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

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Old January 29 2013, 08:07 AM   #1
Captrek
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Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

The Child (episode) at Memory Alpha
The Child at Chrissie's Transcripts


We're back! Wow, the offseason just flew by, didn’t 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.

[Turbolift]

(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

[Corridor]

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.

PULASKI: Destroy it now.
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.
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Old January 29 2013, 08:55 AM   #2
Melakon
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

I liked Ian when we first see him.
"Hello."
And Picard just stares at him, dumbfounded, trying not to show his alarm.
"Hello, Ian."

(The transcript link isn't working for me.)
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Old January 29 2013, 09:05 AM   #3
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

Here is the site for TNG and DS9 transcripts. The site pretty much ignores TOS, VOY, and ENT though.

http://www.st-minutiae.com/academy/literature329/
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Old January 29 2013, 11:16 AM   #4
MikeS
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

Plasma plague??????

Another episode that I have been guilty of remembering too harshly. The opening five minutes with the introduction to the crew and their new roles is nicely done, not "hitting you over the head" with it. In fact, all the goodness of this episode comes with setting up season two and our characters. The A-story of "The Child" and the B-story about the plague are quite forgettable.

A very obvious "Pro-choice" vibe going on here -
"Captain, do whatever you feel is necessary to protect the ship, but know this: I'm going to have this baby."
"Then it seems that the discussion is over."
Regarding the development and birth, I find it hard to believe that Troi would become attached to the child after such a short gestation with no pain or lasting effects. And any television birth that shows the mother on her back with her legs in the air never fails to have my wife and I screaming at the television. Having had two natural births ourselves and having studied anatomy and physiology, we always scream at the mother to get on her feet and let gravity and anatomy assist!

Regarding the HD transfer. The scenes on the bridge are very "grainy", any reason for this? I'm not saying I don't like it, I think I'm on the side of grain versus DNR, just distracted me a little. Also, the big debate over the season two sfx - not nearly as bad as I'd feared, although nowhere near season one standards.

Is this O'Brien's first appearance since Farpoint?

This episode gets mentioned again during the Destiny trilogy as the reason for Riker and Deanna's inability to conceive.
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Old January 29 2013, 01:15 PM   #5
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

I think this episode was strange from Deanna's point of view. I felt like she was just way to calm about the situation as if it were just a normal baby. How about "what the hell is inside me?"
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Old January 29 2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

The Child.

Well, the day has finally come. It was inevitable since both Gene Roddenberry and Maurice Hurley were in charge of the major story developments of TNG, so here it is. The episode that hates women.

For starters, two of the three main female characters from Season One are now gone leaving Troi the only main reoccurring female character of the show. Incase you need a reminder, she's the only main cast member who doesn't wear a uniform. But the episode tries to sweep this under the rug by giving all the guys promotions which results in them taking over positions that at first were manned by female characters. We're already off to a great start.

Also, Troi gets raped. I'm sorry, but that's what happens here. An alien force enters and impregnates her while she is an unwilling participant. So, how does Maurice handle Deana and Pulaski when Troi sees her about it? Why, by going to the bar of course! Screw Sick Bay, screw alerting the Captain that one of his senior officers was violated by an unknown entity. The ship has a new bar! God, at least Nemesis got it right when she went directly to Sick Bay immediately after going through a 'psychic rape' attack.

And you gotta love that scene in the conference room where Troi is sitting AWAY from the rest of the crew when they're all discussing her pregnancy. It's not even until the very end when she finally chimes in to make the decision.

And here's another fun example at how this story hates the female gender.

PULASKI: It's a male human, or in this case half-human half-Betazoid.
RIKER: Exactly the same as Deanna.
PULASKI: In every way. In fact, there is nothing to indicate that there are any genetic patterns other than hers.
That's right. Exactly like Deanna in every way.... except for the fact that it's male. WHY? Does this energy entity that lacks organic components carry a Y chromosome?

And I haven't even gotten to the cargo plot yet.
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Old January 29 2013, 02:11 PM   #7
MikeS
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

Jeyl wrote: View Post
The episode that hates women.
Seriously?

Jeyl wrote: View Post
For starters, two of the three main female characters from Season One are now gone leaving Troi the only main reoccurring female character of the show.
There were just two main female characters by the end of season one. There are three now (Guinan, Pulaski and Troi).

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Incase you need a reminder, she's the only main cast member who doesn't wear a uniform.
Granted. I much preferred it when they gave her a uniform. Seemed more professional.

Jeyl wrote: View Post
But the episode tries to sweep this under the rug by giving all the guys promotions which results in them taking over positions that at first were manned by female characters. We're already off to a great start.
The only person that got a promotion was Geordi, to full lieutenant.

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Also, Troi gets raped. I'm sorry, but that's what happens here.
I don't think anyone has ever denied this but the way the writers deal with that event is what should be judged. As previously mentioned, I feel they went with a very "pro-choice" stance.

I'm sorry, I really don't get where you're coming from with this one.
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Old January 29 2013, 02:12 PM   #8
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

I thought the "Phase II" version wasn't very good, but still better than the TNG version.
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Old January 29 2013, 02:13 PM   #9
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

Ah, the beginning of one of my fave seasons of TNG!

I absolutely love the first couple of minutes. The majestic music; Riker with a beard; Worf and Geordi's new uniform. There's a real great 'feel' to this episode that I really enjoyed.
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Old January 29 2013, 02:45 PM   #10
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

MikeS wrote: View Post
Seriously?
Troi gets unwillingly impregnated by an alien and everyone, even Troi pretty much shrugs it off as if it's no big deal even before the end of the episode. How many rape victims do you know treat being raped the same way? How can you say that the writers actually care about such subject matters if they don't bother to make it much of an issue for the characters?

