Distant Origin (****)
Dinosaurs in space with big-ass guns? What's not to love?!
I know that some people hate the dinosaur angle of this episode, but that never truly bothered me because 64 million years is an eternity and there wouldn't be any remnants of a dinosaur civilization to find after that much time. The only thing I have a problem with is the idea that these guys have been around for 64 million years and yet their technology is only about a century or two more advanced than the Federation. I know this is meant to be explained away by the idea that their doctrine was holding them back, but holding them back for 64 million years? That's a bit hard to swallow.
And it is ironic that an episode which is obviously an allegory for legal battles between science and religion, and the teaching of evolution in particular, that Brannon Braga would once again show his complete lack of understanding of evolutionary biology. The computer would not be able to determine what a dinosaur would look like after 64 million years, especially when there is absolutely no reference as to what sort of environment it inhabited. This doesn't damage the episode too much because it is only used as a tool to fill the audience in on what is going on, but it still irritates me.
The story is good, and I really enjoyed the final scenes as Gegen is forced to retract his claims for the greater good. Probably my favourite episode so far this season.