Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 23

Skin Of Evil

Aired Unknown Apr 25, 1988 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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out of 10
280 votes
  • while resueing troy, lt yar is killed trying to save her.

    i have to say this is the first episode that i cried. when troy shuttle crashes into a planet her pliot is hurt and she is trapped inside. the enterprise sends an away mission to rescue her. while on the planet lt yar and the others meet an evil races. called arnus. he won't let the others go and help troy. when lt yar does he hits her with some kind of force that kills her. when the captain beams down he has a plan and at the end they beam off the planet and leave arnus there alone. lt yar leaves a message for all her crew mates which is very moving. in this episode we say goodbuy to our friend.
  • Top 10 best TNG Episode!

    This was one of the most heart-wrenching episodes in Star Trek history! Even now thinking about what happened still tugs at my heart.

    The best (& maybe greatest) speech ever given in Star Trek was Yar's farewell speech. Talking to each one giving her personell goodbye. sniff. Tugs at the heart.

    And Armus is possibly one of the coolest looking alien in STar Trek history.

    Great episode.
  • A shuttlecraft with Troi crashlands on a planet, and an away team discovers a creature is holding her captive.

    The dichotomy of "Skin of Evil" is that there are some boring, poorly written parts and then there are some jaw dropping, incredibly dramatic moments as well. It's certainly a must see for a Star Trek fan, but most of the episode isn't all that good. The problem is two-fold. Firstly, the premise of the story is weak and not something that could ever hold a viewer's attention for more than 15 minutes. Second, there are big budget problems; most of the episode takes place on the first season's fake looking planet set, and there are a lot of repeated shots to save money. There's also a lot of talk. Troi talks to the creature. Picard talks to the creature. The creature talks to them. The creature talks to himself. Troi talks to Picard. Picard talks to his crew. Tasha Yar ends the episode by talking to everyone. If you like talk, this one's for you! Still, this is a must see for Star Trek fans for its historical significance, and the last scene is wonderful.
  • A completely irrelevant character dies (good riddance!); also, some very cheesy special effects.

    Apparently I am in the minority on this episode -- I think it is completely unremarkable. Tasha Yar's character dies much as she "lived", completely pointlessly. Perhaps on some level it is shocking to kill off a cast member so abruptly, but since we don't actually care about that character you also don't when she doesn't show up in the next episode. The big plus, of course, is that getting rid of that dead weight generated an opening into which Michael Dorn's Worf stepped in very capably. And her farewell is painful to watch, just overly sentimental nonsense that should have been axed out of the script.

    When watching Armus, a malevolent oil-blob, you can't help thinking how much special effects have improved in the past twenty years. I suppose in the late 80s this thing seemed scary, but now it is just ridiculous. In some other episodes ("Arsenal of Freedom") it is possible to ignore these shortcomings due to a strong story, but here the cheap B-movie style of early TNG sits front and center... and it ain't pretty.

    That said, a few good points: the bridge crew arguing around the table, obviously shocked by Tasha's death, until Picard brings the meeting to order. Troi's initial scenes in the shuttle are nice, showing that she could do more than make one-liners and captain-obvious "empathic" observations.
  • Perhaps the best episode of Season 1

    I remember thinking it was a real shame to have Tasha leave the series. She was one of my favourites, moreso because we didnt get to see her in action against the Borg and later enemies.

    Still, her screendeath makes this episode an automatic classic Though the location of the planet is awful compared to later sets (i think its the one from an earlier Q episode). That aside, there is for the first time a real feeling of foreboding. The shock of losing one of the crew so early just reaches into your resolve and tears it out for all to see until the end. Picards parting words echo with a good deal of resonance, but it is Tasha's farewall holo-goodbyes that will bring a tear to your eye.

    Action scenes vary quite well and have stakes upped at the right time and with Troi in constant danger, the feeling of desperation is clever sown into the plot as the danger presented get more real with every encounter.

    The alien is perhaps the first that carries are real sense of evil purpose, which is why this episode works so well.

    7.5 just doesnt do this episode justice. You however, may feel that my score is too high. If you do, I dare say youll probably think of somethin inbetween both!
  • Farewell Tasha. We hardly knew ye.

    'Skin of Evil' is of course most memorable for the shock death of Tasha Yar, who barely survived a season on TNG. I'm not exactly sure of the reasons behind Crosby's departure, although I am quite sure she later regretted not having stuck it out longer. If her decision to leave was based on the quality of the first season scripts then she had valid reason to want out, but patience is a virtue and even by this point TNG was starting to show signs that far better things lay ahead.

    Anyway, I was genuinely upset when this originally aired in the UK. I think I was about 11 or 12, back in 1991 if I recall, and I bawled my little eyes out. Tasha's death was unexpected and quite arbitrary seeming. Like many others who were uniformed, I expected them to find a way to resusitate her by the end of the episode - so it wasn't until the funeral scene that it truly sunk in that she was gone for good. A shame - cos I kind of liked her and I can't help but wonder how the character might have developed as the series progressed had she stayed.

