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Lunch » Tags » Tv Shows » Reviews » Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 88: Clues » User review

Nothing seems right and even Data seems wrong

  • Apr 2, 2009
  • by
While on a routine mission, the Enterprise apparently passes through a wormhole and is immediately transported an enormous distance. All of the crew except for Data is rendered unconscious and he is able to revive the crew in approximately 30 seconds. Captain Picard then decides to proceed on mission, but suddenly anomalies appear. The first is that one of Dr. Crusher's botany experiments has achieved 24 hours of growth. Further investigation indicates that approximately 24 hours have passed and that the crew was conscious for at least part of that time.
When Picard and others confront Data, he is evasive and unclear in his responses and there are strong indications that he has falsified the data entries in the Enterprise computer. This continues for some time until Captain Picard orders the Enterprise back to the location of the supposed wormhole.
They arrive, only to discover that there is no wormhole but a planet inhabited by a powerful species that is extremely xenophobic. Their policy when a ship encounters their planet is to simulate a wormhole, render the crew unconscious and then move the ship a significant distance from their planet. Since their methods are ineffective against Data, Picard had ordered the crew to alter the Enterprise so that there was the simulation of the 30 seconds of unconsciousness and all the humans would have their memory of the events erased. Captain Picard then ordered Data to never reveal to anyone the existence of the planet. The xenophobes prepare to destroy the Enterprise, but Captain Picard convinces them to give the Enterprise another chance to make it work, and this time the crew succeeds.
Considered as a possible event, human explorers encountering a xenophobic species that wants no contact, is very possible. In many ways some human societies, for example Japan before the voyage of Commodore Perry, took that route. The only thing that forced open Japan to the outside world was the clear military might of the Western navies. If Japan had had the military superiority, there would have been no opening of the country. Therefore, this episode satisfies one of the most important criteria of believable science fiction, a plausible and even likely premise. The acting is well done and the dialog is presented as a puzzle to be solved. Brent Spiner plays his role as the conflicted but properly behaving Data very well. The opening scene where Guinan is in a detective holdrama with Picard is amusing and sets the stage for what is a mystery with baffling clues. Her puzzled flashing of the garters is very funny.

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Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #76
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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En route to investigate a mysterious planet, theEnterprisepasses through a "worm hole" in space which knocks everyone but Commander Data (Brent Spiner) unconscious. When the crew is revived, the ship has been transported a full day's distance away, yet only 30 seconds have passed.

Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) is surprised to find that an experiment of hers has progressed a full day, so she brings it to the attention of Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart). Other clues point to the fact that, in actuality, the crew lived the missing day and have lost their memory of it. Ordered to investigate, Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton) discovers that the ship's chronometer, and other devices, have been tampered with-by Data. When Picard confronts Data, he refuses to reveal what he knows. In order to find out what really happened, Picard orders the Enterprise to retrace its steps back to the mysterious planet-and into a dangerous encounter.

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Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Paramount

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