Sunday, June 16, 2019

Review of "Star Trek the Next Generation: Crossover," by Michael Jan Friedman

Review of

Star Trek the Next Generation: Crossover, by Michael Jan Friedman ISBN 0671896776

Five out of five stars

 The fundamental premise of this novel is the presence of Ambassador Spock in the Romulan Empire working tirelessly for the idealistic goal of “Unification,” a combining of the planet Vulcan with the Romulan Empire. To the leadership of the Romulan Empire, this makes the followers of Spock traitors and subject to execution. When Spock and his group of Romulan followers is captured by the Romulan authorities, it is clear to the Federation leadership that a crisis of the highest order is upon them. Fortunately, the Romulan leadership is unaware that they have Spock.

 Hearing of the capture, Scotty decides to take matters into his own hands, taking over a museum piece starship with the original Romulan cloaking device introduced in the episode “The Enterprise Incident” of the original series. As only Scotty can do it, he single-handedly takes the ship into Romulan space in an attempt to rescue Spock.

 Meanwhile, Admiral McCoy is brought on board the Enterprise commanded by Captain Picard in order to use his knowledge of Spock to facilitate a recovery of Spock. Picard’s tactic is to try to get the captured group voluntarily turned over to him, something that McCoy objects to.

 This story is very similar to “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,” in that the basic premise is the commandeering of a starship in pursuit of a personal goal. Once again, Scotty is the miracle worker, although even he cannot do it all himself. It takes some clever actions by Spock on the ground, decisive action by Captain Picard and some outrageous verbal sparring with the Romulan commander by McCoy to get Spock to safety aboard a starship and back in Federation space.

 The story moves at a brisk space with the emphasis on what the members of the crew of the original series will do for each other. There is a fundamental total loyalty to each other that leads them to a “whatever is necessary” mindset. Something that is not played as strongly in STTNG. That is the best part of the plot and a reminder of the original series episode, “The Empath.” While that was not a strong episode, it did feature the storyline where Kirk, Spock and McCoy were each willing to die to protect the other two.

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