‘DEVIL’S DUE’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Before I talk about the episode, there’s a scene I like where Data plays the part of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. This was something similar to ‘The Defector’s very first scene.
It also begs me to wonder whether Christmas exists in the ‘Star Trek’ universe. I mean, they don’t celebrate Christmas aboard the Enterprise and there’s been no Christmas Special made in the series.
Anyway the episode has the Enterprise respond to a distress call. (as they usually tend to in ‘TNG’ 😀 ) sent by Paul Lambert as Dr. Howard Clarke on the planet Ventax II. There’s some trouble occurring.
Dr. Clarke is the leader of Federation scientific delegation on Ventax II. Apparently the planet is in a state of population when earthquake tremors occur and the people are in fear of their world’s end.
The Enterprise rescue Dr. Clarke and soon learn from him about the devilish Ardra according to Ventaxian history. Ardra is what the Vantaxians consider as their version of the devil on their planet.
Apparently Ardra is meant to end the wars and restore the ecological balance of the planet if the Ventaxian people agree to be her slaves. The earthquakes are the sign of Ardra’s return to Ventax II.
Picard is unconvinced about the return of Ardra and he decides to go down to the planet with Worf, Data and Deanna Troi accompanying him to meet with the Ventaxian officials. There Ardra appears.
Marta DuBois guest stars as Ardra in the episode. She comes across as this sultry, naughty person who claims herself as the Vantaxians’ version of the Devil. Is she supposed to be very terrifying here?
Ardra happens to have powers of teleportation and summoning things in the palm of her hand. She can also change her form and become anything else as well as transport people to places elsewhere.
There’s a moment when Worf defies Ardra for being the Klingon version of the Devil before she changes into it to prove it. Ardra can also transform into the Christian version of the Devil for Picard.
Picard remains unconvinced about Ardra saying who she says she is. He has meetings with his senior staff and Dr. Clarke to discuss Ardra and how they can defeat her in order to free the Ventax people.
The Enterprise receives a few visits from Ardra. This includes her sitting in the Captain’s chair on the bridge. They try to teleport her off from the Enterprise before she appears again the pilot’s cockpit.
Ardra also appears in Picard’s quarters when he sleeps as she tries to seduce him. Picard rejects her, but she transports him to the planet Ventax II in his pyjamas where Geordi and Dr. Clarke meet him.
When Data comes to collect Picard in a shuttle-craft, since Worf can’t beam Picard back using the transporter beam-out, they make their way back to the Enterprise. The Enterprise however vanishes.
Picard becomes convinced that the woman posing herself as Ardra is a con-artist. He’s determined to expose her as a fraud. Thankfully, according to Data, there is a court situation that can provide it.
A Ventaxian arbitration hearing takes place between Picard and Ardra, with Data acting as the arbitrator for the proceedings. Ardra proves her case, asking Picard how he can explain her powers.
During a recess, Geordi La Forge helps Picard with providing the answer he needs to prove Ardra is a fraud. Apparently she has a cloaked ship nearby that keeps the technology for her god-like powers.
In Picard’s prosecution against Ardra, he demonstrates she’s a fraud by using the powers himself, with help from Commander Riker and an away team aboard her ship. She’s soon taken into custody.
‘Devil’s Due’ is a pretty good ‘Star Trek’ episode from the ‘TNG’ episode. Some say that this has the feel of an ‘Original Series’ episode plot, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing in the ‘TNG’ series, is it?
It was amusing to have a sultry woman posing as the Devil for an alien planet and Captain Picard proved her to be a fraud. She declares to Picard they’ll meet again, but this is the only time we meet her.
‘Devil’s Due’ (TNG) rating – 8/10
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