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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with ...
Season 3, Episode 20
- The Enterprise is set to make first contact with a space entity called Tin Man and takes aboard first contact specialist and telepath extraordinaire Tam Elbrun.
- Tam Elbrun is the focus of the episode. He's a Betazoid with extraordinary telepathic abilities of prodigy level where he was born with them active and they never turn off. He's an expert in first contact but is also know for being involved in The Ghorusda Disaster where many Star Fleet members were killed in an misunderstanding.
- Troi also plays a strong role here as she knew tam from when she studied psychology on Bezatoid when Tam was a patient; Data also plays a key role as Tam enjoys getting the opportunity to 'getting to know' instead of telepathically learning everything about him.
- This is one of the few TNG episodes that I remember by title, but in an odd way as I never understood why they call the space creature Tin Man and keep thinking the title refers to Tam as he feels much more the focus to me.
- I also remember how much tension there is around Tam, and how uncomfortable both he and the crew seem around him.
- They certainly seem to run into, or at least mean to run into the USS Hood. This episode they actually meet them to pick up Tam but back in 3.18 Allegiance they were suppose to but never met up with them.
- I remember feeling a little impatient with Tam's impatience, how he answers peoples unasked questions and he jumps ahead of others things without filling poeple in. But on this watch I was more sympathetic to the strain of not only the continual barrage of voices but also being known for being involved with Ghorusda Disaster and have all that questioning and anger directed towards him that although is unsaid, he can pick up on.
- I couldn't quite place where I recognized Harry Groener (who plays Tam) from as I know I've first seen him in this episode. BUT he goes on to play The Mayor in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- I still don't understand why they called Tin Man, Tin Man. It's a space creature, and not made of Tin and who knows if it has gender at all.
- I thought the friendship that Data and Tam have is quite sweet, and how interesting it is that Tam starts off by saying that because he didn't sense Data it was like he wasn't even there. And it's amazing that even though Tam can't sense Data, he often understands him and is more congenial with him than almost anyone else (except Troi).
- I had forgotten about The Romulans trying to reach Tin Man, and couldn't quite figure out if Tin Man was in Romulan space, or Federation space.
- "Beautiful creatures, the Chandrans. Their minds are glacial. They have a lovely three-day ritual for saying 'hello'." - Tam Elbrun
- "Being first at any cost is not always the point." - Picard
- "Having to get to know someone - just once - has its appeal." - Tam Elbrun
When Tam goeas aboard Tin Man the barrage of voices he receives telepathically are gone and he and Tin Man heal each others wounds finding that they are now where they both belong. Data returns to The Enterprise and says he knows that this is where he belongs.
Images Source: TrekCore