105 – Disaster

Grade: C+

Disaster (1991) on IMDb


The Enterprise has some free time, so various crewmembers are in different activities. Captain Picard must escort three winners of the children’s science fair through a tour of the ship. Suddenly, the ship encounters a quantum filament and there is tremendous damage. The entire ship is disabled.


This is yet another episode that is not one of my favorites. So far, it seems the 5th season is off to a rocky start. This is only the 5th episode of the season, but we’ve so far had one B+, one B-, two C+ and one D+ grades. Not exactly a great way to start a season. Hopefully the rest of Season 5 will be better than this.

There are some good scenes in this episode, like when Worf is helping Keiko give birth. And it’s nice to see Picard interact with the kids in the turbolift – more on this later. Probably the best parts of this episode are when Counselor Troi has to take command of the Bridge and she knows nothing at all about the problems on the ship. Though I think they really stretched her lack of knowledge into ridiculous proportions, I did think it was wonderful to see her take charge and make decisions.

Ensign Ro is adamant about doing things her way, but Troi remains very calm but firm in her decisions. It was quite a contrast from the episode not long ago (Redemption, Part 2) when Data was in command of a ship and yet seemed to lose total control of his emotions. In contrast, here’s a woman who has been notoriously bad at controlling her emotions throughout the entire series, but in this tension-filled episode, she’s able to remain very calm in her very first command experience.

Let’s just forget for a minute that there are no other Bridge officers on the Bridge at the time of this accident. That seems like a huge mistake that would never happen in real life. Then again, they are in outer space so they’re not likely to come across anything anyway.

But back to Picard and his experience with the children in the turbolift. We hear over and over again how he hates kids and wants to avoid spending any time with them at all, but it seems each time he is forced to interact with them, he does a great job. I’m not sure if this inconsistency is intentional, but it sure seems to happen quite a bit.

Now as far as the turbolift itself, it’s strange that there is artificial gravity in the turbolift shaft. I can understand the artificial gravity inside the turbolift, but not the shaft. Considering the fact that the engineers who built the Enterprise would have to add gravity to the ship in the first place, it doesn’t make sense that they’d also add it to the turbolift shaft. What would be the point? Wouldn’t it make more sense to not have it in the shaft so that when the lift goes up, it doesn’t have to work against the artificial gravity that has been added to it? Well, whatever. A minor detail that was obviously overlooked.

Overall, I thought the episode was pretty disjointed. It seemed more like a series of skits that were strung together to make a full episode. Probably the most ridiculous part is when Data’s head is sitting on a table and Riker is using it to power down the warp engines or something like that. Honestly, I didn’t really care what the problem was. It just looked silly – like an old sci-fi movie. I guess that’s OK because this episode was like a disaster movie from the 70s.

Of Note

In this episode, we find out that Counselor Troi holds the rank of Lt Commander. Honestly, I don’t know how that’s possible. The episode when she goes through the Bridge Officer Training program is 2 and a half years from now, so how is she in charge here?