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Star Trek TNG - Season 6 - Episode 07

Star Trek TNG - 6x07 - Rascals

Originally Aired: 1992-11-2

Several crew members are turned into children. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.41

Rate episode?

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- The science behind this episode is horrible. How did the transporter shrink their clothes? What happened to Picard's artificial heart? And how did the transporter unshrink everyone's clothes when they went back through?

- Guinan's father is over 700 years old.
- The writers ended the episode without showing Ro revert back to adulthood because they considered leaving her that way permanently.

Remarkable Scenes
- The actors for the child versions of the characters were pretty good selections.
- Picard trying to ignore the limitations of his new form.
- O'Brien's reaction to Keiko.
- Troi: "You could return to the acadamy, take another degree, brush up on your Latin." Picard: "And be Wesly Crusher's room mate?"
- Troi: "A second childhood. Without the pain of growing up again."
- Guinan picking on Ro.
- Guinan's proposed solution to the takeover.
- The child's computer.
- Picard freaking out at the Ferengi about seeing his "father" Riker
- Picard pretending to be Riker's son.
- Riker bullshitting technobabble.
- The children "tagging" the Ferengi.

My Review
The Ferengi conquering the Enterprise so easily seemed a little absurd. And why did the Ferengi even bother trying to unlock the computer? They could have just tractored the ship to Romulan space. I'm sure the Romulans would have been more interested and more able to crack the computer lockout... This episode suffers greatly from both logical and technical problems. Forgiving them briefly, this episode bears great humor. It's great fun watching the crew as children and how they're treated by the rest of the cast. It's also great fun watching the children outsmart the Ferengi. Besides the humor, the idea that they could live to be twice the age of normal people was also intriguing, but disappointing that in the end no one decided to remain a child; not even Ro who would have been perfectly suited for that role. A fine idea for an episode, but very poorly executed.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-06 at 11:03pm:
    I agree. How did two klingon birds of prey disable the enterprise immediately and then proceed to board it and commandeer it so easily? That was ridiculous. I hate the ferengi so much.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-12 at 3:58am:
    - Once again, the creators use the "just switch the DNA with the transporter so everything will be ok" plot trick to fix the problem of changing the crew back to adults. At least the creators are consistent. This is basically the same solution they used to resolve a crisis in "Unnatural Selection." (see "Unnatural Selection" Fan Commentary for more information on this subject.)
    - When asked by the Ferengi captain how many people are on board the Enterprise, Riker replies, "One thousand fourteen" (1,014). During the episode "Remember Me," Data claims there are 1,014 people on the Enterprise at that point. What are the chances - given transfers, promotions, childbirth, etc. - that there would be exactly the same number aboard the Enterprise during both these shows?
    - Worf needs to get back to the phaser practice range. When two Ferengi materialize on the bridge, Worf fires a shot and misses! The Ferengi can't be more than twenty feet away, and the chief of Security of the Enterprise misses?
    - When Picard first attempts to access the main computer from a school terminal, the top of the screen reads, "Classroom 7." When Picard meets with Riker, he asks Riker to turn on the computer in "schoolroom 8."
  • From djb on 2008-05-27 at 4:29am:
    This episode was fun, though it brings up two rather sticky subjects (aside from obvious ones, like, how their clothes shrunk and Picard magically had hair).

    One is how easily the Enterprise, the flagship of the Federation, was captured. By those god-awful Ferengi, no less. I mean, it's certainly possible for the ship to be captured, but I'd expect it to maybe be a bit more of a struggle. It was a cakewalk! And, wouldn't there be security measures, like some kind of automatic lockdown if the shields fail? Or something? I mean, come on. It could have been epic.

