‘Up The Long Ladder’ (TNG) (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

up the long ladder tng

This is a ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode that is…okay! It’s not a great inspiring episode to watch and it has a lot of farm animals and farm people in it. It’s also an interesting tale on a colony that involves clones.

The episode begins with a very unusual sequence of character development involving Worf that doesn’t really help the story. It starts with Worf seemingly uncomfortable as he grunts and breathes.

Eventually he collapses to the floor and is taken from the bridge down to sick bay. There he’s examined by Dr. Pulaski as it turns out that he has the Klingon equivalent of measles! What a shock!

Pulaski keeps Worf’s medical condition a secret from Picard and the others. Worf is grateful to Pulaski and he soon treats her by having a Klingon tea ceremony with him, which might also kill her.

Now I’m not one for objecting to pointless scenes in ‘Star Trek’, especially when it comes to character development. But the Worf measles and the Klingon tea ceremony did not help the story.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it was something to help develop Worf in ‘TNG’. But it’s a subplot that doesn’t go anywhere and it’s resolved too quickly. Couldn’t they have stretched this out a bit?

Anyway, the episode’s main plot has the Enterprise respond to a distress call from satellites orbiting a human colony on the planet Bringloid V. This planet gets into danger from solar flares from its star.

The Enterprise soon beams up the colonists from the planet Bringloid and they turn out to be…farmers…with their farm animals. Oh and they’re Irish too, which is quite peculiar and unusual.

These are the Bringlodi, a colony of Irish people who are followers of an early 22nd century philosopher who believed in returning to a pre-industrial agricultural lifestyle. This raises a question I have to ask.

If these people believe in a 22nd century philosopher, why did they live on their planet Bringloid V for three hundred years? I did check this! These people would have come from…the 21st century!!!

The 21st century! Not the 22nd! The 21st! The year is 2365 by this episode in ‘TNG’. Minus three hundred years, they would have come from 2065. How can they’ve screwed this with the timeline?!

I know that the production team had a lot to do with making ‘TNG’ episodes each week for each season. But even they can’t get the ‘Star Trek’ timelines right?! This is absurd! How can this happen?

The Bringloidi colony is led by Barrie Ingham as Danilo Odell. Hmm! Barrie Ingham! Where have I heard that name? Oh! He was in the movie, ‘Dr. Who and the Daleks’ with Peter Cushing as Dr. Who.

And he was also in the ‘Doctor Who’ story, ‘The Myth Makers’ with William Hartnell. I was surprised and delighted to see Barrie Ingham in a ‘Star Trek: TNG’ story, having now seen him in ‘Doctor Who’.

The episode also features Rosalyn Landor as Brenna Odell, Danilo’s daughter. Brenna is a sharp, hard-working Irish girl who accepts no nonsense. She complains the womenfolk do all the hard work.

And then she…starts making out with Commander Riker?! Huh? Where did this come from? I mean…yeah, I know Riker’s a charmer on the ladies just like Captain Kirk was in ‘The Original Series’.

But come on! They haven’t had much screen time together. Seeing Riker and Brenna kissing each other in the episode makes no sense. It would have been nice if this had been developed further on.

The episode also features Jon De Vries as Wilson Granger, the Prime Minster of the other colony planet Mariposa. The Mariposa colonists want the Enterprise crew to help them re-clone their race.

This raises some interesting thought-provoking questions, as the Enterprise considers cloning wrong in the Mariposans’ eyes. How ironic considering that cloning gets taken ‘seriously’ by today’s society.

Colm Meaney also guest stars as Chief O’Brien in the episode when he transports the Bringloidi from their planet with their farm animals aboard the Enterprise. He’s very surprised when he sees them.

‘Up The Long Ladder’ is not a great ‘TNG’ episode from the series. It has problems and it could have been handled better with the writing. But it does raise some intriguing thought provokers in cloning.

‘Up The Long Ladder’ (TNG) rating – 6/10

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