Star Trek – The Next Generation: 2×01 – The Child

Memory Alpha

Continuing my celebration of Star Trek’s fiftieth year by watching my Next Generation Blu-Rays.  I’m going to go through the episodes a little more slowly than Season One, but now let’s get into this thing:

So season one of The Next
Generation was… well… there’s no way to say it nicely – It was big stinking
pile of Atari Jaguars.  Despite that, the
networks decided to defy Vulcan logic and went ahead with season two.  And it’s not off to a great start to be
honest.

I’m sure most Trekkies are
aware that ‘The Child’ was actually a script for the aborted series ‘Star Trek:
Phase II’ that was adapted to TNG.  Troi
is visited by a mysterious alien entity that just happens to have been floating
around the ship while she’s asleep, finds herself pregnant, decides to go ahead
and have the baby which is born after just a couple of days and continues to
grow at an accelerated rate for a few more days, then dies.  It turns out, violating women’s bodies is how
these aliens learn about other species, but it’s presence is putting the ship
in danger so it turns into energy and floats off on its merry way.  You’d think all of this would have had a deep
impact on Troi, perhaps even left her a bit traumatised.  But no – completely forgotten by the next
episode.

Of course, that’s partly just
down to the way TV was made back then.
You kids these days have grown up with boxsets and Netflix, but back
then you didn’t really have arcs and stories that would unfold over an entire
season of a show (Deep Space Nine was the first show that wasn’t a soap opera I
can remember doing that).  In those days,
each episode was made to stand on its own so that anyone could jump into a
series at any point and pick up what was going on without having seen any
previous episode.  And at the end of each
episode the writers just hit the reset switch, restoring the status quo.  Of course sometimes characters referred to things
that had happened earlier, but in general their circumstances never changed.

That said, this episode was
forgettable but there are a few changes between Seasons 1 and 2 worth
noting.  Geordi La Forge is now
officially the chief engineer (let’s just hope Wesley doesn’t f*** it up for
him), Worf is chief of security, and Doctor Crusher has left!  Yes, Wesley is living by himself now and
having a party in his quarters every night.

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