Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

The Rewatch 207: Fistful of Datas

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.08 Fistful of Datas (11/09/1992)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
John Pyper-Ferguson (Eli Hollander)- Ferguson guest starred on several US TV series over the years, but he also starred in “Hamilton’s Quest, a Canadian TV series.  Probably most notable to more recent audiences is his turn on Battlestar Galatica and its offshoots.
Joy Garret (Annie Meyers)-
She was most known for her role on Days of Our Lives (Jo Johnson) which she was concurrently playing at the time of this episode. This was one of her last performances before she died suddenly of liver failure in 1993.

Review:

 This is one of those episodes you need everyonce and awhile to keep the drama from being too much.  It’s a lighthearted episode, with humor and characterization points.  We get to see the crew relaxing while off duty.  Worf and his son go to the holodeck to play an adventure that Barclay and Alexander had worked together on set in the Western style scene.

They keep calling it the Ancient West but that feels a little…. weird. If this is Dagwood, its probably 1850s.  That is 500 years before 2370.  500 years ago, for us, was Early Modern.  Queen Elizabeth I, The Renaissance.  Not what I would consider ancient.  But then again, I’m a history nerd so perhaps my thoughts on time periods are not matching up to someone who isn’t one. But lets go back to the episode.

Data and Geordi are up to their usual shenanigans where they try to make things work more efficiently.  They are the original Science Bros. Except things go wrong, and Data ends up becoming a little too close with the Enterprise computers.  He starts picking up weird accents and phrases from the holodeck adventure Alex and Worf are participating in.  And Slowly every NPC in the holonovel is a Data.

Eli Hollander – Data.  Frank Hollander – Data.  Their Spanish companion – Data.  Even Miss Annie ends up being Data by the end.  Its hilarious on one side, and also shows a range for Brent Spiner to play with the different characters.

This is an enjoyable episode and gives several characters a chance to do something different for a chance.  Like watching Deanna Troi try out a western style. Or Data stating he “reckin’s”

And no one died. Which is actually kind unique in this season so far.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Brannon Braga
  • Directed by Patrick Stewart.
  • The title is a reference to the 1964 Spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars. It also pays homage to Rio Bravo.  As a side note, I went to look this film up to make sure it was the one I have seen, and honestly it seems like it and El Dorado (the one I’ve actually watched) are basically the same thing.  El Dorado was made 8 years later though.  Other westerns were referenced as well.
  • This is Robert Hewitt Wolfe’s first contribution to the Star Trek Universe.
  • This episode won an Emmy Award for Sound Mixing
  •  

Pros

  • Worf can be quite funny when he doesn’t mean to be.
  • Seeing Deanna in different clothes and out having fun.
  • Brent Spiner gets to have a lot of fun and play a bunch of different characters.
  • For once Worf does not show himself as bad father.

Cons:

  •  I’m a little bit concerned that no one thought to check in on the people on the holodeck.  They have a couple, and I’m sure they are being used.
  • The portrayal of the Latino gunslinger made me cringe just a little.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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