|The Next Generation|
10-Forward. Deanna walks in wearing an extremely low cut, high slitted dress. Hmm. Barclay - who it seems will be the major bit-part of this episode - is standing at the bar drinking. After some droll bantering, he beats up Geordi and Riker and then starts sleezing onto Troi. Of course! We're on the holodeck and it's going to be another one of those episodes.
In a cargo bay the real Georgi and Riker whinge at Barclay. It seems his dereliction of duty doesn't impress them. I wonder how Starfleet feel about their repeated transgressions. Ah, to be in a position of power. They go and whine at Daddy (oops, I mean Picard) who says "tough" and then tells Geordi that he must make Barclay his best friend. Tough as this is, it could have been worse, he could have been ordered to be Wes's best friend!
There is a faulty antigrav unit in the cargo bay. Given this, why did they leave the valuable samples on it during testing - which of course fell off and broke when it failed again? I don't think that Barclay is the only one who is letting things slip...
As the title suggests, this is going to be an episode centered around the holodeck, and it is one of the more innovative ones. Barclay has his fantasies in there, and they involve the crew! Specifically Deanna Troi. I wonder how laughing boy would like it if he knew that his bit on the side was being duplicated?
There is a faulty glass. No just faulty, but it has had its molecular structure changed. Ooo err. The glass has cancer. Do they shut down 10-Forward to check for contamination? Nope - business as usual. The quality and safety regulation seem to go out the window, closely following the plot.
Geordi decides to moan to Guinan about Barclay, seeing how she is probably the last member of the crew who hasn't already been subjected to it. Her response: "You engineering types don't appreciate imagination". I don't know about imagination, but I know we don't appreciate being criticised by a barmaid wearing a dayglo yellow bath mat. Geordi mopes out.
Cut back to the holodeck. The fantasy has changed, it is now the renaissance, and Geordi, Data and Picard are the three musketeers. (Did you ever wonder why "musketeers"? A musket is a gun, yet these guys are using foils. I suppose the three fencers sounds like a construction company. :-)
Now there's a faulty transporter. I knew that Dr Pulaski has some brains, and after looking at the accident, I can tell why she didn't like the machines. Bones McCoy had the same opinion. With the Enterprise falling apart the way it usually does, you would have thought that they would have scrapped it by now, and replaced it with something that will last, like a 1967 Volkswagon Beetle for example. Lets see Riker be smug in the passenger seat of one of them!
Back in the holodeck. We meet the pseudo-Riker. He is also a fencer, and has suddenly shrunk - and become bouncy! "You challenge the greatest sword... in all the holodeck." Riker's wit is obviously lost on himself, and us if the truth be known.
Now the warp injectors are stuck, and the ship is acceleration to breaking point. They can't even safely do a saucer separation. It seems to me that when your options are: a) do nothing and all die; or b) try a separation and maybe survive; that b is the better option. Not in the opinion of the gallant captain. Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful ship...
Barclay is a mudder of course. He doesn't have a life that isn't centered around electronic gaming. I don't even think that he would even know a life if it ran up and bit him on the bum. Sounds a lot like several people I know now. But of course on TV, if not in real-life, the loser character has to come to the fore, and Barclay with the aid of the plot does just this. He believes that someone has been accidentally transmitting a substance to all the affected systems, and hence doing the damage.
Geordi and Barclay manage to prove the theory, and find that if they cool the warp injectors to -200C the Invidium will become inactive. This all happens with just 30 seconds left before destruction. Barclay saved the day. Whoopee (and no, not the one with the bath mat on).
We are left with a final scene of Barclay in the holodeck. "Erase all programs..." Good - finally he might actually be getting a life! "... except program 9." Argghh. Not only do we have a slow delete, but the guy just can't help himself. Groan.