Star Trek the Next Generation Episode Review: "Where Silence Has Lease"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 2 television episode that first aired in November 1988.

Synopsis: The Enterprise enters a mysterious void in space and, when they try to go back, the crew quickly discovers they are trapped. They later learn the ship is being toyed with by an alien entity (Earl Boen) and the only way it will let the ship leave is if it is allowed to "experiment" by killing half of those on board.


We recently adopted a new kitten and, mostly because I'm busy trying to referee him and our older cat, I haven't had much time to watch TV when I'm home at lunch. However, they were both calm enough today for me to see this "Star Trek the Next Generation" episode.

This was actually my first time seeing this particular episode in its entirety (up until this point, I had only seen a few minutes of it). Unfortunately, while I thought the premise seemed somewhat promising, I ended up being pretty disappointed by this episode overall.

I think my biggest problem with this episode is, while there were plenty of opportunities to do so, it never really capitalized on its potential to create some real suspense.

Yes, the Enterprise and its crew were trapped in a void and, ultimately, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) had to order the self destruct sequence to negotiate the ship's escape. But, there really wasn't any given point in this episode where I really felt like the ship was in any real danger.

It didn't help that the majority of the episode related to the cat-and-mouse game inside the void, with the Enterprise facing fake advisories and trying to escape through pretend exits. By the time Picard had to make a decision regarding his crew, the episode was almost over.

I also thought this episode went out of its way to show us characters without any real reason.For example, I'm still not completely sure why Dr. Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) was on the bridge early on in the episode, other than maybe to remind us she replaced Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) temporarily and fill a couple minutes with a very lame discussion with Data (Brent Spiner) about whether or not the void actually existed or would be considered another dimension. Those extra minutes could have definitely been used much more constructively.

If I would have written this, I think I would have placed much more focus on Picard and maybe have a smattering of his crew growing uneasy to the point mutiny was a possibility. After all, he led them into a void and was willing to sacrifice everyone (including the spouses and children) on board the ship. I just think there would be a little less in terms of accepting something like that at face value.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 2

The complete second season of the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

View on Amazon

Final Opinion

This is an episode that had plenty of potential. But, overall, just wasn't as good as it could have been. I was very disappointed in it as a result.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 09/20/2016, StevenHelmer
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