Friday, July 24, 2009

Star Trek: The Next Generation--"Where No One Has Gone Before"

“Where No One Has Gone Before” is another Wesley the Wonder Boy is something special episode. As I am not much of a Wesley fan, it does not resonate much with me. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the episode. There is just nothing to particularly recommend it, either.

For one thing, the story is pointless. A Federation scientist named Kominski comes onboard the Enterprise with plans to enhance the warp engines. But Kominski is not the one causing thewarp speed enhancements. It is his assistant, the traveler, who has gained special knowledge of time and space. Wesley triesto expose aud, but no one cares what he thinks.

The situation goes awry and the ship is stranded 1 billion light years away. They are in a region of space in which human thoughts can fulfill fantasies. A crewman imagines she is a ballerina. Another imagines he is in a musical quartet. Picard sees his long dead mother. They have to get out of here before their own thoughts destroy theship.

The Traveler is successful in getting them home, so the standard trek reset button is firmly in place for TNG. Nothing further will ever be done with his engine modifications, either.

The fact that Wesley is somehow special is firmly established when The traveler tells Picard Wesley has a gift for understanding time and space, but it should be kept secret from everyone, including him and his mother. Picard keeps the secret so well it iscompletely irrelevant until near the end of the series when it is revealed Wesley inexplicably has special powers over time and space. Well, I will be darn. That would have been useful to know at various times along the way, no? picard decides to give Wesley a field commission to acting ensign, although many, many members of the crew will still be contemptuous of him. Watch also in subsequent episodes how Picard pays no mind to The Traveler’s admission that wesley is special.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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