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.)
*** 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.
*** 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.
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.
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.)
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!
Picard is called to the observation lounge by Riker. Picard is surprised to see Galen there. Galen is archaeological professor that knew Picard when he was younger. Galen wants Picard to come with him on a mission.
Picard is called to the observation lounge by Riker. Picard is surprised to see Galen there. Galen is archaeological professor that knew Picard when he was younger. Galen wants Picard to come with him on a mission. Picard informs Galen his duty is to the “Enterprise”. Galen in disgusts leaves the ship in his shuttlecraft. Later, Galen contacts the “Enterprise” and says his shuttlecraft is under attack. The “Enterprise” crew downloads Galen’s shuttlecraft database and find 19 numerical codes. Dr. Crusher has a idea the codes might be mathematical representation of DNA fragments. What could it mean?
Picard, accompanied by Cardassians and Klingons, tries to finish the work of an old archaelogy friend. All parties unknowing that the Romulans have been following, wanting to know the outcome of this puzzle.
This particular episode is one of my favourites to watch. Whenever I see that's it's going to be on, I always make a point to watch it. Recently when it played I yelled at my sister when she interrupted me watching it.
The reactions of the Cardassians and Klingons when they find out what the end result is has always struck me as being at once funny and at the same very true to life as it is now. Picard seems to feel the same way judging by his words about how the message fell on deaf ears. And I love that there\'s another nod to how the Romulans and humans may one day get along. "We may not be so different," the Romulan commander says to Picard. It's a lesson that needs to be learned by all human beings nowadays. We all came from the same place, whether you believe god created us, or that we evolved; we are all living on the same planet, and we are not so different from each other.
Please read the following before uploading
Do not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!