Thursday, December 13, 2018

Aliens Hate Sleep

Having experienced some sleep deprivation lately, I watched one of the episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the crew have trouble sleeping, the sixth season episode "Schisms". Not a great episode or a bad episode, it's kind of the epitome of average, but if you like TNG, it's a pleasant enough time on the Enterprise-D.

Watching the crew try to solve the mystery as to why some crew members are losing periods of time is much more fun than the solution. Why does Riker (Jonathan Frakes) feel like he's just gone to bed when he wakes up in the morning? How could Data's (Brent Spiner) internal chronometer be different from the computer's? What's happening? Everyone works hard to figure it out.

Spare a little effort for your hair, Riker. It's a visual indicator of his lack of sleep, yes, but it's a bit much. I think he'd at least run a comb through his hair once.

The episode's also known for Data's poetry reading, one of those things that shows how hard it is to deliberately write something exceptionally bad. "Ode to Spot" is actually cute, in no way justifying the boredom in the audience. Certainly not the fury shown by Picard's (Patrick Stewart) intense looking mystery date in the blue dress.

There's another unknown woman in this scene; Kaminer (Angelina Fiordellisi), whose name, reason for being on the Enterprise, or relationship with the main crew is never revealed in this episode and she's never seen again, despite playing an important role later on.

She's one of the people whom Troi (Marina Sirtis) gathers in the Holodeck to reconstruct repressed memories of being abducted. Everyone else is part of the main cast--Geordi (Levar Burton), Worf (Michael Dorn), and Riker. It's frankly distracting--whenever Kaminer was talking, I found myself wondering who the hell she is instead of thinking of the mystery. It's been too long since I first watched this episode but I think I thought she might have been like the extra crewmember in the season five episode "Conundrum", a similar episode where the crew had lost some of their memory, and the extra crewmember ended up being important. But Kaminer doesn't even seem like she was meant to be a red herring. She'd be one of those great, obscure subjects for cosplay, but if I saw any Kaminers at Comic Con I didn't recognise them.

No comments:

Post a Comment