Episode #106: The Game

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Episode #106: The Game

Post  BoG on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:49 pm




THE GAME - episode # 6 of 5th season / Air Date: 10/28/91
written by Susan Sackett, Fred Bronson, Brannon Braga; Directed by Corey Allen

The Enterprise crew are taken over - compromised - by... a game Exclamation Question Yes, it's invasion by hostile aliens - but not in the usual way. This isn't quite like Wink of an Eye on TOS - I guess that's what happens in a century. This actually begins on Risa, the pleasure/vacation planet (writers have been getting good use of this planet since Captain's Holiday - it was also La Forge's destination in The Mind's Eye), where Riker is getting it on with an alien female. She introduces him to.. The Game.
For this game, a person places what looks like small earphones on their head and a holographic image is presented to them; the person is supposed to 'will' a disc into a funnel; when they succeed, they are rewarded by an orgasmic stimulation - I'm not kidding. There's an early scene here with Troi describing how to handle chocolate fudge, obviously a great pleasure for her. The whole episode seems to revolve around the possible dangers of indulging in too much pleasure - a 24th century warning to us about recreational drug use? I doubt it, but it's a bit unusual for a TNG episode.
The other unusual aspect to this is the return of Wesley (Wil Wheaton guest starring), on vacation from Starfleet Academy, and his meeting up with ensign Lefler (the delectable Ashley Judd, returning from Darmok). She is also pretty intelligent (with her 102 rules) and they make a pretty good match. They end up teaming up to find out the mystery of this game, which eventually the entire crew becomes addicted to. Also, a couple of the command crew make sure to put Data out of action.
What was kind of creepy to me when I first watched this (and not very comprehensible) was the manner of presentation in depicting a 'controlled' crew: they all behaved quite normally, except when indulging in The Game. There's a mention of how certain reasoning faculties are affected by The Game - it's a very subtle perversion of a person. The compromised crew members don't become violent or sinister, such as when they deactivate Data or when they're chasing Wesley near the end; they actually act kind of friendly - it's just that subtle behavioral change in them; again, maybe it's like a drug - psychotropic drugs or psychotropic games: same difference? Or.. too much wine? It also reminded me of the pod people from the Invasion of the Body Snatchers films.
It turned out that a race of aliens, the Ktarians, were using this game to take over Starfleet. That lady who was with Riker at the start... well, Riker picked the wrong female to bang again. Some of this is also not spelled out; we never learn how the aliens directed commands at their victims - were there subliminal commands being received when playing The Game? This is very sophisticated, if that's the case. If so, the quick solution at the end was way too simple and easy - complex mind control was swept away in seconds by a 20th century gadget. Still, it was an entertaining, offbeat episode. BoG's Score: 7.5 out of 10
TNG Trivia: it's too bad that Robin Lefler didn't return in more episodes, with more rules, but Ashley Judd went on to a big career in films after this - Heat (1995), A Time to Kill (1996), Kiss the Girls (1997) and Double Jeopardy (1999) among them.


Last edited by BoG on Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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All about.. The Game

Post  BoG on Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:25 pm




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