The Rewatch 93: Too Short a Season

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.16 Too Short a Season (02-08-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Clayton Rohner – Mark Jameson. He has had a varied career, starting off staring in several horror movies although he is known for his role in the 1985 film Just One of the Guys. He most recently was involved in the TV series Ozark, which I have been told I need to watch.
Marsha Hunt – Anne Jameson. Her career was disrupted by the HUAC investigations (Also known as McCarthyism) into alleged communism. It was an unfortunate part of American history.
Michael Pataki – Karnas. You might remember him as a certain Klingon who called the Enterprise a garbage scow and lived to regret it.

Review:

We seem to be starting to hit our stride in TNG’s first season. This episode is also not a bad episode, although it could have been improved by better make-up.

The theme of this episode is revenge and aging. Amdiral Jameson is asked to come to Mordan to neogicate with terrorists who have the Federation ambassador and his staff hostage. Karnas has a grudge against Jamison who neogicated with him 40 years ago, and ended up giving both sides the same guns.

This is an interesting take because of the TOS episode A Private Little War. In that episode, like Admiral Jameson, Kirk had solved the problem by giving the sides of the civil war equal level in weapons. In Kirk’s case, he was giving it to one side after the Klingons had given it to the other. In the Admiral Jameson’s case he gave both sides in a situation weapons and left. The planet fell into 40 years of civil war.

Jameson has held onto his guilt over his actions (and his coverup with Starfleet) for decades. He found a deaging drug that has been helping his symptoms with Iverson’s deasise. I am assuming at the moment that it is some neurological desease not unlike MS.

Before the mission, wanting to deal with Karnas as a younger man, he takes the whole regimen and ends up rapidly deaging. He can’t control it, and neither can Crusher, which leads to him dying within days as his body can’t handle it. His wife watches helplessly as this goes on, unable to help him or understand why he would do this.

I enjoyed this episode. It builds on the world of Starfleet, something TOS rarely did. TOS mostly focused on the Enterprise and that is all. TNG does make the improvement of showing interaction with other ships, other missions. Starfleet history and development.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Michael Michaelian & D.C.Fontana
  • Directed by Rob Bowman

Pros:

  • Beverly Crusher being suspicious of any miracle cure
  • Extension of the Star Trek Universe beyond the hull of the Enterprise.

Cons:

  • I feel that the writers don’t know how to write Troi yet.
  • Why is Karnas treated like he did nothing wrong?
  • The aging makeup still isn’t that great. It looks like its hanging off him rather then his natural skin. But that’s a technology thing, not necessarily a skill thing.

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