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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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