122 – Imaginary Friend

Grade: D+

Imaginary Friend (1992) on IMDb


A child on the Enterprise has an imaginary friend. Then, while investigating a nebula around a neutron star, a shiny red object invades the ship and becomes a young girl named Isabella. She turns out to look exactly like the imaginary friend.


This season seems to be getting worse, the further we go along. There are several really bad episodes during this season. This one is the third consecutive episode that was worse than the previous one. That trend should stop with I, Borg, but for now, it’s bad.

So what’s so bad about this one? Well, the acting is terrible. Even the regular actors are just going through the motions at this point. But one of the guest actresses (the one who plays Isabella) is just horrible. She has no emotion at all. OK, so maybe she was told to act that way, but she’s terrible. Obviously, she got better, because she continues to get acting jobs even now. But in this episode, she’s awful.

The other part that really bothered me was the end when Picard started to wax eloquent on how humans treat their children. It seemed really disingenuous, coming from the one adult in the entire series to openly admits to disliking children. However, in most episodes when Picard has to interact with children, he usually does a great job, so there’s that too.

Aside from that, I really don’t like these “Alien of the Week” episodes when some weird form of alien life comes aboard the Enterprise and investigates things. This particular storyline has been done to death in this franchise already. Though I know there are many more coming, I really prefer to see something more original. It’s just silly that there’s some evil alien on the ship (with more on the way) who all of a sudden changes her mind about these humans just because Picard gives some magic lecture. Whatever. It was just stupid and very cliché.

Now for a couple of oddities. First, Clara’s father looks to be about 15 years too old to be an Ensign. Well, maybe this was a second career for him. Second, Picard describes a nebula around a neutron star as “unique”, and then later says it’s something that has never been charted before. Aside from sounding very redundant, it’s also scientifically incorrect. As an explorer of the galaxy, he really should know that just about every neutron star either currently has or has had a nebula around it. The nebula is the result of a supernova explosion, which also causes the neutron star. So we have some bad writing here, and as you’ve seen by now, I really don’t like lazy writing.

Finally, this episode is just plain boring. It takes forever for something to happen.

Of Note

The young girl who plays Clara Sutter will play another role in Deep Space Nine, just a couple of years later.