The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Too Short a Season

When a diplomatic situation arises on planet Mordan IV, the Enterprise is sent to fetch Admiral Mark Jameson, the man who negotiated a hostage situation on that planet 45 years before. Jameson is now in his eighties and is suffering from a debilitating disease, but as the Enterprise transport him, he shows signs of improvement – and even reverse ageing. What has Jameson done to himself, and does it have anything to do with his return to Mordan IV?

Reverse ageing is a sci-fi staple, and so of course TNG would get to it in due course. Despite some obvious flaws in this episode, which I’ll get to in the next section, it’s actually not too bad a story, and marks the start in an upswing in quality as we start to climb towards the heights of good TNG. There’s actually not that much character stuff, leaving Picard to do most of the talking on behalf of the Enterprise crew, but that’s no bad thing. It’s easy to imagine that Kirk might have done the same thing as Jameson when it came to dealing with Mordan IV (Jameson supplied weapons to both sides; in A Private Little War Kirk supplied weapons to the hill people to match those given to the village people by the Klingons), but here in the 24th century we don’t condone that sort of thing.

Too Short a Blog Post

  • As soon as Jameson starts getting a bit younger and more vital, he is all over his wife – because obviously men only ever think of sex and women reluctantly give in to them. Such stereotyping!
  • When young Jameson goes down to Mordan IV to negotiate with governor Karnas, Karnas refuses to believe that this young man can be the 85-year-old Jameson. Fair enough, and he even refuses to fall for the “only you and I know this” thing, because obvious Jameson could have schooled his fake. Karnas finally believes when he sees that Jameson still has the scar he made to seal their pact 45 years ago, but this just raises further questions. Why didn’t the anti-ageing drug also heal the scar? Why didn’t it occur to Jameson to show the scar earlier? If young Jameson was a fake, couldn’t the Enterprise crew just have given him an identical scar?
  • When Picard beams down with Jameson, Riker doesn’t try to stop his commanding officer from going into a dangerous situation. Isn’t this Riker’s thing? Right now he has few enough other personality traits. Although to be fair, we did learn in the last episode that he likes jazz and can play the trombone. Personality ahoy!

Summary – Too Short a Season: “Captain, the Admiral’s testicles…they’re ascending!”

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