"Star Trek: The Next Generation: Half a Life (#4.22)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Half a Life (1991)

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30 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Growing old.

Author: russem31 from United States
23 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

ST:TNG:96 - "Half A Life" (Stardate: 44805.3) - this is the 22nd episode of the 4th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

And guess who's back? You got it! The ever lovable Lwaxana Troi (played by Majel Barrett in a heartfelt performance - we see her serious side for the first time) is onboard the Enterprise at the same time as a visiting scientist (Dr. Timicin played wonderfully by David Ogden Stiers of "Mash" fame) from a reclusive alien race.

While Dr. Timicin works with the Enterprise to try to revitalize his planet's dying sun with the Federation's help, Lwaxana and Dr. Timicin fall in love with each other - however he has a secret, one that will make their relationship impossible.

This is a poignant and touching episode, about growing old and what to do with a society's elders. I highly recommend this episode.

And it's so funny to hear Mrs. Troi call Mr. Worf, Mr. WOOF!

Trivia note: Michelle Forbes (the future Ensign Ro) plays Dr. Timcin's daughter, Dara (in a very believable performance).

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Still relevant today...

8/10
Author: Rvrgm from United States
11 April 2012

This episode is just another example of what STAR TREK always did so well - take a relevant issue and explore it through the lens of an "unbiased" third-party - ie, the future generations. Sure, it is written by modern-day authors ... even so, it's informative to see how a more "enlightened" generation might handle a topic like euthanasia.

Incidentally, this concept is based loosely on a novel written in the 1880s by British novelist Anthony Trollope called THE FIXED PERIOD. In that novel, the leader of a new (fictional) British colony has passed a law requiring men at the age of 67 be put away into a tenement, and later euthanized before the age of 68 - for the same reasons, that the elderly burden the young. The story of the novel follows his attempt to carry this law out for the first time. Fascinating read, and recommended if you liked this episode.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Economics Often Has the Last Word

7/10
Author: Hitchcoc from United States
29 August 2014

This episode paints Lwaxana Troi in a more serious light as she fall for a supremely gifted engineer, played by David Ogden Stiers (Charles Emerson Winchester of the show MASH). He is aboard the enterprise to see the results of a theoretical lifelong effort, having to do with stabilizing a star's volatility. Mrs. Troi sees his kindness and his seriousness as very attractive. She tries to help him enjoy life. As they become closer, a serious fact is revealed. He comes from a planet where people are euthanized at a certain age. He has reached that age. He is suddenly faced with the reality that his work could continue and he could have a life with Lwaxana, but to do so would force him to turn his back on his people, including his daughter. This is supposedly for the good of his world, or was at one time. Now, it just is what it is. A part of what they are. Of course, I don't buy into this stuff so I'm a poor arbiter. Some have said that at some point we may be faced with this. If we are, it's because we have ignored all the possibilities that would have prevented it. Religion is probably the most dangerous, but I will stay off that soap box. We need to control population by not producing so many children (and I'm not talking about abortion). Anyway, I felt very sad as I watched this because the inhabitants of the planet had no respect for intellectual achievement and a person's soul.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Duty to Die

8/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
10 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode sees Timicin, a scientist from an isolationist world coming aboard the Enterprise to conduct experiments to solve the problem of their dying sun. As he arrives he is met by Lwaxana Troi and the two gradually develop feelings for each other. His experiment is not as successful as hoped and as he plans to return home he expresses his disappointment that he won't be the one to solve his world's problem; she wonders why he won't be continuing his work and is shocked to learn that on his world everybody commits suicide when they reach sixty! Horrified she tries to persuade him to seek asylum but this offends both the authorities on his planet and his family.

This is very much an 'issue of the week' episode where an alien culture seems offensive to outside eyes. Timicin explains the reasoning behind the practice and clearly believes that it is good as it avoids the old being a burden on the young… even if many, if not most, people will still be productive members of society. A theme that is more topical now than when it was made as those against legalising assisted dying argue it is a stepping stone to people being expected to die if they are becoming a burden. David Ogden Stiers does a fine job as Timcin and Majel Barrett is good as Lwaxana; although I'm sure many will find the character annoying; she is certainly a force of nature but at least this time she has more emotional depth! Michelle Forbes, who later returns as Ensign Ro Laren, is great in her one, emotional, scene as Timcin's daughter where she pleads with her father to go through with the ritual. Overall this proves to be a solid issue led episode.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Honor thy father...

8/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
20 November 2014

When the episode begins, the always annoying Lwaxana Troi (Majel Barrett) is on the Enterprise. However, her constant sexual harassment of the Captain is stopped when a scientist named Timicin (David Ogden Stiers) comes aboard. She is instantly smitten and chases him with her usual subtlety. Surprisingly, this very mild- mannered man responds to her advances and they soon end up spending a lot of time together. A perfect relationship, however, is not the in the works, as Timicin comes from an odd-ball planet--one that expects all of its citizens to kill themselves at age 60--and he is soon approaching that dreaded age. Lwaxana implores him to ignore this unwritten law and live out his final years with her. He expects to kill himself, but soon realizes that if he dies, his important work which might save his planet might be set back significantly.

I appreciate this episode about euthanasia, as it is timely and talks about human value. I also appreciate that you get to see Lwaxana emoting with a wider range--not just the usual bubble-headed and annoying personality but a woman dealing with rage and sadness. Overall, well worth seeing and a bit like "Logan's Run" but without all the stupid stuff.

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5 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

A Chilling Foreshadowing of Our Own Western Culture

9/10
Author: jgcase from United States
21 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Given that the Social Security system in the United States is now in big trouble, due largely to the economic consequences of legalized abortion and artificial contraception--the SS system was designed based on a pyramid model: more, younger workers feeding into the fund to support fewer, older citizens; both abortion and artificial contraception have reversed the pyramid model, so that FEWER younger workers are now supporting MORE older citizens--this particular episode of STAR TREK: NEXT GEN may give us a not-so-far-fetched insight into our own society's future. Just listen carefully to what the representatives of Timicin's planet, including his own daughter, say to justify their law requiring their citizens' deaths at age 60. Rather than fixing their society, they simply eliminate their sick and elderly! End of problem!

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