This horror episode opens with a chaotic scene in sickbay that leaves no doubt who's in charge: Dr. Crusher. There's no doubt who's in charge of the rest of the episode, either: the director, Gates McFadden. The meat of this episode, which serves as her directorial debut, features Picard and Data, and like the opening teaser, the plot (which is pretty shoddy science) is carried out with over the top acting.
Like sixth season's "Timescape", the episode takes us away from the ship for a brief time (via a shuttlecraft) so we can return to it and approach the drama from a different angle to heighten the suspense and intrigue. This sets the table for frightening encounters that McFadden plays up for all their worth - and which features visually stunning transformations which are a must see.
It's just too bad that the writers didn't combine this and the previous episode, "Eye of the Beholder", into a hybrid dream episode where the broad acting and the implausible premise here would make more sense.
TNG dipped its toes into sci fi horror a few times. In this case, we're not talking about any sort of intense psychological tension, but rather cheap scares.
Of course, cheap doesn't necessarily mean bad. There are some genuinely freaky moments here - mostly surrounding Worf - biting Troi's face, spitting on Crusher (yikes!), and the chase of Picard down a Jeffreys tube. We also get Barclay as a spider and Riker as an apeman.
The rest - well, ho hum. It's another "virus infects the crew and make them act crazy" episode, which we'd abandoned since the 2nd season but are now subjected to again.
Lt Barclay thinks something is wrong with him. He goes to Dr Krusher and she says he is overacting. Dr. Krusher checks Barclay anyway and finds he has the Urodean Flu. Dr. Krusher gives Barclay a shot of a synthetic T-Cell.
Lt Barclay thinks something is wrong with him. He goes to Dr Krusher and she says he is overacting. Dr. Krusher checks Barclay anyway and finds he has the Urodean Flu. Dr. Krusher gives Barclay a shot of a synthetic T-Cell. The problem is the T-cell switches on DNA strands known as introns. Introns contain the blueprints for evolution. Picard and Data come back from a photon torpedo recovery. They find the “Enterprise” adrift and slightly rotating in space. The crew has turned into pre-historic beings. Now Data is the only hope in finding a cure for the Barclay syndrome.
This is my all-time favorite episode. Even tho it's a little iffy as to how realistically it could happen, it is science fiction. i think they're allowed to be iffy. Odd that most Broccoli basied episode are among my least favorite, his obsession with Starfleet's medical database makes me laugh, as i am too an acute hypochondriac. i have a weird symptom and i run to the computer to find out what it coudl be. but i stop there and tell myself that just one weird ailment is not a death sentence. i don't go running to the doctor. of course if it was free i probably would.