Posted by tdmcgee
EPISODE THIRTY-NINE: Metamorphosis
As an episode, Metamorphosis is a fun little examination about the nature of love and affection, between two different species: a man, and an electric cloud thing that loves him and has formed a symbiotic relationship with him. The two finally come together when the cloud merges with a dying woman, thus becoming entirely healed and human, but mortal. They live happily ever after.
But what really excites me about this episode, is that it fits my original hope for this Trek-A-Day experiment wonderfully: the aforementioned man is none other than Zefram Cochrane, inventor of warp drive, otherwise known as:
James “That’ll Do, Pig” Cromwell. Boo-yeah.
I can still remember how excited I was to see Farmer Hoggitt show up in Star Trek: First Contact (I was cool like that) as the drunken, womanizing inventor of warp drive. It’s a fantastic role and Cromwell killed it (as usual), playing Cochrane as a relatably average guy, who just wanted to create warp drive so he could “Retire to a tropical island full of naked women.” I was also psyched to see him return for a cameo in the first episode of Enterprise, giving the show a nice tie into Trek mythology right out of the gate (much needed, given the change in network and “surprise prequel” nature of it). Cochrane is a character I’m quite fond of, and to find (as is so often the case) that he first appeared in the Original Series is quite a treat. Ironically, this is his chronologically final appearance (as he was elderly when he crashed on the planet and has been kept alive for 150 years by the cloud) and he while the characterization is much more proper than the happy-go-lucky Cromwell performance, one can argue that time and age have made him a more somber man. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun to see where the later writers pulled their material from and makes me respect First Contact all the more for it.
Continuity pieces like this have always interested me and I love seeing them come up so often. I have no doubt they will only increase as the mythology grows throughout the seasons and I can’t wait to find more.