The Rewatch 99: Symbiosis

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.22 Symbiosis (04-18-88)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3

Notable Guest Stars:
Judson Scott- Sobi. He appeared earlier as one of Khan’s right hand men in The Wraith of Khan. This will not be his last appearance on Star Trek.
Merritt Butrick – T’Jon. He appeared twice before on Star Trek as David Marcus, the son of Captain Kirk. Sadly he died within a year of this episode airing.
Richard Lineback – Romas He will appear as various characters over the course of the franchise.

Review:

Our favorite team of explorers are investigating a sun with strong magnetic radiation when the come across a freighter in trouble. Picard naturally goes to help them, only to find them odd. The people on the ship not only don’t seem to understand their own ship, but they don’t seem to care about their lives. Instead they are more obsessed with their cargo. Their cargo is Felicium, a narcotic that the Onarians are addicted to. They think it’s a medicine helping them live through a 200 year old plague. The Brakkans are the only ones who can produce it, and over the centuries have developed into a relationship where the Brakkans only produce the felicium and the Onarians produce everything else to get it.

The problem I have with episode is that I don’t understand how this could still be an additction. I understand that it is a narcotic, but these people have been taking it for 200 years, continuously, their whole lives. By this point I imagine they are all chemically dependent on it. Not an additiction simply but something they need to function. Of course, perhaps that means their body might start producing it itself but I don’t know.

This episode is also very anti-drug, apparently because of Maurice Hurley decided someone needed to preach to the kids about just saying no. At first I thought it was an attempt to explain the addiction can be a mental issue, but no, it’s a ‘don’t try it’ speech. Which has its places, but it felt a bit out of place there.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Robert Lewin (Story by Robert Lewin, Richard Manning, and Hans Beimler)
  • Directed by Win Phelps

Pros:

  • Beverly episode

Cons:

  • We never find out what happens to these people

The Rewatch 98: The Arsenal of Freedom

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.21 Arsenal of Freedom (04-11-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3

Notable Guest Stars:
Vincent Schiavelli – “The Peddler”. Poor Hologram doesn’t get a name. The Actor though you may recognize from various TV and film productions. He was also a writer.
Marco Rodriguez – Captain Paul Rice. He most recently was seen in Veronica Mars. He will appear a few seasons from now as another character
Vyto Ruginis – Lt. Logan. I recognized him from Angel, but he has appeared in many television series and is still active.

Review:

This episode is probably not the highlight of the first season, but its middle ground in quality. I don’t hate it, nor do I especially love it. The script writer saw it as commentary on the sale of Tom-cats to Iran. I suppose, as I was only a baby at this time that the current event commentaries are a little lost on me. I do see it as a commentary on trying to seek more and more powerful weapons.

This episode does a lot to showcase most of the cast. Wesley for once does not appear on screen so I’m guessing he’s doing normal teenage stuff.

Geordi gets development as we actually see him in command. Usually we don’t see much of his command style, since the story is more focused on the Captain and the others on the away team. But we get to see him dealing with the stress of command. He doesn’t do too badly though he has issues leaving the nerviousness out of his voice at times. I can understand that. (I would not be a good person to put in command of a Starship for that reason and many others)

We get to learn that Beverly grew up on a colony planet that was nearly killed and her grandmother taught her how to use herbs and plants to heal people. This connects to later episodes.

Riker has probably the most interesting tidbit. Deanna was pretty emphatic that the thing that Riker wanted more then anything was to be a Captain. In this episode we learn he turned down the Drake to continue as an XO on the Enterprise. I wonder what she thought about that, considering her deep held belief.

We have a new Chief Engineer (I believe this is #3) named Logan. He’s a Lt. so I’m guessing that Picard is starting to promote from within since they are going through Engineers so fast. Wonder why so many are resigning?

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Maurice Hurley (series producer) and Robert Lewin (Story by Richard Manning and Hans Beimler)
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • Originally this episode was meant to have Crusher admit her feelings for Picard, but Gene Roddenberry objected to writing a love story. Landau suggested the roles be switched (originally Picard was the injured party) to add an element of out-of-place for the characters. I’m not sure I agree with Roddenberry’s objection, but I think Landau had an excellent idea.

Pros:

  • Riker backstory
  • Crusher backstory
  • Geordi development
  • Troi Development
  • I find it interesting that they made a prop out of a shampoo bottle and a pantyhose container. Then again, I believe that Geordi’s viser was designed from two hairbands put together.

Cons:

  • We never found out what happened to the Drake.

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August News

I would like to thank all of you who continue to check here for updates.  I know this year has been a bit spotty in the posts, but i plan on changing that. I hope everyone is doing well, and staying safe. I know I’m definately not the only one having a really weird year.

Starting in August there will be the daily Trek post, but i will also be reintroducing Women of History and Writing Wednesday along with some old features.  I also plan a few civic history posts. So there will be a post daily that is a review, plus a sprinkle of a variety of topics. The WOH and the history posts may be here only temporarily. I’m still debating putting those on their own blog solely (and proudly) dedicated to being a history nerd. Depends on fiancies and other factors, as is many things these days.

For those of you new to the blog (or those who want a refresher), here’s a rundown

Writing Wednesday

Starting the first Wednesday of August I will be posting short writing exercises and updates on my writing.  I have not been writing much this year.  As I’m sure is the case with many of you, its been a stressful year overall.  I’m hoping these posts will help me get back into something I love.  I am accepting prompts, if you have a suggestion. Just leave a comment on this post, or any of the writing wednesday posts. I’m also on Twitter.

