Posted in tv reviews, Star Trek, Television shows

The Rewatch 238: Dark Page

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 7.07 Dark Page (October 30, 1993)
Rating: 5/5
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

Interesting Notes:

  • 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

Posted in tv reviews, Star Trek, Television shows

The Rewatch 237: Cardassians

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 2.5 Cardassians (October 25, 199)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/3.5

Notable Guest Stars:
Robert Mandan (Kotan Pa’Dar)- Mandan was best known for his roles on shows such as The Search for Tomorrow and Soap.  He also appeared in several well-known sitcoms as a guest star such as All in the Family, Maude, and Sanford and Son.

Terrence Evans (Proka) –  Evans appeared last season as a mute farmhand in the episode Progress.  He will later play a role on Voyager.

Vidal Peterson (Rugal) – Peterson was a child actor, and this was his last credit according to IMDB.  He appeared in 1991 in TNG, and also appeared in The Thorn Birds, which has quite a few Star Trek Alum in it.

Returning is Andrew Robinson (Elim Garak), Rosalind Chao (Keiko O’Brien) and Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat).


Read more: The Rewatch 237: Cardassians

This episode brings up an interesting issue.  After decades of being on Bajor, Cardassia evacuated the planet, leaving behind several orphan children.  One of those children was Rugal, who was adopted and raised by a pair of Bajoran parents since he was 4 or 5 years old.

Rugal gets everyone’s attention when he bites Garak.  Which I find really odd given the age of the child.  They keep referring to him as a child, so I am assuming he is meant to be younger then the actual actor (who was 26).  I had assumed he was at least 14, possibly as old as 16.  It seems a bit old for that kind of behavior. In context clues suggest he may just be twelve but it still doesn’t seem age appropriate.  Not that I have much sympathy for Garak – he did invade Rugal’s space and touched him without permission.

Someone accuses Rugal’s adoptive father of abuse, and so Sisko has to take things into his own hands and complete an investigation.  Rugal is taken out of the care of his father and put in the care of Keiko O’Brien instead.

As it turns out, while there is a real problem with Cardassian children left behind on Bajor, Dukot and Pa’Dar aren’t really concerned. Pa’Dar mentions how important family is and to be found out as a neglectful parent is humiliation at its largest.  Dukat wants him to be humiliated as he is Rugal’s father and therefore “abandoned” him despite the fact that Pa’Dar thought him dead for years.  So this wasn’t about the “cause” for Dukot.  But Pa’Dar seems almost dismissive of returning any of the orphans other then his own son.

Rugal wants to remain with his Bajoran parents, and his wants are ignored.  Sisko returns him to his biological parent since he could find no reason Pa’Dar shouldn’t have his son back.  I’m not sure I agree but what do you think?

Interesting Notes:

  • Story by Gene Wolande & John Wolande
  • Teleplay by James Crocker
  • Directed by Cliff Bole
  • This is the first time we hear the Cardassian name for DS9: Terok Nor.  Trust me, we will hear this plenty of times in the future.


  • Exploration of Cardassian Culture
  • The nice thing about DS9 is it doesn’t shy away from showing the aftereffects of war.  How Bajor is still unstable, and just finding its feet after decades of occupation.  How there were orphans on both sides.  Although the Cardassians still come off as a horrible people in general.
  • I like the showing of Miles O’Brien working on his prejudice.  A lot of times on TV shows you have a character who has a epiphany/awaking to an issue and suddenly they loose all their bad ways.  Miles shows here that it is something you have to keep working on.  One thing I like about Post-Roddenberry Trek is that Humanity is still in need of work.  Some of the TOS and early TNG episodes are so “We are beyond this”


  • Why is Cirroc Lofton given Regular credit status if they don’t plan on actually using him?  ( I actually had this from the last episode but the situation still remains.  Particularly for this episode as there was a perfect reason to have him around with Rugal).
  • I’m not sure this episode had a satisfactory ending. 

Screencap credited to TrekCore

Posted in tv reviews, Star Trek, Television shows

The Rewatch 236: Phantasms

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 7.06 Phantasms (October 25, 1993)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/7/64

Notable Guest Stars:

Bernard Kates (Sigmund Freud) – Besides being a character actor, KJates was also a decorated WWII veteran, having earned the Distingused Flying Cross.  From what I could gather Kates did a lot of theater work, with a few film roles.  Unfortunately, he died in 2010.

Clyde Kuatsu (Admiral Nakamura )- Kuatsu is the National Vice President of the SAG-AGFRA guild for Los Angeles. He has appeared on several well-known television shows such as M*A*S*H, All in the Family, several soap operas and of course Star Trek as Admiral Tujiro Nakamura.  He appears in three episodes, starting back in 1989.  He first appeared in The Measure of a Man and will appear again in All Good Things, the series finale.


