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TNG 3-03

TNG 3x03
"The Survivors"

Original airdate: 10/9/1989
Rewatch date: 10/1/2011


The Enterprise responds to a distress call and discovers a planet demolished by nuclear holocaust, save a tiny spot of untouched land and two lone survivors.

Spoiler-free notes:

When the away team first beams down, you can see power lines in the background.

I love episodes like this, where you know something weird is going on, but it seems completely inexplicable.

It's a good thing Worf isn't on a Klingon vessel when he stakes his reputation like that. He probably would have to commit suicide when that ship appears.

Troi going crazy is pretty disturbing. The worst part is that, even though her condition is the result of fictional psychic manipulation in this case, what's happening to her does actually happen to people without warning. Ever have a song stuck in your head? Imagine that multiplied by a few hundred and you have an extreme case of "obsessive musical thought," also known as an earworm. There are cases of this driving people way over the edge, and doing it about as quickly as what is happening to Troi. I'm also reminded of the Arthur C. Clarke story "The Ultimate Melody," in which a scientist creates a melody that is so perfect and so alluring that it puts him into a permanent coma.

Picard puts a lot of faith on his hunches.

When Picard confronts Kevin with his conclusions, it reminds me of the climax to a Sherlock Holmes story, with Holmes explaining how he has interpreted the clues and solved the riddle.

Number of episodes in which a member of the crew is subverted by an alien lifeforce: 5. Troi's psychic incapacitation at the hands of Kevin Uxbridge definitely qualifies.

Neat episode. I especially like the last lines: "We leave behind a being of extraordinary power and conscience. I am not sure if he should be praised or condemned, only that he should be left alone."



Spoiler section:

This episode reminds me of "Clues," in that there is no way Picard is going to just let it go. A vexing mystery is too difficult to resist.





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