Star Trek 278: Genesis

278. Genesis

FORMULA: -1(The Deadly Years) + Timescape + Realm of Fear

WHY WE LIKE IT: Worf as a good old-fashioned monster.

WHY WE DON'T: Too violent for kids. Too stupid for their parents.

REVIEW: This is the one where they all turn into animals. It's your usual brain dead plot in which the entire crew is acting strangely, keeping the mystery until Data returns to the ship and explains it to Picard. There's a sense of fun about the actors integrating animal characteristics into their performances. I especially love "dumb Riker", but Michael Dorn also does a good job with a silent and feral Worf. Picard jumping out of his skin and Barclay's hyperspeed deliveries aren't bad either, but it's all pretty ridiculous that an antibody would becomes an airborne virus that can de-evolve a person. I have it on good authority that "introns" don't even have anything to do with that at all. It's not like the solution makes any sense either, as Ogawa's pregnancy (congratulations, by the way) shouldn't help non-humans any more than Spot's.

It's a stupid plot, but it still has some pretty intense moments, most notably Crusher's disfigurement by Worf's acid venom. It's more shocking and violent than anything yet seen on the show. Worf and Troi are outed in the worst possible way, with Worf taking a bit out of her cheek and then spending the bulk of the episode as a cool Predator-like monster chasing after her pheromones. And maybe it's all worth it for Data's deadpan delivery of Picard's diagnosis: "A lemur or pygmy marmoset."

But here's my real beef with Genesis: It robs the characters of their dignity. Think about it. The Enterprise was turned into a veritable menagerie. How many crew members ate one another? How many mated? Soiled themselves or their quarters? And yet at the end, it's like nothing happened, and Troi's being all cute about clearing her calendar for Barclay. I dare say she's got a lot more work ahead of her. If you don't care about the thousand nameless crewmen, that's fine. What about that climax with Worf chasing after Picard, drenched in Troi's pheromones. What do you think would have happened had he caught up? Ghastly.

LESSON: Don't press on the venom sac!

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: If you switch your brain to the OFF position, it's a perfectly entertaining action episode with some good jokes and thrills. If you think about it too much, you might find it in very bad taste.


LiamKav said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Siskoid said…
Well, lemurs are related to apes, so it's possible that there's a lemur-like creature somewhere down the line. How we're related to arachnids, that one I don't know.
LiamKav said…
The thing that got me about this episode is... I know Americans have an odd idea of evolution, in that half of them would rather believe that a magic wizard did everything. Even granting that, at what point did the idea what we evolved from spiders and lemurs enter the writers minds?
LiamKav said…
Sorry. Noticed a spelling mistake and you must have posted in between me deleting and recreating it.

I also doubt that cats are evolved from lizards.
Siskoid said…
The rationale may just be that in our genes is the potential for ANY creature that evolved on our planet, so long as it evolved before you did.

So a cat might turn into an iguana, which is a path not taken - dormant genes in felines.

It's completely ridiculous either way, but that may have been the mad science justification.
LiamKav said…
I can't decide if that's better or worse than "The Lazarus Experiment".
Siskoid said…
I'll throw in my support for "better" than Lazarus Exp.