Dixon Hill, private dick (S01:E11)

I’m examining the impact Star Trek: The Next Generation had on my formation. The introduction to this series can be seen here.

The Big Goodbye

A holodeck malfunction traps Picard and company in the gritty, dangerous world of 1940’s P.I. Dixon Hill and the mobsters he investigates.

This episode was and is absolutely delightful. It’s the first full-on home run the series hits, with smart humor, tight writing, and some wonderful characterization developing.

Other than just being damn good television, we learn about Picard’s fascination with detective stories, and we see more of Data’s delight at playacting. We learn Riker is entirely unskilled at diplomacy, and we meet another backwards race that only presents obstacles to the Enterprise. Wesley is brought in to help fix a problem on the ship, but only as a concession when it’s remembered that his mother’s life is in danger. Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner have a bit of physical comedy with a lamp that is pure gold. And the writers imaginatively use our first malfunction of the holodeck to start hinting at what personhood really is, with the friendship, feelings and will to live of virtually-created beings.

This episode is among my all-time favorites, and was a big part of my process of falling madly in love with Picard and Data.

1. From http://picardigan.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/tng-episode-1-12-the-big-goodbye/

Published in: on June 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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