The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Where No One Has Gone Before

When warp specialist Kosinski comes aboard the Enterprise to make improvements to the warp engines, his arrogance soon puts the crew’s backs up – especially as his equations and methodology seem to be meaningless! In fact, the real one making the improvements is Kosinski’s soft-spoken alien assistant – but when the assistant makes a mistake, he throws the ship first into a distant galaxy, and then to a place where space, time and thought are all intermingled. Will the Enterprise ever make it home?

There’s a lot to quibble with about this episode – ridiculous leaps in time and space, having to swallow that the power of thought and belief can propel a starship, and, for those of us who dislike Wesley, having to put up with them being lauded as a special genius who is amazing and wonderful and basically the ultimate Mary Sue. But even with all that, it feels like a bit of the stiffness of the earliest episodes is starting to melt away, making the characters a bit more relatable and human. And at this point, that’s definitely something that’s sorely needed.

Characterisation

  • Picard, once so unbearably stiff and formal, is starting to let a bit of humanity bleed through – we see him interacting with his mother (or some representation of her), and even being kind to Wesley. It’s just little things like this that make him someone to look up to and admire, rather than being a joyless starship commander.
  • Yar has a flashback to a time she rescued a cat whilst fleeing from rape gangs on her home world. Will there ever be an episode where Yar isn’t being subjected to some sort of trauma? And if only the writers could have used this to give Starfleet-Yar more depth of personality!
  • Worf had a pet targ (a sort of piglike animal) when he was younger. This must have been when he was very young, as Worf’s Klingon family was murdered when he was just six years old, at which point he went to live with humans. Of course, although Worf seems to have grown up at the same rate as a human, based on reminiscinces we will later come to hear about, his son Alexander looks about 19 by the time he’s merely six years old. What a freak, eh?

    Anyway, getting back to the here and now, it’s nice for Worf to actually say and do something that isn’t growling at an opponent and immediately wanting to fight them.

  • Wesley is now an acting ensign, which means no more cable-knit jumpers.

Science

  • As of TNG, Warp 10 is an absolute maximum representing infinite speed, and should therefore be unattainable. Nonetheless, Geordi says “we’re passing warp 10”, which is a meaningless statement. Maybe it was the best he could make of a situation.
  • Kosinski’s assistant, The Traveller, is an advanced alien who can transform thought and intent into propulsion. His people found humanity uninteresting until now, but now he searches for people with great potential, such as Wesley.
  • According to Kosinski, 11% of the galaxy has been charted by humanity so far – remember back in TOS when they thought they’d explored all of it?
  • When the Enterprise is thrown out to Galaxy M33, the crew reckons it will take 300 years to get back to the Federation. In fact, Galaxy M33 is over 2.7 million light-years away, so to make it back in 300 years would require a pace of 91,000 light-years per year. I bet Voyager wished it could travel that fast.
  • In The Naked Now, we were introduced to Chief Engineer MacDougal. Here, we meet Argyle, who is described as “one of our chief engineers”. If there’s more than one chief, than perhaps each is in charge of their own team, branch, or shift. Of course, when Geordi becomes chief engineer, he is the only chief – perhaps after a starship re-organisation.

Summaru – Where No One Has Gone Before: Is Wesley special or just an annoying brat? Your answer to this question will affect your enjoyment of this episode.

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