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Star Trek TNG - Season 1 - Episode 07

Star Trek TNG - 1x07 - Lonely Among Us

Originally Aired: 1987-11-2

Alien beings take control of Crusher, Worf and Picard. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 3.91

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Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable, but it's a decent episode, even though it could have been better.



Remarkable Scenes
- Data mimicking Sherlock Holmes.
- Picard's creepy behavior while possessed.
- The senior officers plotting a mutiny.

My Review
This episode is like a less good version of TOS: Journey to Babel. Instead of rehashing that terrific episode, the more interesting story about the conflict between the two alien delegations is largely ignored so we can have yet another energy life form of the week.

There is a scene early on that about perfectly sums up the level of effort put into conceptualizing this story: when Worf freaks out while receiving medical attention, Beverly asks the injured crewman who tried to help restrain him, "Are you okay?" He never responds and doesn't move much but she doesn't seem to care. She's on autopilot helping Worf. She only pays lip service to that minor character over there.

That's how we should imagine the writers felt about this episode too. It's like they were on autopilot repeating the tired energy life form formula ad nauseam and like Beverly being too checked out to pay any real attention to her comrade, the writers were too checked out to pay any real attention to the subplot.

This story isn't without its charms though. Picard possessed was highly entertaining, as was Data's goofy embrace of Sherlock Holmes. It's a shame they didn't let the two alien delegations be the main plot instead of the subplot. Having Data put on the Sherlock Holmes persona to solve a conventional murder would've been a much more fun episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-05-27 at 11:21pm:
    When Dr. Crusher wanted to talk to Worf about his memory block. His response, "I still don't remember having one." :)

    - The entity controlled Picard orders a course change of "9-2-5 mark 3-7." No wonder the crew is suspicious!! The episode "Datalore" states that headings have a maximum of 360 for each number.
    - I have a problem with the "transporter retaining Picard's physical pattern in the transporter buffers" idea. Data reconstructs Picard using that pattern. In essence, the transporter has duplicated Picard. With this theory, when someone dies on an away team, the crew could just use the transporter to duplicate the person (just as they were before beaming out)
  • From Bernard on 2008-01-10 at 4:32pm:
    The fact that I still like this episode shows it can stand repeat viewings well (for me anyway)

    I love Patrick Stewart in this episode, and the meetings held by the rest of the crew to discuss the possibility of removing picard from command are great.

    Unfortunately thesse details do not save the episode from being average.

    Oh, and nice appearance by o'brien in this episode (who still doesn't have a name yet)
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-23 at 7:44pm:
    I thought it was clever that the mysterious malfunctions were caused by an alien entity trying to communicate a desire to get home and not knowing how to do it. I was confused about why Picard beamed into space, though; they talked as though he wanted to become an energy being, but all I saw was the alien mind-controlling him.

    Responding to DSOmo: While the transporters retain the pattern of Picard, they need the "energy essence" of the real Picard in order to recreate him. They state that the process won't work unless energy-Picard has found his way into the transporter circuits so he can be re-integrated with his body. (Maybe it works like reuniting Spock's katra with his body in Star Trek III).

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