Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: May 22, 1989
Written by: Melinda M Snodgrass
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Welcome to the Star Trek Comedy Variety Hour! Watch Klingons fall on their face, chickens run through the halls of the Enterprise, Irishmen get drunk, and technologically sophisticated men talk about how sex is icky! It's all right here on the Star Trek Comedy Variety Hour!
We start out on the bridge where Worf is having some issues standing at his post. He's grunting and making weird faces, but even so, no one seems to notice. Picard calls Riker into the ready room and plays a recording of a signal to him and Riker immediately recognizes it as an antiquated distress signal, which a research team took hours to figure out. Clearly, Riker is superior in all respects. So, that's their mission: to find out where this really old signal is coming from. Meanwhile, as Riker and Picard walk back out onto the bridge, they find that Worf has fallen down at his post and is unconscious. The weak, old fool!
In sickbay, Pulaski reveals that Worf has contracted Rop'ngor, which is analogous to the Klingon measles. Worf is quite distressed that he has fainted from a childhood illness, but he's quite relieved when Pulaski covers for him when Picard asks what was wrong. She said he merely fainted from practicing a Klingon fasting rite. His dignity in tact, Worf leaves sick bay. Later, while they're on their way to the distressed ship, Worf comes back to sick bay with a gift for Pulaski. He prepares for her a Klingon tea ceremony as a thank-you for her help. Normally, a human would die from the leaves used in such a ceremony, but Pulaski takes an antidote and they partake. And that's all for that story.
|Do you ship it? Can you ship it?|
There's only one problem: when Riker beams down, he reports back up that taking the people in the colony with them will be... complicated. In the transporter room, when the colonists beam up, so does a stack of hay, a lot of animals and some farming equipment. Danilo Odell, the leader of the Neo-transcendentalists, explains to Picard that they can't very well leave all their animals behind. And he immediately starts trying to marry off his daughter to the captain of this fine ship. (Which meets with disapproval.) Later, Riker takes an interest in Danilo's daughter when he finds how beautiful and feisty she is. (This meets with approval.) Meanwhile, Worf teaches Danilo how to use the replicator to get some real whiskey and even some Klingon alcohol, which he ends up liking much more.
Turns out, when they got to the colony, there weren't enough people to maintain a healthy gene pool, so cloning was the only way they could survive. Well, this presents a bit of a problem, you see, because after a few generations of making a copy of a copy of a copy the genetic materials eventually degrade. It's Wilson's hope that the Enterprise can provide more genetic material by letting them clone members of the crew. Riker flat-out denies them the pleasure of having another Riker around with whom to do as they wish. So Wilson says "fine," but they still have some tech that needs to be fixed, so Riker, Geordi and Pulaski go back down and help them out. And it's during this time that they kidnap Riker and Pulaski to make clones of them.
Three completely different stories in one episode, that's what this one was. And the first one was completely unnecessary, with Worf and Pulaski. Luckily, the other two pulled together in the end, and that made it all worth it, but for a minute there, I grew worried. Other than that, there was some humor in this episode and some mystery and intrigue. I see no reason this shouldn't stand among some of the greater episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.