Women of History

For those of you new to my blog I used to regularly write short essays on various women in history. History is one of my favorite subjects, and I love learning about the women who have shaped our world. I plan on writing one or two posts a month for this. I plan on lengthening my posts for nanowrimo this year, as well. So perhaps for 2021 I will be able to present a book version of this series.

I hope to feature various cultures and be diverse as possible. I have an ongoing selection list but am always glad to add more names if you think there is a woman of history I should feature. The only rule I have at the moment is that it not include women who are currently shaping history. So no Hillary, AOC or Beyonce. Not for a while yet we all hope.

The Rewatch

This started as a fun way to spend my unknown amount in Quarantine. I’m back at work (we only were closed a month) and so i’m not binging my way through it as much as I started. At the moment I have a month of reviews ahead to post and ill try to keep ahead of that. There are over 700 episodes so there is a long way to go. Some days I may post two, particularly on Weekends. I always enjoy comments and once and awhile may live tweet my rewatch.

Bookit

I have taken a pause on writing reviews this year, but dont be surprised if one or two pop up. I’m hoping my Trek reviews will make my book reviews better as well. My goal this year is different as I’m not working towards my normal 50 (I may reinstate that next year) but I’m trying to finally finish some long unfinished books, such as Fiery Cross (the Outlander book the recent season was based on), A Storm of Swords (Game of Thrones), Anne of Green Gables, and the newest Hunger Games novels,

History Essays

I used to write random history essays on American government (and early American history as thats what my minor focused on) and also random “This happened today in the past” entries. I plan on starting that again because those were fun, and as with the writing exercises I really want to get back into my writing. Might as well enjoy the material I’m writing about.

On my main page is my past essays, although I still need to go back and catalog some of them. I may revisit some of the topics. I also don’t plan on sticking strictly to US History, although that is my main base of knowledge. Learning about other countries is always fun too. But for the first couple, I’m pretty sure its going to be US bound.

The Rewatch 97: Heart of Glory

Episode: 1.20 Heart of Glory (03-21-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 2 /1

Notable Guest Stars:
Vaughn Armstrong – Korris. Or, if you are an Enterprise fan like me, its Admiral Forrest. He appeared in several episodes and several series within the franchise. This is his only episode in TNG however.
Charles Hyman – Konmel. He had several roles on TV, including Sgt. Hannegan on the TV series Tour of Duty.
David Froman – K’Nera. He is known for his role on Matlock, and The Edge of Night. He was also professor of theater Northeastern Oklahoma College.
Dennis Madalone – Ramos. He is often seen more often as a stunt performer on the series, and those that followed.

Review:

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The Rewatch 96: Coming of Age

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.19 Coming of Age (03-14-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Ward Costello – Admiral Gregory Quinn. Besides being an actor, he was also a composer and lyricist.
Robert Schenkkan – Lt. Commander Dexter Remmick. Schenkkan was also a playwright and screenwriter, and won a Pulizer prize for a play in 1992, and a Tony for a play in 2014. He is also the uncle of actor Ben McKenzie, who played the main character in The O.C.
John Putch – Murdock. He would appear on TNG several times. He also happens to be the grandson of Jean Stapleton, who is known for being Edith Bunker in All in the Family.
Robert Ito – Lt. Chang. He is known for his role as Sam Fujiyama in Quincy, M.E. and the soap opera Falcon Crest.

Review:

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The Rewatch 95: Home Soil

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.18 Home Soil (02-22-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Walter Gotell – Kurt Mandl. You might recognize him as General Gogol in the Roger Moore James Bond films. as well as others.
Elizabeth Lindsey – Luisa Kim. Ms. Lindsey is primarily an anthropologist and is a fellow of the National Geographic Society. She directed a film about the native Hawaiians in 1996 called Then there were None and has done other work to learn and educate people on the native peoples of Indonesia and other Polynesian communities.
Carolyne Barry – Female engineer. Barry was a professional dancer and appeared in the TOS episode “Arena” as well as this TNG episode.
Mario Roccuzzo -. He appeared on many Tv series (over 250 roles) and films. He also tried his hand at songwriting, writing Eddie Cochran’s hit “Nervous Breakdown. Which I didn’t particularly care for, but others apparently loved it. You can listen to it here.

Review:

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The Rewatch 94: When the Bough Breaks

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.17 When The Bough Breaks (02-15-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Jerry Hardin – Radue. This is his first appearance, but he would appear in Star Trek for three more episodes (a two parter on TNG and a single episode on Voyager).
Brenda Strong – Rashella. She appeared on Twin Peaks.
Mackenzie Westmore – uncredited child (Rose). She appeared as Sheridan Crane on Passions. She is also the daughter of Michael Westmore, the make-up supervisor of the series.

Review:

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The Rewatch 93: Too Short a Season

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.16 Too Short a Season (02-08-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Clayton Rohner – Mark Jameson. He has had a varied career, starting off staring in several horror movies although he is known for his role in the 1985 film Just One of the Guys. He most recently was involved in the TV series Ozark, which I have been told I need to watch.
Marsha Hunt – Anne Jameson. Her career was disrupted by the HUAC investigations (Also known as McCarthyism) into alleged communism. It was an unfortunate part of American history.
Michael Pataki – Karnas. You might remember him as a certain Klingon who called the Enterprise a garbage scow and lived to regret it.

Review:

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The Rewatch 92: 11001001

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.15 11001001 (02-1-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Carolyn McCormick – Minuet. She is known for her role on Law & Order as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
Gene Dynarski – Orfil Quinteros. He was involved with Close Encounters of the Third Kind playing the role of Joseph Stalin. He also appeared in the Star Trek first season episode Mudd’s Women. He also appeared in The Mark of Gideon.
Jack Sheldon – Piano Player

Review:

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