The Ship is in danger and the crew is separated. How will they survive in the episode that originally aired on October 21, 1991. Find out in Disaster.
Stardate 45156.1 Disaster
When a Disaster strikes the Enterprise, the crew is scattered throughout the ship and must find a way to get the Enterprise back online before they are all killed.
The Enterprise has finished its mission and the crew is taking a little downtime to get caught up on projects and maintenance. While everyone else is working on various things, Picard is saddled with a group if children who won the science fair in their class. Just as his tour with the children begin, the ship shakes violently, losing power, causing the turbo-lift they are in to tumble. The ship is in danger and the crew are separated throughout a badly damaged vessel.
This is where the story splits among the various crewmen, we will break them up accordingly.
Story A: Troi in Command
Troi finds herself trapped on the bridge with O’brien and one other surviving crewman. Soon Ensign Ro arrives, having climbed up the damaged turbolift shaft. Ensign Mandel is soon able to access scanners and determines that there are many people still alive but he is unable to tell who and where they are. Soon it becomes apparent that Counselor Troi is the highest ranking officer on the bridge and finds herself in charge of a difficult situation.
Apparently they have passed through a Quantum Filament which has damaged the ship and caused a near complete shutdown of it’s systems. Ensign Ro discovers that the antimatter in the engine is falling and is in danger of destroying the ship. Ro argues that they should separate the saucer from the Drive portion of the ship and, despite her arguments, Troi orders them to find a way to notify Engineering to prevent the Warp Drive from exploding.
They soon notice that the field is beginning to stabilize, indicating that someone noticed their signals. The ship is saved.
Story B: Picard and the Kids
Picard finds himself trapped on a turbolift with four young and frightened children. As he tries to comfort the children, he is finding it difficult to work as his ankle is broken. In order to help themselves he assigns each kid a task, giving them each a rank pip so that they begin to work as a team.
Working as a team, they discover that the turbo-lift safeties are in danger of releasing. Picard instructs his new Number One, Marissa Flores, to get the boys to safety as Picard has broken his ankle. They disagree and are only willing to leave if they all go together. Reluctantly, he agrees and begins to walk Marissa through an optional way to get them all out together.
Picard and his crew of kids begin to climb up the shaft, working one level at a time. As they climb, the lift they just exited falls. They are all scared, and Picard encourages them all to keep the task in mind. In order to keep their minds off the danger, Picard has them sing frere jacques.
Picard finally gets the kids to safety, despite his injury and their fear. This is a field trip they will never forget.
Story C: Ten Forward – Emergency
Riker, Data and Worf find themselves trapped in Ten Forward with a very pregnant Keiko O’brien and a growing number of wounded arriving by the minute. They assume that everyone on the bridge is dead and are determined to find a way to save the ship.
Data and Riker leave Worf in charge of the makeshift sickbay in ten forward only to become trapped in a Jefferies Tube between a coolant leak and an electrical arc. Data believes he can get through the electrical short by using his body as a way to ground the short. He asks Riker to remove his head so that Riker can take him to Engineering with him. Data shorts out the Electricity and, having survived, Riker takes Data’s head with him.
Meanwhile in Ten-Forward Keiko begins to go into labor and Worf is the only person who can deliver the baby. Worf does his best to help Keiko deliver her child but it is clear he doesn’t know what he is doing. Worf coaches Keiko through the birth, complaining that this is not anything like the computer simulations. Soon Keiko give birth to a baby girl.
Riker and Data’s head make it to Engineering only to discover that the containment field is in danger of collapsing. Riker connects Data’s head to the computer to allow him access to the containment field. He connects him just in time to stabilize the field.
Story D: Geordi and Crusher – In Danger
LaForge and Dr Crusher find themselves trapped and soon one of the walls explode. Without a way out, they may find themselves in an even worse situation sooner than later. Doctor Crusher finds that they have been exposed to vast amounts of radiation and will have to be cleansed once they are out. This radiation is also in danger of damaging some of the volatile cargo they are carrying. Knowing that this radiation could start another explosion, they begin to move the volatile cargo by hand.
As they move the containers, LaForge realizes that they can decompress the bay and blast the volatile barrels out into space. It will be dangerous as they will be exposed to space themselves. Preparing for the worst, they activate the bay doors and begin the decompression. It works and they manage to make it through alive.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a really great chance to see how everyone reacts to a disaster on board a ship like the Enterprise. Each group works to different ends to save the ship and in turn themselves. We get to see a little character development all around from Troi facing the burden of Command to Worf facing the fear of childbirth. Each character gets their moment in this one and it is all the better for it.
Where I think we had some of the most development is from Picard himself. The Jean Luc we see in this episode is the result of many years of growth for this character. He is no longer the bitter, child-avoiding Starfleet Captain we met in season one, he is a man who is not only good with children but realizes that they too are people. It is only when he realizes that he needs to talk to them as people and not things, that he is able to get them to help themselves. In many ways this moment is a turning point for Picard and we get to see him become the Captain we know and love.
Beyond that, we get to see how the crew, even separated, manage to work together to save the ship. They have certainly come a long way, this intrepid crew of wayfarers.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We learn that Data can survive without his body for a time.
This is the first appearance of Molly O’Brien who would later travel to Deep Space Nine with her mother and father. Worf does not forget this birth and it is referenced again in the later series.
We get a little of the Pirates of Penzance in this one, a play that would reappear at a later date.
Ensign Ro makes her second appearance on the show.
You would think that if Quantum Filament was such a dangerous thing that Starfleet would have some way for the ship to detect it nearby. That is certainly a design flaw.
On a sad note, this would mark the final episode aired during creator Gene Roddenberry’s lifetime. The next episode The Game would air four days after his death.
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Late To The Game 2/16/2020 (Originally published 8/29/2018)
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