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TNG: The Neutral Zone - abates
Brilliant but slightly odd but very nice

Alden Bates
Date: 2006-10-07 22:53
Subject: TNG: The Neutral Zone
Security: Public
Tags:next generation
Hmm, I wonder if the new CGI-enhanced versions of the original Star Trek are going to have bumpy foreheads CGI-ed onto the Klingons, or if they're going to go with Enterprise having explained that wee facet of Trek history.

The Neutral Zone: While the Enterprise heads for the Neutral Zone to check out some missing bases, three people from the 20th century try to cope with being revived in the 24th.

Annnnd, we're at the end of season 1 already!

While waiting for Picard to come back, the Enterprise has noticed an ancient piece of Earth crap floating past. Riker is unimpressed, but Data wants to beam onto it and take a look. On board, they find cryogenic capsules, several still functional and containing humans.

Picard arrives back, and orders the ship into the Neutral Zone. He explains that several federation bases along the Neutral Zone have been destroyed, and they suspect the Romulans. They don't really know much about the Romulans at this point in time.

Crusher revives the people from the capsules and reports that she cured the ailments they had. People being frozen, sure, but why shoot them into space?! Picard complains to her and Data about them. The first survivor wakes up, spots Worf, and promptly faints.

Data says the three survivors are Claire Raymond, Ralph Oppenhaus, and Sonny Clemens. Picard leaves them to Riker to debrief. Date says it's 2364AD by the old calender. Oh, the spaceship thing was to avoid power failures. Ralph, who's a businessman is anxious to check his portfolio. Riker doesn't break it to him yet that no one uses money any more unless they've gut huge ears.

Troi says Romulans are prone to wild mood swings. What?!

Sonny orders a martini from the replicator, then asks about television, which Data says didn't last beyond 2040. The survivors ask to see the captain. Data says they're very unusual humans.

It's somewhat odd that this episode seems to be named for the B plot...

They have another pointless meeting about the Romulans. Riker thinks the Romulans want to see how far the Federation has advanced in technology. Then they're interrupted by Ralph over the communicator who complains loudly until Picard appears in person and tells him off, then sets Troi on them. Troi helps Claire look up the records on her children. Meanwhile, Sonny who's a country music star, tries to get drugs from Crusher and organise a party with Data.

The Enterprise reaches the location of a science station and finds it completely gone. Dun dun duuuuuun! They proceed to one of the other bases and find the same thing. Riker suggests battle stations, but Picard decides yellow alert is more appropriate. Meanwhile, Ralph roams the ship, eventually reaching the bridge, just as they detect something that might be a Romulan ship.

Before they can throw him off the bridge, the Romulan ship decloaks. Despite Worf's loud misgivings, he opens hailing frequencies and the Romulans say that their outposts near the Neutral Zone have been destroyed too. Picard suggests a collaboration in finding out who is responsible for the attacks. The Romulans announce "Yo! We back!" and then sod off.

Troi locates some living relatives for Claire, while Sonny is optimistic his music will be well recieved, and Ralph is worried about what he'll do now capitalism is out of fashion. Teh end.

That was odd. The B-plot with the Romulans serves only to reintroduce them (Do they even do anything with the Romulans? ISTR they don't even appear much until DS9's last season) and the mystery of who attacked the starbases is never explained. ISTR there's a fan theory that the Borg did it, but I don't think it's ever stated.

The A-plot with 20th century people encountering the 24th century... I guess that's meant to provide an opportunity to outline how some of the more day-to-day facets of Federation life work, but in hindsight it makes us look like a bunch of dumb hicks. Cheers, guys!
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-10-08 00:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Naw, according to the Okudas, the "special eds" of TOS won't mess with the aliens much. However, the interview that I read hinted that they might do something with the blobbie that could move through rocks and was only trying to protect her babies.
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Tyler
User: blinovitch
Date: 2006-10-08 01:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The Romulans popped up from time to time in TNG, which is the best you can hope for in episodic television with no ongoing storylines. They were in the one where Geordi and Ro think they're ghosts, and the one where they kidnap Troi and disguise her as a Romulan super secret police officer, and the one(s) with Spock, and the one where Picard and some others discover the Enterprise and a Romulan ship are trapped in a time thingy.
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Bruce Greenwood
User: breenwood
Date: 2006-10-08 01:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not to mention they were also behind most of the plots involving the Klingon Emperor, and Tas^H^H^H^Seska...
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Tyler
User: blinovitch
Date: 2006-10-08 01:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, but everyone wants to forget about her.
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Ian Mc
User: ianmcin
Date: 2006-10-08 01:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
ISTR there's a fan theory that the Borg did it, but I don't think it's ever stated.

It's actually stated pretty explicitly in the ep where they introduce the Borg properly. The Enterprise comes across a bunch of planets that have been attacked in the same way that the planets in this ep were.
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Alden Bates
User: abates
Date: 2006-10-08 04:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Aha, cool!
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Grizz: nekkid alien glasscutters
User: 1_big_grizz
Date: 2006-10-09 00:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:nekkid alien glasscutters
IIRC, they state that it's "the same pattern of destruction", but do they ever confirm it?
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Ian Mc
User: ianmcin
Date: 2006-10-09 03:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think calling the "same pattern of destruction" is about as close as they could get to confirming it without bogging down the narrative. It's sufficient confirmation for me, at any rate.
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