Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Where Silence Has Lease"

Spoiler Level: High

I rather like this episode, because it has the feel of a classic Trek episode without feeling like it's actually rehashing anything.   We have a strange space phenomenon, an advanced intelligence testing and judging the crew, and a red shirt gets to die a screaming death.  (Poor Ensign Haskell.  You can even see the look on his face when Nagilum starts naming the crew and then comes to him; it's like the comprehension has just hit him, "Uh oh, he's noticed me.  I'm gonna die.")

Nagilum himself is a very cool effect, as his approximation of human form isn't quite right, and his various facial parts keep moving out of sync with each other.

We get some nice character moments here.  (See? I told you all Denise Crosby had to do was hold out for a few more episodes and she would have got the character development she wanted.)  Picard's speech on what he believes comes after death is very inspirational.  Worf gets a lot of exposure, although he's somewhat feral and slow-witted here; but hey, we were still at the beginning of developing the Klingons as a culture.  Pulaski is especially brutal to Data in this one.  There's none of the curiosity and potential for future friendship here, just her being irritated with a machine that she feels is not working properly, and treating Data with all the courtesy and respect that someone would give a printer that wasn't working.

This one's also got great music.  Ron Jones delivers a great score with lots of dramatic plays on the Next Gen/TMP theme, a dash of the Klingon theme, and some great stings in the scene with Worf's "calisthenics" program that were very reminiscent of the TOS fight music.

And then there's the USS Yamato, NCC-1305-E.  Not only do I love the fact that it establishes a Yamato in the Star Trek universe, but since it's an "E" it also sets a precedent that there have been five others before it throughout Starfleet history.  (Well, unless they all lasted as short as this one will.)  I don't recall any of the previous Yamatos showing up in books, but it's cool that they can.

Last but not least... this is my 300th post!

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