|This isn't the Howard Johnson's.|
The crew of the Enterprise-D are first and foremost explorers. This is what has always distinguished them, for me at least, from their illustrious predecessors, whom I always saw more as adventurers. So far the series hasn't really afforded them many chances to seek out strange new worlds. For the most part they've been boldly going where the original series went before -- literally, in the case of 'The Naked Now'. 'Where No One Has Gone Before' might not be one of the series' best episodes, but it is the first that feels like a true Next Generation episode, and not some unmade TOS script Gene dusted off and changed all the names.
This episode really put the ship's odometer through its paces. First, they're sent all the way to the Triangulum (or M33) Galaxy, which is 2,700,000 light years from home. Next they are sent hurtling beyond the infinite to what can only be assumed to be the edge of the known universe, over a billion lightyears from home. Exciting as it is to see them journey to worlds they couldn't imagine ever visiting, once the initial excitement has worn off, these strange new worlds that the Traveler has (accidentally) taken the ship to turn out to be a little on the dull side.
The EOTKU looks pretty on the viewscreen, but the random illusions it creates from the crew's memories quickly grows tiresome. Some crew see themselves dancing ballet, others playing the classics, Worf is reunited with his Klingon kitty cat, Picard has a chat with his deceased maman (Kirk would've probably seen some exotic alien beauty for him to romance, or some exotic alien brute for him to drop kick), while Tasha flashes back to the time she was chased by a rape gang on the colony where she grew up. Wait, what? Was Tasha raped? Okay, can we stop and talk about that for a minute? No? We're just going to move along like it isn't that big of a deal? Well, that's just frustrating.
|Wesley, do you like movies about gladiators?|
Notes and Quotes
--Lieutenant Commander Argyle seems to have replaced Sarah MacDougal as Chief Engineer. Although Riker does say he is one of the ship's chief engineers, so it is possible the ship has more than one. Do they all have Scottish surnames?
--The piece of music played by the string quartet in this episode is Mvt. 1, "Allegro", from Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525.
--This was the first episode of TNG directed by Rob Bowman. He would go on to direct twelve more episodes and later became a director/producer on The X-Files and Castle.
--The shot of the Enterprise and the Fearless side by side is reused footage from 'Encounter at Farpoint'. Get used to seeing it because it gets used a lot.
skant version of the uniform. I only draw attention to it because the guy's confused expression amuses me.
--Jonathan Frakes had some difficulty saying the line "It wasn't him, it never was. It was his assistant" without laughing.
--Is the main engineering really the place for kids to be doing their school work? Are all the Enterprise's children allowed to do their home work there or just Wesley because he's special?
Data: "Captain, we're here. Why not avail ourselves of this opportunity for study? There is a giant proto-star here, in the process of forming. No other vessel has been out this far."
Picard: "Spoken like a true Starfleet Academy graduate."
Picard: "Please don't interrupt me, Wesley."
The Traveler: "Well yes, this could seem like magic to you. "
Picard: "No. No, it actually makes sense to me. Only the power of thought could explain what has been happening."
Two out of four Klingon kitty cats.