Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 5, Episode 7
Original Air Date: November 4, 1991
|via Memory Alpha|
Ambassador Spock has traveled to Romulus and no one has heard from him since. Worried he has defected, Starfleet sends Picard and Data on a covert mission to find out. Spock's appearance in the very last camera shot of the episode is one of the great character entrances of the franchise.
Leonard Nimoy's appearance was a cross-promotion and as such he was paid barely over scale. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was set to release in December 1991. Nimoy had both acting and writing credits for the film. In a complete coincidence, the episode was only the second to air after the death of Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek's creator. The episode is dedicated to Roddenberry. Interestingly, Papa Gene himself was the strongest advocate for maintaining the distinctions between the original series and NextGen. Nonetheless, it's only fitting that his send-off story should feature Spock, whose Trek tenure goes all the way back to the original pilot.
Roddenberry's passing prompts an obvious question: who was Star Trek's primary shepherd by late 1991? The truth is, Roddenberry hadn't truly been "the boss" for a long time. Though still officially executive producer of NextGen, he hadn't been the primary creative force of the franchise since the mess that was the process of creating the initial motion picture. By the early '90s, the head honcho was Rick Berman.
|via Memory Alpha|
Berman was born December 25, 1945 in New York City. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin as an English and film double major. Before Trek, he was the producer for PBS's children's show The Big Blue Marble. He joined Paramount in 1984 as director of programming, overseeing Cheers and Family Ties among many others.
In 1987, Roddenberry picked Berman and writer Maurice Hurley to help create The Next Generation. By the third season, he was executive producer. He lead Trek until 2005 when Enterprise was cancelled.