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Star Trek TNG - Season 6 - Episode 04

Star Trek TNG - 6x04 - Relics

Originally Aired: 1992-10-12

Scotty returns after being in stasis for 75 years. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 6.74

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- The Enterprise beamed Geordi and Scotty through the old ship's shields. Maybe they were weak enough or something.

- The Dyson Sphere concept is based off of a non Trek related SciFi idea, named after its creator, Dyson.
- According to this episode there have been "5 Federation ships" by the name Enterprise.

Remarkable Scenes
- The sight of the Dyson Sphere.
- The sight of a TOS transporter rematerializing Scotty.
- Scotty not aware of how much time had passed.
- Geordi, regarding rigging the transporter to survive: "That's brilliant!" Scotty: "I think it was only 50% brilliant. Franklin deserved better."
- Beverly, on Scotty's health: "I'd say you feel fine for a man of 147."
- Scotty fumbling over the new technology.
- Scotty: "I was driving starships when your great grandfather was in diapers!"
- Data explaining synthehol to Scotty.
- Scotty: "Synthetic scotch. Synthetic commanders."
- Scotty: "What is it?" Data: "It is... it is... it is green." A reference to Scotty's famous line in TOS: By Any Other Name.
- Scotty: "NCC 1701, no bloody A, B, C, or D."
- The original Enterprise on the holodeck.
- Picard: "Aldebaran whisky. Who do you think gave it Guinan?"
- Picard and Scotty discussing the ships they miss.
- Scotty, with regards to the holodeck: "Computer, shut this bloody thing off."
- Geordi trying to cheer up Scotty.
- The old ship holding the Dyson sphere open with its shields.
- Geordi discussing his adventure with Dr. Brahms with Scotty.

My Review
The simplistic plot is perfect because it allows us to spend more time on Scotty and less time on SciFi concept of the week. The greatest thing about it though was the SciFi concept of the week was a wonderful idea. So the whole plot just wove together into to an impressions show. Everything in this episode was geared toward impressing the viewer. Especially if the viewer was a longtime Star Trek fan. Yes, this episode is completely fanboyish. Oldschool TOS character returns and an obscure but well documented SciFi concept given a cameo as well. This whole episode seems to be a cameo. But it couldn't have been done better and I enjoyed it greatly.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-10 at 4:49am:
    - When the Enterprise first discovers the Dyson's sphere, Data states it is 200 million kilometers in diameter. Riker responds, "That's nearly as large as the Earth's orbit around the Sun." The Earth's orbit around the Sun is approximately 297 million kilometers. I leave it for you to decide if a difference of 97 million kilometers qualifies as "nearly."
    - When Scotty rematerializes, his arm is in a sling. Later, Crusher states that he has a hairline fracture of the humerus - the long bone of the upper arm. Surprisingly, Scotty seems to feel no pain as Geordi bumps the arm several times and gives it a good whack right where the injury is!
    - When Data discovers Scotty doesn't care for the taste of synthahol, he tells Scotty that Guinan keeps a store of true alcoholic beverages and proceeds around the bar to fetch some. Can anyone just help themselves to Guinan's provisions?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-06 at 9:30pm:
    I agree with everything here. One nice touch to this episode is Scotty's relationship with Worf. He refuses to shake Worf's hand at the end of the episode. I like this because it's true to his character and it's not a pollyanna feelgood ending, as some things never change.
  • From KStrock on 2009-01-23 at 8:43am:
    In reference to DSOmo and the alcohol.

    In Season 2's episode "Up the Long Ladder", Worf states that true alcohol can be replicated. Although then we would't be able to reference the "It" scene.
  • From Ali on 2009-03-22 at 2:04pm:
    When Scotty is first brought back, and Riker tells him he is from the Enterprise, Scotty assumes Kirk is commanding it, and Riker has to explain the time passage, etc.

    But Kirk is dead at this point (or believed to be by the world). According to the Generations movie, he was picked up by the Nexxus, and Scotty is one of the first ones to find out he is gone.

    So, did Scotty forget this? At first, I thought maybe Scotty had been placed in this beam before the Kirk incident, but then Scotty never returns to the earlier time from whence he came, so Kirk's death must have happened beforehand.

    Someone tell me if I am missing something here!
  • From Someone Else on 2009-05-03 at 9:11pm:

    No, you're right, and this is the main problem with this episode - however, bear in mind that this episode was filmed a considerable time before Generations. And, who knows? Maybe being stuck in the transporter buffer for half an aeon can lead to temporary amnesia or something.
  • From Daniel Blessing on 2009-09-16 at 5:30pm:
    Beamings happen all of the time between Federation ships while shields are active. I am surprised you have not mentioned that as a problem in more of your episodes.
    My only reasonable explanation for these occurrences is that the Federation ships are all provided with either a universal transponder code, or they are provided with every commissioned ships transponder codes, including old, lost, and out dated ships. This could explain how they were able to beam the two of them out while the shields were up. They also are able in certain episodes to beam people aboard while their OWN shields are active... This could be a bit harder to explain, unless again, my theory is applied? They are able to beam thru the shields if they are aware of how to "penetrate" them.
  • From direktbroker on 2009-10-06 at 8:13am:
    Nice thought,but no good Daniel, just think of all the times they could not bring back their own teams because their own shields are up due to some terribly artificial threat in orbit.
  • From rpeh on 2010-07-19 at 7:21am:
    I may be an old softy, but the bit on the holodeck where Scotty raises a glass to his all crew and toasts them with "Here's to ye, lads" always brings a tear to my eye.

