Episode

222

Schisms

Do you have trouble concentrating at work? Do you have problems sleeping at night? Are you feeling anxious and snapping at the people who care about you? Maybe you need a good night’s sleep. Or maybe that’s when the aliens from another dimension abduct you and carry out gruesome experiments on your body. Sleep tight! Schisms goes into this week’s Mission Log.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Documents

Discussion

  • Wildride

    Ahhh! Fish monks!

  • gizmochimp

    Forget running to an emergency, I’ve always wondered why they don’t transport security directly to the scene.

    • There’s always been a lot of inconsistency with using the transporter; sometimes they beam an injured party directly up to sickbay, sometimes they beam within the ship… creative license, I guess.

    • I think what could have worked was some sort of transponder, like how humans tag penguins and sharks etc….mind :BLOWN…lol, its all perspective. Sometimes we think we are the big fish in the pond,…till we go into the open ocean… kinda like the Borg giving the Federation et al a big slap of a wake up call….

  • CmdrR

    I worried when I watched ‘Realm of Fear.” This is the episode that I pretty much accepted that TNG was running outta gas. The scenes are atmospheric and creepy. The acting is fine. And if this were ‘The Outer Limits,’ I’d be happy. But, Trek asks us about the human condition. This episode is all about bad aliens being bad and a great big ‘So what??’ Moving on…

    • It seemed like a token Halloween episode….but more than a few episodes in S6/7 gave hints, that they were running out of good ideas…darn their 44 minute time constraints/lack of true story arcs…ugh

    • completely agree…ugh, the uneven emphasis on Data, Worf…and neglect of LaForge, Crusher……

  • Troy Brooks

    Got to say “it holds up for what it is” is exactly what people tell you about I, Mudd

  • Wildride

    This is another episode like Conspiracy, where they had a sinister open end, but it never went anywhere. In this case because the aliens just didn’t translate well to the screen. The Conspiracy aliens were the victims of the writers’ strike, too much time passing before they returned to it and the success of the Borg in a similar role. The Schisms fish monks, however, were given up on immediately.

    The only part of the episode we know for sure wasn’t a dream was Data’s poetry, since it showed up later. When they get to an “it was all a dream” episode, at least they reveal that fact. As unsatisfying as that one is, it’d be worse if the writers intended it to be a dream, but never indicated it.

    It is unusual for Star Trek to not try and communicate with aliens. They tried to talk to a killer Crystal, a bunch of micro machines and the micro brain from Home Soil. But weird subspace fish monks aren’t worth chatting with, I guess.

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      This could have been a whole series of episodes like the Borg or Q, but nope. One and done

      • lol, yup..read above^- lol

        • Dave Steph Taylor

          Yup

    • Yup…poor follow up again, on what could have been an intriguing villain. I think ENT had some villains who were way above the level of the UFP and kept appearing, but I didn’t watch that show much. I think it would have been cool if some evidence of prior abductions or missing starships/lost colonies surfaced giving the Fish Monks a more impressive resume a la an inter-dimensional Borg like/mad scientist like threat…

    • Glad I wasn’t the only one having Conspiracy flashbacks (though overall, I liked Conspiracy a *lot* better – we can talk about Riker’s arm being cut off or liquid polymer blood all we like; Conspiracy throws Geordi right through a door and feeds us Tasty Space Maggots…now THAT’S horror, as least as much as TV could do in TNG’s time frame). When Schisms first aired, I just immediately had the sense that we’d never hear from these guys again. TNG was not in the business of running plot threads. By the time TNG did start flirting with running plot threads with the Maquis and the Native American colonists in season 7…it was only doing that to set up Voyager. Sigh.

      I’m glad I’m not the only person who’s ever noticed the remarkable specificity of the holodeck tables. I get it, it’s not worth renting a bunch of prop tables, but c’mon, how about borrowing them from neighboring productions on the Paramount lot? It’s not like we’re asking the table to turn into Minuet for two seconds. (“No, computer, you’re getting colder. Well, Riker’s getting warmer, but you’re getting colder.”) We saw more alternate bodies for Lal in The Offspring, and that was something that required real live flesh and blood extras and makeup artists.

      When my buddies and I were in college, we made…well, I wouldn’t call it a fan series, that would be attempting to put it on the same level as Continues or New Voyages or what have you…bearing in mind that this was around ’93, we made a spoof series that referred to TNG often because that was what was on, but we’d also take the mickey out of ’80s Doctor Who and other stuff. Think of it as sci-fi, with a heavy TNG influence, by way of Police Squad: we couldn’t do it well (it was shot and edited on VHS), so we might as well laugh at it, because God knew everybody else would, as we actually got four “episodes” aired on the local cable access channel. We made fun of countless TV “mindbleepery” plotlines in one of our episodes, and threw the “it looks like your arm has been severed and re-attached” line into a rapid-fire series of non-sequitur callbacks that also, if memory serves, included “I couldn’t help but notice your pain”. As such, I can’t watch Schisms without snickering to myself…for reasons mercifully forgotten to most. (There’s a reason I’m not an actor by trade…and no, it’s not on Youtube, and there’s are numerous good reasons for that!)

