ST:TNG 2.18 Up the Long Ladder ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch
Images Source: TrekCore
Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with an unlikely finding of old colonies in ...
Up The Long Ladder
Season 2, Episode 18
- The Enterprise investigates an old Earth signal in deeps space which reveals not one, but two, separate colonies that have been evolving apart for hundreds of years. One colony has kept up traditions of livestock and homemade clothing, whereas the other colony has focused on technology.
- The main focus is members of the Bringloidi colony, including Danilo Odell and his daughter Brenna Odell, who keep the colony in order/disorder and communicate the most with The Enterprise.
- The second colony of Mariposa, and their Prime Minister Granger, also play a key role in the episode including kidnapping Pulaski and Riker to attempt to clone them after they've refused.
- One of the hidden gems of this episode is getting to see a friendship form between Worf and Pulaski. After Pulaski covers for Worf after fainting and coming down with the Klingon version of the measles, he performs the Klingon tea ceremony for her. It's quite amazing.
- We also find out that Geordi can tell if humans are lying. With complete accuracy! How did that not come up before? Perhaps they don't run into humans that much.
What I remembered about this episode:
- I mostly remembered Bringloidi cology, with the chickens and spinning wheels and drama. And the whole 'feet washing' scene between Brenna and Riker. Wow. I don't think she'll need 3 husbands, but rather 2 when the colonies merge!
- I did also remember the horror of Riker and Pulaski being abducted and had their cells stolen so they could be cloned, and why they 'don't remember' is a bit vague (well in all fairness they don't know why they don't remember...), but they did add an 'out' from memory erasing in the recent episode of 2.15 Pen Pals.
- I'd love to see who all are the characters/guest stars Worf recommends that they would work in security, as he does here with Brenna who clearly keeps everyone in line in the colony.
- I adored Brenna's sweater! I remember on first watch thinking that was a whole lotta midriff, but now I'm like... is there a pattern for that? I would make it!
What feels different now, than then:
- I'm a little surpirzed they didn't think to ask anyone on The Enterprise if they minded being cloned, although Pulaski makes a clear case that more cloning doesn't solve their problem, it seems polite to possible ask and not think everyone would react the same way.
- It's kind of cool to have them not have to deal with the Prime Directive here, as both colonies are humans from Earth that ended up on a different path than expected.
- It's an entertaining episode, although I remember the stories separately as opposed to together, it was easy to figure out that they would put them all together.
- There is so much going on in this episode - Worf being sick (and making friends with Pulaski), The Bringloini colony (and Breanna/Will), The Marisposa colony (who are clones!), the abduction of Riker and Pulaski then the destruction of their clones and then putting the colonies together. It's craziness in comparison to a regular ep!
- If this was a new episode now, I wonder if it would read as 'technology is bad!' as the clones who have turned to such are the ones that are in trouble. It certainly didn't read that way at the time, at least not for me.
- It felt a bit surprizing that it was hands-down, no way/no how idea that cloning just doesn't work. Pulaski usually is pretty cutting edge, so I believe that what she says is true, but it seems strange that even apart the medical tech didn't evolve any differently. Maybe it's a path they didn't want to go down, or at least not yet.
- "Sometimes, Number One... you just have to... bow to the absurd." - Picard
- "I did not faint. Klingons do not faint." - Worf
- "Tell me, is your entire population made up of clones, Prime Minister?" - Pulaski
- "One William Riker is... unique, perhaps even special. But a hundred of him, a thousand of him... diminishes me in ways I can't even imagine." - Riker
Picard convinces the two colonies to combine to solve the Bringloidi's need for a home and the Mariposa's need for more people to infuse into their society.
Images Source: TrekCore