The Rewatch 206: Rascals

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.07 Rascals (10/30/1992)
Rating: 3.9/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
David Tristan Birkin (Jean-Luc Picard) – Birkin had previously played Rene Picard, Picard’s young nephew, in season 4’s “Family”. He still acts, but his main focus is in photography focused on topics related to war and the aftereffects.
Megan Parlen (Ro Laren) –
She appeared on the NBC series Hangtime.  She now focuses on documentary work, including one on the return from Iraq.  She also continued to do voice work.
Caroline Junk King (Keiko O’Brien)-
King currently works as a animation director and artist in Japan.
Isis Carmen Jones (Guinan) –
You may recognize her from appearing as the younger Delores in Sister Act, which also was released in 1992. Those are her only two credits on IMDB.
Hana Hatae  (Molly O’Brien) –
She would continue to play the part of Molly for the next few years, however this is her only appearance on TNG.
Mike Gomez (Lurin)-
Gomez has appeared several times on TNG, including as a Ferengi Daimon in “the Last Outpost”.  He has also appeared in the classic The Big Lebowski.
Tracey Walter (Berik)-
Walter often appears as sidekicks in his roles, and has quite a few well known credits.  Highlights include Death to Smotchie, Matilda, City Slickers and The Silence of the Lambs
Michael Snyeder Morta)-
Snyder has appeared in Star Trek several times, including as the Crewman Dax that Chekov prematurely blames for the boots.  He also just the previous season played a Ferengi named Qol.
Brian Bonsall (Alexander Rozhenko)-
Bonsall gets to act here on his own without Michael Dorn or Marina Sirtis.

Review:

I have to start this review with an editor’s note:  I usually go by the air date listed on the Wikipedia page, but considering that according to Wiki, this episode aired  two days before the previous episode, I think Wiki’s airdates should be taken with a pinch of salt.

According to the Star Trek List I have been using to help me know when to switch from show to show, this episode aired on November 2, 1992 while “True Q” aired on October 26.  Which of course makes much more sense. This is also backed up by Memory Alpha.  So from now on I’ll be using that airdate reference instead of Wikipedia.

This episode takes on the trope “What if we were turned into kids again.”  I’m pretty meh on the episode as a whole. It doesn’t anger me, but it doesn’t enthrall me either. I found the science to be rather….incorrect.  But lets just pretend the science doesn’t matter.

In this episode, Picard, Guinan, Ro Laren, and Keiko O’Brien are returning from Shore Leave.  Why Keiko didn’t bring her daughter along or husband, it is not stated.  Perhaps she was there fore work, unlike Picard.  They get into a weird energy phenomenon and end up being transported to the ship as their ship breaks apart.

The appear as pre-teens. Allegedly all around 12 years old.  Mind you the actors themselves were not all 12.  Birkin was 14-15 at the time of filming, King was 13.. Parlen was actually 12, while Jones was 11.  I have to applaud them because for the most part they seem to imulate the adult versions of their characters.

I don’t realy understand the ignorance of the fact that Ro Laren pretty much spells out that she has a traumatic childhood.  Guinan seems to just ignore that to jump on the bed.  It seems a bit too light for the whole thing.  But then again, Guinan has decided to act “her age” and just have fun.  Although again – Guinan is an alien, and we have no idea what her species does as far as growing.  She;s at least 400-500 years old.  Her father is 700.  Do they really age as fast as humans do in their younger ages?

So I think this episode puts forth a few things that they should have picked up but didn’t.  Laren’s trauma, Guinan’s species as a whole, Keiko’s feelings afterwards with Molly.  Molly is convinced her mother isn’t there, which is hard on Keiko.  Doesn’t this effect her when she is made her age in looks again?

I think its amusing though that the Ferangi didn’t have any questions about “Jean Luc” being Riker’s son.  They don’t look a thing alike, have completely different accents.  Riker is, however, old enough to have a 12-15 year old kid, had he had one young.  Perhaps its an Alien perception that they all look the same without the same features.

And Alexander gets to be in this episode as a helper, not a causer of the drama. I find it interesting none of the other children seem interested in helping.  Also that there are so few children in that classroom. 

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by (story) Ward Botsford, Diana Dru Botsford, Michael Piller
  • Written by (Teleplay) Alison Hock
  • Directed by Adam Nimoy in his directorial debut.  Nimoy is, in fact, the son of Leonard Nimoy and learned his craft by assisting and watching directors on the films and TNG.
  • The staff pretty much hates this episode.
  • Guinan was a later addition to the team, and her child counterpart had played Goldberg’s character as a child before in Sister Act earlier in the year.
  • This episode was filmed after the premiere of DS9, but aired and is canonically before it.  It is also the last TNG episode that the O’Briens take part in, as they move onto DS9 when it begins to air in January, 1993.

Pros

  • I think this is the only “we turned into kids” episode I’ve seen.  Not that there isn’t any out there, but I’ve mostly seen this trope in fanfiction.  So it’s a bit unique
  • Ro Laren has some skills when it comes to drawing
  • Picard being vastly annoyed with his teenage body.
  • Ok, so Riker trying to confuse the Ferangi with technobabble is amusing

Cons:

  • Anyone find it interesting that the Ferangi are tricky enough to take over ships, yet somehow too dumb to actually keep them?
  • Puberty does not effect everyone at the exact same time.  Some people go early, others later. So the fact that they are all 12 is odd.  Especially as we have 3 unique species.  And Guinan tells you her father is 700 years old.
  • There is a lot of trauma in this episode they never explore.  Especially with Ro Laren.
  • RVN does not exist.  Our bodies do not work that way.  It has to do with chromosomes. But lets pretend so this episode doesn’t try to drive us batty figuring out how this could possibly happen
  • Despite what Geordi says, Transporters seem to malfunction quite a bit.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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