Episode

255

Thine Own Self

Data’s mission to retrieve radioactive material from a pre-industrial world goes haywire when he forgets who he is. He doesn’t forget science though, which means he might be able to clean up the mess he accidentally created. Meanwhile, Deanna Troi learns the one tough lesson keeping her from the Captain’s chair. Hint: not everybody makes it. Thine Own Self goes into the Mission Log.

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Discussion

  • Dave Taylor

    Liked this one but why is anyone sent on away missions alone

    • Furthermore, would any Starfleet ship without an android have been able to take on this task?

      • Dave Taylor

        Why not? We have radiation suits today, they had them in Wrath of Kahn. Sure it appears that Data could interact with them without damage, but it also seems that they were not heavily radiated as to cause significant issues from just brief contact.

        • Artie Adams

          There was enough radiation that smaller parts of the whole debris collection caused a plague. Remember, he only distributed a portion of what was in the box. A biologic collecting the lot would have been severely imperiled.

          What I don’t understand is why the whole thing couldn’t have been accomplished with sensors and a transporter.

          • Dave Taylor

            I totally agree, beam it up

  • Judie Liri

    While science will still be the same, technology would be different. We will learn again to split the atom but I wonder what we would do with that information.

  • Burstingfoam

    A curious beast; nothing inherently wrong with it, it’s just ironic that the best word for it is… forgettable.

  • CmdrR

    OK, so we know that a shuttle’s job is to get lost. But… what exactly happened to Data’s shuttle and the probe?? How did we get to scene one? Did Data park the shuttle, find the probe only to have it blow up in his face? If so, did the E crew leave Data’s shuttle behind? Did the probe blow up on the shuttle? Are there bits of shuttle on the planet? If so, wouldn’t those bits also be poisonous, or at least pose a threat of cultural contamination?

    • Dave Taylor

      I think they said they were going to beam out the radioactive bit.

      And yes, and awkward, I killed you scene would be great between Troi and Geordi would be great

  • Scott Newland

    Good episode, albeit inconsequential. Beyond the enjoyable A and B plots, I appreciated the director’s choices on two occasions; when Data gazes out the window up at the stars, and again when the camera rises from below the plane of the glass table as Troi realizes what she needs to do. Well done!

  • Matthew Burns

    I always liked this one. It is a great Data episode. It has a great premise and it was executed fairly well, by TV standards of the day, anyway. It could easily have been tweaked a little, and made into a movie.

    • Yes, I think this was a clever, engaging episode. The Data part, not the Troi stuff….

      • Oh, I even liked the Troi stuff. It’s kind of funny though: if she just has to mosey down to the holodeck to take the test and “level up”, why did Wesley have to go anywhere for his academy admission test in “Coming of Age”? (That’s the season 1 episode with the elaborate “psych test” that was apparently done with actors and props when they could’ve just steered Wesley into a holodeck that isn’t marked as a holodeck and done the same thing without the greasy mess, leaving nothing but the great scent of pine.)

      • Matthew Burns

        Yeah the Data story is what I was referring too.

  • 1. I recall in the Borg novel ‘Vendetta”, the TNG holodeck version of the Kobiyashi Maru was vs the Borg…pretty cool imo
    2. This whole medical officer being in charge seems a bit silly to me…mayyyyybe on the night shift? but really….currently in the real world, if you are a physician you can be captain, but you don’t drive any ship. I think they should have made it some “bridge officer qualification” test, vs something that makes her a “full commander”. also, just too little too late w regard to fleshing these characters out…
    3. Renaissance Fair..again?!?! I just wish once, we’d beam down to a planet where the culture was totally bizarre and hmmm ALIEN. Like multi legged creatures who sing or drag around an attached bucket of energy blood or have wings and crystals for eyes that are on their abdomen….ALIEN!!

  • I know it’s really easy to go hating on Planet Ren Faire, but after the Stereotypical American Impressions Of Scotland Theme Park planet where we buried Nana (and then unburied her, the less said about which the better), I gotta say… Planet Ren Faire is lookin’ pretty good right about now. Can someone bug Riker and see if he’ll tell us where Planet Two Ladies Playing The Lute might be? Or is that a holo-program he got from Lutecrate?

    Really, my overall impression of this episode is: mostly harmless. As has already been pointed out, Data retains no memory of any of it, there’s an opportunity to address science vs. superstition that goes nowhere because we’re more concerned with making a conniving bad guy out of the blacksmith (more on this below)…this one could’ve had some real meat to it, but it just sort of bounces off the backboard without ever being in any danger of sliding into the basket.

