Friday, November 29, 2019

Star Trek: Haven

Episode: "Haven"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 1, Episode 11
Original Air Date: November 30, 1987

Image result for tng haven
via Memory Alpha

Surprise!  Deanna Troi is to be married.  Her mother, her betrothed and her future in-laws come aboard the Enterprise for the festivities.  None of her colleagues had any idea this arranged marriage was coming and it's instantly clear she's long been dreading it herself.  Good half-Betazoid that she is, Deanna expresses willingness to set aside her own career to meet the obligation.  It helps that Wyatt, her intended, is awfully dreamy.  Unfortunately, he's in love with some girl out of a cheesy music video.

"Haven" gets mixed reviews but it is important long-term for several reasons:
  1. It's a good development episode for Deanna.  For the first time, we get to meet one of the TNG principals' families.  The only family we met with the originals was Spock's and that didn't happen until Season 2.  We learn of her difficult relationship with her mother and her personal dilemma of meeting the contradictory expectations of her chosen career and her culture - not a sci-fi contrivance.  Real people, especially women, face that dilemma every day.
  2. The introduction of an important recurring character: Lwaxana Troi, Deanna's eccentric and overbearing mother.  Lwaxana is performed by our old friend, Majel Barrett, wife of Gene Roddenberry and a Star Trek veteran from the very beginning (see here).  Also introduced is her attendant, the enormous and mostly silent Mr. Homn (Carel Struycken).  As with Q, I find Lwaxana annoying - too much like people I've actually known.  But just as with Q, life is never dull when she's around.
  3. Development of the Troi-Riker relationship, to this point the closest thing to genuine office romance among the TNG principals (the Tasha-Data tryst clearly a one-off).  We know from the first episode that there's a history but details are scarce.  They still are but we see the emotional landscape, ultimately more important.  There was sex.  There are genuine feelings still, likely stronger on his side than hers.  There was a career/relationship choice for him, too, once upon a time and he chose the job.  Being just friends is a challenge - again more for him than for her.  Long-term, it's admirable that they're able to set it all aside in their working relationship.
Always appreciated, genuine comedy:

Acting Notes

Robert Knepper (Wyatt) was born July 8, 1959 in Fremont, Ohio.  He went to Northwestern for college but dropped out to pursue a full-time acting career in New York.  While he does have some film credits, most of his high-profile work has been on television, especially the role of T-Bag on Prison Break.

Image result for robert knepper young
via Wikipedia

Full disclosure... in 2017, five different women came forward with allegations of sexual assault against Knepper.  The incidents cited spanned several decades.  Knepper denied the accusations and nothing has been proven.  I am not going to imply judgment one way or another.  However, this is a reflection of an important reality for TNG, especially as we get towards the end of Season 1: television is a very tough industry for women.  It was in the late '80s and it still is.  Maybe the #MeToo movement has improved the situation or at least brought more awareness.  Regardless, there have long been men willing to take advantage of a perceived difference in status for their own sexual gain.  It's disgusting and it's real.  There are other ways women are marginalized, of course.  Sexual assault is one of the uglier means.


  1. I know him from Prison Break, didn't know about this! Have a lovely weekend ☺

  2. video remind me about the story.

    Happy thanksgiving..

  3. I remember the episode but not the details.
    Not really familiar with the actor and glad of it.

  4. This was one of my least favorite episodes. Knepper was creepy, Lwaxana was irritating. He is always creepy in other tv shows I've seen. In Criminal Minds, he was awful.

    1. I can't say I know his other work. I heard good things about Prison Break but never watched it.

  5. Was always a fan of Lwaxana. She was an early and excellent source of lasting TNG continuity, something that stuck and deserved to. Majel Roddenberry clearly had fun with the role. I found the DS9 appearances better!

    Didn't know about the Knepper accusations. Still fondly remember his slimy T-Bag. Seems almost a template for Game of Thrones.

    1. Yes, I like the actress, too. Her legacy goes back all the way!

  6. Replies
    1. I'm not surprised. This episode aired over 30 years ago...

  7. Oh yes, I enjoyed this episode because of laxwana and loved her Butler guy who never speaks but loves to drink and eat chocolate..I think I remember that correctly. As for the story of the guy and biker chick from the music video...meh. Her hair was so 80s. Interesting about this guy but people make this issue as something new when this is the oldest issue in Hollywood. The casting couch was real and many women used it to get ahead like Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe. In fact when Monroe finally made the big time she was quoted as saying, “Thank God, That’s the last C#*! I have to suck.” Many other women were used and cast aside which is a shame but so typical.

    1. Certainly a memorable line!

      I have no doubt the casting couch stuff still happens and, to be frank, it probably happens in other industries, too. Assault is another shade of evil, though. Again, innocent until proven otherwise but... it's hard not to believe the stories sometimes.