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Star Trek The Next Generation: Home Soil

Five actors regretting their career choices.
"Captain's log, stardate 41463.9. While mapping the Pleiades Cluster, we've been asked by the Federation to visit a group terraforming Velara Three. Communications have been erratic and there is some concern about their welfare."

I liked this episode a lot better when it was called 'The Devil in the Dark.'

I wasn't five minutes into the episode when I realised what I was watching was remake of one of my favourite TOS episodes. But instead of everyone running around a bunch of caves in search of "a pizza crossed with a carpet", this episode featured lots and lots of scenes of everyone staring at a tiny LED as the computer tells them "It's alive, it's alive!" I don't know about anyone else, but people staring at a blinking light is not exactly my idea of exciting television.

Like the Horta, the Micro Brain (yes, that is what they decided to call it) was only defending itself from the harmful effects of the ignorant humans. It's a tale as old as time, and 'Home Soil' adds nothing new to this formula, save for an unintentionally hilarious way of dealing with the threat: turning the lights off. It just tickles me that after all the crew's technobabble solutions proved useless, the ship was saved by someone flicking a light switch.

The guest characters were all as grey as their overalls. The only one that really stuck in my memory was Luisa, and only because of the scene where Troi suggested Riker be sent to basically put the moves on her to get information out of her, something I found to be more than a little queasy. Seriously, writers? The best idea you could come up with to get Luisa to open up was to have Troi pimp out her ex? Even in the original series that would've been sleazy.

Notes and Quotes

--Why was Wesley even in this episode? He did nothing.

--The Micro Brain sounds like something from the original series.

--I love how everyone on the bridge, without being told so by the Captain, just gets up to go on the away team, like they know they are the ones who will be going because they are the regular characters.

Geordi: "LaForge to Enterprise, we have a problem."
Picard: "Be specific."

Data: "Speculation. Could it be alive?"
Geordi: "How could it be alive? It's inorganic."
--Dude, Data is right there.

One and half out of four ugly giant bags of mostly water.


  1. As I opened this review to read it, I was totally going to suggest that the rating should be "x out of 4 ugly giant bags of mostly water." Looks like you beat me to the punch. That line is about the only interesting thing about this episode.

  2. Yeah, this one was pretty bad. I'd completely forgotten it, which is never a good sign. Along with the recycled plot, here were also a lot of weird camera angels and uncomfortable close-ups. The only fun moment was the shot of the misbehaving laser after Data destroyed it.

  3. For me, all I can say is that as we plod through season 1 to get to better things we have at least made it through this episode.

  4. Micro Brain also sounds like a DC character, or from a cartoon like Invader Zim!

    The TOS version was just better. This isn't season one's worst episode, but it's definitely not good. I'm sometimes surprised that it wasn't cancelled after this season, but am glad it wasn't.


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