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

Home Soil (20 Feb. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 783 users  
Reviews: 7 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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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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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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TV-PG
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20 February 1988 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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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 »

Goofs

In this episode, everyone (including the ship's computer) acts like this is the first inorganic life form the Federation has encountered (inorganic life being defined as life based on an element other than carbon). However, in the original Star Trek episode "The Devil in the Dark", a silicon based life form (the Horta) was discovered living on the same planet as a Federation mining facility. See more »

Quotes

Kurt Mandl: [about terraforming] You see grand romantic concepts. I see unyielding rock under an ocean of sand.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
Very unusual but entertaining.
11 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The Enterprise has been ordered to go to a planet that is being terraformed into new planet. For some odd reason, the planet has been ignoring contact from the Federation and they need to investigate. When the Captain contacts the base's leader (Walter Gotell), he is very evasive and unfriendly and it's obviously he does NOT want them coming to the planet's surface. Once there, it's obvious SOMETHING is up, as a laser seems to come to life on its own and kills one of the workers. Then, it tries to kill Data. Someone or something is controlling the laser--and Picard is determined to investigate further. Eventually the root cause is discovered--and inorganic life form! Gordi and Data bring the small speck-like being to the ship for examination--and soon it begins to grow, refuse to stay in containment and takes control of the computer systems. Obviously it IS intelligent. And, obviously the leader of the base was trying to create a new planet by destroying the inorganic life form--which clearly violates the Prime Directive.

In many ways, this episode reminds me of one from the original "Star Trek" series--the one where miners inadvertently are killing the eggs of an inorganic creature, the Horta. Here, the entity is of a much different form but the concept is quite similar. Overall, a very interesting episode and one that manages to be entertaining despite a very simple idea and a very non-traditional alien!


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