Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Next Generation 3x8 "The Price"


Fans got an unexpected sequel to "The Price" in Voyager's "False Prophets," but the real common denominator is The Next Generation finally figuring out a better way to present the Ferengi after their all-but-disastrous debut in the first season, not quite to the nuanced portrayal in Deep Space Nine, but respectable.

The occasion (and reason why Voyager could revisit the Ferengi featured here) is discussions concerning an artificial wormhole, the appearance itself helping years in advance to set up another defining feature of DS9.  Representatives of various species gather aboard the Enterprise for the rights to the wormhole.

Interestingly, the episode apart from its enduring legacy is a fairly standard Next Generation affair, featuring the crew deep in negotiations as happens frequently elsewhere in the series (previously Kirk did a lot of his negotiations not with his mouth but fists).  Troi gets the nominal lead when one of the participants turns out to be part-Betazoid, but he's hidden this aspect of himself so he can exploit his empathic abilities.  Riker gets to step up as well during the course of the episode.

Yet it's the weaselly Ferengi, always in search of profit and willing to do anything to get it, that steal the episode.  They end up making the trip through the ultimately unstable wormhole, ending up in the Delta Quadrant where "False Prophets" later catches up with them.  Before that, although not particularly likable they're more memorable than even the Ferengi who was at one point considered Picard's mortal enemy.  This is exactly how you picture Ferengi in the field, twitchy and duplicitous but probably ineffective, because they work best in far better-defined financial territory.  Watching them flounder in "The Price" is enough to establish a firm new context for the species, and it's one that endures.

franchise * series * essential * character

Notable guest-stars:
Colm Meaney

Memory Alpha summary.


  1. Ferengis unrelenting lust for gold pressed latinum makes them unique. I guess the wormhole was too much temptation despite Geordi's warning.

    1. The Ferengi are heedless when confronted with greed. I'm sure there's a Rule of Acquisition about it.

  2. I think your right Tony. The mistake Trek made with the Ferrengi the first time was to make them a military threat. They work much better as a financial or intelligence threat.

    1. And speaking of intelligence, Voyager figured that out, too, which is another thing fans don't tend to give that series credit for.


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