Trekathon 128: Skin of Evil (TNG)

February 28th, 2010

A giant oil slick kills the security officer of the Enterprise. The episode mainly fails simply because the alien looks so ridiculous you cannot take it seriously. Really, it’s just a giant pool of black liquid. It’s hard to believe it as a significant threat to the Enterprise.

Fundamentally there’s the potential for something nice here. It’s so rare to just have the kind of random, meaningless death that is part of reality. Most TV shows will only kill characters to some purpose, or with some great villain. The need to write someone out because of a contract dispute had some potential. But it doesn’t add up.

Tasha Yar’s death here kind of proves Denise Crosby’s point: there isn’t a single other member of the main bridge crew whose death would be so unaffecting (except maybe Troi). She’s had no character development. She’s not very good at her job. And there isn’t much evidence that she got on well with anyone except Worf. Maybe the writers would have gone somewhere eventually, but she was getting less development than any other character. Heck, in her funeral scene the only thing they could think of to do was to have Tasha give compliments to the crew, because there wasn’t enough about her for them to say. The only crew member who really seems to react is Troi.

128 down, 609 to go.