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

The Rewatch 221: Suspicions

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.22 Suspicions (05/08/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 1/20/54 

Notable Guest Stars:

James Horan (Dr. Jo’Bril)- Horan has done alot of voice work over the years in several highly known video games, including tie-in games for Star Trek, Star Wars, and Avatar. He will appear again in DS9 and Enterprise (as the humanoid figure seeking to change time). More recently he has played in Orville.
Peter Marx (Dr. Reyga) – Marx has played a series of Ferangi characters over the years, appearing first as Nibor in Menage a Troi. He will also appear in Voyager in the 2 parter year of hell
Joan Stuart Morris (Dr. T’Pan) – Morris has a fairly short credit list, with Star Trek in the middle. Her last credit is listed in 1995.
John S. Ragin (Dr. Christopher)- Surprisingly, this is Ragin’s last listed credit on IMBD. He is known for his roles on Santa Barbara, Quincy M.E., and The F.B.I. He died in 2013.
Tricia O’Neil (Kurak) – Tricia O’Niel is a Star Trek Alum, having previously shown up on TNG as Captain Rachel Garrett in Yesterday’s Enterprise. Of course, with the make-up and her acting skills you can’t recognize her.
Tracee Cocco (Ensign Jae) – while her roles are mostly listed as “Uncredited” Cocco has appeared in 62 episodes of TNG, 6 episodes of Voyager, 6 episodes of DS9, several movies, and a few video games. So for this episode, I’m going to acknowledge her contributions to Star Trek

Review:

This is an interesting episode. We start at the midway point as Guinan shows up at Beverly’s apartment seeking treatment for a tennis elbow, and listens to Beverly explain the events of the past few days. You see, Beverly was impressed by the presentation of a Ferengi scientist, Dr Reyga, and his metaphysic shield. However, Reyga was faced with some discrimination due to his being a Ferengi and in general no one trusting someone from that species to be a scientist with ethics.

So Beverly gathers a few scientists: Dr. T’Pan, Dr. Christopher, Dr. Kurak, and Dr. Jo’Bril. The four of them, along with Beverly procede to cautiously examine the data, and few the test run. Dr. Jo’Bril even offers to be the pilot of the test craft, to make it a bit more unbias. But then Jo’Bril suddenly dies, after what seems like a positive test run. Then Dr. Reyga dies. And Beverly has a hinky feeling about all this. Side Note: This review has some serious Spoilers as I have to talk about the end of the episode

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

The Rewatch 217: The Chase

Series: Star Trek: TNG

Episode: 6.? The Chase (04/26/1993)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/19/54
Notable Guest Stars:

Salome Jens (Progenitor) – Salome Jens is probably best known in Star Trek for her role as The Female Changeling who acts as the head of the Changelings and the Dominion.  She’s an essential character to DS9 and Odo’s story arc.

John Cothran, Jr (NuDaq)– Another long term Star Trek Alum, Cothran will continue to play various guest characters in DS9 and Enterprise.

Maurice Roeves (Romulan Commander) – Roeves guest starred in several TV programs, but one of notable credits include Ulysses (1967), The Last of the Mohicans, and Beautiful Creatures (2000)

Linda Thorson (Gul Ocett) – Thorson is a well known Canadian actress, having starred in the 1960s series The Avengers.  She has a bountiful theater career as well.  More recently she played a recurring character on the Hulu series The Hardy Boys.

Norman Lloyd (Professor Galen) – Lloyd was a well known actor, director, and producer over the long span of his career.  He began as a child and continued to work up till he was past 100 years old. A notable credit is He Ran All The Way, which he performed with John Garfield, one of the more visible victims of the Hollywood Blacklist.  One of his more recent credits before his death was a 2017 appearance on Modern Family.

Review:

I really enjoyed this episode for several reasons.  The story is strong, it opens up the universe a bit by including more than one alternative species, and it ties in Original Series mythos.

