Friday, March 17, 2023

Star Trek: Gambit, Part II

Episode: "Gambit, Part II"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 7, Episode 5
Original Air Date: October 18, 1993

via Memory Alpha

Last week's episode continues.  The attack on the Enterprise by the pirate ship was a ruse.  Riker modified the pirate weapons so they wouldn't harm the Enterprise.  Data, currently in command of the flagship, plays along with the game, feigning damage, allowing the pirates to run off believing they've disabled their pursuers.  Picard, meanwhile, discovers what the pirates are after in pilfering Romulan artifacts: an ancient Vulcan weapon.

Interestingly, most critics rate Part I over Part II but I prefer the latter for the simple reason that the acting's better.  There's a lot more Picard and Patrick Stewart spars wonderfully with guest stars Richard Lynch and Robin Curtis.  The secondary narrative tension between Data and Worf is satisfying.  A spin off series with Data as Captain and Worf as First Officer?  I'd be excited for that show.

I'm not such a fan of the ending - too hokey.  It's rock solid Trek but (and) it's hokey.

"Gambit, Part II" includes the most surprising cameo of the NextGen run: NBA superstar James Worthy as the Klingon smuggler Koral.  Worthy, one of the key figures in the Lakers' dynasty of the 1980s and an eventual Hall of Famer, was still an active professional basketball player in 1993.  He met Robert O'Reilly (Gowron) on an airplane and expressed a desire to appear on the show.  O'Reilly encouraged him to meet with the producers.  It takes a big man to make Worf look short.  At 6'9", Worthy towers over the 6'3" Michael Dorn.

Acting Notes

via Wikipedia

Robin Curtis played the role of Tallera/T'Pal, a Vulcan isolationist disguised as a Romulan member of the pirate crew.  The last time I mentioned her on The Squid, Curtis had taken over the role of Saavik in the Star Trek films when Kirstie Allie left.  Curtis was born June 15, 1956 in New York Mills, New York.

Other television work includes Knight Rider, General Hospital and Babylon 5.  Films include Hexed, Ghost Story and Shootdown.  Curtis had a long stage career, including her own one-woman show: Not My Bra, You Don't! - The Sexual Odyssey of a Forty-Nine Year Old Woman

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