The Rewatch 80: The Naked Now

Series: Star Trek:The Next Generation
Episode: 1.03 The Naked Now (10-3-87)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status:  0/0

Notable Guest Stars:
Brooke Bundy – Commander Sarah MacDougal.  She appeared in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, as well as various soap operas.
Benjamin Lum  –  Lt. Commander Jim Shimoda.  He had a recurring role on the 1980s television series Paradise
Skip Stellrecht – Engineering Crewman – He became a popular voice actor, including Cowboy Bebop which is a favorite of a friend of mine.

Review:

Now that Q has gone away, the Enterprise is off to do various missions.  Its first is to contact the SS Tsiolkovsky , a science vessel which is observing a dwarf star.  Only they find them all dead and frozen.

Picard is already concerned about infecting the crew, and his fears are not unfonded after they realise that LaForge, one of the away team that investigated, is acting strangely. 

This episode is supposed to be a way of seeing the characters through a different lens. Just like The Naked Time I feel this is too early to really be able to tell what is the character’s normal behavior and what isn’t.  Not to mention none of the actors have seemingly settled on their characterization yet.

Side note:  How many migraines did Marina Sirtis have to suffer during the first season because of those hairdos?

I have issues with this episode and its ideas of consent.  Mainly there is a scene with Tasha and an unknown officer who she just grabs and kisses.  We never see him again, but I wasn’t too comfortable with the scene.  The scene with Data was also kind of iffy, but seemed at the very least somewhat consensual.

I have to wonder why Riker seemed to last the longest between infection and acting drunk.

One ongoing issue with the show is Wesley Crusher being shown as the wonderkid.  He’s extra smart, extra knowing without any training at all.  He knews all the electrical pathways in the ship, without any experience in Engineering. It’s a bit…much.  I feel that Wesley as a character would have been served better (and given Wil Wheaton better storylines to play with) if he wasn’t so beyond his years.

Also there seems to be this idea that Picard saying no children on the bridge is somehow extra strident. The bridge is the command center.  It seems logical to suggest only authorized personal be on the bridge.  Or in Engineering if its so easy to countermand the bridge from there.

The Assistant Chief Engineer should be demoted for leaving a 15-year-old with no training or authoriiation in charge of the engineering section.  I’m pretty sure that’s a very bad showing of judgement on his part.

Data is oddly emoting in this episode. The first season is very awakward, and this is one of the reasons.  Data’s characteristics that most people know aren’t really set in till season 2.  Also, I find it odd he was effected, considering he is an android. Why would the medication Crusher made him affect him either?

I am giving this a 3, because it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t very good.  It relied a bit too much on TOS, and we don’t know the characters well enough to really see the differences.  Maybe Troi does let herself get distracted by her mental connection to Riker, or that Geordi really does have a problem with his blindness.  At this point we really don’t know.  I’m not sure how the characters, mostly new to each other, would know either.

Interesting Notes:

  •  Written by J. Michael Bingham (D.C. Fontana) with credits going to John D.F. Black who wrote the original TOS episode
  • Directed by Paul Lynch
  • Directly relates to TOS episode “The Naked Time”. Its based on an unfinished teleplay by Gene Roddenberry

Pros:

  • Nerdy Will Riker who reads up on the history of the vessel he’s going to serve on.  And apparently remembers stuff.  I bet he has books written by Admiral Kirk & Ambassador Spock on his shelves.
  • I have a love hate relationship with Data/Tasha
  • The Naked Now sounds a lot better than The Naked Time. It has that going for it.
  • Female Chief Engineer.  Not really seen outside of Voyager in this series, I must admit.  Although MacDougal does not last long.

Cons:

  • I feel it was too early in this show’s run for doing sequel episodes like this. Especially as we don’t really have a good feel on the characters yet.  It feels a bit too much like they are trying to recreate TOS.
  • I have a love hate relationship with Data/Tasha
  • Do frozen people really look like that or is just movie magic.  I’m not going to google it because frankly I’m not sure I want to know what I’ll see.
  • Tasha’s outfit.  Because no for so many reasons.

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