Monday, April 18, 2005

Herbs and dresses

There's an episode of Star Trek in which Picard falls in love with a piano playing astrophysicist with pretty hair. Well, it's not so unlikely - there are a few of us around now.
He first meets her in the astrophysics lab. She's working super hard and if anyone comes in and turns on the light their work will be ruined. WTF? No, really, what are they doing that requires them to be in the dark, with no telescope in sight anywhere? They've also taken a bunch of system resources offline - like the replicatorors and other fun things, because they need the energy. Not half as much as the captain needs a cup of tea!
He wanders in to see what it's all about and she yells at him for letting light into the room. Good one - she couldn't at least post a sign? They're all standing around some display or other that apparently couldn't be put into a little black box somewhere safe. When she realizes it's the captain and he wanted tea, she scolds him like a child and tells him to drink herbs instead. Well, he's French, sister! I think he's had enough herbal tisane to know whether he likes it or not! He politely tries it, pulls a face, and wanders out full of lust.
When he goes to Data's violin performance, shock! She's the pianist!
She stuffs up her performance in the Chopin trio and generally waves her hands around incompetantly, and Jean-Luc gallantly congratulates her on her bold decision to play a different chord than the one written in a particular bar. So she follows him around with her hand roll piano showing him how clever she is. We piano playing astrophysicists have a tendency to get obsessed over new boyfriends and boys who like piano playing astrophysicists seem to really enjoy the attention.
He ends up killing her off but it's a good episode because Troi isn't in it much and when she does appear to advise him on the ethics of dating someone at work, she tells him he's sufficiently respected for everyone to be pleased for him.

The hand roll piano is now a reality - I guess trekkies can be inventors. Science fiction is definitely a good source for gadget ideas. Personally, I prefer to use it as inspiration for couture. I just love episodes with Lwaxanna in them - partially because she has a great personality and reminds me of a flamboyant friend of mine (she's 50 but dresses and talks like a spoiled teenager with the confidence and self-knowledge of years) but even just looking at her is a visual feast! The costume designer Robert Blackman has said that there was never a better actor to work with - that she loved the fabulous dresses he made and was an excellent sport about some of the more awkward ones.


Anonymous dave said...

Did you know she (Lwaxanna) was Gene Roddenberry's wife in real life?

Also, notice that the computer voice isn't used AT ALL in the episodes she appears in. That's because she is the computer voice. CRAZINESS!

2:45 am  
Blogger Rocket said...

I know that she was Roddenberry's wife, that she was the hot Nurse, that she was the voice on the computer, that she was in the movie Trekkies, "Oh, Majel, I want to see Majel!!!" and that she's Rod's mum.

I'm not really a fanatic, but I'm certainly an admirer of her elegance and grace.

And she makes a great computer voice.

6:20 pm  

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