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Lunch » Tags » Tv Shows » Reviews » Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 27: The Child » User review

The ultimate in "walk a mile in his shoes"

  • Nov 6, 2004
This is a tale of gain, loss and then a final gain. The Enterprise is ordered to transport samples of deadly biological agents to another planet where they hopefully will help in stopping a deadly plague. While the Enterprise is in transit to pick up the samples, they encounter a light. That light enters the Enterprise, moves through several decks and then enters the body of Counselor Troi.
Shortly after this happens, there is a senior staff meeting on the Enterprise and Captain Picard announces that Troi is pregnant. Not only is she pregnant, but the child will be born in less than two days. Since the child is clearly alien, there is a debate as to whether the child should be taken to term. After reflection, Troi announces that she will give birth, immediately settling the matter. The birth is extremely uncomplicated, shortly after the young boy is born, Troi shows no residual effects. It is as if she had never been pregnant.
The boy grows rapidly, he is the biological equivalent of an eight-year-old after only one day. His mind is developing just as rapidly, his intellect and speech capability match his biological age. He is also overwhelmingly curious, he deliberately allows himself to be burned so that he can experience the pain. As he continues to mature, he tells Captain Picard that he will soon be able to explain why he is there. However, everyone's attention is diverted to a crisis in the bacterial agents. Despite all the precautions, one of them begins to grow and if unchecked, will break out of the container and exterminate everyone on the Enterprise. A mysterious source of radiation is causing the growth, and the young boy is the source. He understands this, so he dies. After his death, his body disappears and the light reappears. It makes contact with Troi and explains what its' goals were in becoming human. Despite her sadness in losing the child, she is pleased with the knowledge that it did not die.
The creature is a life force that became curious about humans when it encountered them and felt that the only way to learn about them was to become one. It is the ultimate manner in which you "walk a mile in their shoes." Unfortunately, I believe the inclusion of the deadly biological agents was a mistake in the plot. The biofilters on the Enterprise transporters routinely remove biological agents, since it would always be possible for them to encounter one that would be very deadly, this would have to be a very effective fail-safe technique. Therefore, the problems with the biological agents simply should not occur. Also, it would have been more interesting if the child would have developed to adulthood so that we could learn more about it.

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Charles Ashbacher ()
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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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Season 2 opens with the introduction of a bearded William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), the promotion of Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) to chief engineer, and the replacement of Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher with Dr. Pulaski (Diana Muldaur). With a scene that's much sexier than it has any right to be, a Tinkerbell-like spark enters the ship, finds a sleeping Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), moves under her covers, and impregnates her. The alien baby starts to grow much faster than a normal gestation period, shrinking the time frame down to a couple of days. Worf wants to terminate the pregnancy, Data wants to study the life form, and Troi decides to keep the baby no matter what anyone thinks. Once born, the boy continues its rapid growth, but is discovered to have an adverse effect on the specimens of a dangerous plasma plague they are carrying to a scientific research facility. None too subtly, the whole episode explores ideas about family. Also included is a guest spot by independent-film veteran Seymour Cassel.--Andy Spletzer
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Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Paramount

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