Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 7 Episode 17

Masks

3
Aired Unknown Feb 21, 1994 on CBS
6.9
out of 10
User Rating
182 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: 47615.2 The Enterprise is slowly transformed into an ancient alien temple when Data discovers an alien archive full of information about an ancient culture. Shortly after opening the archive, Data becomes possessed with several different personalities.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A throwback... to about 4000 years ago

    7.0
    TNG continues to seek out strange, new stories and boldly go where no Trek has gone before with this abstract tale that begins as an archeological mystery and plays out like an ancient morality play. The script allows Spiner to play several characters, which he does well, and features them and Picard in a war of words. The concept of a ritual play seems out of place in the modern world of television, and the irony is that the many cultures who would have probably appreciated this story the most have long since died out. As such, "Masks" will never be mentioned as one of the best of this series, though it's certainly not an embarrassment. It's an enigma; the sort of episode some fans won't remember but others will never forget.moreless
  • Nice creepy atmosphere, though it fades at the end.

    7.5
    This episode appears not to be popular with fans for whatever reason, but I think it's rather successful. Certainly, it creates plenty of eerie atmosphere, though I think some truly bad things could have occurred besides turning the Enterprise into a jungle. And the story itself is a fascinating concept, one that generates plenty of fuel on its own.



    Brent Spiner's ability to play "sinister Data" might have been overplayed at this point, but it's tolerable at this point. At the end, Picard the archaeologist takes over, and the ending is satisfying in some way.



    That said, this episode does slow down a little at the end; not sure why, but it feels like the story could have been more dramatic. Maybe a human sacrifice, given how horrible Masaka apparently is?moreless
  • Data gains multiple personalities and mysterious artefacts beam aboard the Enterprise.

    8.5
    This episode is one of my favouries of the series. Sure, many people in the Star Trek and Sci-Fi universe have been over-run by an artefact of some kind and had multiple personalities in their head, but could anyone else have pulled it off better than Brent Spiner? His portrayel of many personalities in Data was just brilliant. The investigation of what was happening to Data and the artefacts being beamed onto the Enterprise was a great story too; trying to link the two events occuring. Even how some personalities in Data recognised some of the crew as enemies, leaders or comrads. A different type of episode for a story done many times in many TV shows.moreless
  • The “Enterprise” is investigating a comet that is 87 years old. While doing a sensor scan on the comet alien artifacts start appearing aboard the “Enterprise”. Riker and Geordi discover that some alien code has been download to the computer.moreless

    7.0
    The “Enterprise” is investigating a comet that is 87 years old. While doing a sensor scan on the comet alien artifacts start appearing aboard the “Enterprise”. Riker and Geordi discover that some alien code has been download to the computer. Data has also been affected. Data complains of feeling weird. Geordi runs a diagnostic on Data’s positronic matrix. Data starts acting weird as if he is possessed by some entity. Before long, ninety percent of the ship has transformed into something else. Picard has figured out a way to change everything back. But, will it work.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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Crusher and Troi seem totally okay with the fact that a mysterious artifact inexplicably appears in Deanna's locked quarters at the beginning of the episode. They don't seem at all curious who broke into Deanna's quarters to put it there.

    • Toward the end of the episode, when the corridor Picard and Data are in shifts into a temple, a staircase forms upwards, and both end up at the top. Yet when the ship later reverts to what it was, there is no incline or decline anywhere near their location.

    • Why are Geordi and Worf working on a photon torpedo right next to the warp core, rather than the torpedo bay, where it would be safer?  As can be seen in the shot the warp core is only a few meters from where they are working, and with everything being changed by the alien library, how do Geordi and Worf know that the library will not detonate the torpedo?

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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