We’ll Dance and Sing and Fight Until the Early Morning Light: Next Gen at Random #2 — “Up the Long Ladder”

Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Original airdate: May 22, 1989

When I am creator and show-runner of my own Star Trek series — oh, it’ll happen — I’m going to have a very large sign on the wall in the writers’ room. A set of commandments for my staff to follow, with zero exceptions. Three rules:

  1. Do not write any more stories about the holodeck breaking down.
  2. Do not write any more stories about the crew Going CrazyTM.
  3. Do not write any more stories about long-lost colonies from Earth that the Enterprise just happens to stumble upon after centuries of isolation, and gosh, are they weird!

That last one is a sticking point with me. It’s a trope that the original series used several times, and it really only worked once. And Next Gen did it, too, and they weren’t much better, as we’ll see in today’s installment.
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The Star Trek Spinner

I ran a poll to determine which show I should review: Taxi or Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Okay, there were other shows in there, but those two were the only real contenders.) The poll ran for over a week. And at the end of all the democracy…it was a tie.

So, in the interest of pleasing the people, I’ve decided to make a go at doing both shows. I will begin reviewing Taxi from the beginning early next week.

Next Gen, on the other hand, I’ve decided to approach in a different manner. Since I’ve seen virtually all of that show’s 176 episodes already, and watching them in order won’t necessarily illuminate anything useful (it’s not exactly heavily serialized), I’m going to take on the show entirely at random.

My method: I go to random.org, ask it to give a number between 1 and 176, and review the episode that corresponds with said number. (I’m going in airdate order, not production order.) If it happens to land on a two-parter, I will review the second part the following week.

So simple! So unique! I am a genius!

The first spin: 105. The 105th episode by airdate order is…