Synopsis: The Enterprise is sent to investigate the disappearance of a medical ship traveling through the Hekaras Corridor, the only safe path through that section of space. The ship is disabled and boarded by a pair of alien siblings who claim they have mined the corridor because they want to bring attention to the fact warp drive is causing the unstable corridor to breach and will destroy their civilization as a result.
Star Trek the Next Generation Episode Review: “Force of Nature”
A review of the season 7 television episode that first aired in November 1993.
I wasn’t planning on watching Star Trek the Next Generation when I was home for lunch today. However, this episode happened to be on TV and, after watching the first few minutes of it, I couldn’t help but want to watch the rest of it.
One of the things I like about this episode, in particular, is the way it essentially knocks the Federation down a couple notches. While the Federation is supposed to be the good guys, there are, at times, when the group seems to act a little too high and mighty, especially when it comes to other cultures. So, having an alien scientist (Margaret Reed) prove to them everything they originally believed about warp transportation is wrong was pretty fun to watch. And, no, I didn’t miss the fact it was a thinly veiled reference to our current reliance on fossil fuels.
The other thing I really found I liked about this episode was the way it wasn’t as predictable as I originally thought it would be. This is mostly because Picard (Patrick Stewart) behaved a little differently than I was expecting by almost completely dismissing the claims rather than taking a more proactive approach to them.
This, in turn, resulted in the alien scientist taking matters into her own hands and creating a breach that provided quite a bit of suspense toward the end as the Enterprise tried to rescue those on board the other ship without causing even more damage. And, even that part had a couple sudden and unexpected twists added to make things even more interesting.
I think my biggest complaint about all of this was the way LaForge (Levar Burton) is, in some ways, made into the scapegoat by being the only one on board the Enterprise that seems to show any sort of remorse for not believing the scientist and indirectly causing her death as a result of that. Sure, he did his part by not believing her. But, there was plenty of blame to go around, starting with the top.
This is a pretty interesting episode that I found I enjoyed much more than I expected to. I would recommend taking the time to watch it as a result of that.
My Grade: A
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