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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Allegiance (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

Allegiance is a solid episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It just has the misfortune to follow three of the strongest episodes the show ever produced, and to come directly in front of one of the franchise’s better-received “light” episodes. It would be a tough situation for just about any episode, and the biggest problem with Allegiance is that it’s very much “traditional” Star Trek. It’s very safe, it’s very standard, it’s very familiar.

Allegiance is really a bunch of Star Trek clichés put in a blender. A doppelganger arrives on the ship to allow an actor a chance to flex their muscles; powerful aliens are keen to learn a lot about humanity; radically different people work together in order to overcome an obstacle; there’s even a lovely coda on just how well-oiled the Enterprise crew have become. It’s all executed quite well. Allegiance is a charming piece of work, one that feels intentionally light and breezy. It’s just naturally a bit of a step down from the phenomenal run of episodes that came before it.

Yep, it's a bit of a light week for the Enterprise crew...

Yep, it’s a bit of a light week for the Enterprise crew…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Where Silence Has Lease (Review)

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also next year’s release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, I’m taking a look at the recent blu ray release of the first season (and a tiny bit of the second), episode-by-episode. Check back daily for the latest review.

If we ignore The Child as an aberration, a recycled script necessitated by the Writers’ Guild of America Strike of 1988, Where Silence Has Lease actually makes for a much stronger starting point for the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. We’re not quite at the point where we’re getting consistently good episodes on a weekly basis, but episodes like Where Silence Has Lease and the following Elementary, Dear Data demonstrating that the show was at least learning what worked and what didn’t in the bets of the first season episodes.

In particular, Where Silence Has Lease allows the show to tell a straight-up science-fiction exploration story that provides commentary on the human condition, but in a manner that isn’t as clumsy as first-season efforts like Lonely Among Us. It’s not a classic episode, but it’s a solid one. However, a solid episode of the second season can stand alongside the best episodes of the first season, demonstrating that the show is making significant progress towards the consistent quality it would eventually maintain.

Into the void...

Into the void…

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