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Oh dear! This is a ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode that doesn’t sit well for me. ‘Conspiracy’ is one of the most unnecessarily horrific episodes in the ‘TNG’ series, at least until towards the climax of the story.
In this episode, Picard receives a highly confidential message from an old friend, Captain Walker Keel of the starship Horatio. Keel asks Picard to meet him on the planet Dytallix B for very secret meeting.
The Enterprise diverts off course from its planned route to Pacifica and heads for Dytallix B. Once there, Picard beams down to see Keel and two more starship captains to discuss something serious.
It turns out there’s a conspiracy going among Starfleet, since Keel has received strange orders from headquarters and strange deaths take place. Picard is told to keep watch and also not trust anyone.
Now to be fair, this episode does have a fairly interesting and engaging plot. The idea that something has gone wrong with Starfleet and that there’s this strange conspiracy going on is pretty interesting.
However, this would be a favourite episode of mine if it weren’t for some of the horrific graphic images featured in it. It’s what I would consider inappropriate for ‘Star Trek’ and it feels out of place.
Jonathan Farwell guest stars as Captain Walker Keel. Keel is an old close friend of Picard’s as well as Jack Crusher who would later marry Beverly. Keel asks Picard to remember him and ask for Beverly.
But due to the secret nature of their meeting, Picard doesn’t tell Beverly that she met Keel. This is before the starship Horatio and two more frigate vessels get destroyed in space for a strange reason.
This episode also features Michael Berryman as Captain Rixx and Ursaline Bryant as Captain Tryla Scott. Rixx is a Bolian, a blue-skinned alien. The Bolians appear a lot in the ‘Star Trek’ spin-off shows.
Once the Enterprise sees that the Horatio starship has been destroyed, Picard decides to head for Earth. He is determined to find out what this conspiracy is about and to why Walker Keel was killed.
The conspiracy theory about Starfleet was something that was introduced in ‘Coming of Age’. This episode is a follow-up to that story. It features certain characters return from ‘Coming of Age’ itself.
Ward Costello returns as Admiral Gregory Quinn. Quinn comes aboard the Enterprise for an inspection, but Picard knows that the Admiral isn’t what he seems and he tells Riker not to trust him.
Eventually, Riker finds himself fighting Quinn in hand-to-hand combat in his quarters. Quinn seems to be stronger than Riker. This is alarming considering he’s older and unlikely to have super strength.
Geordi and Worf soon turn up and get knocked about by Quinn. I wondered why nobody used a phaser on Quinn instead of hand-to-hand combat. Thankfully Beverly heard me and used a phaser.
Robert Schenkkan returns as Lt. Commander Remmick. I didn’t like Remmick when I saw him ‘Coming of Age’ and he’s no different in this tale. He meets a horrible end thanks to Picard and Riker.
The episode also features two more admirals who invite Picard to dinner. There’s Henry Darrow as Admiral Savar and Ray Reinhardt as Admiral Aaron. These two admirals are clearly menacing in this.
The gruesome parts of the episode come into place when Picard has a dinner of…worms. Ugh! That really shocked me when I saw that in the episode, especially when the Admirals began eating them.
It turns out that most of the Starfleet personnel are possessed by parasitic aliens who want to invade Earth. Picard is disgusted by this and I was afraid that Riker had been possessed in the story.
But fortunately Riker is playing the part as he helps Picard to stop these aliens possessing the Starfleet admiral. It was so horrific when alien parasites crawl out of people’s mouths when they do.
The final scene where Picard and Riker destroy the alien parasite mother inside Remmick’s body was very horrific. I did not like that scene at all and neither did my Mum when she watched this episode.
‘Conspiracy’ is one of the most gruesomely horrific episodes from the ‘TNG’ series that is not one of my favourites. It has those makings of a good conspiracy tale, but the graphic violence was unnecessary.
‘Conspiracy’ (TNG) rating – 3/10
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