Friday, November 26, 2021

Star Trek: The Masterpiece Society

Episode: "The Masterpiece Society"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 5, Episode 13
Original Air Date: February 3, 1992

The Enterprise rescues Moab IV, a genetically engineered society, from destruction but the resulting cultural contamination brings its own complications.  For the inhabitants, our heroes represent the first outside contact in multiple generations.  Deanna Troi falls in love Aaron Conor, the community's leader and he invites her to stay.  Meanwhile, Geordi LaForge demonstrates to his scientific counterpart that his blindness does not prevent him from making meaningful, world-saving contributions.

Much of the writing and production staff didn't care for "The Masterpiece Society" in the end, just another loss of innocence narrative for Star Trek.  But it works for me.  I found each dilemma, as well as its resolution, believable.  And it's a nice story for both Troi and LaForge who don't always get the strongest material.  Yes, it's another doomed affair for Deanna but I buy this one.  Her reluctance to leave feels real.  And it's always fun when Geordi gets to be brilliant, and this time not just for his facility with gears and gizmos.  He gets to make a broader point.

So, not the best Season 5 episode so far but it feels like we're heading back in the right direction after a few mediocre efforts.

Acting Notes

Dey Young played the role of Hannah Bates, the lead scientist on Moab IV.  Young was born Anna Dey Young in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, July 28, 1955.  Her sister, Leigh Taylor-Young, is also an actress.  Their brother Lance is a writer and producer in film.  Dey Young's films include Rock 'n' Roll High School, The Running Man, Pretty Woman and Spaceballs.  This was her first of three Trek appearances in three different roles in three different series.

In addition to acting, Young is a professional sculptor.  Check out her work here.


  1. A sort of brilliant critique of the desire to build a perfect society. Even Starfleet gets how impossible that is. (Was this in fact a critique of Roddenberry?) Incredibly things we still don’t seem to understand.

  2. Most enjoyable. Hadn't seen it before. Much impressed with Picard line (from my fallible memory):"They've managed to turn dubious scientific effort into dogma."

  3. Wow... in Spaceballs, Dey Young was the waitress who offered them the Space Soup or the Space Special! John Hurt from Alien? He had the Special...

    1. Her role in Pretty Woman is memorable, too: Snobby Saleswoman.