The Rewatch 203: Relics

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.04 Relics (10/12/1992)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 1/2/37

Notable Guest Stars:
James Doohan (Montgomery Scott)-  He’s Mongomery Scott.  Need I say more!

Lanei Chapman(Sariel Rager)-  Chapman has been a reoccuring minor character on the series, appearing in two episodes in season 4, and two episodes in season 6.  Oddly enough the episode Geordi references in this episode was one of the episodes where Rager appeared.

Erick Weiss (Ensign Kane) – This is Weiss’ second appearance on TNG, but not his last for the series.

Review:

This is a pretty awesome episode, for a couple of reasons.  The main reason is the reappearance of our favorite OS engineer, Scotty.  Scotty decided to finally take off to a colony to retire on that boat he wanted, but ended up stuck in an adventure, as one does.  The TNG crew come across the wreakage of his ship, and find that Scotty and another crew member have juriigged the transporter to keep their pattern in the buffer till they could get a rescue.

Sadly, that rescue doesn’t come for 75 years. Its still the Enterprise, coming for her people.  Scotty has a bit of a hard time adjusting to having everything updated past his immediate knowledge.  It’s a bittersweet episode in some parts where Scotty talks about being an old man and useless.  You really feel that emotion from James Doohan.  He got to take Scotty on more of an emotional ride then he got to in the films and the OS.

This episode is also good because it’s a Geordi episode where you get to see him against the original Chief Engineer.  They are distinctly different, but by the end of the episode you know that while Geordi much prefers his updated tools, he really does respect Scotty for his career and his problem solving.  Scotty lives and breathes engines and that is all he really wants to do.  Geordi on the other hand enjoys engineering, certainly is proficient at it but its not the love o fhis life like it is for Scotty.  So in a lot of ways, this episode explores Geordi’s characterization too.

The third aspect that is interesting is the Dyson sphere.  I was a bit confused about whether this was a true theory or not, as Trek does have a tendency to just make stuff up.  As it turns out, Freeman Dyson had indeed proposed the theory in 1959 as a offhand and non serious inquiry. Without having a phyisics degree, I can’t say how much they used in the show was accurate or not, but I get the impression they took a real theory and then..made stuff up.  But it certainly seems intriquing, and is certainly not the only time this theory comes into play in science fiction (See: The Orville).

There is one glaring continunity error, but really only goes into effect a few years later when Generations (the movie) comes out.  In the film Scotty appears beside Kirk on the Enterprise B, so Scotty would have been well aware that there was an Enterprise without Kirk at the helm.  I’ve decided that perhaps being in a pattern buffer for 70 odd years would make your memories a little scrambled for a little bit. 

And one last positive comment on this episode – this episode is a really fun episode for references to previous episodes.  It really makes the universe seem more interconnected.  Scotty recalls several episodes of TOS, and Geordi relates the events of an TNG episode two years previous. There are other little references and easter eggs for the TOS fans out there.

I’ve decided to include Franklin as a Redshirt for this episode. 

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Ronald Moore.
  • Directed by Alexander Singer (his first work with Trek)
  • The Dyson sphere is based on a real theory by Freeman Dyson that was made in 1959.  Dyson himself did not consider it a serious theory.
  • The recreation of the Enterprise OG bridge was done with a combination of blue screen and a set designed by fan Scott Horch for Convention use.
  • Aldebran Whisky is Hi-C Ecto Cooler.
  • This episode was one of five episodes to be novelized, and the only one that wasn’t a two-parter.  However, the printed novelization was based on the original script and not the final version, therefore there are quite a lot of differences.  The Audiobook version corrects this to be more like the final filmed version.
  • The special effects team was able to recover some of the original series’ special effects and were able to incorporate them – such as the TOS transporter sparkle.

Pros

  •  Scotty!
  • Character development
  • References and nods towards previous episodes
  •  

Cons:

  •  Deanna randomly kissing him.  I know that it was deleted scene, but even if they put that scene into the episode, I don’t know why they would have a relationship that was close enough for a kiss.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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