    I have to say, I really appreciate Ken’s crusade against class discrimination, with the blacksmith character here and with the “dirty miner” stereotypes in Phantasms. One’s occupation does not define the whole person. I’ve been on the receiving end of being told I’m punching above my weight on job seeking, or otherwise trying to rise “above my station” (what does that even mean, what is my station? WKRP?). It’s an utterly crappy way to treat people. And classism often plays into racism and…well, I’ll stop there, this is turning into a whole different discussion and I could go on for ages about that. I appreciate that Ken’s got a burr in his saddle about that, because it is a real-world problem. You go, Ken.

    • It must have been Ken, in the Data dreaming of grubby coal worker episode…”Phantasms”, who disliked the characterization of physical laborers as the negative destructive force on the ship. That was definitely an angle I had never considered. A great example of why I love this podcast….the college class on Trek I never had…!!

    • Liam McMullin

      I liked this version of Planet Ren Faire even as a kid. It has some elements you usually don’t see, like the odd bit of technology that looks more like 19th-century America. It felt a bit different.

      I agree about the class discrimination too. In this case it feels like the writers just added it in case the audience failed to realize who the antagonist is meant to be. It’s pointless.

  • John Anderton

    I’m trying to figure out why this failed as a great episode, since the theme was good.

    Also, the idea that Data does not know he is an Android, kind of cool.

    I guess there was just not a lot of interesting characters or dialog or suspense or action that made me interested in what is going on. Also, I am not a fan of Data’s character in general, since the show never recognizes his emotion.

  • Liam McMullin

    Troi already outranked Worf. She has, as far as I know, always been a lieutenant commander. Worf, as of season 7, is only a senior-grade lieutenant. Could Deanna send Worf to his death? Who knows! 😀

    • Dave Taylor

      Worf would be happy to do it.

  • Pete2174

    Gene Simmons Radioactive is a great song, but Ace’ solo album is indeed the best!

    Better Mission log episode than TNG today.

  • Matt Bell

    Again with the silliness of the “night” shift on a ship in space. I guess discipline must be enforced in Starfleet, somehow…

    • If I’m not mistaken, they’ve found that having artificial day-night cycles is a must in places like real space stations, scientific installations in Antarctica (which may be dark or light for months at a time depending on which way Earth’s axis is facing), and so on. The human body has evolved to work within that cycle, and it’s beneficial to at least pretend, via timed lighting schemes etc., that it’s still in effect. (Well, except for me. But spending nearly the entirety of my 20s and 30s working overnight shifts will do that.)

      • Dave Taylor

        I work the evening shift myself, get off at midnight and am usually up until 3:00 am.

        An issue that the ships traveling from planet to planet would have is wildly varying day and night patterns. A ship like the Enterprise could travel to a planet and be on a night shift when they arrive and the inhabitants could be in the middle of their day. If they were going to be there for a while they would have to adjust their schedule to fit the planet’s schedule.

        This happens even in our galaxy, just one planet over
        https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/news/check-type-living-on-mars-time/

      • Matthew Burns

        Supermarkets have timed lighting. The lights dim between 10pm and 6am. And they are dim until 8am on a Sunday!

        • Scientifically proven fact:

          I am dim well past 8am on a Sunday, sometimes all the way up to noon or so.

          • Matthew Burns

            Know the feeling!
            All day for me.

      • Yeah, I’ve always assumed this would be a standard thing on a space station/starship/whatever. Set an onboard clock to be in sync with the preferred ground location and then approximate the lighting conditions, etc.

    • Dave Taylor

      A night shift is a great idea for all around sanity, but like in the military today, an enemy does not care if it is night or day.

      You still need the same proficiency and leadership skills to deal with issues that arise no matter what time of day or night.

    • Matt Bell

      ….Thanks for the fuller explanation Earl and yes you are absolutely right, people would still need some sort of night and day in their lives. However, since all light on board is artificial that would be something restricted to their personal quarters, for sleep cycles etc.
      As Dave said, a ship needs to fully active 24 hours a day. My initial comment was more of a jab about 3rd watch having such a stigma that hardly anyone wanted to do it, or the absurdity of dimming lights on the bridge.

  • Daniel R. Przybylski

    So, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… or Geordi. Got it.

  • @MLhostJohn:disqus Hey Mr. Lemon Caper Butter Pan Sauce Trivia King – how is it that in this podcast – of All TNG episodes/podcast one of Mission Log’s favorite catch phrase’s bout bringing your own “Robot Guts”, was somehow never uttered by either of you – nor the computer?!! Disaster !https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5537bedb4b00890f780d34a696921dd479e417923f99d522e636d6f4dce166b9.jpg