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Star Trek TNG - Season 4 - Episode 17

Star Trek TNG - 4x17 - Night Terrors

Originally Aired: 1991-3-18

Synopsis:
The crew is threatened by hallucinations and panic. [DVD]

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 5.08

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 20 9 15 14 12 28 18 18 16 11 18

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- O'Brien freaking out at Keiko for no good reason.
- Picard hearing his door chime in his head even though it wasn't there.
- Picard freaking out in the turbolift.
- Good continuity with TNG: The Best of Both Worlds with Data's mentioning of their attempted (but failed) technique using the deflector dish as a possible means of escape from this situation.
- Beverly trying to convince herself that she was hallucinating when all the bodies sat up.
- People starting to slur their speech.
- Worf attempting suicide.
- Troi discovering that emitting hydrogen is the solution.
- Guinan breaking out her gun.
- Data becoming acting captain.

My Review
Wondeful, we get to watch everyone go insane! And we get to watch Troi have nightmares! By the end of this episode, I was becoming as sleepy as our main characters were. The plot was horribly slow and even repetitive. While the conclusion wasn't obvious per se, it was not all that surprising. O'Brien and Keiko's appearance was a plus, but it does little to improve a rather dismal episode, especially since O'Brien was acting like such a prick. The overall low point had to be the brawl in ten forward, which Guinan handled quite nicely. It was nice to see Data take charge as well, but overall I found this episode somewhat offensive.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-11 at 10:02pm:
    Problem:
    In some of the scences where Troi is "flying" you can clearly see strings attached to her butt.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-24 at 7:31pm:
    - When the crew looks for a way to create a massive explosion and escape the rift, no one mentions setting the Brattain to self-destruct. Wouldn't an uncontrolled overload of a warp drive system cause a pretty good bang?
    - When looking for a message to send the aliens, Data scans through the available elements on the Enterprise. One shot shows the elements zipping by, from bottom to top. When Troi spots hydrogen, she tells Data to stop and go back. The next shot shows the elements scrolling slower, but they are still scrolling from bottom to top. It would confuse the hell out of me, going forward or backward through information and having it move in the same direction.
  • From Mark McC on 2008-12-30 at 11:42am:
    At one point we're told the ship doesn't have enough power left to replicate any explosive elements. Maybe if they shut down all those replicators producing synthahol in Ten-Forward they might have had more power and saved themselves the embarassment of a bar-room brawl.

    It was convenient that Data decided to visually review the elements available on the offchance that Troi would look over his shoulder and spot something that correlated with her dream. Normally he would have just accessed his memory banks for the information instead of slowly (by his speed) scrolling through them on a terminal.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-29 at 12:16am:
    The plot of the episode is good in the abstract. But I agree that it progresses rather slowly and without a lot of interesting things happening. And Troi's silly-looking dream sequences are definitely not the high point of the episode.
  • From ok@ok.ok on 2011-08-26 at 4:32am:
    This was a fairly decent episode. I like the explanation behind what was happening, and I like how we never actually see the aliens or get a clear shot of their ship... all we get is some indication that they were in the exact same quandary, and could only communicate briefly and indirectly, hoping on a whim that someone will figure out what's needed...

    Seeing Data as acting captain was awesome.

    Seeing Guinan pull out some crazy plasma rifle from behind the counter was amusing.

    As for everyone going more or less insane, well I feel like there were a few missed opportunities here... but at the same time there were some nice subtleties, for instance Crusher trying to tap her com badge and missing the first time (there were a few of these very subtle, easily missed things). Also Wharf being late to a meeting. Things like that which vaguely hint that something just isn't right.

    So, maybe not great but certainly not awful, and the premise and explanation hold up and are surprising and interesting enough.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-30 at 4:52pm:
    This episode had two basic problems, in my view:

    1. The plot was too simplistic. There just wasn't enough here. Almost all good star trek episodes consist of two story lines woven together. For example, in TNG: Family you have the threads of Picard on Earth with his brother's family, and Worf on the Enterprise with his adoptive parents. (In that episode you even get a bit of a third with Wesley and his father's holorecording.) Another great example is TNG: Galaxy's Child where you have the two threads of the space creature and Geordi's relationship with the holographic Dr. Leah Brahms. In this episode we have just a tiny bit of that with the crew's struggle with lack of REM sleep and Troi's issue with nightmares. But effectively these issues are one and the same. Thus, there is just not enough storyline here to sustain a one hour episode. Effectively, the plot summary becomes:

    A. Enterprise gets stuck.
    B. The crew's condition deteriorates.
    C. Trio has bad dreams in which she flies around in a very unflattering outfit.
    D. Repeat steps B and C a truly mind numbing number of times.
    E. Enterprise gets unstuck.

    2. The music sucks. Not only was it very consistent ( reinforcing the repetitive nature of the episode itself ), but it consists almost entirely of this depressing dirge. It certainly did not help to improve the episode.
  • From Bronn on 2013-11-07 at 8:04pm:
    The Troi flying stuff is what really ruined this for me. It's not that I hate every episode in which she's featured, it's just that when she's featured, the writers often had her saying stuff repeatedly, with highest level possible of melodrama. "I have to find you! I have to tell you...!" That was a terrible climax for this episode. Face of the Enemy was a great episode in which she was featured because she wasn't constantly repeating herself, or using a melodramatic delivery.

    The funny thing is, that was a beautifully creepy dream sequence if they didn't have her take off flying. The effects were fairly nice-greenish clouds with the moon circling, always in her line of sight. Having her constantly walking through it with that music playing actually WORKS as a nightmarish dream sequence. Having her flying around in that leotard turns it on its head. It's also ridiculous that it took them all the way until season six to realize that they needed to give her a uniform.
  • From Axel on 2015-03-23 at 11:28pm:
    Great concept for an episode, but poorly executed. This had the makings of a really good Troi moment. Instead of always saying things that are blindingly obvious or telling the captain she senses...something...from some aliens, Troi is the key to solving a dilemma that the ship is facing. It's a situation for which her Betazoid powers are perfectly suited.

    Unfortunately, she puts too much drama into the role. There are also scripting problems. Her telepathic dialogue with the other Betazoid and aliens stuck in the rift sounds awkward and child-like.

    Overall I like the story for this one. But this is a rare case where the cast's acting just doesn't seem on point. They do this eery sci-fi type of stuff quite well in other episodes, but here it's fumbled.

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