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Star Trek TNG - Season 1 - Episode 14

Star Trek TNG - 1x14 - Angel One

Originally Aired: 1988-1-25

The crew travels to a planet with a matriarchal society. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 3.26

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- There is a glitch in the Elected One's opening lines when the visit begins. She calls the cast "representatives of the star fleet Enterprise." Since when is the Enterprise a star fleet and not a starship?
- They want to find the survivors by searching for an element not natural to the Angel One world. Why don't they just use the sensors to find human life signs? Maybe the Angel One aliens are too similar to humans to differentiate? They sure look a lot like humans anyway which is too common in Trek unfortunately.
- Data tells us that only Starfleet officers are bound by the Prime Directive. This is confirmed by other characters as well by their behavior. So uh, ordinary citizens are allowed to give antimatter to bronze age cultures then? There's no justifying this one. The episode is wrong. We can quietly forget about this though as not being a Prime Directive issue but more a "doing what's right" issue because the Odin survivors consider themselves Angel One citizens. But it's a stretch. It doesn't matter anyway seeing as how the episode had no serious consequences.
- They leave at the end of the episode at warp 6. But data timed their departure assuming they'd leave at maximum warp.

- This episode features the first mention of TNG Romulan movements.

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker submits to local apparel. Yar and Troi laugh at him like a bunch of giddy school girls.
- Picard sick humbly and reluctantly obliging to the doctor's orders.
- Geordi in command and loving it. "Make it so."
- Worf sneezing.
- Riker was so wonderfully tolerant of the Elected One's unceasing arrogance.
- Riker's martyr speech was fantastic.
- Data's facial expression when Riker gives him a pat on the shoulder.
- Picard's hoarse voice.

My Review
This episode opens with a ridiculously horrible cliche. Here we have something almost worse than an identical-to-humans race: an identical-to-humans-all-except-one-small-detail race! Also how wonderfully unoriginal that one of the male aliens is named Trent. And one of the female's names is Ariel! And the reverse chauvinism in this episode is just as offensive as the regular chauvinism that was in Code of Honor. Despite this, the episode improves greatly as it moves forward. Riker puts on a great show with his martyr speech and the episode's ending thrives on it. I absolutely loved the ending, even if it is somewhat unremarkable, it nevertheless is a fine example of Trek at it's best: making a (positive) difference. I also loved the virus B plot creating havoc and the Romulan C plot creating extra urgency. My only annoyance with this is that the Romulans are never shown and the Romulan incident in question goes undocumented. But it would have had to have been a two parter for that. The episode isn't without it's problems and cliches, but it was skillfully done and greatly entertaining. It'd easily be well above average if not for some careless writing creating technical problems.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-05-31 at 11:45pm:
    - More matter leaving the holodeck, a snowball hits Picard as he is walking by.
    - When the Enterprise begins to search for the survivors, Picard orders Geordi to break fixed orbit. If the Enterprise is in fixed orbit, it would remain above a given location on the planet's surface. However, the shot before Picard's order shows the planet turning in one direction and the Enterprise flying in another.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-02 at 1:05am:
    I found the acting of the denizens of Angel One, and the shipwreck survivors, to be boring, and I didn't care about any of them. And the side plots weren't interesting at all - they get sick, they get better, they fly away. I was, however, amused by Riker going native, and his ending speech was good.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-20 at 8:43am:
    This is the first episode to feature Riker's propensity to be a manwhore. He has absolutely no compunction about jumping into bed with any reasonably attractive female. Of course, this makes him the stud of TNG, at the expense of Picard who is, in live stock terms, a "shy breeder". I.e., Picard has intimacy issues. Both themes get played out later in future episodes, e.g., TNG: The Game for Riker and TNG: Captain's Holiday.
  • From dubton on 2016-07-24 at 3:28am:
    Having sex while this episode plays in the background is, by far, my greatest fantasy. All criticism, in the interest of diplomatic relations, is forfeit. We have muuuuuuuuch to discuss and set phasers to sttttuuuuhhhhh-unnnnnnnnn
  • From Rick on 2017-02-23 at 8:06pm:
    It is my understanding that the Prime Directive does not apply to non-Starfleet personnel. The Federation is all about freedom and equality, so I do not think they would have this overbroad restriction on the liberty of all of their citizens. What right or jurisdiction would the Federation have over the actions of its citizens hundreds of lightyears away on non-Federation planets? None of course.

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