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The Rewatch 215: Lessons

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.19 Lessons (4/5/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 8/19/54

Notable Guest Stars:

Wendy Hughes (Lt. Commander Nella Daren) – Most of Hughes’ work was in Australia so unfortunately I have not had the chance to see much of her work. She did appear in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which I saw an episode of. Unfortunately she died in 2014 of cancer.

Review:

This episode is a much lighter episode then the one before, and is more about character then it is about action. Picard slowly falls in love with a new member of his crew, Lt. Commander Nella Daren, who runs the Stellar Cartography lab. The two Their romance is paired with them and their music, playing together in the Jefferies tube and generally enjoying their time together.

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The Rewatch 214: Starship Mine

Series: Star Trek: TNG Episode: 6.18 Starship Mine (3/29/1993 Rating: 4/5 Redshirt Status: 8/11/46

Notable Guest Stars:

Tim Russ (Devor) – Tim Russ will become better known to you all when we get to Voyager. He plays one of the main characters, Tuvok. More recently he has appeared on Orville, a Star Trek homage.

Marie Marshall (Kelsey)- Marshall has guest starred in several shows over the years, including The Pretender, Babylon 5 and Silk Stockings. The latter two were ongoing roles in the production. She also worked on As the World Turns, playing Denise Darcy for two years in the mid Eighties.

David Spielberg (Commander Calvin “Hutch” Hutchinson) – To be honest, I haven’t seen much of what he has been in, but he had a big part in this episode, so it felt wrong to exclude him. I have heard of The Practice, so I’ll point that one out.

Glenn Morshower (Orton)- He has been on quite a few of my favorite TV shows over the years. He had a recurring role on CSI Miami, X-men First Class, JAG, X-files, West Wing and Criminal Minds. He also appears on Voyager and Enterprise. However his most known credit is apparently the show 24, which I have never seen.

Tom Nibley (Neil)- Nibley had a short career in acting, mostly in the late 80s and 90s. He has appeared on some shows I have seen, including Days of Our Lives and The Golden Girls. His last credited role (according to IMDB) was in 1998.

Patricia Tallman (Kiros) – She is known for her roles on Babylon 5, Night of the Living Dead (1990), and several Star Trek shows. She has appeared both as an actress and as a stunt performer. She performed Laura Dern’s stunts in Jurassic Park. She also owns her own Adventure corporation called Quest Retreats.

Tim de Zarn (Satler) – He has appeared on several TV series I have watched growing up, including Dr. Quinn, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, and of course a few episodes of Star Trek. He also appears in the 2002 film Spiderman (my first exposure to Spiderman) playing Mary Jane’s father. Recently he guested on Better Call Saul.

Review:

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The Rewatch 212: Birthright (1 & 2)

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.16 Birthright (03/07/1993) & 6:17 Birthright Part II (3/14/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Siddig El Fadil/Alexander Siddig (Julian Bashir) – This episode crosses over with DS9 slightly and brings Julian on to show the interconnection of the two shows existing together. At this point in time he was still being credited with his actual name of Siddig El Fadil.

James Cromwell (Jaglom Shrek)- James Cromwell is one of my favorite actors. He’s well known in Star Trek, having appeared several times over the years in various franchise roles. His most reoccuring role is that of Zephram Cochran, which he would play in a few years. He is under heavy make-up for this episode though, but that distinctive voice carries through.

Cristine Rose (Gi’ral) – Cristine Rose is most known for her role on series Heroes, where she played Angela Petrelli. She has also appeared on Friends, NCIS, Chicago Hope, Crossing Jordan, and Gilmore Girls.

Jennifer Gatti (Ba’el)- She is known for her work in soap operas, including Guiding Light and Young and The Restless. She has appeared on several shows as a guest actor, including Voyager, ER and Cheers. In 2019 she appeared on the newer medical drama The Resident.