This episode has got some violent scenes, yet somehow is a bit less intense then others during the season (and definitely less emotional then our next TNG episode).  In this episode, Data experiences nightmares for the first time.  His dream program is affected by organisms that infected the Enterprise. Data is not organic, so they can not use him as a source of nutrition so he is the only one not being fed upon.  His systems notice the infestation but it takes awhile for everyone to figure out what is going wrong.

There are some interesting scenes in this episode, and as I will mention again, this episode has launched a thousand memes.  In particular a scene where Picard, using the holodeck to help invade Data’s dreams (by permission), answers a phone sitting in Data’s chest.  Mostly  about the Android phone system – which oddly enough wasn’t even around for almost exactly 15 years. 

There is also a memorable scene where Deanna is made into a cake.  Apparently with Mint frosting.

This episode is weird, and a little creepy.  The idea of bugs feeding on you that you can’t see and slowly dissolving you just *shudders*. Also this episode reminds me a bit too much of the season 1 episode with the bugs that controlled you.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Brannon Braga
  • Directed by Patrick Stewart
  • I once got a book on Freudian Terminology at a book sale as a “Why not” kind of purchase.  I kid you not, most of it was brought back to castration.  Freud was a odd duck my friends.  He may have made some good inroads into understanding psychology but he had some hangups it looks like
  • This episode spawned a million memes.
  • The BBC edited this episode to remove the part of the scene where Data stabs Troi after US audiences seemed to be concerned about it (US aired earlier).  I believe this might be the only TNG episode to be edited, although the BBC edited a few of the TOS episodes.


  • Good Data episode
  • Light (ish) episode after all the really intense episodes.


Mint Frosting should not be a thing. 

Screencap via

Posted in Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 235: Invasive Procedures

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 2.4 Invasive Procedures (October 18, 1993)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/3.5

Notable Guest Stars:
John Glover (Verad) – I love John Glover. I know him best as Lionel Luther, Lex Luther’s father from the CW series Smallville.  He does an excellent job every time I see him, and this episode is not a variation.  He is also known for being the voice of the Riddler and Max Brodsky in Twist of Fate.

Megan Gallagher (Mareel) – Gallagher has an award winning theater career, but has several television and film credits to her name.  She appears on ER, Voyager, The Mentalist, and Suits (as Meghan Markle’s mother oddly enough).

Tim Russ (T’Kar) – Tim Russ has appeared on Star Trek before, and yet we are still not at his main character for the Franchise.  He stars in Voyager as Tuvok.  Tuvok and T’Kar would probably not get along. For a recent role, he played a curator bringing old Earth artifacts onboard the Orville in, well, The Orville.

Steven Rankin (Yeto) – Steven Rankin appears on DS9 twice, once as Yeto and a second time as a Cardassian Officer. He will appear again in Voyager and Enterprise (where he plays the detestable Colonel Green). He has a credit in my favorite film Apollo 13 as Pad Rat which I’m guessing he plays one of the people on the launch pad. Other appearances include X-files, Millennium, Sliders, West Wing, JAG, Providence and more recently, Veronica Mars and Leverage.


This episode is perhaps one of my favorite of the early seasons of DS9.  Not only is it because I loved seeing John Glover on my screen outside of being Lionel, but it also has really good pacing to the story and there are so many facets to explore.

Read more: The Rewatch 235: Invasive Procedures

Unlike many episodes of Trek in the 90s, there is only an A plot for this episode.  Verad, a disgruntled unjoined Trill takes over the station during a plasma storm (therefore easy as they had only a skeleton crew) and demands to have Dax.  The Symbiote, not Jadzia.  He is accompanied by two Klingons named Yeto and T’Kar (AKA the muscle) and Mareel, a young woman who has fallen for him. The show uses vague wording, but funnily enough Wikipedia does not mince words and outright calls her a former prostitute.   It sounds like they had a space version of Pretty Woman.

In any case, she is devoted to him and what he wants is to be joined.  He figures he will gain the confidence and knowledge that was denied him by the joining committee.

This episode explores the re-imagined Trill culture, which as we have mentioned before, was reset for DS9 and takes very little from the original episode TNG’s The Host.  It does a few key things.  The main thing is it explores a little about the Trill process of symbiosis.  We find out there is a committee that reviews each applicant and decides who is suitable for symbiosis.  I keep thinking of this in relation to organ donation.  Usually there is a committee who reviews everyone on the list to see how likely it is that the person will be able to handle receiving the new organ, and then doing the necessary tasks associated with having an organ replaced.

Verad was deemed unsuitable, for reasons unknown, and is bitter about it.  Jadzia doesn’t see this as a insult, as she has family who never had symbiotes. However, she is willing to give up Dax if it means saving the rest of the crew on the station.  Also we do see a moment of just Jadzia when she wakes up after the symbiote is removed.

