Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 11

Haven

9
Aired Unknown Nov 30, 1987 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

6.6
out of 10
Average
250 votes
  • Haven

    3.0
    I was going to say, there's nothing worse than heavy-handed moralizing, but that's not true. There are plenty of things worse. Paper cuts. Tax bills. Dying alone and unloved. Lwaxana Troi.



    Shudder.



    I have a lot of positive memories of TNG, but even when I was a kid, even when my critical faculties were in their nascent stage and I thought movie novelizations were better than movies because they lasted longer--even then, I didn't much care for Lwaxana Troi. She was always in those boring "character-driven" story-lines, and she was loud and pushy and she hit on Captain Picard a lot, which was really gross. As an adult, I can say that my opinion on character-driven stories has changed significantly, and that loud isn't the problem it once was. But Lwaxana is just as one note as ever, the kind of shrill unfunny that tries to assault the audience into acceptance, and yes, hitting on Picard, still gross.



    I didn't realize "Haven" was the first Lwaxana episode, and I'm going to blame all of you, even if you have mentioned it in the comments, because you clearly didn't prepare me. I have a habit of yelling at the screen when I'm annoyed or overly frustrated, and I yelled so much watching this you could imagine it was one of those television dramas from Fahrenheit 451, the kind where you send in for a script so you could play along at home. When I was a kid, I imagined every time I didn't like something I was watching, that was my fault, that I was missing out or having an overly emotional reaction to something other people could enjoy more fully. I'm still not entirely sure this isn't true. Maybe there are people who though this episode was entirely hilarious. Me? I've had more entertaining (and shorter) dental appointments.



    Did you know Deanna has a mother? And she's fucking insane. The Enterprise is orbiting the planet of Haven, a planet which gives the episode its title but which we'll never actually see at surface level. While everyone else on the ship prepares for some R & R, Deanna is waiting to greet guests in the Transporter Room. There's Mom, and that's bad enough, but possibly worse is Deanna's potential husband, a man she's never met but who she's betrothed to via an arrangement that is never satisfactorily explained. I think we're supposed to assume it's a typical arranged marriage, but what does either side stand to gain? Wyatt, Deanna's temporary love interest to be, is a human, not a Betazoid, and since he's already a doctor I don't imagine his family is looking for some kind of social upgrade. Lwaxana clearly despises Wyatt's parents, and they her. Were names drawn out of a hat?



    Like so much bad writing, too much is assumed, and it's only going to get worse. We get comic relief with Lwaxana's arrogance, comic relief with her meddling with Picard, and some tepid attempts at romantic intrigue between Riker and Deanna. Oh, and there's Wyatt's mild disappointment in Deanna because she doesn't look like the dream woman he's been obsessing over since he was a child. All of this should be dramatic but it isn't. The Riker/Deanna/Wyatt triangle is one conversation and a few pointed looks, and it doesn't even resolve properly because Wyatt leaves before there's any actual conflict.



    Issues with Lwaxana aside, the script here is also so, so weak. While everybody's all a'flutter about the upcoming nuptials, a Tarellian ship appears and starts towards Haven. The Tarellians were thought to be extinct, wiped out by their own biological weapons, and this new ship isn't making contact with Haven or anyone, which makes the leader of Haven a little nervous. During the exposition dump, aka meeting of the main crew, we learn the Tarellians are a none-too-subtle criticism of modern war-mongering, but since the survivors we meet are peaceful and personality free, this revelation is as of little consequence as anything else.



    Gah, let's get through this. Wyatt's dream girl is a Tarellian named Ariana, and the Tarellians, all eight of them, are actually at Haven to meet Wyatt. Why? How was this contact made? Why is the Tarellian ship full of sketches of Wyatt at various stages of development? No freakin' clue. The closest thing we get to an explanation is Lwaxana telling Wyatt that space and thought are one. Which, apart from being a sort of call back to Wesley's INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS COMMENT in "Where No One Has Gone Before," is meaningless. You might as well just come out and say, "Just because," or "A wizard did it," or Wyatt beams aboard the Tarellian ship, forever separating himself from all he knows and loves, and maybe there's a prophecy or something, I don't know. It's creepy, but no one seems to realize it's creepy.



