The Rewatch 95: Home Soil

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.18 Home Soil (02-22-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Walter Gotell – Kurt Mandl. You might recognize him as General Gogol in the Roger Moore James Bond films. as well as others.
Elizabeth Lindsey – Luisa Kim. Ms. Lindsey is primarily an anthropologist and is a fellow of the National Geographic Society. She directed a film about the native Hawaiians in 1996 called Then there were None and has done other work to learn and educate people on the native peoples of Indonesia and other Polynesian communities.
Carolyne Barry – Female engineer. Barry was a professional dancer and appeared in the TOS episode “Arena” as well as this TNG episode.
Mario Roccuzzo -. He appeared on many Tv series (over 250 roles) and films. He also tried his hand at songwriting, writing Eddie Cochran’s hit “Nervous Breakdown. Which I didn’t particularly care for, but others apparently loved it. You can listen to it here.

Review:

This episode kind of connects to Star Trek: Wrath of Khan. The Enterprise crew is visiting a terraforming station when it malfunctions and the drilling platform kill a member of the team there. Picard decides to investigate, only for the drill to focus on Data.

Data and Geordi manage to find a non-carbon based life form on the planet. While I enjoyed the TOS episode where a silcon lifeform was found, I feel this episode is actually better. They go more into detail about trying to understand the lifeform. They don’t have the mind-meld to skip over all that. TOS used that quite often to skip over things.

I like the fact that they have to work their way through the problem. They investigate, they analyse. When they realise it is a life form they try their best not to harm it and to return it to the planet. That is another thematic difference from TOS to TNG. TNG is much more open to the idea of being the wrong doer while TOS was more The Federation could do no wrong.

Interesting Notes:

  • · Written by Robert Sabaroff (based on the story by Robert Sabaroff, Karl Geurs, and Ralph Sanchez)
  • · Directed by Corey Allen, who was an actor turned Director. He actually costared in Rebel without a Cause.
  • · This episode had a awkward time getting to the finish line. Rewrites kept happening, there were problems with sets and casting.

Pros:

  • Seeing Picard really trust his senior crew to know their stuff.
  • The fact that crew was able to admit that their earlier assumptions were wrong, and tried to rectify the situation

Cons:

  • The main director of the terraforming team seemed a little too eager. He improved as the episode went on but he was still annoying
  • Its not really a con but Troi insisting that Riker charm information out of the designer kind of irked me. I don’t like the idea of making people seduce/charm information out of people.

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