The Rewatch 103: Neutral Zone

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.26 Neutral Zone (05-16-88) (SEASON FINALE)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0 /3

Notable Guest Stars:
 Marc Alaimo – Tebok. Alaimo would return as several characters over the course of the series, but he is probably best known as Gul Dukot. Who I will probably rant about when we get to DS9
Anthony James– Thei. He was a character actor on several TV shows.
Leon Rippy – L.Q. “Sonny” Clemonds. He appeared along with Jonathan Frakes on the miniseries North and South. (Never seen it, you should. Just make sure you get the one about the civil war and not industrial England (although also good))
Grace Harrison – Clare Raymond. She doesn’t have an extensive list of credits but she appeared as Bitty Stonecipher on Designing Women and Susan Slater on the TV series Melba from 1986.
Peter Mark Richman– Ralph Offenhouse. He voiced “old” Spiderman in the animated series from 1996.

Review:

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The Rewatch 101: We’ll Always Have Paris

*Note: This was posted in reverse order with the next episode. This aired before Conspiracy*

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.24 We’ll Always Have Paris. (05-2-88)
Rating: 3.7/5
Redshirt Status: 0/4

Notable Guest Stars:
Michelle Phillips – Jenice Manheim. You may know her more for her music career then her acting career.
Rod Loomis – Paul Manheim. He appeared in Bill & Ted as Sigmund Freud. Which I find easier to notice now because I recently watched Bill & Ted to celebrate the third film coming out.

Review:

This episode has two plot lines. The main plot line is that Paul Manheim has found evidence of time manipulation. The Enterprise crew of course has to figure out what is going on, only to find out that Manheim’s team has been killed, and he is the last survivor other then his wife.

Plot two, the lighter of the two plots, is that Jenice Manheim is a former girlfriend of Picard. I kept seeing Imzadi parallels thanks to the book Imzadi (Peter David), which isn’t canon anymore by a long shot but still. Two lovers were meant to meet somewhere, and the dashing Starfleet officer leaves his love behind to ship out. Only this one ends differently with Jenice staying with her husband who she loves, and Picard staying with his ship.They share a fond farewell, but both know they are better for it.

I honestly don’t have much to say about this episode. I like the inclusion of the holodeck, and the backstory for Picard. I also like the fact that they point out that no one sees Data as just a machine (like the alien from the previous episode). Data thinks he is disposable, but that is not Picard’s thoughts at all. Overall it was neutral though. Its not an episode that leaves an impression unless you are there specifically for character moments for Picard and Data. So I’m going to give it a 3.7.

With the influence of the Imzadi backstory, I have to wonder if Picard and Riker talked about what was going on and Riker felt his own story playing out in a way.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Deborah Dean Davis and Hanna Louise Shearer.
  • Directed by Robert Becker
  • Title references Casablanca (as does the Blue Parrot Café). A classic film I still have yet to see.

Pros:

  • Data getting to save the day

Cons:

  • Not really a amazing episode. Kind of dull.

The Rewatch 102: Conspiracy

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.25 Conspiracy (05-08-88)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0 /3

Notable Guest Stars:
 Henry Darrow – Admiral Savar. He was the second person to play Don Alejandro de la Vega in the 90s television version of the epic story. He also founded a ethnic minority committee within SAG with fellow Star Trek actor Ricardo Montalban (as well as Edith Diaz and Carmen Zapata).
Ward Costello – Admiral Quinn. He appeared earlier in the season.
Robert Schenkkan – Lt. Commander Dexter Remmick. He appeared earlier in the season as well. He also has won various awards for his plays, including a Pulitzer.
Jonathan Farwell – Captain Walker Keel. He appeared on the The Young and the Restless.
Michael Berryman – Captain RIxx. He had a part in the 1975 movie One flew over the Cookoo’s Nest. Which is considered a classic, but not on my list of favorite movies by far.
Ursaline Bryant – Captain Tryla Scott. She did many tv roles, including a guest spot on Golden Girls.

Review:

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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 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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