    Look, I'm sure Majel Barrett was a lovely human being, and her Nurse Chapel wasn't so bad. Hell, maybe Lwaxana calms down in later seasons. But here, in this episode, she is agonizing, and the fact that the episode which surrounds her is full of lazy shoulder shrugs and half-finished ideas. If I'd been watching this when it first aired, if "Naked Now" hadn't been enough to turn me away, this might've done it. The silver box that delivers messages was cool, and I laughed at Data's fascination with sniping during the dinner scene, but aside from that, I kind of wanted to die.
  • One of my favourite Episodes

    8.2
    Deanna discovers she is to be married. Cue the obligatory spat with Ryker towards the middle of the episode. This one of the highlights when Wyatt has a bit of fun at the commanders expense - with Deanna feeling a little awkward.

    Of course one of the main aspects of this episode is the introduction of Trois mother. Yes I agree she is annoying, but that is the whole point of the character. She makes me laugh when she places the crew in so many awkward situations. its never dull when she is aboard! As for her valet.... one of my favourite returning characters! Another great aspect of this episode is how Data acts. Bret still hasnt removed his emotional take on the cmdrs face - which makes him more amusing. The scene where Data asks them to continue 'their bickering' after Deanna's stiff rebuke and storming out has the rest of the crew holding their heads in their hands and making me laugh even more.

    Apart from Deanna marriage, the other plot in this episode is Wyatts dream woman who belongs to a race of inflicted outcasts whose ship is on its way to rendezvous with the planet Haven. Nothing spectacular here, but a good source of additional information of the "universes" other inhabitants and provides some good backstory to the whole thing.

    One of my favourite episodes.
  • Deanna's mother, Lwaxana, pays a surprise visit to the Enterprise and announces the pre-arranged marriage of Deanna to the son of Lwaxana's late husband's best friend.

    5.5
    "Haven" tries to hide its silly, predictable, plot with lots of comedy; and it almost gets away with it thanks to a great performance from Majel Barrett (making her debut as Lwaxana) and comedic gold from Brent Spiner. Marina Sirtis gives it her all too, but it's a lost cause. The writers wouldn't really be able to deliver a good Troi episode until the second season. (On a side note, watch for Armin Shimerman – who would go on to be Quark on Deep Space Nine - as the face of the Betazoid Gift Box at the beginning of the episode.)
  • The start of two terrible TNG trends -- the obligatory Deanna Troi "relationship" episode and Majel Barrett as Troi's mom. But not without redeeming features.

    6.5
    In later seasons, TNG improved dramatically. But for whatever reason, the show held on to two awful ideas that were hatched in this episode. First, nearly every episode centering on Troi had the Counselor involved in some ridiculous, lame relationship-oriented plot. Second, the writers decided to cast Majel Barrett as Troi's extremely annoying mother.

    Now, to be fair, Troi's mom hadn't yet turned into the ridiculously over-the-top character she would become in later episodes. And there are some good parts -- especially the dinner sequence, with Mr. Homm banging away at the gong and Data asking the participants to "please continue the petty bickering." The scenes with Picard carrying the suitcases and his parting with Troi's mom are also great. And to my surprise, I found the relationship scenes (Riker with Troi, Troi with Wyatt) to be decent and watchable.

    That said, the whole thing doesn't leave much of an impression. Why should we care about Troi and Riker's romance given that it has barely popped up in the series up until this point?
  • Borning lame tales about Troi's cheesy flings - these are a few of my least favorite things....

    4.0
    O.K..... so apparently Troi has to get married according to an arrangement done by her father.... and what makes things confusing is that Riker actually cares. Wait, what? Two episodes ago Troi was hiding her desire for a romp in the hay in a timid state and Riker was just about bursting out of his Trek spandex with anticipation for the same thing (and then just three episodes after this one, Riker almost gets it on with a female ruler)! Where did this romance come from out of the clear blue sky?

    On top of this random love story, what makes "Haven" a particularly bad episode of season one is its horrible pacing. This episode is the pinnacle of Next Generation boringness! To make the episode worse than just boring, Rob Knepper is cast as Troi's arranged husband-to-be Wyatt, giving a very weak performance, and Majel Barrett is cast as Troi's HUGELY annoying mother Lwaxana. Just about everyone ends up looking bad though - Picard looks like a fool carrying Lwaxana's luggage, Riker looks like a pouty child because Troi will be taken off the dating market (but he didn't care about such things before or after this episode), and Lwaxana easily steamrolls over the competition as the character who ends up looking like the biggest fool. One scene does feature an amusing Data - ever so intrigued by the dysfunction of the Troi family at the rehearsal dinner - and that begins and ends the positive things regarding this episode.
  • Troi finds she is about to enter an arranged marriage. Tensions mount when the families – including Troi's overpowering mother – arrive on the ship, and also when a plague ship arrives in the meeting zone. A few okay moments, but a pretty limp episode...

