Star Trek: The Next Generation (1990) – Captain’s Holiday, and Tin Man

Captain’s log: stardate 43745.2

Captain’s Holiday is a Picard (Patrick Stewart) story, that lets our captain be a bit of a an action hero.

Originally airing on 2 April, 1990, this episode, written by Ira Steven Behr finds Jean-Luc Picard taking a bit of a holiday on Risa, the pleasure planet after some tough negotiations. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) asks him to pick up a statuette for him, which serves to get Picard some interesting offers from some interested parties.

It doesn’t take long for an adventure to find its way to him in the form of Vash (Jennifer Hetrick), who needs his help in tracking down a dangerous weapon. The pair are being watched by a pair of visitors from the future, who are awaiting the expedition’s outcome, but all the parties involved, including a devious Ferengi named Sovak (Max Grodenchik).

There are some fun comedic elements at work in the episode, and it’s delightful to see Stewart as Picard ‘relaxing’ and embracing the captain’s action hero side.

The episode works incredibly well, is a bit of a different Trek story, and Stewart is obviously having a great time playing to some of his other strengths as an actor. Pairing him with Hetrick’s Vash worked so nicely, that we would see the character return in the future.

Captain’s Holiday made for a nice change of pace for The Next Generation while still being true to the series. After three seasons the show is able to tell different types of stories, and consequently it opens the universe nicely.

TNG3.19Captain'sHoliday

Captain’s log: stardate 43779.3

Dennis Bailey and David Bischoff pen this episode that first aired on 23 April, 1990.

Harry Groener guest stars as Tam Elbrun, a Betazoid, like ship’s counsellor Troi (Marina Sirtis). He’s a mission specialist, with a painful and dark past whose assignment is to communicate with a strange, space-faring life form that is in orbit around a star in Romulan territory.

While Picard and the Enterprise must deal with the Romulan threat, we learn some of Tam’s issues, including the fact that his telepathic abilities were fully formed at birth, as opposed to developing at puberty as it does for most Betazoids.

Tam strikes up an easy relationship with Data (Brent Spiner) one of the only beings he has ever met that he is unable to read.

No one seems to care for Tam, but for Data. He’s caused issues and disasters in previous first contacts, and was in fact a prior patient of Troi’s.

Groener turns in a fine performance, as a pained and troubled being, also of note is a particularly solid score for the episode composed by Jay Chattaway.

I rather like this episode, as, once again, it’s a different sort of Trek story, but it works so well within the Trek universe. Tam’s story is handled nicely, and the pain he suffers from because of his abilities makes the character both empathetic and a bit of a threat. It’s a fine balance that the story works easily.

The Human Adventure continues next week…

tinman

 

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