Terrorists take Federation officials hostage on Mordan IV and the Enterprise is ordered to transport the aged and infirm Admiral Mark Jameson to Mordan IV. The Admiral is a legendary negotiator, and among his many accomplishments was the mediation of a conflict on Mordan IV forty-five years earlier. However, as the Enterprise makes its' way to the planet, Jameson begins changing, becoming younger and more vigorous. This is due to his having taken some form of drug that reverses the aging process, although there are dangerous side effects. Furthermore, it is clear that there are complicating circumstances that the Enterprise crew are unaware of. Jameson and Karnas, the leader of Mordan IV, appear to be talking with a great deal of circumspection, saying things that only they understand. By the time the Enterprise arrives at Mordan IV, Jameson is a man in his twenties, certainly vigorous, but no longer possessing the aura of wisdom that his age granted him. On Jameson's order, an armed Enterprise party beams down in an attempt to free the hostages. They fail in this mission and eventually they go before Karnas. At this point, it is revealed that Karnas himself has taken the hostages in an attempt to have Jameson come back to Mordan IV. It is revealed that Jameson's solution to the previous conflict on the planet was to give both sides weapons, which ignited a decades-long civil war. The purpose of having Jameson come back to the planet was so that he could be executed for what he did. Seeing a young man suffering from severe convulsions, Karnas frees the hostages and allows Jameson to leave. While the basic idea of the dangers of arming both sides in a regional conflict is a good one for a story, in this case, it is not delivered very well. This story suffers from the same affliction that many of the early episodes of TNG did, an attempt to pack too much story into the episode. The secondary plot of the wonder drug that is a fountain of youth tends to supercede the main plot that deals with non-interference. Given that the igniting of a civil war is so significant, it would not have been difficult to create a complete episode using only it as a plot device. If that had been done, this would have been a much better story.
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Charles Ashbacher (CharlesAshbacher)
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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The planet Mordan IV has finally settled into peace after 40 years of civil war. Everything's going fine until terrorists take several Federation officials hostage. The leader of Mordan IV, Karnas (Michael Pataki), requests the presence of skilled negotiator Admiral Mark Jameson (Clayton Rohner), so it's up to the crew of theEnterpriseto bring these two together. Admiral Jameson is in his mid-80s, but was requested because he handled negotiations on the planet before the civil war broke out. You can tell by the annoying old-age makeup on what is obviously a young actor that Jameson will eventually take a drug that will make him young again. The bad makeup is the biggest flaw in an otherwise good episode. Themes include the quest for youth, the uneasy balance between work and family, and owning up for past political mistakes. The episode is directed by Rob Bowman, aNext Generationveteran who's worked on tons of other TV shows and directed theX-Filesfeature film.--Andy Spletzer