ST:TNG Treadmill Review #24: The Defector

The Defector
Season 3 Episode 10
Original airdate: January 1, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

When a Romulan officer defects to the Federation and warns of an impending invasion, Capt. Picard struggles to decide if he is to be believed.

My Brief Review

Welcome to the 1990s!

These Romulan episodes are almost always good. The Romulans are probably my favorite “enemy” alien species in Star Trek. Their ancestral connection to Vulcan, and the extreme contrast between their cultures, is a fascinating contrast. Beyond that, the Romulan characters are always pretty well written and acted. That’s definitely the case here.

James Sloyan (who I recognized in Romulan makeup but could not identify — he’s been in a ton of stuff but I know him best from his recurring character on Murder, She Wrote, as well as from the movie Xanadu) is great as the defector, Admiral Jarok, and we have the excellent Andreas Katsulas back, after just a few episodes (which his character even notes) as Tomalak.

Memorable Moment

The episode begins on the Holodeck, with Data acting out a scene from Shakespeare’s Henry V, and, if you look closely, you’ll notice that one of the holographic commoners is in fact Patrick Stewart in heavy makeup. Picard is watching the scene from a distance and coaching Data on his acting.

Crew Rando

Wes isn’t in this episode, so I was thinking perhaps Crewman Martinez would finally get some more screen time! Of course, I need to pay attention to my rank insignia pips. Crewmen don’t have any. The rando who’s at the helm throughout the episode is an ensign (and of course, a crewman wouldn’t be at the helm anyway). Unfortunately, the ensign isn’t even given a name! IMDb just lists him, uncredited, as “Operations Division Officer.”

Distance Rating: 5K

IMDb score: 8.5/10