It’s rare that a moment of Star Trek is so over the top that a warning has to be put in front of the episode. Before the usual “this episode contains” briefings became standard on CBS All Access (where Star Trek: Lower Decks often warns of language and violence), Trek episodes just played with no warning at all. This changed, at least in Canada, for a very special Season 1 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
“Conspiracy” was too much for Canada, so they put a disclaimer at the top. Why? This episode is gross on many levels and often disturbing, but if you’ve already seen the episode, then you know exactly why. It’s the fantastical, magical, over-the-top exploding head of poor Dexter Remmick.
The BBC just cut the moment entirely, as the added bit plays out like something from Alien. It comes when Picard and Riker are cleaning up a coup-by-parasite at Starfleet Command, and they turn their Season 1 dustbuster phasers on Remmick, who houses a mother parasite. It’s really blows Remmick’s mind.
The parasites are only a part of the episode because Trek creator Gene Roddenberry could not accept that a real coup would ever happen in the Federation. Since his passing, real coups happen in the Federation every other week. Heads have stopped exploding, though. For the most part. Some get chopped off. Choose to live.
It’s disgusting and it’s crazy, so naturally it fits right in with the rest of TNG‘s first season. These parasites are left as a “they could return” thread at the end, but they never do. Lower Decks recently had some parasitic fun, but they didn’t look or act like the same parasites.
Welcome back to Warp Factor, where we’re getting to the bottom of this “Conspiracy.” Vitamins do wonders for the body. Do eat up, Picard!