ST:TNG 2.07 Unnatural Selection ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Unnatural Selection
Season 2, Episode 7

  • The Enterprise response to a distress call and finds a transport ship where the entire crew has died from old age in a very quick period of time.   
Character Focus:
  • Dr. Pulaski is a huge focus as they encounter a medical emergency as well as find out that she was adamant about getting the post on The Enterprise and knew it's history back and forth. 
  • Picard in his evaluation of Dr. Pulaski as well as their (continual) differing opinions on how to procede on pretty much everything but finally in this episode seem to find a way to hear each other... a little.  It's also time for Picard to evaluate Pulaski's performance as she has been on the ship for a fair amount of time now.
  • We also have O'Brien in a larger role on this episode, in taking part in a big meeting and his transporter theory is what brings Pulaski back and saves the day!
What it's really about:
  • It's a way for the crew, and the audience, to embrace Pulaski as a character after have a near terminal experience, and a way for Picard & Pulaski to resolve their non-agreement issues.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remembered it as the Pulaski-aging episode, although I frequently mis-remember it as it feels like an episode from The Original Series where people are reduced to their elements.  I totally forgot about 'the children' and genetic modifications in this episode.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I think this is the first time they quarantine a ship, and then leave it with beacons on to go on and continue looking for the cause. 
  • I didn't notice initially how both Picard and Pulaski are aware that there is tension in their relationship, and do try to work on resolving it, and there is a great scene with Pulaski asking Troi for advice on what's going on.
  • Worf Finally gets to blow something up! So often he gets shut down when requests any kind conflict or destruction, but here he gets to blow up the quarantined ship.  Even though it's not likely a very worthy a target, but it's good to flex those 'fire' muscles!
What feels different now, than then:
  • I really thought that Pulaski was going to supersede Picard's authority and expose herself to one of the children to see the effects - I totally didn't remember that they actually came into agreement on how to proceed, .. kinda.
  • I wonder if genetic engineering every goes in the right direction?  All the stories about it seem to be crazy and negative and lead to all sorts of bad things.
What remained the same:
  • When the 'child' beams over encased in some kind of shell to prevent contagion, it was pretty fraeking scary to be in status like that.
What I see differently:
  • I know hindsight is 20/20, but how could they not think that 'the children' could be the cause/carriers of the condition even though they aren't affected.  That felt very surprizing, although maybe I watch too much scifi that it feels like common knowledge!  At least it's the first time they did it on this show.
  • I've extremely surprized that Data piloted the shuttlecraft and therefore was exposed (but apparently immune & a non-carrier) of the condition.  That felt very high risk to me, and whereas Pulaski was completely on board for taking the risk, Data was never even presented the option to choose.
Great Quotes:
  • "Medical research is sometimes a risky business. It's all part of being human." - Doctor Pulaski
  • "Doctor, God knows I'm not one to discourage input; but I would appreciate it if you'd let me finish my sentences once in a while." - Picard
Left off at:
Time for the transporter to save the day!  O'Brien's suggestion of using a DNA sample in combination with something to do with the transported enhancing something or other provides the option to bean Pulaski over as she used to be.  This won't work for the people on the station or 'the children' who carry the very aggressive immune system, who will have to live out their lives in quarantine.

Images Source: TrekCore


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