‘Power Play’ (TNG) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is a pretty tense ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode that I enjoyed watching from start to finish. This episode sees Deanna Troi, Data and Chief O’Brien as the villains. Trust me, there’s more to this one as it sounds.

In the episode, the Enterprise visits the moon Mab-Bu VI. A distress call has been detected there. Data discovers that the distress call is that of a Daedalus-class starship which went out of service years ago.

The Daedalus starship in question is the Essex, which was lost in this region of space 200 years ago. Picard considers that the Essex mystery’s solved. But Troi senses that someone is still alive down there.

Due to electromagnetic interference from electrical storms on the moon, the Enterprise decide not to use the transporters to beam someone down. Instead, they decide to use a shuttlecraft to travel down.

The shuttlecraft gets piloted by Riker, Data and Deanna Troi. I assume Deanna needs to be there because she can sense the living presence on the moon. The shuttlecraft soon crash-lands down there.

Thankfully, Riker, Data and Troi are still alive as they climb out of the shuttlecraft. Riker however injures his arm and the trio can’t make contact with the Enterprise. Their communications are cut off.

Riker, Data and Troi then observe the front of a massive electrical storm before them. They use a tricorder to scan it as EM bursts come from it. Deanna Troi also senses the presence inside that storm.

The Enterprise crew meanwhile thankfully haven’t forgotten about our trio as they quickly make a way to rescue them. Ro Laren uses the descent angle of the shuttlecraft to search where the three heroes.

Yeah, Michelle Forbes returns as Ensign Ro Laren and she plays an active and invaluable role in the episode. This is especially when Troi, Data and O’Brien cause trouble and Ensign Ro helps to stop them.

Colm Meaney also returns as Chief O’Brien to first help rescue Riker, Data and Troi from the moon as well as get taken over by an alien. He suggests using a pattern-enhancing device to rescue the heroes.

Geordi is against O’Brien beaming down to the moon surface via transporter to do it. Eventually Picard agrees and soon O’Brien beams down to the moon surface to join and rescue Riker, Data and Deanna.

However, after O’Brien sets up the pattern-enhancing device, something awful happens. Before the four are transported, they get struck down by bolts of electricity. Four ‘spirits’ of energy then turn up.

Three ‘spirits’ enter Deanna, Data and O’Brien, but the fourth doesn’t enter Riker due to his injured arm. Riker awakes as he switches on the pattern-enhancing device to beam himself and the others up.

Back on the Enterprise, Riker, Troi, Data and O’Brien wake up to find themselves in sick bay. But something has changed in Troi, Data and O’Brien when asking to survey the moon’s south polar region.

When Picard and Riker refuse, Troi, Data and O’Brien start to become violent and attempt to take command of the ship. They go down in the turbo-lift and soon end up in Ten Forward to hold hostages.

I found it frightening when Troi, Data and O’Brien become baddies and start taking over the ship. Brent Spiner clearly relishes the chance of getting to play a villain within Data’s android body in the episode.

Rosalind Chao guest stars as Keiko O’Brien, Chief O’Brien’s wife in the episode. She’s in Ten Forward looking after her baby Molly when Troi, Data and O’Brien are causing trouble and she becomes afraid.

When Picard eventually meets up with the mutineers, Troi reveals she is the captain of the Essex and that Data and O’Brien are her crewmembers. Picard doesn’t become convinced and he suspects them.

His suspicions are correct as it turns out Troi, Data and O’Brien are actually possessed by criminals who’ve adopted the identities of the dead Essex crew. They want their fellow prison mates to escape.

Picard and the others however manage to outwit their foes, willing to sacrifice themselves in the process. The entities inside Troi, Data and O’Brien eventually leave their bodies and order is restored.

‘Power Play’ is a compelling episode to watch from the ‘TNG’ series. I enjoyed the tension and drama throughout as I wondered what was occurring and how Troi, Data and O’Brien would be normal again.

‘Power Play’ (TNG) rating – 8/10

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