Friday, September 23, 2022

Star Trek: Lessons

Episode: "Lessons"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 6, Episode 19
Original Air Date: April 5, 1993

Captain Picard falls in love with Lt. Cmdr. Nella Daren, a new stellar cartographer aboard the Enterprise.  Predictably, the romantic relationship is complicated by the professional one.  

"Lessons" has a lot going for it, including one of the most memorable camera shots of the entire series (see above).  For starters, Picard's love stories are more convincing than anyone else's and all credit to Patrick Stewart for that.  The story also provides a tender follow up to "The Inner Light," one of TNG's finest episodes.  Daren is a concert pianist and encourages Picard in his efforts with the Ressikan flute, which leads to him sharing his experience on Kataan.

Wendy Hughes is well-cast as Daren.  The intention was to provide a love interest closer in age to Picard than Famke Janssen was in "The Perfect Mate."  While this is a welcome choice, it's worth noting that Hughes was still twelve years younger than Patrick Stewart.  I wish they'd let her use her Australian accent for the role.  It creeps out from time to time, which makes it obvious she's covering it.  I think it would have worked better if she'd been allowed to embrace it completely as part of the character.

Acting Notes

Wendy Hughes was born July 29, 1952 in Melbourne.  Originally, she trained as a ballerina but switched to acting, graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney.

Hughes is widely recognized as one of Australia's most important actors.  Her films include Petersen, Happy New Year and Paradise Road.  Television work includes Return to Eden, Homicide: Life on the Street and State Coroner.  She won an Australian Film Institute award in 1983 for Careful, He Might Hear You.  

Hughes was married three times and had two children, one with each of her first two husbands.  She passed away in 2014 from cancer.


  1. I always hoped they would bring back Daren in some way. Never knew about the Australian accent... I'll have to watch for it when this episode is on again!

    1. I've felt the same. It's always sad to see the Daren story end.