Friday, April 14, 2023

Star Trek: Dark Page

Episode: "Dark Page"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 7, Episode 7
Original Air Date: November 1, 1993

Lwaxana Troi is visiting the Enterprise, this time as a teacher for the Cairn, a race who has until recently only communicated telepathically.  They wish to learn to speak with an eye towards eventually joining the Federation and who better to help than everyone's favorite telepathic busy body?  Lwaxana is her usual overbearing self but something is clearly wrong.  She keeps breaking down in tears and eventually slips into a coma.  It turns out, she has a dark secret she's kept buried for years.

Lwaxana Troi is an excellent lesson in how much more appealing a character becomes with increased vulnerability.  Generally, I find her intolerable but in this and DS9's "The Forsaken," she becomes more relatable.  Especially in "Dark Page," NextGen gets real.  The loss of a child is serious pain, science fiction or not.  Who wouldn't feel more sympathy for her, knowing what she has endured?  This is her last TNG appearance.

The episode is also fondly remembered for featuring an eleven-year-old Kirsten Dunst in a guest-starring role.  Her big career breakthrough in Interview with the Vampire was still a year away.

Acting Notes

Norman Large played the role of Maques, the leader of the Cairn delegation, one of several Star Trek appearances as various characters in three different series.  Large was born September 18, 1951 in Barrington, Rhode Island.  He is a trained opera singer with an M.A. from the Manhattan School of Music.  

Films include Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Titan A.E.  Television credits include appearances on Quantum Leap, Veronica Mars and NYPD Blue.

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