Another keynote to the episode is Julan Bashir character development.  He has a strong sense of ethics and refuses until both Jadzia and Sisko tell him to go through with it.  He has also seemingly lost some of his obliviousness in this episode, being more astute and coming up with a plan on the go to get Yeto distracted till he can subdue him.   While I don’t think this shows Julian to be “advanced” it does show he’s not the oblivious man he was in season one who made you wonder how he made it this far in Starfleet.

This also brings up the discussion of ethical medical treatments and can someone be forced to give up an organ (say a kidney or a lobe of their liver) to someone else if there is a need?  I personally don’t think so, as I believe body autonomy is a basic right, but what do you think?

As I mention below, the only mar on this episode is that Quark is never given any sort of consequence for the actions he takes. 

Interesting Notes:

  • Story by John Whelpley, who wrote the Teleplay with Robert Hewiit Wolfe.
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • This episode is a favorite of many of the production crew and the actors.  However Armin Shimerman is one of those who didn’t like it, and I don’t blame him.  He believes his character should have seen consequences for his actions which crossed a line.  I agree with him.  Quark often gets away with crimes he shouldn’t, but this one was caught early on and Kira even promises that he is “Done”.  I half wonder if maybe Dax decided to speak in his behalf, saying he wasn’t aware they were coming for Dax. 


  • Exploration of Trill Culture and the act of Symbosis
  • Development of characterization for Jadzia, Dax itself, Bashir and Sisko.


  • Why is Cirroc Lofton given Regular credit status if they don’t plan on actually using him?
  • No punishment for Quark

Screencap via (reuse of a season 1 screencap as they don’t have any further then season 1)

Posted in Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 234: Gambit

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 7.04 Gambit Part 1 (October 11, 1993) and 7.05 Gambit Part 2 (October 18, 1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/7/64

Notable Guest Stars:

Richard Lynch (Arctus Baran) – Lynch was a very productive actor.  Although I don’t recognize many titles on his filmography he made several a year so there are a lot of them.  It seemed he liked playing Villains in horror movies or low-budget scifi.  He was in Halloween 2007, the Rob Zombie remake of the cult classic. He died in 2012.

Robin Curtis (Tallera/T’Paal) – Robin Curtis first appeared in Star Trek as Saavik, replacing Kristy Alley in the role.  She also appeared on Babylon 5.

Caitlin Brown (Vekor)- Another Babylon 5 Alum, she is most known for her role in the series as Na’Toth.  She appears in both this two parter and as a different character in the DS9 episode The Passenger from season one.

Cameron Thor (Narik) –  You might recognize him as Lewis Dodgson, the person trying to get a hold of genetic material from Jurassic Park in the 1993 movie.  On a sad note, he was imprisoned from 2016-2019 on a charge of a lewd act on a child.

Sabrina LeBeauf (Ensign Giusti) – Unrelated to Shea, she is best known for being Sondra Huxtable on the Crosby Show.  She also voiced a character in a animated series based on Bill Crosby’s book Fatherhood.

James Worthy (Koral) – Formerly a player for the LA Lakers, he now works as a sports commentator. And honestly I just love his non-performance.

Stephen Lee (Bartender) –  Stephen Lee was a popular background actor and appeared in over 90 different shows.  Sadly he died in 2014.

Bruce Gray (Admiral Chekote) – He appeared in the last episode, but I felt I should mention him again since he will play larger parts going forward.


Ok, so despite the awkward “The Captain is dead” but really isn’t plot, these are two episodes because I simply like the idea of space pirates in search of archeology.  Well, I’d prefer the type of Will & Elizabeth pirate rather then the ones we have here, but still, it’s like Indiana Jones in Space.

Read more: The Rewatch 234: Gambit

I also find the argument between Deanna and Will about the grieving process very interesting, especially in light of what I know about Picard.  We know of course that Picard is alive, but they do not, and their grief is real.

This may be 2 parts, but I agree with the writers it could have been made a one parter.  Or they could have developed the mythos behind the device. There seems to be a pacing problem in the episode. 

I enjoyed the episode, and that everyone got to play different roles then usual.   We get to see Data in command, with Worf as his first officer. Picard gets to act renegade. Riker pretty much acts like Riker, so that’s not new.

It also opens up a whole bunch of possibilities as far as the Vulcans go.  The one thing about Sci-fi that I love is the world building and finding out about the cultures in this far off (or alternate) place. Although I had to admit its odd hearing the Vulcans talking about “The gods” when they are normally more of an atheistic society. I have always believed that you can believe in a higher power and believe in science and logic, so it fits my beliefs very well.