    Of course, Bones was still alive in the very first episode and Spock's still around too, so it's not totally impossible that he could catch up with two of his best friends from the old Enterprise.
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2010-08-18 at 12:22am:
    The Dyson Sphere, although a popular device in sci-fi, is not a "sci-fi concept"; it's a hypothetical structure proposed by the very real and very brilliant theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson.

    Good review, though and a fantastic site overall. Count me as your newest fan!
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-13 at 9:05am:
    Dyson himself refered to that idea of him as a joke btw.

    I nevertheless wished they would have concentrated more on it and even the slightest bit on its creators and less on Scotty. I really like him but using such a wonderful idea as the Dyson Sphere only for the usual Star Trek problem of the week is a waste. So for me it's just an okay episode, way above the crap u would expect from a TNG episode though.
  • From John on 2011-08-29 at 11:53pm:
    Once again, DSOmo proves that he does not understand the concept of narrative writing. He also proves his desire to tear down things other people in enjoy with petty nitpicking.

    Riker's statement that the diameter of the Dyson sphere is "nearly the orbit of the earth around the sun" is meant to to fire the imagination of the viewer by planting the idea that the sphere may be habitable. We find out later that it is (or was). Perhaps it's not close enough to the mean orbital diameter of Earth to qualify as "nearly", but who cares?
  • From Will on 2011-10-29 at 9:41pm:
    Earths orbital radius may not be the same in 300 years for all we know.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-12 at 7:51am:
    I really wish they would explore the Dyson Sphere more, though.

    Also, maybe I just missed something here, but how did the Enterprise get free from the pull at the end of the episode?

    1. The helmsman said they've lost main power and the auxiliary power is down

    2. Then she stated that they were still being carried by the initial motion of the tractor beam and that the impulse engines were offline. She also said "I can't stop our momentum."

    3. They couldn't use the maneuvering thrusters, until they diverted the remaining auxiliary power to them.

    4. Then, they achieved orbit, yet it seems they couldn't escape it (?). I mean, why else would they wait until their shields went down and the solar flares would burn them up? Couldn't Picard order Data to scan for another exit from a safer location?

    5. So when Geordi contacted the Enterprise, how did they manage to escape?

    I feel like I just missed or misunderstood something, though :/

  • From railohio on 2014-06-03 at 7:00pm:
    If anyone is disappointed by this episode, he should read the novel "relics." On top of including every single part and line of the episode, the book adds a whole section of information. In the novel, they actually send an away team down to the planet before making their escape through the jammed doors. The book goes through a great depth of description of the surface inside the sphere, as well as a deeper exploration of Scotty's inner consciousness. Even if reading is not your thing, I strongly recommend reading the novel based on this fantastic episode
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-06-01 at 11:26pm:
    @Zaphod: the Dyson sphere concept was published in an academic paper in the journal science and it was definitely NOT a “joke”. What Dyson did say was that he was not “serious” – not in the sense that he was “joking” but in the sense that he didn’t think it was ever going to be a plausible technology for anyone to find useful. But he DEFINITELY thought such a sphere was technically possible. HOWEVER, his version of the “sphere” was not a solid structure like the ones you see in sci-fi, but rather, a collection of structures spread out over a region of space constituting a “sphere”.... so I guess, in way, we’ve come full circle and our host is (in a limited sense) correct in describing the star trek version of the sphere as a “sci-fi concept.”... touché...
  • From ChristopherA on 2019-06-27 at 2:04am:
    When I first watched this episode a long time ago, I thought Scotty's problem was that he was a "fish out of water", unprepared for the time period. But now that I rewatch it, it is obvious that his real problem is that he is having a mid-life crisis, feeling old and out-of-touch, in a parallel to how Kirk was rusty, depressed, and out of touch in the movie era. TOS Scotty would act totally differently if he were transported to the future. It is arguably an interesting progression to see his life path progress from ernest and serious in the show, to goofy and laid back in the movies, to lonely and pathetically trying to be wanted.

    However, I mostly find "over-the-hill Scotty" annoying, so this isn't a top episode for me. But I do like the recreation of the TOS-era bridge, and Scotty getting to use his mad engineering skills at the beginning and end of the episode.
  • From Andrew James on 2019-09-16 at 10:37am:
    My problem with this episode is the idea that people were not interested in Scottie's stories about the old days. This man is no a living legend from one of the most famous ships ever, he would more likely be inundated by historians and fan boys and girls. The better plot work up is him not being interested in "reliving" the old days but by wanting to be an engineer and being obsolete. The trip to the old enterprise should have been to get away from the people who did not care who he was know but just wanted his old stories.
  • From Chris Long on 2020-05-20 at 9:51pm:
    With TNG being the way it is, the character stories are most interesting to me.
    This one is right there satisfying that 'element'!
    My big complaint about this episode is that the from any perspective showing the Enterprise with the sphere, one can see the curvature of it! What utter nonsense! There is no way anyone could discern anything remotely like some curvature from something that size!
    It bugs that they dropped the ball on the scale but I suppose maybe they simply didn't think about it.
    No one else here has made a comment on it so I'm alone in this.
    Meh... ;-)

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