Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Next Generation 1x18 "Home Soil"

The good news is that this is the last episode from the season that you can skip if you're so inclined.  The better news is that it's another skippable episode that is not horrible.

That's quite an accomplishment for the season, actually.  When it was bad, it was horrendous.  Mostly "Home Soil" is not essential to any particular interest because it's still very much a first season episode, and because the series changed so much later on, you always have that option, and this particular episode is so obliging it's almost a joke.

"Home Soil" concerns one of those Federation scientist teams that Next Generation featured more often than the original series (where such activity is best represented in "Devil in the Dark") stumbling into the emergence of artificial intelligence.  This happened more often than you'd think in the series, and its zenith is "Evolution" from the third season (everything's better in the third season).

Like Voyager's obsession with holograms (because of its holographic doctor, whose name is Doctor), Next Generation had an obsession with artificial intelligence, because of course Data was an android.  This is the first time the series indulges that instinct, so if you want to watch it for that alone, you certainly can.  I say you don't have to watch this one, but again it's all about prerogative.  I'm merely stating that there is no truly compelling reason to watch.  But it is also an episode that indicates the series is figuring itself out, and that's a pretty good distinction if you ask me.

franchise * series * essential * character

Memory Alpha summary.

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