Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Battle TNG

The Battle is the ninth episode in Star Trek TNG written by Larry Forrester and Herbert Wright, directed by Rob Bowman. The USS Enterprise NCC 1701 enters the Xendi Sabu Star System where it waits patiently for three days at the request of a mysterious Ferengi message, "Stand by, Enterprise." Meanwhile Beverly is in the captains quarters aboard the USS Enterprise-D servicing a grouchy, bedridden Captain Picard completely drained from a unnatural headache. For a moment its looking real cosy between them. Picard's oratory defenses fail him making him powerless to spurn the advances of Beverly's Crusher's inept administrations. The Chief Medical Officer of the Enterprise takes pleasure ordering the captain to sickbay. You can blame Q for the "inept" bit. Captain Picard puts on a big brave face and is prepared to accept his fate when Commander Riker's hail spoils all the good fun.

Picard "Duty calls doctor."

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The Ferengi are finally ready to talk shop with Picard who makes a quick getaway from Beverly's diabolical concoctions and she knows it! So off he goes to the bridge which gets Crusher temporarily off the hook. Consider, why doesn't the Chief Medical Officer just shoot the captain with a few drops of cordrazine which has been known to rejuvenate countless Starfleet mortals? I suspect Doctor Beverly was bluffing and wanted an excuse to well know, roll about in the hay with her Captain!!...How very naughty of her, but you never know. Maybe just maybe, she gets off torturing her patients in a roleplay scenario...with the weaker ones who can't fight back! Hehe....Still, she doesn't give up hope on mon capitan and we see the two lovebirds meeting up later on in Sickbay for another round of Crushers "medical fakery."

Picard finally gets to talk with one of the beastly little Ferengi creatures calling himself "DaiMon Bok." The commander of the Ferengi marauder, Bok makes his sales pitch and arranges to rendezvous with the USS Enterprise and beamover in one hour. Its interesting to note Counsellor Deanna Troi cautions Picard that she detects "considerable deception on Bok's park and danger" I guess Troi is having a good betazed day! At last Bok presents Picard with his old Federation starship, the constellation class USS Stargazer last commanded by Jean Luc Picard nine years ago in Maxia Zeta.

I have to admit, its just too hard to swallow the Ferengis lame story with the little toads behaving themselves just totally out of character. Its all wrong. Counsellor Troi should have chimed in with "Captain the Ferengi toads are hiding something..." right? Ferengis are extreme capitalists at heart and beam straight aboard the USS Enterprise-D bridge. The mind twister here is why Bok donates the Stargazer for absolutely no financial gain? His unprofitable venture was enough to freak out his Ferengi playmates and violate the Ferengi Rules of Aquisition. It obvious to viewers everywhere that this little toad was definitely not on the level.

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I guess its a little difficult to fully appreciate the Ferengi approach to commerce ... wait I've changed my mind.... Actually trekkers, forgive me but I'm just having a laugh. One thing is certain, interpreting their facial expressions immersed behind all their makeup gew is a challenge for any dedicated trekker. At least "the battle" elevates their characters to a degree of prominence surpassing the Ferengi caricatures rolled out in Star Trek TNG in "the last outpost" episode. In the course of Picard's, Data's and Riker's exchange with the hob goblins it emerges that Bok's son was killed during a surprise attack when the Stargazer outwitted "an unidentified craft" with the exceptional 'Picard Maneuver.' The captain of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D apologizes but alas his words are in vain and fall on the dumb ears of the Ferengi.

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The game is afoot when evil DaiMon Bok played by Rob Bowman gifts Picard's old ship in an act of friendship at no cost to the Federation! Strange but true. Bok's greedy eyed companions are mortified but DaiMons peaceful overtures blows away Picard who can't take his eyes off the Stargazer. Lets face it, Picard isn't exactly firing on all thrusters. Dr Beverly Crusher has already applied a counteragent to "mask" Picard's headache but sadly it just doesn't do the trick. If only Dr "Bones"McCoy was around, I'm sure his Saurian Brandy would work wonders.

The entire bridgecrew of the flagship Enterprise actually entertain DaiMon Bok's bountiful Ferengi spirit. I mean whats the matter with them? Are the Enterprise bridge officers juiced up on crack cocaine? All except maybe Commander Riker who attacks Kazagos greedy capitalist beliefs to the extreme limit. "Enterprise now taking possession of the Stargazer, Kazago."The Ferengi first Officer has little choice but to part with his Federation prize.. "Granted Riker" But Riker persists. "Actually it was quite a bargain Kazargo, I thought the Ferengi always made a profit on things." beams Riker cruelly at the wolfish looking Ferengi. Kazago ends the transmission with a sickening growl from his stomach. The Enterprise takes possession of the USS Stargazer NCC 2893 "in honor of the hero of maxima" but the scoop just seems too good to be true.
Image Owner/Creator: Paramount Pictures and/or CBS Studios.

The news overwhelms beleagured Jean Luc Picard who finds himself in Crusher's Sickbay with yet another setback. Meanwhile Commander Daimon Bok has been busy. The sneaky toad has hidden a glowing mind control device in Picard's old Stargazer quarters. The magic ball treatment is all part of Bok's elaborate scheme to mortally wound Picard for snuffing out his son! Bok boosts the signal controlling Picard nightmares with his glowing ball of evil. He nearly drives poor baldy beserk with headaches. Amid the chaos of mind control devices, Wesley's geeky predictions, forged Stargazer log entries, Riker and Data playing Detective Inspector Columbo, friendly Ferengi peace offerings and a nostalgic Starfleet captain, Bok's revenge plan to lure Picard aboard the USS Stargazer pays off.

Image Owner/Creator: Paramount Pictures and/or CBS Studios.

The Hero of Maxima relives his past in a desperate struggle to save the Stargazer and her crew but sadly Picard loses all sense of reality. The Enterprise-D captain is aboard his old starship giving orders to former crewmates as they fight for survival in the battle of maxima. Next, Picard sets his sights on the USS Enterprise-D. Take a deep breath Trekkies because we're blessed to withness a sensational strategist sit into the Enterprises captains chair. Fortunately for the crew Commander Riker doesn't blow it. He knows about the celebrated Picard Manevuer used in the original battle allowing the Stargazer to be in two places at once with the attacker firing upon the phantom starship. Good old Riker fails to turn the Federation's flagship into a fireball....what a relief!!! and manages to seize the Stargazer in a tractorbeam before all hell breaks loose. Its a sweet ending when swashbuckler Riker emerges as the hero and seeing the captain Picard bounce back to reality after his trippy Stargazer sleighride.

Live long and Prosper, Trekkies.


Faith Imagined said...

I'm going to have to watch this one. You lost me a few times with all the plot twists, but I enjoyed your take on the encounter between Picard and his medical officer :)

One thing I love about Star Trek (though, I'm still very new to it) is that it really dives into the human soul. All the characters (especially captains) have their strengths and weaknesses. And I enjoy the internal and external struggles of good vs. evil.

BTW this is my fav line: "One thing is certain, interpreting their facial expressions immersed behind all their makeup gew is a challenge for any dedicated trekker." Ha!

Spacerguy said...

You should get a prize for reading all of that. You'll have a shot at winning something in my next Star Trek competition.

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