144 – Starship Mine

Grade: C

Starship Mine (1993) on IMDb


The Enterprise is docked at a station for a routine sweep to remove baryons that have built up on the ship. While most of the senior staff are attending a very boring reception, Captain Picard finds a convenient excuse to return to the ship and retrieve a saddle. While he’s back on the Enterprise, though, he discovers the technicians who are doing the baryon sweep are actually terrorists.


Sorry, there’s just no better way to say this, but this is just a bad episode. It’s boring, predictable, and riddled with plot holes. Overall, I think this 6th season may be the worst in four years. But let’s get back to this episode.

First of all, the storyline is just flat out boring. I really didn’t care about anything that was going on – either in the ship or on the planet’s surface. And it sure started out funny with everyone talking to Captain Picard. Everyone has something important to say except for Commander Data, who is practicing small talk. Pretty stupid, really. But when he’s on the planet, he tries to mimic Commander Hutchinson. I think we’re supposed to find that funny, but I really wasn’t amused very much.

This episode also has numerous plot holes – most of them were just inexcusable. For one thing, Picard loses a fight against a female terrorist. This is supposedly the same captain who fought three Nausicaans just a few episodes ago, and did very well. It’s really a stretch to think he’d struggle so much against this woman.

Second, the baryon sweep is shown going from the back to the front of the ship, finishing in Ten Forward. Right at the end of the episode, Picard is in Ten Forward and he uses a communicator to ask Data to turn off the baryon sweep. Why didn’t he ask him to beam him off the ship? Wouldn’t that have been easier?

Why did the terrorists on the planet suddenly take the Enterprise crew hostage? There doesn’t seem to be any reason for it. Also, why did they shoot (and kill) Commander Hutchinson, but they only injured Commander LaForge? By the way, what happened to Hutchinson’s body after he was killed? Why did the leader of the terrorists kill the other terrorist? That doesn’t make sense. And why did she insist on keeping Picard alive, when she could have just killed him anyway?

At one point, the terrorists find Picard’s communicator, and they instantly know he’s an officer – and not the barber, as he claimed. How did the terrorists know that? Is it common knowledge in the Star Trek universe that Starfleet officers use different badges than non-officers? What about Chief O’Brien? He’s not an officer, but he still has a communicator. I wonder if the terrorists would be confused about that.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. This was just not a very well-written episode. There are just too many unanswered and illogical questions. But I do have one last complaint. At one point, Picard finds out that the terrorists want to sell the radioactive material. He is then notably disturbed by the idea of making profit. Why is making a profit such a bad thing in the Star Trek universe?

Well, anyway. So much for this episode.

Of Note

An ironic moment takes place here when Picard uses a Vulcan nerve pinch to immobilize the character played by Tim Russ. Russ would later play the Vulcan character Tuvok in Star Trek Voyager.