Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 18

Home Soil

9
Aired Unknown Feb 22, 1988 on CBS
7.0
out of 10
User Rating
219 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: 41463.9 The Enterprise has been asked by the Federation to check in on the progress made by scientists terraforming the planet Velara III, whose communications have been spotty. For some reason, the chief scientist is a bit on edge. Counselor Troi, using her ability, senses that the scientist is hiding something.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Episode Starts Well Enough...

    5.0
    I really liked the first part of this episode up to the point that the first technician died and Data had to avoid being killed himself. The Terra-forming team seemed likable and could have been expanded upon. But after Data and Geordi discovered the lifeform, the crew that terrorized it was put mostly into the background, except a scene where Riker consoles one of them which was well done.



    The life form's speech was simple but effective, however the rest of the episode past the point of its discovery flatlined and failed to deliver on several opportunities for character development. The fact that inorganic life was unknown was rather strange as Kirk's Enterprise had already encountered several beings like that. Even Q while he takes the form of living beings can be considered inorganic because his race is nothing but energy. All of these established facts and ideals were thrown out the window, and Picard needs to right another wrong accidentally caused by humans.



    I give it a mediocre on a decent delivery, but a nosedive at the halfway point that was salvageable.moreless
  • Second half lets down the first....

    6.5
    "Home Soil" is not a bad first season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation but the poor conclusion to a mostly good opening half takes the episode down a few pegs.



    This episode has a couple of problems that many of the first season episodes have: bad supporting performances and a few boring scenes. Every actor not playing one of the main Enterprise characters is awful in the episode, except for Walter Gotell (better known to James Bond fans as General Gogol) who makes a good showing. Also, the scene explaining terraforming in the episode makes for a good power nap - talk about uninteresting sci-fi snooze time. The episode perks right up when a scientist is mysteriously killed by a machine and that machine tries to kill Data. Then the Enterprise crew tries to get to the bottom of the murder as Data and Geordi discover an odd life form. Good stuff.



    However, then we actually get to this life form which takes up the rest of the episode's time and ends up being very uninteresting. The first half of "Home Soil" is pretty good. The second half? Not so much.moreless
  • Essentially this is a poor man's 'Devil in the Dark'

    4.0
    It's hard to shake the feeling that this is nothing more than a re-make of the Original Series classic 'Devil in the Dark', and a rather mediocre one at that.



    The theme is certainly a worthy one, and is one of many Trekkian explorations of what constitutes the nature of 'life'. Unfortunately, the plot is pretty much 'Devil in the Dark' verbatim, with only the setting changed. And it's an uninvolving, plodding and unconvincing episode which pretty much failed to hold my interest.



    I found the whole 'jeopardy' aspect, when the 'micro-brain' (wasn't that what Q called Worf?) threatens the ship almost laughably unconvicing. I just didn't buy it for a second. It all seemed horribly overwrought and any sense of danger or mencace was extremely phoney. 'At this rate it'll tear the ship apart!' Riker exclaims at one point...when in fact, all the entity had done was escape from its petrie dish. Calm down, boy!



    It's played earnestly enough, but ultimately 'Home Soil' is let down by the fact it's both wholly unoriginal and wholly lacklustre. Even the episode's title is kind of dull.moreless
  • The Enterprise has been asked to check in on the progress made by scientists terraforming a planet, but counselor Troi senses that someone is hiding something.

    7.0
    This is TNG's version of the original series episode, "The Devil in the Dark". The first half of this "Home Soil", a murder mystery, is exciting and interesting, although most of the guest stars leave something to be desired. (The exception is Walter Gotell, who plays Director Kurt Mandi, and who is so good he makes the others look that much worse.) The second half, which deals with "new life and new civilizations", is very talky and doesn't have as much excitement. TNG would revisit the plot this episode in third and sixth seasons, with "Evolution" and "The Quality of Life" – both of which deal with the story in a more original and more effective way. That said, for the first season, "Home Soil" isn't a bad episode.moreless
  • Its life Jim, er Data!

    8.0
    One of those episodes that was good but could have been so much better. Like in most of these episode types, the star is the lifeform. Though here its quite laughable looking back at how they implemented it onscreen.



    That aside, the plot has moments of danger, action and excitement. Wish theyd shown us Data vs the Lasers fight!



    Dialogue gets somewhat repetitive,especially around the subject of the non-carbon based life.



    The ending does leave one with a good sense of resonance mainly because of the threat posed by the humans as well as the alien threat on the humans. Worth a watch.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

Denise Crosby

Denise Crosby

Tasha Yar

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Just before the lifeform replicates, Data suggests that it might be scanning them. Picard reacts with shock and asks "why, what would it hope to learn?" Picard's reaction is out of character and illogical given the situation. They had been scanning the lifeform the entire time it was on-board, it would only make sense that it also might be doing the same.

    • Since when is it the duty of the Chief Medical Officer to be in charge of First Contact procedure? Dr. Crusher is the main person to start dialog with the inorganic creatures, even though Picard is present. Picard does speak occasionally, but he does so in a rather aggressive tone of voice and only after the creatures take an offensive stance.

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (1)

    • Data tells the bridge crew, including Dr. Crusher, that humans are about 90% water. This is incorrect: humans are about 70% water. At least Data and Dr. Crusher should know the correct figure.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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