    The other is the "age reversal" problem, which was also an issue in "Unnatural Selection." If a transporter can accidentally convert adults into children, couldn't it be configured to do it intentionally? Wouldn't that basically make the transporter an immortality machine? Wouldn't that mean that anyone, once their bodies have aged past 50 or 60, or whenever, could just enter the transporter, be reverted to children (with adult minds) and live another several decades with a younger body, and repeat ad infinitum? Maybe it could be configured to revert someone to, say, 29, instead of 12, and then people could go in for an "age-reverting" every 5 or 10 years without going all the way back to 12? The social, economic, and medical ramifications are ludicrous. Talk about messing with nature!

    I thought the casting of young Guinan and young Ro were excellent; it happens that the actress who played young Guinan also played a young version of the character Whoopi Goldberg played in "Sister Act." Keiko didn't really look like herself, but it's hard to tell with aging. Also notice that young Picard's accent is just slightly different from regular Picard's? Hmmm.

    Some episodes, though, have "priceless" moments that are somewhat incidental but memorable. "Schisms" had Data's poetry, which was genius. This one's priceless moment is Riker feeding the Ferengi complete nonsense about the computer. Bilateral kelilactirals... Heisenfram terminals! Wonderful touch.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-11 at 12:08am:
    Ughh. This is perhaps the most ridiculous episode of the Next Generation. The O'Brien/Keiko stuff was creepy and interesting, but Colm Meany didn't act it very well, probably because the plot was dumb he couldn't take it seriously.

    On top of all this idiotic mess with the children, we have another incredibly stupid Ferengi episode. The Ferengi are the Jar Jar Binks of TNG and an embarrassing black eye on the series. They become more believable in DS9, but here they are always bad news. It's already been documented that children are a bad idea on Trek, and the combination of the two here is dreadful.

    Thank God the writers didn't go ahead and make this episode inarguably canonical by leaving Ro as a child. Therefore, I move that this episode be struck from the canon, as nothing significant arises from it, it's thankfully never mentioned again, the science is ludicrous, and the whole package is utter shite.
  • From The Crytter on 2009-06-07 at 10:50am:
    A hugely fun episode. I enjoyed it but for a few niggling details.....

    1) A case of mistaken identity:

    The Klingon Bird's of Prey are identified as "B'rel" class.

    The B'rel class Bird of Prey is well known to be a scout vessel, approximately 90 meters long and 130 metres wide. Whats more, the B'rel class has only a crew of 12, and could not carry very many troops in addition.

    The Birds of Prey that attack the Enterprise are clearly at least as wide as the Enterprise herself (467 metres). And they can cleary carry enough troops between them to overwhelm to Enterprise crew. These vessels are clearly of the "K'Vort" class cruiser variant of the Bird of Prey!

    2) Has Commander Riker become a wimp???

    2 vs 1 or not, the supposedly state-of-the-art Galaxy class Flagship-of-the-federation USS Enterprise goes down with barely a whimper! It fires just one shot in retaliation. Absolutely pathetic! Commander Riker is usually fairly gung-ho, and pretty handy in a fight. But here he simply lets the Enterprise take several minutes of pummeling before he orders Mr Worf to return fire, and even then with only a single phaser burst! With his hesitation and poor response to the attack, he basically gifts the Enterprise to the Ferengi!

    Commander Riker should have ordered Mr Worf to return fire as soon as they were attacked, and then concentrated fire on one of the Birds of Prey. The Enterprise is powerful enough to disable a K'Vort class cruiser in fairly short order with sustained fire, and once one was out of action the Ferengi crew of the other would no doubt have decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and retreated.

    So in short, the Enterprise seriously needs it's ship recognition files updating, and should have won the fight with it's attackers. This, of course, means that this whole episode should never have taken place.

    A shame really, considering the episode as a whole is such good fun! Enough fun, that i'll forgive the writers for the irritating errors.
  • From rpeh on 2010-06-14 at 6:33pm:
    You lot take this far too seriously.

    Yes, the science is rubbish. Yes, the ship was taken over too easily. Yes, there are other problems.

    But this episode is fun! The young versions do a brilliant job, young Guinan especially, and as long as you watch it all when you're in a good mood, it's a funny episode.

