27 – The Child

Grade: C

The Child (1988) on IMDb


The Enterprise needs to transport some deadly viruses and other pathogens to another planet for scientific study. Along the way, a glowing alien life form comes aboard the ship and impregnates Counselor Troi.


Overall, I think this is a pretty decent episode – it’s much better than the average from Season 1. It’s nice to see that the overall quality has definitely improved,

There are some nice and interesting changes from the first season also. This is the first time we see the ship’s lounge, called Ten Forward. It’s also the first time Guinan shows up, and she proves early on to be a wise and trusted civilian character on this ship.

Another newcomer is Dr. Kate Pulaski, whom I have never liked. She shows she means business when she interrupts Captain Picard who has found her in Ten Forward and was about to give her a very needed lecture. Dr. Pulaski basically cuts him off and tells him that Counselor Troi is pregnant, as if everything else that he was about to say is irrelevant.

In another scene, she shows her disdain for Data by referring to him as the “cold hand of technology” and then later asks “what’s the difference?” when he corrects her pronunciation of his name. I love the way Data responds, “one is my name – the other is not.” Nice to see someone finally put Pulaski in her place.

Some other changes you’ll notice right away – Worf has a new uniform, as does Geordi, and they have both been promoted to their new positions on the ship. Chief O’Brien is back, and running the transporters fulltime now. Also, Riker has a beard now, due to the fact that Jonathan Frakes showed up to rehearsal with it, and the staff decided he should keep it. One last character change is a very welcome surprise – Counselor Troi’s hair is normal. It should be easier to take her character more seriously now.

But all is not great in this episode either. We still have some scenes with some bad acting (the guest commander and Counselor Troi, for example), and some bad writing (Riker’s response: “so no matter how bad I think it is, you’re telling me it could be worse?”). And the special effects are still pretty poor – mostly evident in the scene after the alien life form leaves the ship and stops in Troi’s hand as if to say goodbye.

But in general, this is a pretty good effort, and a welcome surprise from this TV series. If this were the first season of this series, it would have been a great way to start. Judging from this episode, the rest of the second season should be a lot better than the first one was.

Of Note

At one point, Dr. Pulaski says the baby that Counselor Troi is carrying is identical to her in every way. There’s just one problem. She’s female and the baby is male. So they’re not identical in “every way.” Oops.