Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Next Generation 1x16 "Too Short a Season"


There's a kind of morbid curiosity to watching "Too Short a Season," which is like a reverse of the classic "Deadly Years," only it features a new character who never gains the viewer's sympathy.

An aging admiral visits on the way to one last glorious mission, returning to a world he once negotiated peace for, and like a repudiation of the accomplishes of the past (i.e. the original series), he still gets it glaringly wrong, and only our righteous new crew can set things right.

Of course, the reverse "Deadly Years" means that our aging admiral grows younger, like Benjamin Button, because he's taken special medication.  Only he's taken too much of it and just keeps getting younger.  His wife is horrified.  He's perfectly pleased, especially when he gets to leave his special wheelchair and walk again.  But he just keeps getting younger.  The crew becomes alarmed when it becomes obvious, and even the guy he's preparing to meet scoffs at the development.

The real problem is that the aging makeup is terrible.  I mean terrible.  It was bad enough on McCoy in "Encounter at Farpoint," but no attempt has been made in the intervening time to improve on it.  And the effect is absolutely crucial to the episode.

I don't care if you think "Too Short a Season" makes light of older generations.  I don't care if you're perfectly fine with the makeup.  The fact is that it's still not a good episode, and is dominated too thoroughly by a character of the week.

Watch it as a morbid curiosity.  It's the only one I'll give you from this season.  Just remember that I warned you, and that it gets better.

The other thing you might keep in mind about it is that "Season" establishes Next Generation's abysmal relationship with Starfleet admirals.  If you want to mark that.

franchise * series * essential * character

Memory Alpha summary.


  1. I never thought about how many Admiral jerks there were until now Tony. The episode and makeup were bad, but I thought it was touching enough. I'll have to watch it again sometime.

    1. I could never get past the admiral's ego and terrible makeup. He just wasn't sympathetic.


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