You Talking Trek to Me?

The Most Toys

The A-Story: Data is taken as a sinister collector’s prize museum piece.

The story of the original Kivas Fajo actor is tragic. Famed British actor David Rappaport had already filmed scenes when he attempted suicide. They let him go and found a replacement, though unfortunately Rappaport died by suicide a few months later.

It’s interesting and disconnecting to see him as Fajo. Part of that is that I’m so use to seeing Fajo as Rubinek that it’s hard to imagine anyone else, but I wonder how the whole episode would have played with Rappaport in the role.

I have the footage of Rappaport as Fajo on my TNG blu-ray’s, but I can’t find it online. If you haven’t seen it, Rappaport definitely has a different vibe than Rubinek. Part of that is that Rappaport was a little person, so there is a physical difference in how he played the role, but I think Rappaport was talented enough to pulled it off.

Having said that, it’s Saul Rubinek that really makes this episode work so well.

Rubinek doesn’t have the menacing voice of Rappaport. He plays Fajo as a someone who just loves his earthly possessions and who enjoys the finer things in life. Just watching a few scenes you would never think Fajo is what he is, but Rubinek does a masterful job of making Fajo someone who is truly frightening. Fajo’s rage is seething under the thin surface, and when he shows his true colors, his cruelty, malice, and disregard for life burst out.

Spiner also does a great job playing off of Rubinek, and their exchanges are the best parts of the episode. In particular, it’s enjoyable watching Spiner continuing to figure out what makes Data’s internal chronometer tick. We know Data has no feelings, but Spiner never played him as completely robotic. It’s in that in between space that I think Spiner really started to find his groove by season 3. Here, Data has no real feelings, yet when Fajo kills his underling, Varia, we see in Spiner’s face something more than the uncaring and unfeeling acts of a robot. Vengeance? Anger?

It’s subtle, but it’s there. (Better in the actual clip then in a screenshot.) Data of course doesn’t pull the trigger, but he probably would have and lies to Riker about it.

Favorite Dialogue:

All of the dialogue between Data and Fajo are great, but it’s the final exchange I enjoyed the most.

FAJO: Oh, have you come to see me to repent? Is this your final satisfaction? Want to see me beg for mercy? You’re not going to get any of that from me.
DATA: I expected nothing.
FAJO: Our roles are reversed, aren’t they, Data? You’re the collector now. Me, I’m in a cage.
DATA: So it seems.
FAJO: Just don’t count me out too quickly. I had you in my collection once. I can have you there again.
DATA: Unlikely, sir. Your collection has been confiscated. All of your stolen possessions are being returned to their rightful owners. You have lost everything you value.
FAJO: It must give you great pleasure.
DATA: No, sir, it does not. I do not feel pleasure. I am only an android.

So what do y’all think?