Star Trek: The Next Generation


2.5 stars

Air date: 6/4/1990
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Tom Benko

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Until now, I'm pretty sure I hadn't seen this episode since it originally aired in 1990. As this is one of those middling episodes of TNG that few people seem to care about (myself included), I've had no reason to revisit it until now. So a funny thing happened to me while watching "Transfigurations." For the first 20 minutes, I couldn't remember what it was about or how it ended. Not at all. But as the episode continued, I remembered more and more, until finally I said to myself, "Here comes the part where Worf goes flying over the railing and breaks his neck." Funny how I remembered that. Probably because neck-breaking stunts are cool.

The weird thing was how my experience watching this episode mirrored the central character — an alien (Mark La Mura) who has no memory but recalls bits and pieces as the story moves forward and strange things happen to his body. The alien was found by the Enterprise crew, a hair's width from death after the crash of his escape pod. He does not remember his name or where he's from or why he crashed, so John Doe it is. Crusher cares for him over the course of a month, and his recovery is a miraculous one that can be attributed to his body's phenomenal ability to heal itself. He discovers that he also has the ability to heal others.

The episode seeks the answers to where this guy came from and what's now happening to him. He can't explain himself or his powers. Picard is concerned. Meanwhile, the Enterprise ventures into a territory of space where Doe might be from. Mark La Mura is earnest and projects a nice-guy persona, but the episode's problem is that it moves slowly and has a tendency to repeat itself. The episode amounts to Doe explaining that he can't explain himself, Picard expressing concern, Crusher defending Doe, and then Doe healing somebody. Repeat. I was more intrigued by Geordi's newfound confidence and girlfriend Christy Henshaw (Julie Warner); although I wondered what changed her mind about Geordi between "Booby Trap" and here.

The ending, in which the Enterprise finds Doe's people — who were responsible for attacking him and causing his crash — provides the usual TNG lesson about tolerance versus fear, seeking out new life, etc., etc. Doe (and his people) are on the verge of a wondrous evolution into a different kind of life form. Doe's people fear that possibility, and I can't say I blame them. Of course, I also can't say that killing everyone who has symptoms of this change is particularly bright, either.

I'd forgotten that this is where O'Brien's kayaking hobby and shoulder injury were first documented. For some reason I'd thought that was established much later, on DS9. I'd call this a nice touch of continuity, but since this is the first time, I guess the "continuity" part doesn't come until later.

Previous episode: Menage à Troi
Next episode: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

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45 comments on this review

William B
Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 6:32am (UTC -5)
It amuses me that there are no comments on this episode yet! It really is nondescript, as Jammer says -- I can't really think of any episodes this side of, say, "Lonely Among Us" from season one, that are this unmemorable. This is better than that episode, obviously, because "nondescript" for season 1 is bad and nondescript for season three is competent at least. Still....

John Doe represents a little bit about this series' take on evolution. Like the X-Men (which resonates with Patrick Stewart's career, though that's a decade away), John Doe is progressing beyond the norm of his society as a mutation. Society, it turns out, wants to stamp him out and kill him because they're afraid of change. Fortunately, John has superpowers to protect himself with. The Enterprise serves as somewhat of a midwife for his rebirth as a being of pure light, and along the way he heals the sick of body and mind; apparently Geordi's creepy awkwardness with women is as easily cured as O'Brien's shoulder injury. To continue the X-Men comparison, part of the reason the X-Men story (in some of its incarnations, anyway) has some resonance is that while the X-Men can code for whatever minority the writer wants them to at any given time, when they are depicted as "the next stage in human progress," there is some reason for ordinary humans to fear them. They have superpowers which can be used offensively, and some of them use them for ill. It doesn't make persecution of the mutants right -- but it makes it understandable, and the message that persecution is wrong carries more weight if the proviso that it's wrong even if the people being persecuted against are scary. John is a little worrying because he's Mysterious, and does hurt Worf when he's trying to escape, but he immediately undoes it and we never get any real sense of why he and his are feared besides generic fear-of-the-unknown.

