The Child (episode)
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at Chrissie's Transcripts
We're back! Wow, the offseason just flew by, didnít it? The new season brings many changes. The most important change by far is that they got rid of that damn rainbow sweater.
Dr. Crusher has left the Enterprise and we have a new CMO. I like Pulaski as a character and will be sad to see her go after the season. According to a poll
, most TrekBBSers prefer Crusher to Pulaski.
The ship now has a bar and a bartender who dispenses good advice. I always like the Guinan scenes.
Geordi is now chief of engineering and has a gold uniform. I don't know why they thought they didn't need a regular chief engineer when the series started, but it quickly became obvious that one was warranted and Geordi is a good fit for the role.
Worf is now chief of security, which is obviously the perfect position for him. He also has a gold uniform, the sash, and better makeup.
Riker has a beard. He looks much better, and somehow more competent.
The title of the episode kind of irks me. "The Child," as if the Enterprise will only encounter one child ever. It feels like the writers just got stuck for a title when they go with "The [very generic noun]." Other examples include The Battle, The Bonding, The Enemy, The Price, The Hunted, The Offspring, The Loss, The Wounded, The Game, The Outcast, The Chase, etc.
(Wesley has come out of the lift and gone straight back in with Picard)
PICARD: Deck ten, forward station one.
WESLEY: Hello, Captain.
PICARD: Ensign. I'm sorry this mission will delay your reunion with your mother.
WESLEY: That's all right. That will give me the time to finish some projects I have to do. It's going to be hard leaving the Enterprise.
PICARD: Mixed feelings for all of us. It's always difficult leaving any ship, just as it was for your mother
PICARD: When she left to become head of Starfleet Medical. But going from one assignment to another is part of the life which you are choosing.
WESLEY: I know, but this isn't any ship.
PICARD: How true.
This is a nice little scene. It seems more real than we usually associate with the series. Good, natural performances from Stewart and Wheaton, and nice directing from Rob Bowman giving them room to perform instead of, "Chop chop, guys, we have to leave room for the commercials." Perhaps a benefit of the writers' strike?
Maybe I was just in a generous mood when I watched it, but it seems to me the acting is improved all around.
PICARD: Doctor Katherine Pulaski?
PULASKI: Ah you must be Captain Picard.
PICARD: Doctor, protocol may have been lax on your last assignment, but here on the Enterprise...
PULASKI: Sit down, Captain. You'd better listen to this.
Pulaski's habit of interrupting the captain is one he will come to resent, but in this case I think she does him a favor by interrupting rather than allowing him to continue making himself look like a jerk.
Perhaps another effect of the writer's strike, they cribbed a lot of material from sources with expired copyrights, like the Gospel of Eugene:
JOSEPH: I don't mean to be indelicate, but who's the father?
MARY: Last night, while I slept, something which I can only describe as a presence entered my body.
AUGUSTUS: A life form of unknown origin and intent is breeding right now inside Mary. Our purpose here is to determine what is to be done about this very unusual situation. Discussion.
JOSEPH: No, wait. Let me get this straight. Mary was impregnated by... what? Medicus, what do the tests show?
MEDICUS: She's still a virgin.
JOSEPH: That's not what I meant. Is it a humanoid? An alien?
MEDICUS: It's a male human, or in this case half-human half-Supreme Being.
JOSEPH: I don't think this is a random occurrence. I think there's a purpose here. A reason. What, I don't know.
HEROD: Caesar, obviously the pregnancy must be terminated for the security of the empire.
JOSEPH: You can't assume the intent was belligerent.
HEROD: That is the safest assumption.
MELCHIOR: Ceasar, this is a life form. Not to allow it to develop naturally would deny us the opportunity to learn from it.
HEROD: If the fetus is aborted, we can still dissect it for study.
JOSEPH: Medicus, is there any health risk to Mary if the fetus is aborted?
MARY: Caesar, do whatever you feel is necessary to protect the empire, but know this: I'm going to have this baby.
AUGUSTUS: Then it seems that the discussion is over.
Plagiarized or not, it's another nice bit of directing.
Actually I like a lot of the angles and composition in this episode.
This may not be a great episode, it's kind of a lame story that has been told better before, but they're gaining competence in the way they put it together. Season One often felt like amateur hour.
The preview makes it look like she's talking about the child. How obnoxious.
DEALT: I can't.
RIKER: Data, prepare to jettison the module.
DEALT: We can't do that either. It will go into a spore and remain until it comes in contact with a planet or another ship. The results would be disastrous.
Can't the ship's weapons reduce it to atoms? Or tractor-beam it into a star or black hole? Oh well. Maybe the writers would have fixed this if they hadn't been on strike.
IAN: Yes. I have to leave you now, or it'll be very bad for everyone.
TROI: What are you saying?
IAN: I have to leave now.
TROI: Leave? You are going to die. No, you can't! Sickbay, this is Counsellor Troi, I need the Doctor in my quarters now! Ian! Ian, no! Ian!
It's okay, Deanna. He's not dying, he's just returning to his natural state. But if it feels right to you to mourn him as dead, go ahead: at his rate of development the mourning period will only last a few hours.