MikeS wrote: View Post
There were just two main female characters by the end of season one. There are three now (Guinan, Pulaski and Troi).
Kind of hard to justify them as 'main female characters' when the credits list Whoopi Goldberg and Diana Muldaur as 'guest stars' in every episode they appear in. And how can we take their roles seriously when their positions are the doctor, counselor and bartender? Pretty weak positions when compared to the other more prominent roles of Captain, First Officer, Helm officer, Con officer, tactical officer, Chief Engineer. ect. All of which in the Child are filled in by male characters. Plus their roles in the episode do more harm than good since Pulaski is a condescending, unprofessional jerk, Deanna is treated more like a plot device than an actual person, and Guinan helped convince Wesley to stay onboard the Enterprise.
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Old January 29 2013, 03:00 PM   #11
MikeS
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

From The next Generation Companion -
Guest star Diana Muldaur is generally considered a regular cast member, as her character appears in all but two episodes and otherwise fulfills the role of a main character. The actress was reportedly offered a place in the opening credit sequence, but declined and was listed instead as a Special Guest star.
Whoopi may have been the bartender but she had a much better role and lines than Yar ever did, even though she was in the more powerful role. Did Whoopi ever consider Gene to be sexist? I doubt it.

I agree, they could have dealt a little more with Troi's feelings about being "raped", but I stand by my "pro-choice" comments in proving that this episode was far from sexist. If it were sexist Picard would have ordered her to have a termination.
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Old January 29 2013, 03:43 PM   #12
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

MikeS wrote: View Post
Whoopi may have been the bartender but she had a much better role and lines than Yar ever did, even though she was in the more powerful role.
Oh, I agree. I hold Guinan to be one of the most interesting characters in all of Star Trek, and Whoopi's interest in wanting to be a part of Star Trek is one of the coolest casting stories in any medium. You just don't get many big name actors voicing their interest in becoming a part of something they've been a fan of. Most of the time it's always treated as 'work' or doing it for the money. Not saying that's a problem, it's just nice to know that actors can be fans just like us.

I just think it's a pity her first appearance is to help ensure that Wesley stays on the Enterprise. The one character I did NOT want to stick around.

MikeS wrote: View Post
I stand by my "pro-choice" comments in proving that this episode was far from sexist. If it were sexist Picard would have ordered her to have a termination.
Granted yes, there was that element in the episode, but I doubt the idea of termination would have come from a political stand point since they're dealing with an unknown alien entity. And that still doesn't stop Picard from ordering Worf and two other security officers to look over the actual birth process. Pretty funny when you consider what Worf had to say during the meeting.

WORF: Captain, obviously the pregnancy must be terminated for the safety of the ship and crew.
RIKER: Worf, you can't assume the intent was belligerent.
WORF: That is the safest assumption.
As SFDebris put it, "That's Worf. He's not pro-life or pro choice. He's just pro-killing."
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Old January 29 2013, 04:10 PM   #13
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

Another one that I found immensely entertaining.
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Old January 29 2013, 04:24 PM   #14
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

Now onto the second plot which involves Geordi's new rank and position of Chief Engineer. I'll always miss Geordi's original position because I liked the idea of the blind person flying the flagship of the fleet. While he will have many great moments as Chief Engineer, the position also means that Geordi will no longer take command of the Enterprise.

Unfortunately, how the Child portrays Geordi as Chief Engineer will pretty much dictate how he handles critical situations all the way to the end of the TNG era. That being when something goes wrong, there is nothing he can do to stop it. Take that super duper container that's used to transport this deadly cargo. Hester wants to ensure that the container is working properly and that there will be no chance of any mistakes happening.

Couple of things to note. If anything goes wrong with this container, it will most likely kill everyone onboard the Enterprise. That includes the crew and their families. And the other? It's not something that can be jettisoned out into space without possibly contaminating other ships or planets (which also brings in another plot hole). Even knowing this, NO ONE ever considers the possibility that this container might fail. And when it does, well, all Geordi does is say how impossible the situation is.

LAFORGE:
- There's no reason for this to be happening. I can't even isolate the cause of the problem.
- Everything exactly as it should be, right down the line.
- No, no, no. It can't break through this.
Not the best start for his new position.

Remember that bit about Hester saying that they can't jettison the container because if it comes into contact with a ship or planet, the results will be disastrous. Ok, why not just hurl it towards a sun so it can just burn up? And even if they had to jettison the container into space, It's not like the container would immediately come across another ship or a planet the moment it was jettisoned. Even Starfleet has protocols regarding hazardous areas in space, and we'll be seeing an example of that this very season in the episode "Unnatural Selection"!

And you gotta love this bit.

DATA: Computer, run diagnostic on module L seven three.
COMPUTER: All circuits functional.
DATA: Perhaps it is a sensor malfunction. Computer, inquiry. Is growth actually occurring in module L seven three?
COMPUTER: Confirmed.
What? Why does Data use sensors to scan the container if the sensors are possibly malfunctioning? And if it's the container's sensors that aren't working, why doesn't the Enterprise's computer run continuous scans on the container to ensure that the results it is getting matches the results that the container is getting? Again, simple set up to ensure everything works properly, and no one ever considers it.
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Old January 29 2013, 05:20 PM   #15
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

I do like this one line from Picard in regards to Wesley potentially leaving the ship.

PICARD: Mixed feelings for all of us.
I'd like to think that line implies that there are crew members who don't look at Wesley as the sweet perfect writer's pet that he is and are more than happy to see him leave the ship for good. It also serves as a funny TNG Recut moment where Wesley is condemned to death, Picard tells him the everyone has mixed feelings, and than immediately cut to Wesley about to be beamed into outer space alive inside a coffin.
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