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Star Trek TNG - Season 6 - Episode 02

Star Trek TNG - 6x02 - Realm of Fear

Originally Aired: 1992-9-28

Synopsis:
Barclay confronts his fear of being transported. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.69

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 46 4 4 8 21 19 24 39 21 8 7

Problems
None

Factoids
- O'Brien's been transporting people for 22 years.
- Each transporter pad has four redundant scanners to prevent losing people.
- There hasn't been a case of transporter psychosis in "over 50 years"
- Transporter psychosis was first diagnosed in the year 2209

Remarkable Scenes
- Barclay trying to avoid the transporter.
- Barclay's reaction to O'Brien's description of the "bumpy ride".
- Barclay chickening out.
- Troi introducing Barclay to plexing, which will become a nervous habit he practices for the rest of his life...
- O'Brien describing his arachnophobia.
- Barclay facing the transporter.
- I like the inference that Cardassians are responsible for the attack on the ship. It shows nice internal continuity with previous and future episodes dealing with an ever aggressive race.
- Barclay seeing a creature in the matter stream with him.
- Barclay self-diagnosed transporter psychosis.
- Data noticing Barclay's odd behavior.
- Barclay trying to convince everyone he's not going insane.
- Barclay grabbing for what was in the matter stream with him.

My Review
An episode that deals with transporter phobia. A great topic for an episode, seeing as how many fans of the show have voiced their displeasure with the idea of being taken apart molecule by molecule. At the same time, the episode's topic is analogous to modern phobias with things like air planes. Barclay is reintroduced into the fold once again seamlessly and appropriately. Every Barclay episode has been a pleasure to watch because of the genius behind the actor. Not that the character is all that stunningly great, but Dwight Schultz puts on a really good show as him. I'm also fond of O'Brien's key role in the story. Overall, a slightly above average episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-09 at 2:15am:
    - Doesn't it seem as if Barclay is staying conscious for a long time through his process of molecular deconstruction?
    - The away team finds a Lieutenant Kelly dead and covered with second and third degree burns, on the USS Yosemite. Crusher states that he did not die from the burns. But the episode never says what Lieutenant Kelly did die from.
    - It appears the crew of the Yosemite ran their plasma tests with the comtainer still on the transporter pad. Don't they have a lab for this type of activity? This is a science vessel.
    - If the worms in the transporter are members of Starfleet, aren't they behaving rather strange? One did bite Barclay's arm.
    - For the past five seasons, the doors adjacent to the center island in Main Engineering have led to turbolifts. In this episode, Barclay opens this same door and the turbolift is gone! Now it's some kind of auxiliary engine room.
    - When did O'Brien get demoted? At some point he got busted back down to ensign! He takes a direct order from Barclay. I thought both Barclay and O'Brien were lieutenants. However, in this episode, O'Brien is wearing only one black-centered pip.
    - After discovering the life forms in Barclay's arm, Crusher gives him an armband monitoring device. She says it will tell her if "there is the slightest sign" of the life forms increasing in his system. Later, in Engineering, Barclay collapses as a blue glow erupts from both arms and his neck. Oddly enough, the monitoring device attached to his arm doesn't seem to inform Crusher of this development.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-08 at 9:38am:
    I'm fond of this episode, like I am of most Barclay episodes, but the premise here is borderline ridiculous. I don't mean the existence of the matter/energy microbes in the plasma stream. I don't even mean the idea of the crew members trapped in the energy stream.

    But how does Barclay "see" these entities? I can buy that there's a moment or two when the transporter process first begins where it's possible to see the world around you swirling through all the phased matter. But it's ridiculous to think that you can reach out and grab something sharing the stream with you and simply bring it back with you. Reach out with what? You don't have arms (or eyes, or legs, or teeth, or hair). You exist as a pattern of energy.

    I'm usually willing to overlook questionalble science (except when it's REALLY bad, as in the upcoming "Rascals" episode) but this is pushing it a little for me. Although I believe this episode is well paced and interesting, this terrible science drops it down a bit.
  • From Drake on 2010-11-08 at 2:10pm:
    Barclay is such a terrible character. One of The worst episodes of the 90's.
  • From Sanduzzo on 2014-02-06 at 12:03pm:
    Any episode with Barclay is both boring and annoying to watch.
  • From Rob UK on 2015-02-23 at 12:12am:
    Goddammit i hate the character Barclay, annoys the shit out of me in so many ways, what a twat, how the hell this supposed character ever got into Starfleet beggars belief, he gets even worse when they regurgitate him in Voyager.

    Dwight Schultz should have retired from acting after playing Murdoch in The A-Team as it was the only character his stupid face fits.

    Even Neelix is less annoying than Barclay
  • From Bronn on 2015-07-01 at 6:16pm:
    Don't get why this episode is voted so low. Love Barclay, unlike the other commenters, and think he's a delightful addition on the show. Dwight Schulz nails this character, and honestly, this episode really addresses the elephant in the closet: transporters are scary, when you consider the implications of them.

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