Life-stealing rituals, oversexualized Counselors and more in the episode that originally aired on October 5,1992. This is Man of the People.
Stardate 46071.6 Man of the People
After The Enterprise rescues an ambassador, Troi falls in love with him and soon begins acting strangely.
After beaming aboard an ambassador and his mother, Troi runs into an uncomfortable situation with the ambassadors mother who verbally attacks Troi upon their arrival on board the Enterprise.
Although Ambassador Ves Alkar requests another ship to take him to his destination, Picard insists that they be the ones to transport the Ambassador and his mother as they have already been attacked once. While discussing his duty, Alkar asks if Troi has ever had a hand in negotiations and is pleased when she indicates that she has. Soon after, his mother attacks Troi once again claiming that Troi should ‘stay away’. Later that evening, Alkar’s mother dies and he requests that Troi participate in a funeral rite with him. While she participates, he uses a set of special stones that transfer something to Troi. Not long after, Crusher requests an autopsy as she finds some strange things concerning Alkar’s mother’s death. She is denied by Picard as there is no imminent threat to the ship.
Soon, Troi begins to exhibit strange behavior, she is more aggressive and much more sexually forward toward Alkar, Riker and others aboard the ship. Riker even finds a junior officer in her room one morning with her dressed rather inappropriately for the situation. It begins to get worse as she begins to be aggressive toward people seeking her counseling and soon she attacks Riker which shocks her old friend. Not long after Deanna begins to show signs of aging and eventually begins to die.
Crusher soon discovers that Alkar’s mother, Maylor, although elderly, had the organs of a thirty year old woman. It becomes apparent that Alkar did something to Maylor has done something to Deanna as well. When confronted Alkar admits to Picard what he has done and indicates that Maylor died sooner than he had planned so he needed another vessel for his darker thoughts to better allow him to do his job.
Although Alkar does not wish to release her, Picard and Crusher find a way to sever the link between Alkar and Troi. Severing the link not only saves Troi but sends all of his evil and dark energy back to Alkar killing him.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
The idea behind the episode is solid. Retelling the Picture of Dorian Gray as a scifi story is great but this one didn’t quite pull it off well enough to say it was a ‘good’ episode. Don’t get me wrong, Marina Sirtis does a tremendous job in her role but the story doesn’t quite feel like it suits her well.
Overall I would rate this one as a throwaway episode. Sadly it is the third episode of the sixth season so we are not off to a good start. I have a feeling the next one will be much better.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
The Starship the ambassador is beamed from is named the USS Dorian after the story this episode was based on.
We meet Ensign Janeway. No, this isn’t Katheryn Janeway from Voyager but it could have been a sister or a cousin.
We never see nor hear from Alkar’s people again. Probably a good thing.
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Late To The Game 5/10/2020 (Originally published 10/24/2018)
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