Genetic Manipulation and other such things are covered in the episode that originally aired on February 10,1992. This is The Masterpiece Society.
Stardate 45470.1 The Masterpiece Society
The Enterprise encounters a ‘perfect’ colony who is located on a planet that is in imminent danger from a stellar fragment that is heading toward them. As the crew of the Enterprise attempt to assist the colony, the discover that the people of the colony are not what they appear.
When Riker and the away team arrive on the planet, they instantly discover that the people on this colony have been genetically cultivated to be the perfect society. Everything about them is bred to be specific to their roles and positions in this colony. While unnerving, they agree to help the colony leaving Troi and Geordi to work with the colony’s representative to assist.
Troi and Geordi soon learn that the residents are carefully balanced to work along with their environment. Although they are insistent that no one alter the ‘balance’ of the colony, they reluctantly allow one of their own to return to the Enterprise to work on a solution to the issue at hand. They may be able to alter the path of the stellar fragment which, at the time is impossible.
Soon Troi falls in love with the leader of the colony, risking the relationship between the ‘perfect’ colony and their rescuers while Geordi and the colony’s lead scientist discover a solution using his VISOR technology. When it becomes apparent that the colony’s perfect harmonic balance is going to be disrupted by the appearance of the Enterprise crew, things go from bad to worse when soon many of the colonists, led by scientist Hannah Bates, want to leave as they see a better life beyond the confines of the colony.
They leave the colony with 23 colonists being relocated on the Enterprise.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is Star Trek’s attempt at showing how tampering with and perfecting genetics will only result in limiting society as a whole. While the actors and the episode itself is well done, all in all it is a heavy handed attempt at such an obvious message. Mostly a forgettable episode it really doesn’t do anything to further the story or really develop any of the characters any further. It attempts to feature both Troi and Geordi in a way that pushes them forward, but it misses its mark with nearly every shot.
While overall this season has been fairly solid, this is one of the episodes that just doesn’t live up to the rest.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
Geordi gets a little cocky about using VISOR tech to save a ‘perfect’ society and rightfully so. For a society who would reject everyone with an imperfection to be saved by technology meant to allow a blind man to see is fairly poetic in it’s own way. A little forced but poetic none the less.
Troi falls in love again. It has been a while but still…you’d think she’d just figure out that she and Riker are meant for one another. yeeesh.
We never see nor hear from the colony again.
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Late To The Game 3/15/2020 (Originally published 9/17/2018)
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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