Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 1, Episode 17

Home Soil (20 Feb. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 702 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 7 critic

On Velara III, Geordi and Data discover a microscopic life form responsible for the death of an engineer stationed on the base.

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Title: Home Soil (20 Feb 1988)

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Kurt Mandl
Elizabeth Lindsey ...
Gerard Prendergast ...
Bjorn Benson
Mario Roccuzzo ...
Arthur Malencon
Carolyne Barry ...
Female Engineer
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Storyline

The Enterprise visits a team of scientists and engineers terraforming on Velara III. The team's leader, Kurt Mandl, isn't very welcoming stating that they are very busy but Picard insists with Riker, Data and Geordie beaming down to the planet. Velara III was selected because of its complete absence of any life forms and the terraforming initiative takes about 30 years. The team is now in the process of removing salts from the natural water supply as the first step in creating a sustainable environment. Geordie and Data come across a non-carbon based object that glows and give the appearance of life. When it attempts to communicate with the crew, it is obvious they have encountered a life form like no other. Written by garykmcd

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20 February 1988 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The life form initially refers to humans as "bags of mostly water," which is accurate. See more »

Quotes

[the inorganic substance has made a cell division]
Doctor Beverly Crusher: Two of them!
Lt. Commander Data: Only life can replicate itself, Doctor. Inorganic or not - it is alive.
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Connections

References Star Trek: The Devil in the Dark (1967) See more »

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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
Home Soil
17 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think "Home Soil" is what Star Trek is all about. "To seek out new life forms and…" is the mantra for the exploration of space and the desire to discover life. This episode questions "what is life?" and when an inorganic life form, emanating a light (..and, at times, a hum), is discovered after a terraformer is brutally murdered by a reprogrammed laser on a planet declared dead by the Federation (terraformers are special scientists who take a dead world, giving it life, in essence, creating evolution through scientific means; basically man take the place of God), Picard has it transported to the Enterprise Medical Lab for further study. They are trying to determine if this inorganic form is actually a "life form" and if it is, the Velara III terraforming project—responsible for creating life—may very well have been contributors to nearly destroying life. The Enterprise crew, through study and watching the life form evolve before their eyes, determine it is actually a "microbrain", even believing it operates as a computer, eventually even "interconnecting" with the ship's own computer-system. Without the computers of the Enterprise, Picard will have to discover its weakness and exploit that to save the crew aboard her. What I enjoy about this episode is the enthusiasm we see in the cast as they learn slowly of the life form aboard their ship. Right from when it is barely visible, looking like a Christmas tree light, the crew are attempting to verify if it is alive, and I appreciated the performances, how Picard and Crusher, specifically, seem quite passionate about their new discovery. When it is determined that the life form is actually intelligent, trying to communicate with them, this may be an opening to learn more about it. I like how the episode follows this journey of encountering new life for the first time, coming to an agreement after a struggle to halt a declaration of war, and the promising possibility in a future where human life forms and these intelligent inorganic life forms can co-exist together. You know, it wasn't until I started thinking about it tonight, but The Next Gen did a really swell job using the Betazed Deanna Troi as a tool to develop a grab for an audience because she can sense feelings from others, cluing not only Picard in but us as well on possible hidden motives or buried emotions...as was the case with the concerned head Terraformer, leading Picard to send an away team just because of his lack of welcome towards them, and mysterious feelings that seemed to signify he's hiding something from them.


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