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Star Trek TNG - Season 2 - Episode 06

Star Trek TNG - 2x06 - The Schizoid Man

Originally Aired: 1989-1-23

Synopsis:
Enterprise provides medical aid for Dr. Ira Graves. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.05

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 66 2 3 4 18 20 23 21 17 9 8

Problems
- Near warp transport seems a bit too risky for the gain. They cut what... a few seconds from their journey at the risk of killing the away team? Seems a bit reckless.
- Graves' world looks remarkably like Saturn. I do believe that it's just a Saturn image. Not necessarily a problem, but a bit unoriginal.
- There's a scene order mess up in this episode. When Data and Graves' assistant are in the observation room when the shp goes to warp, the first scene shows Data sitting, Then the next scene shows Data walking around behind her, then the next scene shows Data sitting again. Data's fast, but not that fast.

Factoids
According to ditl.org, "[t]his episode was intended as a homage to the British series "The Prisoner", which had an episode of the same name. Patrick McGoohan, who played the lead in that series, was considered for the part of Graves."

Remarkable Scenes
- Data's beard, identical to Riker's without coincidence I'm sure. "Don't I appear more intellectual?"
- Troi: "For a moment, I thought I was stuck in that wall!" Worf: "For a moment, you were." Regarding the long range near-warp transport.
- Troi: "It's an honor to meet you Dr. Graves." Graves: "Yes, of course it is. This is one of the truly great moments of your life."
- Worf being insulted.
- Data calling Graves grandpa
- Graves is so wonderfully immodest.
- Graves mourning himself and Picard ceasing it.
- Wesley reminding Graves/Data that they're similar in age, bodily anyway.
- Graves/Data mouthing off to Picard.

My Review
A nicely done episode with a genuine and interesting moral dilemma. The episode features a nice plug about Data's father's past adding more detail to the mystery regarding his origins and more hope that he could in fact become human some day. Picard's speech about how one life should never be usurped by another is great and the fact that it forces Graves to realize the atrocity he had committed is fantastic. The story ends with a wonderful bit of irony when Graves ends up sacrificing himself to save Data. Graves' consciousness is lost, but his knowledge preserved. So it's not a total loss but the story isn't entirely a happy ending making Graves' statement that "real life" doesn't always have a happy ending. Despite being such a nice episode, it could have been improved by spending more time on the moral issue and less time on showing us how evil Data + Graves was. Only a tiny fraction of the episode was dedicated to the moral issue. The ending seemed abrupt, though still enjoyable.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-18 at 2:08am:
    - At the very beginning, Pulaski does a voice-over while going to the bridge. She never opens her mouth the entire time she is on the turbolift. How did the turbolift know where to take her?
    - Just after the "touch and go" transport, Data contacts the Enterprise. However, the Enterprise is traveling at warp during this time (it's on a rescue mission, I'm assuming it is traveling at warp 8). Very impressive range for these little communicators.
    -When Picard thinks Graves is dead, he says, "Whatever scientific secrets Ira Graves was about to unlock have been lost forever." Didn't Graves take notes? I would think someone as egotistical as Graves would keep very detailed records (not just for someone to build on his research, but so he could get credit for any discoveries)
    - When Graves/Data becomes angry with Brianon, he tightens his grip on her hand. According to Dr. Pulaski, this action fractures her hand in two places, but Brianon's reaction is amazingly passive. As Graves/Data storms out, she simply sits and watches him go.
    - When Data/Graves backhands Picard, he swings his hand from the left to the right. Picard then spins a full turn to the LEFT, then stumbles to the right. Picard spins in the opposite direction as the force of impact!!
  • From Daniel Blessing on 2009-09-18 at 12:17pm:
    Problems
    "- Near warp transport seems a bit too risky for the gain. They cut what... a few seconds from their journey at the risk of killing the away team? Seems a bit reckless."

