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Manhunt

Review

Series : The Next Generation Rating : 1
Disc No : 2.4 Episode : 44
First Aired : 19 Jun 1989 Stardate : 42859.2
Director : Robert Bowman Year : 2365
Writers : Terry Devereaux Season : 2
Guest Cast :
Carel Struycken as Mister Homn
Colm Meaney as Miles Edward O'Brien
Diana Muldaur as Doctor Katherine Pulaski
Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi
Mick Fleetwood as Antedean Dignitary
Rhonda Aldrich as Madeline
Robert Constanzo as Slade Bender
Rod Arrants as Rex
Wren T. Brown as Transporter pilot
Moral :
Horny : When they woman of your nightmares is horny then then only sensible course of action is to hide
YATI : Near the end of the episode, Lwaxana fails to realise that Rex is a hologram. How can this be? She's a full Betazoid, wouldn't the lack of thoughts and emotion coming from him make it clear that he wasn't a real person?
Great Moment : Picard's attempts to hide from Lwaxana.
Body Count : Zero.
Factoid : Noted rock musician and Trek fan Mick Fleetwood plays a small part in this episode, but you won't recognize him - he's one of the fish people.

Plotline

The Enterprise-D is on course to deliver two Antedean dignitaries to a conference. The Antedeans are incapable of surviving spaceflight, so they spend the journey in a catatonic state. On the way, the ship is asked to pick up the Betazoid representative to the conference - none other than Lwaxana Troi, Deanna's mother. She arrives along with her tall silent servant, Mr. Homn. Lwaxana displays some rather unusual behaviour, commenting on Picard's legs and demanding that he carry her rather heavy luggage. She also invites Picard to what he assumes will be a formal dinner party. He arrives to find that it is actually a private dinner for the two. Picard seizes on an excuse to call Data to the room and asks him some technical questions, to which the android eagerly responds at great length, foiling Lwaxana's seduction plans.

Deanna tells Picard that her mother is going through "The Phase", a time when Betazoid women undergo a massive increase in their sexual drive. Picard decides it is a good opportunity to take some personal time and goes to hide out in his Dixon Hill holodeck program.

Lwaxana, unable to find Picard, searches for another target instead. She sets her eyes on Riker, announcing that they will be married. Riker is suitably shocked by this development, as is everybody else on the bridge.

As the Enterprise is nearing her destination, Pulaski wakes the Antedeans. They are ravenously hungry, and consume large quantities of food as they recover. Riker heads to the holodeck to hide from Lwaxana with Picard. Rex, the holographic bartender Picard has been chatting to, thinks Riker is a lucky guy to have a woman after him like that. When Lwaxana tracks the pair down and follows them into the holodeck she transfers her attentions to Rex. Picard waits until they reach the conference site to tell her that Rex isn't a real man.

As Lwaxana leaves her mind begins to clear. She casually mentions that the Antedeans are actually a pair of assassins who are planning to bomb the conference, and the two are quickly taken into custody.

Analysis

A pretty poor effort, overall. Apparently Tracy Tormé wrote this one but it was heavily changed over her objections. So appalled was she with the result that she insisted on a pseudonym being used instead of her name, and never wrote for Star Trek again. One can hardly blame her. Lwaxana would turn out to be a complex, interesting character in later years, but here she's little more than a caricature. There just isn't a lot of interest to be had in the "desperate older woman chases man" plot, especially when it's played out again and again. The Antedean plot is so light it barely qualifies for the name, really. There's just no substance to this episode.
Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 10,912 Last updated : 24 Nov 2014