Richard Herd (L’Kor)- He might sound familiar because he will appear several times on Star Trek Voyager as Admiral Owen Paris – father of Lt. Tom Paris. He also appeared in Seinfeld, Quantum Leap, and JAG among many others. He has been inducted into the National Broadcast Hall of Fame for his radio work. Unfortunately, he died of cancer in 2020.

Alan Scarfe (Tokath) – Alan Scarfe has appeared on TNG before, but he has also appeared on my favorite Scifi series Stargate Atlantis, and another good series called Andromeda. He has won several awards for both film work and stage work.


Review:

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The Rewatch 210: Tapestry

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.15 Tapestry (2/15/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38 

Notable Guest Stars:
Ned Vaughn (Cortin Zweller) – Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that Apollo 13 has been my favorite movie since it came out in 1994.  Ned Vaughn appears in the movie as CapCom 2.

J.C Brandy (Marta Batanides)- J.C. Brandy has appeared in various tv series over the years, including a couple soap operas.  She also made an appearance in the Halloween film franchise.  She was 17 years old when she filmed this episode.

Clive Church (Maurice Picard) – This appears to be his first -and only – known credit.  Which was notable enough for me to include him in this section.

Rae Norman (Penny Muroc)- Rae Norman was appearing on Guiding Light around the same time she was on Star Trek.

Review:

I have to admit this is not one of my favorite episodes of TNG.  Every show has their “It’s a Wonderful Life” episode, it seems, and this was TNG’s.  Picard, having received a near-fatal wound, finds himself in a space with Q.  Q uses his powers to show Picard what might have happened if he hadn’t been stabbed by the Nausiccaans, a story mentioned earlier in the show.

My problem was most IAWL like episodes show the effect someone has on other people, not just their own life. And Picard had a deep impact on the other characters.  For example, there is a scene where Altered Picard talks with Will Riker.  Will is still the executive officer even though its been pretty much implied that the main reason he hasn’t taken a ship of his own is because he wanted ot learn more from Picard. I find it hard to believe that Will would still be on Enterprise and not on his own ship.  And, what does this mean for Jack Crusher? 

Of course, this could all be explained away as being part of Q’s made-up world.

There is also the weirdness of the Marta romance.  For one, they never really made Picard out to have been a lothario till this episode.  And the actress for Marta was 17 years old. While neither actor seemed to find anything amiss, the fact that the crew thought she needed to be aged up by make-up makes me wonder why they didn’t hire an older actress.

This episode did launch a thousand memes of Picard waking up to Q in his bed. 

This episode is usually critically accepted as good, and while I may not particularly feel driven to watch it, I don’t think it’s the worst episode ever. (You have seen me skip episodes so you know that). 

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Ronald D. Moore
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • This episode was inspired by “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
  • The brainstorming team liked this episode as a comparison to Picard’s wild child youth and studious adulthood while Kirk was a studious young man and only earned his reputation as a risk taker as an adult (and as a Captain).
  • First appearance of the Nausicaans

Pros

  • I wonder if they realize that they made Q appear pansexual at this point. I mean it would make sense for an energy being such as the Q continuum not to limit their interests by gender.

Cons:

  • I feel the story seems a little farfetched as far as it not effecting other people that where Jean-Luc was in life was different.  Our lives are ripples, not stagnant dots no matter what Q believes.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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

The Rewatch 216: Aquiel

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.12 Aquiel (2/1/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Renee Jones (Aquiel Uhnari)- I know her best as Lexie Carter on Days of Our Lives. She played the role from 1993 to 2012, and it appears to be her last credit. She has no credits after 2012.
Wayne Grace (Torak) – Grace has done both live action and voice work, including several Star Wars and Star Trek games. He played roles in DS9 and Enterprise.
Reg. E. Cathey (Morag)-
He played Franklin Storm in the more recent reboot of Fantastic Four. Which I still need to see. He also appeared in House of Cards, for which he has received several Emmy nominations. He unfortunately passed away in 2018, with his final performance being the voice of Captain Quaid in Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure.

