This episode is one of the two best of all of science fiction television, both of them from Star Trek TNG. (The other is "The Inner Light").
These episodes epitomise why science fiction is the best of all fictions, of all storytelling: The best stories are about people, and science fiction allows us to explore people in any imaginable situation, thereby providing the highest levels of insight into the human condition.
This episode is a triumph for the writer, Michael Wagner.
In this episode, we see the ultimate choice of how one wishes to live one's life in relation to others, on the most fundamental level. To be a being of hope and peace, of love and glory, or to choose an alternative, is brought to mavelous life in the characterof Kevin Uxbridge (John Anderson).
In him, we see his passion, his pain, his futile attempts to hide his suffering for his own actions, even to himself. And in this, we see ourselves and our own petty problems in true perspective.
The first time I watched this episode, it had quite an effect on me -- an effect that did not quite persist the second time around. That said, it is an episode well worth watching.
This episode is somewhat Vertigo-esque in that what it appears to be in the beginning -- the Enterprise crew wondering why an old couple would be the only ones to survive a cataclysmic attack on a planet -- is not what it turns out to be. The story proceeds at a measured pace, perfect for this kind of slowly-evolving mystery.
The ending of the episode is quite powerful the first time you watch it, simply because it is so unexpected and yet follows logically from the first 35 minutes. It really resonated with me and apparently one of the other reviewers. The second time - well, maybe I am just too jaded but the intensity just wasn't there.
As usual by this point in the series, Patrick Stewart gives an outstanding performance. But the two guest stars playing the Uxbridges deserve just as much credit. They brought exactly what was needed to their roles.
I found this plot to be a little strange, but not hard to follow. The Enterprise must investigate the destruction of a colony and why only there only seem to be two survivors.
Its a basic tale of morals and ethics and the emotions and changes they imprint on us. Furthermore, the notion of what constitutes a crime is brought up in the quintecessital ST way. The ambiguity of what classifies such an act is demonstrated by the powerful yet singluar eternal being that takes the guise of the old man who came to human colony, fell in love with a human female and then did nothing because of his ethical reasoning to defend it from an unwinable attack.
The consequences of such an action and the beings peculiar behaviour is the main flow of entertainment throughout this 45mins. There is little action involved as this episode is more of your common garden variety mystery which must be dispelled by the crew as they peel away one layer at a time, to reveal the secret of what is going on.
Several well conceived clues gradually garner the reality of what is going, the strongest being what begins to happen to Deanna.
The pace throughout the first two acts is slow, but it does hot up somewhat towards the end, when the crew discover the true identities of both so-called survivors.
Its a shame that this being wasnt incorporated into other future storylines, but the episode is logically constructed and is extremely watchable.
The "Enterprise" answers a distress call from Rana IV. All of the 11,000 inhabitants except for 2 have met death. Only one structure remains. The house of Kevin & Rishon Uxbridge remains. Picture this blue sky, green grass while the rest of the planet is
The "Enterprise" answers a distress call from Rana IV. All of the 11,000 inhabitants except for 2 have met death. Only one structure remains. The house of Kevin & Rishon Uxbridge remains. Picture this blue sky, green grass while the rest of the planet is barren. Troi can't tell what these people are feeling due to the loud music in her head. Don't worry Picard is on to what has happened. There is truthfully only one inhabitant of this planet. Kevin who is of a immortal race known as the Douwd. I rate this one a 7.8 for orginality.
This is a nice, original mystery episode that features two good guest stars (the late John Anderson and Anne Haney as the elderly couple) and has a "Twilight Zone" feel to it – complete with a powerful payoff. Visually, the episode is aided by having its outdoor scenes actually shot outdoors (on location in Malibu, California), and we get to see a new alien ship. Scriptwise, the episode moves along nicely, peeling off layers of the onion to get to the bottom of the story. And while "Survivors" lacks the zing the show would subsequently pick up later on, it remains an interesting little episode.
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