This recaptures something of the appeal of the original TV series. In fact, it feels like an extended small screen episode, with one strong idea and a simple, linear storyline. When the android Data (Spiner) runs amok during a Federation sponsored observation, Capt Picard (Stewart) and his crew uncover a conspiracy to deprive the pacifist Ba'ku people of their idyllic, technology free existence. The incentive is the planet's unique atmosphere, which gradually reverses the ageing process. With the Federation's blessing, political opportunist Admiral Dougherty (Zerbe) and So'na leader Ru'afo (Abraham) plan to beam the inhabitants off the planet and relocate them elsewhere. Forced to defy the Federation in order to preserve the integrity of its first principle - non-interference in the separate cultural development of indigenous peoples - Picard and his crew help the Ba'ku to fight back against their would-be dispossessors. Despite the usual strained stabs at topical social significance, Frakes maintains a brisk pace, staging the battle scenes with panache and undercutting the absurd techno gibberish with crass but leavening humour.
Cast and crew
F Murray Abraham