Episode #105: Disaster

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Episode #105: Disaster

Post  BoG on Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:09 pm


DISASTER - episode # 5 of 5th season /  Air Date: 10/21/91
written by Ron Jarvis, Philip A. Scorza, Ronald D. Moore; Directed by Gabrielle Beaumont

As indicated by the title, this emulates the disaster films of the seventies - it's Earthquake on a starship! Those weren't the greatest films, those big epic disasters, but some of them were a kick to watch, more than once - it was that simple but exciting scenario of a big number of people affected adversely and the possibility that some may not survive. How will they make it? Which will make it? By the same token, this TNG episode is not nearly among the best, but the visceral entertainment value places it above the worst.
The Enterprise-D hits a "quantum filament" - along with a shake-up, most of the power goes out, including communications; emergency bulkheads snap into place and cut off different parts of the ship, stranding people wherever they happened to be at the moment of collision: on the bridge, Troi (Troi   Exclamation  Question )  is left in command, with O'Brien & Ensign Ro (her 2nd appearance); La Forge & Dr. Crusher are in a cargo bay; Picard is stuck in a turbolift with 3 kids; the rest of the regulars are in Ten Forward, along with a pregnant Keiko.
Each group is presented with their own set of challenges - usually dire. The bridge crew detect a probable warp core breach in a couple of hours; Troi has her first taste of command as she's challenged by Ro; Troi lacks the tech knowledge of Ro or O'Brien. La Forge & Crusher find a plasma fire starting - that means radiation and probable explosion very soon. Picard has a broken ankle; he  has to calm the kids trapped with him and get them all out. Worf finds himself playing midwife to Keiko, whose baby has come to term - great timing!
This last event was the one that kind of annoyed me; I guess I'd seen too many birth scenes in films & TV by that point; this was copying the disaster & thriller genre too closely, in my estimation. But, this does mark the birth of O'Brien & Keiko's baby girl, Molly. We see Picard warm to kids after 5 years of stuffiness. Troi pursues more command opportunities after this experience. And Ro gets a better sense of what the ship is about. So, this was a bit more than just a 'crew-in-jeopardy' adventure. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10
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