Search
Mobile Site Caption Comp Monthly Poll Sudden Death Book Reviews Game Reviews Colour Key Statistics Cookie Usage
Federation Ships Other Ships A-K Fleets Weaponry Species Standard People Timelines Calculators Photo Galleries Temporal
Space Stations Other Ships L-Z Design Lineage Size Charts Battles Alternate People Science / Tech Styling Maps / Politics Temporal Ships
Articles Reviews Lists Recreation Search Site Guide What's New eMail Author Links / Awards Shops Forum
Standard
People
Jonathan
Archer
Reginald
Barclay
Julian
Bashir

Chakotay
Christine
Chapel
Pavel A.
Chekov
Zefram
Cochrane
Beverly
Crusher
Wesley
Crusher

Damar

Daniels

Data

Dax
Richard
Daystrom

Degra
Gul
Dukat
Michael
Eddington
Emergency
Medical Hologram
Admiral
Forrest
Elim
Garak

Gowron

Guinan
Kathryn
Janeway
Kahless the
Unforgettable

Kes
Harry
Kim
Kira
Nerys
James
T. Kirk
Geordi
LaForge

Leeta

Lore
General
Martok
Travis
Mayweather
Leonard
H. McCoy

Morn
Admiral Alynna
Nechayev

Neelix

Nog
Keiko
O'Brien
Miles Edward
O'Brien

Odo
Tomas
Eugene Paris

Phlox
Jean-Luc
Picard
Dr. Katherine
Pulaski

Q

Quark
Janice
Rand
Malcolm
Reed
William
T. Riker
Ro
Laren

Rom
Alexander
Rozhenko
Worf
Rozhenko

Sarek
Hoshi
Sato
Montgomery
Scott

Seska
Seven
of Nine

Shran

Silik
Benjamin
Lafayette Sisko
Jake
Sisko
Dr. Noonien
Soong
Ambassador
Soval

Spock
Hikaru
Sulu

Surak
B'Elanna
Torres

T'Pau

T'Pol
Deanna
Troi
Lwaxana
Troi
Charles
Tucker III

Tuvok
Nyota
Uhura

Weyoun
Winn
Adami
Natasha
Yar
Additional
People
Crew
Manifests
The Original
Series
The Next
Generation
Deep
Space Nine

Voyager

Enterprise
PreviousNextTimeline
ReviewImagesDatapoints

Shades of Gray

Series : The Next Generation Rating : 0
Disc No : 2.5 Episode : 47
First Aired : 17 Jul 1989 Stardate : 42976.1
Director : Robert Bowman Year : 2365
Writers : Maurice Hurley Season : 2
Guest Cast :
Colm Meaney as Miles Edward O'Brien Diana Muldaur as Dr. Katherine Pulaski
Moral :
Cash : When the money runs out so does the quality
Clipshows : They're just never a good idea
Guest Reviews :
Rating : 0.0000 for 1 reviewsView existing reviewsAdd your own review
YATI : Riker is having all these dreams of things that have happened to him in the past. So how come several of the scenes he dreams about were events he wasn't actually there for? And lest we say that his imagination was "filling in the gaps", those scenes match exactly to what actually happened at those times! What are the odds of that?
Worst Moment : I hate the whole concept of clip shows. If I want to see previous episodes, I'll get the video off the shelf!
Body Count : Zero.
Factoid : This episode features the last appearence of Diana Muldaur as Dr. Pulaski.

This episode is a winner of the DITL "Worst of Trek" award.

Quote : "If you drop a hammer on your foot, it's hardly useful to get mad at the hammer." - Riker to Picard.

Plotline

On an away mission to an alien planet, Riker is stabbed in the leg by a large thorn on a local vine. He is rushed back to the ships sickbay, but an infection quickly begins to spread through his body. Soon he is unconscious as the infection reaches his nervous system despite Doctor Pulaski's best efforts.

Eventually Pulaski realizes that the infection may be slowed down or even reversed by certain types of neural activity in Rikers brain - activity which is linked to dreaming. She heightens his neural activity, provoking a series of dreams about some of the nice things Riker has done over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, this speeds the spread of the infection up rather than slowing it down.

Pulaski finally realizes that negative emotions must be provoked, and proceeds to do so. Riker experiences various nightmares, which destroy the infection. The ship continues on its way.

Analysis

Late in the second season of The Next Generation, the powers that be introduced a new menace to our heroes - the Borg. The episode ended with the threat that the Borg would be on their way to the Federation, a trip which would be expected to take several years. However, it was planned that the Borg would actually show up only six episodes later for an exciting season finale. It was a great idea... but unfortunately the show ran out of money and the whole thing was postponed for a year. The planned Borg cliff-hanger episode became "The Best of both Worlds", one of the all time best Trek episodes.

All well and good, but they had to have something for the end of season two, and there was little money left in the kitty. So they resorted to that most hated of all episode formats - the clip show. You'll notice that the plot description above is much briefer than the other best and worst eps I've discussed. This is because the entire plot of "Shades of Grey" is designed to use the minimum possible number of sets, special effects, extras, etc. And of course, most importantly there is a heavy reliance on using clips from earlier episodes. All this makes for a very dull and predictable show.

The clips chosen also show poor thought - interestingly enough, Riker 'remembers' scenes that happened when he was not present! You could say that his imagination was filling in some blanks, but strangely enough what he imagines matches exactly to what actually happened - and what are the odds of that?

Really, I'm not going to say anything more on this one. Some episodes are just so bad that analysing them is like kicking a puppy - you quickly start to feel sorry for the poor thing.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 1,350 Last updated : 12 Mar 2013