This Troi episode attempts to be a sci fi horror thriller but comes across as a convoluted yawner with poor special effects. There are some nice touches (the morgue scene with Dr. Crusher might have the creepiest moment in the history of Star Trek), but also a lack of energy and cohesion. (It didn't help that the episode originally ran nine minutes too long and had to have some pretty big pieces cut out of it for television.) While there are worse Troi episodes, there are certainly quite a few better ones as well.
.... Usually the Troi-centered episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation are not the jewels of the franchise but "Night Terrors" is a pretty good episode. Basically, the Enterprise gets caught in a rift in space (the same rift that saw another ship get stuck and its crew gone mad) and can no longer experience REM sleep. This makes the crew become paranoid, hallucinate and get altogether dangerous all except Troi (who is trying to communicate with the other ships' Betazoid to find answers) and Data, who doesn't need sleep.
"Night Terrors" has a thick atmosphere and an effective, creepy mood; featuring some of the most shocking and scary scenes of the entire series (yes, morgues are just as scary in the 24th Century). The ending isn't exactly interesting or thrilling but it's great to see Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis give some fantastic performances - Brent Spiner in particular gives probably the most interesting performance in the episode with a heartfelt (for Data, anyway) effort.
TNG tried its hand at horror a few times during the run of the series, and this is probably the best attempt. It's an excellent psychological thriller, and even when we find out that there's a "perfectly reasonable scientific explanation (TM)" the tension continues to climb. The crew - particularly Patrick Stewart and Gates McFadden - do a great job of portraying the crew's gradual descent into madness.
There are two particularly powerful, intense sequences - Worf's attempted suicide and Beverly's hallucination in the morgue. Guinan's sheriff scene in Ten Forward injects some levity.
TNG often struggled to find satisfying conclusions to its best episodes - given a seemingly insurmountable challenge, the writers often used "outs" that seemed like cop-outs. I would put this episode's conclusion into that category. Not bad, but I would have liked something better.
The “Enterprise” finds the “Brattain” a science ship adrift in space. It seems that the crew went crazy and ended each others life. Only one survivor, a betazoid male who is catatonic keeps mumbling about “eyes in the dark one moon circling”.
The “Enterprise” finds the “Brattain” a science ship adrift in space. It seems that the crew went crazy and ended each others life. Only one survivor, a betazoid male who is catatonic keeps mumbling about “eyes in the dark one moon circling”. Later Dr Crusher finds people on the “Enterprise” are unable to remember their dreams. Upon further study she find something is stopping REM sleep, but she does not know why. The “Enterprise” is now adrift in space. Will the mystery be solved or will the “Enterprise” suffer the same fate. I rate this one a 8.9.
After finding the USS Brattain, and her dead crew, the Enterprise crew begins experiencing strange things aboard their own ship. Troi is having nightmares. The key lies with a single survivor from the Brattain.
This episode was one of the best of the fourth season (not counting the conclusion of the Best of Both Worlds). Many of the strange goings-on aboard the Enterprise were unnerving, with the morgue scene being downright creepy.
The only annoying part of this episode was the recurring nightmare that Troi was having. The frequency with which we saw that dream was a bit much, considering that little changed in the whispers that were heard from the aliens.
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