Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 6 Episode 4

Relics

7
Aired Unknown Oct 12, 1992 on CBS
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
233 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 46125.3 Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott is discovered suspended in a transporter beam 75 years after he disappeared. After the Enterprise crew re-materialise him, he has a hard time adjusting to the new future.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Scotty's back, and this time it's personal!

    9.0
    While 1992 technology doesn't allow this episode to be as visually amazing as DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations" (which would come in 1996), "Relics" does give Trekkers a small taste of the same sort of nostalgia, thanks to one great visual effects scene and Scotty himself. James Doohan brings his signature mix of humor and warmth to this Scotty/Geordi episode, and the intriguing concept of a Dyson's Sphere is mixed in. In an interesting juxtaposition, the "Scotty" story progresses in a somewhat predictable way while the "Dyson Sphere" is presented in a somewhat backwards (but interesting) way; viewers are introduced to the concept via one at the end of its life, rather than beginning. All in all, the episode does a nice job of blending fun with pathos.moreless
  • Scotty's visit to TNG is decent but nothing special.

    7.5
    Once you get past the nostalgia factor, this episode is unremarkable. You have a potentially interesting scifi concept that's completely wasted (the Dyson Sphere) and a visit by a fun 2nd-tier original series character that is executed in a completely predictable manner.



    I say predictable because Scotty does exactly what you would expect from a "relic" - he complains about the future, bickers with Geordi (their catfights are annoying) and gets drunk on the holodeck. The first time I saw this, I was extremely disappointed.



    That said, once you get past the disappointment at a wasted opportunity, this is not a bad episode. James Doohan is clearly having a lot of fun uttering the canned but nevertheless amusing lines fed to him by the writers. "Synthetic alcohol, synthetic commanders!"moreless
  • It's an "okay" episode, but it comes off a bit desperate...

    5.5
    Was it fun to see Scotty in the 24th century? Sure. Was it entertaining to see Jean-Luc Picard on the bridge of Kirk's Enterprise? Definitely. But this episode reeks too much of a "sweeps stunt" to be really captivating. It seems too much like an idea for an episode that came out of a corporate meeting...



    "Who can we get to guest star?" "Well, what about Shatner or Nimoy?" "Nah, we've done Nimoy and Shatner's probably expensive." "Well, who else can we get?" "We already did De Kelley in the pilot."



    "What about the others?"



    "Well, you probably won't get a lot of tune-in to find out whatever happened to Chekov or Uhura...what about Scotty?"



    "Yeah, let's get him. Someone call the writers and tell 'em to figure out a way to work Scotty into the show."



    It's worth watching, but it's not one of the jewels of the series.moreless
  • God bless Scottie

    9.3
    A sentimental journey to catch up with one of the best loved StarTrek characters. The basic plot premise is that of investigating x, something goes wrong and someone has to save the day. Its the perfect platform for a last swansong for Chief Engineer/Capt Scott.



    The use of a Dysan sphere just elevates this episode even more so.



    Locations are aboard the Enterprise, an old class starship where Scottie is found where else but a transporter buffer and outside and inside a Dysan sphere - oooh!



    A standard approach and follow through for this plot arc is made that much better for the inclusion of James Doohan. Esp. with his scenes with an uptight Jordi, makes me hope I never treat older people like that! On the other hand Picards treatment of Scottie is spot on from the pov of a trekkie like me! :)



    As Scottie boards the shuttle at the end I had a tear in my eye. Great ending to a basic story brought to life by a Star Trek great.



    Do watch this, even if its for sentimental value.moreless
  • The return of SCOTTY! If that’s not reason enough to watch this episode, then you need to turn in your plastic Spock ears!

    7.1
    The basic premise of this story revolves around the fact that the Enterprise discovers a celestial oddity known as a Dyson Sphere. A Dyson Sphere, in effect, is a planetoid-shaped metal frame built AROUND an existing star. It substitutes the star as a planetary core in order to power the entire sphere. Let that sink in for a moment, and you’ll realize how incomprehensibly ridiculous that sounds – even by Star Trek standards. Do you know how many worlds would have to be mined for mineral ore to produce a Dyson Sphere? Thousands if not millions! Star Trek has always required its fans to maintain a suspension of disbelief when it came to their technical achievements, but the notion of a Dyson Sphere is so far above and beyond the realms of feasible possibility, that I’m quite surprised the notion was even introduced into the series.



    But forget about the silly Dyson Sphere. That’s not what this episode is about. This episode is about the return of Starfleet’s most famous Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott! Trapped in the pattern buffer of a transporter for over 75 years, Scotty returns to find a new century, a new Enterprise and a new crew. And even though he’s three quarters of a century behind the times, his genius is still sharp enough to even give Geordi LaForge a run for his money. There are some great moments where we find Scotty visibly bristling over the concept of a Klingon officer; his disgust at the blasphemy of serving synthetic alcohol in the ship’s lounge; the perplexity at finding a sentient android holding an officer’s rank, and naturally, the energetic team-up between the two most accomplished engineers in all of Starfleet.



    This was an episode for the “fans”, and as such, remains a beloved staple in the mythology of Star Trek.

    moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

James Doohan

James Doohan

Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott

Guest Star

Erick Weiss

Erick Weiss

Ensign Kane

Guest Star

Stacie Foster

Stacie Foster

Engineer Bartel

Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (9)

    • In the scene where Scotty and LaForge are talking about containment fields in engineering, Scotty manages to take the warpcore and/or engines offline. In the background the warpcore can be seen but the normal pulsing blue light is already absent, even before the inadvertent shutdown.

    • Despite the fact Picard has just seen Spock a year ago and Data escorted Admiral Leonard McCoy during the Farpoint mission; neither he nor anyone else tell Scotty that his friends Spock and McCoy are still alive.

