16 – Too Short a Season

Grade: D-

Too Short A Season (1988) on IMDb


Captain Picard has been ordered to transport an aging admiral to Mordan 4, where he will help negotiate in a hostage crisis. Unbeknownst to anyone, the admiral has taken an anti-aging drug, and he’s about to suffer some side effects. Meanwhile, we all suffer from overacting and a terrible script.


Yawn. If you liked my summary, you’ll probably hate the episode. This is very poorly acted, directed, and filmed. The actor who played the part of the admiral seems to have taken a course or two at the Robert Wagner School of Overacting. Even Patrick Stewart is ridiculous, and all of the actors seem to have forgotten what their characters are supposed to be. This is the most inconsistent episode of this season.

This is the first time I really noticed the music in this series, and it was absolutely terrible. It sounds like they tried to save money by having someone play a few notes on a synthesizer. Rather than enhance the scenes, the music was completely distracting and very annoying. A good soundtrack is one of the best ways to get emotion into the viewers, but a bad soundtrack has the exact opposite effect – the viewers don’t buy it because it sounds cheap and unauthentic.

The script wasn’t worth hearing. I was tempted several times to turn the sound off and make up my own lines as I watched this. But I kept telling myself it couldn’t possibly be any worse. Whether it was ever worse than I thought, it was always bad enough.

This episode is almost never shown on TV, and with good reason. It all adds up to one of the worst ever Star Trek shows. In fact, I wonder about the title of this episode. Does it somehow refer to the fear that the series may have been cancelled mid-season?

Of Note

Several Star Trek episodes deal with aging, but this is the first time I remember seeing an episode where a character grows younger in each scene. It’s not nearly as good as the Twilight Zone episode called “A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain,” in which a character takes an experimental drug which is supposed to reverse the aging process. If you’d like to see a good production with a nice twist ending, I recommend that one over this Star Trek nonsense.