Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 5

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Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4

SPOILERS TOTAL. You've been warned.

501: Redemption 1991 September 23

502: Darmok 1991 September 30

503: Ensign Ro 1991 October 7

504: Silicon Avatar 1991 October 14

505: Disaster 1991 October 21

506: The Game 1991 October 28

507: Unification 1991 November 4

508: Unification 1991 November 11

509: A Matter of Time 1991 November 18

510: New Ground 1992 January 6

511: Hero Worship 1992 January 27

512: Violations 1992 February 3

513: The Masterpiece Society 1992 February 10

514: Conundrum 1992 February 17

515: Power Play 1992 February 24

516: Ethics 1992 March 2

517: The Outcast 1992 March 16

518: Cause and Effect 1992 March 23

519: The First Duty 1992 March 30

520: Cost of Living 1992 April 20

521: The Perfect Mate 1992 April 27

522: Imaginary Friend 1992 May 4

523: I, Borg 1992 May 11

524: The Next Phase 1992 May 18

525: The Inner Light 1992 June 1

(First watched 2007-10-08) This is frequently listed as one of the top TNG episodes.  I am of two minds.

On the one hand, what Picard had to go through was good stuff.  Trapped on a planet in another man's life, slowly coming to terms with this and even growing himself some children and grandchildren.  Becoming part of the community, examining the drought problems they're having, and learning the planet itself is irreversibly doomed.

On the other hand... the whole thing just strikes me as more implausible than normal.  We often see mysterious alien devices, but through Picard we're able to see the society that built it.  These people didn't seem much more advanced than we are today.  Certainly they were pre-warp.  And yet, they were able to build something that could interface with an unknown alien and allow him to experience dozens of years of life in dozens of minutes?

I know Picard has wished he had a family of his own, and this episode has given him some of that experience... but then to find out that essentially they were either recreations of dead people and/or the equivalent of having a child on the holodeck must've been quite a blow to him.

Several times on Trek and Stargate series we've seen episodes where people had unusually long experiences, but are then brought back to the "present" where little time has passed for anyone else.  This seems an exceedingly strange situation, yet nobody ever shows any consequences of it beyond the single episode.  In this instance, it doesn't seem it would be the easiest thing to immediately jump back in the captain's chair of the Federation flagship if your last shift seems to have been 30 years ago.

526: Time's Arrow 1992 June 15

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6