Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: January 8, 1990
Written by: Robin Bernheim
Directed by: Cliff Bole
A super soldier escapes from prison on an idyllic world and reveals it to be not so idyllic after all.
So Riker and Picard are taking a tour of Angosia III lead by the Prime Minister
Turns out this particular prisoner is a master of strategy and, besides that, he's got a way of tricking sensors so they don't see his life form readings. Picard sees through that, though, and tells O'Brien to lock onto anything in the escape pod that's big enough to be a male humanoid. The prisoner's name is Roga Danar and after he beams onto the ship, he runs amok until Riker is able to knock him out and send him to the brig. So while Picard makes arrangements to transfer Danar back to Angosia, Data tries to find out why he doesn't have life signs and Troi walks by, senses him and discovers that he doesn't actually have a naturally violent personality.
|He just likes to touch harmful force fields from time to time.|
So, a medical examination and a commercial break later, they find out that Danar is actually a chemically enhanced super soldier that fought in Angosia's Tarsian War. He was "programmed" for superior strategy and martial arts. Data confronts him and says that, as an android, he can be reprogrammed, but asks if Danar cannot. The only thing Danar can say is that if they could reprogram him, wouldn't they have tried? Well, now it's time to transfer him back to the Angosians, so Worf did a little programming so that the transporter activates 0.1 seconds after his force field goes down. So, what does Danar do? HE LITERALLY BREAKS OUT OF THE TRANSPORTER BEAM.
Well, now Picard is faced with the task of telling the Angosians that they lost Danar. Turns out Danar organized a mass breakout for all of the super soldiers and now it's just a matter of waiting for them to get onto the planet from the lunar facility. Meanwhile, Picard, Troi and Worf beam down to the planet to confront them about the immoral treatment of their veterans. Nayrok says they're dangerous and had to be put out of harm's way. Troi asks them if they even tried to reprogram them to live safely among their own people, but all Nayrok can say is that even if they removed the chemicals from their system, their mental training would still be dangerous.
|What? We can't have a penal colony? All the best dictators are doing it!|
Danar's brilliant strategies are fun to watch in this episode, but it's also a good lesson that you can't just ignore the people for whom you're responsible. A lot of action in this episode, but also a lot of profundity. Okay, I'll be honest, I just really wanted to use the world "profundity." A+ on this one!