Star Trek the Next Generation had begun and it was a hit. The second episode aired on October 3rd 1987 and was kind of sequel to an original series ep of a similar name. So without further adieu, I give you The Naked Now.
Stardate 41209.2: The Naked Now
The Enterprise in route to rendezvous with the research vessel USS Tsiolkovsky due to some odd messages being sent out. When they arrive they hear the sound of an emergency hatch being blown resulting in the deaths of the entire crew. They soon discover that the USS Tsiolkovsky crew was infected by a virus that removes the inhibitions of its host and that virus has come aboard the Enterprise.
(for those of you who read the first entry in this series…this is where I describe the events of the episode.)
The second episode of the series goes back to a classic Original Series episode ‘The Naked Time’ and is somewhat of a sequel for that one. In that episode, the crew is exposed to a similar virus that results in the crew acting drunk and silly for most of the show. That episode was also memorable as you got a shirtless swashbuckling Sulu. It’s pretty memorable.
The virus is transferred by touch and the first person to contract it is Geordi LaForge. He inadvertently begins infecting everyone he comes in contact with. First he meets up with Wesley Crusher where we see Wesley being all sciency with a homemade tractor beam. They converse and Wesley is infected by a casual neck grab. Wesley also has a convenient plot device that mimics people’s voices. Geordi then goes on and meets up with Tasha Yar (the security chief) and she is infected as well.
This continues on and on until everyone is infected in some way, yes even Data (the Android) which is never really explained and doesn’t really make sense. I mean, Data and Tasha do get intimate and he reveals that he is ‘fully functional’ so we know the means, but his being an android it really shouldn’t have worked that way. So in a way, Data is used as a sex-bot. Think on that a minute.
During this scene you get a little more of Tasha’s background. She came from a planet where she hid from ‘rape gangs’ starting at age 5. She made it through by getting tough and this virus drops that armour and she reveals that she wants intimacy with ‘someone’. That someone ends up being Data (which would play out in a moment later in the series).
The big threat comes when the, now infected Asst Chief Engineer basically breaks the ship’s drive by using the isolinear chips as toys and the nearby sun threatens to go superNova and destroy the ship. They must get everything fixed and everyone healed before it goes boom!
They eventually solve the issue (it’s a chemical thing and Doctor Crusher figures out the antidote at the last-minute) and things go well as this is only the 2nd episode so they can’t be in any real danger can they?
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
It’s just ‘okay’. It felt a bit like a heavy-handed attempt at a loose sequel to the classic episode. It is also very heavy on the ‘A woman needs a man’ trope that, thankfully, goes away (for the most part) eventually in the series.
Production wise it is solid, story could have been better, but it’s the 80’s what do you do?
All in all it’s a classic throw away episode that really only sets up characterization and establishes more of the chain of command aboard the Enterprise. The threats are mostly self-inflicted and could have been solved with a simple quarantine protocol. Then again, transporter beams are meant to manage that part as well so there you go.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
You get to meet Chief Engineer Sarah MacDougal in this one. Sadly she doesn’t seem to keep this position long in the series.
You get more of a background on both Tasha and Geordi. Tasha just wants ‘comfort’ and Geordi longs to ‘see’ like humans. They are basic needs but they are necessary for development. We still don’t know what Geordi really does outside of the occasional helmsman.
Data is used a little for comic relief, I’m glad this was mostly dropped in the future.
Wesley is the cause of much of the tech issues aboard but is also responsible for saving the ship so it’s a wash for him.
Data is a Sex-bot. seriously. He even says he was programmed in ‘multiple techniques’ his creator, Doctor Soong, was a perv.
Tasha’s best line: ‘Data, I’m only going to tell you this just once, It never happened’
Next up: Code of Honor!
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
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Late To The Game 2/24/2019
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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