    6.5
    This review contains moderate spoilers.

    'Haven'... ah yes, this would be the start of the show's ship-bound "character" episodes that they would do occasionally (and were never one of my favourite aspects of the series).

    The only real note of this episode is the introduction of Majel Barrett (key in the 'Star Trek' universe which I surely don't need to go through here) as Troi's overpowering, brash mother Lwaxana. It's probably a like-her-or-loathe-her part, but you can't deny that Barrett gives it her all. Personally, I like the character, but found that her actual episodes were never all that much cop; better suited to a comedy b-plot at most. For a silent character, her non-talking manservant, Mr. Homm, is also quite fun.

    I don't mind the show attempting different things, but this story feels to be all over the place. At some points, it plays as a mild comedy of manners (or not, in Lwaxana's case), which is fairly amusing; the dinner scene stands out, and for a "serious" actor, Patrick Steward can do subtle comedy quite well.
    But the episode's main tale, about Troi's bridegroom, who expected her to look like a woman he has been dreaming about for years, is brushed over and not developed in a remotely satisfying manner. We are never even feel to be properly introduced to the bridegroom, Wyatt, and the arrival of the survivors of a terrible plague, led by the woman in Wyatt's dreams, feels like it should be fascinating, but the plot is never really explained at all, leaving you rather scratching your head afterwards. How did the even dream about each other in the first place? It's not even hinted at.

    As I say, elements of the plot feel as if they should be fascinating, but beyond the few comedy of manners scenes, the story verges on out-and-out boring at some points. With due respect to Marina Sirtis, Troi is hardly the most interesting of characters at the best of times, so I found it hard to fully get my teeth into proceedings from the off.

    There is also mention of the rumoured romance between Riker (called "Bill" an unusually high amount of times in this episode, the last episode his is called this, I believe) and Troi, which was never really fleshed out and to an extent soon disappeared from the bulk of the series. There's no Worf or Wes, the whole episode (bar one brief scene at the end on the plague ship) is entirely Enterprise-bound, but hey, check out Tasha's funky 80's hairdo during the dinner scene!

    In fairness, the episode is better than those first few terrible (and vaguely offensive) offerings of TNG, it certainly feels more confident and polished, but it feels to me like it should, at most, have been an amusing b-story to a different, beefier plot. So I'm amazed that some hold this episode in such high regard, citing it as the "best episode of season one". Personally, although not the worst episode of TNG, I can only give this one a 6.5.
  • An enjoyable and engaging comedy piece, offset by a slightly nonsensical plot

    6.4
    'Haven' is actually one of the more entertaining episodes of the early first season I have to admit. The plot itself doesn't bear much scrutiny, but there's still a lot to enjoy in this amiable romantic comedy that wisely keeps the characters at the forefront.

    Although she was loathed by many, I always kind of like Lwaxana Troi and I stand by that. Majel Barret is simply perfect in the role and she sparkles in this episode. Yes, Lwaxana can be a bit annoying - she's meant to be! But she's written with infectious enjoyment and irreverence and I loved every scene she was in here, particularly her flirting with Picard, who was very rigid and uptight at this point in the series.

    The story, involving Wyatt and his visions of the Tarellian woman...well, it doesn't make much sense, frankly and there's very little explanation offered as to why Wyatt is linked with the Tarellian. But that aside, the family drama (or comedy, rather) is engaging and fun and I loved the wedding reception scene...lots of little comedy embellishments make it a joy to watch. Unfortunately, Marina Sirtis still seems uncomfortable in her role here and I'd forgotten how stiff and unlikable Riker was before he got the beard, so the Riker/Troi scenes weren't particularly effective.

