Star Trek: The Next Generation (1994) – Emergence, and Preemptive Strike

Captain’s log: stardate 47869.2

Joe Menosky pens the teleplay for this episode from a story by Brannon Braga, and it first aired on 9 May, 1994.

Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart), Data (Brent Spiner) and the rest of the crew, are troubled, and surprised to learn that the Enterprise’s A.I. is becoming self-aware and may in fact be proving its alive, by reproducing.

Things first come to light when strange items (nodes) and images begin appearing on the ship’s decks, not just confined to the holodeck.  When Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Data and Worf (Micheal Dorn) enter the holodeck they find themselves on a programme that combines a number of previous programmes, all aboard the Orient Express.

As they investigate, the passengers warn them about interfering with the new nodes, and characters. Data is the first to realise that a neural matrix is forming on the Enterprise, and whatever is happening in the holodeck is merely symbolic of that, even as the starship begins to show its emerging intelligence.

I don’t feel this one works as well as it should, and the imagery on the holodeck is a little too on the nose metaphorically, and needs to be a little more mysterious, in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a good story here, but it’s just poorly executed. This one could have been a real intellectual exercise, but instead, it just seems a little silly.

Oh well.

dataemergence

Captain’s log: stardate 47941.7

Here it is, the penultimate episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Patrick Stewart directed it. Written by Rene Echevarria from a story by Naren Shankar, this episode debuted on 16 May, 1994, and sees a few more foundations being laid for Star Trek: Voyager.

Lieutenant Ro (Michelle Forbes) is back for one final mission. Having finished her Advanced Tactical Training, and as a Bajoran with a dislike of Cardassians, she has been selected to infiltrate the Maquis.

Her loyalties are tested – will she remain committed to Picard and Starfleet, or will she join up completely with the Maquis?

The episode was to help serve not only as set-up for Voyager, but set Ro up to return as a series regular on the new show as well, Forbes declined the opportunity, Of course, by passing on that information, it’s obvious to see what Ro chooses to do, and the impact it has on her friends serving on the Enterprise.

When Picard realises, it’s a fantastic moment.

It’s a solid episode, has lots of great continuity, and shows that even in The Next Generation, not everything is black and white.

Next week we come to the conclusion of The Next Generation, but the Human Adventure continues Thursday as I continue my time with Deep Space Nine.

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