Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993) – Dark Page, and Attached

Captain’s log: stardate 47254,1

Airing on 1 November, 1993, this episode sees the return of Deanna Troi’s (Marina Sirtis) mother, Lwaxanna (Majel Barrett) returns for another visit, and also features an appearance by a young Kirsten Dunst as a young telepathic alien named Hedril.

Written by Hilary J. Bader, the story gives a little more depth to Lwaxanna than we have seen before when she experiences a breakdown of her mental abilities which causes a collapse into a coma.

The only one who may be able to reach her, via her abilities, is Deanna, but what if her mother doesn’t want the help? What if there is a secret she’s been trying to keep?

Deanna explores the mind of her mother, trying to restore her, and her mother does everything to keep her daughter out by conjuring images of Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart), wolves, and even Deanna’s father, Ian Andrew Troi (Amick Byram) – the first time we’ve seen him in the series.

There is a dark memory deep in Lwaxanna’s psyche that has haunted her for years, and is making her sicker by the day. But perhaps Deanna will be able to help her mother, and restore the woman’s self.

It’s a poignant episode, and gives both Sirtis and Barrett some great scenes to work their way through, and if you’re caught up in the story, it will definitely cause a tear or two. While not the greatest episode, it does give both characters some long overdue emotional layers that both actors are up for.

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Captain’s log: stardate 47304.2

Jonathan Frakes directs this episode that was written by Nicholas Sagan. It first aired on 8 November, 1993.

Picard and Crusher (Gates McFadden) are the centre of this story, that sees the Enterprise arriving at a planet Kespryt III to assist in welcoming part of the population to the Federation. Unfortunately, things go sideways as the entire population doesn’t want to join up, and the pair are imprisoned.

After escaping, they realise that they are somehow now connected mentally, and begin to learn a number of personal things about one another even as they try to effect their escape and return to the ship.

Back on the Enterprise, Riker (Frakes), Troi, Worf (Michael Dorn) and Data (Brent Spiner) are working with some of the planet’s leaders to try to recover their crew mates, even as the representatives behave erratically.

This episode plays into the idea of the pair of them developing a relationship, something that will play out for the rest of the season (and has always been a wonderful pairing), and it’s a lot of fun to watching the pair play together.

The Human Adventure continues Thursday as I return to Deep Space Nine…

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