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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 January 2 2013, 07:05 PM   #1
Jeyl
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Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

Skin of Evil

To get the big issue out of the way, I have some issues with Tasha being killed off. I know a lot of people didn't like Tasha Yar or Denise Crosby's performance of the character, but the same can be said about any of actors and characters from the first season. And I honestly believe that no one was more disappointed in Tasha Yar's character than Denise herself. Watching Season One on BluRay, it wasn't too hard to see why. Not only was she written as a "shoot first, don't ask questions later" type of person, she never really got to do anything meaningful

Sure, Worf eventually took over her position and the show certainly put him to good use in the later seasons. On the other hand, I always got the feeling that this looked more like an apology by the creative staff for putting a woman in a serious position and rectified it by putting the most manliest male character in all of Star Trek in her position. And things didn't get any better even after that. Season two lost two of the three main female cast members, while the remaining one isn't even wearing a uniform. And what better way to showcase the start of the new and improved season by having her get raped by a star thing and having the replacement female doctor be a contemptuous snot?

Now back to the episode. First and foremost, Ron Jones shines with his work as his music compliments the tension and urgency of the episodes opening. Armus' theme is also nice and catchy. Even in episodes that are mediocre to bad, you can always count on Ron to be the hardest working person in the show.

And I have to give props to whoever came up with Armus. I enjoy a coldhearted villain who does bad things just for the heck of it. No real motive and no real long term goal outside of being an insufferable a**hole. And despite how silly his design might look (Our heroes literally just talk to a puddle), I think his design was very effective. I'd love to see what today's technology would do for his character should he ever come up again.

Stinger: "Data, something's got me!"
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Old January 2 2013, 07:16 PM   #2
SJSharksfan39
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

When I watched this episode recently (And I've seen this episode a lot of times), something I immediately took notice of was how good of an episode this was for Troi. I do believe Troi is the weakest character in the series, and Marina Sirtis was the weakest actress on the show to the point where the only good character she played was a Romulan. However, here was a really really good pure Troi story, and it added to the episode a lot.
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Old January 2 2013, 07:30 PM   #3
billcosby
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

^^ Agreed, this was one of the only instances in season one where they figured out how to write properly for Troi. And it was glorious.
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Old January 2 2013, 08:33 PM   #4
BillJ
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

Great episode all the way around. Definitely in my TNG Top 20.
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Old January 2 2013, 09:09 PM   #5
Elvira
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

WHAT? Another episode where the alien of the week is Black?

What was Roddenberry thinking?


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Old January 2 2013, 10:15 PM   #6
Trek or Treat!
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

This has always been my favorite S1 episode.

I donít know whether it was the intent of the writers to delve into philosophical issues of the nature of good, evil, free will and justice, but for me, 18 years old at the time, it was very thought provoking. Given the manner in which Armus was created, itís inevitable that he would be evil. Would it make sense to punish such a being for his actions? Does he deserve his fate? The last shot of him and his terrible fate recall ďI Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.Ē Do you sympathize with him?

I like the way Armus is realized. I find his appearance and voice to be suitably creepy and a welcome departure from the never-ending procession of BHAs. (On the downside, the special effects when he moves across the ground or the shuttle look pretty bad.)

I agree with Jeyl about the scoring. I find it to be very effective at maintaining the tension.

I havenít done a full series rewatch since the original broadcast, but Iíve done an abridged rewatch a couple of times, and this episode has an interesting place in it. It begins:
Encounter at Farpoint
The Naked Now
Where No One Has Gone Before
Hide and Q
Datalore
11001001
Heart of Glory
Skin of Evil
A Captainís Log at the beginning of Hide and Q mentions that Troi has gone on leave. She is then unseen and unmentioned for the remainder of Hide and Q ó and, as it happens, she is also absent from Datalore, 11001001, and Heart of Glory. When Skin of Evil begins with Picard and Riker talking about how good it will be to have her back, she really has been gone for a while. Her return coinciding with Tashaís death is like trading one character for the other.

Fittingly, itís one of Troiís best episodes. I canít think of another episode that showcases her empathy and psychological skills to better effect. Unfortunately for the character, the ship is about to get a bartender who will get most of the best counseling scenes for the remainder of the series, leaving the shipís counselor without a clear role.

LYNCH [OC]: Lieutenant Commander Leland T. Lynch here, sir.
Heís kind of annoying when he does that.

LYNCH: Understood. Now. Prime matter-antimatter injectors. Set ratio at twenty-five to one
But in Coming of Age,
COMPUTER: Last question on the hyperspace physics test. If the matter and antimatter tanks on a Galaxy class starship are nine tenths depleted, calculate the intermix ratio necessary to reach a starbase a hundred light years away at warp factor eight. Begin.
[...]
MORDOCK: Yes, there is only one ratio with matter-antimatter. One to one.


