Sometimes, a Captain must defend their ship, even if it means they may die doing so. Find out how in the episode that originally aired on March, 29, 1993. This is Starship Mine.
Stardate 46682.4 Starship Mine
The Enterprise is undergoing a routine Baryon Sweep and is soon boarded by a group intent on stealing trilithium from the empty ship before the deadly beam finishes it’s sweep. Unfortunately for them, they were not expecting to have Captain Picard on board to stop them.
Story A: Picard’s Defense
The crew of the Enterprise must evacuate the ship to allow it to be scanned with a Baryon sweep intended to remove radiation from the ship. While preparing to depart Picard encounters a group of engineers and, thinking that they are routine maintenance, he departs.
As the crew attends a reception at the nearby base hosted by a Commander Hutchinson, who is…quite Talkative. He is clearly someone who likes to host events even if the people he is hosting aren’t up to his unique presence. Hutch soon brings up that they have horses and this sparks Picard to want to return to the ship for his saddle. He hurriedly departs, leaving his crew to deal with Hutch. Meanwhile, Data, at Picard’s suggestion, begins to mimic Hutch in an attempt to learn small talk. Before long, Riker makes it a point to introduce Hutch to Data, allowing the two to talk indefinitely.
After retrieving his saddle, he comes across an open panel and questions the person working on it. As Picard turns to leave, the man attempts to attack him and Picard subdues his attacker with a Vulcan Nerve Pinch. The ship announces that the ships power is going down in time for the scan and Picard discovers that there are people on board that do not belong. He soon attempts to beam back down but misses his opportunity by seconds. He is now trapped aboard the Enterprise with invaders but also with a dangerous beam approaching.
Picard quickly locates the man that attacked him and interrogates him to determine the mans objectives. The man refuses to talk despite threats made and Picard sedates him. Picard continues through the ship only to be captured by one of the infiltrators. She soon takes him to the rest of her team where Picard identifies himself as Mott, the Barber. Their leader, Kelsey, buys his story and, securing him, they continue with their efforts. It appears that they are after Trilithium resin.
While his guard is distracted, Picard causes a minor explosion and escapes. The crew is now without protection from the Baryon sweep and must retreat to Ten-Forward to avoid the beam. The Guard, on pursuit of Picard, is killed by the baryon sweep and Picard finds his way to Worfs quarters where he borrows some weapons. Upon learning that they intend on moving the dangerous Trilithium, he contacts them and informs the crew that they will only destroy themselves if they attempt to move the resin. Picard has no choice but to stop them from taking the Trilithium, even if it means destroying the ship. Using chemicals in Sick Bay, Picard makes something that he coats onto his bolts for the crossbow he claimed in Worfs quarters. His mission now is to get to Ten Forward and escape.
Picard begins his hunt, taking down the enemy crew one at a time with his crossbow. He soon comes face to face with Kiros and is recaptured. Kelsey meets with Picard and Kiros after killing one of her own people. Picard is captured again and now must find a way to find a way to escape again.
Escorting him to Ten-Forward, he launches his trap and manages to subdue Kiros. Kelsey fights back just as the Baryon sweep hits the room. Kelsey beams away leaving Picard alone and facing certain death. Just as it looks bleak, he manages to contact the base and have the baryon sweep deactivated.
Story B: The ill fated reception.
Meanwhile at the reception, Hutch and Data continue their long conversation. As they talk, LaForge notices something odd about a table and, when he questions the staff, they attack the crew and shoot Hutchinson.
Geordi is wounded from the attack and the crew is now hostage. Data suggest that they can use Geordi’s VISOR as a weapon by converting it into a hypersonic device that will render everyone but Data unconscious. Before long, Crusher prepares everything and Riker prepares a distraction to help keep the focus from their Doctor. Riker attacks Orton and is quickly subdued but not before Crusher finishes her work.
The time comes and Crusher sets off the VISOR. Data rushes to the panel Orton was working on and tries to stop an incoming ship from arriving to beam away the enemy crew on the Enterprise.
Data reaches Picard just in time and it is revealed that he pulled the safety from the container that had the Trilithium in it. The ship explodes killing everyone aboard the small ship.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a good Picard Centric episode but it also is another one that seems to be airing ALL THE TIME. I think I have tuned into a rerun only to find this episode on too many times to count. While I always like a good Picard story, the fact I have seen it so often has kinda ruined it for me.
Stewart does a wonderful job in the episode pretty much carrying the majority of the episode himself. He portrays Picard in a very cunning and tactical way that we don’t get to see often, which makes this episode all the better.
I also loved how Data got a chance to mimic someone to the point where they both ended up talking about nothing for hours. Sadly Hutch was killed early on or I think Data would have had a lifelong friend.
Overall, it is a nice one off episode that has a nice Air Force One quality to it. I kept hoping to hear Picard tell the boarding party, ‘ Get Off My Ship’.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
This is one of the first times Trilithium is mentioned and it returns in the movie Generations.
To those paying attention, you will recognize Tim Russ in this episode as the same actor who will later play Tuvok on Star Trek Voyager.
I guess having a Klingon on board payed off for Picard. I mean, who else would have weapons readily available and on display?
We also learn that Picard has his own Saddle…because of course he does.
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Late To The Game 7/4/2020 (Originally published 11/28/2018)
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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