      I like Ken’s “Riker’s nightmare” hypothesis…but at the same time…if you’ve gotta headcanon something to make it work…it doesn’t work.

      • lol- Sybok quote. now the important question…? Does the VHS copy still exist? convert to DVD or upload to youtube? Heard of “Raiders”?- a tribute to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”- made by teens in the 80s but never finished due to growing up and apart, then the inter-web and some $$…and…well, I thought it was very interesting to guys our age.

  • Durakken

    And noone thinks there is a problem that there is supposedly an intelligent alien species in different phase that can open a portal into a moving ship from apparently anywhere that goes undetected…

    I hope they sent a “Holy crap! holy crap!” message to the leaders of the Federation to warn them and such.

    • DEFINITELY!!- Riker shoulda VAPORIZED those bastards to give them something to think about before doing this again!!

  • Squashwash

    Finally caught up with your awesome podcast! These thoughts have nothing to do with the holding up or messages:

    I was a kid in the ’90s, and watched this one a lot despite finding the holodeck scene a little scary. Also, I memorized ‘Ode to Spot’ and actually learned about all those terms because of it, which is pretty cool in hindsight. Doesn’t make the episode deep or anything, but pretty funny.

    Finally, I LOVE the screws on the Conn panel! Seriously, think about this; if you were Lt. ‘keep the Ship ship-shape’ Shipley and you had to maintain the whole Enterprise, how awesome is the future where you can actually service the electronics? I’m so excited for when our computers don’t take 20 minutes and three different tools to swap a bad battery or something. Otherwise Geordi would be walking around with wet suction cups in case he had to remove the touch-screens…

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      it is a pretty creepy episode

  • Dave Steph Taylor

    A totally creepy episode. Even in space we are not safe from alien abductions.

    • Not sure if I ever got creeped out by this back in 1992…I sorta doubt it…I always felt TNG just couldn’t get horror right….too sterile, clean, vanilla type décor and make up I guess….

      • Dave Steph Taylor

        Sure it is not deep level creepy or horror that makes me run screaming from the room, but for Star trek it is about a creepy as I feel the could make TNG and still gives me a bit of the shivers.

  • Wildride

    Regarding the “Sleepy Riker” plot hole, it can be filled with a) Riker’s initial sleepiness was a coincidence, b) Geordie is wrong about what attracted their attention, or c) Whatever signals were being generated into the alien subspace dimension, by whatever it was that Geordie did, were propagating backwards in time. So, by the time the aliens detected the signal, decided to act upon it and traveled to reach its source, it was already several weeks before its activation when they started abducting people.

    Stupid anti-time!

    • Enisra Bowman

      Or they were already searching for them or someone else to study, which could maybe also explain the sleepines and Geordys “improvment” acts like a beacon for them so they are able to pinpoint the location of the Ship and establish a foothold in the Cargo Bay.

  • Canavan

    This episode is a bit of close call for me, but ultimately it earns a thumbs down. John and Ken, in their podcast, rightly describe this one as being structured like a horror story and if one judges it on that basis it fails. Apart from the rather cheesy costumes, the Riker scene in the subspatial domain generates almost zero sense of menace. (Contrast what we see here with the creepiness factor generated by the first Borg episode, “Q Who”.)

    John and Ken spend a fair amount of time placing this episode squarely within the alien abduction genre. I don’t disagree, but I’m surprised that they don’t also connect it to a number of other thematically-linked Trek episodes that focus on alien experimentation with humans. There is, for example, a Voyager episode entitled “Scientific Method” where alien investigators treat the crew like lab rats. In “Where Silence Has Lease” the Next Generation crew encounters a powerful entity who wants to study the limits of human existence. And there’s even a TOS episode that explores this idea, “The Savage Curtain”, in which the Excalbians conduct an experiment to investigate the concepts of good and evil. In all of these episodes the aliens in question are characterized as dispassionate and amoral scientific investigators (kind of ironic since we usually think of the Trek universe as one that champions science).

    • agreed. Actually surprised how many like this episode. It seemed just like a cheesy Halloween episode to me. TNG trying to be scary in “Night Terrors” or “Realm of Fear”- just isn’t…scary. I wish they had gone the route of advanced civilization looking at us like ants or like the Borg, w a mad scientist angle to it….

  • Matt Bell

    Good point about the incredibly accurate match of the two tables, gents!
    Is it possible that the aliens had trapped into the Enterprise computer when they first made their incursion and borrowed a couple of replicator files to equip their lab?

  • Sorry guys, I slept in pretty good this time around. I may or may not have been abducted by subspace fish people…or maybe it was the crazy hours I’ve been working…for…subspace fish people.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/072e6bc6184d74e0001da876c71d3a7e97d1a3411a41aa2c7b9b559c763cc968.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de63d0e699f07f5407209c7f044ccedf82bd7bacf4b1f53e04a2e5c66b0c8f71.jpg

  • If any database engineers had been among the group of affected potential victims in the holodeck, things would’ve gotten more frustrating. At the first sight of the offending table, a database engineer would should “Computer, DROPTABLE!” …and wipe out the holodeck’s entire selection of tables.

    I’ll be here all week.