Interesting Notes:

  • Story by Christopher Hatton (initially) and Naren Shankar.  Teleplay by Naren Shankar (1) and Ronald D. Moore (2)
  • Directed by Peter Lauritson (1) and Alexander Singer (2)
  • The production crew had mixed reactions to the idea of this episode.  Gene Roddenberry hadn’t liked the idea of space pirates and had he been alive would have nixed the episode.  However, some of the other members were intrigued.  Others felt it was a bit campy.
  • This episode contains TNG’s longest fight scene.
  • Picard took on the name Galan, after his mentor Professor Galen
  • The Debrune are supposedly an off shoot of the Romulans, who are in turn an off shoot of Vulcans.
  • The second part of the episode holds many references to TOS episodes and films. It also holds several connections to ENT episodes.


  • Expansion of Vulcan Society
  • Federation History
  • Picard gets to geek out
  • Data gets to be in command and we get to see Worf adjust to being a first officer rather then a security officer.


Bit of a timing issue.  I think they could have focused more on the artifact and less on Boran (Sorry Mr. Lynch).

Screencap via

Posted in Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 233: Interface

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 7.03  Interface (October 4, 1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 7/7/64

Notable Guest Stars:

Madge Sinclair (Captain Silva La Forge) –  Sinclar is a Jamaican actress who earned the country’s Order of Distinction.  She was the voice of Sarabi, Simba’s mother in the Lion Kingm and was in the 1977 miniseries Roots (which earned her a nomination for an Emmy).  She won an Emmy award for her role as Empress Josephine in Gabriel’s Fire (1991).  .  She also was in the Star Trek IV as the captain of the Saratoga, being the first Female captain to be aired in the series. She died in 1995, two years after this episode was made after a long battle with Leukemia.

Ben Vereen (Commander Edward M. La Forge)- Ben Vereen is a well-known singer, danger and performer.  He has an admirable stage career, winning a Tony award for Pippin (1973).  He played the grandson of LeVar Burton’s character on Roots(1977). Other recognizable rules include Will Smith’s father on Fresh Prince, and more recently as Sam Gibbs on How I met Your Mother.  More personally, this kind man was nice enough to call my grandmother and wish her happy birthday when a close friend told him how big a fan of his she was.

Warren Munson (Admiral Marcus Holt)-  This is his first role on Star Trek, but he played the early version of Owen Paris on Voyager.


This episode is a sad one – Geordi’s mother is declared missing and presumed dead.  Geordi has trouble accepting that and his mission helping another crew goes astray in part because of that.

Read more: The Rewatch 233: Interface

The brighter side of the episode is the introduction of the interface, which allows Geordi to go into the damaged and unsafe ship via a computer interface to a probe.  We do have virtual reality today, but it would be interesting to see something like this in real action.  It would be especially good for emergency services for things like fires and cave ins that would allow people to view the area without damaging themselves in the process.  Perhaps less sensitive, because Geordi does get burned when he touches fire.

Apparently this was one of the issues that the production team had with this episode.  They felt that we already had this kind of technology so it wasn’t scifi enough for the show. I do have to point out that VR is still in its early stages and not nearly as useful as the interface and its been 30 years since this episode aired (yes – let that sink in.  Its been 30 years since 1993).

I do have issues with female characters who come onto a show and get killed off for “Man pain.”  Which happens way too often.  However, I think this episode does it well enough that it rises above that horrible troupe.  Yes, this causes Geordi emotional pain, but there is a point to it.  She’s not an after-note.

Its also good to now that just because something is successful doesn’t mean the rules don’t abide. Sometimes it seems like people can break the rules as long as it ends up sucessful. If it does, then there are no consequences. Geordi doesn’t get a severe punishment on this, but he does get a consequence for going against orders.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Joe Menosky (with some additional work by Jeri Taylor)
  • Directed by Robert Wiemer
  • Joe Menosky wrote this having to send bits and pieces of the script back via fax and Mail. Makes you glad for email doesn’t it?
  • This book as a spin off novel called Indistinguishable from Magic  by David A. McIntee. It also features Montgomery Scott and Guinan.
  • Originally the pitch was with Riker, with his father dying.
  • LeVar Barton was in a much-applauded miniseries called Roots with both Ben Vereen and Madge Sinclair.
  • Apparently this episode made people in the production team think it might be time to hang up TNG’s hat and move on.


Geordi background


  • Lack of a good use of Ben Vereen
  • No happy ending for Captain La Forge.

Screencap via

Posted in Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 232: Liaisons.

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 7.02 Liaisons (September 27, 1993)
Rating: 3.5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/57

Notable Guest Stars:

Barbara Williams (Anna) – Ms. Williams does not seem to have an extensively familiar filmography.  She has appeared on several shows as guest stars, including a 2-episode guest starring role on Flashforward in 2009 and Quarterlife in 2008.  She has also written and been a member of the crew for various productions.

Eric Pierpoint (Voval)- Peirpoint is a Star Trek Alum, appearing in several shows of the franchise.  He also starred in Alien Nation alongside fellow alum Gary Graham.  More recently he has appeared in Hart of Dixie (as Harold Tucker) and Parks and Recreation (as Chief Trumple). He also writes young adult novels in his spare time.

