‘STARSHIP MINE’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is a ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode that’s really compelling to watch, although the villain’s motivations is somewhat questionable in my opinion. This story became dubbed ‘Die Hard’ in space’ in production.
In the episode, the Enterprise ship gets docked at the Remmler Array. I like how the episode opens with Picard being asked requests from various crewmembers before the ship gets evacuated entirely.
There’s Deanna Troi; Beverly Crusher; Commander Riker; Geordi La Forge and Worf who make requests to Picard and he has to handle them so professionally. Data only wants small talk with Picard.
Apparently the Enterprise is about to be decontaminated via the use of a baryon sweep. It’s harmless to inorganic materials of the ship but harmful to living beings. Hence why the ship has to be evacuated.
Everyone goes to the array’s base whilst the Enterprise systems are being shut down. Picard and his senior staff also get invited to a cocktail party by Commander Calvin Hutchinson, the base commander.
David Spielberg guest stars as Commander Hutchinson, also known as ‘Hutch’. And boy does he know how to talk. And it’s mostly on non-relevant things and he doesn’t allow any to get a word in edgeways.
Data, who tries to emulate Hutchinson’s mannerisms in small talk, is amusing to watch during the cocktail party. Even Riker is amused by Data’s emulating Hutchinson, which I did find enjoyable to see.
Even Data and Hutchinson are chatting away to each other during the cocktail party and it seems to be non-stop. Riker and Deanna are amazed by how long the two chat to each other during ‘small talk’.
Picard manages to get out of Hutchinson’s cocktail party for a bit, as he makes an excuse to return to the Enterprise and retrieve his riding saddle for horse riding. Yeah. Picard has his own riding saddle! 😀
When Picard gets his riding saddle from the Enterprise ship, he comes across an array technician working with the ship’s panels. The array technician is actually Tim Russ as Devor. Hmm! Is he familiar?
Yes! Apparently he is! Tim Russ would later go on to play Tuvok, the Vulcan chief of security in ‘Star Trek: Voyager’. This is one of Tim’s earliest roles for ‘Star Trek’. It’s amazing to find him in this episode.
When Picard suspects and tries to find out what the technician is doing, a fight ensues between him and Devor. Thankfully Picard gains the upper hand before he knocks the technician out in the process.
Back at the cocktail party, Geordi notices some strange readings coming from his visor when he spots energy emissions from a table. But before he can investigate, he gets shot by one array staff member.
And it’s not just Geordi who gets attacked. Hutchinson gets shot down too. Aww! No more ‘small talk’. Soon the Enterprise partygoers get taken as hostages by the array staff members with no explanation.
Thankfully Geordi is still alive whilst Hutchinson is dead. Oh dear. But the array staff members prevent the Enterprise senior officers from communicating with anybody else. Our heroes must find a way out.
Back aboard the Enterprise, Picard discovers that a small group of technicians are attempting to steal trilithium resin from the warp engines. This group are led by a woman called Marie Marshall as Kelsey.
I found it amusing when Picard covered his identity before Kelsey and said he was the ship’s barber. He babbles away and Kelsey tells him to shut up. Clearly he doesn’t want to give them any ship access.
So what is it with Kesley and her group? Are they terrorists? Nope! Kelsey is actually selling the trilithium resin to another group as part of a powerful explosive for profit. Really? That’s what this is for?
I wouldn’t mind this motivation so much if she had a view of not killing anyone in the process. Except her actions feel very ruthless that she is willing to kill anyone, including her own lot to get what she wants.
Thankfully though, Picard manages to stop Kelsey from getting away; he survives the baryon sweep from killing him and the Enterprise crew under capture manages to overcome their captors. All is well.
So yeah, ‘Starship Mine’ is pretty decent episode in the ‘TNG’ series. I question the villain’s motives, but I found it compelling when Picard does the cat-and-mouse game to stop technicians causing terror.
‘Starship Mine’ (TNG) rating – 7/10
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