The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Suspicions

When Dr Crusher gathers together a group of experts to test a Ferengi scientist’s technology for safely flying into a star, things swiftly go horribly wrong. After two deaths and an unauthorised autopsy, Crusher is confined to quarters – but can she really rest until the case is closed?

I didn’t remember this episode as being particularly poor – in fact, I was looking forward to it as one of the rare Beverly Crusher episodes that isn’t about her having a relationship with a man. Unfortunately, this rewatch reveals that it really is a very weak episode.

Much of the episode is told in lazy flashback style, as Beverly explains her situation to Guinan. Why bother having actors demonstrate their thoughts and emotion on screen, when Beverly can just narrate what they were thinking and feeling? Even without this glaring weakness, the story itself is weak and barely plausible; yes, it might be an attempt to give Beverly something to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good one.

Aboard the Enterprise

  • Crusher’s a doctor, not an engineer – why is she organising a scientific meeting about metaphasic shielding instead of Geordi or Data? As a scientist of many interests, I do like to read and learn about things not in my original field, but I don’t think I’d arrange a conference about them.
  • Similarly, the other scientists seemed only to be there to bicker and cause trouble. If Crusher wanted to help Reyga, let him and his research assistants prove their theories aboard the Enterprise, and when you’ve got a working model backed by the Federation, present it to the scientific community.
  • It’s sad that Ferengi-racism is so ingrained that even Reyga himself thinks a Ferengi scientist is a contradiction in terms. Metaphasic shielding would be a good investment for a Ferengi businessman – if any other cultures had the money with which to purchase it. Maybe Ferengi wouldn’t be interested in theoretical physics, but marketable inventions are surely highly regarded.
  • This is Guinan’s final appearance until her pivotal role in Generations.
  • In Man of the People, Picard mandates Crusher to perform an autopsy against the wishes of the apparent next-of-kin. This time, Picard isn’t on board with an unapproved autopsy, and Beverly is stripped of her role.
  • Am I really supposed to believe that all the amazing scanning and imaging techniques of the 24th century haven’t become sophisticated enough to replace an autopsy?
  • What’s the point of having a remote override for shuttles if it can just be turned off with relative ease?

Summary – Suspicions: “Fuck me, that was atrocious.”

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