    But if you can suspend your disbelief and get over the fact that the plot ultimately makes little sense, there's still plenty to enjoy in this low-key but enjoyable comedy piece.
  • troys is suprise by the arrival of her mother

    10
    troys mother comes and aboard the enterpriser to see her daughter. when she arrives she gives troy a rose. that changes colour depending on what mood you are feeling. she has come aboard because on the arrange marriage for her daughter. when the family of the groom arrive on board there is bickering between the two families. a ship is on its why to the plantet haven. on the ship there is a woman who the groom has always dream off. the groom beams aboard the ship where the sail away. the wedding is called off. when troys mother beams off the ship she looks at picard and tells him that he is thinking naughty thoughts about her. in which troy says that her mother is just joking. i dont find it funny troy. its a good scene.
  • Best episode of season 1

    10
    This was the best episode of season 1. I loved Lwaxana Troi. Majel Barret had her down. And sooooooo funny. Troi's irritation with her mother is probably the same as most kids with their parents. I loved everything about this episode. She had better episodes but this was the first.
  • The Enterprise meets up with Counselor Troi's mother and find out that Troi is to be married to Wyatt. The Talerians show up with a woman that Wyatt has had dreams about. Wyatt seems to have found his destiny and leaves with them in hopes to find a cure.

    7.0
    A pretty good episode, the first one we get to see Counselor Troi's mother. Cant we all relate to Wyatt in this one? ...I think theres a mother-in-law like this for every one of us.

    I think the Talerian's are especially interesting because they seem to be a reference to modern day humans. They developed a weapon because they were at war with eachother (their own race...racism perhaps?) and unleashed it on eachother and killing themselves in the process. I definately think this is supposed to make us take a look at what is going on around us. ;D

    ...and that kiss is Troi and her mother....;D ...you can see Riker laughing in the background..they must have been joking about how uncomfortable it was off camera.
  • Another Recommended Episode...

    10
    Mrs. Troi, played by Majep Barrett (one of four characters that she plays that I know of...) is in this episode. She visits the Enterprise each year. She is a Betazoid Ambassador, Daughter Of The Fifth House, Holder Of The Sacred Challace Of Rixx, Heir To The Holy Rings Of Betazed. She his hilarious. I She says and does many things that are very funny, like when she introduces her plant to Mrs. Miller. "Gently!! Gently!! Oh, You Poor Baby, Did She Hurt You??" And Mr. Homn is funny, too. In this episode, Deanna calls Riker, "Bill". The ceremony takes place in the officer's lounge, since Ten Forward wasn't finished yet. Notice that Ten Forward is used as a lot of things. It is usually a dining area, but sometimes concerts and plays are held there, and one time part of it was used for Mr. President's office.
  • Troi now gets her spotlight.

    8.0
    Diana Troi is given a message that the ceremony will soon begin for the marraige of her and Wyatt Miller. And so the families roll in but the one person that Troi calls "eccentric" makes an unforgettable appearance: Her mother. Wyatt isn't satisfied of Deanna because he thought of her to be somebody else. But once a Tarellian ship appears, which everyone thought those people were extinct, the dream woman is on the ship looking for Wyatt.

    It's a fun episode with family disfunction and Data is loving it "Could you please continue the petty bickering?" Love it how TNG always gives a break once and awhile with these episodes. Recommended.

    I give this 4 out of 5 stars. (8.0 on TV.com)
  • The first appearance of... the mother.

    8.5
    Deanna's and Riker's feelings, along with the Terallian thing, can be ignored in this episode. What makes this episode strong is, you guessed it, Lwaxanna. For one thing, Majel Barret is a wonderful actress and a Star Trek staple. She also provides the overbearing mother that every wedding needs. But she also shows a compassionate and understanding side to Wyatt. You can tell that she obviously doesn't want her daughter to marry a man who obviously loves another passionately. While seeming to be difficult, Lwaxanna solves the whole darn problem.
  • Counselor Troi’s mother , Lwaxana pays the “Enterprise” a unexpected visit. A preplanned wedding is in the works. Troi is getting married and does not know the groom. The groom is known as Wyatt. Troi does not look anything like Wyatt expected.

    7.9
    Counselor Troi’s mother , Lwaxana pays the “Enterprise” a unexpected visit. A preplanned wedding is in the works. Troi is getting married and does not know the groom. The groom is known as Wyatt. Troi does not look anything like Wyatt expected. Commander Riker is jealous. He is hurt by Troi wanting to proceed with the wedding. Data becomes amused with the constant bickering between the groom parent’s and Lwaxana. The wedding is going to be on Betazed. A Tarellian vessel hails the “Enterprise”. Wyatt’s dream woman is aboard the vessel. Is there going to be a cat fight?
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