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TNG 1-14

TNG 1x14
"Angel One"

Original airdate: 1/25/1988
Rewatch date: 7/28/2011


On a rescue mission to Angel One, a matriarchal planet where men are treated as second-class citizens, Riker pleads for the lives of a few human refugees. Meanwhile, a debilitating virus sweeps through the orbiting Enterprise.

Spoiler-free notes:

Picard talks as though the sexes are completely equal by the 24th Century, and yet, even in TNG, there's still a male captain and a male first officer. Granted, there's a female security chief and doctor, but as far as I remember, we haven't seen a female captain or admiral in Star Trek excepting one or two ancillary characters in the movies. In TOS, there was only one regular female cast member, and she was just a communications officer. The disparity isn't nearly as extreme as it is on Angel One, of course, where one gender is subservient to the other.

Why would the inhabitants of Angel One refer to their planet as "Angel One"? That would be like us calling the Earth "Sol Three."

This is the first time the Romulans have been mentioned in TNG.

Since they apparently don't have perfume in the future, I'm guessing the Enterprise is a smelly place.

I think Riker likes wearing furs, feathers, and earrings.

"Make it so." I love La Forge in command.

I am really confused by the Prime Directive. As I understand it, it is a rule against interfering with the natural evolution of pre-warp civilizations. If Angel One is pre-warp, as it appears to be, isn't the arrival of Starfleet a violation of the Prime Directive? Isn't Riker sleeping with the leader of Angel One a violation as well? If not, why does Data bring up the Prime Directive in the first place? The best explanation I can come up with is that the Prime Directive applies for all cultures, but for very primitive cultures (more primitive than Angel One), the Prime Directive has super strict guidelines, while for more advanced civilizations, the Prime Directive has more wiggle room. (more in spoiler section)

That virus is the first time something Klingon is refered to as sweet-smelling.



Spoiler section:

At one point, Riker is asked whether Federation policy forces Starfleet to hide itself from primitive cultures. Riker says no, because they still want to learn about other cultures. This flies in the face of how we understand the Prime Directive later in the show, when it is clear that the Federation absolutely hides itself from primitive cultures, setting up elaborately concealed observation posts on primitive worlds. This is seen in "Who Watches the Watchers" and Star Trek: Insurrection.





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