The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Captain’s Holiday

When Picard starts showing signs of stress and overwork, Riker and the crew conspire to get him to go on holiday – to the pleasure planet Risa. At first, all Picard cares for is searching out some peace and quiet for a little light reading, but when a beautiful woman named Vash draws him into a hunt for a special treasure, his holiday experience improves immeasurably.

I’ve actually rewatched this episode a couple of times over the past eighteen months or so, and it’s always good fun. It’s great to see Picard out of the captain’s chair, and although the “getting the captain to take a holiday” setup is pure Star Trek cliché, the pay-off is worth it. Who doesn’t want to see Picard grumpily enduring a beach holiday, before picking up a hot girl and heading off on an archaeological adventure.

Seeking jamaharon?

  • This is our first look at the oft-referenced pleasure planet Risa, where everyone is relaxed about their sexuality and keen to enjoy themselves. We’ll get to visit it again midway through DS9.
  • As Picard points out, the Vorgons can simply time travel again and again until they get the result they desire. Although of course Guinan will know if the timeline is wrong.
  • When Picard takes Sovak’s gun, why does he just toss it in a flowerbed? Why not either keep it or hand it in to the authorities? For that matter, if guns aren’t allowed on Risa, why aren’t there better security controls?
  • Vash is obsessed with money, but the Federation has no money, so she must be in it just for the fun of it rather than out of any need. For example, she could have just hitched a ride on a Federation ship for free.
  • How would the Daystrom Institute pay for the Tox Utat when they don’t have any money?
  • Why are the Ferengi so obsessed with gold when it can be easily replicated?

Summary – Captain’s Holiday: If you have $600 to spare, you too can own your own Horga’hn.

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