Episode of the Week: 2x06 "The Schizoid Man"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Jeyl, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    The Schizoid Man

    It's time for another episode featuring Data acting strangely and the crew taking their sweet time in figuring it out. Certainly not a bad episode, but after last season's Data/Lore, it's starting to feel like this is the most easily fooled crew in all of Starfleet.

    An important note I should make is that this is the first Star Trek appearance of W. Morgan Sheppard, who plays Ira Graves. His career in Star Trek continued after appearing in this episode when he played the Klingon Commandant in Star Trek VI ("Work badly and you will die"), Qatai in the Voyager episode "Bliss" ("t's a beast! Cunning, deadly.") and the Vulcan science minister in JJ Abrams' Star Trek ("Despite your disadvantage"). Pretty cool character actor.

    Probably my favorite part and my biggest gripe in the whole entire episode is the Vulcan officer Selar. I do not understand why this character only appears in this one episode. She's awesome! She has more character and intrigue in this one episode than T'Pol did in a whole season of Enterprise. Memory Alpha states that Tracy Tormé wanted her to be a reoccurring character who would have a relationship with Worf as the series progressed. Not a bad combination given how Vulcans have three times the strength of a human. Be nice to see someone focused and unexpressive take on a loud growling Worf. But they said no and decided to go with the "destined for the fridge" and Alexander spawner, K'Ehleyr, coincidently played by the same actress Suzie Plakson.

    A cool female Vulcan officer who only appears in one episode. Ugh, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?????

    I must say though, the funeral in the Transporter room is quite funny. The way Graves indulges himself in Data's body works really well, especially when he shrugs off Picard. This one scene has been a fairly used source for a lot of Trek videos. One parody cleverly put Wesley Crusher's head inside the coffin giving the impression that the crew were burying Wesley alive in space.

    And I know they did this in The Child, but I find it interesting how the Warp effect as seen by the characters through the window bears a striking resemblance to the Trek09 Warp effect. Not a bad way to showcase the Enterprise being faster and more efficient than the older starships by seeing the old warp effect for a second, and entering the more standard warp effect.

    [​IMG]

    STINGER:
    Data: While those who did not know him, loved him from afar.
    Picard: Data....
    Data: I'm almost finished sir.
    Picard: You 'ARE' finished Data.
     
  2. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One of the things that struck me from this episode was - wow, W. Morgan Sheppard looked 80 in 1988 and looks 80 in Star Trek '09. He aged early, and then just stopped, kinda like Wilford Brimley.

    One oddity from the episode - why the big deal about a near-warp transport? Did it really hurt the Enterprise's mission by not jumping into warp just 5 seconds later? Pointless filler. On TVTropes, that'd be called a "big lipped alligator moment"
     
  3. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I love that opening shot of Pulaski in the turbolift.

    This is a brilliant episode in many ways. Spiner and Stewart shine.

    It's just a crying shame that some of the vfx following the HD transfer aren't up to scratch. Why are the clips shown on Data's laptop during the "psycho-metric test" still in HD? Botch job.
     
  4. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    This is a really solid episode about a technology we are likely to have in a few decades in the real world. Despite this miscalculation, the episode is extremely enjoyable, though not exactly great. Some excellent acting, an early chance to see Brent SPiner perform different roles because of his personality change; a Vulcan doctor; a cool set for Ira Graves house with some nice lighting; a very funny funeral sequence; a touch and go beam down/warp; a cool final confrontation with Picard and Data/Ira.

    Some other miscalculations: The robots in Ira's office...really?? They look like they were created during the industrial revolution, talk about steam punk. The computer consoles looked like Atari Pac Man games that were re-purposed.

    The remastering is breathtaking here. The planets at the beginning during the beam down were beautiful. **** rating
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  5. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    You're being too kind. It's back to the stupid, way down from last week's episode.

    At least we get more Suzie Plakson later in the series and in later series, and that's a good thing, too, but you know the episode's in trouble if the best thing about it is a minor character. :lol:
     
  6. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    I also enjoy how Graves is not a traditional "mad scientist". He certainly isn't pleasant though to which extent the disease has effected him is unknown. He is motivated, he wants survival and a chance to be with his assistant, but it's played at a toned down level. What Graves must have been thinking when a mobile computer presented itself to him!
     
  7. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Is that sarcasm? Have a look back at the scene in Data's quaters where he takes a psycho-metric test!
     
  8. Mott the barber

    Mott the barber Commodore Commodore

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    I really enjoyed Selar. She could have been a great recurring (or permanent) character and played a Vulcan well. She was also nice on the eyes as an added bonus!

    Also a big fan of the onboard warp jump. I believe it was only used one other time after this in "The Vengeance Factor" of all episodes.
     
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was a good idea for an episode but the dialog was cringe-inducing at points.
     
  10. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    :p

    Some of the FX were noticebly off later in the episode, but the episode in general looks fantastic, and most of the planet scenes were good.

    RAMA
     
  11. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Brent Spiner is really exceptional in this one, confronted with a script that basically requires him to play Lore V2 he manages to come up with an evil variation on his character that's about as different from his previous attempt as would be possible with the script. This mainly comes down to him being more whinney and petulant in his delivery.

    Overall, it's a nice fun episode with a great comedy scene in the funeral and some real tension in the scenes of the possessed Data acting in a slightly unnerving way.

    The crew are a bit dim, but the strengths of the episode outweigh the weaknesses to create a enjoyable bit of fluff.
     
  12. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think Ira was evil. Misguided perhaps but he meant no harm. Don't we all want to live forever (even if Trans-humanism seems a little scary)?
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The "touch and go" transporting stunt makes a weird sort of internal sense. In "Best of Both Worlds", our heroes dropped out of warp on the outskirts of the Sol system - and then had to spend almost half an hour crawling towards Earth, even though we know warp drive can safely be engaged in low Earth orbit or even within Earth atmosphere! It could well be much like landing an aircraft in the Antarctic or on a soft jungle strip: it's a poor idea indeed to stop for any length of time, let alone shut down the engines... You can usually get airborne again, but the more you "relax", the harder the return to air.

    Nothing the writers intended, of course. But Trek has plenty of examples of warp being incredibly slow within star systems. Not necessarily impossible, or even risky, but slow as molasses. Usually, these are not by design: the writer just wanted a long chase or a desperate run towards a goal, and ignored the fact that the distances involved were extremely short. But if we assume star systems are indeed made of molasses, as far as warp drives are concerned, then we need

    - touch-and-go downwarping
    - shuttlecraft rides from the outskirts of systems to inner planets and back, even when there would be a perfectly good mothership available
    - extreme emergency interplanetary trips that take hours
    - etc.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Selar is a favorite of mine and actually the only reason I even remember this episode these days. She was THAT good! I was bummed that she never reappeared again when TNG was usually very good with bringing back reoccurring characters. I guess TNG was still very reluctant at using Vulcans at that point.

    Suzie Plakson rocks whether she is playing a Vulcan, a Klingon, or a Q!
     
  15. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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  16. Mott the barber

    Mott the barber Commodore Commodore

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