The other obvious parallel is that John Doe is a messiah figure -- healing the sick and all, as well as offering something like spiritual transformation for Geordi and maybe for Crusher, who (we are told, by Wesley, more than shown, really) benefits from his presence. In that sense the episode could be taken as saying that spiritual leaders in human history are really people advancing to the next stage of 'evolution' in human/social consciousness more so than literally divine; there is no indication that Doe is a messenger from God, but merely that he's advanced in some way from his prospective peers in a way.

The episode never quite gels. Who Joe is is not revealed until the end of the story, and so the bulk of the episode is spent on the slowly unraveling mystery about him -- in which the main cast is fairly passive, and in which we are more told than shown about John Doe's influence. Beverly and John's bond feels a little real, but there is ultimately not enough to solidify their connection. The episode is perhaps most notable for taking place over such a long period of time -- it's over a month, in-universe time -- but part of the reason it takes so long, I feel, is that the crisis is so low-urgency that no one besides Beverly can actually devote any particular resources to figuring out what is going on with John. It's nice to have a low-key episode, but once it's over, there's the real sense that nothing much has happened. I think I'd give it 2 stars.
William B
Wed, Jun 19, 2013, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
One thing that is noteworthy upon further reflection: John Doe's version of "evolution," in which humanoids might get to the point of being able to heal physical and psychological wounds but leaving behind their physical form and the history that surrounds it, is really interesting to see in the episode before BOBW. The Borg represent a different version of transhumanism, of "the future" writ large, in which the Borg are granted some of the same "powers" as John -- the ability to "repair" with ease, for example. While I doubt this was the intention, the presence of the Borg in the episode immediately following this one makes John Doe's species fear of him just a little bit more understandable, and underlines the creepiness of John removing the "weakness" of doubt in Geordi. It is seemingly "biological" rather than technological here.
Fri, Jun 28, 2013, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
This episode is about space Jesus. John is chased down as a social dissident. He heals and brings back the dead. He has an attitude of peace and humility, no anger or frustration related with his loss of identity. In the end he is reborn and departs to lead his people to a higher truth.
I love this episode along with almost any episode that hints at the limitless potential of life. Mainly I love it for prominently featuring my favorite doctor and I enjoy the development of John's relationship with her. It never feels romantic to me but the connection is very deep and spiritual. I think John was being portrayed as a very nonsexual being hinting at his future evolution.
I don't know how you call this a middling episode. The pacing is slower because its a thoughtful episode that is supposed to stimulate questions more than provide answers. I also remember watching this when it first aired and this one stuck with me. It's not the best episode but it exemplifies the philosophical attitude that I appreciate in TNG over other trek series. I don't watch for action and excitement but for a sense of wonder.
Tue, Jul 9, 2013, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
I think the premise has potential (unknown alien with unexplained powers), but I think it's too much of a slow burn, so to speak. Throughout much of the episode, having so many people say "I don't know" or "I can't explain it", doesn't help it much. What does it all mean? While I realize that's a central question of the show, and gets answered in the end more or less, the journey to it just isn't interesting enough.

From a production point of view, the FX seemed decent, but I'm not sure the acting was all it could have been. For example, if my wife lost her memory, she would be agitated not being able remember her name, or her history. At the very least you would think John Doe would be a bit more passionate in his speech about wanting to remember, but it seems too much like he's reading lines. I think McFadden and Stewart did fine in their parts though.

So overall, would give a 2.5/4. Decent, but not stellar. Perhaps not enough emphasis on the human condition.
Sat, Nov 16, 2013, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
Something about the Crushers' and being attracted to beings made of light. Back in "The Dauphin" , Wesley fell for a light being (though there, as here, only in the closing scene were they revealed as such - for most of the episode they masqueraded as humans or giant feral gerbils), and now Beverly and this guy.
Fri, Apr 11, 2014, 4:36am (UTC -5)
I think that "boring" adequately sums up this episode. The John/Crusher connection is supposed to be a central pillar of the episode, but it never works. She doesn't seem to be even trying to pretend that she's infatuated or interested in him.

