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TNG Season 1: The Naked Now Ep. 2 January 19, 2008

Posted by Chris in Star Trek The Next Generation.
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 It Seems a Little Early in the Series for Robot Sex But TNG Jumps Right In!

The second episode of the new series picks up where the pilot left off — somewhat shamelessly and awkwardly pandering to the loyalists to the original series.  But this time, the pandering is even more pronounced as this episode is almost a carbon copy of “The Naked Time” from the original series.  Just as in the original series, the Enterprise visits a scientific team that is studying a dying star (actually, it was a planet in the original episode).  The star seems to cause a disease that spreads by physical contact and causes its victims to become extremely drunk.  It’s to the show’s credit that they have the crew realize quickly that they are dealing with the same disease that Kirk and his crew faced.  On the other hand, it would be nice if they built on the original premise somehow.  They don’t.  Instead, just as the original series did, they used the plot as a device to introduce us to some of the personality traits and motivations of the show’s characters — an understandable if not original approach.  Piccard and Crusher flirt their way through the development of a vaccine for the disease, further suggesting a shared romantic past.  Lt. Yar is severely sexually repressed.  Threatened by the prospect of human intimacy, she convinces Data to sleep with her, thereby getting a piece while not having to deal with all the hassle of sleeping with a real person.  Data shows just how strong his desire to be human really is by willfully disobeying his direct orders to take Yar to sickbay and seizing her in her quarters instead.  Wesley reveals more of his genius by first taking control of the ship from engineering, disabling it, and then effecting a last minute repair so they can escape the exploding star. Geordi bad trips on his blindness, showing his deep desire to see like others do, even though his vision is technically enhanced by his visor.

The final words of the episode come from Piccard, who says:  “I put it to you all:  I think we have a fine crew, if we avoid temptation.”  What!?!  So this is the central tension the writers have developed for the series?  It’s supposed to be all about the adventures of a bunch of sexually repressed and/or emotionally-challenged people in the future fighting to stay neutered and professional?  That’s a sucky premise!

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