Star Trek : The Next Generation – The Naked Now 1.03

The Naked Now

The Enterprise crew contracts a strange virus which alters their behavior, removing their inhibitions. This leads to danger as the soon-to-explode star they were going to observe shoots out a bit of stellar core fragment right at the ship. Severely intoxicated and with Wesley Crusher redirecting all controls to engineering, the crew must find a way to return to normal and not get hit by the stellar core fragment.

I wouldn’t watch this one with the kids.

Or at all.

This episode is a remake of an early story from the original series. Against the protestations of producers and other writers on both the original show and TNG, Roddenberry insisted this scenario made an excellent platform for introducing the characters with little time. Removing their inhibitions was not only entertaining, he argued, it also revealed their inner goals, desires, and secret motivations they might never speak aloud.

I agree.

Seeing someone at their worst may be the truest test of their character. Seeing a person stripped of their carefully constructed armor of social rules can reveal quite a lot about that person.

Do you think it’s fairer to be judged by your interior ‘wild man’  or your ability to keep that ‘wild man’ quiet?

Roddenberry thinks it’s at least better to see the wild man to understand the psychology of a given character.

I would argue that Jesus judges humans by their wild man too. He elaborated on his Old Testament laws during his sermon on the mount, from chapters 5-7 in Matthew’s Gospel.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’  But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

Jesus in Matthew 5:21, 22

Here's Captain Pike delivering the Sermon on the Mount

Can anyone claim to have not committed murder?

Most people probably.

Can anyone claim to have never been unjustly angry?

Jesus is the same God that gave that law to “those of old.” He isn’t replacing that old law against murder with a new law against anger. He is refining the definition of that first law; he is explaining it in more depth. If God was pleased with every person that never physically took the life of another person, many people – myself included – who have felt that strong anger against people would be brought into his kingdom. We would be bringing all of those sick feelings into the perfect kingdom, messing the whole thing up.

Jesus is saying that the law is not just used to manage people on earth, it is also used to show us that we are not worthy of his kingdom. And if we think we should be allowed in because we’ve followed the law, then we need to understand this deeper meaning of the law – that we are judged not only by what we do, but also by what we feel and what we think.

Being found innocent means being found with a clean mind as well as clean hands.


Next Trek Tuesday on


7 thoughts on “Star Trek : The Next Generation – The Naked Now 1.03

  1. I think a lot of the first season fell pretty flat, and this episode was just like watching your grandmother drunk, which is something no one wants to see. I like pretending this episode doesn’t exist.

    • I think that is a great suggestion. I’m always surprised at how stinky the first season is. I think, “Surely it can’t be as bad I recall.”

      And this is one of the absolute worst. It now has an odd retro value, given its age, but it is in no way good Trek. And Yar’s hubba-hubba act is just embarrassing.

      • I have issues with Yar and Data’s scene because it reads as a rape, and that bothers the hell out of me. The only really good first season episode is, the one where they go into the halo deck for the first time. I believe it is called The Big Goodbye. Other wise, those dvds don’t leave my box set.

      • Wow. That’s a fascinating read on the Data/Yar thing. That never occurred to me.

        Given Data’s casual obedience to Yar’s inebriated advances, I would place him in the date-rapist category. He was shown to be somehow affected by the virus (I just can’t remember how), so I’m not sure to what extent his own clouded judgment might exonerate him.

        After Yar was smooching random dudes in the corridors, Picard should have put her in the drunk tank til she sobered up.

  2. Wow, never though of Data as the rapist in that one. I always took it as Yar rapping him because of how child-like he was. It was like he was tricked into sex. But I suppose it could work both ways. Which is another reason added to the list on why I will pretend this episode didn’t happen.

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