For the most part, Star Trek the Next Generation didn’t pull in too many guest stars from the original series. But when it did, it often went big.
You know, like Mr. Spock. Jimmy and Tom discuss the first part of Leonard Nimoy’s return to Star Trek television below.
“Unification Part 1”
Picard is charged with finding a missing Federation Ambassador, the renowned Spock, when he is spotted on the Romulan homeworld.
jimmy: I’ll assume from the placard at the beginning that this aired shortly after Roddenberry’s death.
tomk: You are correct.
It also came out about the same time as Star Trek VI. That was the big reason Nimoy agreed to do the show at minimum pay: to help promote the movie.
jimmy: Interesting. I didn’t know that.
And a fitting episode as tribute to Roddenberry.
tomk: What did you know?
jimmy: That this episode inspired the structure of Luke Skywalker’s appearance in The Force Awakens?
tomk: I thought Luke stole it from Obi-Wan in Episode Four.
jimmy: Nah. Obi-Wan was in almost the entire Episode IV.
tomk: But Spock actually talked.
jimmy: That is a difference, yes.
tomk: Like the difference between this jelly donut and this Bavarian cream donut?
jimmy: Yes. One is delicious. The other is ok if it’s the only one left.
tomk: Is that why both are now missing?
jimmy: No comment.
tomk: I mean, one was actually for Watson and was filled with a laxative.
jimmy: …I’ll be right back.
tomk: Good thing he didn’t get to the GAGH! donut.
jimmy: Sounds like Picard would like it.
tomk: He had to tell that Klingon captain something. I mean, that Klingon proved he could dodge wrenches, traffic, and a ball once.
jimmy: Great movie.
tomk: You are good at dodging things, like Spock at the Federation border patrol.
jimmy: He’s not so good at dodging surveillance cameras.
tomk: Unless he wanted to be found.
jimmy: Which he may have. Good call, Tom. Have a fish and chips.
tomk: Is there laxative in it?
jimmy: Indeed, there is not.
tomk: Why thank you then. Here’s a case of beer. I don’t drink.
jimmy: You don’t drink, like Picard doesn’t eat Romulan soup.
tomk: Leaves more for Data.
jimmy: He did seem to strangely enjoy it.
tomk: It only clogs his internal servomechanisms for about a half hour or so.
jimmy: That’s why Picard avoids it.
tomk: He won’t avoid a Klingon cafeteria.
Just Romulan soup.
He probably prefers Romulan ale. Or at least a Romulan root beer float.
jimmy: Certainly not Vulcan mint tea.
tomk: Maybe they should switch to coffee.
jimmy: Mint coffee?
tomk: Whatever floats your boat, man.
jimmy: Well, I don’t like coffee. I’ll just stay off of Romulus.
tomk: That’s smart. You can be on the new spin-off Riker and the Junk Man.
jimmy: I think the Junk Man would prefer Troi.
tomk: Yeah, but it’s Riker’s ship to command now.
jimmy: Riker and JM, cruising the universe, solving junk based mysteries every week.
tomk: With their faithful sidekicks, Jimmy and Lt. Moosely.
jimmy: While they are hunting for junk, we are hunting for sandwiches.
tomk: A club sandwich? BLT? PB&J? The all-illusive hot dog?
jimmy: Whatever we can find. Except for anything GAGH! based. We better stay off Q’onoS as well.
tomk: You mean you’d skip the Quiznos on Q’onos?
jimmy: I’d rather play it safe.
tomk: Too bad. They have an excellent selection of pretzels.
jimmy: Or as the Klingons call them, pretzels.
tomk: Those pretzels are making them thirsty for blood wine.
jimmy: And Gowron was out making a blood wine run, and that’s why he couldn’t call Picard back.
tomk: So, send Klingon Milton instead. Case closed.
jimmy: If only it were that easy. Or Starfleet could, I dunno, get their own cloaked ship.
tomk: Apparently, all the cloaking devices Starfleet has acquired over the years crap out very quickly.
So, is now a good time to point out Nimoy is not the only visible actor in this one who was on the original series?
tomk: The Romulan Senator was played by Malachi Throne. He did some episodes of the original series.
jimmy: Cool. But not as the same character I’m guessing.
tomk: He was also False Face on the Adam West Batman show and the voice of the Judge in the last episode of The New Batman Adventures.
On TOS, he was both a big headed alien in the original pilot and a Starfleet officer in an episode that put Spock on trial.
jimmy: Were there even Romulans on TOS?
They predated the Klingons.
jimmy: I see.
tomk: Klingons became more prominent because they were cheaper and didn’t need a lot of pointy ears.
jimmy: That certainly changed.
tomk: The first TOS episode with the Romulans was called “Balance of Terror” with Mark “Sarek” Lenard as an unnamed Romulan commander. It’s actually a great episode with a lot of tension as Kirk and this Romulan match wits. Plus, since no one has seen a Romulan before, at least one guy was really suspicious of Spock.
I would actually recommend tracking that episode down in general. It opens with a wedding and ends in tragedy.
jimmy: Are you trying to trick me into watching a TOS episode?
Besides that only works with the Gorn judging by your comments in the previous episode.
jimmy: Heh. I have seen them all, but you know my memory. I’m not a huge fan, but I’m sure some episodes have their moments.
jimmy: That one I remember.
All kinds of memorable moments.
tomk: Is Spock’s one line memorable enough, or do you want him to say more?
jimmy: I was just wondering how good of a cliffhanger his one line was? It’s not like it was a big surprise reveal. The search for Spock was the whole basis of the episode.
tomk: You can get whole movies out of a search for Spock.
jimmy: This is true. Or two good episodes of TNG.
tomk: Are you ready for the second?
jimmy: Why not?
tomk: Well, you might have more to say as Ryan makes a dramatic entrance to end the chat.
tomk: Hold on. I found a note. “Indeed. Ryan is not coming, Jimmy Impossible.” Signed by the Moose.
jimmy: One dramatic entrance in this episode is enough.
tomk: Well, how about Spock explain himself?
jimmy: He owes us that much.
tomk: It is only logical that Spock would have a good reason. Shall we find out what it is?
jimmy: Yes. I’m sure it will be fascinating.