Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 2, Episode 11
Original Air Date: March 20, 1989
Captain Picard gets a call from an old friend, Donald Varley (Thalmus Rasulala), captain of the Yamato, the Enterprise's sister ship. A fellow archaeology enthusiast, Varley had been investigating a world rumored to be the home of the legendary Iconians. Two problems: the planet is inconveniently located in the neutral zone, the Yamoto's trespassing drawing the attention of the Romulans, and the ship seems to have picked up a tech virus in the process. The virus destroys the Yamato as the Enterprise bridge crew looks on in horror. Now the same condition has infected the Enterprise.
The story idea came from Beth Woods who was an IT tech at the Star Trek offices at the time. Some of the ideas used are ones we've seen before. The ship being attacked by an abandoned planet is reminiscent of "Arsenal of Freedom." The portal room on the Iconian world is not entirely unlike the one we saw in TOS's "All Our Yesterdays," the penultimate episode of the originals. A quick side note: the latter is an installment I think about a lot. I didn't initially include it on my top 10 list but in hindsight, I might - certainly top 15. It's such a great Spock story.
This episode marks the first time Picard orders his trademark "Tea, Earl Gray, hot" from the replicator, though the machine messes up the order.
|via Good Times Wiki|
Thalmus Rasulala was born Jack Crowder, November 15, 1939 in Miami. He graduated from the University of Redlands in California. He had a long career on both stage and screen. In 1967, he played the role of Cornelius Hackl in an all-black cast of Hello, Dolly!, a production which also featured Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway.
On the big screen, his biggest starring roles were in blaxploitation films of the early '70s: Cool Breeze, Blacula and Willie Dynamite. He also has an assistant director credit for The Slams. On television, he was in the original cast for One Life to Live, then had guest roles on numerous major shows in the '70s and '80s. TNG was not his first gig with Levar Burton. Both were in Roots, Rasulala playing the part of Omoro Kinte, father of Kunta Kinte, Burton's character.
Thalmus Rasulala passed away on October 9, 1991 from a heart attack.