This episode is especially poignant in light of the recent passing of René Auberjonois, who displayed his perpetual mastery of the character Odo in this two-part story.
Season 3 opened with this episode after giving us our first glimpse of the mysterious and intimidating Jem’Hadar in the closing episode of the previous season. Here we are introduced to a new hairstyle for Dax, the station making preparations to repel a Dominion attack if necessary, and what would become a permanent fixture for the station and the series……
the USS Defiant. And no sooner does it arrive than we see the crew point it toward the Gamma Quadrant and search for the Founders, leaders of the Dominion. What we learn about them will change the life of one member of the crew in ways that continue to reverberate through the final episode of the series.
Missed a few days up updates here on the site, so I’ll get everyone caught up here, then post today’s Advent Calendar image separately.
This phase of the calendar takes us into what many people consider their favorite Trek series. Continuing and evolving storylines, deeper character conflict, a religious component largely absent before this point and a new adversary for the Federation in the form of three different alien species that threatened the entirety of the Alpha Quadrant.
With the Star Trek TNG episodes finished, today’s TrekAdvent caps it off with the first motion picture for the crew of the Enterprise-D. Data gets emotional, Kirk crosses a bridge too far and nobody can decide what uniform they’re supposed to wear! In fact, Jonathan Frakes wore Avery Brooks’ actual uniform costume during filming. Luckily, the new uniforms the filmmakers originally intended to use made it to the toy line before they were dropped, so I managed to get all seven figures wearing them.
The series that brought Star Trek back into the heart of modern culture came to an end with this feature-length story. It brought their story to a close while showing us a possible future for the crew, and taking them back to where their journey began.
A new day, a new #StarTrek#TrekAdvent. It’s Indiana Picard as the Captain goes undercover with a group of mercenaries to find ancient artifacts with a mysterious purpose. Picard and Riker having an adventure is fun, but watching Data yell at Worf is better.
As an interesting additional tidbit, according to Memory Alpha, this two-part episode is the first canon confirmation that Vulcan was one of the founding planets of the Federation.
Getting an early start to Sunday with #TrekAdvent with a Star Trek cliffhanger that dropped my jaw as a child.
Vicious Borg were scary enough, but to realize who was leading them at the same moment Picard figured it out blew my young mind. And Data with emotion? Seeing him reacquire that chip opened a door to a world of possibilities for the character. (Personally I don’t think they ever really walked through it, but that’s another story.)
Perhaps my favorite moment happened behind the scenes; Stephen Hawking appeared as himself in the episode’s teaser. While on the set he visited the bridge and sat in the captain’s chair, and made it to Engineering to look at the Warp Core. While looking at it he reassured everyone “I’m working on that.”
In the 80s and 90s it always stuck out to me the number of action heroes with the first name John. They were everywhere! For years I wondered what it would look like if they all got put together in one movie. So recently I did a search for “movie characters named John” and found quite a list. Many of them were little-known characters or otherwise unremarkable for this concept, but I managed to find more than enough to put together an Expendables-style cast of Johns. Sure, there’s a villain or two. Sure there are a few less notable examples included. But overall…..I think I’d watch this movie.
If for no other reason than being able to see three Arnolds on screen as three different characters.
Two Enterprise officers searching for their fathers. One chases a bird into his own dreams, the other chases a rumor to a Romulan prison camp. Neither find what they were expecting.
This Trek Advent two-part episode also gave us a delightful glimpse of TNG characters interacting with people and places from DS9. Geordi and Worf sharing lunch on the Promenade, Picard and Beverly having a walk and hearing Picard direct the turbolift to “Ops”, and Bashir sneaking into sickbay on the Enterprise to borrow their scanning equipment. In fact Bashir was not originally meant to be in that scene, but rather Jadzia Dax. However filming of the DS9 episode “Move Along Home” prevented her from appearing, and allowed Alexander Siddig to replace her as Bashir’s disappearance in “Move Along Home” meant he was needed there less and thus had the time to appear.
The #TrekAdvent for today is one of the most gripping #StarTrek TNG stories there is. A covert mission. A new Captain of the Enterprise. A Cardassian jailer, and one of the most memorable questions in the history of Trek.
“How many lights do you see?”
In preparation for the episode, Patrick Stewart was provided tapes from Amnesty International which he reviewed as a way to inform his performance during the torture scenes. He filmed the initial scene, of being suspended by the wrists, fully nude on a closed set.
As an additional note; the torture/interrogation storyline was influenced heavily by the 1991 film Closet Land by writer/director Radha Bharadwaj. This is an outstanding film starring Madeleine Stowe and Alan Rickman, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Sorry it’s late in the day, but I hope today’s Trek Advent is worth the wait. This was the image that started the entire project for me.
Found beneath San Francisco in the 24th Century, Mark Twain’s watch opened a delightful Star Trek: The Next Generation time-travel story. It also inspired actor Jerry Hardin, who portrayed Twain in this two-part episode, to develop and perform a one-man play about the legendary author.