Friday, April 1, 2022

Star Trek: Relics

Episode: "Relics"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 6, Episode 4
Original Air Date: October 12, 1992

The Enterprise crew discover Montgomery Scott, of all people, stranded in a transporter beam for 75 years.  It's Barclay's worst nightmare!  Unfortunately, excited as we all are to see him, our old friend Scotty grates on poor Geordi while trying to make himself "useful" in engineering.  The early parts of the episode can be difficult to watch as we observe the older engineer's struggles to adjust.

Then comes "the scene", one of NextGen's great knockouts.  Through the magic of the holodeck, Scotty visits the bridge of the Enterprise - his Enterprise.  The sights and the sounds are all perfect.  It's a melancholy moment for Scotty but 100% lovely for the rest of us.  The TNG creators had long fought against the idea of any sort of reprisal of the original series and reasonably so: they wanted the new characters to stand on their own.  Having accomplished that, they became more open to these sorts of homages.  Spock's appearance in Season 5 was the first crack in the wall.  As special as that felt, Scotty on the Bridge is better, a wonderful reminder of where we started and how far we have come.  Even knowing it's coming, I can't help tearing up with the first late '60s ping.

The challenges of aging have provided thematic material for Star Trek from the beginning, clearly important to the original creator, Gene Roddenberry.  Generally speaking, I'd say such stories are not among the franchise's strongest.  But this one works.  Perhaps it's because we know and love Scotty.  We remember the energy and inventiveness he brought in his prime.  We take his decline personally.  And we take satisfaction in the warmth he enjoys in the end.

And that Aldebaran whiskey certainly intrigues - "It is green."

Acting Notes

Erick Weiss plays the role of Ensign Kane, the crewman who shows Scotty to his guest quarters.  Weiss was born February 25, 1959 in Syracuse, New York.  "Relics" was his second appearance as Kane.  Later, he appeared in DS9's "Paradise."  Beyond Trek, he made guest appearances on Murder, She Wrote, Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 among other shows.  Film credits include Mannequin: On the Move, Younger and Younger and Betrayal of the Dove.


  1. I really like this episode and was so sad to see Scotty feeling...useless when he was one of such importance. It reminds all of us that, even if we could go back, it may not be the best thing to do.