Sunday, April 29, 2012

Realm of Fear

 *** (3 stars out of 5)

Guess what Reginald Barclay is scared of this week? Yup, transporters. You guessed it!

Reg has somehow managed to reach this point in his career without using them. He mostly clings to the safety of slidewalks, shuttles, and space elevators. He even hides if he sees Miles O'Brien coming so he won't have to think about transporters.

But with a great show of bravery and his therapists' Betazoid endorphin-stimulating neck tap (plexing, don't cha know), he beams to the rescue with the away team seeking some missing scientists or something.

On the beam back, however, Barclay spots a wormy grey shape, seemingly on the approach with a horrendous gaping maw. He feels it touch his arm, and although everything checks out, he starts to go a little squirrelly. Well, squirrellier.

Reg decides rather than go to Crusher or Troi he'll just dignose himself on 24th Century WebMD. He immediately concocts or imagines most of the symptoms of an obscure illness called 'transporter psychosis'.

Barclay asks La Forge whether he's ever experienced anything unusual in the transporter.

Thankfully, Geordi adds no fuel to the hypochondriac's fire by saying "Not unless you count the time I became an intangible spectre for two days and everyone thought I was dead. Why do you ask?"

But it's time for the worm to turn. In fact, all the worms have turned! Acting on a hunch, Barclay brings the slugs out of the beam and for some reason they were the missing scientists all along. I'm serious! That happened.

I've seen more logical science on Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

"Realm of Fear" is still quite good. That's because Dwight Shultz and Colm Meaney make everything better.

Next week: Barclay's fear of spiders. And then his fear of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark: The Musical.

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