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Star trek: The next generation 1.02a - The naked now

Stardate 41209.2
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

The USS Enterprise is to rendezvous with the science vessel USS Tsiolkovsky but when they arrive they hear an emergency hatch being blown after what sounds like a wild party. An away team finds the crew dead and are infected by a deadly virus which produces the symptoms of intoxication and promiscuity. No-one is safe, not even the Captain.

Persons of interest

  • Patrick Stewart .... Captain Jean-Luc Picard
  • Jonathan Frakes .... Commander Will Riker
  • Michael Dorn .... Lieutenant Worf
  • Brent Spiner .... Lieutenant Commander Data
  • Gates McFadden .... Commander Doctor Beverly Crusher
  • Marina Sirtis .... Lieutenant Commander Counsellor Deanna Troi
  • LeVar Burton .... Commander Geordi La Forge
  • Wil Wheaton .... Wesley Crusher
  • Denise Crosby .... Lieutenant Natasha "Tasha" Yar
  • Majel Barrett .... USS Enterprise-D computer voice
  • Brooke Bundy .... Chief Engineer Lieutenant Commander Sarah Macdougal
  • Benjamin WS Lum .... Assistant Chief Engineer Jim Shimoda
  • Michael Rider .... Transporter Chief
  • David Renan .... Helm Officer
  • Skip Stellrecht .... Engineering Crewman
  • Kenny Koch .... Kissing Crewman
  • J Michael Bingham .... Storywriter, Screenwriter
  • John DF Black .... Storywriter
  • Paul Lynch .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Apart from being a rip-off of one the original series' more interesting storylines, The naked now serves two purposes: firstly, to link the new crew to the old crew and secondly, to impart a lot of information about the new characters in a small space of time. The former is both to provide a sense of continuity to all those devoted Trekkies out there and to locate the new series in a historical context (ie after the old). The latter is about hooking us into the new series by showing us what a wonderfully interesting and diverse bunch of people these are.

In this, only the second episode, already Wesley is saving the ship where 400 highly trained and experienced adults are helpless. Child geniuses are a television cliché and an annoying one at that. They are even worse than a Deus ex machina, and that's saying something. The sooner they get rid of this character the better.

Meanwhile, the captain and the doctor are revealed to have a romantic interest, Data has a sexuality, Tasha Yar had an abused childhood, Geordi La Forge doesn't want to be blind (duh) while Deanna Troi still has a flame for Will Riker. It's an interesting kettle of fish that the writers are fixing for themselves, let's hope that too many cooks don't get their fingers in the pie.

PS As everyone succumbs to the infection they lose their inhibitions and have sex, or at least think very seriously about it, everyone except for Geordi La Forge: he goes to visit Wesley in his quarters. Hmmm... what an odd thing to do when you're uninhibited.

Security censorship classification

PG (Low level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Out now

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Deus ex machina

Latin for "god from a machine", this phrase refers to the classical Greek theatrical tradition of, having created a complicated plot among humans, bringing a god into the story to sort everything out. The actor playing the god would come on-stage via stage machinery. In the current age, where gods and theatre have little in common, this plot device is not only outmoded, it is weak: it shows that the writer/s are unable to solve their characters' dilemmas by themselves. Deus ex machina is only slightly more annoying than the "It was all a dream" scenario.

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