Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2 Episode 18

Up The Long Ladder

5
Aired Unknown May 22, 1989 on CBS
6.6
out of 10
User Rating
205 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: 42823.2 The Enterprise receives a distress signal that has not been in use since the 22nd Century. Information on the signal points to a ship launched in 2123 by a European hegemony carrying equipment from two very different eras in human history.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Yes, this is the notorious 'planet of the Irish stereotypes', a perfect companion piece of season seven's equally bad 'planet of the Scottish stereotypes'. In a word: bleh!

    3.1
    In a few more words:



    This is a wildly uneven episode that seeks to balance humour with drama and romance...and it fails quite miserably, simply because the humour is too way forced, the drama is undermined by the hackneyed premise and poor execution and the 'romance' is just utterly pointless and quite inappropriate.



    I'm not going to say much about the planet of the Irish stereotypes, because I'm sure it's all been said before. But geez, whose idea was this? I could complain about this in detail, but I won't. Suffice to say, the stereotypes are not only cringe-worthy but indicate extremeley lazy, miscalculated writing. Danilo, the leader of the Bringloidi is just a characature pure and simple and the rest of them, including his daughter Brenna get annoying very quickly.



    And as for the Riker/Brenna romance? Shouldn't the Prime Directive's law of non-interference somehow apply to Starfleet officers deciding to have casual sex with people from other planets? Well, if it doesn't, it should! Sure, the Bringloidi are human, but I can still think of 100 reasons why it is inadvisable for Riker (or any other crew member) to allow their libidos to run unchecked. Shouldn't there be some kind of Starfleet protocol against such entangelements? Maybe I'm just annoyed because the Riker/Brenna romance felt so gratuitous, forced and unnecessary. Like so much else in this episode (such as Worf's illness at the start of the episode) it felt like padding.



    The episode gets a little more interesting when the crew encounter a sister colony comprised of clones and there are some interesting issues raised regarding the forced extraction of DNA from Riker and Pulaski. But any serious, insightful debate is quickly muted in favour of the ultra-simplistic conclusion of getting the two colonies to come together and interbreed. A clever, insightful, thought-provoking solution? Not in the slightest.



    This is one to avoid. At the time this episode was produced the show was evidently affected by a writer's strike. The writers obviously hadn't stopped writing by this point, but one thing was for sure: with this episode they'd clearly decided to stop writing anything decent.moreless
  • The Enterprise rescues a primitive rural farming community along with an advanced race of clones from a doomed planet.

    6.0
    With this episode, Melinda Snodgras ("The Measure of a Man", "Pen Pals") proves that even she can write a clunker. She wanted to make a statement about the U.S. immigration policy here, but the finished product part muddled mess and part heavyhanded preaching (along with the obvious resolution.) There are really two plotlines, with an A story dealing with a stereotypical Irish community and a B story (which is a little better) exploring issues of cloning. The limited budget of this episode does it no favors, though it has its moments (including my favorite, a reference to ""a diplomatic mission to Alderaan" in the 22nd century.) Mostly, however, this one's a yawner. Incidentally, the title comes from the expression, "Up the long ladder and down the short rope", an Irish rhyme popularized in a Tommy Makem song, "Are You Ready for a War?".moreless
  • Stop the inanity! A mishmash of mediocre, half-baked ideas that's meant to be humorous but falls completely flat.

    6.0
    In the context of the 1st season I might have rated this episode a tiny bit higher. But this is frankly a lame episode -- a ugly bastard stepchild of two other lame episodes, "Symbiosis" and "The Neutral Zone".



    The Irish colonists are completely uninteresting and the less said about that plot the better.



    Their cloned cousins and the plot they generate is somewhat better. As one of the other reviewers said, the idea (do we "own" our genetic material - to the extent of killing a human being?) is actually an intriguing one. But it's completely glossed over and this plot is rushed through so quickly that it fails to make any impression except a negative one.



    I have no clue what the plot about Worf having Klingon measles was about, but it was lame. Did we ever hear about a "Klingon tea ritual" again?moreless
  • Get me the warp out of here

    6.0
    Another shoddy episode, filled with unimportant characters and unimportant events. The plot follows a basic - solve a problem - kill two birds with one stone storyline. It also weaves the crossroads plot device into it, to show a possible different evolution for the central group of colonists settled on two different planets and developing differently.



    As others had said, the use of stereotypical Irish travellers though it works, is an ugly choice and doesnt lend to the watchability of this episode. Though the use of a closed off cloned society would have been novel at the time.



    Furthermore, the only conflict /confrontation is with the customs/traditions and the no nonsense ways of the colonists. Its is only when the Enterprise is called to the planet with the advanced soceity. Right from the beginning the situation calls for someone brave to shout... eureka - I got it! Unfortunately though we must sit through another 1.2 hr where the only thing that happens is that Ryker and the Dr. are stunned and their dna removed for cloning without their consent. Im sure that this was probably hairstandingly shocking back in the day... but this episode doesnt age to well.



    We are finally put out of our misery when Picard comes up with the resolution. Unless you like me are on a quest to sit through every episode (again), consider giving this a good miss. Nothing of any consequence happens.moreless
  • The "Enterprise" responds to a distress signal. It seems some descendants 22nd century European explorers are along way from earth and are in the Ficus Sector and on a Planet that is about to be destroyed by stellar flares. The colonist are know as the Brmoreless

    7.5
    The "Enterprise" responds to a distress signal. It seems some descendants 22nd century European explorers are along way from earth and are in the Ficus Sector and on a Planet that is about to be destroyed by stellar flares. The colonist are know as the Bringloidis. Riker beams down to save them. Riker wants to hold off on beaming the colonist on the "Enterprise", But Captain Picard orders the beam up. Is he in for surprise. Farm animals aboard the "Enterprise" They find there is more colonist on a another planet. I give this episode a 7.5 sheep approval.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt./Lt. Cmdr. Worf

Barrie Ingham

Barrie Ingham

Danilo Odell

Guest Star

Jon DeVries

Jon DeVries

Granger

Guest Star

Rosalyn Landor

Rosalyn Landor

Brenna Odell

Guest Star

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Miles O'Brien

Recurring Role

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