Inspired by a conversation I was having with my partner after we watched Force of Nature (my verdict: "yeesh") the other night. It led into us discussing our opinion of the different kinds of bad episodes: salvageable and unsalvageable. A salvageable episode is one that has at least a kernel of a good concept, and you think could have at least gone from bad to neutral with some tweaks, whereas an unsalvageable episode is a horrible hot mess you can't think of any way to improve. In my opinion, Man of the People falls in the latter category, because I didn't enjoy a second of it and couldn't think of anything to change that wouldn't make me hate it. I originally thought Force of Nature was unsalvageable as well, but I was convinced into thinking about it more and ultimately changed my mind. The question for this thread: what's an episode from TNG that you think is "salvageable," and what would you change to make it more enjoyable for you? Obviously, this is very subjective, and I'm sure some things I think are good changes would make some people enjoy the episode less...and none of this is to say I think I could do a better job than the writers! My idea for "fixing" Force of Nature would be to up the stakes and make it a little more character-focused. Maybe start the episode with the Enterprise coming across some sort of unexplained destruction to a planet in the sector. Perhaps Picard mentions that he's heard about odd contacts to Starfleet and abuse of the recording system coming from a planet in the sector, but he isn't personally aware of the contents. We cut all the stuff with Data's cat (sorry, Data), keep the stuff with Geordi's contest with the other engineer, and kick off the action with Geordi being abducted from the ship by the alien siblings, rather than them appearing on the Enterprise. Geordi refuses to listen to their assertions about warp drive partly from pride and partly because...y'know, they kidnapped him -- but as Serova demonstrates her research to him, after he runs out of arguments, he starts to get the horrible feeling that she's right. While on the planet, Geordi also gets to see some of the early effects of the subspace disruptions for himself (and actually see something of the society being threatened), and we get to see firsthand that Serova is very capable and intelligent -- Geordi comes to respect her, they have exchanges of ideas, and we even have a hint of a burgeoning (ugh, I know) romance of the week -- but despite the fact that Serova has clearly also warmed to him, and has gotten over her initial kneejerk dislike based on his being part of Starfleet, she seems oddly reticent. We culminate with Geordi learning too late that she's left the planet on a shuttle, and they're forced to watch as she completes the suicide mission she's been secretly planning this whole time -- the ultimate proof of her ideas. And technobabble something something because the warp core breach was an isolated rather than cumulative incident, the rift ends up self-sealing before it can cause damage to the planet -- resolving my massive issue with the fact that someone who would go through such great lengths dedicating her life to exposing the dangers to her planet would then go out and do something that causes massive, possibly-irreparable harm to that planet rather than any other option. It still serves as a vindication of her theories -- and Geordi is able to return to the Enterprise and tell them what he knows, ending the episode on a somber note. Of course, this isn't a full fix in that this kind of change can't just be basically dropped after one episode (only referenced a few more times to little consequence) -- the "warp speed limit" is not at all an interesting consequence, and I'd rather at least see some snippets of them investing time and resources into building a better technology -- if they have theories about technology that could reverse the damage before rifts form, they don't even have to worry about the speed limit, which just slows down the show's action if it's implemented. This makes it less of a good climate change metaphor, but as much of an environmentalist as I am, I think that's a fine sacrifice for more story potential.