    • According to Data, the Dyson Sphere's interior can hold 200 million Class-M planets. However Class-M is not a designation of size; it only refers to a planet's ability to support life (breathable air, temperature etc). Class-M planets can be any size.

    • There are many problems with the statistics and depictions of the Dyson sphere. We can see curvature as the Enterprise approaches the sphere. Given the theoretical size of a Dyson sphere (roughly the size of Earth's orbit around the sun), any curvature of the sphere while the Enterprise was that close would be imperceptible. The Dyson sphere's diameter is given as 200 million kilometers, which is said to be roughly the same as Earth's orbit. The diameter of Earth's orbit is closer to 300 million kilometers. The lower figure converts to roughly 124 million mi, which is less than the diameter of the orbit of Venus. The star inside the sphere is said to be type G, similar to our sun. At the given size of the sphere, trapping the total energy output of a star of that type would render the interior uninhabitable without some way to re-radiate most of that energy to space. Data's estimate of the interior surface space as 10 to the 16th square kilometers underestimates the total area by 31%. Data should not have been that far off. The stats (figures are rounded): Sphere diameter: 200,000,000 km (124,274,238 mi). Earth's orbit: 299,000,000 km (186,000,000 mi). Sphere's internal surface area: 16,173,009,397,494,795 sq km. Internal surface as reported by Data: 10,000,000,000,000,000 sq km. Earth surface area: 148,393,355 sq km. Ratio of sphere area to Earth area: 108,987,423 to 1.

    • When Geordi is talking to Scotty on the way to sickbay, he grabs his injured arm when he says he thinks he'll enjoy the 24th Century.

    • When Scotty is rescued from the transporter buffer, and learns that he's been rescued by the Enterprise, he says, "I knew Jim Kirk would get the old girl out to help me". However, the movie Star Trek: Generations creates a goof. Scotty was aboard the inaugural flight of the Enterprise B, under the command of Captain John Harriman, and should therefore know that there was a "current" Enterprise in service, not under Kirk's command.

    • The Jenolen is holding the Dyson's sphere's gate open with its shields and is unable to move because the engines have failed. LaForge tells Picard that he has to destroy the ship in order to get through. So Picard orders the transporter room to beam Scotty and LaForge out of the ship. Then he orders Worf to fire the torpedoes. You can see, that the shields are still online. How can they've been transported through the shields? There is no indication that the shields of the Jenolen ever been dropped.

    • Why was a passenger transport surveying the Dyson's Sphere? The captain of the Jenolen could have sent a message to the Federation, complete with coordinates, so science ships could better survey the Sphere. (The reasons are better explained in the novelization of this episode.)

    • Scotty's hair changes styles from one scene to another.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Scotty: (to Geordi) You mind a little advice? Starfleet captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their way. But the secret is to give them only what they need, not what they want.

    • Picard: My first ship... was the Stargazer. She was always about to bust apart at the seams... and in many ways my Enterprise is infinitely superior to her. But... there are times when I would give nearly anything to be back on the Stargazer again.

    • (Scotty has discovered the holodeck)
      Computer: Please enter program.
      Scotty: The android at the bar told me you could show me my ship. Let me see her.
      Computer: Insufficient data. Please specify.
      Scotty: The Enterprise! Show me the Enterprise you chattering piece of...
      Computer: There have been five Federation starships by that name. Please provide registry number.
      Scotty: N-C-C-1-7-0-1. No bloody A, B, C, or D.

    • LaForge: Are you all right?
      Scotty: Never get drunk unless you're willing to pay for it in the morning. I'll be fine.
      LaForge: Okay.

    • Riker: She's not much to look at.
      Scotty: Laddy, every woman has her own charm. You just have to know where to look for it.

  • NOTES (9)

    • Data notes that the Jenolen disappeared 75 years ago, and Dr. Crusher notes that Scotty is 147 years old. Taking 75 from 147 is 72, which was James Doohan actual age at the time.

    • In several scenes, you can clearly tell that James Doohan is missing the middle finger of his right hand (he lost it during WWII). Scotty's scenes in the original Star Trek series were shot in such a way as to hide this.

    • This is the last TV episode of any Star Trek series to star James Doohan as Scotty. The final ever appearance of Scotty is in the movie Star Trek Generations.

    • A Star Trek fan, who loaned them to Paramount for the filming of this episode, had painstakingly built the precise replicas of the Con and Helm/Navigator consoles. They are the only "real" parts of the bridge. The rest of the bridge was recreated using footage from the Classic series episode "The Mark of Gideon." The planet Gideon, in fact, shows on the viewscreen during this scene. This was the only episode from the Classic series that had footage showing the empty bridge. This film only ran about 10-12 seconds, so they looped this footage, used blue screen effect, and incorporated Patrick Stewart and James Doohan.

    • The model used for the Jenolen is actually a reuse of the shuttle that transported Capt. Kirk and his crew to Spacedock at the start of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

    • Many aspects of this episode, including many of Scotty's stories, are references to episodes in the original series, including "Elaan of Troyius" and "The Naked Time".

    • Data pulls a bottle of liquor from behind a bar and has a little trouble describing it, resulting him saying "It's green." Scotty had a similar line in the original Star Trek episode "By Any Other Name." In the holodeck scene, Picard identifies it as "Aldebaran Whiskey".

    • At one point, Scotty mentions that the first time he visited the planet Argelius, he got into a "wee bit of trouble." This is a reference to the Original Series episode "Wolf in the Fold", in which Scotty was accused of murdering three women.

    • The visual and sound effects of the Jenolen's transporter are exactly the same as the effects for the original series.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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