Star Trek: The Next Generation (1991) – In Theory, and Redemption

Captain’s log: stardate 44932.3

Patrick Stewart directs this Data (Brent Spiner) story that was written by Joe Menosky and Ronald D. Moore. It first aired on 3 June, 1991.

While investigating a dark matter nebula, another crew member, Lt. Jenna D’Sora (Michele Scarabelli)  becomes infatuates with the most emotionally unavailable man ever, the android, Data. Unable to receive advice from any of his crew mates, Data decides to pursue a romantic relationship with Jenna.

While strange things are occurring with the proximity of the dark matter nebula, Data and Jenna’s relationship plays out against the stars.

Stewart does a very nice job with his direction, and Spiner gets a moment to shine in an episode perfectly tailored to him and his performance of the beloved android.

It also explores the ins and outs of a relationship, as viewed through a Trek lens. There are funny and poignant moments, and a number of us can see ourselves in the story.

I also love the fact that Picard (Stewart) gets a chance to do some piloting and leads the Enterprise out of danger.

This is actually a great little episode, it’s enjoyable, well-written, and as dire as some of the moments may be with the dark matter, it actually plays as a quieter episode, a bit of a respite before we dive into the final episode of the season…


Captain’s log: stardate 44995.3

Season Four of The Next Generation came to its climactic conclusion on 17 June, 1991 with this cliffhanger episode, written by Ronald D. Moore, that took us into a Klingon civil war.

As events escalate within the Klingon Empire around the installation of Gowron (Robert O’Reilly) as the new head of their ruling Council, Worf (Michael Dorn) and Picard discuss the need for the return of Worf’s family honour.

Worf is faced with a challenge of whether or not he can continue to serve on the Enterprise, especially when Gowron comes to them asking for help to prevent war.

The Duras sisters, Lursa (Barbara March) and B’Etor (Gwynyth Walsh) make an appearance making their own claim on the council, but there is suspicion that the Romulans are behind their move, in an attempt to sow discord amongst the Klingons and seize control themselves.

Worf’s brother, Kurn (Tony Todd) also returns, and we get our biggest look into their culture yet.

And by the episode’s cliffhanger ending, we are awarded a stunning reveal, that of the Romulan Sela who is machinating events… and she looks just like the late Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby).

This is a fantastic episode, engaging, lets us wonder about the fate of Worf… is he leaving the Enterprise for good to serve in the Empire during a time of war (he resigns his commission when Picard orders him back to the Enterprise)? Who the hell is Sela? and why does she look like Yar?

We, original viewers, had to wait a few months until September, but now, the resolution is only moments away as the Human Adventure continues Thursday…


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