The Rewatch 109: Unnatural Selection

Screencap credit to CygnusX1

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 2.07 Unnatural Selection(01-30-89)
Rating:   5/5
Redshirt Status: 0 /0/3

Notable Guest Stars:
 Patricia Smith – Dr. Sara Kinglsey.  She appeared in The Spirit of St. Louis.

Review:

 For those of you who are following along and have never watched Star Trek before, this post is going to be extra spoiler, particularly about the Julian Bashir story.

As someone who has watched Star Trek all the way before (well, till they added to it), this episode has some weird things to note.

In DS9, one of the key points about Julian Bashir’s story is that he is a genetically engineered/augmented human being. They basically rewrote his DNA to be closer to what was considered typical/advanced.  Something that was outlawed in the Federation due to what happened in the Eugenics wars. Yet this episode contains the Darwin Center which is developing genetically ‘superior’ children.   Perhaps you had ot have a special license to work with genetic engineering, and report all your findings for public review.

Either that or they pulled Julian’s story out of thin air and forgot to fact check it with their own show. Which is my growing theory.  Its workable but suggests they didn’t at least try to work on it.  So with this episode I am just going to assume that post-birth alterations are considered unlawful, and perhaps the Darwin Station found the loopholes.  Julian would be at the academy in his final years at this point, so its also possible that in recent years, genetic engineering had become less controversial.

Back to the episode in question, the result is that the attempts to make superhuman immune system had caused a new disease to be generated.  I’m not at all sure why someone thought having airborne antibodies was a good idea. In this case, it turned out to be a poorly thought out idea.  When the antibody got to the virus, it mutated into something that affected those with less advanced immune systems and made them age very fast.

I have an issue with episodes with rapid aging.  This episode, the episode in TOS where everyone aged because of their lympatic system, and event he Stargate Episode where Jack O’Neill ends up aged up.  Oddly one of my first thoughts is that hair is dead, so why is the hair always fully white.  I figure the roots should be white, but the rest their old hair color should remain.

However I am not a medical person at all, so maybe I’m missing something and just uberfocusing on something trival.  Okay, even if I wasn’t missing something it was uberfocusing on something trival.    I just find that the aging just doesn’t make sense in the make-up direction.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by John Mason and Mike Gray
  • Directed by Paul Lynch
  •  Miles O’Brian has a name!  His pips are all wrong but I’m not sure what crewmen insignia work like.
  • So the Lantree has basically an Enterprise day.  Sadly, they don’t have the usual last minute save. But I think this is the first episode where the main ship comes across another ship that has a problem

Pros:

  • Overall this is a good plot
  • Super Immune system.

Cons:

  • Why does Trek have this thing about aging and head movement being exaggerated?
  • Super immune system that gets a little ahead of itself.

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