Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 3, Episode 20
Original Air Date: April 23, 1990
|via Memory Alpha|
The Enterprise welcomes the Betazoid Tam Elbrum (Harry Groener) aboard. Elbrum is highly telepathic, even by Betazoid standards. Together, our friends investigate a bio ship life form currently hanging out near a star about to go supernova. Complicating matters further, the Romulans get involved.
"Tin Man" isn't in the top tier for Season 3 but it has strong moments, enough to warrant an Emmy nomination for Visual Effects. Groener is good: highly annoying from the get go, though undoubtedly intentionally. We gain greater sympathy for him over time. The ending is surprisingly touching, including some meaningful new awareness for Data. Plus, of course, I'm a sucker for any and all Wizard of Oz allusions.
Groener was born September 10, 1951 in Augsburg, Germany, both of his parents accomplished musicians. His family emigrated to the United States when he was two years old. He apprenticed with the San Francisco Ballet as a teenager then studied drama at the University of Washington.
His musical theater credentials are impressive, including three Tony nominations for Oklahoma!, Cats (he was the original Munkustrap, the narrator) and Crazy for You. His best known television role was Mayor Wilkins in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was also a regular on Dear John and made two appearances as the Secretary of Agriculture on The West Wing. This is his first of four Trek appearances.