This isn't a bad episode, but it's not a good episode either. Sadly, it's mostly a boring (and predictable) episode. (I guess there's a reason they pay these writer people. Without them, the actors can only give you so much!) It might have helped if there was a B story that somehow worked with the A story; perhaps something like having an Ambassador on board who tries to wrestle control of the ship away from Picard. (Okay, maybe not.) Earl Boen plays "Nagillum", because first choice Richard Mulligan wasn't available. ("Nagillum is "Mulligan" backwards.) Boen is okay, but nothing special.
"Where Silence Has Lease" is the oomph that Star Trek: TNG should have began with for the second season start, instead of the snooze-worthy "The Child" (I do not know if this is because "The Child" was an idea for the thrown-out "Phase II" 70s Trek series and "Where Silence Has Lease" is an original story, but I am considering it as a possibility). In this the second episode of the series' second season, the Enterprise becomes enveloped in a hole in space in which they cannot escape and bizarre events begin to unfold. The crew concludes that they must have stumbled into some sort of experiment being conducted by a large being - too bad that they were right.
If for no other reason than because after countless season one episodes in which Wesley Crusher saves the day it was the fault of the annoying Mr. Crusher that the Enterprise was enveloped by this hole in space in the first place, "Where Silence Has Lease" is an upper tier TNG season two episode. Obviously improving upon the weak first season in every way (and so early in the second too!) "Where Silence Has Lease" is a tense, thrilling TNG ride as we watch the Enterprise crew try to escape a seemingly unwinnable scenario. The opening scenes are a bit odd and the alien entity that is experimenting on the Enterprise is a showcase of some poor late-80s effects but that does not stop "Where Silence Has Lease" from being a tense and thoroughly entertaining TNG mystery.
The theme of this episode is almost identical to the one that preceeds it (The Child) but it is conveyed through a story that is more interesting and satisfies to a greater degree. Like "The Child" this episode is concerned with an alien entity trying to learn as much as it can about the human race; but while The Child tries to accomplish this with a a relatively harmless presence that manifests itself through human offspring, this episode uses a being of inderterminate form with a essentially immoral outlook. Immoral in this case does not mean evil, but instead means a basically neutral moral outlook toward what it is reviewing; in this case the being takes a merely intrigued outlook toward human's and learning about them. It is neither overly concerned, not totally ignorant of what it is studying. This outlook leads to Picard's decision to "fight" this being not with overt force but to deny it what it seeks by destroying all of it's potential lab subjects. This casual outlook toward human's also leads to one of the hilight moments of the episode; namely death of Haskel, which the entity views as totally inconsequential morally but slightly useful empirically because it provides the entity with some very limited insight into what death entails.
As far as visual effects go, the actual void that makes up the creature's internal space is decent enough, but the facial manifestation is quite tacky and appears dated even for the time period it was filmed in. These visual flaws aside, the story as a whole serves as an adequate vessel to get it's message and theme across, and even though the ending is no surprise at all (end the season two episodes in by destroying the ship and everyone on it....) it does not end leaving the viewer feel disappointed.
I don't get all the high ratings and raving reviews this episode has gotten here (but then I'm often perplexed in that regard). In my opinion, this is a weak, derivative, poorly scripted and badly characterised episode that commits the cardinal sin of being *boring*. It combines two Trekkian cliches that have been utterly done to death: the space anomaly and the omnipotent alien that's curious about humans (god only knows why we're so fascinating to advanced life forms).
The teaser to this episode is utterly pointless and completely unrelated to the rest of the episode. I can only imagine it was tacked on because the episode was running short (because, let's face it, there isn't exactly much plot). Picard is sitting on the bridge worrying like a mother hen while Riker joins Worf in his exercise program. The worst characterisation in this episode is Worf, who is portrayed as being a volatile rotweiller who can't control his aggression and nearly turns on Riker twice. This guy got through Starfleet HOW??
The rest of the episode is basically a snooze fest. There are certainly some interesting moments, including some genuinely eerie scenes aboard the Yamato and Picard's musings on death, but I really didn't understand or buy into his decision to destroy the ship. The ending, where Picard holds off aborting the self-destruct until the absolute last minute is a silly and desperate attempt to inject some tension into the episode's (anti)climax. I mean, even if they hadn't really escaped Nagilum, why couldnt he just have initiated the self destruct again instead of dicing with death??
The conclusion, where we get Nagilum's assessment of humanity is not only a major case of deja vu (powerful alien condemning humanity as dangerous and savage, while Picard spouts on about how far we've come...yawn) but is also astoundingly hypocritical of Nagilum I would say.
Watch this episode only for the occasional unintentional laugh, such as Worf's scream aboard the Yamato, his occasional outbursts of Rotweiller growling and the amusing moment where Pulaski's body is taken over by Nagilum. Otherwise, avoid.
If only the alien face wasnt a cast-off from ST:TOS! I couldnt stop laughing at such poor effects for the face in the space!
