Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Stardate 42976.1
Original Airdate:
Writers: Maurice Hurley, Hans Beimler and Richard Manning
Director: Rob Bowman.
Season 2, Episode 22.
Star Trek TNG "Shades of Grey"

During a geological survey on "Surata IV" Commander Riker is jabbed in the leg by a mysterious vine on a spooky alien planet. We soon learn Riker's life is on the line unless Datas quick reflexes and Chief Engineers Geord's enhanced vision can capture the "creature" quick smart.

Meanwhile Rikers immune system is being infected by the organism. Even though he beamed up using the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D, 24th-century transporters bio filters,  Space Age technology still failed to filter out the microbes spreading fast to No 1's brain. So now what? Is it game over for Riker? well not quite.

Dr Pulaski, the female version of Dr McCoy, LOL, (Dr Beverly Crushers temporary replacement,) links in with the ships exotic counselor Betazoid Deanna Troi. The prognosis is looking bad but together the two make a startling discovery! Endorphins!

So what have we got? A sample of the infectious vine - results inconclusive. Microbes infecting Rikers nerves which can't be removed surgically. So now here's poor guy Riker, comatose hooked up to a gawd awful machine which sends electrical impulses to his brain keeping him alive. At first its hit and miss but instead of saving the dude, the impulses stimulate romantic dreams promoting the microbes growth!

Luckily Deanna is able to assist Dr Pulaski reawaken Commander Rikers darkest memories during his "comatose dream sleep." The painful death of Tasha Yar and other negative dreams, "Data some things got me!" induce different endorphins with an opposite effect on the microbes. The plan actually works but what a trip it must have been for Riker when he woke up!

Live Long and Prosper, Trekkers


Elephant's Child said...

I do find myself wondering whether the writers of this episode got the idea from some hallucigens they may or may not have taken in their past...

nashvillecats2 said...

That virus certainly don't sound nice.

Have a great day.


Liz A. said...

I don't remember this one. I thought I saw all of Polaski's episodes.

Spacer Guy said...

Dr Katherine Pulaski. I believe her tenure as Chief Medical Officer aboard the Enterprise-D only lasted for season 2 until Dr Crusher returned from Starfleet Medical HQ. Looking back, it is fun watching her argue emotions with Data and seeing her reaction to Worf, so hilarious.

The Armchair Squid said...

Watched this one recently. It's a clip show, basically, but one of the more clever ones you'll see in terms of weaving in an actual story.

Spacer Guy said...

Exactly Armchair Squid, I find Shades of Grey fun to watch. The story arc while clipped together actually made sense, despite being a cost cutting episode.

The Armchair Squid said...

We're almost up to "Offspring," one of my personal favorites.

Spacer Guy said...

You can read about the Offspring here Armchair Squid. Lal is a huge surprise when she begins to feel emotions which was strange for Data her father who felt none. The ending is emotionally evocative and heart breaking.

The Armchair Squid said...

Lovely write up. It's so, so good. I tear up just thinking about it.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I was surprised that I didn't remember this episode until I remembered why. While I know she's popular Dr. Pulaski was immediately annoying to me. It was enough that I actually stopped watching for a while. To this day I still haven't caught up. I'll have to try and catch up on Amazon. Thanks for the reminder of an interesting episode Spacer Guy!

Birgit said...

Great write up of an episode I forgot about. River has had many "Holy Shit" trips

SFF said...

A true Season Two lowlight.
Let's be honest.
I'll disagree with you on this one my friend.
Not fun. But cheers.

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