Wow, what a step back. I'm a newcomer to the Trek universe and slogged through the mire that was season 1. While there was a handful of solid episodes it was a struggle to make it this far to season 2. After the previous s2 episode, "The Measure Of A Man," I figured that the excellence that everyone talked about for TNG was finally going to happen.
Nope, this episode was just...wow. The effects, the annoying old woman oh god. I can't even...this was pathetic. I hope as I continue watching TNG there will be some consistency with the episodes.
This is a Wesley episode that misses. The idea here is a mini "monster movie" on a budget, but the effects are somewhat laughable, and while Wheaton does his best with the material he's given, Wesley continues to be handled by the writers as if he's a five year old genius. Fortunately, the guest stars, Jamie Hubbard as "the Dauphin" (which translates to "heir to the throne) and the late Paddi Edwards as her guardian, are great. And all guys can identify with the idea of finding a beautiful woman, only to discover that she can turn into a hideous, snarling beast. But the episode features too much talking and too little content to be all that interesting, with the exception of a Guinan/Riker scene, and the episode is the very definition of filler.
It's hard to do meaningful character development in a single episode, but I thought this was a very good attempt. The "love at first sight" plot device was a little cheesy, but understandable given the time constraints. More importantly, I felt the emotions portrayed by Wesley and Salia were very realistic (at least, they would have been had they been stretched out over a longer period of time... again, not the writer's fault). On the other hand, too much time was wasted on the guardian: it was an unnecessary and boring subplot IMHO. Fortunately, the humor and emotional appeal of the rest of the episode more than made up for that.
Quite against expectation or reason, I must say this is a strangely endearing episode. The plot is nothing special and doesnt really go anywhere (I kept waiting for some kind of twist, other than the fact Salia was a shapeshifter, something we'd probably all guessed far in advance of the revelation), but the romance between Wesley and Salia is sweet and quite touching in its earnest innocence.
I have to say the way Wesley is characterised in the second season (as a fairly normal kind of teenager - well, *fairly*) is infinitely preferable to his portrayal as a freaky superbrained nerd in the first season. This episode aids his rehabiliation a little bit more.
On the minus side, there are some fairly dumb, cringe-worthy moments - notably the men in the furry animal suits, which are perhaps the most unconvincing aliens ever seen on TNG. I'm certain I've seen more convincing, menacing Fraggles. Also, Salia's protector Anya was just a pain in the butt and her supposed rivalry with Worf (and his grudging respect of her as an opponent) fell utterly flat on its face.
While I don't agree with the "I hate Wesley Crusher" brigade, the character was nearly unbearable for much of the first season.
In season 2, it's noteworthy that the writers had largely abandoned "Wesley Crusher as Young Supergenius" and moved onto "Wesley, teenager onboard the Enterprise". Even if the end result is still mediocre, it's a huge improvement. And as far as Wesley plotlines, this one is a great improvement over "When the Bough Breaks" or "Coming of Age".
This episode has two really worthwhile parts. The first is Wesley's conversation with Riker and Guinan in Ten Forward; as usual, Whoopi Goldberg brings magic and charisma to every scene in which she participates. The second is a horribly acted but hilarious scene in the infirmary featuring Dr Pulaski, Anya, Worf and Captain Picard. Try not to burst into laughter as Worf prepares to attack an old lady. I am not a Dr Pulaski hater, but wow - Diana Muldaur is just awful here.
The rest of the episode is unremarkable. Wesley's love story is somewhat affecting, but in the end doesn't amount to very much. The animal costumes are flat out awful but funny at the same time.
Jamie Hubbard plays Salia, a teenage girl that has no choice but to lead two warring factions into peace. While being transported by the Enterprise, she meets with Ensign Wesley Crusher and they fall in love. Wesley tells her she can remain on the Enterprise, she considers it for a few seconds but realizes that she has no choice but to become the leader of her people. The only part I thought was not done good in this episode was the part where it seemed as if Dr. Pulaski couldn't help but laugh at Anya's monster form. She was supposed to act scared but instead looked like she was on the verge of laughing. When Wesley finds out that Salia is actually a shapeshifter he becomes angry and feels that he was misled by her. Thankfully he changed his mind before she left. As a special treat Salia shows us her true form before she is transported to her planet.
Wesley reminds us of the pains of the teenager. A filler episode in all but name. A barely acceptable plot to transport the VIP from planet x to planet y allows Wesley to fall in love with the wrong female.
All three acts really are disappointing. Little conflict, only from the shapeshifting mother figure at Wesley and the ill crewman in medical. Why would anyone want to show of a surgery in the middle of a procedure to non-medical/family personnel?!
This is one of those episodes that remind me why I hated Wessers so much the first time round! At least if theyd had a more tragic ending it could have been better!
Locations are strictly on the Enterprise which brings nothing visually. Dialogue is standard, or below it. The only highlight is that we meet the shapeshifters and get to laugh at the bad cgi.
The second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation is a vast improvement over the first season but it still sees flashes of the past - the lame, cheesy, and unintentionally funny episode "The Dauphin" is an example of a season two slip-up. Here to remind us all how weak season one was, "The Dauphin" takes a cheesy look at Wesley Crusher falling in love with Salia, a future leader of whom the Enterprise is escorting to her war-torn planet. Salia and her bodyguard, Anya, are mysterious - and Anya is an especially unpredictable force - and this of course causes the Enterprise crew some problems and throws a monkey wrench into Wesley's romance.
"The Dauphin" is not laughably bad but it sure is laughably mediocre - giving us some extremely lame Wesley moments, some of the worst special effects in the near half-century long Star Trek history, and some of the most unintentionally funny scenes of the entire TNG series. My favorite scene is unquestionably the scene where Anya attacks Worf and Dr. Pulaski in Sick Bay, where Dr. Pulaski calls for security and an unnamed yellowshirt and Captain Picard come into the room almost immediately! Oh man.... hilarious. Unfortunately, Wesley's storyline does not give any unintentional laughs - that just gets eye rolling and glances at the clock (at least Jamie Hubbard is a cutie as Salia though). "The Dauphin" is very weak episode overall; a step ahead of "The Outrageous Okona" but still a step behind much of the mediocre Star Trek: TNG's first season.
The "Enterprise" beam aboard a young girl and her guardian from the planet Klavdia III, where they have lived almost all of the girl's life. The girl & her guardian are being escorted, to Daled IV, the planet where (the girl) Salia was born.
The "Enterprise" beam aboard a young girl and her guardian from the planet Klavdia III, where they have lived almost all of the girl's life. The girl & her guardian are being escorted, to Daled IV, the planet where (the girl) Salia was born. The sixteen-year-old Salia has a encounter with Wesley Crusher, who falls instantly in love with her. Anya (the guardian)being overprotective demands the Dr Polaski must kill her patient because a chance that Salia may be infected by a virus the patient has. But Lt. Worf saves the day. I give rate this one a shapeshifter 8.3