The Rewatch 107: The Outrageous Okona

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 2.04 The Outrageous Okona (12-12-88)
Rating:   3.5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/3

Notable Guest Stars:
William O. Campbell (Billy Campbell) – Thadiun Okona.  Other roles include Luke Fuller on Dynasty and in the 1991 Disney film Rocketeer.
Douglas Rowe – Debin. He appeared on several TV shows, including E.R.
Rosalind Ingledew – Yanar.  She played on seaQuest DSV as Dr. Wendy Smith.
Kieran Mulroney– Benzan.  He is the younger brother of Dermot Mulroney.  This will not be his last appearance on Star Trek.
Joe Piscoop – The Comic.  He was a comedian often working with SNL.
Teri Hatcher – B.G. Robinson/Transporter Chief.  Yes, Lois Lane was the Transporter chief.

Review:

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The Rewatch 106: Elementary, Dear Data

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 2.03 Elementary, Dear Data (12-05-88)
Rating:   5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/3

Notable Guest Stars:
Daniel Davis – James Moriarty.  Forever Niles Crane to me.
Alan Shearman – Lestrade. He does alot of voice work in the last couple of decades, including Trollhunters, Missing Link and World of Warcraft.
Anne Elizabeth Ramsay – Clancy. She had a role in the TV Show Mad About You.

Review:

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The Rewatch 104: The Child

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 2.01 The Child (11/21/88) (Season Premire)
Rating: 2/5
Redshirt Status: 0 /3

Notable Guest Stars:
 Whoopi Goldberg– Guinan.  She would appear as Guinan several times across the series, and played a major tole in the 1994 film Generations.  If you don’t know who Whoopi Goldberg is, I suggest you share your method of ignoring pop culture.  She is known for many films and tv shows, currently the talk show the View.
Seymour Cassel – Hester Dealt. He was a prolific actor, and even showed up in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
R.J Williams – Ian Andrew Troi. He no longer acts, but instead runs Young Hollywood, an entertainment company.
Colm Meaney – Transporter Chief. Or Miles O’Brien. I’m not really going to point him out much because as far as I am concerned he’s a main character for Star Trek. Same with Whoopi Goldburg. Guinan shows up often enough to be considered a medium character. (There should be a term between major and minor.)
Diana Mulder – Katherine Pulaski. She was a guest star in two TOS episodes, and would remain a main character for season 2.

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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 98: The Arsenal of Freedom

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.21 Arsenal of Freedom (04-11-88)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3

Notable Guest Stars:
Vincent Schiavelli – “The Peddler”. Poor Hologram doesn’t get a name. The Actor though you may recognize from various TV and film productions. He was also a writer.
Marco Rodriguez – Captain Paul Rice. He most recently was seen in Veronica Mars. He will appear a few seasons from now as another character
Vyto Ruginis – Lt. Logan. I recognized him from Angel, but he has appeared in many television series and is still active.

Review:

This episode is probably not the highlight of the first season, but its middle ground in quality. I don’t hate it, nor do I especially love it. The script writer saw it as commentary on the sale of Tom-cats to Iran. I suppose, as I was only a baby at this time that the current event commentaries are a little lost on me. I do see it as a commentary on trying to seek more and more powerful weapons.

This episode does a lot to showcase most of the cast. Wesley for once does not appear on screen so I’m guessing he’s doing normal teenage stuff.

Geordi gets development as we actually see him in command. Usually we don’t see much of his command style, since the story is more focused on the Captain and the others on the away team. But we get to see him dealing with the stress of command. He doesn’t do too badly though he has issues leaving the nerviousness out of his voice at times. I can understand that. (I would not be a good person to put in command of a Starship for that reason and many others)

We get to learn that Beverly grew up on a colony planet that was nearly killed and her grandmother taught her how to use herbs and plants to heal people. This connects to later episodes.

Riker has probably the most interesting tidbit. Deanna was pretty emphatic that the thing that Riker wanted more then anything was to be a Captain. In this episode we learn he turned down the Drake to continue as an XO on the Enterprise. I wonder what she thought about that, considering her deep held belief.

We have a new Chief Engineer (I believe this is #3) named Logan. He’s a Lt. so I’m guessing that Picard is starting to promote from within since they are going through Engineers so fast. Wonder why so many are resigning?

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Maurice Hurley (series producer) and Robert Lewin (Story by Richard Manning and Hans Beimler)
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • Originally this episode was meant to have Crusher admit her feelings for Picard, but Gene Roddenberry objected to writing a love story. Landau suggested the roles be switched (originally Picard was the injured party) to add an element of out-of-place for the characters. I’m not sure I agree with Roddenberry’s objection, but I think Landau had an excellent idea.

Pros:

  • Riker backstory
  • Crusher backstory
  • Geordi development
  • Troi Development
  • I find it interesting that they made a prop out of a shampoo bottle and a pantyhose container. Then again, I believe that Geordi’s viser was designed from two hairbands put together.

Cons:

  • We never found out what happened to the Drake.

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