51 – The Survivors

Grade: B-

The Survivors (1989) on IMDb


Responding to a distress call, the Enterprise races to a planet that is under attack from some powerful aliens. By the time they arrive, however, the planet is completely destroyed, except for a one acre-sized piece of land and two 80 year old humans.


For the second episode in a row, Picard and crew have to convince people that the planet they live on is not safe and that they should leave. But at least this episode is more compelling than the last one. One of the biggest differences is that veteran character actor John Anderson plays the main guest role, and he gives a very memorable performance. This is especially true in the concluding scene of the episode.

So far, this is one of the top episodes of the series, but it’s only in the last 5 minutes or so that this episode really becomes compelling and worth watching. The rest of the episode is rather tedious. I should probably clarify that, though. If you haven’t seen the entire episode, the ending won’t have as much of an impact. But it really seems to take a long time to get to the point.

For the most part, the acting is above average, though I wasn’t impressed at all with Marina Sirtis’ acting in her scenes. The writers and directors seem to be still looking for her role on this ship, and as a result, Sirtis isn’t yet in the character we come to love and respect by the end of the series run.

Another weak spot has to be when Picard figures out the mystery about 15 minutes before everyone else. If I had been on the Enterprise when this happened, I would have asked the Captain if he wouldn’t mind explaining to everyone what was going on. But of course, nobody could do this since it would make the episode too short.

So it gets high marks for being memorable and for the characterizations, but mediocre marks for everything else. Still, it’s nice to see this series finally reaching the level we’ve expect to see in the later seasons.

Of Note

I don’t want to give away too much of this episode, but the last scene reminded me of the time in Attack of the Clones when Anakin Skywalker admits to Padme Amidala that he destroyed everyone in the entire Tusken Raider camp.