Paul Eiding (Loquel) – Eiding is known mostly for his voice acting, but he has done live action work as well.  Aside from Star Trek, he has appeared in ER, The Pretender, The West Wing, and My Name is Earl.

Michael Harris (Byleth) – Like Williams, I was unfamiliar with most of his filmography.  He did appear on ER.  According to IMDB he has spent quite a bit of time focused on his theatre career.

Ricky D’Shon Collins (Eric) – Collins, like Eiding, is well known as a voice actor. Some roles I recognized were Recess, Danny Phantom and Happy Feet. He did several shows as a child actor.


In this episode we see the Enterprise crew interact with a new species, the Lyaaran.  Humanoid of course – the budget wasn’t high enough for non-humanoid creatures at this time of TV production.  Worf, Deanna and Picard all have completely different experiences with their partnered Ambassador.

Read more: The Rewatch 232: Liaisons.

Deanna has Loquel, a joyful man who massively enjoys the sweets on board (outdoing Deanna’s tolerance). Its mostly amusing although I find the fact that no one was bothered that this guy just went up and grabbed a kid because he was confused as to what they were.  The only one who seemed to be going “What the Hell?” was Eric, the boy himself.

Worf has Ambassador Byleth, a rude gentleman who tests Worf’s limits of his good nature. To the point that the two actually get into a physical alteration that Riker has to pull Worf away from.

Picard has the weirdest one of the them all.  He starts the episode with Voval, a rather uncommunicative fellow.  They “wreck” and Picard finds himself prisoner to a woman named Anna who claims she loves him and in general is just really weird.  Of course, the reasoning seems sincere – she’s been trapped alone on that planet for seven years.

However, the plot twist at the end of the episode is that its all a farce.  Voval and the others have met with humans before, but found their understanding lacking.  So each went in search of understanding an element.  Given their lack of understanding when it came to certain emotions (Pleasure, Animosity, and Love) this episode has a rare lack of Data.  Maybe they too realized that they do a lot with Data and wanted to use some other characters a bit.

It is nice to see Deanna doing something as an officer of the ship.  She is of course the counselor, and its always nice to see her doing that as well, even if its mostly in the form of a Barclay episode. Worf gets to stretch his diplomatic muscles much more in this episode then usual and Riker and Data take a backseat.

Given all that went on, I’m rather surprised that Picard seems okay with all of it.  As if it was just another day at work and he hadn’t been led to believe his life was in danger.

While the scenes on the Enterprise wasn’t that bad, I found the Picard plot a bit weird and didn’t really care for it.  I’m going to give this episode a 3.5 out of 5.  Everyone did a good job acting, but I agree with the production team that this episode just doesn’t quite hit the right note.

Interesting Notes:

  • Story by Roger Eschbacher and Jaq Greenspon
  • Teleplay by Jeanne Carrigan Fauci and Lisa Rich.  These two were writing interns on the show, and also wrote and/or contributed to 2 DS9 episodes. Carriagn-Fauci’s daughter is also a writer (Tai Fauci) so it’s a family business now.
  • Directed by Cliff Bole
  • This episode was inspired by (at different points of its creation) Misery and Fatal Attraction.
  • Brannon Braga was ambivalent towards his uncredited script doctoring, and Cliff Bole wasn’t pleased with this offering either.


  • Any of Deanna’s scenes.  With an asterisk (See cons)


  • Why was the mom okay with some strange man grabbing her son??
  • Why is Deanna back in that uncomfortable body suit uniform.

Screencap via

Posted in tv reviews, Star Trek, Television shows

The Rewatch 231: The Homecoming Trilogy

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 2.1 Homecoming (September 27, 1993) 2.2 The Circle (October 10, 1993), and 2.3 The Seige (October 10, 1993) Season Premiere (plus 2).
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 1/1/3.5

Notable Guest Stars:

Frank Langella (Minister Jaro)– Langella is known for multiple mediums, winning 4 Tony Awards, and getting an Academy Award nomination.  One of my favorite roles of his is in Dave, where he plays unscrupulous Bob Alexander, a character not unlike Jaro.

Richard Beymer (Li Nalas) – Beymer was a popular actor in the studio era, he also works as a photographer and documentary maker.

Stephen Macht (General Krim)- Stephen Macht was actually Gene Roddonberry’s first choice to play Picard.  I can’t imagine it being anyone besides Patrick Stewart.  He has appeared on several soap operas.  More recently he appeared in Suits, a show produced (and starring) by his son Gabriel Macht.  He is also an ordained chaplain.

