‘Contagion’ (TNG) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is a pretty good episode from the ‘Star Trek: TNG’ series. It’s quite complex and needs plenty of attention in order to follow it, but there are some pretty good tense moments as well as high drama.

In the episode, the Enterprise responds to a distress from its sister ship, the Yamato, commanded by Captain Donald Varley. Very soon, the Yamato ship gets destroyed and a Romulan Warbird turns up.

But that doesn’t mean the Romulans are responsible for the Yamato’s ship. As the episode progresses, the Enterprise discover archaeological secrets of the once-powerful Iconian Empire.

Thalmus Rasulala guest stars as Captain Donald Varley, who happens to be an old friend of Picard’s. Sadly he doesn’t last long in the episode as he appears at the beginning and his ship gets destroyed.

But Picard does get to uncover some information from some personal logs by Varley about the Iconian Empire and the Romulans. The information that Varley gives in his logs are pretty fascinating.

Carolyn Seymour guest stars as Taris, command of the Romulan Warbird called the Haakona. Carolyn is well-known for playing Abby Grant in the BBC TV series called ‘Survivors’. Now she’s a Romulan! 😀

Taris is suspicious of the Enterprise’s presence in the Neutral Zone. She warns and threatens the Enterprise when the Romulans encounter them and pursues under cloak to find out what’s going on.

During the episode, the Enterprise experiences a series of ship malfunction in the same way that the Yamato had. This happens as the Enterprise gets closer to a purported planet with probes attacking.

I liked that scene when Wesley visits Picard in his ready room. They talk about the Iconians before Picard realises Wesley wants to say something. Wesley is rather shaken by the Yamoto’s destruction.

It’s a nice scene of character development as the two respect each other and Picard doesn’t treat Wesley like a kid. It’s before Picard asks for earl grey tea and gets a plant instead from the replicator.

More malfunctions occur all over the ship. One of these is when Geordi is unable to warn Picard and to tell him to destroy one of the Iconian probes approaching, as communications get interfered with.

This leads to Geordi getting into the turbo-lift and reaching the bridge. But the turbo-lift goes at an accelerated speed, due to the ship’s malfunctions, and this sends Geordi falling out onto the bridge.

Thankfully, Geordi warns Picard and the Enterprise fires a torpedo to destroy the probe coming towards them. I did wonder how and why the malfunctions were happening and what caused them.

It turns out that a virus got aboard the Enterprise and entered the ship’s computers. This occurred when the Enterprise downloaded logs and data from the Yamato, since the virus got in via that ship.

During the time I did my GCSEs, I recall when my Mum and I re-watched the episode and we were wondering how the virus got aboard the Enterprise. When the explanation came, we were pleased.

Eventually, Picard, Data and Worf beam down to the source of the probe launch where the ruins of the Iconian Empire are. It was interesting to see what Picard, Data and Worf discovered in the story.

They find the control panel for the probes being launched at the site as well as discovering a portal that can lead into different locations. This reminded me of ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ episode.

Data accesses the Iconian computer systems, before he gets struck by an energy discharge. He get infected with the virus and he’s unable to move or speak properly with Picard and Worf beside him.

It was disturbing to see Data in an incapacitated state and Brent Spiner performs so well. Fortunately, Data is able to give instructions to Picard on how to destroy the base and save the day.

Worf takes Data through the portal back to the Enterprise where he recovers. Picard soon enters the portal and finds himself on the Romulan ship. Fortunately Picard gets rescued by the Enterprise ship.

Colm Meaney makes an appearance as Chief O’Brien when beaming Picard, Data and Worf down and also beaming Picard back. Dr. Pulaski also tends to patients when the turbo-lifts aren’t working.

‘Contagion’ is a pretty good ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode. It’s quite complex and has a lot to take in. But I enjoyed how the Enterprise crew solved the problem and avoided getting destroyed in the process.

‘Contagion’ (TNG) rating – 8/10

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