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Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 52: Who Watches The Watchers?

1 rating: 3.0
Science Fiction & Fantasy TV show

An Away Team is dispatched to Mintaka Three where a Federation outpost has suffered an explosion. Hidden from view, Federation anthropologists have been observing the Vulcan-like Mintakans, whose world mirrors that of Earth's Bronze Age. As the Enterprise … see full wiki

1 review about Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode...

The prime directive is once again "the prime suggestion"

  • Mar 17, 2009
  • by
The basic plot device of this episode is reused in the feature film "Nemesis." A team of observers has been placed on a primitive planet and hidden behind holographic camouflage. The device malfunctions and two members of the native population observe the anthropologists. When one of them receives a severe electric shock, Dr. Crusher beams him to the Enterprise and saves his life. He awakens, sees Captain Picard and when he is returned to the planet, he rekindles their old beliefs in a powerful overseer.
With one of the anthropologists still missing, Riker and Troi have their appearance altered and beam down to the planet. They manage to rescue the missing researcher but Troi is captured and considered a potential sacrifice to "The Picard." Through all of this, Picard is furious at the breaking of the Prime Directive and in a questionable attempt at solution, he beams the leader of the native village up to the Enterprise and gives her a tour. However, it is only when someone dies that the leader truly believes that he is just a man. Even this is not enough, so Picard beams down to the planet and is shot by an arrow. When he bleeds, all of the natives are convinced and a complete explanation of the Enterprise is given to the entire village.
While the premise of the problems of observing a native population is an interesting one, the situation where Picard is first willing to let Federation members and natives die in order to conform to the Prime Directive and then tells them everything is absurd. If the Prime Directive is taken as seriously as he claims at the start, then the safety of the entire Enterprise crew is secondary to their being exposed as space travelers. Yet, Picard's actions demonstrate that when it is inconvenient, the Prime Directive is nothing more than "the Prime Suggestion." Nevertheless, Picard's willingness to take an arrow in order to prove that he is not a god does a great deal to rescue the episode.

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Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 52: Who
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Paramount

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