The theme of the episode is about the birth of a new species, as well as Space Jesus/Buddhist Illumination. The problem is that they pretty much start exploring the theme 10 minutes before the end of the episode. As others have pointed out, the action was slow and there was nothing happening, no tension. I'm just glad that they didn't write off René Echevarria after this...
Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
How convenient was it that when they figured out where John Doe came from, it was almost exactly in the direction they were already going. I had to roll my eyes at that one. And then Picard says that fortunately, becuase of that, they won't hav emuch of a delay in their mission. But...isn't finding John Does pretty much their primary mission? It's right out of the narration in the weekly opening credits....
Sun, Jan 4, 2015, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
This episode was a heaping helpings of technobabble. I can't even recall the last time a TNG episode inflicted this much technobabble on me. Ugh.

John Doe's energy form was a guy wearing a silly body stocking. The alien captain had a mullet. And why the hell does Gates McFadden *whisper* every single line of dialogue??? She's like a walking morphine drip. No wonder they let her go in season two.

I notice these things because my mind was flailing about for some kind of diversion. I'd rather mow the lawn than watch this again. The single minute devoted to O'Brien and his kayaking injury was the only tolerable minute. The rest? Ugh.

One star. No--make that half a star.
Sun, Jan 4, 2015, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
Glad I"m not the only one who thought "Alien Jesus." It was interesting, but not great. William B is right, it never comes together...there seemed to be a connection between the alien and Geordi's newfound confidence, but Geordi disappeared from the episode and they never came back to it. I don't get it.

Well, at least he was a better love interest for Crusher than the horny ghost.
Sun, Jan 18, 2015, 3:00am (UTC -5)
Just watching this now. Does anyone wonder when the alien stops everyone from breathing on the ship, why was data affected too? He gets up like he was passed out too. Always bugged me. Otherwise a decent episode for me. Not great but not bad.
Tue, Jan 20, 2015, 9:56am (UTC -5)
I wonder what happened to LaForge's newfound confidence with women after this episode. Next time the issue is addressed (in season 4's "Galaxy's Child"), he's back to fantasizing about Holo-Brahms and blaming her for calling him out on it. Would have been nice if the writers had started giving him some kind of real love life. Even Data (drunken sex with Tasha and that relationship in one of the later episodes) and Wesley (a kiss from the future leader of an entire planet - that's almost Riker caliber!) had more amorous contacts than him. The date with Christy Henshaw in this episode (after she stood him up on the last one) is the closest Geordie gets to love. And Barclay at least got to take Troi for a walk in the arboretum. Poor guy...
Mon, Jun 15, 2015, 9:56am (UTC -5)
"I was more intrigued by Geordi's newfound confidence and girlfriend Christy Henshaw (Julie Warner); although I wondered what changed her mind about Geordi between "Booby Trap" and here."

That about sums up my perspective on this episode. "Transfigurations" is neither great nor horrible, neither good nor bad. It's just 'there,' existing.

What is there to say? I suppose I could complain about Crusher getting into a quasi-romantic relationship with her freaking patient. But John's too likable a guy for me to be bothered by that. I suppose I could applaud the Geordi/Christy scenes. But they're dragged down by the surrounding blandness. I suppose I could complain about the standard heavy-handed TNG preaching about tolerance. But it's certainly not as heavy-handed as in other episodes. I suppose I could applaud the attempted religious symbolism in John and his "transfiguration." But it isn't very well developed. You see the problem? For every good thing in this episode, there's a corresponding bad thing and vice versa.

Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
There's a bit of comedy in this episode that I'd completely forgotten from my first viewing. When Geordi first walks up to Christy and asks her out, Worf turns to Data and says "I've been tutoring him." My girlfriend and I were laughing hard on that one.
Sun, Sep 27, 2015, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
The suffocation attack at the end of the episode was rather was pretty much Q-like - any technological explanation for that capability would almost certainly be ridiculous.. And the lunacy that he could fix it shipwide by touching the wall was Q-ish too. Is that what these people are supposed to be on the verge of becoming?
Sun, Nov 1, 2015, 10:42am (UTC -5)
@Nic - in researching these, I'm finding Worf had some of the best lines and an incredible delivery. He's been the bright spot (sometimes the only bright spot) in a lot of episodes for me.
Sun, Nov 1, 2015, 10:43am (UTC -5)
@Nic - whoops, that's "rewatching."
Thu, Mar 31, 2016, 6:49pm (UTC -5)
I have a soft spot for this episode. For me, this is my favorite kind of Trek--slow mystery, with bits of crew minutiae, an interesting main character, and a good ending. This is the whole point of Trek, as Picard says at the end--they were honored to be present at the emergent of a new being.

