‘THE PERFECT MATE’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This ‘Star Trek’ episode features two actors who would later go on to star in the ‘X-Men’ movie series. That is of course Patrick Stewart and Famke Janssen. I’ll talk more on them when I come to it.
The episode has the Enterprise helping out with ending a centuries-old war between two planets including the Valtese and the Kriosians. The Kriosian ambassador, Tim O’Connor as Briam, is aboard.
Briam has some cargo with him for the peace ceremony. He asks Picard for limited access to the cargo bay containing the cargo to anyone on board the ship. Picard naturally adheres to the request.
The Enterprise then picks up two Ferengi from a ship that blows up in space. These Ferengi are Max Grodénchik as Par Lenor and Michael Snyder as Qol. As per usual, the two Ferengi are up to no good.
Max Grodénchik has appeared in ‘Star Trek’ before, playing a different Ferengi in ‘Captain’s Holiday’. He would later go on to star as Rom, a recurring Ferengi character in the spin-off, ‘Deep Space Nine’.
But like I said, these two Ferengi are up to no good. They have come for the cargo brought aboard the Enterprise by Ambassador Briam. One of the Ferengi, Qol, gets into the cargo bay with the cargo.
This is despite Picard reassuring Ambassador Briam that security would be placed on the cargo bay with the cargo inside. Yeah! The Ferengi get into the cargo bay easily without any guards in the way.
Anyway, an accident occurs caused by the Ferengi and the stasis field is deactivated around Briam’s cargo. Thus is revealed a young and very beautiful Kriosian woman. This is Famke Janssen as Kamala.
Famke Janssen would go on to play Jean Grey in the ‘X-Men’ films alongside Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier. Famke Janssen was a model before she did ‘Star Trek’. This was her second acting job.
It’s ironic to watch this episode and see Patrick Stewart and Famke Janssen work together before they did the ‘X-Men’ films. I’d like to think this is how Xavier formed a close bond with Jean Grey. 😀
Apparently Famke Janssen was offered the role of Jadzia Dax in the ‘DS9’ series but she turned it down before it was taken by Terry Farrell. I’m sure Famke Janssen would’ve been good as Jadzia Dax.
Despite not taking on the role of Jadzia, Famke Janssen’s make-up in the episode for Kamala was later re-used for Jadzia’s Trill make-up in ‘DS9’. It’s a better Trill make-up than the one in ‘The Host’.
Back to the episode, Kamala is revealed to be an empathic metamorph who can sense what males around her desire and react appropriately. So essentially she’s a woman that can be any man’s lover.
If only there were more women like her. 😀 Joking aside, it is an intriguing concept despite being a dated one. Sadly Kamala is brought as a gift in an arranged marriage to the Valtese Chancellor, Alrik.
Thus no one else can have her as a lover whilst she’s aboard the Enterprise. This makes things difficult for the people she interacts with. This includes Riker, some miners in Ten Forward and Worf.
I think this episode would’ve worked better in ‘The Original Series’ compared to ‘TNG’. Imagine how Captain Kirk would’ve handled the situation. He’d make love to Kamala in an instant, wouldn’t he? 😀
Picard handles it differently though as he tries to resist falling in love with Kamala when he’s in contact with her. But it’s not so easy, since Kamala is easy on the eye and seems intellectual as he is.
I did like the scenes Picard has with Beverly in the episode, before and after he deals with Kamala and tries to resist the feelings he has for her. Picard needed a shoulder to cry on and Beverly gave it.
Picard soon conducts the ceremony to form the marriage between Kamala and her husband to be Alrik. This is when Ambassador Briam is knocked out unconscious, caused by the Ferengi bribing him.
Mickey Cottrell guest stars as Alrik, the Valtese Chancellor who’s to be married to Kamala. Alrik is more interested in trade business than in the marriage to Kamala. Can this marriage ever be saved?
The episode ends on a rather sad note since Picard has to watch Kamala and Alrik marry each other, despite the close relationship they’ve had. I believe Patrick Stewart gives his best performance here.
‘The Perfect Mate’ is an enjoyable little episode. It’s not groundbreaking and the concepts in it wouldn’t be done as compared to today. But I did like Patrick Stewart and Famke Janssen in this one.
‘The Perfect Mate’ (TNG) rating – 7/10
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