Tread Perilously is a podcast in which hosts Erik Amaya and author Justin Robinson watch the “worst” episodes of popular TV shows, attempting to determine if they would continue to watch the series based on the most off-key moments.
This Week: Star Trek: TNG’s “Shades of Gray”
Tread Perilously‘s annual Star Trek Month continues with the worst episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the infamous clipshow known as “Shades of Gray.”
When the Enterprise scouts a newly discovered planet, Commander William T. Riker gets barbed by a carnivorous plant, which plants a microbe in Riker’s nervous system. Geordi and Data beam back down to the planet to investigate the creature as Riker’s condition worsens. Finally in a coma, Dr. Polaski can only stave off the infection by forcing Riker to relive some of his best — and worst — memories of his first two years as the ship’s first officer.
Erik and Justice try to talk about an episode with a terminal case of senioritis. Justin introduces Red Dog, the old-time Paramount stage hand. Erik suggests Dr. Polaski is Gene Roddenberry’s laziest creation. Dr. McCoy’s racist tendencies also get examined. The lack of standard issue hardsuits gets raised — not that it would’ve helped the crew of the Prometheus. Erik recalls how much he hated Riker as a child even though he loves him now. The discussion turns into a clip show of some of Erik and Justin’s favorite topics, including Riker’s sexual prowess, their difficult time with anime, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and their love of Airplane II: The Sequel.