Friday, August 6, 2021

Star Trek: The Mind's Eye

Episode: "The Mind's Eye"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 4, Episode 24
Original Air Date: May 27, 1991

via Wikipedia

La Forge is kidnapped by Romulans who condition him to assassinate a Klingon Governor.  "The Mind's Eye" is Star Trek's take on The Manchurian Candidate, specifically the 1962 film based on the Richard Condon novel of the same name.  Geordi is the protagonist Raymond character played by Laurence Harvey in the film.  Data is Marco, the Frank Sinatra character, while Klingon Ambassador Kell (Larry Dobkin) is the Eleanor counterpart, played by Angela Lansbury in the movie.

The adaptation works well and it's a satisfying Geordi story.  Actually, with the Klingon involvement, there's some good Worf material, too, and there's also an early glimpse of the season-bridging story arc.  David Livingston, in his Trek directorial debut, was a huge fan of The Manchurian Candidate and had even hoped to get an original cast member to make a cameo.  Unfortunately, that didn't work out but anyone who knows the film would recognize the parallels immediately:

Acting Notes

via Mayberry Wiki

Lawrence Dobkin was born September 16, 1919 in New York City.  His career spanned seven decades, long enough to include the Golden Age of Radio and a late '90s video game (Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear).  He started in radio to help pay his tuition at Yale School of Drama then served in a radio propaganda unit while in the US Army in World War II.  

In network radio, he found good roles in the detective shows: Ellery Queen in The Adventures of Ellery Queen and Archie Goodwin in The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe.  He got into TV in 1946 and over the years had numerous credits as both actor and director.  In fact, most importantly for Trek, he directed the original series episode "Charlie X."  As an actor, he made guest appearances on many shows over different eras, including I Love Lucy, The Streets of San Francisco and Night Court.  Big screen work includes The Day the Earth Stood Still, North by Northwest and Patton.

Dobkin died of heart failure in 2002.


  1. I’m partial to the Denzel Washington version.

    1. So, so much so. It’s the last time I really liked Meryl Streep, too.

    2. I am a great admirer, though I can't say I've seen too many of her more recent films. I'd say Into the Woods is my favorite of her 21st century films.

  2. Great story concept but I do not think the episode time limit did it justice. I'm not a producer but to me this story could have been a full-length movie.

    1. Time management is an under-appreciated art in television. That's what I have always admired most about Seinfeld. How did they fit so much story into a 22-minute episode, week after week?

  3. Of course I saw the parallels to the classic 1962 film. I love that film and Angela Landsbury is just so evil and creepy as the mom who screwed up her son royally. Geordi was good in this and such a shame couldn't find anyone from the original film to be in this episode.

  4. Eleanor is wonderful. It's a good movie for Frank, too. Laurence Harvey is a sad story - never quite lived up to the early promise. Died of cancer at 45.