I would give this 4 stars except for one thing, and it might sound trivial, but it is so distracting it makes me crazy. That damn white turtleneck penis-flaunting jumpsuit they put John in. Good lord. WHOEVER thought that was a good idea should be punished severely. Early in the episode, I am falling love with this sweet confused alien, and then when he starts to recover his health, they dress him in THAT. Ruins the mood and becomes a detriment to the rest of the episode.

Otherwise, this episode is thoughtful, intriguing, and thought-provoking, and I like it.
Tue, Jun 28, 2016, 6:35am (UTC -5)
For me it is like most people said: boring and nondescript.

"John Doe" comes and goes without changing anything in particular.

On the other hand, it is notable how O'Brien is becoming more and more relevant as the third season develops, until he becomes the center of attention in "The Wounded" (next season) and, eventually, a protagonist of Deep Space 9, if my childhood's memory is right.

O'Brien is the second character to stand out after starting from very small acting parts. And, of course, the first was Worf. Both guys spent most of their early episodes just saying one or two words like "Yes, Captain".

And then, they become protagonist, or at least supporting cast and the show is all the better for it.
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
@grumpy_otter: thank you for pointing out that hideous jumpsuit thing John is wearing -- what a truly terrible piece of costume design.

I really can't stand episodes where they cram a time-elapse story in a single 45-minute episode. The premise is certainly interesting but the pacing just seemed off.
Wed, Oct 12, 2016, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Like Jammer, this is an episode I almost forgot about. I'm currently re-watching the show from the beginning, for the first time since 2002 (when I bought the DVDs). So far, this is the first episode that I really have almost no memory of. It's a shame the episode was so forgettable, but there are at least a handful of semi-interesting scenes. When I recently re-watched the episode, I was almost convinced that Geordi's new sense of confidence would soon turn to arrogance, but it never did, and that whole storyline really didn't end up anywhere, unfortunately. By the end of the episode, quite a few things still remained unexplained. From me this gets 2 stars only.
Thu, Nov 10, 2016, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
This is one of those special episodes that make this series so wonderful and prophetic. I'm not surprised most people don't see that. One day when people will become more spiritual this episode will become more appreciated.
Thu, Dec 1, 2016, 3:38am (UTC -5)
I too had the memory lane experience.
-not remembering what episode this was as I rewatched it, but remembering parts of it as I watched it.
-However I did remember there was a TNG episode with such a being in it, just not remembered it was this one.

But I found this episode rather enjoyable, for different reasons.

After STE ended, I felt into cold vacuum, born in 82, I pretty much grew up with trek, never single year without new episodes, and such became the norm for me.
So when STE was pulled, for the first time in my life, (and that was in my early 20s) I was without anything to watch.. I was REALLY like "why it was good and well watched, how can there be no trek??"
After the first mourning, and a few years waiting and hoping they would come to their sences and launch a new star trek series, while visiting the star trek website dayly for news about this and reading "the trek life" I gave up.
I switched to star gate, that by than was in it's 6th season, untill it too got pulled with the same ununderstandable tricks, a few years later.
(it got replaced for the crap called SGU what logically never got a second season, but I did not expect the whole series to be ceased)

I save you the details, but rest to say star trek reboot for me is no trek at all, and don't get me even started on star gate reboot movies, true scifi is dead, sadly, corporate drones have assimilated all.

Well why this introducion, because this episode introduced the idea of "acended beings" BEFORE star gate, and that with hindsight thats very interesting.
It would make this race like both the altarans and the ori from star gate.
-> I hence would have loved a more detailed look at their tech, it must be advanced, very advanced, i they are so close to ascending, their space faring society must be much older and much more advanced than any of the main races in star trek. The chocking tech I hence buy, but I was waiting for a revelation : was it technological? in that case interesting very advanced indeed, or did even the conservatives have powers to enforce such things at range to other races? was there an "enhanced" aboard the attacking ship?
(could have made interesting drama play and put the danger of these ability's and the polarity they may cause even more into perspective)

