Friday, May 22, 2020

Star Trek: The Dauphin

Episode: "The Dauphin"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 2, Episode 10
Original Air Date: February 20, 1989

Image result for dauphin star trek
via Memory Alpha

Wesley falls in love.  The Enterprise is transporting what appears to be a young woman to a world where she is to become their new leader.  I say appears because as it transpires, she and her escort are shapeshifters.  Troubling for young Master Crusher, he doesn't learn of this talent until after he's smooched her and thus feels betrayed by the revelation.

My wife's reaction: "Boys are stupid."

It's a Wesley story so one naturally approaches with apprehension.  However, I didn't think it was so bad.  In truth, it's more the sort of narrative I would want Trek to have for him: awkward teenager, hold the wunderkind.  The writing isn't exactly sparkling but there have definitely been less stellar episodes so far in the second season.

Along the way, there is good development for others as Wes seeks advice from his friends.  Worf's recounting of Klingon courtship rituals is wonderful.  The flirtation demonstration between Riker and Guinan is also memorable.  Whoopi Goldberg gets to flex her comedy muscles with a sharp "Shut up, kid" when the young ensign interrupts.  The prominence of chocolate was much appreciated, too.

Acting Notes

Image result for paddi edwards
via Memory Alpha

Paddi Edwards played the role of Anya, the escort to Salia (Jaime Hubbard), the Dauphin herself.  Ms. Edwards was born Particia Mary Ursula Edwards, March 8, 1931 in Bristol, UK.  Her family moved to the United States when she was a child.  She grew up in Waban, Massachusetts and she became a naturalized citizen in 1952.  

Most of her work was in television, mostly guest roles.  In addition to Trek, she made appearances on Night Court, Murder, She Wrote and Murphy Brown among others.  If anything, she had a more successful voiceover career.  She was the voice of Gozer in the original Ghostbusters film.  Later in life, she caught on with Disney, voicing characters in such blockbusters as The Little Mermaid and Hercules.

Edwards died of respiratory failure in 1999.


  1. Good episode. The producers really could have screwed up TNG had they pursued the kids on the Enterprise anymore than they did.
    I always understood Starfleet was not a military organization, but on a ship going out into unknown territory having families aboard was just a bad idea.

    1. It's an interesting point. Clearly, building the world aboard the Enterprise was a high priority for TNG and the presence of families was an important element. As you say, the sensibility is highly questionable but given the long terms of the missions, perhaps essential to getting people to sign up? I'm currently reading a book revolving around 19th century maritime life, mostly mercantile rather than military. Those voyages could last year, too. Families stayed home.

  2. I vaguely remember this episode. Wasn't the escort a bit overprotective?

  3. Another one I don't remember.
    I'm not sure how I feel about the shapeshifting thing.
    I can see both sides.

    1. Shapeshifters... a recurring Trek theme from the very beginning.