Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in syndication on this day -- September 28 – in 1987. So, here we are: the 25th anniversary of the series that captured lightning in a bottle… again. Events of all kinds have been occurring in the Star Trek universe, from the release of TNG Blu-rays to a handful of full-cast convention appearances. StarTrek.com thought it’d be revealing, informative and entertaining to reach out to as many full-time first-season TNG actors as we could corral and ask each of them to answer six questions. Today, in part five of our cast interview, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Denise Crosby and Jonathan Frakes answer the question “Which TNG episode are you proudest to be associated with – and why?” – and we invite you to check out a very special “Happy Birthday, TNG” video featuring several Trek celebrities and lots of Star Trek fans.
Enjoy the video, and here are the actors’ replies to the question, “Which TNG episode are you proudest of – and why?”
Michael Dorn: My favorite episodes happen to be the ones Jonathan Frakes directed, “The Drumhead” and “The Offspring.” “The Drumhead” has the one of the best ending scenes I think has ever been filmed. It's simple, dramatic, heartfelt and illuminating all at the same time. Did I tell you that I was in the scene??
Denise Crosby: I love “Yesterday’s Enterprise” for the quality of the writing. I also think some of the first episodes in the first season are pretty special, as it was all so new then and no one had become jaded. Also, if you look closely, we’re all kind of dorky learning how to embody theses characters in a make-believe universe!
Wil Wheaton: We did some really awful episodes in the beginning, but “Angel One,” “The Last Outpost,” and “Code of Honor” are outweighed by “Tapestry,” “The Inner Light,” “Darmok,” and others. For me, personally, I loved being in “Final Mission,” “The First Duty,” and “The Best of Both Worlds 1 & 2.” Those are all great examples of timeless, classic science-fiction that can be enjoyed purely as entertainment, or as something deeper, if you want to look at them that way.
Gates McFadden: Any episode where I was allowed to be a little more creative than usual, like the comedic parts of “The Big Goodbye,” “Data's Day,” “Attached” and, of course, “Genesis.” “Genesis” was my favorite episode of all on TNG. I had been begging to direct an episode since season one and my chance to collaborate with Michael Westmore on “Genesis” was the best. He should have won an Emmy for his work in that. It was brilliant. I also got to direct one of my favorite scenes with one of my favorite cast members… Spot. That moment when he is behind the couch? I’ve never seen any cat play it so fierce, yet understated.
Jonathan Frakes: The first, obviously, was the one where I finally was able to direct, and that was “The Offspring,” when Data built Lal. But I think the best TV we did was the “Best of Both Worlds” two-parter, with the cliffhanger between seasons. I think that was just awesome television.
Marina Sirtis: I’m really proud of “Face of the Enemy,” which was the one where I was a Romulan. That’s when they lost the big hair and the glamour makeup and the skintight spacesuit and put me into something that was really unattractive. They seemed to go, “Oh, wow, yeah, we hired her because she’s an actress.” From then on, it seemed that my part got much better in terms of a variety of things. She wasn’t just decorative. She wasn’t just this nice, understanding person who was there to help everyone out when they had a problem. You saw different sides of her and, like I said, I think that episode of opened a lot of different boxes in the writers’ head. Another episode I was really proud of was “Violations,” the rape episode. I was really glad that we broached the subject and dealt with it in sci-fi terms.
Visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow, as the TNG cast discusses whether or not they actually call Patrick Stewart "Sir Patrick." And click HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE to read the first four parts of our cast interview.