Sunday, September 23, 2012

ST:TNG 1.14 Angel One ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


Images Source: TrekCore 

The Star Trek: The Next Generation re-watch continues (and back in order...) with...

Angel One
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1, Episode 14

Story:

  • After encountering a Federation freighter with no one aboard The Enterprise heads to an planet where they may have landed, Angel One which is a matriarchal planet that is not part of the Federation although is strategically placed and therefore the need to remain in good relations is very important.
What it's really about:
  • Sexism is sexism, regardless of who is considered 'superior'.
  • It also lends to the idea that equality is a natural part of evolution. 
  • We also get to see The Enterprise cope with sickness and a skeleton crew, as a virus knocks out almost everyone aboard.
Character Focus:
  • It's not so much about any one particular character, although Riker does stand out on the away team (he gives a great speech and totally works the 'indigenous' garb of Angel One with confidence), and Troi, Yar & Data who fill out the away team all contribute to the activity on the planet, especially responding to or playing along with what's generally received as an imbalanced society. 
  • As a virus also takes almost everyone off duty for sickness, we also get to see Beverly at work cooking up a solution and Geordi take over the ship.  I notice that we often get some really on-target comments from Geordi on the bridge who seems to always make note of what's actually going on; in this episode he notes that the folks on Angel One make it clear that they Federation visit is not wanted.  

What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remember it for being the reverse sexism episode, as opposed to a 'matriarch' society.  Interesting.  And that Riker played along when need be!  Wow.  
  • I actually forgot that the fact the survivors created a revolution was the reason Angel One agreed wanted them off. One this re-watch I thought maybe they had made the men slaves and were trying to hide it, but nope...that's not what they did!  
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I didn't remember that they women on the planet were 'bigger and stronger' than the men.  That was weird, can't it be a matriarchal society without that.  It feels so specifically role-reversed that it's easy to understand it's imbalanced.
  • I forgot so many things were at play, not just the sexism on the planet but also the fugitives to find as well as sickness on the ship and an impending Romulan threat.  That's a lot for one episode! 
  • Totally loved Geordi taking charge!  I don't think we've had a Geordi-centric episode, but I hope there is one in the near future of the re-watch.
What feels different now, than then:
  • It oddly felt less shocking that the guys were dismissed as not smart, although it still feels really wrong to judge any group of people by one limited idea.
  • I was shocked that the crew took the one survivors word for it that none of the four of them wanted to leave; considering the obvious volatile situation and the fact that they were gone so long, wouldn't they want to speak to them individually to see if anyone wanted to leave? 
  • If felt a little strange that the survivors would want to stay on the planet, instead of leave with their new families.  It had been 7 years, which is a lot, but still...wouldn't they want to go 'home'?
What remained the same:
  • Sexism, and any -ism, always feels wrong.  I think one of the reasons I love Star Trek is how equality-centric it is. 
What I see differently:
  •  I can't believe Riker got all cozy with the leader... wow.  They joke about it a bit, but still seems rather shocking. That's one part where if the roles were reversed, I'm not sure it could read with the same energy.  They went with it though, which is a bold choice!
Great Quotes:
  • "Angel One has evolved into a constitutional oligarchy. It is governed by a parliamentary body consisting of six elected mistresses and headed by a female they refer to as 'The Elected One'. " - Data
  • "Let's not look for problems." - Riker
  • "Our library is far too sophisticated for a man to comprehend." - Beata (The Elected One of Angel One)
  • "It's not my function to seduce or be seduced by the leader of another world." - Riker
Left off at:
After a great argument/speech by Riker that the 'revolution' is more likely 'evolution' and that the process can not be stopped, Mistress Beate decides to exile the survivors and their new families somewhere hard to live so they won't have much time to cause trouble.  On the Enterprise, Beverly creates an inoculation for the virus and the ship heads off to the Neutral Zone for it's next adventure.

Images Source: TrekCore 

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