109: The Naked Now (1.02)

Synopsis: The second episode and TNG is already ripping off entire plots from the original series.  And nobody gets naked (on-screen).

Memory Alpha Summary:  Indeed, it did happen.

Review:  While a delightfully risky episode, it simply came too early in the series, before the audience really knows the characters.  Thus, the context for the humor cannot be as appreciated as much until later.  However, it does establish some key relationships and personality traits of the main crew.  Beverly is cute as hell and she and Picard complement each other well.  Wesley shows some glimpses of his precocious arrogance, but it can be forgiven considering he was drunk.  However, the writers will soon exploit this to aggravating proportions.

Not only is this a poor man’s version of Naked Time, the episode has some pretty significant and obvious script flaws.

After the hatch of the Tsiolkovsky is blown, Data tells Picard that the sound they just heard is impossible.  Then they quickly prove how it indeed was possible.  Data would never use a work like “impossible” unless something truly was.  Even then, he would likely say “theoretically impossible” or “highly improbable.”  And this isn’t just an issue of a character not being developed yet.  Data is an android.  His programming should not allow him to say that word in this situation.

Despite Data’s explanation of how he could be infected, I just don’t buy it.  He is immune to every biochemical problem the crew faces for seven seasons, yet something that enters his pores here can make his computer program emulate a drunken person?  At least it made for an iconic moment, and gave Tasha Yar more action than she ever saw as security chief.

Even though Wesley has Picard’s voice–which would be needed to transfer command of the ship–how could he do it without an authorization code?  Sloppy writing, that’s how.

I wonder how I would rank this episode if I saw it for the first time back in 1987.  Of course, I had just turned seven years old.  I probably would have turned it off and played Excitebike.  Also, this episode aired two days before the Twins faced off against the Tigers in the ALCS, so I’m sure I had other things on my mind.

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