Review:

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

The Rewatch 214: Ship in a Bottle

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.12 Ship in a Bottle (1/24/1993)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Dwight Schultz (Barclay) Does Barclay really count as a guest star at this point?  He’s become more of a recurring character.
Daniel Davis (Moriarty)-
Davis is reappearing as the character from the episode “Elementary, My Dear Data”.  You may recognize him from The Nanny where he played the butler, Niles.
Stephanie Beacham (Countess) – She has a range of credits in British television as well as American, and stared in The Colbys, a spinoff of Dynasty.  She also is an advocate for elderly care.

Review:

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The Rewatch 209: Chain of Command (1 & II)

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.10-11 Chain of Command (Part 1: 12/4/92  Part 2: 12/21/92)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Ronny Cox (Edward Jellico)- I know him best as Senator Kinsey, the thorn in the side of the Stargate program.
Natalia Nogulich (Alynna Nechayev)-
She will return as Nechayev several times over the course of TNG and DS9.  She has also appeared on the West Wing as an Israeli ambassador.
John Durbin (Gul Lemec)-
Durbin will appear on DS9 and Voyager as various characters.
David Warner (Gal Madred) –
David Warner previously was in the Undiscovered Country as Chancellor Gorkon.  He had also previously worked with Patrick Stewart on a performance of Hamlet.

Warning: This episode contains possible triggering content such as torture and gaslighting. When watching it has graphic torture scenes.  My review also references them, though I will not describe them in detail.

Review:

This duo has a lot to unpack. It’s a fairly important episode Franchise wise for a couple of reasons. There are several character development scenes in these episodes from a TNG standpoint. It also sets the stage for DS9, which will premiere next (and shall be Rewatch 209).

Admiral Nechayev comes onboard the Enterprise to surprise Picard with a special mission to go undercover and seek out a possible metagenic weapon which makes current biowarfare seem like toys. He is relieved of duty as Captain and Edward Jellico, a more by the book and militant style Captain is brought in to relieve him.

Jelico is a bit of a debate.  Some fans feel he was an amazing captain, others fell the opposite. I’ll get to my own opinion in a bit.  Regardless he makes an impression because as soon as he transports over, he starts to change the way the ship works. He wants them to switch up their duty schedules into four shifts rather then three.  Which honestly doesn’t quite make sense.  A four duty shift means six hour shifts. It would spread the crew more thinly, and also seems a waste of resources.  But he’s preparing for war, so perhaps he’s trying to make sure everyone is well rested in case of battle.

He also has requests of each department that sometimes borders on incompletable.  For example, despite Data saying it was an attainable goal, Geordi knows it will take the whole department two days of round the clock work to complete.  And Jellico removes part of the tema for security.

Isn’t there already a security department on board?

Its hard to tell with Jellico if he’s just being premptifully prepared or just has unrealistic expectations of his crew on an larger ship.  Either way it puts him at odds with Riker, who is more of a relaxed command structure kind of guy.  Which is good for the Enterprise because it’s a science ship, and he knows his crew and when to be more firm then others.  Might not be so great when it comes to militiarlistic situation.  That being said, Riker has already shown he can take command of those situations.  He did so in The Best of Both Worlds.

Jelico also makes Deanna wear a uniform, which is probably my favorite thing about this whol episode.  It always bothered me that Deanna never wore her uniform unless it was in an alternate timeline or the first episode.  It has been argued that she wears something to make her patients feel more comfortable, but always?

Meanwhile while Jellico and Riker are fighting (and Deanna playing mediator) Picard, Crusher and Worf are all sneaking into what is supposed to be a Cardassian lab.  Except it was just a lore to get Picard.  To get information about a planet they want. Information that Picard does not have.