I am a christian, and hence i not believe in evolution, but I do believe we were created originally as MUCH MUCH more than we are now, as beings living outside time, in infinite dimentions, litterly to the immage of God (and God is spirit) and that our vanity of wanting to be equal (the desire for control and power IS the core of all sin) caused us to be cast down much much deeper, to this pityfull 3d dimension linear timeloced beings, who like plato said "have an inhering yearning to heavens, aka like a memory of what they used to be, but are no longer"
(while I am good in science, and have a rational mind, I see many scientists are blind for these reasons, they only want to "know" what can be controlled, to gain more power to chance things, and are vain in wanting recognision of others. It does not even apear to them that that is not objective science at all, like Jesus said, none is as blind who cannot see, and only those who are prepared to loose themselves will keep themselves)
-> there is much more depth in what Jesus said than many christians often know, many are just as control freaky, with a book in their hand they use THEIR minds and THEIR ideas and THEIR institutes to control and be vain just the same as science does. Christ ment it when he said he left HIS spirit to guide us, why than are we using still our mortal brains to try to puzzle things out on our own, to obtain control?
-> and what I say is not the same as new age mumbo jumbo, witchcraft too often wants control and many of those people are just out there for vanity, power and money too. Those who are not are often hedonistic, just out their for their next endorphine shock, drug induced or otherwise, not how to find the truth either.

This episode hints to many of those features, control vs communion, a sence of things to come and that have been, but no hard memory, and for doing so I like it.

more down to earth, when picard confronts Q he does see mankind one day becoming like Gods and evolving beyond even Q's ability's, this shows one way of that to become true. (as I hinted before the Q may have simply evolved from biological beings, and my bet is Q has evolved from humans (thats why he is so interested in them, where the other Q, not so much as they must be of different races)

I give it 4/4 stars, for introducing many of such concepts.
Walter E. Gough
Sun, Dec 18, 2016, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
I may have missed this episode in its initial airing, or simply forgotten about it, but having watched it last night I'm struck by its overt religious message.

Star Trek, historically, has avoided direct message shows and dealt with issues via anology or allegory. There was talk of the son of god near the end of Bread & Circuses, but overall the franchise has been overwhelmingly about science and only sometimes -- and then only impliedly -- about faith.

Here we have an episode, first aired in June 1990 according to the Memory Alpha wiki (so it wasn't a Christmas show), titled Transfigurations, a direct reference to an event described in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

I found its vaguely proselytizing message strange, and -- with all due respect to DutchStudent82 above -- for somebody like me who seeks answers from science, not faith, a disconcerting departure from what I expect from Star Trek.
Wed, Feb 15, 2017, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
I remembered this one fondly from my first viewing years ago. I originally enjoyed the mystery of John's identity and the quiet romance and the glowy ending. And Worf's death.

This time around, knowing where it was going, it was likable but bland. It's still one of the only tolerable Beverly-themed episodes... Probably because she spends only forty-five percent of the epiaode acting intensely concerned about stuff. Usually she only quits being intensely concerned when someone turns her into a dog.

I didn't notice any issues with the costuming until after I watched it and came here to the comments. Then, on Grumpy Otter's recommendation, I rewound twice.
Mon, Apr 3, 2017, 8:01am (UTC -5)
LOL @ Aaron and Tara

It can't be unseen, can it? I am reminded of a time when a friend called me and told me to turn on Saturday Might Live because she wanted me to see the pants on that night's musician and she didn't know who it was. I recognized him but couldn't think of his name, but MAN, those PANTS! Quite revealing.

It turned out to be Joe. . . Cocker.
Dark Kirk
Fri, May 12, 2017, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
The choke-weapon was an homage to the Sith choke hold.

I thought it was an awesome moment when Sunad orders his ship to fire on the Enterprise, and then John zaps him right onto the Enterprise bridge. Like 'OK, tell them to fire now.'

