and feels like a bit of an homage to the 1988 film, The Navigator, especially when one of the villagers finds his way outside the holodeck.
The episode has a poignant ending, even as the villagers are given a bit of hope and success.
It’s also of note that Penny Johnson who would later become a recurring character on Deep Space Nine beginning in season three.
Captain’s log: stardate unknown
This is probably the worst episode of The Next Generation to ever come to the screen, and Doctor Crusher’s (Gates McFadden) character suffers for it.
All of this is too bad, because it’s directed by Jonathan Frakes, written by Brannon Braga from a story Jeri Taylor (from story suggestions from Jeanna F. Gallo) and it aired on 31 January, 1994.
Basically a Scot ghost story, the tale finds Crusher attending her grandmother’s funeral in a planet terraformed to look like the highlands, and a family heirloom (a candle) is somehow tied to an entity that takes the form of a man, Ronin (Duncan Regehr).
It seems Ronin has been associated with Crusher’s family, on the maternal side, for decades, if not centuries, and now this entity has shifted his focus to Beverly Crusher.
So basically you have an erotic, gothic ghost story set in the 24th century using science fiction trappings to tell its story. There’s ghosts, reanimated corpses, fog (on the bridge) and everything you would expect in a gothic tale, just completely out of place in this series.
This one I really didn’t care for, and could very much be the worst Trek episode ever.
The Human Adventure continues Thursday when i journey to Deep Space Nine for another pair of episodes.