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Disaster

Review

Series : The Next Generation Rating : 3
Disc No : 5.1 Episode : 104
First Aired : 21 Oct 1991 Stardate : 45156.1
Director : Gabrielle Beaumont Year : 2368
Writers : Philip A. Scorza, Ron Jarvis Season : 5
Guest Cast :
Cameron Arnett as Ensign Mandel
Colm Meaney as Miles Edward O'Brien
Erika Flores as Marissa Flores
Jana Marie Hupp as Ensign Monroe
John Christian Graas as Jay Gordon Graas
Max Supera as Patterson Supra
Michelle Forbes as Ro Laren
Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
Tracee Lee Cocco as Ensign Jae
Moral :
Inner Strength : When disaster strikes you really find out what you're made of.
YATI : Geordi claims that opening the cargo bay doors will cause the drums of chemicals to be sucked out into space. Surely he means they will be blown out?

And while we're on the subject of Geordi, when Crusher leans against the wall and tells him that it's hot, he looks up and says "where?" But his VISOR can see infa red light, so he should have seen the heat trace on the wall long before they went anywhere near it.

When Picard cheers up the children during their climb by singing "Frere Jacques", why doesn't his Universal Translator convert it into English for us?

When Data suggests putting himself into the electrical arcs, Riker notes that he would never ask anybody to take such a risk. But a few episodes later, when Troi is struggling with the Bridge officer's test, Riker points out that the correct solution to the test is to order Geordi to his certain death. He makes the point that any individual crew member is expendable if the survival of the ship is at stake. So... which is it?

How is it that the controls to open and close the doors and raise and lower the forcefield are across the room from the controls that repressurise the cargo bay? Crusher and LaForge almost die because they have to cross the large room to reach the atmosphere controls. Shouldn't these be on the same panel?

Great Moment : Worf having to deliver Keiko's baby.
Body Count : One killed on the bridge.
Factoid : The writers called this episode "Star Trek Meets the Poseidon Adventure", for obvious reasons.

The babies who played Molly O'Brien in this episode would return to the role in "Power Play".

The three children never get spoken surnames in the episode, but their names are clearly visible on the plaque they present to Captain Picard at the end - and each character's surname is identical to the actor's real name.

The writers wanted to put O'Brien and Ro together here to see how well the characters and actors meshed. This was because at the time, it was already planned that they would both be transferring over to the upcoming Deep Space Nine series as regulars there. O'Brien as Chief of Operations, and Ro as the second officer of the station. In the event, Michelle Forbes decided she'd had enough of Star Trek and moved on from the show. Her "feisty Bajoran officer" character was then re-worked into Major Kira.

The initial idea for the titular disaster was that the ship would collide with an asteroid. The writers decided that an asteroid might not produce all the effects they wanted, and came up with a more nebulous quantum filament.

This was the last episode of Star Trek to be aired before Gene Roddenberry's death.

Michael Piller remarked that Disaster was a fun episode and well written, but that it lacked any element of mystery or a science fiction base. He also regretted that the script made Ro the disbeliever, who was certain to be proven wrong in the end. He felt that it would have been better if Ro, as a new character, had chalked up a few victories before being put in the wrong. He also didn't like the way Ro admitted to Troi that she had been wrong - he would have preferred if she had said that Troi did the wrong thing and could easily have killed everyone if she hadn't just gotten lucky.

To reproduce the barrels being blown out into space, miniature barrels were mounter on pins in a set that was turned ninety degrees, such that the floor was actually vertical. The pins were then yanked out, allowing the barrels to fall out through the doors.

This is the first episode that Molly O'Brien ever appears in.

Five years later, Deep Space Nine would joke about this episode - when Keiko becomes pregnant again, Worf immediately books leave for when she is due in order to avoid any possibility of having to deliver the baby again.

Counsellor Troi would later express interest in becoming a bridge officer, referencing her experience of command here.


Plotline

A nervous Troi must assume command of a badly damaged Enterprise after it collides with a quantum filament.
Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 17,597 Last updated : 20 Jul 2018