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Star Trek TNG - Season 3 - Episode 25

Star Trek TNG - 3x25 - Transfigurations

Originally Aired: 1990-6-4

The Enterprise encounters an incredibly powerful humanoid. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.85

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- This episode marks the first mention of O'Brien injuring himself on the holodeck kayaking. Though he mentions that he injured himself "again" denoting that this isn't the first time he's done it, this is the first of many mentions on screen.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf and Geordi eyeing women in the opening scene.
- Worf, annoyed at Geordi's and Data's technobabble: "Less talk. More synthehol. We came here to relax."
- Worf, regarding Geordi finally getting the courage to snag his woman: "I've been tutoring him. He learns quickly."
- Geordi's newfound confidence.
- It's nice to see Wesley sporting his new uniform.
- Superhuman guest guy healing O'Brien.
- Geordi and Data solving the mystery.
- Worf's fatal fall.
- The revelation at the end.

My Review
It's nice to have an episode focused nicely around Beverly that isn't surrounded by sorrow. I enjoyed the beginning of this episode quite a bit. A survivor of a terrible accident benefiting from the generosity of a Federation starship. But the stereotypical fascist Zalkonian ship commander, complete with a ship as powerful as the Enterprise annoyed me. I know the Enterprise is at the edge of Federation space and all, but why do we need to make up new aliens every week? Especially ridiculously powerful new aliens? If they were this powerful and this aggressive all the time, why don't we hear about them at all after this episode is over? It could be argued that the Zalkonians are never heard again because our guest shows all his people how to ascend to a higher plane of existence, but that makes it no less lame. A good try, but I found the episode lacking overall. It tries to be something profound yet also attempts to remain inconsequential (as we never hear of the Zalkonians again). Incompatible goals.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-29 at 9:44pm:
    - This episode opens with Geordi and Worf in Ten-Forward at the bar. Geordi points out a woman at a nearby table. He questions Worf as to what he should say to her. The conversation makes it sound like they've never met. In fact, Geordi has already taken her out at least once. He programmed an entire holodeck sequence for her at the beginning of "Booby Trap," and all she said was she didn't think of Geordi in "that way." Now here she is making eyes at Geordi and acting like she wants to get something started. What changed? Why is Christie Henshaw so interested in Geordi all of a sudden?
    - After Dr. Crusher beams John Doe up to the "Enterprise, she puts him in full "biosupport." One shot shows the panel that displays his current physical status. All the triangle indicators are white and around the middle of their ranges. Later, Crusher says in a voice-over that she has removed John Doe from biosupport and that his major organ systems can now function on their own. So why are the triangle indicators in this shot red and at the extreme left side of their scales? Don't red triangles all the way to the left indicate that a patient is dying?
    - In one scene, Riker waits outside a turbolift. The door opens and reveals Geordi embracing Christie Henshaw. As she leaves the turbolift, Riker enters. Riker says, "Bridge," to state his destination. Geordi adds, "Deck 6," and the turbolift takes off. Why did Geordi have to state where he is going? He was already on the turbolift, it should already know where to take him.
    - Shuttle Craft 5 is once again the object of renumbering or renaming. In the episode "Times Squared," Shuttle Craft "05" was named El-Baz. In the episode "The Ensigns Of Command," it became the Onizuka. Finally, in this episode, Shuttle Craft 5 returns to El-Baz.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-13 at 6:54pm:
    I mostly find this episode boring, but the reason I'm commenting is on your complaint of "never hearing from the Zalkonians again". This is true of many, many ST guest alien species so I'm not sure why it stuck in your craw here, but aren't the Zalkonians described as "Xenophobic". I could be wrong here. Again, it's been a long while since I've seen the episode. If they are Xenophobic, it's likely they keep to themselves and only become "aggressive" when their territory is trespassed in. Starfleet would surely avoid intentional trespass against such an aggressive race who is not interested in diplomatic dialog (now if Kirk were in charge of the Federation, that'd be different... how many times did that guy totally ignore warning beacons saying "Go Away").
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-16 at 2:03pm:
    Re: DSOmo's first comment about Christie Henshaw's apparent changing attitudes toward Geordi. This didn't bother me. It seemed pretty in character for a woman. She isn't interested per se, but wants to keep him on the hook. I guess Geordi's new found confidence left with the alien of the week, as I don't think we see Ms. Henshaw again.

    I agree with most of the critiques of this episode found here, but I rather like this one. I think the idea of a species on the verge of evolution to a higher plane of existence is interesting, and I like that it's happening on a biological rather than a metaphysical level.

    My main problem here is the choking scene. Is the Zalconioan commander doing that with his mind? Or is it some sort of weapon? It's unexplained and rather annoying.
  • From Ted on 2011-07-29 at 6:54am:
    Ugh, this episode is a perfect storm of wrong. I probably said, "ugh" at least 10 times in this episode. The story itself and the dialog is ridiculous. The dialog is, I'm sure, the cause of some especially bad acting by almost all of the members of the main cast; notably, the interaction of the Crushers talking about the dreamy alien. The direction is also off in this episode with odd angles, cuts, and continuity (oh, I guess a month just went by). I don't even feel that I need to criticize the character of the near messianic alien.
    Oddly enough, the sick bay and the shuttle bay have never looked better. Did they think that dropping a ton of cash on sick bay props would fix this episode?

    Clearly, this is only my opinion as other seem much less critical, but this is surely one of my least favorite in the series. 1 star for the humorous interactions of Geordi and Worf in 10 forward.
  • From archibald on 2011-09-26 at 11:42pm:
    Why is Data seen contorting on the floor of the bridge with all the breathing humans during the Zalkonian attack? Was he copying their agony for the human experience?

    Also, why does Worf think he is such an authority on women? He has spent almost all of his life in Federation space, surrounded mostly by humans. And up to this point in the series he has repeatedly said that he is not exactly sexually compatible with human women. It sounds as if the poor man's sex life is rather limited by his surroundings....
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 9:01am:
    As I have pointed out before, TNG has a funny, unscientific concept of evolution. As any student of biology knows, evolution is not pretty. It is dog-eat-dog, kill or be killed. There is no way that a sentient species somehow "evolves" into this higher semi-divine state, absent a struggle to survive.

    Frank Hebert and Isaac Azimov both understood this. Gene Roddenberry was undoubtedly influenced by the Bahai faith, of which he was a member. Like many New Age religions, Bahai teaches that humanity is evolving into divinity. Comforting, yes, but not terribly scientific.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-16 at 3:29am:
    Great episode. I noticed the webmaster tends to really (in my opinion) unfairly detract from episodes sometimes just because what happens is never referenced in the future. Just take an episode for what it is! Could TNG have benefited from a little bit more continuity? Sure, but it wasn't written that way. Doesn't make the individual episodes any worse on their own.

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