18 – Home Soil

Grade: C

Home Soil (1988) on IMDb


The Enterprise is near Velara 3 to witness a terraforming operation. The trouble starts when the station does not respond to repeated hails from the Enterprise. Eventually, the station director makes contact with the Enterprise, he is very uncomfortable with having visitors.


Right off the bat, one thing that bothers me is that this episode is a repeat of the Original Series episode “Devil in the Dark”. That wasn’t a great episode either, but certainly better than this. It is very common in this series for Counselor Troi to say someone has something to hide, and then we spend the entire episode trying to find out what it is. In this particular episode, the storyline is actually pretty good, though this type of plot tends to get very tedious after a while.

Speaking of Troi, what’s her role on the ship anyway? In the beginning of the episode, she tells Picard that the man down on the planet is “alarmed.” Well, duh, we don’t need a mind-reader to tell us that information. If she can really read minds, why not tell us something that isn’t obvious? It’s stupid that she has to keep telling Picard this same thing over and over again. Then, Troi has to tell us that the scientist who meets them at the station is “as open as she seems.” Thanks, Troi. Now go do something of real value.

At one point in the episode, Counselor Troi tells Riker he’ll probably have a better chance (than she will) of finding out how the female designer feels. Let this sink in – Troi is a mind reader and also a trained psychologist, but she thinks the galaxy’s expert womanizer is going to have more success finding out what the female scientist thinks.

Actually, the episode deals with some pretty weighty subjects in a mature manner. But then it starts to get melodramatic and really goes downhill fast. The ending is a let-down. At one point, the female scientist says “If we had successfully removed that water, we would have killed them all.” Sheesh. So melodramatic. The actress who plays the scientist is flat out awful. It didn’t have to be like this. With some better writing and directing, this could have been a much better episode.

Of Note

It’s interesting to hear one character say “We don’t get many visitors here” to Data. In Independence Day, the actor who plays Data says this to another character who is visiting Area 51.

At one point in this episode, Data says humans are 90% water. Actually, he’s a bit off. In reality, humans are only 60% water. Oh well.