Star Trek: The Next Generation (1990) – Reunion, and Future Imperfect

Captain’s log: stardate 44246.3

K’Ehleyr (Suzie Plakson) returns in this episode written by Thomas Perry, Jo Perry, Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga from a story by both Perrys and Drew Deighan.

This is also the second episode of eight that was directed by Jonathan Frakes , who plays Commander Riker.

First airing on 5 November, 1990 we discover a power struggle has erupted in the Klingon Empire with the death of a leader on the Klingon High Council. K’Ehleyr arrives aboard the Enterprise with a surprise for Worf (Michael Dorn) in tow. The two have a son, Alexander Rozhenko (Jon Paul Steuer).

Picard (Patrick Stewart) is asked to arbitrate the shift in power for the Klingons, but, as always, Klingon politics can be brutal, violent, and even deadly. Something that K’Ehleyr discovers all too soon.

Picard must find the responsible party for K’mpec’s (Charles Cooper) murder.

The episode ties in with the theme of family again as Alexander and Worf are inadvertently thrown together as father and son and must find a way to live together.

From a continuity point of view this is the first episode that introduced and named the Klingon weapon known as the bat’leth. It also introduces us to a new and dangerous character, the Klingon Gowron (Robert O’Reilly)and marks the first time the Vor’cha class cruisers are seen on screen.

Sadly, this is the last time K’Ehleyr appears on screen, and with only two episodes she made quite the impact on the fans. Happily Suzie Plakson returns to play other characters in the Trek universe, but K’Ehleyr is the one character that she portrayed in Star Trek that truly resonates.

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Captain’s log: stardate 44286.5

Future Imperfect is a fun episode that first aired on 12 November, 1990. Written by J. Larry Carroll and David Carren.

This, for me, is a great Riker story. The Enterprise is conducting security sweeps of a sector of space when strange readings, possibly Romulan, are being detected from a remote planet. Beaming down to the surface Riker, who has just celebrated his birthday, and his team are overcome by gas. When he wakes, he’s on the Enterprise… 16 years later.

He’s the ship’s captain, he has a son, Jean-Luc (Chris Demetral), and nothing is how he remembers it.

As Riker tries to figure out what has happened in the intervening years he begins to suspect that he is not in the future at all, that events are being manipulated around him. And the one piece of the puzzle that may prove him right is an image of his wife.

It’s a fun look at what the future of the Enterprise, of Starfleet could look like. And while it isn’t ‘real’ it’s definitely cool. I love the subtle changes to the Enterprise and the crew – we finally get to see Geordi (LeVar Burton) without a VISOR, Picard with a goatee.

In the end, the episode ties in to the theme of family (again) as the reveal at the end of the episode reveals what is really going on.

The Human Adventure continues Thursday…

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