Picard is shorter and has more hair than usual. In fact, he’s a 12 year old kid, and so are Keiko, Guinan and Ensign Ro. Are they still themselves even after a physical transformation? Can they still do their jobs, and do they have what it takes to defeat Ferengi invaders?

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  1. Dave Steph Taylor says:

    A silly episode, Patrick Stewart gets a week off.

    I can’t imagine trying to emulate the older versions of themselves. There are times that the kids pull it off, there are times they don’t. The most awkward is the O’Briens, yikes.

    I just love Riker’s technobabble smoke screen:

    • JusenkyoGuide says:

      That was hilarious…

    • Earl Green says:

      I think they totally missed an opportunity to work in a bunch of in-jokes from other shows here – flux capacitors, hydrospanners, sonic screwdrivers, sub-etha signaling devices, oscillation overthrusters, time-distort engines, the Bistromathic drive, Q-36 space modulators, and plug it all into the chronosynclastic infibidulum and hand it off to the nearest ambiquad for an Earth-shattering kaboom. Remember to use only genuine AC Delco parts. Look for the union label. Choking hazard, small parts.

      • Dave Steph Taylor says:

        I don’t know. If they had thrown in a bunch of pop culture references it would have thrown us out of the scene.

  2. JusenkyoGuide says:

    Yes, it was silly, yes, it was stupid, yes, it was unbelievable… Still enjoyed it though. Think I, Mudd without the problematic bits.

  3. Earl Green says:

    I really have to question affiliate relations’ use of “Child’s play!” as the tag for the short synopses – that’d be a whole different episode. Chucky stalks the Enterprise!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/529aa85c5e173688ea03c953d8901a31829f1edca9ab4700f135608c6cc5ba41.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f11d4109e09b9e50c7a3ee54f264a2ff7bd2f0f765d9505039deaa68552a3646.jpg
    I did a radio interview with Dennis McCarthy, composer of this episode, about half a year after it aired (because he had a slightly rocked-out version of the DS9 theme out as a single at the time), and this episode came up. We’d been talking about Rick Berman’s moratorium against reuse of recognizable character themes earlier, and I told him I’d heard him sneak Picard’s theme into Rascals. He got a chuckle out of that – I caught him skirting the rules, and totally outed myself as a fanboy in the process.

    • deaddropsd says:

      how absurd that Berman was shutting down musical creativity w this show… I have read about his conflict w musicians. Wow the stuff people come up w to fight about…

  4. Earl Green says:

    Not a deep episode, but a fun episode.

    “How many shuttles does the Enterprise have?” Finally – finally! – we know the question that goes with this answer: 42.

    Interesting that Ken mentions the “how we react to someone who’s suddenly different” – don’t they do this anytime Data does something even slightly different? Now, of course, the trope of the show is that they’re always right when they do that, because it’s always a tell that Graves/the Power Play dude/Lore’s Borg buddy/basically anyone with the wifi password has flashed Data’s firmware and overwritten it with their personality. (And this, folks, is why you keep an offsite backup of Data’s entire neural network…or at least I’m assuming that’s how we keep getting him back. Hey, can we roll back that Ira Graves update to Data’s OS?…sorry, I just went down the IT nerd rabbit hole.)

    One of the things I remember contemporary with this episode and some of the others in close proximity to it (Schisms, Man of the People, etc.), is a lot of Usenet/BBS chatter wondering if this was as good as TNG was going to be from here on out, given that some of the staff had been reassigned to Deep Space Nine. I don’t think that criticism, or that speculation, whichever you want to call it, held a lot of weight – later this same season we were going to get Chain of Command, Face of the Enemy, and quite a few other good ones. But bearing in mind that this season gave us relative lightweights like Schisms and Relics (though everyone loves that one because Doohan)…it was, at the time, a valid question. (In hindsight, DS9’s first year wasn’t batting a thousand either, so it wasn’t DS9’s fault that TNG season 6 started out without a lot of weighty stuff. Fun stuff, sure, but probably not up to the standard of the series’ best shows.)

    Oddly enough, I remember seeing, more than any other episode in reruns, the Doogie Howser M.D. episode where Doogie’s competence is questioned by none other than Nana Visitor. Speaking of competence…after this, I’m surprised Lt. “Junior Jae” didn’t wind up in charge of security. If the takeover had been staged a little better, it might’ve been more convincing…but as it is, Worf is so off his game that one has to wonder if he isn’t thinking to himself, “Ferengi? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Take a number, I’ll shoot you in a moment — OW!”

    The scene with Keiko and Miles makes me just profoundly uncomfortable. Some things you can’t even joke about; I’m not sure they should’ve gone there. As you see, so shall you don’t.

  5. Wildride says:

    “Should we make the kid bald?”
    “Uh, why?!?”
    “So the viewers will know it’s Picard.”
    “That’s stupid.”
    “We won’t think so in a few years when we make Nemesis.”

  6. John Hart says:

    I remember “Best of the West”. One of my favorite jokes comes from there:

    #1: It’s a Whatyuck.
    #2: What’s a Whatyuck?
    #1: You look at it and go ‘what’? You eat it and you go ‘yuck’.

  7. Jason8957 says:

    Lucky that the transporter automatically resizes your uniform for you during transport.

  8. Konservenknilch says:

    Not a huge fan of this episode. It’s not really bad in any way, but it just leaves me completely cold. Grade “meh, whatever”.

