Friday, August 27, 2021

Star Trek: Redemption II

Episode: "Redemption II"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 5, Episode 1
Original Air Date: September 23, 1991

via Memory Alpha

The season-bridging story concludes.  The Duras family has the upper hand in their effort to usurp Gowron for the throne.  But the Federation, through some neat trickery by Data, exposes the Durases' Romulan backing, thus undermining the entire scheme.  

Many critics prefer Part II to Part I.  The Data story is an interesting one.  Picard, reluctantly, grants him temporary command of a Federation ship for the mission.  Data's first officer is not exactly thrilled with serving under an android.  The prejudice narrative plays out predictably but effectively.  It's a meaningful B plot, though structurally the episode has more of an A1-A2 form.  Interestingly, Michael Dorn (Worf) felt that the Data story was more deserving of its own episode and I agree.  I still think "Redemption II" is on the short list of best so far but I prefer Part I. 

Right, the Sela/Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) story.  Interesting.  But I think it's fair to say that it promised more than it delivered - in the end, little more than a gimmick.

Next week's, however, may be the greatest Star Trek episode of them all...

Acting Notes

via Wiki 24

Tony Todd played the part of Kurn, Worf's brother.  Todd was born December 4, 1954 in Washington, DC.  He studied at the University of Connecticut, the Eugene O'Neill National Actors Theatre Institute and the Trinity Repertory Company.  This is his third of four appearances as Kurn, third of six Trek appearances overall.

Big screen credits include Platoon and the Candyman and Final Destination franchises.  Beyond Trek, television appearances include a recurring role on Boston Public plus guest appearances on 24, Law & Order and The X-Files.


  1. Strangely the whole “Redemption” sequence I have fairly dim memories about. I’ll have to do a rewatch.

    1. So I did a rewatch of this yesterday. The story lands between Picard (the whole Sela set-up was revisited in Nemesis, which I’m a big fan of and therefore feel confident in saying did it better), Worf (the ostensible lead, getting the title redemption, though all three are redeemed; Picard’s decision in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” proving Tasha really did die the hero, even past his expectations, with all the greater tragedy, an arc I think the writers decided to revisit with Ro Laren, not incoincidentally introduced soon after), and Data (the last episode of the series to tackle his unique standing in Starfleet; you can really see that the point of the episode was a cleaning of the slate of the series to this point with its three most important characters).

    2. To clarify: I like this episode. I prefer Part I.

  2. Picard's line, "'I was only following orders' has been used to justify too many tragedies in our history." is among the most poignant of the episode, and the series itself.

    1. Agreed. Interesting, too, in that historically the argument has more often been used to condemn. In this case, it was used to absolve.

  3. Don't know if you ever heard of the Star Trek fan-based production called "Axanar" but Tony Todd played an important admiral in the 30-minute prelude. The prelude was structured like a historical documentary with an actual movie to follow, until the Axanar people got sued by Paramount Studios.
    The whole story revolved around the four year war with the Klingons taking place before Kirk's Enterprise.

    1. I learned of it while researching Todd's career for this post. I've never seen it but I'm curious.