Season Six, Episode 13
Teleplay by Brannon Braga & Ronald D Moore
Story by Jeri Taylor
Directed by Cliff Bole
Main Cast:
Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker
LeVar Burton as Lt Geordi LaForge
Michael Dorn as Lt Worf
Gates McFadden as Dr Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis as Counsellor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner as Lt Cmdr Data

Guest Cast:
Renee Jones as Lt Aquiel Uhnari
Wayne Grace as Torak
Reg E Cathey as Morag

Investigating the mysterious death of Lieutenant Aquiel Uhnari at a two-manned relay station, Geordi searches through her personal logs for clues and finds himself falling in love with her. Crusher discovers DNA residue aboard the station, suggesting murder and the initial finger of blame is pointed at the nearby Klingons, based on evidence in Uhnari's log. The Klingons deny their guilt by producing the alleged victim -- Uhnari, who is very much alive. As Geordi gets to know the woman he fell for, it now looks as though she may have murdered her colleague, Keith Rocha. Crusher discovers the real murderer -- a coalescent creature that first infected Rocha, then moved to Uhnari's dog. The creature then tries to kill Geordi, but is destroyed before it can harm him.


Oh poo. Just when we were in danger of having an extremely strong run of episodes, from the provocative Chain of Command to the excellent Tapestry, they had to go and throw a spanner in the works, didn't they? About the best thing I can say about Aquiel is that it's not the absolute worst episode of TNG ever to see the light of day. It is, however, a horribly dull, boring, insincere and totally ineffective waste of an hour.

It's easy to see what they were aiming for, mainly because it's spelt in huge big letters across the screen for all to see. They tried to make Geordi -- and us -- fall in love with Aquiel from watching those recorded messages. Problem is, as I said, they tried to push it far too much. The whole thing felt forced and fabricated and, as a result, quite insincere. Despite the fact we were obviously meant to find this woman intriguing, engaging, you name it -- between the lacklustre scripting and mediocre acting, the character came across as none of those. The relationship between her and Geordi fell utterly flat on its face, suffering from the horribly obvious, manipulative plotting, performances that didn't exactly light up the screen and a notable lack of chemistry between the two actors.

As for the murder-mystery sub-plot? I didn't give a toss, to be quite honest. Between the bucket-loads of tech-talk, the painfully lethargic pace and a silly twist involving parasitic alien goo that came completely out-of-the-blue, the whole thing is something of a shambles. I will say that I'd not pegged the dog as the murderer (well, who in their right mind would?) but I'm afraid that watching it mutate into what looked like an animated chocolate milkshake was plain hokey, not to mention anti-climatic and dramatically bereft. TNG never did have a very good track record when it came to "romance" stories and this stinker is among the worst of its kind.

Rating: 3

What did you think of this review? Why not share your thoughts by MAILING ME? All feedback is gratefully appreciated (and, yes, I can take criticism but keep it friendly, OK! :-))

Disclaimer For the record, I acknowledge that Paramount Pictures/Viacom owns all rights to "Star Trek" and this site is here not to infringe on this copyright, but to support and promote interest in the show/s. Yadda yadda yadda.
All reviews on this site are copyright and are not to be re-produced or re-used without prior consent of the author.

Back to TNG Index  /  Back to Home / DS9 Reviews / Voyager Reviews