Even less-than-awesome episodes can have some pretty good moments.
Jeff Jensen
Wed, Sep 6, 2017, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Wow. Funny how we have all had similar experiences with this episode. I caught the beginning of this in a rerun tonight and thought to myself, "I remember this episode, it has the wrinkled face guy in that hideous white jumpsuit." Then, I realized, I remembered nothing else from this episode. Who was he? I had no clue. What happens? No idea. Well, I decided to watch it, so I popped in my blu ray set which I got recently and compared shots airing on TV to my blu ray. As a quick aside, I must say, the blu ray picture is amazing. The colors are vibrant, and the surface textures are so detailed. With that said, the texture details of the, um, "mid regions" of the alien's white jump suit seemed enhanced, too...definitely distracting, but I digress.

This episode must be the epitome of unmemorable, as I watched the whole thing and only had vague recollections of what I was seeing, not knowing how it would end until it finally did. I really did enjoy the brief scenes with Worf and Geordi talking about romancing women, and Worf's line "I've been tutoring him" is not one I will forget again. It was awesome.

All in all, I suppose this episode had enough intrigue to keep me watching, and had my interest piqued, but primarily because I knew I HAD seen it but I couldn't remember it. It kept my interest throughout, but in the end it was definitely an average episode. I did find myself asking if the writers were somehow thinking about the general population's response to the AIDS virus in the 1980s. It was something unknown, and many people were scared of it, like this species was to their new and unknown condition. Probably not, as I haven't seen that connection mentioned anywhere else. And the more I think about it, it seems less likely rather than more. Just a passing thought I had.
Raphael Bloch
Fri, Sep 29, 2017, 6:51pm (UTC -5)
I liked this episode well enough up until the full spandex bodysuit. What the hell? They even had space Jesus turn into an energy orb in the end, so was the super awkward bodysuit step really necessary? You can even see all the wrinkles on it. I really can't take that supposedly deep part seriously.
Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
I am pretty sure I had given up on TNG when this was on the first time around as I could not remember it at all.
This was a tedious collection of overused Trek themes as has been remarked upon already.
God knows what the heck Geordi's new mojo has to do with anything at all and no , please,please Mr yawn fest-in-a-hilarious-full body condom-don't transform into a glowing superbeing.
Yep-series 3-hmm-at least the Borg are coming to kick the Federation's arse next week.
Sat, Jan 27, 2018, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Boring ? Yes a little bit. On the other side it gave some views of the life outside the Bridge. The ten forward scenes, sick bay. Even if it is easier to appreciate the more action filled episodes, these 'love peace and understanding' episodes is an important core essence of star trek.
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 5:56am (UTC -5)
An alien comes aboard who is NOT dodgy, untrustworthy, evil or dangerous. The only other Trek episode I can remember where this scenario happens is Voyager's "Bliss," with the awesome Captain Ahab type who helped Seven and Naomi to escape from the nebula-monster.
Peter H
Sat, Apr 28, 2018, 2:33am (UTC -5)
I got about 15 minutes into this one, then realised Best Of Both Worlds was next and realised I'd had quite enough.
Sarjenka's Little Brother
Thu, May 17, 2018, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
The actor playing the star alien is Mark La Mura. He was on "All My Children" back in the late '70s and the '80s playing Erica Kane's half-brother Mark Dalton, a musician who had a cocaine problem.

As to his wardrobe, I recall a bathing suit scene from AMC. He was blessedly endowed.
Tue, May 29, 2018, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Kind of a lame episode before the epic BoBW -- one with a slow, repetitive buildup and a payoff that isn't really worth it. I think the episode intended for a cool sci-fi ending as we witness the "evolution" of a species into something god-like but it didn't have the desired effect for me. And then there's these new humanoid aliens that are on par with or stronger than the Enterprise -- but they're 1-dimensional stiffs.

I don't quite get why the rescued alien could not remember anything prior to the crash. Perhaps the writers wanted an excuse for a big reveal at the end. In a way the changes the alien is going through remind me of "Too Short A Season" with Jameson's changes being somewhat of a mystery and then a payoff that falls flatter than this one here. But again, it's hard to care about some unknown race where 4 of them tried to undergo this metamorphosis and just 1 survived the attack.

We have our wooden 1-dimensional aliens at the end who want to kill the alien, but the alien has gotten too powerful by then.

I take it Geordi is the big winner here -- having his nervous system hooked up with the alien gave him confidence to get the girl, finally. One other cool scene involving Geordi was when they determined the home world of the alien -- seemed like good logical deductive problem solving.

