|The Next Generation|
Shakespeare? Well if not the Bard, then certainly we are dealing with literature from that time period. Hmm. Yep this is TNG. A little closer observation reveals that Picard's voice is here, but not his body.
But wait - what hair from yonder head grows.Clearly this is the holodeck, and it appears that Data is trying to learn Shakespeare. I must admit to culturally cringing, but that is probably just because I went to a state school and didn't do matric English. :-)
It is Picard and Riker is a wino!
A ship is in the Neutral Zone! So? Doesn't neutral mean non-combatant, rather than non-entry? It turns out to be a Romulan scout. "What is it doing?" asks Picard. "Scouting!" we all yell back. We can tell immediately that it really is a Romulan craft because it is green. What? You hadn't noticed that before? Looks like I will have to clarify it.
All Romulan ships are green.
All Ferrengi ships are orange.
All Federation ships are metallic.
Why? Convenient colour conventions? Doubtful. Almost certainly because these episodes are for American viewers, and they wouldn't work it out otherwise. :-)
But back to the story. It appears that our scout is being shot at by another kermit-coloured ship, and the scout is pleading for help. Will Picard do nothing and allow races to sort out their own? Of course not. He starts yet another galactic incident by beaming the captain of the scout ship "direct to the Enterprise". Yeah right. Like where else was he going to beam him? "Beam him to the Enterprise, but give him two hours W.O.O. first". Sheesh!
The Romulan claims that he is here to stop a war, or is he... a spy! (The story-lines just get better and better :-) After trading Klingon insults with Worf, the Romulan is shown to quarters where we discover that he keeps Vitamin C tablets in his socks. Obviously a health conscious alien.
The Romulan claims that he is a tactical officer who has discovered that the Romulans are building a military base on Nelvana 3 in the Neutral Zone, and that they will shortly launch a major offensive against the Federation. He doesn't want this to happen, and so pleads with Picard to destroy the base and hence stop the conflict.
There is only one small problem. The Federation has been monitoring the planet and has not detected any such activity. Picard finally sends a "class one probe" to the planet to check it out. Hands up all those who have ever seen them using any other sort of probe. Why class one? Just in case they ever get a class two, or because it sounds techie. Probably the last...
We discover, much to no-ones surprise, that the Romulan is not merely a tactical officer, but is in fact an admiral - Admiral Jarok! He gives a really boring Unicef commercial speech, "save it for the children". And for a change Picard is not moved. He demands information to prove that the Romulan is of good faith.
Jarok gives information on the Romulan cloaking devices to Picard, but Picard in his wisdom tells Geordi not to use it - we may not be able to trust this information. Surely any information on a technology that the Federation has been after for a hundred years is worth having? Not as far as Picard is concerned.
The Enterprise finally travels into the Neutral Zone and gets to Nelvana 3 to find... nothing. Has it all been a waste of time? Not as far as the other Romulans are concerned. What other Romulans? The ones that were cloaked and waiting for the Enterprise. It seems that Admiral Jarok was merely a pawn used to bring the Enterprise into conflict. Revenge is sweet to the Romulans, and this is pay back time.
Just as the Enterprise is about to be atom-smashed, several Klingon birds-of-prey uncloak to support Picard, and this forces a stand-off with the Romulans retreating. Did reality just take a back-flip here? The Klingon cloaking devices were bought from the Romulans years ago, so I would have thought that the Romulans would have been able to detect their own cloaks. If not, the first one would have been hard to find...
"Hey dave, we turned on the power and it disappeared. Have you seen it."Well maybe not. I suppose they are aliens.
"Nope. Must be around here somewhere."
Dave bangs his shin.
"Ouch. Found it. I think we should make a detector - or wear shin pads."
Back on the Enterprise we discover that Vitamin C is deadly to Romulans.