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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 March 11 2013, 01:58 PM   #1
Jeyl
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Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

Unnatural Selection

The day has finally come. A day when a nameless background character who has been with us ever since the start of TNG finally breaks out of being a reoccurring extra and into a character with a name and a purpose. His career, his service and his shoulder would become legendary. His name is Miles O'Brien and he's here to stay!

Unnatural Selection is an episode that sets out to do one thing. Further solidify Pulaski's role as a viable character on the Enterprise. Not a bad idea given my heavy dislike towards her character in the first few episodes of this season. Despite the pandering by the creative teams who try to give Diana Muldaur something to do that doesn't involve just uttering technobabble, this episode does a pretty decent job with her character.

For example, in the first season episode Angel One, Beverly Crusher refused to allow anyone onboard the Enterprise, even when the people they were trying to save were facing execution because of an outbreak onboard the ship that only made you feel ill. She was willing to let people get executed over getting infected with something that isn't even fatal. Kind of stupid when you consider the fact that the Enterprise has cargo holds, shuttle crafts, environmental suits, and the transporter room which can be use for decontamination. Thankfully in Unnatural Selection, the writers know what Pulaski has at her disposal and they put them to good use. Pulaski takes a shuttle craft with Data in order to study a patient that could infect her with a deadly disease. Good job writers.

In the grand scheme of Star Trek, this episode does prove a bit problematic due to the apparent openness to genetically enhancing humans, an action that will be depicted as strictly forbidden. I guess everyone in this episode didn't get the memo because even though everyone has been cured, they'll no doubt be sent away to a penal colony for two years.... four if the sentence is being carried out by the same admiral.

Even though this episode isn't on any great episode list, it does an important service to Star Trek for not only having writers who are aware of what the crew have at their disposal, but finally upgrading Colm Meaney's extra status into a full fledged character. The character of Miles O'Brien would not only have some great stories in future TNG episodes, but also become a fantastic series regular for Deep Space Nine. And I cannot leave out the fact that having him be a family man is a big bonus too.

STINGER:
Riker: Looks like they had a battle with time.
Worf: …and lost.

Last edited by Jeyl; March 11 2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old March 11 2013, 11:19 PM   #2
Mott the barber
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

So true about O'Brien. He had a hell of a run beginning with his "Conn" character didn't he?

I am also thankful for this episode for giving us one of the best bloopers from S2 ("marker beacons"). That one always has me in stitches.
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Old March 11 2013, 11:48 PM   #3
jimbotron
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

I forget, did O'Brien finally get a name in this episode? Was that his first role as transporter chief?
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Old March 12 2013, 12:17 AM   #4
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

I always enjoyed the first half of this one and the final scene, where they destroy the Lantree.

But that Doctor Kingsley makes me cringe and I don't think Diana Muldaur gives us anything us exciting.
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Old March 12 2013, 06:25 AM   #5
Captrek
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
The day has finally come.
Aren't these threads supposed to start on Tuesdays?
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Old March 12 2013, 06:42 AM   #6
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

My thoughts:

- The destruction of the Lantree was a fine sequence.

- It was fitting that Dr. Kingsley was annoyingly arrogant. Picard should have ordered Data to smack her.

- The method of saving Pulaski was on first viewing immediately obvious to me as essentially the same method used to save the main characters in TAS: The Lorelei Signal, and for the same reason. The irony was therefore that TNG was still striving to surpass both TOS and TAS, at this point in its run.

- Nevertheless, Unnatural Selection was a definite step up from the last episode, and a welcome indication that the show was, overall, improving.

- Fans (especially, it seems, those preferring DS9) like to say that TNG had no character arcs whatsoever, but this episode depicted a transformation in the relationship between Pulaski and Data.
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Old March 12 2013, 06:51 AM   #7
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

Captrek wrote: View Post
Jeyl wrote: View Post
The day has finally come.
Aren't these threads supposed to start on Tuesdays?
It is Tuesday.
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Old March 12 2013, 04:35 PM   #8
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

Captrek wrote: View Post
Jeyl wrote: View Post
The day has finally come.
Aren't these threads supposed to start on Tuesdays?
That's what I said, than the posters would say "But it is Tuesday my time." Plus the past four EOTW I've been posting have been on Monday, so where the devil have you been?
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Old March 12 2013, 06:20 PM   #9
JoeD80
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

jimbotron wrote: View Post
I forget, did O'Brien finally get a name in this episode? Was that his first role as transporter chief?
I think his name comes next episode (A Matter of Honor). He was first seen as transporter chief in "The Child."
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Old March 13 2013, 03:51 AM   #10
Captrek
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Captrek wrote: View Post
Jeyl wrote: View Post
The day has finally come.
Aren't these threads supposed to start on Tuesdays?
That's what I said, than the posters would say "But it is Tuesday my time." Plus the past four EOTW I've been posting have been on Monday, so where the devil have you been?
Fair enough, I guess. When you posted the thread, it was Tuesday (technically two minutes to Tuesday, close enough) in Sydney and Melbourne. For that matter, it was 2AM Tuesday in New Zealand and 3AM in Kiribati.

Back in the season premiere, I toyed with the idea of putting links to a transcript and Memory Alpha article for the episode at the top of the first post. A little extra effort for the person who makes the post, but perhaps a convenience for others. Should we make it a regular practice?

Also, everybody please try to remember the tng episode of the week tag. If you start the thread please include the tag, and if the thread is started without the tag please add it.
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Old March 13 2013, 12:50 PM   #11
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
jimbotron wrote: View Post
I forget, did O'Brien finally get a name in this episode? Was that his first role as transporter chief?
I think his name comes next episode (A Matter of Honor). He was first seen as transporter chief in "The Child."
From this episode.

O'BRIEN: This is Chief O'Brien, sir. Almost ready.
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Old March 13 2013, 01:00 PM   #12
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

Captrek wrote: View Post
Also, everybody please try to remember the tng episode of the week tag. If you start the thread please include the tag, and if the thread is started without the tag please add it.
Ok..... how? I can't edit my first post anymore.
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Old March 13 2013, 02:03 PM   #13
Mutai Sho-Rin
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Captrek wrote: View Post
Also, everybody please try to remember the tng episode of the week tag. If you start the thread please include the tag, and if the thread is started without the tag please add it.
Ok..... how? I can't edit my first post anymore.
I was able to edit and add "TNG" to the title but couldn't find a way to add the tag. Any suggestions???
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Old March 13 2013, 02:59 PM   #14
MikeS
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Re: TNG Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

A good episode other than the STAR-TREK-SAY-GENETIC-RESEARCH-IS-BAD vibe that all of Star Trek is guilty of. Even the technobabble solution seemed original at the time (pre-Voyager). Troi seems to have plenty to say and do in this episode, nice to see her (and as previously mentioned, O'Brien's) character(s) developing.

Who is the "bakharov" that the shuttle is named after? A quick google search throws no light on an answer.

Any further mention of the genetically superior children in Trek-lit? Seems like there are plenty of unanswered questions... They are just going to allow them to grow old and die, supressing the natural urge to procreate?
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Old March 13 2013, 03:37 PM   #15
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Re: TNG Episode of the Week: 2x07 "Unnatural Selection"

This is a good episode with regards to the Data - Pulaski relationship. I always enjoyed the way they gradually had to feel each other out.
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