Saga of the Jasonite

The continuing adventures of that eternal man of mystery…

Star Trek episode reviews: I Borg and The Next Phase

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Two more reviews are ready to go! I’m doing my best to power through the end of season five. I figure I’ve been working on this season for too long now, and I’m just ready to finally be done with it. Bad weather, a sick family and a sick self have slowed me down a bit, but my goal is to be finished in two more weeks.

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I Borg

I Borg is a terrific episode that manages to somehow do the impossible: make the Borg more relatable. The Enterprise crew find a lone survivor of a crashed Borg scout ship and bring him on board. A plan is hatched to use it to infect the rest of the Borg with a virus that will annihilate them, but Geordi and Beverly start to have second thoughts as they see doubt, vulnerability and an emotional presence in him. First Guinan, and then even Picard have to wrestle with their conscience as they know a full Borg ship is on its way.

Jonathan del Arco, who portrays Hugh, was one of those that auditioned for the role of Wesley Crusher. I can see how he may have a been a finalist, given the finely wrought performance he turns in. The title has reference to Asimov’s I, Robot, which I thought was a cool touch. Check out my full review for lots more info and feel free to leave your own comments if you like.

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The Next Phase

The Next Phase is in the same league as I Borg. The Enterprise responds to a distress call from a Romulan scout ship about to explode, and saves them. It comes at a cost, however: the apparent deaths of Geordi and Ro. What really happened is that they became insubstantial, invisible and unnoticeable to everyone but each other, thanks to the Romulans and their experimental phasing cloak technology. There is a lot happening in this episode, and it’s all good.

The effect of having Ro and Geordi walking through solid objects as well as people was extraordinarily difficult and lengthy at the time. It was supposed to be a bottle episode to save money, but ended up being one of the most expensive episodes of the season due to the effects. The technology in this episode is indirectly related to the wonderful seventh season episode The Pegasus, as an astute viewer will understand. Michelle gave an interview where she named this episode as a turning point for her character as well. Check this out and other cool stuff in my full episode review.

That’s all for now. Thanks for all those exercising patience with my blog entries, I hope the faster pace is more palatable. Next time I’ll be posting my review for the final two episodes of season five (at last!): The Inner Light and Time’s Arrow.

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