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Old February 28 2009, 01:48 AM   #1
Rear Admiral
Night Terrors

Plot Summary: Captain Picard is ordered to search for the U.S.S. Brattain, which has disappeared near a binary star. When the Enterprise tracks down the ship, an away team discovers that the entire crew has died, apparently by murder and suicide; the sole survivor is a catatonic Betazoid with whom Troi can communicate telepathically, but she can make no sense of his thoughts. LaForge cannot activate the Brattain's engines, and when he tries to have the Enterprise tow the vessel, the Enterprise's engines fail as well. Soon many crewmembers are behaving erratically and Troi is suffering from nightmares. Only Data remains entirely unaffected. He hypothesizes that the Enterprise, like the Brattain before it, is trapped in a spatial rupture called a Tyken's Rift, but though that would explain the energy drain, it does not explain the crew's behavior. Data believes the crew can escape the rift by creating a massive explosion, but it requires work to set up and the crew's behavior becomes more and more unstable during the preparations. Crusher realizes that this is because everyone on the crew save Troi has stopped dreaming, but she is unable to induce REM sleep in any of them. Soon there is a near-riot in Ten Forward and Worf tries to commit suicide, though Troi is able to talk him out of it. She tries again to communicate with the semi-conscious Betazoid, whom she realizes is sharing her nightmares, which she concludes are not dreams at all but a form of communication from telepathic beings trapped on the other side of the rift. Data proposes that Troi try to send a message via a dream to these aliens, then guesses that the "one moon circles" from her dream is a hydrogen atom. The Enterprise releases hydrogen into space, which Troi successfully asks the aliens to ignite. The resulting explosion frees the Enterprise and, presumably, their unseen saviors, allowing the crew to recover.

To read the full reviews, please click here.

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Old February 28 2009, 02:20 AM   #2
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Re: Night Terrors

they start arguing and, so far as I can recall, don't stop until the end of the Dominion War
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Old February 28 2009, 02:54 AM   #3
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Re: Night Terrors

This to me is another one of those really well done sci-fi mystery shows that TNG did better than any of the other series.

I thought the music was atypically moody for the show and the cinemtaography gave an almost dreamy surreal effect to the entire episode--quite appropriate I thought given the subject matter. To this day one of my favorite shots is of the Enterprise coming into view in the first seconds of the show with the light from the binary stars sweeping into the camera. In fact the entire episode was quite successful creating the feel of space being actually eerie and the Enterprise was out there all by itself facing some unknown mysterious force that was crippling their engines and the crew.

The episode was outstanding when it came to the creep factor--the young ensign hearing noises on board a ship where the entire crew killed themselves, the corpses darting up surrounding Beverly in the morgue scene, the haunting voice calling to Troi in her dreams.

I certainly didn't know what was going on until it was revealed and I thought the riddle of hydrogen was clever as was the idea of REM deprivation being the cause of the crew's odd behavior.

Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner gave great performances. I especially liked the scene with Data where he recalled the fear he had for losing control of his mental faculties. It played nicely off what he went through earlier in the season when he was assimilated and while obviously not intended at the time works nicely into what we saw in AGT where he was suffering Irumodic Syndrome.

Lots of nice little touches as well--seeing another ship and bridge, Guinan pulling out her gigantic rifle from behind the bar, the touch of continuity from The Best of Both Worlds when Data offered up the deflector discharge to dislodge the ship.

Despite knowing how the episode plays out, I enjoy watching this one over and over. I know the crew and writers didn't care for it but it is one of my favorite season four episodes.
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Old February 28 2009, 03:55 AM   #4
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Re: Night Terrors

I think it's a fun episode... not great, not awful.... entertaining.

As a sufferer of night terrors, I do probably find it a bit more disturbing than some. Situations like with Riker and the snakes etc. I have many nights every week. Thankfully it could be worse... at least I don't have floating Trois around.
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Old February 28 2009, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Night Terrors

I don't understand the review's need for the episode to have a "fun" factor with the creepiness. Can't it just be scary? Nor do I see a reason why the crew had to find a solution from previous anomaly-of-the-week episodes.

Certainly Night Terrors is one of my more under-rated episodes of TNG with some genuinely disturbing moments. The aforementioned ensign who hears movement below decks is spooky and the morgue scene is probably the most terrifying moment Trek has ever pulled off.

I think something very unique to this episode was how the aliens were communicating. We've only seen aliens just chat over subspace, but it was rare in Trek to meet aliens who were truly alien and in this regard unaware of how just their simple attempts at communication were actually deadly.

The episode reminds me a lot of One, most of Voyager's most surprising episodes and another under-rated creepy thriller.
Out of 4 stars:
The Light Fantastic: **1/2
One Constant Star: **1/2
Serpents in the Garden: **1/2
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Old February 28 2009, 03:01 PM   #6
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Re: Night Terrors

What I liked about this episode was that the crew allowed themselves to be photographed in a depraved state with little or no makeup. Not every TV star would allow that.

What I didn't like was how well-behaved the NextGen crew was, even while supposedly getting more and more sleep-deprived. What did the NextGen crew remain under control while the crew of the Britain start blasting away with all available weapons?

My full review is here
Next Generation, Voyager, Dollhouse, Lost, and Movie reviews at the Review Zoo!
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Old February 28 2009, 09:54 PM   #7
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Re: Night Terrors

I think the review was pretty spot-on. One of those TNG episodes that just "is." Don't really have any strong feelings about it one way or another.
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Old February 28 2009, 10:36 PM   #8
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Re: Night Terrors

this episode really creeped me out as a kid!
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Old March 1 2009, 07:16 AM   #9
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Re: Night Terrors

While the nightmare scenarios are mildly interesting, the main crux of the plot is not. Any episode that leans heavily on babble (techno or psycho) is a loser.

While the scene between Worf and Troi is interesting, it reminds me of later episodes (from TNG and DS9) that indicate Klingons consider suicide for personal reasons dishonorable enough to merit hell. While that part of the show bible probably wasn't written yet, its still interesting to think Worf considered hell preferable to his current situation.
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Old March 1 2009, 11:56 AM   #10
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Re: Night Terrors

Well I'm a big fan of (psychological) horror so this episode really worked for me. I love the lingering atmosphere of doom and dread, the eerie score and the scene with Bev and the corpses in particular. Always a treat to watch this one! Don't really care about the Troi stuff though.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves,
but wiser people so full of doubts."

- Bertrand Russell
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Old March 1 2009, 03:55 PM   #11
Re: Night Terrors

I found this episode boring and the seemingly never ending 'one moon circles' line painful. I still use it to this day when someone says something that makes no sense.

The shot of Troi from behind when she's floating in dream space should be clipped and burned.
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Old March 2 2009, 09:11 PM   #12
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Re: Night Terrors

I quite like this episode. I'm pleased and surprised to see that so many people in this thread are saying they like it: this is because when this episode comes up it usually gets some negativity. I think that the negativity comes from the "green flying Troi", which often is the thing that comes to mind.

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Old March 4 2009, 06:25 AM   #13
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Re: Night Terrors

I always found this episode scary as a kid, especially the morgue scene. Troi flying was always silly though.
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Old March 4 2009, 12:14 PM   #14
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Re: Night Terrors

This was a good premise, a lot of opportunity, but poor pacing killed it. It inspired more tedium in me than terror.
"Don't try to live so wise. Don't cry 'cause you're so right.
Don't dry with fakes or fears, 'Cause you will hate yourself in the end."

Anime @ MyReviewer
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