Star Trek – The Next Generation:  1×17 – When The Bough Breaks

Memory Alpha

This episode really annoyed me, and weirdly not because of any of the kids who are in it.  It’s just that the whole conflict at the centre could have easily been avoided if the characters had any intelligence.  When the Aldeans explain that they’re sterile and dying so need children to help them regrow their civilisation, all Riker has to say is:

‘Well, okay, obviously we can’t give you the children on our ship, but, the federation is vast and there are lot of orphans out there in need of homes and families.  I’m sure if we contact our leaders we might be able to work out some sort of deal.’

To which the Aldeans would have said:

‘Oh.  That’s… that actually makes sense,  To be honest, we expected you to just outright refuse.  In which case, we would have just kidnapped seven random children from your ship and sent you on your way.’

‘You… you thought you could repopulate your entire planet with just seven people?’

‘Yeah… does sound pretty dumb when you actually say it out loud.’

I think Troi does mention something about other species maybe being able to contribute, but everyone just ignores her because she’s Troi.  And I suppose if all that had happened, the Enterprise crew might not have found out as quickly that it was the planets cloaking device that was causing the population to become sterile.  But when your drama just relies on characters being idiotic and not thinking at all, it’s just bad writing.

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