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Star Trek TNG - Season 1 - Episode 12

Star Trek TNG - 1x12 - The Big Goodbye

Originally Aired: 1988-1-11

Synopsis:
Picard and crew are trapped on the holodeck. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.15

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 23 11 5 8 15 17 24 27 20 13 8

Problems
- Wesley says the program could abort and everyone inside could vanish? What? He probably meant Picard's program could be irreversibly damaged.
- When the holograms disappear after walking off the holodeck it sure takes a while. No part of them should be able to exist outside the holodeck for ANY length of time, much less several seconds and a pretty disappearance animation and famous last words.

Factoids
- This episode first aired on my third birthday.
- This episode was supposed to come after the episode in which the Bynars upgrade the holodeck. If this is what had actually happened, there would have been some nice continuity with holodeck upgrades if they hadn't changed the order.
- This episode won an Emmy for Outstanding Costume Design for a Series and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series.
- This episode won the 1987 Peabody award.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard doesn't know what Halloween is.
- I love Picard's fascination with holodeck detail, such as the cars and his excited ranting about the experience afterward to his senior staff when they're supposed to be having a briefing about their diplomatic mission.
- Joe DiMaggio's streak will stand unsurpassed until 2026, Star Trek predicts. We'll see. ;)
- I love how everyone reacts to the holodeck so carelessly until they realize things are messed up.
- Beverly swallows gum.
- Picard with a cigarette.
- Data with a lamp not realizing he unplugs it. When it gets plugged back in for him, the look on his face suggests he fixed it himself. Data the oblivious.
- Picard's last minute performance in insectoid language is fantastic.

My Review
This is the first episode to use the "malfunctioning holodeck" cliche. But since it was first I don't count off from it's score for it. Otherwise this would be a 4. After Picard gives the successful greeting, I'm annoyed by everyone's attention shifting to the holodeck adventure. Surely such discussions should wait until after all diplomatic business is completed? But nope, they give the greeting and fly away. This is acceptable, and is accepted by all characters in the episode, but I just see it as a poor aesthetic. The episode focused too much on the holodeck and not enough on the aliens. Nevertheless, it was a fairly successful holodeck episode and the B plot of the aliens was sufficiently interesting albeit neglected. One thing I really liked about this episode is how our 20th century historian character redshirt didn't die.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-05-30 at 2:41am:
    - The crew works the whole time trying to get the doors open to the holodeck. Does it have some kind of shield or force field? Why can't Picard and the others just be beamed out of the holodeck?
    - Matter created on the holodeck cannot exist outside the holodeck. However, during Picard's first visit, he is kissed by a woman. When he leaves the holodeck and goes to the bridge crew briefing, the lipstick remains. Shouldn't it have evaporated?
  • From Bernard on 2008-09-01 at 4:37pm:
    The very first 'holodeck episode'! Certainly a landmark, but is this what we want to be watching? Star Trek OS used to just do parallel earth episodes to tell this kind of story.

    I would rather have seen one of the other characters being the subject of this episode as Patrick Stewart seems to have had the monopoly on most episodes upto this point.

    Where this one really falls down is the virtually non-existant B plot, so the A plot has to hold our attention...
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-19 at 1:33pm:
    Another problem. Picard is kissed by a woman in the holodeck and has lipstick on his face after leaving the holodeck. Not possible.
  • From Kethinov on 2011-09-20 at 3:18am:
    Not necessarily, Jeff. It's possible the lipstick was real, replicated matter. There has always been speculation for some time that the holodeck combines both photons and forcefields with actual matter produced via replicator technology to enhance the realism. This hypothesis goes a long way toward explaining any number of similar continuity errors across a number of other episodes as well.
  • From g@g on 2012-02-07 at 7:02am:
    I have to comment on the humour in this episode, which was top notch. Data was maybe a little over the top (although his scene at the very end, esp. Picard's reactions was amusing), but Beverly was pretty much hysterical. As soon as she put on "period dress," everything she did and said had perfect comedic timing.

    A small criticism is that perhaps this entire episode, main plot included, was just a little too funny, a little too light-hearted. Comic relief is good, but it would've been nicely contrasted against something more serious. As it was, with the mysterious "insect species" that never made it on screen, talked with a strange pseudo-Japanese accent about pseudo-Japanese honor and greeting rituals in its funny native tongue... well, it was all a little too much like a parody of itself.

    But I enjoyed it nevertheless.
  • From Bronn on 2012-12-19 at 7:16pm:
    Anyone else thing it's weird that this won a Peabody Award for 1987 when it didn't air until 1988? I mean, that's not a typo, and I can understand why things like this sometimes happen, but it sure is awkward.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-08-06 at 1:11pm:
    So if there's a small army of engineers sitting outside the holodeck, desperately trying to get it open and get Picard out, where are they when the doors open and the holograms walk out? And why doesn't Picard hurry out of there to get to the bridge once the doors open?

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