Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 5 Episode 22

Imaginary Friend

5
Aired Unknown May 04, 1992 on CBS
6.5
out of 10
User Rating
166 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: 45852.1

While exploring a strange form of energy in a region of space, a little girl's imaginary friend becomes real and places the Enterprise in great danger.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This one probably won't make any top ten lists

    5.5
    With shades of "And the Children Shall Lead" from the original series (and if there's an episode that doesn't need to be repeated, it's that one) this kiddie episode is one of TNG's periodic reminders that the Enterprise D is a ship with children. The kids themselves aren't bad actors. (Actually, Noley Thornton is quite good as Clara.) But the episode makes the classic mistake of being more about guest stars we don't care about than the regulars we do. (That said, Troi is used well and has some good moments.) Thornton would return to the Star Trek universe to play another child in Deep Space Nine's "Shadowplay", which has a much better script than this forgettable offering.moreless
  • Dull.

    6.0
    TNG's kid episodes were usually not very good; I like "Rascals" and "The Offspring", but the writers really struggled to portray children stories in a convincing manner. (Maybe this is a personal blind spot, and a child would feel differently.)



    This one is particularly annoying. "The Bonding" and "Hero Worship" were at least about the relationship between a cast member and a kid - here Clara Sutter dominates the episode. I don't blame the child actor, who does a pretty good job. But the story is quite ho hum, with yet another "energy life form" threatening to destroy the ship.



    Completely skippable.moreless
  • But the approach is different and watchable

    8.0
    This is quality version based on the theme of first contact w/ non-coporeal beings. The model is as you would expect. Low key first contact w/ a non-prepared member of the crew. An clumsy exchange ensues between both parties. Misunderstandings follow with the crew and ship ending on collision course to destruction before Picard takes the reigns and convinces the aliens that they are no threat.



    What works really well here is the context that the story is played out in. The actresses playing Clara Sutter and Isabella do a very polished job of bringing their characters to life. I really enjoyed the use of a child's imaginary friend as the host of the inquistive/aggressive alien life-form. Also the girl's relationship with the "img friend" and the various encounters w/ adult crew members are good viewing and also prove enjoyable.



    Many wont however. Those that dont may enjoy the low key action that unfolds and the growing threat levels that the manifestation presents.



    We do see a number of "new" locations throughout the ship and Guynan has a brief role to play.



    Overall its the sort of episode I like, and it was one of my favourites. If you dont mind a remake on a theme and like the subject matter. If you do mind then you may not enjoy this, or enjoy it as much as I did.moreless
  • A “Enterprise” resident known as Clara Sutter has a imaginary friend. Clara is a young girl who has been moving from ship to ship with her dad Daniel Sutter. Her dad is worried that his daughter may have problems,moreless

    6.8
    A “Enterprise” resident known as Clara Sutter has a imaginary friend. Clara is a young girl who has been moving from ship to ship with her dad Daniel Sutter. Her dad is worried that his daughter may have problems, so he sets up a appointment with Counselor Troi. Troi informs Daniel that this is normal. The imaginary friend known as Isabella becomes alive. Isabella is interested in going into areas of the ship Clara is not allowed. Troi thinks it is all Clara making this up. She searches Clara’s room and finds a little surprise, Isabella is alive.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

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Shay Astar

Shay Astar

Isabella

Guest Star

Jeff Allin

Jeff Allin

Daniel Sutter

Guest Star

Noley Thornton

Noley Thornton

Clara Sutter

Guest Star

Brian Bonsall

Brian Bonsall

Alexander

Recurring Role

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Guinan

Recurring Role

Patti Yasutake

Patti Yasutake

Alyssa Ogawa

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (naming a rare nebula) Geordi: Now, I was thinking about something more along the lines of the LaForge Nebula. It has sort of majestic sound, don't you think?
      Data: Given the selections, I prefer FGC147.

    • Data: (to Guinan as they stare at the clouds) It is interesting that people try to find meaningful patterns in things that are essentially random. I have noticed that the images they perceive can sometimes suggest what they are thinking about at that particular moment. Besides, it is clearly a bunny rabbit.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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