Star Trek – The Next Generation: 2×07 Unnatural Selection

I’ve been falling a bit behind on these.  This is Star Trek’s fiftieth year, so I need to get in as much Trek as I can before it’s out (and there are well over a hundred episodes of TNG still to go).  So let’s press on:

Memory Alpha

A real tour de force for Star Trek’s very unnatural and
creepy looking old person make-up.  The
Enterprise responds to a distress call from the U.S.S. Lantree, only to arrive
and discover the crew all dead.  The
doctor ominously explains they all died of natural causes.  Also, they all got really old real fast which
we can all see.

Tracing back the Lantree’s steps takes them to science
research station engaged in genetic engineering, even though that’s banned in
the federation (but I guess it’s not until Deep Space Nine that it’s
established the federation has a weird prejudice about that, locking up
genetically modified people they find not because of anything they’ve done, but
because centuries ago a few GM folks got a bit world conquer-y).  Anyway, after Doctor Pulaski agrees to
examine one of the engineered children, on a shuttle away from the Enterprise
just to be safe, she ends up exposed to whatever is causing the rapid aging and
has to quarantine herself on the planet with the rest of the scientists, who
are also afflicted.  It comes as no
surprise whatsoever to learn that the genetic engineered children there are the
cause, albeit inadvertently.

The solution the crew decide is to use the transporter to
reconstruct Pulaski’s body in an earlier state before she was infected by the
rapid aging disease (which actually if you think makes the transporter a kind
of fountain of eternal youth, so long as you remember to save a copy of your
pattern from when you’re in your prime… perhaps unsurprisingly though, that
idea is never explored).  There’s a
problem though, as it turns out Pulaski doesn’t trust transporters, which seems
like another blatant attempt to have her just be a copy of – sorry, homage to –
the original series’ Doctor McCoy.

Overall though, this is not a great episode.  The series does get good eventually, I
promise!

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