‘THE DAUPHIN’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
I remember this ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode very well from Season 2. This is the episode where Wesley Crusher falls in love for the first time. It’s a pretty sweet episode and it’s decently well-written here.
In this episode, the Enterprise picks up the beautiful Salia, who is to be the future ruler and dauphin (hence the title) of Daled IV. They pick her up from her planet of exile as well as her governess Anya.
Once on board, Wesley meets Salia and instantly becomes smitten with her. During the episode, Wesley plucks up the courage to see Salia and entertain her during her trip on board the Enterprise.
I really like how this episode depicts Wesley falling in love for the first time. He’s clearly never been in love before and he wants to impress Salia when he’s on the Enterprise, saying that she’s ‘perfect’.
Jaime Hubbard as Salia is clearly keen on Wesley too, since she strikes a friendly connection instantly once she meets him. She even asks Captain Picard who the young boy she met was upon her arrival.
In the first half of the episode, Wesley seeks advice from others on how to approach Salia when he first meets her. He even gets advice from Worf, which isn’t the best way considering he is a Klingon.
I liked that scene where Wesley gets advice from Riker and he and Guinan play out a scene where they flatter each other. It’s not up to Wesley’s style, but he soon grasps that he needs to be himself.
That scene where Wesley visits Salia in her quarters and she asks help with the food replicator was sweetly-written. Wesley soon gets Salia a chocolate mousse for her to try out and eat which is nice.
Eventually, Wesley takes Salia to see the holodeck where they witness various worlds that the Enterprise has visited. Salia is gratified on seeing these worlds as she’s never been outside her exile.
As Wesley gets to know Salia, it transpires that she’s meant to rule Daled IV in order to end a civil war between two factions. Salia herself doesn’t want to go, but it is her duty and she has no choice.
Wesley suggests that she remains on the Enterprise since she’s reluctant to go to Daled IV. Salia runs away before Wesley catches up with her. Salia tells him she hasn’t a choice, despite wanting to stay.
Paddi Edwards guest stars as Anya, Salia’s governess. Anya is a formidable person and is very over-protective of her charge. She refuses to permit Salia to have friends as well as a tour about the ship.
Anya takes the tour about the Enterprise in Salia’s place, whilst she remains in her quarters before meeting up with Wesley. It turns out Anya is even over-protective of the Enterprise for Salia’s sake.
This occurs when Anya, escorted by Worf, sees Geordi in Engineering doing some adjustments and she makes some unnecessary criticisms. Geordi reassures her thing are okay, but she’s unconvinced.
Another occurance is when Anya with Worf visits sick bay. Dr. Pulaski treats a patient with a contagious disease and Anya demands that she kill him. Pulaski refuses, so shocked by the demand.
It turns out that Anya is an allasomorph – a shapeshifter – when she transforms into a hideous monster in sick-bay. Worf fights Anya off, before Picard enters and he confines her to her quarters.
Salia is frustrated with Anya for keeping her safe in her quarters when she wants to see Wesley. But Anya is determined to get Salia to Daled IV safely, refusing to let her have any contact with anybody.
I liked the scene where Picard asks Wesley not to see Salia, after learning Anya is a shapeshifter. Wesley reluctantly agrees. It’s so well-performed between Patrick Stewart and Wil Wheaton in this.
But Salia slips out of her quarters without Anya noticing to see Wesley in his quarters. The scene has Salia and Wesley kiss each other in the episode. It was a sweet and tender moment for Wesley here.
However Anya enters in her monstrous form to see Salia and Wesley together. Anya is about to attack, but it transpires Salia is a shapeshifter too. She wards her governess off in Wesley’s quarters.
Wesley’s rather bitter when he finds out that Salia is a shapeshifter and not the girl he thought she was. But he soon forgives Salia, just as she’s about to leave for Daled IV and he says goodbye to her.
I like the scene between Wesley and Guinan towards the end where she comforts him over his emptiness after Salia’s gone. Guinan reassures Wesley that he will have more girls to fall in love with.
Colm Meaney makes an appearance in the episode as Chief O’Brien, but only to transport Salia and Anya up to the Enterprise and to beam Salia down to Daled IV. O’Brien must get more stuff in ‘TNG’!
I have more to say about ‘The Dauphin’, but it’s a lovely character-driven episode about Wesley Crusher falling in love for the first time. I have to say it is one of my favourites from the ‘TNG’ series.
‘The Dauphin’ (TNG) rating – 9/10
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