Sunday, October 14, 2012

ST:TNG 2.01 The Child ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


Images Source: TrekCore 

I was wondering if things would feel very different as we transition to Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and they sure do - and fast!  We have a different look and feel through several costume changes, with both Worf & Geordi in yellow uniforms (Geordi is promoted to Chief Engineer), Wesley is in gray (first time we see this, I think), and Troi's let her hair down.  We also have new characters with the first appearances of Dr. Pulaski (Beverly's been promoted off the ship - which I totally forgot about), who of course is not new to Trek as she starred in not one, but two episodes of  The Original Series.  We also get our first glimpse of the bar Ten Forward and our friendly neighborhood bartender Guinan.  And that doesn't even get to the story!  Oh, and Riker is now officially with beard (I thought that took longer).  With all these changes, it should be easy to spot Season 1 from Season 2.  At least,... I hope so!  Now let's get to the episode....


Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch begins Season 2 with...

The Child
Season 2, Episode 1

Story:
  • Deanna becomes pregnant in the middle of the night to a rapidly growing by a life force just as The Enterprise is preparing to transport deadly specimens that strongly needed elsewhere.
Character Focus:
  • Obviously Deanna is the focus here, and we see not only her reaction to the pregnancy, birth and child but also other crewmembers (often tactless) reaction to the situation and her.  And we also have her son Ian Andrew appear in this episode.
  • As already noted we also have the introduction to new characters of Doctor Pulaski & Guinan (YAY for addition of more women in the cast!).
  • We see Crusher family drama with Wesley struggling with the fact that he is suppose to leave the ship to reunite with Beverly who has been promoted to the head of Starfleet Medical.
  • If you look closely, we see the future Chief O'Brien in the transporter room, although they don't mention him by name. If I remember correctly, he also appears in 1.01 Encounter at Farpoint (Part I), but wasn't a regular in Season 1.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remembered it as the one where Troi gets pregnant, although considering there was a sparkly light that entered the ship (not the first time...not the last...), I mis-remembered this as a future episode.  Which sadly reminds me that there still are some doozy episodes in the seasons ahead.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I mostly notice all the character styling changes and how clearly it feels like a different season. I'm much more aware of that now than I was back in '88!
What feels different now, than then:
  • It's a little surprizing that in a mere 1 season + 1 episode Troi ends up being in the situation of dealing with an arranged marriage as well as pregnancy and birth. No other character have yet to have these kinds of huge life & relationship events, with the exception perhaps of Data in finding his brother Lore (and hooking up with Yar).
What remained the same:
  • I still feel like it was nobody's business to speak up in a freaking meeting about what to do about Troi's pregnancy. I mean, a little compassion first and then like... ask her! She stands up for herself though, which was awesome.
  • When Ian Andrew speaks so directly to Picard more 'as the entity' than as a kid, it's totally freaky.
What I see differently:
  • I was thrilled to see Dr. Pulaski! I remember initially I didn't like her on the show, but did eventually warm up to here. She's stubborn, smart and takes no crap from anyone. She can be really cold, which seems odd for a Doctor. I loved the interaction in this one where she plays a bit with Data after calling him the wrong name.
  • I had completely forgot about the whole infectious/deadly specimens, and I've noted that I almost always remember 1 of the 2 threads of an episode, and often it's either character-driven or high-concept aspect of the show.
Great Quotes:
  • "Do whatever you feel is necessary to protect the ship and the crew. But know this: I'm going to have this baby!" - Troi
  • "Counselor Troi is going to need the comfort of a human touch and not the cold hand of technology." - Dr. Pulaski
  • "Don't you always do what's expected?" - Guinan
Left off at:
Troi's child, Ian Andrew, recognizes he is the cause for the unstable deadly specimens and dies. Troi shares that he is a life force and in an effort to understand humans he experience life as a human. We also see Wesley request to stay on board the ship, to which the crew and Picard oblige (as long as Mom says it's okay too!).

Images Source: TrekCore

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