Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 18

Home Soil

Aired Unknown Feb 22, 1988 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
228 votes
  • The Episode Starts Well Enough...

    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.
  • Second half lets down the first....

    "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.
  • Essentially this is a poor man's 'Devil in the Dark'

    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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • Its life Jim, er Data!

    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.
  • Star Trek in general handled non-humanoid life forms poorly, and this is no exception.

    There isn't much to be said for this episode. The first half begins as a sort of murder mystery, and the second half of the episode features a "war" between the denizens of the Enterprise and the mysterious new lifeform they have encountered. It's not awful, but none of it is particularly compelling. Terraforming is not particularly interesting (at least to me) and the terraformers are not much better. As far as the aliens -- they may be sentient beings, but their presentation in this episode is completely one-dimensional and beyond the novelty of sentient sand there just isn't any substance.

    Perhaps the one somewhat interesting scene is the one with Data, Dr. Crusher and Picard in the lab -- as they slowly realize exactly what they are dealing with.
  • In this episode the away team beam down too Velara III where a group of terraformers are working to transform the seemingly desolate planet into one capable of supporting life. But unknowingly the terraformers are harming a new type of lifeform.

    If you are for discovering new life forms this episode is a must see. The away team beam down to Velara III to check on a group of terraformers. A laser malfunctions causing data to find a intriguing flashing particle. The flashing particle is beam aboard the "Enterprise" to the medical lab. It turns out the particle is non organic , but yet alive. It can duplicate itself and highly intelligent The terraformers unkowingly have been killing this lifeform. The lifeform takes revenge and declare war. Too find out more watch this episode. I give it a 6.9 rating
  • Back to basics; what TNG is all about.

    Captain Picard sends an away team to Velara III where a group of terraformers are making a dead planet become capable of supporting life. Odd things are happening like their own laser tools killing one of its people. The away team later finds out that a lifeform exists on this planet and was defending itself from the terraformers.

    After two easily forgetable episodes we are given this one which gets back to basics with what the show is all about, to seek out new life and new civilizations. I recommend this episode.

    I give this episode 4 out of 5 stars. (8.0 on