If you can get past that however, this is one of the few episodes where the alien threat to the crew is culpable! One of the "red shirts" is killed outright for no reason other than on the alien's whim.
Overall the plot elements are pretty average and the ending anti-climatic. The method to achieve their escape however is clever if a little predictable now. This one is worth watching only for the intrigue and Picard's [and the crew's] match up against the alien in a battle of wits, rather than power.
It goes to show that if you can find out what your opposition wants, you can defeat them without resorted to force.
This episode is very much in the mold of the second season – everything about the show, especially the acting and writing, had improved greatly over the show's first year. At the same time, the writers hadn't quite figured out how to consistently write good, much less great, episodes.
The Enterprise finds itself trapped in space. After realizing they can't escape and seeing several hallucinations, they realize they are actually the subjects of an experiment. Up until this point, we have a solid episode – engaging, if a bit slow-paced.
The "scientist" (Nagilum) running the experiment finally shows up, kills Ensign Expendable and threatens to execute half the crew. This ratchets up the tension considerably, though Nagilum himself is somewhat goofy looking. Picard manages to save the day by talking Nagilum out of this heinous act, in what is a totally underwhelming cop-out by the writers.
One nice sequence is Picard's encounter with the pseudo-Data and pseudo-Troi. Patrick Stewart manages to give the Captain's musings about the afterlife enough gravitas that we can forget they wouldn't even pass an introductory philosophy class.
The Enterprise is pulled into a "laboratory" of sorts.
Most of the episode is just dedicated to the reactions of various crew members to the stimuli provided by the one who conducts the research. However, the most poignant of reactions is the way Captain Picard reacts to his own impending death, as well as that of the crew of the Enterprise.
"Considering the marvelous complexity of our universe, its clockwork perfection, its balances of this against that... matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension, pattern, I believe our existence must mean more than a meaningless illusion. I prefer to believe that my and your existence goes beyond Euclidian and other 'practical' measuring systems... and that, in ways we cannot yet fathom, our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality."
Set to the background music of Erik Satie's "Gymnopédie No. 1," this scene heightens the philisophical implications of the impending deaths of Picard and his crew.
Once again Star Trek the Next Generation shows the never-say-die character of true, though fictitious, explorers seeking to understand the unknown, be it, malevolent or benevolent.
This episode is along the same theme as "coming of age",
"schizms", "conundrum" etc. which are all my favorites.
Keeping ones wits when the end seems near is what seperates us from the primates, don't you think? In any case, on TV at least, human- kind wins out. I am not so sure about human-kind is reality. Actually, though I have expressed
my review and view of this episode I am hoping to make it to 100 words. Thanks for reading. Hope you share my view.
Since it's already been done, there is no reason to summarize the episode; I will only offer my opinion on the episode. While it was only slightly above average compared to the average "Next Generation" episode, I did find it considerably better than most episodes in this, the second, season. I definitely think it is better than the 6 rating that one of the other reviewers gave it. The episode has a bit of mystery to it, and it has some funny moments. In actuality, I give it about an 8, but I'll rate it higher so that the average rating will rise.
While en route to the Morgana Quadrant, the "Enterprise" finds a void that has no matter and no dimensions. Picard orders the ship forward despite Lt. Worf's warning. The ship stops just oustide the entrance to the void. The void all of the sudden traps
While en route to the Morgana Quadrant, the "Enterprise" finds a void that has no matter and no dimensions. Picard orders the ship forward despite Lt. Worf's warning. The ship stops just oustide the entrance to the void. The void all of the sudden traps the "Enterprise". Unable to get out, Data sends out a stationary bouy behind them only to find it ahead of them. The crew encounters thier sister ship the "Yamoto". Will the "Enterprise" find is way out of the void or self destruct? Watch this episode it is worth your time. I rate this one 9.2
While en route to the Morgana Quadrant, the U.S.S. Enterprise is engulfed by a mysterious >hole> having no dimensions and void of all energy and matter. While there, they encounter a Romulan warbird and the U.S.S. Yamato, but they turn out to be illusions and so a creature named Nagilum who appears on the view screen but sensors detect he is not there. So after he kills a member of the crew to see what death is, states that he might test it again on a third of half of the crew. Picard would rather destroy his ship than be treated like a guinea pig so he sets the auto destruct sequence for 20 minutes. If the ship returns from the void he will delay it, if not, the ship will be destroyed.
The plot sounds like something from TOS so it is safe to say that this episode could have been one of the plots not used for the Star Trek show that was going to have the TOS cast back, just like the previous episode The Child.
It was awesome to see Worf unleashed in the holodeck, almost even attacking Riker purposely, a warrior fighting temptations is a strong one. The Nagilum… I have to agree with Geordi’s comment on Nagilum’s appearance that it was damned ugly “nothing”. The episode was interesting, kind of like the TOS episodes where they meet a huge face in space, so I will recommend it, but I will only give it three stars because it’s only worthy to watch less than three times. Average.
I give this episode 3 out of 5 stars. (6.0 on TV.com)
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