    As far as issues go, you already mentioned my biggest one. So their minds, for lack of a better word, are unchanged from their adult personas, but they also become more childlike – running, jumping, playing – I never understood what exactly happened there, and I think the episode suffers for it. Maybe a changed hormonal balance? They are now pre-pubescent after all. And why shouldn’t a kid-sized Picard keep his command if his capabilites are unchanged? I thought we’re inclusive in starfleet, why not have a tiny captain, if he does his job. Or just wizard-of-oz it, Balok did quite well for himself after all. .

    Yet another entry in the list of TNG screwing over the Ferengi. At the same time dumb as a box of rocks but able to take over the Enterprise. I’d really have liked to know their long-term plan as well. Let’s capture the flagship of the Federation and enslave the crew, that will sure turn out just peachy.

    I found it amusing that it was Guinan who coaxed Ro into embracing her inner child, not think about duty for a change, etc. Um… Guinan. You never had any duties and responsibilites to begin with. You’re just behind that counter to chat with people. You don’t even have to deal with drunken customers or mix your own drinks. Change of pace, yeah right 😉

    • deaddropsd says:

      to me, it was another ominous sign of “they’re running out of stuff to do….” sigh…

      • Konservenknilch says:

        AKA Voyager syndrome. I’m still working my way through the 50-year-mission. Fascinating reading. I was always a bit down on Brannon Braga, since he seems to prefer the “magic” stories, but in the interview snippets in the book, he’s surprisingly honest. He openly said that they were simply out of ideas after a while, every story had been done to death. He wanted to shake up the formula, like doing a whole “Year of Hell” season, but all that was shot down by Berman and other higher-ups. Yikes. I haven’t reached any info on Enterprise yet, but that was probably similar.

  9. Durakken says:

    You pretty much covered all my thoughts with this episode… but there are some things…

    Going back to Starfleet academy or whatever would likely be a worse hell than just having a crew that titters a bit when seeing them, because you’ll have people who won’t believe you and then start treating you like trash who students and teachers who will feel awkward and treat them like a child too…

    In regards to Picard though wanting to grow up immediately though I don’t like. He’s always made out to think “what if I went down this other route” and “I’m getting too old to have a family now” and a number of other things so it would make sense to me that he’d at least give it some thought as to staying a kid,

    The other issue I don’t like with regards to this episode is that there is no real impetus to go back to being older. Keiko is the only one that should care simply for the sake of Miles, but Ro, Picard, and Guinan have no real reason to grow up. Guinan definitely doesn’t. Picard is just the matter of people for a short time questioning his authority and Ro it’s just a matter of not wanting to be young I guess, but nothing she does as an adult would be impacted. They could fix the problem of wanting to reverse it with simply saying that “they may be fine now, but with time they’ll start losing their memories” or “They’re going to de-age more, the process just takes time at this point due to it’s when puberty sets in” or something like that.

  10. Canavan says:

    I didn’t find “Rascals” a particular compelling episode, but neither is it quite as bad as I remembered it. I’d probably judge this a “thumbs down”, but just barely. My primary reaction to the storyline is that it represents a squandered opportunity. As far as I’m concerned, such a laughably improbable event is interesting only to the extent that it reveals something interesting about the inner lives of the affected characters. We really only get something approaching that with one of the crew members, Ro. (And, sort of in support of this idea, I did think that the best, most affecting scene in the episode was the one involving adult Guinan and child Ro coloring.)

    Maybe part of the problem is that so much screen time is sucked up by the totally absurd Ferengi subplot in which about half a dozen Ferengi disable and take over a Galaxy-class starship with over a thousand crew members; and then once in charge morph into a bunch of gullible oafs capable of being out-witted by a few kids.

    Final thought: Thanks to Ken and John for the clarification about the use of looping in this episode. I was wondering about that. I know it didn’t seem to bother our podcasting hosts all that much, but I found it terribly distracting — especially in the case of Guinan.

    • deaddropsd says:

      yes…the Ferengi were a colossal fail in terms of villains. The take over the ship….exactly…1000 SHEEP!!!?!? ugh…the small group assault in S3 “The High Ground”- was so much more intense!!

  11. deaddropsd says:

    did anyone ask “Why did the clothes shrink?!?!”- listening but at work so…..

    • Dave Steph Taylor says:

      I thought the same thing listening to the podcast.

    • Derwood says:

      Nerd Voice: Everyone knows from the Star Trek: The Animated Series, Episode 11, “The Terratin Incident,” that Star Fleet uniforms are made from algae-based synthetic Xenylon; which as an organic material shrinks in proportion to the human body when exposed to various energy fields. Someone in the podcast should have explained this. Boy, I really hope someone is peeling extra potatoes for that blunder.

      Me: god I watch too much star trek.

  12. Dave Steph Taylor says:

    One more thought. Troi mentions going back to the Academy. Is there not a higher education system beyond the Academy in the 24th Century?

  13. Derwood says:

    you totally missed the point of this episode… Tracy Walter’s greatest role was as Miller in Repo Man.

  14. rrr46060 says:

    im pretty sure that david burkin (young picard)
    is the nephew of jane burkin , not his son

  15. wry observer of folly says:

    Just occurred to me.

    How did the cardiac implant function in Jeaune Luc’s body?

    The captain should be dead!

  16. Mike Serpa says:

    Did I miss the part where you mentioned Tracey Walter’s greatest role?

  17. John Anderton says:

    Sometimes a show like this that really has an interesting set up and fails is better than dull setups with predicable endings.

    And the kid’s hat was great.