Season Three - TNG

Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Enemy

Written by David Kemper, Michael Piller, and Richard Danus
Directed by David Carson

Almost as a coda to this episode, Star Trek: Nemesis focuses on the strive for peace between the Romulans and the Federation, much the same way Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country focuses on the beginnings of peace between the Klingons and the Federation.

Once having seen Star Trek: Nemesis, the episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine which deal with the animosity between the Federation and the Romulans are now cast in a different light as I see them more as the build-up to that movie; the tension; the problems; the personalities; all these encounters will have some impact on how the crew reacts in Star Trek: Nemesis. This was successfully done in the past using Captain Kirk’s animosity at the Klingons over the death of his son in the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock as a pivotal point of Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country.

In The Enemy, an away team of Geordi, Worf & Riker (LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn and Jonathan Frakes) arrive on the planet Galorndon Core in middle of an electrical storm. This planet is on the Federation side of The Neutral Zone – an area of space which serves as a buffer between the Federation and the Romulan empire. The Enterprise has come here as a response to a distress signal. The team discovers the remnants of Romulan ship destroyed after it crashed.

Nearby, Worf and Riker find an injured Romulan (portrayed by Steve Rankin). While exploring the area, Geordi falls down a shaft. As the storm intensifies, Worf and Riker are forced to leave him behind. Geordi soon escapes the shaft, only to find himself now being held prisoner by another Romulan survivor ( portrayed by John Snyder).

This part of the episode reminds me a great deal of the film Enemy Mine where the two cultures at war with each other must work together to survive the planet. Geordi loses the use of his VISOR which enables him to see (he is blind) due to the electromagnetic storm. Having been exposed to the surface of the planet for a longer period of time, the Romulan, Bochra, begins to lose the use of his legs.

Back on the Enterprise, Riker attempts to interrogate the wounded Romulan. His name is Patahk and he claims to be only survivor. Patahk’s condition is very serious and the only possible help is from his own kind. Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) contacts a Romulan vessel which “happens” to have intercepted the distress signal. It will be some time before they are within range.

Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) discovers a possible ribosome donor to the injured Romulan. It’s Worf. He refuses due to fact that Romulans were the ones who murdered his parents. Worf cannot get past this, even when Captain Picard explains the political implications that a Romulan dying on a Federation ship will have.

This was a really good episode all around. Thought he plot is one we’ve seen many times before – in this universe and others – the actors here all handle it well. LeVar Burton gives another tremendous performance as Geordi. Michael Dorn is excellent as Worf, and I really liked that the writers didn’t have him give in and do what is good and what is right. He conveyed his anguish with so little words; more with body language and expression.

Andreas Katsulas – better known to sci-fi fans as G’kar on Babylon 5 – portrays Tomalak, the commander of the Romulan rescue vessel. His portrayal here is very pivotal against that of Patrick Stewart. The character returns several times during the series run, which is something to look forward to as these are two very strong personalities portrayed by two excellent actors.

The Enemy makes a great primer to the role the Romulans play in both this series and several others. It’s particularly fun to go back and watch this after the first season of Star Trek: Picard. Although not intending for the series and others to be serialized, the writers did a great job as time went on bringing more history and canon into future episodes and shows.

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  1. Although I like the IDEA of Star Trek: Nemesis as the culmination of the Federation-Romulan conflict (and the catalyst for Star Trek (2009), I don’t care much for the execution. The initial coup d’etat at the beginning was cool, but I hated the whole Shimzon/Picard connection thing. And to top it off, Rick Berman chose film editor Stuart Baird as the director of the movie.

    As much as I’ve enjoyed films that Baird has edited – including Superman: The Movie – he just wasn’t the right person to direct the last TNG movie.

    Moreover, I wish Berman, John Logan, and Brent Spiner had come up with a better story

    • I agree. I’ll get to that when I rewrite all my Star Trek movie reviews. I’m trying to keep my posts to 2 per day and I have so many things to write about “in the pipe” along with posting the media reviews originally posted on Epinions.

      I have a feeling Nemesis looked a lot better on the drawing board as opposed to execution. I had a source that told me about Insurrection when it was still on the drawing board and it sounded really great. What came out at the end was much less than what I originally heard about. Things get watered down, unfortunately, and then there’s the bean-counters telling you that you can’t do certain things so rewrites happen all too often (as you know).