Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Warp Speed Wednesday. Boldly Going Where No Murderer Has Gone Before.

For this Warp Speed Wednesday post, I'm carrying on where I left off last time

If you're a fan of Star Trek, I highly recommend that you watch the Murder, She Wrote episode  "If the Frame Fits." The role of Binky Holborn is played by John de Lancie, one of my favourite Star Trek: The Next Generation actors. In that same episode, there is an appearance by Norman Lloyd, aka Professor Galen in "The Chase" (S6). A perusal of Lloyd's imdb page shows that he made 2 appearances on MSW.  This overlap is very common as both shows were in production in the late 80s and early 90s and the same character actors pop up on multiple episodes of the shows. 

For instance: James Sloyan appeared on TNG as Admiral Alidar Jarok  on "The Defector," reappeared as K'mtar/Alexander Rozhenko on the "Firstborn," then made two subsequent appearances on Deep Space Nine and Voyager. He appeared in five MSW episodes as Robert Butler (boss of insurance investigator Dennis Stanton), plus showed up earlier in the run in Corned Beef and Carnage and The Body Politic.

( As an aside, the woman in pink is one of JB's 
many, many neices. She's played by 
Genie Francis, Jonathan Frakes' wife)

 During his Denis Stanton appearances, Sloyan shared screen time with Hallie Todd in the role of Stanton's secretary/sidekick Rhoda Markowitz. Todd was also seen on MSW in "Class Act," but to me she is best known as Data's daughter Lal in TNG's "Offspring." 

Mitch Ryan played Wil Riker's dad in "The Icarus Factor." On MSW he played four different roles:

Big Easy Murder (1995) … Senator Brent Renwyck
The List of Yuri Lermentov (1991) … Rep. Arthur Prouty
The Cemetery Vote (1987) … Captain Ernest Lenko 
Capitol Offense (1985) … Ray Dixon

Kyle Riker's former lover, Doctor Pulaski, grumped her way through the entire second season of TNG. On MSW Diane Muldaur was Alexis Post in "Footnote to Murder."

Vice-admiral/Admiral Alynna Nechayev appeared in four TNG episodes. Natalija Nogulich, the actress, was on two MWS episodes (Murder a la Mode and The Classic Murder ).

Timicin, the paramour of Lwaxana Troi in "Half a Life," was played by David Ogden Stiers. He appeared three times with Jessica Fletcher: 

Death by Demographics (1996) … Howard Deems
An Egg to Die For (1994) … Sergei Nemiroff
Corned Beef and Carnage (1986) … Aubrey Thornton
Another well known face for Trekkies is Ray Walston, aka Boothby from "The First Duty." On MSW he was Q. L. Frubson in "The Way to Dusty Death."

Richard Lynch was Baran on TNG's "Gambit: Part 2" and Part 1, which are both wonderful episodes. He also popped up on MSW in "Amsterdam Kill"  and " To the Last Will I Grapple with Thee." Lynch died in 2012, and I found this posthumous article about him very interesting. 

Stanley Kamel is another face you will probably recognize if you (like me) watched a great deal of tv in the 80s and 90s. Three of his appearance are TNG's  "Where No One Has Gone Before" ( as Kosinski), and MSW's "The Family Jewels" and "Weave a Tangled Web." Only upon compiling this list did I realize he was on Monk, where he played Monk's therapist. Kamel was so good in that role. Sadly he has also passed away.

In two early episodes of MSW ("Hit, Run and Homicide" and  "The Murder of Sherlock Holmes: Pilot"), Jessica pals around with a Cabot Cove local named Lois. That actress, Paddie Edwards, showed up on TNG as a shape-shifting bodyguard/nanny on  "The Dauphin."

One of my least favourite TNG episodes is called  "Sub Rosa," it's the story of Beverly Crusher falling in love with a candle that her recently deceased Nanny has bequeathed to her. But it's not a candle. It's an apparatus housing a malevolant alien life form. The alien manifests itself as a hunky, mysterious man named Roninplayed by Duncan Regehrthat no one but Beverly sees. Beverly falls in love with the candle/alien/man and has sex with it/him. In one scene Picard walks in and finds her climaxing all by herself in her dead Nanny's living room. "Awkward" is not  a strong enough term for how I feel about this scenario. Alas, the truth is revealed and Beverly learns that the candle/alien/man is a parasite that has been preying on -- and having sex with -- many generations of women in her family. Ewwwwww.

Regehr also appeared in "Murder, She Wrote: A Story to Die For," a Jessica Fletcher television movie as Yuri Malenkovich. He has a longer story arc on Deep Space Nine, but we'll talk about that another day.

Troi got her own fleeting love interest when Matt McCoy showed up as Devinoni Ral in "The Price." Ral was not a candle nor was he a parasite, but he was slightly nefarious. And handsome. He was in the MSW episode "Mourning Among the Wisteria. "

Are you getting a sense of how overwhelmed I felt with this project? And to think it all started because I saw Levar Burton on Murder She Wrote [Death Takes A Dive]. He was the only principle actor from Star Trek: The Next Generation to appear on MSW. His episode was about boxing and he played an earnest young sports writer. So basically it's the worst episode ever. Okay. That's not true. It's the worst episode if you are ME. 

Mind you: Levar didn't have sex with a candle...maybe I should lighten up. 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Since I am only half way through my list for TNG/MSW, I am going to call it quits. I'll carry on  next week. Or the week after. Or eventually.

Or maybe I'll just quit altogether and just spend my days re-watching this video:


  1. God, I remember the candle/sex episode. I was a big Anne Rice fan at the time and I just kept thinking "holy shit, did they steal the plot of "Lasher" on purpose, or is that just a weird coincidence?"

    These are fascinating even if, like me, you don't watch MSW.

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying them. Thanks. I really needed to hear/read that.

  2. I'm with Hannah: the threads between the shows are fascinating. Overall I'm left marveling at just how much better a fan you are than I am and wondering if I should be watching MSW. :)

    I thought the candle/sex episode was odd, too. It had a different feel than most episodes.

    I really enjoyed that Rocky and Balls MSW song! Lovely harmony; funny, pretty girls; cute, crisp, british enunciation. These are a few of my favorite things. :)

    1. Thank you!

      When MSW first aired it was my Sunday night comfort viewing. I still enjoy it, but it drives my husband batty. He will leave the room if he finds me watching. Which is better than the alternative: him muttering under his breath and scoffing at JB.

      Rocky and Balls -- I love their accents, too! Maybe they will jump start a wider apprecation of MSW.

  3. This is indeed a massive undertaking. Jonathan Frakes is married to Genie Francis? Mind blown. Also, I'm perplexed by the fact that I thought I had seen every TNG episode and I have no recollection of that weird sex candle one at all, although I totally agree with your assessment of it. Also, 'Corned Beef and Carnage' is a great episode title.

    1. It's episode 14 from season 7, so if you subscribe to Netflix you can view the awkwardness yourself. Maybe don't let the kids watch though.

      I agree: Corned Beef and Carnage is a great title.