    The episode itself is quite effective: Armus is one of the show's most memorable villains and one who is truly beyond all hope of redemption. The tragedy of his creation is neatly conveyed and his sadism makes for grimly compelling viewing. Alas, the episode is a little uneven: I think it would have been more effective had Tasha been killed nearer the end of the episode, because as it stands, the first quarter of the episode contains all the fireworks...and the rest is a little plodding and talky by comparison.

    Still, it's nevertheless one of the season's more effective - and clearly shocking - episodes. The funeral scene is perhaps a little manipulative but it is nevertheless a tearjerker of the first degree.

    Au revoir Natasha.
  • The enterprise loses one of its own

    This is one of the most heart wrenching episodes and I still have trouble watching it even today. When Tasha Yar gets wacked ( for no good reason ) it leaves the viewer helpless and confused how a single character, even one as prominent as a bridge officer, can be killed off so easily. Sure we get to see her in about 2 more episodes but, come on. This episode has a unique metaphor, pertaining to evil, nothing Kubric-esque though. In hind sight I wuold have still given up yar to save troi because the show would lose a certain petoir without her. Yar was just another blonde who could be replaced
  • One of the finest first season episodes

    A disturbing but pivotal episode in the STTNG canon, featuring one of the series' most nihilistic scripts. "Skin of Evil" is aptly titled, smartly plotted, and moving in its heartfelt portrayal of shared grief and lost friendship. Yar's meaningless death seems somehow sadly logical, and the final scene is both redemptive and cathartic. The episode is significant in at leat two respects: 1) the development of Data's character, learnimg as he does that death is not only inevitable for humans but is often a means for growth and understanding, and 2) the emotional binding of the STTNG cast, as each struggles to make sense of a senseless tragedy.
  • Goodbye Tasha - hello better days for The Next Generation....

    It really is unfortunate that Denise Crosby was unsatisfied in her role on The Next Generation and missed out, personally and financially, on the eventual monster success of the show - but her departure here in "Skin Of Evil" was a step forward for the show. Tasha Yar is simply not an interesting character - it was Roddenberry's attempt at another Uhura statement on women (in Yar's case, that women were just as strong and commanding as men) that really only contributed to all the stuck-up Star Trek finger-wagging at the late 1980s seen in season one. Crosby did an admirable job in the role but the character was weak on paper and the departure of that character was a good thing for the show, however dismissive it feels, as it leads to the promotions of and greater screen-times for actually likable and interesting characters of the show: Worf and Geordi.

    As far as the actual "Skin Of Evil" episode goes, it is not bad: Troi crash lands on a planet and the Enterprise goes to rescue her but they find an evil tar-like being, Armus, who will not let them rescue her.

    Some ideas eventually did not look as good as they must have on paper - the special effects are a huge let down, Riker's decent into the tarry pool of Armus is pretty lame, even Yar's demise is awkward (too quick and untimely for a supposed tough-as-nails security officer), and her final holographic farewells to the crew is marshmallowy lame and kind of dumb (do Starfleet crew members make sure that their farewell holograms are the most up to date as possible?). But the episode does include a great theme on violence, does include some good tension (Armus' cruel joke with Data is especially good), and Marina Sirtis gives her best performance of season one and one her best performances of the entire show. Overall I would say that "Skin Of Evil" is, while disappointing in many areas because of the potential it had to be great, a pretty good episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation if not only because of the importance of the passing of Tasha Yar.
  • troi's shuttle goes down and the enterprise tries to save them however they meet armus. A humanoid oil like monster it kills tasha yar absorbs riker then later spits him out and then is out smarted by picard

    this episode is both good and bad it was good because they created one realy evil villian. Armus was just evil, not some race of aliens that was agressive, he was just plain evil something we rarly see. The bad part was the death of Tasha Yar--though that was her choice to leave the show I though they did a little to perminate a job generaly having them leave the ship for some reason has generaly worked but since this was early in the seires I guess they hadden't though of that yet.
  • Ding-Dong Tasha is dead.... Thank God!

    You could not understand how happy I was when Yar died! I still cheer when watching this on reruns. She never fit on the show and I am glad that she got booted off! Troi over acted as usual and Riker got goo all over him but the best part had to be the offing of Yar and the way that Picard made the alien mad enough to get everyon out of there. I didn't even like the big farwell at the end. The only time that Yar entertaned me was when we found out that Data was fully functional
  • "Au revoir, Natasha."

    Deanna Troi's shuttlecraft crashes on Vegra II and the crew arrives for her rescue. When the away team arrives and heads for the shuttle to rescue Troi and a crewmember, an unknown dark slick lifeform gets in their way, preventing to have contact with Troi. The creature reveals himself as Armus and tells them to leave, but when Tasha tries rescue Troi, Armus throws her across and she lands at head point, dies instantly.

