Monday, March 26, 2012

New Ground

** (2 stars out of 5)
Worf's mom drops by with that thing he left at her house. Alexander. He's HUGE! Nobody mentions time warps, but if you'll recall, he's not more than three years old. I guess Klingons grow fast. Nana Rozhenko is insistent that the boy remain with his father. Ruh-Roh!

Worf quickly learns how ill-prepared he is for true fatherhood. He doesn't even know Alexander's birthdate is the 43rd day of Maktag. If that's a real thing. There's some suggestion that Alexander is kind of a liar. That or his mom gave him cake for breakfast every day.

Bilana III is testing a new soliton wave. What a sensible, pronounceable way to spell that. Bilana. Bilana. Not nearly so difficult as when it's a Klingon female's proper name. (More on that later.)

Geordi is thrilled to be here to see this! Ships without nacelles will be riding soliton waves through warp space like surfboards. Data, Worf, and the entire audience shrug. Why? Because it's a terrible plan...

That's right. It's a warp drive, but without all that pesky being able to steer. OR STOP. How long did they think about this? Isn't this like building a car without an engine, that works by throwing it really hard towards your work every morning, and then throwing it back to your garage every night?

Speaking of avoidably stupid deaths, Earth's white rhino has been extinct for two centuries, and the draco lizard for three. The gilvos of Corvan II are under threat of extinction from industrial pollution, so Enterprise is taking some to the protected planet Brentalia. Gilvos are adorable: if you adore faceless snakes covered in bark instead of scales.

The test ship goes blammo but the soliton wave doesn't stop. Soliton Wave don't care. Soliton Wave don't give a shit! It's getting bigger, faster, and it's headed for Lemma II. If only it could be stopped somehow.

Caught stealing, Alexander receives a lecture in honour. It doesn't take. Under threat of Klingon boarding school (very probably where they literally hit you with boards until you learn honour) Alexander runs off and is caught in a fire in the Biolab as the Enterprise chases down and destroys the soliton wave. Alexander and the gilvos are saved.

"New Ground" features the final screen appearance anywhere of a lovely actress, the sweet Georgia Brown, and the first Alexander appearance of Brian Bonsall. Fine work from both. While I'm not a huge fan of the story, I appreciate the effort expended to remind us of the one thing that makes the D different from all the other Enterprises: Kids Welcome.

Sadly, it's the same sort of kid you always get on daytime dramas: aging rapidly, disappearing when inconvenient, and contributing little. Complaining aside, I blame all that on the system. Liking Alexander anyway: that I credit entirely to Mr. Bonsall.

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