Stewart sheds some ‘Inner Light’ on ‘TNG’


Actors Margot Rose and Sir Patrick Stewart and writer Morgan Gendel discuss the episode “Inner Light” during the Creation Entertainment “Star Trek” convention in Las Vegas. In the background, a house band, Sons of Kirk, features actor Gary Graham. (Photo by Dave Mason)

By Fleet Capt. Dave Mason

LAS VEGAS — Sir Patrick Stewart praised “Inner Light” and the collaborative nature of one of the most memorable episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
Stewart talked about the episode in a Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino ballroom, full of thousands of fans. He explained he informally helped the episode’s director by working with the other actors.  In the episode, Stewart’s Capt. Picard is rendered unconscious by an alien probe and lives another man’s life on an alien world.
Margot Rose, the guest-star playing the sudden wife of Capt. Picard on this new planet, added that Stewart was gracious in the manner he offered that help and that the director appreciated the assistance. Likewise, episode writer Morgan Gendel said he appreciated how the producers interpreted his story and the touches they added. Like Stewart, he praised the collaborative nature of TV.
Rose and Gendel shared the stage with Stewart Aug. 5 at the Creation Entertainment “Star Trek” convention.
Several USS Angeles members, including Jackie Freeman, Luis Valentine in his usual Vulcan guise and I attended the convention. Lisa Sobien joined me for evening musical events.
I enjoyed Stewart’s talks at the convention, which marked the 30th anniversary of “The Next Generation.”
During the “Inner Light” panel, Stewart noted he suggested to a producer that his son, Daniel Stewart, who was unable to attend the convention, play his son in the episode. He said he thought his son did a great job.
On Aug. 4, Stewart took the Creation

stage in a solo appearance and told fans he almost didn’t become Professor X.
He explained he had found it challenging to find work because of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” He said TV producers would praise his acting, then tell him they didn’t write a particular role with Capt. Picard in mind.
That led Stewart to reject director Bryan Singer’s initial pitch for him to play Professor X in the “X-Men” franchise. Stewart said he was worried he would become typecast again.
But Stewart said Singer took him to lunch and charmed him. Fans at the convention praised Stewart for his latest portrayal of Professor X in the movie “Logan.”
The convention also featured talks by “Enterprise,” “Voyager,” “Deep Space” and more “Next Generation” actors, as well as original series stars such as William Shatner. Some “Discovery” panels took place earlier, but the most extensive panel on the new “Star Trek” series, premiering Sept. 24 on CBS All Access after the pilot airs on CBS-TV, took place at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
At the Las Vegas con, Jackie was among the fans asking questions of longtime “Star Trek” makeup supervisor Michael Westmore and noted the continued importance of makeup.
Westmore met Jackie previously when he spoke to the USS Angeles at our club’s anniversary meeting in March at member Jeremy Kranz’s home in Northridge.
More about the Las Vegas con, including photos, will appear in the September issue of Angels Flight, which goes out to members. To join the adventure and get the newsletter (plus a chance to hear speakers such as Westmore at our meetings), click on “Join us” above.

Dave Mason

Commanding Officer, USS Angeles NCC-71840