Star Trek is all about the future, about looking ahead to a better world, but it’s always important to gaze into the rearview mirror, to reflect on the past and the people, places and things that helped make Star Trek the entertainment and cultural giant it is today. So, each month, StarTrek.com will recount the important and memorable events in Trek-related history that occurred that particular week.
Dey Young is born on this day in 1955. The actress played Hannah Bates in “The Masterpiece Society” episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Arissa in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s “A Simple Investigation” and Keyla in “Two Days and Two Nights,” a first-season installment of Enterprise. She never made it on to Star Trek: Voyager, but Young did appear with Voyager regular Roxann Dawson and guest star Leland Orser in an episode of Lyon’s Den.
Melvin Belli is born on this day in 1907. Belli led a remarkably colorful life and career. He was a lawyer involved in numerous high-profile cases, but none more so than his representation of Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. He also dabbled in acting, often portraying himself, but to Star Trek fans he’s best known for his role as Gorgan, a/k/a “the Friendly Angel,” a non-corporeal being who manipulated the young innocents in the TOS episode “And the Children Shall Lead.” Belli passed away in 1996 at the age of 88.
Wil Wheaton is born on this day in 1972. Wheaton first gained fame with a starring role in the film Stand By Me and he later spent several seasons playing Wesley Crusher on ST:TNG. He continues to act, appearing as (an evil version of) himself on Big Bang Theory, playing the baddie Fawkes on the Internet series The Guild, and guest starring earlier this month in an episode of Eureka. He also runs his own, very popular web site, wilwheaton.net. Wheaton, as many Star Trek aficionados are aware, also provided several background voices heard in J.J. Abram’s Star Trek reboot, and, just last week at Comic-Con in San Diego, he moderated the Big Bang Theory panel.
Carel Struycken is born on this day in 1948. The actor, who stands seven-feet-tall and hails from the Netherlands, is a favorite in sci-fi and fantasy circles. He played Lurch in The Addams Family feature films and counts among his other credits Ewoks: The Battle of Endor, The Witches of Eastwick, Men in Black, Babylon 5, Charmed and a 2010 episode of Cold Case. To Star Trek fans, however, he’ll forever be remembered for his recurring role as Lwaxana Troi’s (Majel Barrett) manservant Mr. Homn on ST:TNG. Struycken also returned to the Star Trek fold for the Voyager episode “The Thaw,” in which he guest starred as Spectre.
Eugene Roche died on this day in 2004 at the age of 75. Roche was a beloved character actor who played the “Ajax Man” in numerous TV commercials and appeared in recurring roles on Webster, All in the Family, Magnum P.I., Soap and Perfect Strangers. Moviegoers will remember him best from Slaughterhouse-Five, and Star Trek fans know him as Jor Brel, empathic leader of the Enaran delegation, in the Voyager episode “Remember.”
France Nuyen is born on this day in 1939. Nuyen, a French actress, has amassed more than 61 film and television credits over the course of her career. She shared the stage with William Shatner in a 1959 Broadway production of The World of Suzie Wong, in which she portrayed the title character. Nearly a decade later, in 1968, she played the title character in the TOS episode “Elaan of Troyius.”
A revised final draft of the TOS episode “The Trouble with Tribbles” is handed in on this day in 1967. The episode, which was penned by David Gerrold and aired during season two, would become one of the most popular hours of the series ever produced.
Paramount Home Entertainment releases "Star Trek: The Next Generation – Jean-Luc Picard Collection" in 2004. As the title suggests, the DVD set gathers together seven Captain Picard-centric episodes, including “The Big Goodbye,” “Sarek,” “Family,” “The Drumhead,” “Darmok,” “The Inner Light” and “Tapestry.”