Scott and David Tipton’s Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita series has mostly been one-off stories that focus on giving different TNG characters their due, whilst mostly keeping the Mirror Universe plot line at bay. Issue #5 finally seems to be marrying the two, with multiple Mirror officers now running around the Enterprise.
But first, the one-off story! Dr. Crusher and Worf are the odd couple sharing the spotlight in this issue. They’re tasked with helping the Lolligans, an alien species that has suddenly become afflicted with a mysterious disease. The Lolligans are coming down with a sudden fever that causes them to be enraged and attack, and the Enterprise crew have to work quickly to sedate them.
Despite the dangerous disease, this isn’t an action-packed issue. Instead, in classic Star Trek fashion, it’s a clash of ideologies. Crusher and Worf butt heads as they try to find the best way to handle the crisis. She, naturally, prioritises science and research to find a cure, while he wants to take the more proactive approach of evacuating the unaffected Lolligans from the planet.
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The medical mystery could use more intrigue; the cause of the sickness is foreshadowed several times and solved rather quickly by Crusher, Data and Barclay. The story is wrapped up quickly, it seems, to leave time for the stinger: Barclay, who has been his Mirror counterpart for the whole series now, is confronted by Mirror Data, who has somehow found his way onto the Enterprise.
Is Terra Incognita heading towards its inevitable conclusion, where Mirror Barclay will be sent back to his own universe, or will he send the kidnapped Barclay and continue to live happily in his place? That second option is unlikely, especially considering it’s Star Trek, but it’d be a bold move from the Tiptons that might pay off. Either way, it seems we’ll be finding out what happens to both Barclays soon.