Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode Review: Where No One Has Gone Before

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 1 television episode that first aired October 1987.

Synopsis: Despite doubts about his credibility, the Enterprise crew follows orders and allows a Federation scientist (Stanley Kamel) to run propulsion experiment using the ship's warp drive. The experiment has an unexpected result and the ship is sent to the far edge of the universe. However, Wesley (Wil Wheaton) doesn't believe the experiment was the cause and, instead, believes an alien assistant (Eric Menyuk) is behind it.

Review

I had an opportunity to watch this season 1 episode while waiting for my daughter to get done with her homework and get ready for her skating lesson. It was the first time I had seen this particular episode (at least as far as I remember) and I wasn't sure what to expect from it as a result. As it turns out, my overall opinion of it was mixed.

One of the biggest ongoing issues I've had with this series, especially when it comes to its first season, is I feel there are a lot of episodes where the writers tried to do a little too much. And, as I watched this one, I was able to lump it into that category.

The part about the Enterprise being sent billions of light years away from charted territory was interesting and, by itself, was an entertaining premise. I especially liked how there was some mystery as to why it happened, something that made it much more difficult to figure out how to get back home.

Unfortunately, I thought the episode started to lose some steam when it took things a step further, had the crew hallucinating and then made "thinking about going back home" one of the steps that was required for them to return. Some of the hallucinations seemed forced and the whole Wizard of Oz "no place like home" thing seemed kind of dumb.

I actually kind of wished this episode would have gone with a darker plot, perhaps with members of the Enterprise crew growing restless to the point the ship was on the verge of mutiny (something that would be somewhat realistic) and Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) having to make a decision that could get them home or destroy the ship trying.

I'm also a little disappointed and confused with the decision to not even make an effort to explore the area they were in. I get Picard wanted to get back home. But, since they had to wait for things to get set up anyway (and keep the crew occupied in the meantime), why not take the few minutes? It's not as though they had a strict time window they had to adhere to and, at minimum, it would have given some substance to what they were seeing.

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Final Opinion

I thought this episode had some potential. But, overall, I think it failed to live up to my expectations and just wasn't as good as it could have been.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 01/03/2019, StevenHelmer
 
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