Recap: Star Trek: The Next Generation S1 E2 "The Naked Now"

Series:Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode: Season 1, Episode 2
Title:"The Naked Now"
Previous: Encounter at Farpoint
Next: Code of Honor
Recapper: Insert Witty Name Here

The Enterprise comes across the science vessel SS Tsiolkovsky (which looks peculiarly like the USS Grissom from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock — apparently, The Federation doesn't update their designs much) to find the entire crew dead. It turns out they were all acting crazy and died when someone blew the hatch. The bodies all look like the ones from the TOS episode "The Naked Time", Geordi finds the body of a woman who was taking a shower with her clothes on, causing him to start sweating and acting strange. Can you see where this is going? Riker does and enlists Data to look through their library to find out where he's heard about something like this before. When even the characters notice the episode is a rip-off, you know you're in trouble.

Dr. Crusher decides that Geordi should be confined due to his strange behavior. Naturally, Geordi is left unsupervised and unconfined, and he wanders off. Meanwhile, Wesley has decided to take recordings of Picard and Twist The Words to make it sound like he's putting Wesley in command. Geordi, of course, doesn't see any problem with this and compliments Wesley on his ingenuity. Data finds the relevant information after much difficulty (apparently Google didn't survive to the twenty-fourth century) and then the episode ends. No, of course not — this is a mutation immune to McCoy's antidote. Instead, Yar gets infested from Geordi and Troi from her. Yar becomes hot for Data and improbably infects him. Troi throws herself at Riker, who takes her to Sickbay and infects Crusher. Crusher now wants to get it on with Picard. Interesting how the infection causes the women to get horny, but not the men.

Wesley has also been infected from Geordi and inevitably the first thing he does after losing his senses is hijack the ship, using (you guessed it) that recording of Picard which was totally innocent fun. To make matters worse, the star whose collapse the Tsiolkovsky was supposed to be examining is starting to... well, collapse. Picard is forced to ask Captain Wesley to save the day and Wesley cheerfully decides to follow through. Wesley realizes Data can put back the command chips removed by the infected assistant chief engineer at super speed. This still doesn't give them enough time, so Wesley throws the Tsiolkovsky into the way of the core fragment with the tractor beam. By this time, the elder Crusher has developed a modified vaccine and the day has been saved.

Sadly, unlike many of the finer episodes of the show, our description is better than the work itself. Trust us on this one!


  • Bare Your Midriff: Tasha Yar. Wow.
  • Canon Discontinuity: When the crew research the previous incident with the original Enterprise, the computer shows a picture of the movie refit version rather than the TV version. This was apparently deliberate, with the production team not wanting to acknowledge the now dated look of the original TV series and always using movie-style aesthetics to mean 'old ships'. This policy changed later on in "Relics" when we finally get to see the original Enterprise bridge again, and in the blu-ray release, which changed the picture to the TV version.
  • Composite Character: Wesley fills the roles of both Lt. Riley and Scotty from the original "The Naked Time"
  • Cross Referenced Titles: With the Original Series episode "The Naked Time"
  • Curse Cut Short:
    Data: And there was a rather peculiar limerick being delivered by someone in the shuttlecraft bay. I'm not sure I understand it. "There was a young lady from Venus, whose body was shaped like a—"
    Picard: Captain to security! Come in!
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Data gets drunk, Kirk and the Enterprise are treated as being obscure, and many more.
    • Troi refers to Riker as "Bill".
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Zig-zagged with the main cast apart from Tasha, but judging by what we see the background extras doing in corridor shots, there seems to be a lot of it going on...
  • Fanservice: Gentlemen, I give you Tasha Yar.
  • Funny Background Event
  • Grammar Nazi: Data pointing out to Riker that the correct term is to be "blown out" into space.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: The SS Tsiolkovsky's dedication plaque says it was manufactured in the USSR. Oops.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Averted—when the crew looks up the original Enterprise, none of them seem particularly familiar with the ship or James Kirk. This is in contrast to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, both of which play this trope straight with Kirk being famous and much admired.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Invoked by Tasha about her liaison with Data.
    • Considering that Tasha is later revealed to have grown up on a hellish colony, constantly dodging rape-gangs, there might be a very good reason that she doesn't want to be reminded of the polywater intoxication turning her into the ship's bicycle. This incident might have brought up some very painful memories that she'd rather just forget about.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Every female character is turned into one. Some fans have naturally taken issue with how this was apparently the only thing the writers could come up with to show any of them acting weird.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The collapsing sun
  • Not Themselves: Just about everybody by the end of the episode.
    • Though it's been noted how odd it is to have this kind of story as just the second episode. We've just barely gotten to know these characters, so how is their acting out of character supposed to be any fun?
  • Ready for Lovemaking: Tasha Yar
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: A Writers Strike caused the need to recycle the Original Series episode. Why they decide to recycle this specific episode is still a mystery (there were plenty of options that didn't rely on discredited scientific concepts or the characters you know acting odd, after all).
  • Recycled Script: Even Riker points this out.
  • Retcon: The Enterprise looking like the movie version has already been mentioned, but the episode also changed polywater from The Naked Time's form of water (as the then-cutting edge scientific concept of polywater said it was) to a kind of virus which for unexplained reasons is called polywater (as polywater had turned out to not actually be possible in the early 70s).
  • Robosexual: Data is fully functional in every way of course, and gets to prove it at Tasha's very strong insistence.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: The bridge crew of the Tsiolkovsky did this to themselves.
  • What Could Have Been: The story went through various stages of wackiness in its early rewrites. At least one draft played it more seriously, using the polywater virus as an opportunity to explore the new characters and what makes them tick (as per the TOS original), but the shooting script dropped most of this character background in favor of massive amounts of Denser and Wackier instead.