    Sheesh! Some people would even take Trouble with Tribbles seriously!
  • From baron on 2010-12-03 at 1:30pm:
    Riker didn't attack the ships because they were klingon ships. He didn't raised the shields because he would have had no reason to and that would be seen as a hostile gesture. He had no way of knowing that they were ferengi. He would have at least tried to hail them before he started firing. He wouldn't want to risk starting a war by firing at them first for no reason. Unfortunately, they had already attacked and disabled the enterprises sheilds at that point.
  • From Quando on 2011-08-24 at 8:40pm:
    The absolute best part of this episode was when the Ferengi caught little kid Picard calling Riker "Number One". The Ferengi looks at kid Picard kind of funny, and Picard quickly says "he's my number one Dad!" and gives Riker a big hug. My kids laughed about this for days.

    Also, what happened to the rest of the 1,014 people on the ship? The only people to try to do anything to stop the Ferengi are the people on the bridge and some little kids. Meanwhile several hundred fully-trained starfleet officers are sitting quietly somewhere twiddling their thumbs.
  • From Wes on 2012-03-22 at 9:27am:
    This marks the last episode the O'briens are on TNG. The next time we see Chief O'brien is on DS9 in Emissary.
  • From railohio on 2014-07-21 at 10:33pm:
    Overall I found the episode enjoyable, however there is one continueing point involving the Ferengi that I need to meet
    The bridge crew spends so much time spilling out statuses and sensor readings during the battle, that they only manage to actually fire once. Once!! If they really wanted to win, they would disable the enemy as quickly as possible (or at least try to) and worry about the damages and casualties after. They would avoid even more casualties in the process.

    Another thing I found a bit funny actually was during the shuttle mishap. While the shuttle is experiencing "turbulance," the shuttle does not seem to move at all, and it appears they are just dancing in there chairs. Quite entertaining if you catch it
  • From Mike on 2017-04-16 at 11:19pm:
    Whatever you think of this episode, you have to agree that the kid actors really nailed their performances. All four of them were great! Their scenes were the best parts of this episode: Guinan and Ro's interaction, The O'Briens' awkward time together, and young Picard's dealings with the crew.

    As for the Ferengi taking over the ship, I think this episode is mostly just for laughs. After all, whatever cunning the Ferengi may have had in their initial capture of the Enterprise was clearly used up and the crew was able to outsmart them with comical ease. You just can't take the Ferengi seriously in TNG, and the idea of involving them in an episode where some crew members are transformed into children seems to fit nicely.

    From a canon point of view, I can see why this episode pisses off some fans. Maybe we can just agree that this was a facepalm moment for Worf and his security team, after which they ran numerous drills to make sure they'd never be humiliated by losing the flagship to a gang of Ferengi ever again.
  • From Chris on 2018-02-16 at 11:06pm:
    Without looking at the episode... whatever... more stupid than Kirk and the boys getting old!

  • From Chris on 2018-02-23 at 5:21pm:
    I must've been in a foul mood when I posted my irritation of this episode without watching it.
    Sometimes I just forget that this is, after all, not science, but science-FICTION!

    If one cannot tolerate a bit of whimsy now and then, then one needs to re-adjust their attitude maybe...

    Anyway, I did notice that they did make a half-assed attempt with the costuming on Ro and Guinan only...
    Riker's gibberish was awesome but it would have been funny if somehow he could have squeezed in, as a shout out to Kirk, something about Fizzbin! ;-)

    The interaction between Keiko and Miles was pretty poignant, I think.
  • From Chris on 2019-07-31 at 9:54pm:
    One last... comment. I think it might have been cool if Keiko's daughter recognized her for who she was regardless of how she looked! Miles would have freaked out and there would have been much less drama between them but the drama could then have been taken in ANY direction from there!
    Could've been more fun?
    Is it fun, funner, funnest?
    Is it dead, deader, deadest?

    These are questions that torment me...

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