Recently I had a pretty nasty cold. It’s probably the same virus that everyone seems to be getting in different degrees. So I watched Star Trek to pass the time, and got to thinking about all the disease episodes that the various series have done. From decent episodes like “The Deadly Years” to goofier fare like “Genesis”. I guess it makes sense why there are so many since often these episodes are light on plot. I’m not sure why, but I would be lying if I said that these weren’t often my favorite episodes.
However, while some are great others are just dumb. That’s what I wanted to discuss today. Since this is a top 5 it will be one episode per series. And just to get one obvious one out of he way, no Genesis will not be on the list. Why? Because I already discussed, and as silly as it was there was a TNG episode I think is even worst! But we’ll get to it.
I may be alone on this one, but I hate this episode. It is just so uncomfortable that I can’t even sit through it. After the Enterprise beams down to a planet which is exactly like Earth (for some reason), they find only children alive. The adults have all been killed by a disease which the landing party now has. The disease cause sores to form which lead to insanity and death. There’s more but I think I have said enough. I know this is not hated by most but for me it’s just a bad episode though it does feature the talented Kim Darby in the guest cast.
This is here because DS9 didn’t have to many disease episodes, so almost by default this has to be the choice. But that doesn’t mean the episode doesn’t suck. It seemed like DS9’s attempt to do a “Naked Time” kind of story. The disease scrambled the brain so people can’t communicate. Boring. The real problem is that the dilemma in the episode is so forced. An alien refuses to stay aboard the station even though he risks spreading the disease. Yawn. The scene is played for as much suspense as possible with Quark and Odo but fails on almost every level.
#3.The Naked Now (TNG)
This was a tough call. I was going to give the episode a pass because it was just the second episode after all. But why should that be an excuse? There is so much fail here as the show homages the classic “The Naked Time”. But the characters haven’t been developed enough for the story to work. Where “The Naked Time” had some good dramatic moments between characters, here they all become horny. Yeah the scene between Data and Yar is good but not enough. Did I also mention that Wesley literally saved the ship even though he’s as intoxicated as everyone else? There is so much silliness I could be here all day. Picard catches the disease when Crusher breathes on him, Data is infected, and so on. Fail.
#2.Vox Sola (Enterprise)
Does this count? I’m counting it anyway. Yeah there was another episode where a disease made the crew fixate on small things, but that wasn’t so bad honestly. The premise of this is that a symbiotic alien has boarded the ship and begins to capture several crew members. The creature links them with its tentacles and begins…I don’t know absorbing them I guess. Hoshi has to figure out how to communicate with the creature while the captured people… I don’t know this episode makes little sense and is really stupid. Next!
I am usually trying to defend Voyager, but boy oh boy was this a stupid episode. How did they green light this? “Hey, you know viruses are microscopic? Well what if they became, follow me now, MACROSCOPIC!!”Â Now macro virus’s do exists in fictional but they are just a but larger than usual. Here? THEY ARE HUGE!! The whole set up is weak. This is really an excuse to have Captain Janeway act like the hero by running around with a big gun. When TNG did that with Picard, the episode worked. Here it’s lame and silly. Not because she’s a woman but because of what she is fighting. It’s just stupid.Â In fact the whole plot is stupid. Janeway and Neeelx just happen to miss the outbreak, the crew are all incapacitated and Neelex is useless s usual. This feels the kind of episode where someone was very pleased with the result, even though it’s Voyager at its worst.
So did I miss any? Comment and let me know.