Thursday, February 14, 2013

ST:TNG 5.05 Disaster ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

The crew falls into little groups needing leadership when the ship falls into turmoil in 5.05 Disaster.

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with one of my favourites from the entire series ...

Disaster
Season 5, Episode 5

Story:
  • The Enterprise goes into disaster mode when it hits a quantum filament leaving almost all systems non-operational and severing ship wide communications. With the bridge crew scattered throughout the ship on different duties, the control of the bridge falls to Counselor Troi.
What it's really about:
  • I think this one is all about leadership, who steps up (whether they want to or not) and who goes into crazy-mode. It's also a great episode to see all of the regular crew in a crisis situation, and to see how they will react.
    Character Focus:
    • This one does a wonderful job of showcasing the entire crew, and not only the bridge crew but also regular secondary characters as well, often in pairings and groups that are unusually formed.
    • On the bridge, we have Counselor Troi, who we learn holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander which places her in charge when the duty officer is killed. O'Brien and Ensign Mandel are also on the bridge, and eventually Ro makes her way in through the turbolift shaft.
    • In Ten-Forward we have various crew members, but the main story there revolves around a very pregnant Keiko and Worf who is in charge and ends up delivery her baby when she goes into labour. They do talk baby names in the episode, but all male baby names however the baby is a girl!
    • We also have Picard stuck in a fallen turbolift with the science fair winners Marissa, Jay Gordon and Patterson, who all do a lot of crying and think they are all going to die. Nothing like confidence in your captain, eh?
    • On the move from Ten Forward to Engineering we have Riker and Data, and sometimes just Data's head! I totally forgot they did that after using his body to solve a problem in a Jeffries Tube.
    • And in a Cargo Bay we have Geordi and Beverly who have to deal with a plasma fire and volatile materials. And Beverly trying to coax Geordi to sing!


    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I love this episode. It shows us so many things about the ship and it's workings that we didn't even know, like Troi holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Or that the turbolifts can fall, or that Data's head can be removed! I also love how it showcases the relationship dynamics and personality traits of the crew: who would decide to do what, when?
    • I think what impacted me the most about this episode, both then and now, is Troi being in command. It's clear she's uncomfortable with it at first, feels out of her depth but she really finds her way and ends up holding her ground. I really appreciating seeing her character step up and even when it was a bit wobbly, take the reins and ride through.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • It *is* a little funny when Troi thinks she understand the science by quoting a different example to O'Brien (and ends up being wrong), but a lot of leadership is trusting your team knows the specifics and you still making (and being responsible for) the call of action.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • I was getting all up in arms at how aggressive Ro was to Troi about how she could be responsible for everyone's death given her course of action, but that's easier to say retrospectively knowing they come out okay.
    • Since I'm watching chronologically, I know it's the first time they've mentioned some things like the duty officer on the bridge or isolation protocol or who should be in command.
    What remained the same:
    • I love how O'Brien instantly treats Troi with respect and takes her orders without question. He doesn't skip a beat on it.
    • I love all the scenes with Picard and the kids in the turbolift, how scared they are and how ill equipped he is to deal with it, although he does muddle through. It's very charming.
    • I always think it's crazy in any series or film that has a decompression of a part of the ship into space and people 'hang on tight' like they do here with Beverly and Geordi in the cargo bay. I don't know... I just think that kind of pressure would rip off your arm.
    • The scene with Keiko giving birth and Worf delivering is pretty hilarious, and is the first baby for a regular character on the show! Although that was pretty quick, I don't think they every showed her being pregnant until now!
    • The last line of Frère Jacques is "ding, dang, dong" not "ding, ding, dong"! Jeepers! Although it was awesome to see the Captain and the kids all singing a song I learned in school.
    What I see differently:
    • I would have thought there was something more here about knowing the crew well leading to co-operative action even while not in communication. There is a bit of it when Troi directs power to Engineering when it's not even clear if anyone is *in* Engineering, but it's a little less direct than I remembered.
    • I'm so impressed with how much happens in the episode! Writing it out and following it along while watching it's a tons of stuff from Troi being in command and Ro being on her with decisions, Picard comforting the kids, Riker and Data travelling thought the ship, Keiko giving birth... I mean... any of those one things could be a major storyline in a regular episode.
    Great Quotes:
    • "The crew has decided to stick together. We all go, or we all stay." - Marissa, to Captain Picard
    • "Congratulations. You are fully dilated to ten centimeters. You may now give birth." - Worf
    • "We will separate the ship when I decide that it's time, and not before. Is that clear, Ensign?" - Troi, to Ensign Ro
    Left off at:
    The diversion of power that the Troi orders to Engineering is used by Data to solve the problem. Wow, I literally don't remember what the specifics are, but that was what resolved it. Keiko gives birth, and although most people are a little shaken up power is restored and emergency mode ends. The kids also give Picard a plaque for helping them 'not be scared', and Picard promises them to give them a new tour of the ship, including the Battle Bridge.


    Images Source: TrekCore

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