‘THE CHILD’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘The Child’ is the first episode of Season 2 of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. It sees many changes in the series, including new semi-regular characters and changes to some current regular characters.
Geordi La Forge has become the new chief engineer. At last! It makes sense to have a regular chief engineer in the ‘TNG’ series compared to Scotty from ‘The Original Series’ and Geordi fulfils that role.
Worf also becomes the new chief of security and wears a yellow uniform (same as Geordi as chief engineer). Worf takes on full duties as the security chief following their loss of Tasha Yar in Season 1.
Commander Riker has also grown a beard since the end of Season 1. This is an image of Riker that will rest for the rest of the ‘TNG’ series as well as in the movies and it suits Jonathan Frakes very well.
Wesley Crusher also becomes a proper acting ensign in the ‘TNG’ series, since he wears a new grey uniform and has a communications badge. This does give Wesley some more privileges as an ensign.
The most significant change however in the ‘TNG’ series for Season 2 is the introduction of a new chief medical officer, Dr. Katherine Pulaski. Beverly Crusher sadly doesn’t appear in ‘TNG’s Season 2.
From what I’ve gathered, Gates McFadden was fired at the end of Season 1 of ‘TNG’. This shocked me as I really like Beverly Crusher as a character. Thankfully she made a return to ‘TNG’ for Season 3.
Diana Muldaur stars as Dr. Katherine Pulaski for most of Season 2 of ‘TNG’. Diana appeared in ‘The Original Series’ of ‘Star Trek’ in the two TV episodes, ‘Return to Tomorrow’ and ‘Is There In Truth No Beauty?’
Apparently, Dr. Pulaski’s character was created as a female Dr. McCoy in the ‘TNG’ series. Meaning no disrespect to Diana Muldaur’s performance, but I actually prefer Beverly Crusher than Dr. Pulaski.
Pulaski doesn’t have the same bedside manner as Beverly Crusher had. She also tended to be forthright and at loggerheads with Picard at times. She’s also not exactly on par with ‘Bones’, is she?
This episode also features the first appearance of Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan, the bartender of Ten Forward, the new lounge on the Enterprise. Ten Forward would be recurring during the ‘TNG’ series.
Apparently, Whoopi Goldberg was a fan of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ after watching Lt. Uhura. She asked to be in the new ‘Star Trek’ series from the beginning, but was ignored by the producers.
Eventually however she gained a role in ‘TNG’ and became the new bartender Guinan of Ten Forward. Guinan is an intriguing telepath who knows Picard well and she can sense things around her.
I did like the scenes between Guinan and Wesley in Ten Forward during the episode. Wesley is reluctant to leave the Enterprise. Guinan helps him out of his dilemma with some words of wisdom.
The main part of the episode is about Counsellor Deanna Troi. In the episode, she becomes pregnant as an alien life-form enters into her body. This becomes a very intriguing episode for Troi’s character.
Troi has the baby and it grows up to become a young boy within minutes. This shocked me when I saw him grow up. She names her son Ian Andrew Troi, played by R.J Williams and Zachary Benjamin.
The episode ends rather sadly, as Ian happens to be the cause of the Enterprise being in trouble and he decides to sacrifice himself. Deanna becomes very upset as she loses Ian and misses him so much.
The episode also features Colm Meaney as new transporter chief, Chief O’Brien. This is where Chief O’Brien becomes a recurring semi-regular in the ‘TNG’ series, since his brief appearances in Season 1.
One aspect of the episode I liked very much was Ian Troi playing with a litter of puppies. Those puppies look so cute! Seeing them in the actual episode made me want to have one of the puppies.
At the end of the episode, Wesley asks Picard to remain on the Enterprise. Picard eventually agrees and Wesley stays on board for the rest of ‘TNG’s Season 2. It’ll be intriguing to see how his character grows.
‘The Child’ is a decent beginning to Season 2 of the ‘TNG’ series. The main plot of the story with Troi having a baby isn’t very exciting, but at least we get to have some interesting changes for the series.
‘The Child’ (TNG) rating – 7/10
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