LYNCH [OC]: Leland T. Lynch here, Captain. We now have minimum warp drive.
LAFORGE: Course plotted and set for Vagra Two.
PICARD: Warp eight.
LYNCH [OC]: I said minimum warp drive, Captain.
PICARD: You heard the order, Mister Lynch. Make it so.
LYNCH [OC]: Yes, sir.
Jean-Luc, youíre pushing. Your people know their jobs.
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Old January 2 2013, 10:55 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

Given the manner in which Armus was created, it’s inevitable that he would be evil.
On the other hand, given that he is evil, would he not lie about the way he was created?

(On the downside, the special effects when he moves across the ground or the shuttle look pretty bad.)
Plus, in the distant shots, say, the one with just Armus and Picard, it looks as if Armus is merely standing in an empty pit in that slime suit. Oh, the surrounding puddle is there, and is somewhat better visible in blu-ray, but it still fails to show up "properly black".

Computer: "Last question on the hyperspace physics test. If the matter and antimatter tanks on a Galaxy class starship are nine tenths depleted, calculate the intermix ratio necessary to reach a starbase a hundred light years away at warp factor eight. Begin."
[...]
Mordock: "Yes, there is only one ratio with matter-antimatter. One to one."
Well, there's no reason to think that either Wesley or Mordock would have gotten that answer right. They just agreed on it.

Jean-Luc, you’re pushing. Your people know their jobs.
Perhaps Picard doesn't know his people? Leland "We got your middle initial" Lynch might be justified in hammering in his full name and credentials if he's not the guy the skipper expected to find at Engineering. Preventive dilithium maintenance appears to be a rare operation; Lynch could be a specialist who performs the operation the Chief Engineer is not trained to handle, and needs to make it clear that he is in charge now.

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Old January 3 2013, 01:12 AM   #8
Trek or Treat!
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

Timo wrote: View Post
Given the manner in which Armus was created, itís inevitable that he would be evil.
On the other hand, given that he is evil, would he not lie about the way he was created?
I don't think he can lie to Troi. She reads him like a book.
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Old January 3 2013, 01:35 AM   #9
Dr. Sevrin
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

captrek wrote: View Post
LYNCH [OC]: Lieutenant Commander Leland T. Lynch here, sir.
Heís kind of annoying when he does that.
Maybe he does it to distinguish himself from a possibly similarly named Leland R. Lynch, if one exists. Perhaps in a few years, Leland T. gets demoted to ensign and has a bad encounter with the Borg.
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Old January 3 2013, 02:17 AM   #10
jimbotron
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

I wish Lynch or Logan had been on duty during Lonely Among Us. Poor Singh didn't deserve to die.
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Old January 3 2013, 09:47 AM   #11
Timo
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

Maybe he does it to distinguish himself from a possibly similarly named Leland R. Lynch, if one exists.
Or he is frustrated about Picard's constant fumbling of his surname. It's not Mr Lynch, it's Mr Teelynch!

I wonder what the modelmakers had in mind when creating the remains of the crashed shuttlecraft. Clearly it is completely unlike Andrew Probert's "soapbar"/Type 7 shuttlecraft, in ways that wouldn't be explained by the modelmakers taking the occasional shortcut. It doesn't even try to be of that shape or detail, but has detailing of a wholly different kind. Did the modelmakers have a specific shape in mind for the intact craft? Or is the design a random one, due to the model being quickly built out of some sort of preexisting parts?

Of course, the interior is the Type 7 one, but that's only sensible: less variety for pilots to learn, even if the actual craft are completely different. Like Airbus cockpits.

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Old January 3 2013, 10:23 AM   #12
Mr_Homn
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

jimbotron wrote: View Post
I wish Lynch or Logan had been on duty during Lonely Among Us. Poor Singh didn't deserve to die.
agreed, he was so nice to wesley and the actor seemed to bring an added dimension to his limited role. why does the only indian guy on the entire show have to die almost immediately?
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Old January 3 2013, 10:32 AM   #13
Trek or Treat!
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
why does the only indian guy on the entire show have to die almost immediately?
Not the only one. Thereís a bunch of Indian guys in Journeyís End.
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Old January 3 2013, 10:40 AM   #14
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

Captrek wrote: View Post
Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
why does the only indian guy on the entire show have to die almost immediately?
Not the only one. There’s a bunch of Indian guys in Journey’s End.

I see what you did there.
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Old January 3 2013, 06:26 PM   #15
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Re: Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

this episode gets a bad reputation, I don't know why. Armus is one of the best one-shot villains in all of TNG, and Picard's confrontation with him at the end is one of the best moments of the series. But yeah,the handling of Tasha's death does suck.(except for the memorial service that was great)
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