    I don't think anyone who watches TNG from start to finish would ever have expected to have Tasha killed off near the end of the season. It was random, shocking and one of the things that pull us in because it's a plot twist, you have an already established character all of a sudden die near the middle of the episode. The scene at Sick Bay when Dr. Crusher tries to revive Tasha felt like an ER scene: meaning it was intense. They tease you that there could be hope by shocking Tasha's body in hope it will jump her back, for a moment her body flinches but as Crusher repeatedly tries again and again when she knows she lost Tasha, she finally looks down for a moment then says "She's gone.", placing her hand on Tasha's face and we see Picard staring in disbelief, inculding Data, almost showing a facial expression. Of course Denise Crosby later on regretted asking to be written off, and we see her say that by appearing in later episodes as an alternate Tahsa and the Romulan Commander, Sela. The scene with Tasha's image saying goodbye to the crew was touching, including the end with Data asking if he missed the point of the service by thinking how he would miss her presense, being "selfish", Picard looks down for a second, looks at Data and tells him "No Data, you got it right." and then we see Data staring off alone on the hills. Nice touch. I'm recommending this episode.

    I give it 4 out of 5 stars. One star taken out because Tasha's death could have had more meaning (which would be fixed in Yesterday's Enterprise). (8.0 on
  • Troi's shuttlecraft crashes on Vagra II. Unable to beam up Troi. Picard send a away team consisting of Commander Riker, Dr. Crusher, Lieutenant Commander Data and Lieutenant Yar down to Vagra II. The away team encounters a black subtance. The black substa

    Troi's shuttlecraft crashes on Vagra II. Unable to beam up Troi. Picard send a away team consisting of Commander Riker, Dr. Crusher, Lieutenant Commander Data and Lieutenant Yar down to Vagra II. The away team encounters a black subtance blocking the path to Troi's shuttlecraft. The black substance takes the life of Lt Yar. Lt Worf replaces her as acting security chief. At the end of the episode we see a gathering around a holographic image of Tasha Yar. Tasha Yar's image speaks of how she thinks of other crew members. My rating on this episode is 8.1
  • Demise of Yar.

    In this episode we lose a character that seemed to generate a strong division between fans of the series, similar to the difference in feeling that was generated by the replacement of Dr Crusher with Dr Pulaski in season two. Was the death of the Tasha Yar character a good move for the show...when you consider the way in which the character seemed to undergo no personal development and how she went from having more major roles in stories that were poorly written (Code of Honor & The Naked Now) to having almost zero screen time in later episodes; the answer is definetly yes. By the time Skin Of Evil rolls around, Yar had become a totally useless and empty character that could easily have found good company among the Engineer Argyles of the ship. What it ultimately comes down to is that Denise Crosby was miscast into this doomed role of a character that simply had no chance to succeed in the role they developed for her. There is nothing that would have made a female head of security fail in and of itself but it was the presence of the Worf character, who in of himself just begs for attention and the fact that his nature is basically synonomous with security, that cause the Yar character to stick out as such a sore mismatch to the role she played.

    As far as the story itself goes, it is reasonably well paced and developed. There is nothing ground breaking or that really grabs your mind but it was interesting to see a character that was so totally devoid of any good and so intrinsically evil. The physical manifestation of the creature is quite tacky and laughable at points (would be right at home in the 1960`s Outer Limits) but what it represents fits with the black encompassing form it took on. Highlight of the episode, definetly the death of Tasha Yar, especially if you watched it back when it first aired or had no idea that it was about to take place.
  • A very important episode

    This episode is why I watch Star Trek. A major event happens in this episode. Spoiler warning if you haven't seen it. The "skin of evil" kills Tasha. This is a very sad moment, as this was a very important character. I think this episode is also great, because it does what Star Trek does best: it mirrors a situation in real life society. The Skin of Evil represents the outcast, thrown away by society. It shows us what can happen to this outcast.. This episode is an example of a great Star Trek episode. The music builds up the tension from the very beggining.
  • sometimes there is a happy ending, not today!

    This is one excellent episode. Some of the special effects were pretty ammazing, and i wonder how it was done. the storyline is decent to say the least, and the solution in the end towards thrwarting the evil that they face is one higher then we imagine. I do not know why Tasha Yar got cancelled, however, i did like the twist, because in the lives they lead, sometimes the good guys just get it, and not always those in a red shirt. I like that part because i did not see this coming, and that overwhelming part got me intrigued for many more seasons.

  • in the world of star trek this one came after the classic. this episode was a pivitol one when they kill yar. then worf took over as security and the rest is history. worf was the first klingon to be good in star trek history and the next was voyager.

    this one they kill of yar and in one brief moment we realize that no one is safe in the world of television. skin of evil is a good name since it can cover you like a skin. it was one of the earlier ones which worf head is weird.
  • The best thing to occur as a result of this episode was Tasha Yar's death.

    First of all, I love Star Trek: TNG. In my mind, the first season was the worst of all the seasons. The reason: Tasha Yar.

    The best thing to occur as a result of this episode was Tasha Yar's death. Yar's character was obvious and painful to watch. It was obvious (to me) that the writers wanted a woman to play the part of the security officer to show that women can do anything. Though women can do most anything, it really gave the feel of an after school special rather than a flourishing Sci-Fi series. That said, I believe that Yar's death was absolutely needed for the show to become as great as it did.