The Rewatch 136: The Hunted

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 3.10 The Hunted (01-08-1990)
Rating:  4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/22.5

Notable Guest Stars:

James Cromwell – Prime Minister Nayrok.  Not quite Cochrane yet. (For those of you watching this new, James Cromwell will eventually take the role of Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact and Enterprise)
Jeff McCarthy – Roga Danar.  He’ll also appear on Voyager as the CMO, unfortunately short lived.  He is also the voice of Michigan J. Frog, the WB’s animated frog.
J. Micheal Flynn – He plays a background character in this episode, but he would appear in several episodes of Star Trek Enterprise.

Review:

I have to admit that while I watched this episode I kept making comparisions between Roga and Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes from the Marvel Universe.  Different origin stories, but with some remarkable similarities.  Roga is a chemically altered superhumanoid.  He has increased strength, intelligence, and other enhancements to make him an ultimate soldier.  However when the war is over with, he and his fellow supers are pushed off their home planet to a lunar colony, eventually overseen by security guards.  Basically, a prison.

All this information of course si learned over the course of the episode. At first Picard is investgating a new planet, Angosia III, who would like to join the Federation. He’s about ready to finish up his investigation when a prisoner escapes from the Lunar V ‘prison’ colony.  They actually use those words, although Nayrok tries to say its just a colony later on and everyone acts like he never called it a prison before.  With Wes and Data working together, they eventually capture the prisoner – Roga – and Deanna starts to get her suspicions.  A few conversations with the man, a visit from Data, and an examination by Beverly bring her to some interesting information about the newly applied Angosia.

This is an encapsulated episode, so it doesn’t make an overall mark on the series, but it does have an interesting theme about how we treat military veterans, and those who volunteer for medical trials.  Key information was held from the volunteers, and instead of dealing with the problem after the need for them ended, they just pushed them away so they didn’t have to deal with it.

Which brings me back to my original statement.  If Steve Rogers hadn’t been incased in ice for seventy years, what would they have done with him after the war?  They wouldn’t need him for fundraising and such, and the changes they made to him to make him a ‘perfect’ soldier wouldn’t have been needed either.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Robin Bernheim  (She shall return as a writer and producer for Star Trek Voyager)
  • Directed by Cliff Bole
  • According to Memory Alpha (sourced from the companion for TNG), this episode was an a look on how a society treats its veterans.  Which for once was very apparent and done fairly well.
  • This episode had a scene written by Ira Steven Behr, who was a new staff writer.  He would be an executive producer of Deep Space Nine. Apparently he had to run interference between the writers and the showrunner, eventually quitting before rejoining later to do DS9.
  • First mention of the Jefferies tubes.  Although I think this is only set of them big enough to walk through instead of crouch.
  •  

Pros:

  • The idea of new planets joining the Federation.
  • Deanna’s fighting for the Agnosians to actually care for their vetrans, and offer actual medical care including for mental health.

Cons:

  • I always found it a lousy thing that people treat veterans poorly.  They went into an organization built for national defense, sometimes voluntarily, sometimes not, and when they got home those who felt the military made the wrong decision took it out on the men and women who sacrificed their time, health (physical and mental), and sometimes lives to defend us.  Blame the leaders, not the people doing their bidding.   

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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