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Star trek: The next generation 1.06b - The big goodbye

Stardate 41997.5
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

The Enterprise journeys to Forona IV to greet the Jarada, an insect-like race obsessed with protocol, where Picard must greet them in their own convoluted language. Sensing that he's working too hard, Deanna convinces him to try out the recently upgraded holodeck. He enters the Chandleresque world of Dixon Hill, private investigator.

Picard is enchanted, and invites Beverley and historian, Mister Whalen (David Selburg), to join him. Data, curious about the character's attraction, requests to go along. When they enter, Dixon is arrested for a murder he didn't commit. Then a Jaradan sensor sweep causes problems in the holodeck controls, and no-one can get out...

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
  • David Selburg .... Mister Whalen
  • Lawrence Tierney .... Cyrus Redblock
  • Harvey Jason .... Felix Leech
  • William Boyett .... Lieutenant Dan Bell
  • Gary Armagnac .... Lieutenant McNary
  • Mike Genovese .... Desk Sergeant
  • Dick Miller .... newspaper vendor
  • Carolyn Allport .... Jessica Bradley
  • Rhonda Aldrich .... Dixon's secretary
  • Erik Cord .... thug
  • Tracy Torme .... Screenwriter
  • Joseph L Scanlan .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Wesley saves the day, again. It's only the 11th episode and he's already saved the ship more times than the rest of the crew put together. I'll say it again for those who weren't listening: boy geniuses are a pain in the bum and so clichéd as to be unbelievable. Gene Roddenberry made a big mistake when he didn't include a Chief Engineer in the regular cast because that's why Wesley has to save the day: they couldn't afford to pay for another actor as the money had already been spent on Wes. What a waste of dough.

Another thing to make you shake in your space-boots is the introduction of the Holodeck episode. This marvellous tool that's perfect for training and entertainment on those long flights to strange new worlds has only one flaw: it keeps breaking down. Right from the beginning, the technology is not up to scratch for a culture that can travel faster than the speed of light, beam living entities through space, journey through time and create an interstellar federation. How can they possibly have created a holodeck that breaks almost every time someone goes to use it? Sure, it's new technology, but do you really think that Starfleet would let something this dodgy be installed on their starships?

The story: someone obviously grew up reading pulp detective novels and wanted to play with one on Star trek. In a sense this is good for character development because it provides room for contrast in the characters' environment. Dramatically changing the location of a story gives to the people in it new stimuli to react; that lets you see how they react which lets you in on why they react. The staid and stodgy Starfleet officers come over all giggles and goggles in the holodeck, just like little children with a new toy, and they are all at sea in the criminal underworld of 1940s USA. This tells you that they are innocents, they really don't have crime in the 23rd century, and it informs you as to why they behave the way they do when they meet new species (in future episodes).

It's disappointing that the Dixon Hill story doesn't go anywhere - it's just a plot device - but there are only 44 minutes in an episode.

Security censorship classification

PG

Not for public release in Australia before date

Out now

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