The Rewatch 180: The Game

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 5.6 The Game (10/28/1991)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/35

Notable Guest Stars:
Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) – He’s back ladies and gentlemen.  And to save the day, although all he wanted to do was relax, and maybe have a nice date with the lady in engineering.

Ashley Judd (Robin Lefler) – Ashley Judd also returns for her second appearance as Robin, this time she gets to be running a project in Engineering as well as getting the attention of Wesley.

Patti Yasutake (Alyssa Ogawa) – Also a return.  Since she is on here several times, I’m going to retire her from Guest Star and put her down as reoccuring.

Katherine Moffat (Etana Jol)- Moffat was a child actress, staring in early shows such as The Nancy Drew Mysteries, and later she worked on several television programs including TNG, DS9 and for non-star Trek appearances Dukes of Hazzard.  Her last credits date from the late 1990s, so I am assuming she has retired or has kept to mostly stage work.

Review:

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The Rewatch 179: Disaster

Writer’s Note: You may notice that I skipped episode 178. Recently I lost my grandfather, and right now am not in the right kind of disposition to write a review of an episode about a woman who is grieving her son and uses Data as a way of still having him. One day I will write that review, so I left the number open. Instead, I have chosen for now to move on to episode I can emotionally handle. Without further ado…

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 5.5 Disaster (10/21/1991)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 1/1/35

Notable Guest Stars:
Michelle Forbes (Ensign Ro Laren) – This is her second episode as Ms. Ro, and she continues to be a great character, although maybe a bit too antagonistic.

Jana Marie Hupp (Lt. Monroe) – Jana might be better recognized as Mindy Hunter-Farber on Friends.

Erika Flores (Marissa Flores)- Flores is probably mostly known for being Colleen Cooper during the first three seasons of Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman.  Her most recent role was in 2009 on the show House.  It appears that she has retired from acting at this time.

John Christian Graas (Jay Gordon Graas)- Like Flores, he seems to have retired from acting, but not before several television and film credits including Kindergarten Cop with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Also, like Flores, he appeared in Dr. Quinn, only as a guest star in 2 episodes named Charles. He currently (according to IMDB) a member of the Marine Corps.

Rosalind Chao (Keiko O’Brien) – This is her third appearance on TNG that I can remember.  She continues to be a reoccurring character, so this is the last time I’ll mention her as a “Guest” star.   But she’s awesome.

Review:

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The Rewatch 177: Ensign Ro

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 5.3 Ensign Ro (10/7/1991)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/34

Notable Guest Stars:
Michelle Forbes (Ensign Ro Laren) – This is Forbes second appearance on TNG.  She originally appeared last season as the daughter of Timicin, but now has arrived at the character that will be her reoccuring character. 

Scott Marlowe (Keeve Falor) – Marlowe is a classic actor whose credits start in the 1950s.  He has appeared in many cult favorites, like Bonanza and Gunsmoke, as well as Daytime Soaps like Days of Our Lives.

Frank Collison (Dolak)-  The Cardassian Commander might be more familiarly seen in Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman as Horace Bing.  I actually had to figure out where he was in the episode because the makeup did a pretty good job.

Cliff Potts (Admiral Kennelly)- Potts may be found outside Star Trek in the films Silent Running and Little Women, so you can tell he’s not afraid to switch genres around a bit.

Jefferey Hayenga (Orta)- It was hard to find information on this actor, but he did appear in one of my least favorite movies, Prince of Pennsylvania.  If you ever want to see a great cast appear in a horrible film, watch that movie.  It also has Keanu Reeves and Fred Ward.  He will appear on StarTrek again both as Orta (DS9) and Dr.Yuris (ENT)

Review:

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The Rewatch 176: Darmok

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 5.2 Darmok
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/34

Notable Guest Stars:
 Richard Allen (Tamarian First Officer) – This is a reappearance of Allen, who played Kentor in “Ensigns of Command.”  He has since done guest work and voice work.

Paul Winfield (Dathon)- Winfield was an actor with accolades for his portrayals on both film and screen. He appeared in Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan as well.

Ashley Judd (Robin Lefler)- Ashley Judd has had a pretty good career, staring in movies such as Where the Heart Is, with her role as Robin Lefler her first major role.  She is also well known for her performing family, Naomi and Wionna Judd.

Review:

 This is probably one of the most quoted episodes of TNG.  It’s become its own meme even.  Its actually a pretty good episode with a simple theme:

What happens if the universal translator can translate words, but not their meaning.  The Crew can understand the Tamarians, but their statements make no sense as they are talking in metaphors.

Finally, the Tamarian captain has had too much, and despite his first officer’s complaints about the plan (The first officer is a lot like Riker in that regard) he has them send Picard and himself down to the planet. He figures putting them in danger might help convey language issues better.

Meanwhile Riker is perturbed, Data is drowning in research and Deanna yet again appears to be the senior diplomatic officer on board.  SURELY THERE IS A TEAM?!?

Overall I love this episode, and its really had to review because its one of those episodes where you want to go ‘Just go watch it.”

Interesting Notes:

  • Written Joe Menosky and Phillip LaZebnik
  • Directed by Patrick Stewart
  •  The Epic of Gilgamesh is an Ancient Mesopotamian epic, in particular the are of Sumeria.  There are several stories in this collection that are pieced together from various texts across the area and across the centuries.  You can read it here and here.
  • This episode took a long time between initial pitch and the final cut.  The pitch has little to do with the final episode, but in all honestly, that is a good thing.
  • Many people consider this one of TNG’s finest episodes.

Pros

  •  Stunning episode for Patrick Stewart, and the characterizations of Picard, Deanna, and to a lesser extent Riker (who really has a short temper in this episode)

Cons:

  •  Doesn’t speaking in metaphor hamper speech in a way?
  • Again, Deanna seems to be the sole member of the diplomatic team onboard Enterprise, which considering its main goals are finding new words and new friends (and studying things along the way), you would think would be well staffed.
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Screencap via CygnusX1.net