This episode gives me hope for the future of TNG. It combines the ideas of two of the most infuriating episodes from TOS, Where No Man Has Gone Before (where I got the idea to write sonnets) and The Squire of Gothos (this blog isn’t there quite yet).
Let’s start with the latter episode. When I first saw it, it upset me because I spent 15 years taking care of small children, so I know a pint-sized control freak when I see one. Waiting for his parents to come and apologize for his behavior and take him home for punishment was just the cherry on top paired with Q’s similar exit from the episode.
Having Ryker receive Q-esque powers with the offer to become part of the collective Q and get too big for his britches only to have his crew members – most significantly Wesley – teach him the error of his ways was a little too clean for my liking. I’m actually not sure whether I preferred it to Kirk ignoring Spock’s very level-headed suggestion of killing his childhood friend for the greater good.
There are definite issues with merging two delightfully annoying episodes into one and then knocking off all the awkward edges. Human logic revealing itself to be superior to that of a superior beings being the inverse of sci-fi humans not understanding how anyone can be prejudiced anymore, well … just look at that sentence structure. It’s enough to make you want to throw things.
But there’s hope. Gene Roddenberry created TOS and he created TNG. Just as reviving this project requires an adjustment period on my part, so, too, the creation of a new series (after a much longer interlude than what I myself experienced) is going to require adjustment.
And what better way to do that than to revisit some particularly playful and rich episodes of old?