‘Schisms’ (TNG) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode is quite an unusual one as it has our Enterprise crewmembers losing sleep because of aliens. This isn’t one of my favourite episodes, but it seems decently well put together.

In the episode, the Enterprise crew have difficulty sleeping and sometimes lose track of time. They also have strange emotional responses to normal objects. They get reoccurring dreams now and again.

Commander Riker seems affected by this since he can’t stay awake for Data’s poetry corner for one evening. Mind you, Data’s poetry corner was a little longwinded and didn’t have the emotional impact.

But it seems evident that Riker’s loss of sleep is serious when he goes to bed and he gets woken by Geordi where he hasn’t slept at all. But it’s not just Riker. Data also seems to lose one hour of his time.

Worf also reacts strangely when he goes to the barber’s to get a hair trim. He sees the barber’s scissors and reacts defensively to them. Worf soon leaves the barber’s with no explanation on what happened.

Geordi also has two strange occurrences where his visor plays up and he experiences strange hallucinations. Riker also has one odd moment on the bridge in touching the surface of a control panel.

With all these common experiences going on, Riker; Geordi; Worf and a random civilian aboard the Enterprise, Angelina Fiordellisi as Kaminer, seek Counsellor Troi’s help. Deanna comes up with an idea.

Deanna with Riker, Geordi, Worf and Kaminer go to the holodeck to collectively reconstruct and refine their fragmented memories and impression of events. I like how this scene’s played out in the episode.

The group soon come up with an operating table in a dark room filled with mysterious noises. The noises are like that of clicking noises like crickets. It’s a disturbing revelation on what’s been occurring.

According to Beverly Crusher, it soon turns out that Riker; Geordi; Worf and Kaminer’s bodies have altered slightly due to lack of sleep. In Riker, there’s this microscopic misalignment in his arm’s bones.

This would suggest that Riker’s arm has been severed and reattached. This was shocking to discover as it is amazing Riker’s arm hasn’t come off halfway through the episode. Thankfully it doesn’t, but still.

It soon becomes clear that members of the Enterprise have been abducted to be experiment on in another dimension. This becomes clear when two certain crewmembers have been reported missing.

One of the crewmembers gets returned to his cabin aboard the Enterprise. But when Beverly Crusher finds him, he dies quickly since his blood has been transformed into a liquid polymer. That’s disturbing!

Meanwhile, Data and Geordi discover particle emissions in one of the cargo bays. These seem to be partial gateways into another dimension where certain Enterprise crewmembers have been taken to.

They eventually find a way to close the seal up the emissions expanding into a subspace rift but need to trace it back to the source. Riker volunteers to go in since he has been taken several nights in a row.

He also goes in to rescue the second missing crewmember which happens to be Lanei Chapman as Ensign Sariel Rager. Ensign Rager has been in three ‘TNG’ episodes before. One of them includes ‘Relics’.

Riker has a stimulant given to him by Dr. Crusher to keep him awake as well as a homing device to be detected by the Enterprise wherever he goes. He gets taken from his quarters when one portal opens.

In the other dimension, Riker finds himself in a strange environment on an operating table where Ensign Rager also happens to be. There are also some busy aliens making these ‘cricket’ clicking noises.

It’s not clear what these aliens are and why they’ve been experimenting on the Enterprise crew members. It could be curiosity; it could be malicious intent; it could be both. It seems very vague here.

Thankfully Riker manages to rescue Rager as they both escape back to the Enterprise through one of the portals. Geordi and Data manage to close up the rift before causing damage to the Enterprise ship.

‘Schisms’ has been an intriguing and suspenseful episode to watch from the ‘TNG’ series. It’s not a favourite for me and the aliens’ motivations feel weak. But at least it ends on this open-ended debate.

‘Schisms’ (TNG) rating – 7/10

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