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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old November 28 2012, 04:00 PM   #1
MikeS
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Location: Liverpool, UK
Episode of the Week: Home Soil

I love that when Riker is sent to turn out the lights on the alien, he announces - "dimming lights; Now!" From now on whenever I am retiring to bed for the evening I am going to announce this Rikeresque. "Turning off lights; Now!" Ha ha I loved this so much I cannot stop thinking about it. In fact it's all I can really remember from the episode! Was there not some lowly Ensign nearby that could turn off the lab lights? They had to send the Executive Officer from the bridge to turn off the light?!

The only other observations I'd like to add is that at its heart this is another interesting sci-fi concept episode (lots of these in the first season) - Terraforming and a "life, but not as we know it". Oh, and the wires to make the "creature" light up are so visible in HD. Never noticed those before.
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Old November 28 2012, 04:34 PM   #2
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

This episode is... well, mediocre. Instead of walking away from this episode thinking "Wow. A new life form that is truly alien in nature!", I walked away with "What is with all these aliens that tell us we're unworthy of even making contact and that we should not come back for at least a couple of centuries?".

Like a lot of season 1 and 2 episodes of TNG, "Home Soil" feels like another one of those original series stories in the wrong series. It shares a lot with "Devil in the Dark" except they decided to throw in the Metron ending from "Arena" in order to make this life form seem more awesome. It doesn't work.

And that voice. Oh, that voice. I hate that voice. No matter how funny that line "Ugly giant bags of mostly water" is, that voice just kills it. If this was the only way we could communicate with those glowing dots, I'd probably ignore them just like the Terraformers did.

If I had to choose between "Devil in the Dark" and "Home Soil", Devil wins by a landslide. At least in Devil our characters actually worked something out with the Horta that was mutually beneficial for both sides. In Home Soil, our crew just abandons the whole terraforming project completely and leaves us with this little gem of an exchange when Data asks if we'll ever contact the life form again.

"In time, Mr. Data. When we're better prepared."

Because being able to establish contact with a new life form and being able to reason with it and send it back home is certainly not an accomplishment in anyone's books. And what exactly is this life form expecting if we come back in 300 years? That humanity will be a better species? According to Gene Roddenberry, we already are! Children no longer weep for their dead parents!

Another sad reminder that this episode always brings me is that this was Walter Gotell only Star Trek role. I've always loved watching him act in everything he's in and I couldn't believe no one in Star Trek didn't use him for something else.
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Old November 28 2012, 06:33 PM   #3
Mott the barber
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

Love the awkward dialogue between Riker and the female terrafomer in her quarters...something to the effect of: "it's beautiful...I can show it to you sometime if you'd like..."
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Old November 28 2012, 11:45 PM   #4
Minuet
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

I always found the opening scenes where the mining laser goes insane to be super-disturbing. When I was a kid watching it, it terrified me to no end.
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Old December 1 2012, 05:15 PM   #5
MikeS
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

This was obviously a popular one!
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Old December 1 2012, 07:03 PM   #6
inflatabledalek
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

A strong contender for most forgettable episode ever?

General Gogol showing up was nice... that's about it.
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Old December 2 2012, 11:10 PM   #7
MikeH92467
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

To me this was a good episode that moved briskly had a good concept and gave Data something useful to do. Great episode? No. But serviceable entertainment and a step in the right direction.
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Old December 3 2012, 04:17 AM   #8
Xhiandra
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

i agree with Mike, this was a palatable story with decent entertainment value. Not great, not very memorable, but certainly not facepalm-inducing.

Though if we consider that we tend to remember the great and the terrible, I suppose this episode does qualify as one of the most forgettable: one of the most average.
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Old December 3 2012, 04:30 AM   #9
MikeH92467
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

Xhiandra wrote: View Post
i agree with Mike, this was a palatable story with decent entertainment value. Not great, not very memorable, but certainly not facepalm-inducing.

Though if we consider that we tend to remember the great and the terrible, I suppose this episode does qualify as one of the most forgettable: one of the most average.
Fair enough. Sometimes we forget that providing serviceable entertainment is not that easy and get bent out of shape when we don't get life-changing or mind-altering experiences. Looking at fan productions gives you an idea of just how hard it must be to do a decent show on a weekly basis.
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Old December 3 2012, 01:10 PM   #10
Timo
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

...In this case, we have one excellent guest star with fairly little to do, and a bunch of others who leave virtually no impression. This quixotic bunch of characters ought to be at the very center of the story, especially when the story takes the route of "And Then There Were None" type "character assassination" and we're supposed to care about the people who drop one by one. But only Gotell really delivers, with what little he's given. And the others fall short both as actors and as characters.

Mightn't it have been better to assassinate the "native characters" (save perhaps for Gotell's) out of the way from the get-go, and to place our regular heroes in the position of doing the guest characters' job, solving the mystery, and then confronting the silicon creatures?

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Old December 4 2012, 07:57 PM   #11
Mott the barber
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
A strong contender for most forgettable episode ever?

General Gogol showing up was nice... that's about it.

It's funny, I'm watching the original "Miami Vice" series of Netflix right now and he just showed up as a guest star on the ep. I caught last night. He was much better utilized on MV (as a weapons dealer), however.
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Old December 4 2012, 09:21 PM   #12
Use of Time
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

I know there is nothing groundbreaking to pull from this episode but I just love the atmosphere of TNG those first two seasons. I can't really put it into words but I really find watching all of those episodes somewhat therapeutic. I know it's easy to label this a throw away episode but I enjoyed it.
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Old December 5 2012, 07:12 AM   #13
Enterprise is Great
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Re: Episode of the Week: Home Soil

The only thing i really liked about this episode was the "ugly bags of mostly water" line. The rest was...meh.
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