The Next Generation
Disc No :
First Aired :
27 May 1991
Geordi and Data test out a phaser rifle in this episode. In order to do this they set up the weapon in the middle of main engineering. They fire it into a small target apparatus directly in front of the master situation display, and don't even go to the trouble of putting up a warning sign or rope barrier to stop people walking into the beam. I don't know what kind of safety regulations there are for firing phaser beams aboard ship, but surely they can do better than this!
One of the things that makes Data suspicious of Geordi is the fact that a scan of Geordi's shuttle shows that it has been subjected to a tractor beam. But we've seen before that shuttles are often landed by tractor beams on the Enterprise - see Time Squared for an example. So shouldn't ALL the shuttles display signs of having been subject to a tractor beam?
Whilst we're on that subject, another thing that makes Data suspicious is that he scans the memory chips in the shuttle Geordi used, and finds anomalies in the molecular structure. The computer reports that these were caused by replication. But... isn't replication how they would usually make computer chips? I mean, if you can just push a button and replicate functional chips, why would anybody use a more primitive method of building them?
Great Moment :
Geordi's last scene with Troi.
Body Count :
A holographic O'Brien is killed by Geordi.
This is the first appearance of Commader Sela, a Romulan who is the daughter of Tasha Yar and despises the Federation. However whilst Crosby supplied the voice, the figure in the shadows was played by Debra Dilley, a photo double for Denise Crosby.
The episode was based on the classic movie The Manchurian Candidate.
This is the first time we see a Type 3 phaser rifle. The weapon would be seen on many subsequent occasions, as would various different rifle designs.
The title is from Hamlet Act I, Scene I : "A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye."
Larry Dobkin, who plays Klingon Ambassador Kell, directed the Star Trek : The Original Series first season episode "Charlie X".
Geordi is on the way to the planet Risa to attend an artificial intelligence seminar. Unfortunately his shuttle is intercepted and captured by a Romulan Warbird. An impostor is sent to Risa, whilst the Romulans tap into Geordi's VISOR implants and force-feed him horrific images as part of a brainwashing program.
Several days later Georde returns to the ship, apparently happy from the good time he had on Risa. The ship is working with Klingon Ambassador Kell, who is responding to a situation on a Klingon colony on the planet Krios. The Governor of the colony, Vagh, is claiming that there is a rebellion on the planet which is being aided by the Federation. Picard, of course, denies this.
Once they arrive at the colony, Vagh shows Picard and Kell Federation phaser rifles and medical supplies captured from the rebels. The crew analyse a rifle and discover that whilst it is apparently a flawless rifle, it was not charged by a Federation power system - rather, by a Romulan one.
In the meantime, Lt. Commander Data detects a low level E-band transmission. He cannot pin down the source, but the transmission is definitely coming from nearby.
The E Band transmissions are controlling the brainwashed Geordi. Under their influence he transports a case of Federation weapons to a rebel base, erasing the computer logs of his actions in the process. Vagh detects the transport and claims it as proof positive that the Enterprise is assisting the rebels. Geordi and Data investigate, and soon realise that whilst it is possible for the evidence to have been hidden only four people on board have the skill to do so - including Data and Geordi.
We discover that Kell is the one controlling Geordi, working with the Romulans against his own people. He orders Geordi to murder Vagh in front of witnesses, which will surely be taken as final proof of the Federation's involvement. To provide an opportunity for this, Kell suggests that Picard invite Vagh to the ship to witness their investigation.
Data begins to piece the puzzle together. He realises that the E band radiation is coming from aboard the Enterprise-d itself. Examination of Geordi's shuttle reveals minute deformations from when the Romulans captured it with their tractor beam. Further examination of the computer chips on board shows them to have been replicated - by a Romulan replicator. Data orders Worf to detain Geordi as he approaches the group, but Governor Vagh's security mistake Worf's move as an attack on the Governor and restrain him. Worf is able to cry out a warning and Picard turns and pushes Geordi's arm up just as he fires, making him miss.
Vagh is furious but Data arrives and explains what has really happened. He has cross referenced who was with Geordi at any given time with the times of the E Band transmissions and determined that only Captain Picard or Ambassador Kell can be the culprit. The guilty man will be the one who has an E Band transmitter on his person. Kell refuses to be searched by the Federation and Vagh agrees - before adding that he will take Kell back with him and search him himself. Kell asks for political asylum, which Picard says he will happily grant... once Kell has been cleared of the crime.
Later, a very frustrated Geordi states that he remembers going to Risa and everything that happened there. Troi doesn't push the issue, instead getting him to talk casually about the shuttle trip and how he entertained himself playing games with the computer. She drops the question of what he did when the Warbird appeared, and he starts to respond - only to stop in confusion at the cognitive dissonance. Troi reassures him that this is a good sign, and that they will work together to recover his true memories and undo the damage the Romulans caused.
I rather like this one. The scenes of Geordi being brainwashed are suitably creepy, and there's a constant tension from the fact that we know it's happened but the crew do not. Meeting the phaser rifle is very nice, and the design works pretty well with the Type 2. You do have to ignore the horrible 'test it in the engine room' thing, but I guess they didn't want to spend the money on a new set.
It's also great watching Data put it all together piece by piece. Extra points since Geordi is his best friend, but Data being Data will simply follow the facts wherever they go.
And finally it's wonderful watching Kell squirm as he's caught, even having the audacity to ask Picard for asylum!
One does have to wonder about Krios. In this episode it's a Klingon colony world with a rebellion going on. In The Perfect Mate, it's a planet with no sign of Klingon influence, which has been engaged in war with another world for centuries, which the Enterprise-D is helping to end. These really can't be the same planet, can they?
This also makes me wonder about the Klingon Empire. In TOS and ENT we see that the Klingons conquer planets and hold the populations as more or less slave labour. So... is that how it still is during the TNG era? Kell indicates that it is - he states that the Klingons would once have crushed such an insignificant rebellion, but now it is tolerated. He suggests they may grant independence to the colony and then re-conquer it later. It certainly seems like this is a native population held by an occupying Klingon force, though that's not explicitly stated to be so. It could be that the rebels are a rebel Klingon faction of some sort. But if Krios is the Krios from Perfect Mate then it's confirmed, because that proves definitively that the inhabitants are non-Klingon. But if that's so, how does a Klingon colony engage in a protracted war without Klingon involvement? Why isn't Governor Vagh raging that Picard is interfering?
I guess one has to assume that there are two planets called Krios. Maybe one is called Kryos?
But if the Klingons do that, why are the Federation allied to them? They're still 'the bad guys'!