Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 6 Episode 20

The Chase

7
Aired Unknown Apr 26, 1993 on CBS
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
196 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 46731.5 Picard's old archaeology professor is found murdered, the crew try to complete his research. Soon, the crew must compete with Romulans and Klingons and Cardassians to uncover the truth behind his discoveries.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • An epic yawn

    7.0
    This is an ensemble piece with a reach that exceeds its grasp. The premise, a "Da Vinci Code" style treasure hunt (ten years ahead of Dan Brown's novel) is ambitious and interesting, and there are some cute moments. But time and budget constraints limit the scope of the episode and force a watered down story. The result is an abbreviated chase with an unsatisfying ending. (With its potential, it's too bad the premise wasn't saved for a two part episode, or, better yet, a TNG feature film.)moreless
  • TNG finds God and then loses it. A great idea for a poorly written episode that screams intelligent design and shuns all that Roddenberry believed in.

    5.9
    WHAT'S GOOD



    *** The first third of the episode, with Galen and Picard, is stupendous. Excellent acting, good writing, and superb direction by Frakes.

    *** The idea at the basis of this episode is nothing less than monumental: what are the origins of life not only on Earth, but in the known universe? I can't imagine a more important question to ask, short of how the universe itself came about.



    WHAT'S NOT-SO-GOOD:



    *** The question is too big to be answered in 44 minutes and then dismissed the way the characters do. Perhaps the writers did not realize the implications of what they were writing. Such a discovery would shake the very foundations of the Federation, of Picard, of... everything. It pains me to see it dealt with like the chase for a simple artifact.

    *** The episode literally screams intelligent design, which is a new low for Star Trek. Roddenberry, a humanist, wanted the show to be based on hard science, and this is the direction that ST has always taken (especially in Voyager, but also numerous times in TNG). To see an episode that shuns scientific method and embraces ID views is sad to say the least.

    *** Picard and Crusher, among others, are supposed to be scientists but carry out scientific method very poorly... not to mention that the dialogue about DNA in the laboratory is full of technical mistakes.



    Overall, this episode is "painful to watch" because it sets too high a bar and then can't jump it. It should have been a two-parter, and even then it would have been difficult to integrate it with the ST world (unless the final answer was along the lines of, "it's impossible to know an answer," something that most of the public, especially Christians, would of course not accept). In short, this episode should have never been made. It is simply too ambitious.moreless
  • Great but a missed oppotunity...

    9.0
    I have to admit that I was a little disappointed by this episode. Not with the actual story, but the decision to cram it into 45 mins. Why didnt they decide to build up across 2 or 3 episodes!? The story is first rate and could easily have taken up several episodes across one or two seasons. First and foremost, the story is a mystery. Perhaps the biggest that could have been conceived given the setting. Everything that typfies ST and ST:TNG is there; The Big Question - of existance and who we are. Conflict between the major races in the Alpha Quadrant inc. the Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians. A Race against time - flights at max. warp across the galaxy to discover clues to solve the puzzle. Even the beginning is full of some great details, filling in more of Picards pre-Starfleet days as student of Archelogy under Prof. Galen, played by Lloyd Norman.



    While the screenplay and dialogue are well written, each scene contributes to the feeling that each element of the story is being rushed. A lot of the plot elements feel brushed over, so that they are only touched upon. Almost as if there isnt enough time to fit all of the plot elements in.



    However, that said the overall the episode does work v. well. From the initial act where the intrigue is set up well, to the middle act where the clues are discovered and deciphered. The ending falls a little flat though, but is saved by the unexpected communication by the Romulan commander.



    Still its one of the best episodes of this season, with one of the best potential stories across the the entire show. At least in my opion. Definitely one to enjoy.moreless
  • An epic 45 minutes.

    8.5
    This episode packs a lot of stuff into 45 minutes. It's even more amazing once you rewatch it and realize that the relatively slow-paced (but interesting) set-up with Professor Galen takes up 1/3 of the entire episode!



    The question is of course among the most interesting ones that one can ask (aside from "when do they go to the bathroom?", of course) - "Why are so many alien races humanoid?" And I think the answer, within the context of the Star Trek universe, is a satisfying one.



    There's plenty of excitement here, especially once the Professor's ship is destroyed. It's an episode that COULD have been stretched out to a two-parter (one which would have been far superior to the snoozefest "Birthright"), but does perfectly fine as a stand-alone. And there's some nice interaction between Picard and his officers, particularly when Riker and Troi intimate that they think the Captain is going on a personal wild goose chase instead of obeying his duties. (And he probably is.)



    Among the best episodes of the 6th season.moreless
  • Pretty good, with an interesting message at the end.

    8.0
    Pretty decent Picard episode. I like how all the different races have to come together to solve the puzzle, and in the end, it really IS about all of them. And then, of course, they're all saying, "that's it?" The galaxy has a long way to go before it matures.



    That poor warp drive! They went to four (five?) different systems in the course of one episode!



    The most appealing part of the episode was the mystery. Certainly did explain why there are so many humanoid races. It's important to note that the ceramic statue Picard receives as a gift shows up again in Star Trek: Generations (the movie), but it's a prop that he picks up from some rubble, and tosses it back down like it's trash!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

Salome Jens

Salome Jens

Humanoid Progenitor

Guest Star

John Cothran Jr.

John Cothran Jr.

Captain Nu'Daq

Guest Star

Linda Thorson

Linda Thorson

Gul Ocett

Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Trivia: This is the first episode to feature Humans, Klingons, Cardassians, Romulans all on-screen.

    • Contrary to the explanation given in the show, introns are not useless material. While it is true that introns to not directly translate to amino acid sequences in proteins, they act as markers which allow the cell to process the DNA in more complex fashions than simple linear translation. For example, in terms of computer programming, some intron sequences act as a sort of subroutine, causing a sequence elsewhere in the DNA fragment to be inserted into an in-progress protein.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (After the alien recording has finished)
      Captain Nu'Duq: That's it?! If she weren't dead, I'd kill her!

    • Captain Nu'Daq: (both Klingons have their phasers raised) You dishonorable pah-tak...
      Gul Ocett: We can exchange insults some other time, perhaps. I'm a little busy right now...

  • NOTES (3)

    • John Cothran Jr. also appeared on DS9 as Telok in "Crossover," and on Enterprise as Gralik in "The Shipment."

    • Actress Linda Thorson who played Tara King (Emma Peel's replacement) on The Avengers guest-stars as the first ever seen female Cardassian.

    • Salome Jens, who plays the spokesman for the "original" race of humanoids, played the Changeling spokeswoman in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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