2 stars for "Transfigurations" -- hard to care much about this one with its recycled ideas, inexplicable medi-techno-babble. I guess the Enterprise crew, and Crusher specifically, are supposed to marvel at saving an alien and allowing him to transform into some kind of higher being. Kind of boring, slow-paced but not awful in any respect.
Fri, Jun 29, 2018, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
A run of the mill mystery that the audience has no chance of solving. Not bad, not great.
Mon, Jul 2, 2018, 3:32am (UTC -5)
This episode was like melba toast. It's there, it's not bad, but it has zero exciting about it. It's not even fluff filler. It's just there, not hurting anyone but not doing anything exciting.
Prince of Space
Thu, Aug 2, 2018, 4:18am (UTC -5)
“This is one of those special episodes that make this series so wonderful and prophetic. I'm not surprised most people don't see that. One day when people will become more spiritual this episode will become more appreciated.”

Oooo... Matsu, you are so wise. I am not worthy.

I shall immediately give up gluten and only drink non-GMO free-range water! Please, accept my contrition and offer me your guidance, oh Matsu!!
Dash Rendar
Wed, Aug 8, 2018, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
Nearly dead alien becomes Captain Marigold and flies off into the night. I think I've seen funnier looking supersuits, but not many. Bananaman perhaps..
John Doe is less funny, unfortunately. He's almost as offensively benign as Vedek Bareil from DS9.
Apart from the (unintentional?) comedy, there isn't much going for this one. The dialogue in the end scene made me chuckle because the spandex suit made him sound gagged. I don't know why they didn't record the actor saying the lines without the rubber over his face. It's not like lip syncing was going to be a problem with the overdubbing.
Underneath the nasty production techniques is the idea of species evolution and transcendence, which is captured best by Arthur C. Clarke in his book 'Childhood's End'. All of the ideas that make that book iconic are missing from 'Transfigurations'.
Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Feb 24, 2019, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Spaaaaace Jeeeeeesuuuuuuus
Re: the baddies, we already have the space Rom(ul)ans so I dunno who these guys are. Surprised they didn't call them "The Herodians"
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
Why in the world would Geordi be needed on the away mission in the opening scene?

The plot needed him to get "linked" to Light-Guy, but that was pretty contrived.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
The guys home planet in less than three parsecs away and it takes three weeks to get him home?

Haven't seen that since the pre-Warp 5 days before Enterprise/.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
Beverly should have called up Light-Guy when Worf broke his back...again...two years later...

He did owe her a favor.
Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
I didn't really like it.

I can't think of the right word for this ep. It bordered on silly and cliche, but was well done.

I enjoyed Worf''s frustration with Geordi's way with women. Wes and Beverly had an awkward dinner. Will and Geordi had an awkward time in the elevator. Lots of references to indentity knowing others and knowing ourselves. Letting ourselves be our best selves.

The laying on of hands (healing the sick, raising the dead) and the title, Transfiguration, gives the ep heavy handed religious imagery.

The science/technobabble was super weak.

Average. Very average.
Mads Leonard Holvik
Wed, Feb 19, 2020, 11:54pm (UTC -5)
I agree with what Marshal wrote. This is about Jesus, transdescending and being reborn. The episode has humor also and a story of connection between the doctor and the humanoid transdescending.
A thoughtful and nice episode. Me and my brother watched it yesterday and he made the remark: why can't they make Star Trek like this today?
James G
Sun, Mar 8, 2020, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
I was mildly entertained, but it's a poor episode really. It hinges on a notion of a species who are fairly ordinary humanoid transforming into god-like creatures capable of faith healing, transporting people and illuminating themselves like a Christmas Tree, apparently by power of thought.

It's just too far-fetched, even for sci-fi. The crew of the Enterprise quite often encounter these aliens with improbable mystical powers, of course. Most memorably Q, but also Kevin in 'The Survivors', who wipes out a species of billions in a moment of rage. How could the Federation, dominated by ordinary beings like Humans and Vulcans with no superpowers (I'm not counting the neck pinch) be so successful and powerful in a galaxy where powers like this exist?

I don't like any of the mystic voodoo nonsense in any incarnation of Star Trek, really. Even Deanna's empathic powers annoy me.

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