Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 16

Too Short A Season

Aired Unknown Feb 08, 1988 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
241 votes
  • Be Careful What you Wish For...

    This story concept was used in the Curious Case of Benjamin Button but with a few crucial ideas that explain such a reverse mortality. The admiral, old, feeble unable to really go on outside of his own personal sense of pride suddenly starting to de-age quite rapidly over the course of about seventy years, leaving him no more than a teenager. The idea of a fountain of youth has always fascinated writers and adventurers and he found it, with all too real of an unexpected price. This episode could have been written around the poorly written "hostage negotiations" sub plot and focused more on his getting younger, maybe re-experiencing things he couldn't do anymore, such AS him realizing he can walk again.

    A lot of the plot was folly, his skin seemed to just retighten on his face and body, he seemed to lose weight due to the reversal but it wasn't until he'd gotten to the point where his body would have probably ended its pubescent stage that he was suddenly dying. Karnas' reactions and repetitious accusations that they were tricking him was very believable, I wouldn't have imagined such a radical change in age like that until I saw solid proof, which was shown by the blood scar he'd taken. Several minor things not related to the overall sub plot made me smile, like the fact they took note that a phaser's "kill" setting had a different sound than the "stun" setting. Intricacies that really made the episode worthy of the kind of attention that future seasons would give it. And while it had a satisfactory ending, it didn't have a "happy" ending for anyone involved. I'd say this is one of the most passable ones of the season.
  • The Enterprise responds to a hostage crisis, which must be negotiated by an admiral with a secret.

    This episode surely looked better on paper than it turned out. While it reintroduces us to the wonderful idea the Captain dealing with an arrogant Admiral on his ship, (something that worked on the original series and would work well in future episodes of this TNG), the makeup, special effects, and props this episode heavily depends upon were a disaster during the shoot. The "old man" Jameson is obviously a young man with bad makeup on, and his futuristic wheel chair refused to work most of the time on set, so they had to shoot around the issue. Of course, even setting aside these problems, the script has some issues, though its high concept idea of a fountain of youth is interesting and reminiscent of "The Counter-Clock Incident" from the Star Trek: The Animated Series.
  • Admiral Benjamin Button....

    "Too Short A Season" is sluggish, uninteresting, and makes it difficult for the audience to invest any interest in the story. The episode is not horrible but it offers little to admire or get entertained by. So the story goes: The Enterprise escorts Admiral Mark Jameson (played by Clayton Rohner) to settle a dispute on Persephone V. But it becomes clear that there is more to the situation that it seems as Jameson begins to age backwards and the real reason for his involvement in the planet becomes apparent. Personally, I did not find much to enjoy about "Too Short A Season" - the writing seems less than strong, Clayton Rohner is simply awful in the role, and The Next Generation characters we tuned in for play a supporting role in this mediocre Trek episode.
  • How many times can we say Picard in 44 minutes?

    Seems the writers of this one wanted to make sure we all got the name of the new captain cemented firmly in our heads in this one. I cant tell you how many times Picard is said but it was enough to make it stand out in my mind; most of it coming from the Admiral. In all seriousness though, it was this "stand-offish" interaction between the Admiral and Picard, mainly the former letting Picard know that he has rank and he will be in control that actually provided most of the interesting moments of the episode. The Admiral's arrogance and desire for control through newfound youth reaches one of it's peaks when he takes Picard's spot in the captains chair while Picard is still on the bridge. As far as the main story of the episode is concerned, it comes along decently but falls way short on resolution or an interesting ending. It is particuairly disappointing and weak how even though the hostages are released, without any deaths in the end, their captor is neither punished nor given a second thought.
  • Eternal youth aint no joke!

    Though a little silly a times this episode does have its moments. The first, are the moments when the admiral reverts to a younger form. The scene where hes getting all hot and the collar with his wife is just hilarious.

    That aside, the way in which the mystery of the admirals rejuvenation is revealed and more so his motive is the highlight here. In fact the only truly bad aspect of this episode is the way in which the crew's supposed grasp on reality is suspended as an apparent aling man starts to do the impossible. It was bad.

    Worth a watch for the Clayton Rohner performance as the admiral.
  • The "admiral vs. Picard" cliche gets its first spin around the block.

    Apparently I'm wildly in divergence with most other TNG fans, who consider this to be one of the weakest episodes in the series.

    But... this is the first time the show's writers used the "admiral vs. Picard" idea -- a concept that, because of Patrick Stewart's acting and the character itself, was a very fruitful one to mine. Some of the best episodes of the series -- "The Drumhead" (season 4) and "The Pegasus" (season 7) -- came out of this very idea.

