Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 7.07 Dark Page (October 30, 1993)
Redshirt Status: 0/7/64
Notable Guest Stars:
Kirsten Dunst (Hedril) – Kirsten Dunst is a A-list star, known for many roles. Her breakout role was as Claudia, a young vampire in 1994’s Interview with a Vampire, which she filmed not too long after this episode. She played Amy in Little Women (also 1994), and Judy Sheppard in Jumanji (1995). Needless to say she had a strong start. My favorite of her films is Elizabethtown (2005) Her most recent credit is Rose in The Power of the Dog (2021).
Amick Byram (Ian Andrew Troi) – Byram is known more for his music then for his acting, with several of his credits being his singing voice. He has a focus on Christian music.
Norman Large (Maques) – While I did not recognize his name, he as appeared on several shows I have watched over the years including Veronica Mars and JAG. He has appeared on TNG twice as of this episode, and will appear twice on Voyager.
Andreana Weiner (Kestra (1) Troi)- I felt I should include her as she had a few seconds of screen time at the very end. Most of Ms. Weiner’s credits appear to be behind the screen either as a crew person or as a voice. This episode is her very first credit.
Debbie David (Ensign Russell) – David appears as Ensign Russell 53 times on the show as well as the first TNG film. They also appear as Russell (now a LT) on Voyager. During the 90s they were credited as “Carl” David.
Majel Barrett Roddenberry returns as Lwaxana Troi,
CONTENT WARNING: This review discusses Child Loss.
Dark Page is one of my favorite episodes. Not only does it really dealve into the relationship between Lwaxana and Deanna, it deals with an issue you don’t find too often: Child loss and trauma.
Most of Lwaxana’s episodes are used for comedic effects. Majel Barrett is amazing at it. This episode, however, allows her to flex her drama wings. Both she and Marina Sirtis do an amazing job in this episode.
The episode starts with Lwaxana helping The Carin learn verbal language to help them communicate with other species, as they are a telepathic species. The amount of telepathic effort to communicate with them has weakened her, and it has allowed some of her meta-conscious to drip into her consciousness. It appears that Lwaxana has suppressed the memories of her first-born daughter – Kestra – to the point that it is mentally harming her. Deanna has no memories of her sister, and apparently Lwaxana was able to have everyone – her husband, her friends and family, her butler – pretend Kestra never existed so she wouldn’t have to deal with the grief that overpowered her.
This never ends good in the real world, and it doesn’t in Trek world either. Lwaxana ends up collapsing after Hedril, a girl who reminds her of Kestra, falls in a shallow pond in the arboretum. They don’t say what happened to Kestra, but its strongly implied that she drowned, having chased her dog into the lake which is why Hedril falling effected her so badly.
Deanna has to enter her mother’s mind, with the help of Hedril’s father Maques, to help her deal with her trauma and come back to consciousness.
They end the episode with Deanna and Lwaxana embracing as Lwaxana begins to talk about her daughter after 30 years of not saying anything at all.
This episode is important for Deanna as a character, if not to the franchise as a whole. It gives more depth to her background, and to Lwaxana in particular. It also sets a foundation for Deanna’s naming choices. I have not watched Picard, but I know Deanna names her daughter after her long lost sister Kestra.
So excellent storytelling, excellent acting. I’m giving this a 5/5
- Written by Hilary J. Bader (with polishing by Rene Echevarria)
- Directed by Les Landau
- This is Majel Barrett Roddenberry’s last appearance as Lwaxana on TNG. Her remaining Trek appearances (other then her voice for the computer) will be on DS9.
- Bader had worked on this script for quite awhile, changing characters and the reasons why there was a telepathic rescue. Eventually she came to this version.
- Marina Sirtis did her own stunt in this episode.
This brings a lot of detail into the backstory of Lwaxana Troi and through her, Deanna Troi.
Screencap via CygnusX1.net