With only one real hiccup, the first season of Star Trek the Next Generation continues strong. By now viewers have come to know the crew and the ship in many unique scenarios. This episode presents something unique to this series, what specific event could pose a threat to a ship with families? The answer was soon to come in the episode When the Bough Breaks originally airing February 15, 1988.
Stardate 41509.1 When The Bough Breaks
The Enterprise stops near the location of a Mythical Planet called Aldea that, as legend has it, is home to a peaceful and technologically superior race thought lost to legend. Upon their arrival the planet appears to them and the people want to negotiate a trade, for the children on board.
Upon the planet’s appearance one of the Aldean’s contact the Enterprise and soon immediately beam aboard the ship without a thought. This startles the crew greatly as, with this simple display, they show that they are much more advanced than the Federation.
They take Riker, Troi and Tasha to the planet and ask them for a trade, they need children to raise as Aldeans and repopulate the planet in return they will give the Federation vast knowledge and information that could propel them into the future. Of course Riker and team decline so the Aldean’s do what any good species do and steal the kids anyway, including Wesley Crusher.
Wesley is immediately put in charge of the children as their ‘leader’ and each child is placed in the care of new parents that will support each of these kids in their potential aptitudes. Meanwhile the Enterprise is attempting to breach the Aldean planet’s shields in order to get their children back.
The Enterprise, obviously, gets the kids back and force the Aldeans to recognize that their infertility is caused by the very technology that they depend on. Now they must face a brave new world.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
It is one of the good stories that doesn’t rely on violence or heavy conflict to tell its story yet is still able to create a compelling narrative. This episode really showcases the fact that this is a ship with families meaning that this story would only work on this series and not on any other incarnation of Star Trek. This alone really shows that this new incarnation of Star Trek can become its own series and that is a good thing.
This episode really focuses on Wesley Crusher, establishing him as, not only the son of an important officer aboard the Enterprise, but also a strong leader in his own right.
Unfortunately we really don’t see these kids again in the series although we do get to see schools and other children from time to time.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
Aldea is practically the Atlantis or El Dorado of Federation lore.
Actor Jerry Hardin plays Radue, the leader of the Aldeans.
Picard gets flowers and a hug on the bridge from one of the children. It’s a really sweet scene.
Riker Beard Countdown B minus 10 Episodes until Beard Emergence.
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! Next Review: Home Soil
Late To The Game 4/14/2019 ( Originally Published 02/05/2018)
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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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