25 – Conspiracy

Grade: C-

Conspiracy (1988) on IMDb


The Enterprise is en route to Pacifica for some scientific research. Suddenly, the Enterprise receives a Code 47 message from Starfleet headquarters. The commanding officer gives Captain Picard new instructions to go to Ditalics B instead and to not trust anyone. A short while later, Picard discovers this Captain’s ship has exploded. Now Picard must find out why.


At first, this episode seems pretty promising. Captain Picard receives some really strange instructions to meet some of Starfleet’s best captains to hear some disturbing news that several officers have suddenly changed. These captains think there’s a conspiracy going on.

But then after a few minutes of this, we are suddenly hit with an alien invasion story, straight out of the 1950s. In fact, a lot of scenes and dialogue reminded me of Invaders from Mars (the back of the neck, for example) and Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. But those films did it better than this episode. There’s just something I didn’t like about it. I’m not exactly sure what it was, but it just doesn’t seem like Star Trek.

Speaking of which, this same storyline is used over and over again in the Star Trek franchise. There are a couple of episodes in Deep Space 9 when the Shapeshifters take several positions of control in Starfleet headquarters. There’s also an episode of Voyager when Species 8472 emulates humans to prepare for an invasion of Earth. So this is a common theme here. But the problem with this particular episode is that is just doesn’t seem authentic. It takes a strong left turn once you think you know what’s going on. It’s OK, I guess, but it could have been better.

One thing I did like was the scene when Data is trying to get information from the ship’s computer. It’s pretty funny and very much in line with the rest of the series.

Finally, the ending was extremely disgusting, especially for 1988. I’m surprised it would have even been allowed on TV. Today, of course, it isn’t any worse than what you’d see on any CSI episode. I read someplace online that when this episode originally aired in Europe, this scene wasn’t shown on TV.

Of Note

After Geordi LaForge tells a joke, Data pretends to laugh in this episode. It’s annoying. One other bit of weirdness is that after Commander Riker instructs LaForge to go to warp 6, LaForge says, “full impulse.” Oops.

But here’s something I didn’t know before watching this episode. Tryla Scott holds the record for being the youngest person ever promoted to captain. This is also stated on Startrek.com.