The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: The Enemy

When an away team on Galorndon Core finds a crashed Romulan ship, they manage to rescue a survivor, but at the cost of losing Geordi in an electromagnetic storm. Now, Crusher must attempt to save the life of the Romulan survivor, whilst the bridge crew searches for Gerodi – who is stranded on the planet with a second Romulan.

Just as I was beginning to lose faith in my love of Star Trek, along comes a great episode to reinstate it. I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for ‘Enemy Mine’ type plotlines, and this one delivers in spades, as Geordi must work together with a Romulan centurion if they are ever to be rescued from Galorndon. We get to see a Romulan doing something other than being sneaky and deceptive for once, and it’s nice to have a bit of dimension to this enigmatic race. It’s also interesting to have Geordi be the one ready to give up, and his Romulan companion suggest a way out – it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of always having the aliens being the fatalistic ones, whilst humans retain their can-do attitude no matter what.

Meanwhile, there’s a nice morality play for the B-story, in which Worf – who hates the Romulans for killing his parents – is also the only compatible donor who can save a Romulan life. Should Picard order him to be a donor? Does Worf have the right to choose, or is it his duty as a Starfleet officer to save a life wherever possible?

Technology and aliens in the 24th century

  • Our second look through Geordi’s visor is a little different to the first, although it still has that “thermal imaging” look.
  • Of all the highly trained bridge crew, only Wesley thinks of a neutrino beam as a beacon – and Geordi instantly knows it must have been Wesley’s idea. Is everyone else stupid?
  • I feel sorry for Worf and the bridge officers behind him, as they have to stand for their entire shift. I guess Worf doesn’t mind, and probably even prefers it, but I know I’d need to sit down!
  • It is implied that any Romulan baby with birth defects or imperfections would not be allowed to live.
  • Tomalak is played by Andreas Katsulas, well known as G’Kar on Babylon 5. Am I the only person in the world who likes Babylon 5?
  • I appreciate it makes good story fodder, but would a Klingon really be more compatible as a donor for a Romulan than one of the Vulcans aboard? Also, why is the blood (or the necessary transfusion factors) too complicated to replicate? You can use some of his existing blood as a pattern, and then duplicate that.
  • At the end of the episode, the Enterprise is supposed to be escorting the Romulans back to the Neutral Zone, but instead, we see the two ships leaving in opposite directions. Unless the Enterprise needed to swing round after it left orbit for some reason.

Summary – The Enemy: My faith in TNG is restored.

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