Bruce Gray (Admiral Chekote) – Gray played several times on Star Trek, most notably Surak on Enterprise. He also appeared on Babylon 5 (often compared to DS9)

Mike Genovese (Zef’no)- Genovese is known to me mostly as Al Grabarsky, a police officer wooing nurse Lydia on ER.

Steven Weber (Colonel Day)-  Weber is known for his role as Brian Hackeet on Wings, though I know him better for his role as Mayor Hamilton on NCIS: New Orleans. He currently plays Dr. Archer on Chicago Med.

Leslie Bevis (Rionoj) – She’ll appear 3 times as Rionoj over the years.  She has also appeared on such shows as Night Court, MacGyver, and Murder, She Wrote.

Honorable mentions to our reoccuring characters:  Rosalind Chao (Keiko O’Brien), Aron Eisenberg (Nog), Max Grodenchik (Rom), Phillip Anglim (Vedek Bareil), Louise Fletcher (Vedek Winn), and Marc Alamo (Gul Dukot)


 I am reviewing these three episodes together because they are all connected, and I don’t like reviewing multi-arc episodes apart from one another.  This might change if I ever catch up with currently airing Star Trek because I literally won’t be able to, but since we are still in binge-capable era we shall do these three together.

Read more: The Rewatch 231: The Homecoming Trilogy

So we start Homecoming with Rionoj, a trader, handing Quark a Bajoran ear piece.  We already know that ear jewelry is important within the Bajoran culture.  If you had missed that memo, you would have gotten it by how Kira reacts when Quark hands it to her.

The earring belongs to resistance leader Li Nalas. Kira is eager to find out if he’s still alive and if so bring him back to Bajor to lead the people.  She’s afraid the planet will implode without him.  Which given the signs of fractional group that wants to “Keep Bajor for the Bajorans” known as the Circle, she’s not really far off.

I used to ask myself why there was always these groups that were so hateful but then I turn on my TV now and…well, yeah.  Its happening right now.

Episode 1 of the trilogy, Homecoming, deals with the rescue of Li Nalas.  He has a celebrated return despite his reluctance to be celebrated.  Episode 2, The Circle, deals with Kira having to deal with Li Naas replacing her at the station.  To be honest most of the “action” takes place in parts one and three.  Part two is mostly filler it seems.

Part three has the crew doing what amounts to pacifist gorilla warfare. They know the station, the Bajoran military does not.  And for the most part this actually works as Kira & Dax manage their side of the mission to bring the evidence of outside foul play by the Cardassians.

The most stupid part of the episode however was Li Nalas’s death scene.  Even if I hadn’t read the backstory on why they made that decision it seems very “We don’t know what to do, lets kill him off.”  He wasn’t a particularly intriguing character. He does seem to fit the theme of legend outliving the reality.

I wish I had more commentary on these episodes.

Interesting Notes:

Part One (Homecoming)

  • Story by Jeri Taylor and Ira Steven Behr
  • Teleplay by Ira Steven Behr
  •  Directed by Winrich Kolbe
  • Scenes were filmed at Soledad Canyon, which caused some…interesting filming conditions.  Not a favorite to shoot but the appearance on film pleased the production so it was used several times across DS9.
  • No Morn Today.

Part Two (The Circle)

  • Written by Peter Allen Fields
  • Directed by Corey Allen
  • The scene where Kira says goodbye is filmed in one continuous take, with close ups edited into the scene later.

Part Three (The Siege)

  • Written by Michael Piller
  • Directed by Winrich Kolbe
  • This episode was the most challenging of the three in visual effects.  This included a spider that was a prop bought at a yard sale and enhanced by the Visual Effects department. Personally, I could do without spiders.


  • This was the first multi-part arc on the show that was more then 2 episodes.  Enterprise would make good use of this style in its fourth season (11 years later).
  • Frank Langella is uncredited for his role on the show. This was by his request as he was doing it for his children, and not to advance professionally. 


  • Bajorian backstory
  • A very good Kira set of episodes (minus a bit of the prophecy…see below)


Why is Kira always sexualized? This episode didn’t do it as badly as the Mirror episodes but I find it out of place or the orb to basically tell her she needs to go jump Bariel. I’m sure they see it as misdirection because its really about appearing in front of the ministers.

Screencap via

Posted in Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 230: Descent

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.26/ 7.1 Descent (June 21, 1993 (1) and September 20, 1993 (2))
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 3/23/57  (we will give it to season 6)

Notable Guest Stars:
Steven Hawking (Himself) –  Steven Hawking is a well-known physicist.  He plays himself in the opening scene.

Natalija Nogulich (Admiral Alynna Nechayev) – This is not the first nor the last time we will see Nogulich as she continues to play the role Admiral Nechayev on various episodes of both TNG and Deep Space Nine. She had a reoccurring role on The Pretender and appeared on West Wing as Isreali ambassador Shira Galit.