Picard is tortured in this episode both mentally and physically.  He spends a portion of this episode strategically placed as he is nude.  They don’t shy away from the fact that this is in fact a torture scene. The most popular phrase to come out of this episode is “THERE. ARE. FOUR. LIGHTS.” It comes from when Picard is being tortured while being asked how many lights there are.  He is tortured to the point that he admits (later to Deanna) he almost gives up and says there are five lights just to get relief.

.I do think it is important that afterwards he goes to talk with Deanna. He seeks mental health services, instead of the usual “forget anything happened to him before this” situation that TV dramas seem to take as their go-to.   He’s seen seeing his therapist, even if it seems like he’s just sitting down with a friend. I think that is a very good sign.  I wish that TV shows would show their heroes seeking mental health help when they need it.

This episode develops Picard, as information of his past come to light. Some of which we already knew, some of which is new. It definitely showcases his character, and how he deals with things. He is rescued before he breaks down from the torture, but he still admits at least to Deanna that he was close to just believing there were 5 lights.

It develops Riker to a certain point, because it shows how willing he is to rebel when he doesn’t think the commanding officer has the best interests of the crew in mind.  Although I do think that he’s a little reactive in this episode, considering he himself has had to deny going back to get someone till after they finish something else.

I do find it funny that all of a sudden he is the best pilot on the enterprise but we hardly ever see him fly anything.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by (Part One) Frank Abetemarco and Ronald D. Moore (Part Two) Frank Abetemarco
  • Directed by (Part One) Robert Scheerer and (Part Two) Les Landau
  • This episode has a homage to the George Orwell classic “1984”.In the novel, a character uses gaslighting to mentally manipulate someone into believing an alternate reality (five fingers instead of four, or in this case, five lights instead of four)
  • This episode was originally meant to be a one parter, but they decided to stretch it out into a two parter to help save on their budget.  In the end it ended up being a good decision because the story needed both parts.
  • David Warner was a last minute casting, as the actor who had been cast had to pull out for undisclosed reasons.  He had to have his lines held up because he had no time to learn them.  Considering all that, he did an excellent job.
  • This episode was meant to help establish the situation around DS9, with references to Cardassia’s history, and their removal from the Bajoran sector.  Solok was originally meant to be Quark, but it was decided against that when they got to the final script.
  • Abetemarco did research on torture responses with Amnesty international to get the scenes right. Patrick Stewart also made sure to do research into make this episode believable.

Pros

  • Excellent acting by Patrick Stewart.  This is perhaps one of the darker episodes of TNG and he did a great job in showing Picard’s struggle.
  • Excellent acting all around really.
  • Deanna Troi gets her uniform back. If nothing else, I thank Jellico for that.

Cons:

  • While I don’t think Jellico was a bad captain, I feel he could have saved himself some energy and figured out what was working on Enterprise before trying to alter it.  Many arguments can be made over his overall choices though.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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

The Rewatch 208: Quality of Life

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.09 Quality of Life (11/16/1992)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Ellen Bry (Farallon) – Her more recurrent roles include The Amazing Spider-Man, and St. Elsewhere.

Review:

This episode is interesting, though not the ones I would watch over again.  In it, Data discovers that the Exocomps, a computerized tool created by Dr. Farallon to help assist her in repairs and upgrades to her mining technology, has shown possible signs of life.

From a characterization perspective, its important for Data.  In this episode he seeks to find others like him who started life out as a mechanical yet have life. They never state in the episode whether they officially decide the exocomps are living, but at least he changes Farallon’s mind about treatment.

I honestly don’t have much comments to make on this one, so it’s a very short review.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Naren Shankar
  • Directed by Jonathan Frakes
  • LeVar Burton’s beard was being grown for his wedding so Geordi was able to have one for several episodes.  Apparently the production team figured Geordi was better cleanshaven, but I don’t think it matters either way.

Pros

  • Data characterization
  • The idea of AI developing out of super-learning computers.

Cons:

  • While I love Data, this season has been fairly Data heavy. Could we have some characterization development for another character?

Screencap via CygnusX1.net