Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 11


Aired Unknown Nov 30, 1987 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
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  • 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...

    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.