John Neville (Isaac Newton) – Neville was a popular theatre actor. He also had a recurring role as the “Well-manicured Man” on the X-files, Mr. Laurence in Little Women (1994) and the Admiral in the Fifth Element (1997).  Also, he is the grandfather of actor Joe Dinicol who may be known from Arrow. Neville died in 2001.

Jim Norton (Albert Einstein) – Norton played Einstein in an earlier episode of Star trek, The Nth Degree. 

Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh) – Del Arco appeared before as Hugh, and he will appear as the character again in Picard. He is also known for being Dr. Morales in The Closer.  When not acting he is a political activist with a particular interest in furthering equality for the LBTQA+ community and the environment.  He will appear as different characters on Voyager and the Star Trek associated video games.

Richard Gilbert Hill (Bosus)- Gilbert-Hill has worked on several TV shows, including one I would watch with my grandmother called The Guardian which stars Simon Baker.  It’s a very good show, you should watch it.  He also periodically does write scripts, and even has a credit on Highlander.

Brian J. Cousins (Crosis) – Cousins is a reoccurring Star Trek Alum, who first appeared as Parem, a Romulan military officer in the TNG episode The Next Phase.  He will return in an episode of Enterprise.


This is actually a pretty interesting episode.  It brings forth two questions to answer over the course of the two-parter.

Read more: The Rewatch 230: Descent

The first is Data’s ability to handle emotions.  Its been a long used plot point that Data wants to be as human as possible and its usually emotion that keeps him from fulfilling that goal.  In this episode, Data begins to experiment with that.  Granted, its with the help of his brother Lore, who is never up to good.

The second plot question is what happened to Hugh, the borg that they set free to go back to the collective and infest with independence.  Well, we find out in this episode.  Hugh and the others are holding up on a far-off planet where they are following Lore.  Having grown up with the hive mind, the affected Borg do not settle well into independence.  Lore takes advantage of this and steps in to help lead them.  Some break away after realizing that Lore is also using them for experimentation.

As you may figure, Lore is why we can’t have nice things.  In this episode he is able to share emotions with his brother through a radio signal.  The only issue is that he only shares anger.  Data so enthralled with the idea of emotion goes with it, acting extremely out of character and rebelling in a very teenager fashion (as much as a 40ish year-old android can).  The anger and hate fill him up and it takes a lot of work from Geordi and Picard to get through it all and activate his programing that lets him have morality. 

This episode is very important in the story of Data, and I think anyone who is a Data fan should include this two parter in their must-sees.  Because at the end of the day there is a difference between Data and his older brother – Data has a conscious, and Lore does not.

In the second part, we really deal with the borg and how being left to their own devices they were vulnerable, and Lore took advantage.  He created a cult of Borg, and it took a lot for any of them to leave.

I think its notable that several key players in this episode were not happy with the end result.  Brent Spiner and various production staff have all had complaints about the limits they had to really get into the themes of the episode and make it reach its full potential.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by (1) Ronald D. Moore on the story by Jeri Taylor and (2) Rene Exhevarria.
  • Directed by Alexander Singer
  • This Two-parter includes the final Season premiere of TNG, as it starts the seventh and last season of the show.
  • There is a novelization of this episode, along with four other episodes.
  • This episode closes a few plot threads, but it also dangles one open which will be brought up in the 1994 film Generations:  The emotion chip.
  • The building that Lore & his borg companions live is the Brandeis-Bardin Institute.  Previously this building had been used to be the setting of the Khitomir Accords in Star Trek VI.
  • Stephen Hawking is the only person to have a cameo as himself in the franchise.  The scene in which he appears contains several jokes about his theories on physics and how they interact with Einstein’s and Newton’s.  He had requested to appear on the show, being a big fan of it.  He even wrote the forward on a book on the Physics of Star Trek.
  • One of the ships that the admiral mentions is a homage to Chancellor Gorkon.  This was the first ship to be named after a nonhuman in the series.  Discovery would continue this tradition so in the show’s chronology this was far from the first.
  • There were a lot of issues with the set being too hot for those in costume. 


  • This is a great Data episode.  Brent Spiner always gets to test his limits as an actor when it comes to Lore episodes because he has his usual Data, and the more emotional and angry Lore.
  • It’s nice to see Beverly show her command skills. In a later episode Deanna asks her about being a Bridge Officer.  I kind of wonder what made her decide to become one.  I don’t think they will discuss that, but I will see when I get to the episode and see it again.


­I’m always a little bit uncomfortable when people are in such a defense mode that they want to destroy everything upon finding it.  It always makes me wonder if they have lost their ability to see the nuances of life.  In this episode the Admiral basically dresses down Picard for letting Hugh live.  Given what the Federation and Starfleet stand for, I think it was a reasonable thing for him to do. But then I’ve always been averse to outright destruction.  I’ve also never been in a survival situation before either.

