This dark Picard episode is sort of a redone version of the first season's "11001001" this time with our beloved Captain facing a group of mercenaries in a "Die Hard" plot. The bravura role is perfect for Patrick Stewart, which is probably why the idea is revisited in TNG's second feature film (which, of course, benefits from a bigger budget). Unlike the movie, however, here the B story is a throwaway, just there to give the remainder of the Enterprise crew something to do. (It does give Brent Spiner the opportunity to flex his comedic muscles, as he and guest star David "Hutch" Spielberg try to outdo the other, seeing who can play it more over the top.) But the dark lighting on the Enterprise gives the episode a unique look, and the baryon sweep is an effective countdown clock making "Starship Mine" one of the more memorable episodes. (Oh, and Picard totally pwns Tuvok.)
The “Enterprise” is docked at the orbiting Remmler Array. The “Enterprise” will be undergoing baryon sweep to remove deadly particles of baryon radiation. This baryon sweep is harmful to all life forms, so the crew must evacuate the ship.
The “Enterprise” is docked at the orbiting Remmler Array. The “Enterprise” will be undergoing baryon sweep to remove deadly particles of baryon radiation. This baryon sweep is harmful to all life forms, so the crew must evacuate the ship. Picard is the last to leave. He arrives at the Arkaria Base on the planet below. Commander Hutchinson is hosting a reception on the planet. Picard is looking to get out of chatting with Hutchinson. Hutchinson mentions the horse trails on the planet. Picard returns to the ship to get his saddle. It seems there is scavengers conducting the sweep.
This episode's teaser plays the boredom card pretty emphatically - Picard himself seems like he can't wait to get off the ship and be away from his senior crew. Little does he know that he'll get more excitement then he bargained for.
Once Picard ends up battling the bandits who take over the Enterprise, the action doesn't let up. The writers throw us for plenty of loops, and also inject humor when appropriate. (Picard masquerading as Mott the barber... brilliant.) Maybe killing each of his adversaries was a little out of the Captain's character, but who cares!
I suppose I should also mention Data's experiment with small talk. Brent Spiner gives one of his classic over-the-top performances here. It's genuinely hilarious.
Among one of the best episodes across the 7 seasons. It has a little bit of everything; suspense, intrigue and a whole lot of action.
Using Picard as 'one-against-many' protaganist the main plot features the very possible hijack of the Enterprise from dry-dock. It essentially follows the structure of a infiltration/counter-infiltration story, such as the movie Die Hard.
Unlike so often the antagonists bring an air of professinal efficiency mixed with a menace that is missing from your average ST episode. So much so that his opponents actually look the biz and show they wont put up with any nonsense from the start. The way in which the enemy leader - Kelsey shows her ruthless streak is just brilliant.
Having the rest of crew on a related side-quest keeps the whole thing believeable. As they make their own preparations to outwit their captors, the screenplay keeps us guessing as to who will be the saviour of the ship. Or will Picard or the crew come to the rescue of each other. In this respect, the pace of the action switches perfectly between the suspence of whether Picard's bluff will be found out. So to, as to whether the plan of Rikers group will fail or success. This clever writing ensure we are kept guessing till the final act. That forward momentum is only enhanced by the elimination of the hijack crew as they are taken out, one-by-one.
The use of a lethal baryon sweep to cleanse the ship ups the urgency ante, so that we are always moving toward that inevitable ending of conflict between Picard and Kelsey. Even at the end we are not disappointed as the climatic battle for custody of the ship plays out, just as the baryon beam catches up as they fight their duel.
Does Picard save the ship and his own skin? Do the crew manage to overpower their captors? Well what do you think!? ;)
I love everything about this episode. It's got action, comedy (Data's small talk plot, haha!) and interesting sci-fi elements. I believe this is the first time "trilithium" has been mentioned in the series. Picard pretending to be a know-nothing barber was so funny - "please, don't...don't point that at me." It's great because you can tell Picard has a hard time acting helpless in any situation.
Picard's ingenuity is cool in this episode. This is what is missing from the movies, really. Instead of acting like a dumb action hero he makes all the right moves. Cutting off access points to Ten Forward, raiding Worf's weapon stash, it's all brilliant and I probably wouldn't begin to think of it. This is how Picard fights - with his wits, not his strength. Excellent.
The only gripe I have is what the hell happened to Calvin Hutchinson? Did he die? If so, why didn't the TNG crew care at all? Yeah, he was annoying, but he seemed NICE...
The Enterprise goes in for maintenance (a baryon sweep to remove particle build-up) and some hijackers want to steal the ship. While we are reminded that firing composer Ron Jones was a mistake; the music feels canned and does not really mold itself to the episode. (this is a common failing in TNG's final three seasons.) But what we don't have is made up in an exciting action romp, well written, and made with Picard in mind. Given he stays in shape, it wasn't hard to suspend disbelief of Picard engaging in fistfights with two various thieves; typically relying more on wit and cunning than fighting when necessary.
The Data subplot, his learning "small talk", was deftly handled too.
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