Sunday, January 15, 2012

Unnatural Selection

** (2 stars out of 5)
The 26 crewmen of supply ship Lantree have died of old age after three days. This time the disease from 'The Deadly Years' is not to blame.

Instead, it's the aggressive pre-emptive strike of the immune systems of the genetically engineered freak children of Darwin Station. Sorry, that's a hurtful word. I mean genetically created freaks.

Pulaski discovers this by beaming up a child in suspended animation encased in styrolite. (I guess it's like Star Wars carbonite only it's derived from styrofoam?) The twelve year old is adult size, telepathic, and telekinetic. To prove he's safe, Pulaski decants the kid in a shuttle alone. Well, Data's there but she treats him like a tricorder, so I feel only slightly bad for her when she begins to crap out almost immediately.

Chief O'Brien points out that the bio-filter didn't stop the kid infecting Pulaski, but the transporter trace pattern could theoretically be used to restore her health. Just like I groused about in 'The Lorelei Signal' and 'Lonely Among Us'. One hitch: Pulaski rarely uses transporters.

Her last Captain, Taggert of the Repulse, has already erased her transporter trace pattern.

Looks like the telekinetic kids will be doomed to live in isolation when their doddering parents bite it.

Fortunately, Picard knows that saying "undo it" to O'Brien and Data is the same as a cure: and it is!

A live follicle cell on Kate's hairbrush plus some modification to the bio-filter bus regeneration matrix from the genie's fairy dust and Miclonian Protoculture flibbety flammed into the hokey ham...

Yay! We get... Pulaski... back.

Oh, well. Can't win 'em all.

Pulaski and the Darwin scientists are cured, then the Lantree is torpedoed for some reason.

Just to watch the pretty flames? Seriously, do we have to hold a viking funeral with a valuable marvel of warp technology? Can't you just vacuum it out and use it again?

"Unnatural Selection" bugs me, partly because we've seen it all before in The Original Series, partly because it's a little too easy to beat the disease (also that people can now be de-aged at any time with a simple trip to the transporter room is totally ignored), but mostly because I STILL have so blessed little empathy for Pulaski that I DON'T CARE whether she lives or dies.

If that makes me a bad person, why don't you cure me with the transporter? Oh, you forgot it had that setting. My bad.

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