Screencap via

Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 229: In the Hands of the Prophets

Series: Star Trek: DS9
Episode: 1.20 In the Hands of the Prophets (Season 1 Finale; June 21, 1993)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 1/3.5

Content/Trigger Warning: Religious violence.

Notable Guest Stars:
Louise Fletcher ( Vedek Winn Adami) – Louise Fletcher plays the rule of Winn for several seasons on this show, and is one of the most rememberable side characters on the show. She is also known for playing the role of Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (A movie I dislike, but she did an awesome job) for which she won an award for Best Actress in 1975. Her last role was on the Netflix series Girlboss (which means I need to watch it now). She died late last year at 88 years old.

Philip Anglim (Vedek Bareil Antos) – Anglim is known more for his theater work then his work in television, but he will be a reoccuring actor on this series, playing Bareil. He is also known (television wise) for playing the son of Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward in The Thorn Birds

Robin Christopher (Neela) – This is Christopher’s second (and last episode) as Neela.

Rosalind Chao (Keiko O’Brien) – While I usually don’t mention reoccurring characters much, I feel I should bring up Rosalind again. She does such an excellent job in this episode. Some other roles she is known for include Soon-Lee Klinger in M*A*S*H. She is Rose Hsu Jordan in the Joy Luck Club which I have yet to see but seems to be quite popular. More recently she appeared in the 2020 Mulan as Hua Li


In the Hands of the Prophet is a bit too relatable. It could have been a ripped from the headlines episode. A small (but Vocal) group of radical religious people have decided to commit violence to either get rid of the opposition or to remove what they see as “Unholy”.

Read more: The Rewatch 229: In the Hands of the Prophets

As we know, the Bajoran religion is very much a part of their social and political structure. They have a provisional government but a great amount of power lies in the hand of the Kai, the head of their church. Kai Opaka “died” a few episodes ago, so Bajor is left without a leader, and so the next tier of their religion -the Vedeks – are vying for the position.

One of these Vedeks is Vedek Winn, a woman who belongs to a more conservative and strict order then others. Her main competition is Vedek Boreil, who has been found to be much more charismatic and frankly kinder then she is. So she concocts a plan to get Boreil out of the way.

Onboard DS9 is a school. Keiko O’Brien has become a school teacher and for the most part is loved by her students and their parents. However Winn is not quite a fan. You see, Winn wants schooling that fits the religion of the Bajorans, rather then the science-based and “Leave the religion to the parents” type schooling. She starts convincing Bajoran parents to take their children out of the school if Keiko doesn’t start teaching Bajoran beliefs.

Remind you of current events?

It causes problems in the station as Bajorans are starting to believe, as is Winn’s intent, that the Federation doesn’t respect anyone’s beliefs. This is made worse by the fact that a member of O’Brien’s team has been killed and it seems it might be related to the issues. Then the school is bombed. Thankfully no one is at school as Keiko had dismissed them early that day.

Needless to say everyone is quite concerned. Winn pretends to offer sympathy then claims perhaps it was a result of their blasphemy against the prophets.

Vedek Bareil then comes to visit the station, deciding that staying neutral is no longer an option. He manages to gather the Bajorans and with kind words and good leadership, he tries to heal the wounds from what has happened.

But then Neela shoots at him. And this causes havoc. Everyone is convinced that she was working for Winn, which we know from earlier scenes, but those in the universe didn’t see that conversation. Winn gets to go free despite planning the assassination of her coworker, the bombing of a school and basically causing havoc wherever she goes.

Given our current events this episode was harder to watch because I could see the similarities to reading on the news people restricting books, and changing laws to better fit their religious views vs. the neutral space school was. In Florida, the governor has made it basically so if the school doesn’t fit his agenda he can revoke their ability to be a school.

But back to Star Trek based analysis. This is a good Kira episode. Kira has a lot to think about after this episode. She’s not as conservative as Winn by any means but she has a high respect for her as a member of her clergy. After the events of this episode she is forced to reexamine her beliefs and how much power she puts in those who lead her religion in how she believes.

Its also a good Keiko episode. The nice thing about DS9 is that both Keiko and Miles are fleshed out, having been only minor reoccurring characters on TNG.

Interesting notes:

  • Written by Robert Hewitt Wolf
  • Directed David Livingston
  • Some of the outdoor scenes were filmed at Fern Dell, which had also been a location for TNG’s Encounter at Farpoint
  • Originally the plan was for Anara, a character in the episode The Foresaken to be the assasin, but that fell threw, causing them to create Neela. Some elements of the original plan remain in the script.


  • Winn is an iconic character for the series, so its good to see her arrive, though in general I would dislike her in real life.
  • This is an excellent episode for Kira Nerys.
  • This episode explores more of the Bajoran culture, in particular their religion.


  • Too similar to current events where people are attempting to control schools to promote their religious or intolerant agenda.