Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 7

Lonely Among Us

Aired Unknown Nov 02, 1987 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
267 votes
  • While delivering diplomats from two feuding species to a neutral meeting, the Enterprise encounters a mysterious energy cloud, that, one-by-one, takes control of senior crew members. Not a classic, but some reasonable moments...

    This review contains spoilers.

    Although definitely not a 'Next Generation' classic, "Lonely Among Us" in my opinion delivers a reasonable story. Coming after "Where No Man Has Gone Before", which I personally loved, whether you like "Lonely..." or not, I think it definitely shows signs of the series finally finding it's own footing, feeling far more polished than the horribly "plasticy" feeling early entries.

    The story, of the alien cloud entity jumping from one member of the crew to another, is not really anything new in 'Trek' lore. It is handled reasonably, but I did find it a bit dragged out in some places. However, things do pick up for the climax, where it takes control of Picard himself, and beams him/it away into the energy cloud. Cue some not really believable but watchable developments of Picard now being in energy form inside the ship's circuitry, allowing Data to conveniently find a way to beam him back into his human form, allowing all to be well for another episode.

    Although nothing special, I disagree with some reviewers that the alien costumes for the two alien species, and find that they do the job adequately considering the modest 1987 TV budget.
    Speaking of these visiting aliens, something that I have always remembered for this episode is the sequence where Riker is walking along a corridor, only for a leash to suddenly be put around his neck, and a couple of the aliens to appear and say "Sorry, wrong species!". I don't know why, but this moment has always stuck in my mind.

    I'm not sure why, but I really liked "guest engineer" Mr. Singh when I was young, and was disappointed when he was killed off. For all of its cultural diversity, 'Trek' has never really had a strong Indian male character (that I can recall).

    But of course, the most notable element of this story, is Data's discovery of Sherlock Holmes. It is about this point that the writers & Brent Spiner really start to get a handle on the character, and it makes for some really amusing scenes.

    The episode has other good moments too – I like the bridge being engulfed in disabling blue energy at the climax of the story. In all, "Lonely Among Is" is no classic, and not an outstanding favourite of mine, but it isn't all that bad either, and I don't think it deserves the low rating some give it. I give this episode a fair 8 out of 10.