    From a viewers perspective, yes it seems to be only a few seconds. However, I believe that if you view the entire coming out of warp, getting into a "safe orbit for transport" and then executing the transport normally or standard procedure, this saves more time then we actually get to see visually. Consider the time constraints the show is forced to endure. Often we get a calculation of "We will arrive at the destination in approximately 10 hours." Just then, we get a Captains Log entry and the ship has arrived. Only a few seconds have passed...
    The bottom line here is that we may not ever get to see all of the required steps involved with coming out of warp at a safe distance, traveling the remaining distance to get into range for transport, and then all that is involved with safe planetary transport.
    If I had to guess at how much time all of these things would take, (and again, this is pure speculation,) I would guess that by doing this form of transport, they could have saved anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes. Not worth the time of the lives being risked by any stretch. Especially considering they were not at maximum warp and could have made up the lost time by simply increasing to a slightly faster warp factor.
    This was obviously an attempt to introduce us to something new. It was never used again, and for good reason. It was fail.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-25 at 5:19am:
    Factoid: the away team that beams down is the only one in TNG that doesn't contain a 100% human. It has an android, a Klingon, a Vulcan and a (50%) Betazoid.

    Brent Spiner's acting is the high point here, but the rest of the episode has some nice points too. I'd have loved to find out more about the relationship between Graves and Soong though.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-28 at 9:23pm:
    The episode revolved heavily around the character of Dr. Graves, but I never felt I understood him. They mentioned his disease affected his brain. How much of his egomania was natural, how much caused by the neurological disease? The entire episode is spent showing how utterly arrogant and self-centered Dr. Graves is, then at the end, he is convinced to give up Data's body. I didn't understand why he did this. Why let the greatest mind in the universe die just because lesser mortals aren't strong enough to be around it? Picard's speech was good, but not that good. Dr. Graves didn't say or do anything that would make me understand why he suddenly develops concern for others.
  • From Inga on 2011-12-28 at 2:54pm:
    Finally, a Vulcan character with lines :)

    I agree with CAlexander, Graves' character seems a little unrealistic.
  • From a2a on 2012-02-19 at 6:19pm:
    This episode was alright but Graves' assistant was painfully one-dimensional. Throughout the entire episode, beginning to end, she had the same helpless, vulnerable demeanor. That's probably my main complaint...

    I liked how this episode tackled some "transhumanist" concepts with a balanced perspective... The show presents an interest in "bridging man and machine," but also a commonsense cautiousness. Graves' assistant is repulsed at the idea of turning into an android, Picard considers what Graves did to be "cheating" and a kind of perversion, and Graves himself in the end decides it wasn't a good idea. The experiment is terminated.

    In the end, Picard is very satisfied with the ship's computer carrying Graves' knowledge, but not his consciousness.

    - - -

    This is an altogether level-headed take on futurist/transhumanist concepts... concepts which may become real, tangible concerns within our lifetime...
  • From Gategod on 2012-07-29 at 9:52am:
    I love this idea, but the actions in it INFURIATE me.

    This stupid girl is in love with an old guy, who is also in love with her, but the moment he isn't "old" anymore and the two of them can actually be together... she pulls away. She is disgusted by him and becomes fearful. To me, this is ridiculous and comes out of nowhere.

    Also, Counselor Troi must have had a copy of the script, because she assumes WAY too much and basically figures out the problem magically.

    Data/Graves should have been able to full everyone, for the entire episode... if not an entire SEASON. He is supposedly the most brilliant man ever, yet can't control himself for 10 minutes? UNREALISTIC.

    He should have been happy after backhanding Picard and took off in a shuttle all la-de-da to continue his research for the next thousand years. He cheated death, only to suicide himself out of nowhere because of a bald man (whom he hated) told him too.

    That's how I would have written it. The "bad" guy should have won out here, and Data should have been gone for good. If not, at least draw this out more. People shouldn't even have SUSPECTED that he wasn't acting right. Not for another 20 minutes, if not 20 episodes.

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