    The minuses on this episode can't be ignored. The guy playing Admiral Jameson is not only unlikeable (which would fit the character) but flat out obnoxious. And unlike later episodes in this genre, Picard is too tangential to the plot. I'd also say that the "fountain of youth" storyline is best viewed as a plot device.

    That said, the main storyline -- the tension between Jameson and his old rival -- is good, and well-written. While the actor playing Jameson is terrible, the writing is strong enough that we understand why an old man regrets a decision he made many years ago and why he wants so desperately to make amends -- even if it means endangering the Enterprise. Karnas also makes for a good villain.

    I was going to rate this a full 8.0 given my enjoyment, but I suppose there are plenty of better episodes later in the series that deserve such a rating and this one does not.
  • Not good.....

    TNG suffers the pang of growing pains once more. Later in the show's run the writers wisely imposed the following unofficial rule when it came to coming up with stories: that the stories should be about the main characters and how the events of the story affect them. If you need evidence as to why this is a sensible rule of thumb, then you need look no farther than here.

    The Enterprise crew basically have nothing to do here except passively react to the shenanigans involving a Starfleet admiral who is taking an anti-aging drug while attempting to secure the release of hostages. It was a grave mistake to make the episode all about Jameson, with the main characters relegated to the background, basically because we just don't CARE about Jameson. It doesn't help that the actor playing him is very over the top in his performance (a lot of the guest stars in this first season were extremely poor - acting as if this was some kind of silly kid's show) and the makeup used to make him look old is extremely fake-looking, both of which add to a painful lack of credulity and believability at the heart of the episode.

    The plot itself is weak and half-baked and didn't really interest me in the slightest. Although the theme of trying to fight aging is a worthy one, the execution is just dreadful on every count: the script is severely misjudged and plodding and the performances ropey. Overall, this is a fairly pointless episode and another one best avoided.
  • Another Recommended Episode......

    There are many things that are unique about this episode, like for one example is that in the earliest episodes The Bridge isn't fully lit... but in this episode the "Day Watch" lighting is shown up and The Bridge is extremely bright.... There is allmost like "The Wrath Of Kahn" or something.... since it is about two people that have had issues with each other for many years, and one wants revenge.... Yes, it is sad, but this is still a great episode... Marsha Hunt plays Anne Jameson and she does a great job... and yes, this episode also has great music, a common requirement for my reviews.... The music is not only good, but it is also different. There is this organ-type electronic music that I like very much and also somebody else besides Picard calls Riker Number One.... First it is Dr. Crusher in "The Battle", and now it is The Admiral that calle him that...... ...
  • The "Enterprise" beams aboard a great negotiator, Admiral Mark Jameson. Admiral Jameson is being transported to Mordan IV. He will be negotiating* with Karnas. Karnas has taken several Federation hostage. The crew is excited to have Admiral Jameson but a

    The "Enterprise" beams aboard a great negotiator, Admiral Mark Jameson. Admiral Jameson is being transported to Mordan IV. He will be negotiating* with Karnas. Karnas has taken several Federation hostage. The crew is excited to have Admiral Jameson but are shocked to see Jameson up and walking. It is not possible with his illness to do this. Later on we see him as a younger person. Jameson has taken a alien de-aging drug. He has took more than is needed. Will he be able to negotiate with Karnas or not? You be the judge. I rate this episode a 5.5.
  • who is afraid of growing old.

    This has got to be one of the worst star trek epiosodes ever.

    an old sick guy trying to be young and healthy again. In the mix is a hostage situation to drive the climax of the episode. This all in an episode without a climax, and not much of a story.

    Most series cannot afford to have too many bad episodes in a first season, and this is one for Star Trek. No matter which cast, the bad story and plot were just not salvageblablabla.

    So in the end, the tyrant sees his enemy dead. Oh boy, such sweet, lousy lyrics to a song without music.

  • Useless, a waste of 40 mins.

    A famous negotiator, Admiral Mark Jameson takes a drug that will make him younger so he can have better negotiations without being old and unable to walk, but it's too much for his body so it is killing him.

    That's right kids, THAT is the basic plot of the show. Okay maybe it would have worked if executed better, if so I would have given it a 2. But no, it's not executed right, we get absolutely no character development, instead we watch an old geezer get younger and start getting chest pains. Clayton Rohner playing an 80 year old was dreadful to watch. He tried acting like an old man but it was terrible, because people at that age don't look like him with bad make up or move around like Rohner did here. He should have been slow, calm and maybe show a little frustration a lot better than he did here. Instead he's portrayed arrogant throughout the episode which leaves for viewers never to care for that character, no redeeming qualities, if he dies, boohoo, he dies. But maybe we would have cared for the character, if played by someone more talented, because Clayton Rohner is just a terrible actor, at all ages.

    Very pointless, I do not recommend this episode.

    I give this episode 1 star out of 5. (2.0 on
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