About The Show
The Christa receives a distress signal while Harlan and Radu are alone in the ComPost. They take it upon themselves to offer assistance to the unidentified alien ship, identifying themselves as the Captain and First Officer of the Christa. When the alien pilot emerges from the airlock, the crays!iscovers that she is a lizard-like Spung.
Goddard consents to help the Spung girl, whose name is Elmira, but they must keep a close watch on her, because Spung cannot be trusted. Radu is particularly suspicious of her, because the Spung enslaved the Andromedans. This sparks conflict between Radu and Harlan. Harlan hates Radu because Andromedans killed his father, but does not blame Elmira for what the Spung did to the Andromedans.
Elmira works on repairing her equipment. In exchange for the crew's help, she offers to use her "talent" to predict their futures. She makes predictions for several members of the crew, and some of them are pretty grim. The predictions begin to come true almost immediately.
Harlan begins to worry that Radu may be right, that Elmira may be a threat, and his concerns appear to be valid. When Elmira is left alone for a moment, and we see her receive a message from Spung Warlord Shank.
Elmira predicts that the white circle will appear, to take the crew "back to where this all began."
Davenport pretends to be a ghost to fulfill her projection in a manner under her own control. When the others go to the ComPost to investigate her behavior, Radu is left alone with Elmira.
Elmira predicts that Radu will be a great hero. She also tells Radu that Harlan doesn't hate him, but fears him because Radu challenges all of Harlan's preconceptions. And she points out that Radu feels the same way about her.
Just as Radu is beginning to soften towards Elmira, Warlord Shank appears in his killcruiser, threatening to destroy the Christa. At first, Radu thinks that Elmira has been deceiving them all along, but she persuades him that Shank is after her. Radu helps Elmira escape.
The killcruiser begins firing on the Christa, when the white circle appears. Elmira tells the Christa to dive for it while she distracts the killcruiser.
The Christa goes through the white circle, and does indeed return to "where it all began": the position where the white circle dropped them off the first time. They must begin their journey home all over again.
Goddard: (after Harlan introduces him as the ship's cook): Would you excuse us a moment? Something's burning. Cook stuff,
Elmira: Harlan Band doesn't hate you, Radu. He's afraid of you.
The name "Spung" was coined by Bill Mumy, which was derived from a nonsense-sound nickname, "Spungy" which he called his son, Seth (an actor in his own right, featured in the film "Three Wishes.") As for the dreaded Warlord Shank, I lifted his name off "lamb shank" as featured on a Passover plate (the same source I used for an assortment of villains in the Star Trek novel, "Imzadi.")
The main reason we picked Katie for the role of "Elmira" was that she was the only actress we read for the role who could take Elmira's predictions and make them sound mysterious and interesting rather than, well...kinda goofy. And the predictions were obviously key to the episode. However, they were also deceptively worded, because although the predictions for Bova and Rosie came true during the episode, the rest were not realized until subsequent episodes. For instance, although the "Catalina disappears" prediction *could* have been fulfilled in "Heart," we were really hedging our bets because we were concerned that we were going to be losing Jewel Staite to the Disney series "Fast Forward" (as indeed we did) and the line about her disappearing was really geared towards removing her from the show entirely. The line about Davenport haunting the walls of the ship foreshadowed "Break on Through to the Other Side." We actually wrote a line into "Break on Through" in which the crew comments that Elmira had foreseen it, but it was cut by Nickelodeon who stated that it would confuse fans who hadn't seen "Heart." As for the Radu prediction, it was more of a long-term prediction as to his final fate, but we've yet to be able to tell that story.
Warlord Shank originally was only a voice over in the script, and was originally recorded as such. However, when we cast George Takei for Shank's major appearance ("On the Road to Find Out") George was gracious enough to film Shank's cameo for "Heart," and the episode was re-cut to incorporate George's footage. There's an-in joke reference during that scene where Harlan endeavors to bluff Shank using, basically, the Corbomite maneuver strategy from the original Star Trek series. Shank doesn't fall for it. The irony is that the line was written before George was cast as Shank, so it acquired an additional humorous resonance. After all, there's no way Harlan could possibly fool "Mr. Sulu" with a stunt pulled by Captain Kirk. There was supposed to be CGI behind Shank to render the interior of a Spung vessel, but we were so tight on deadline that there was no time, so Shank simply has a blank screen behind him. Doesn't look particularly fancy, but hey, at least we got a cameo with George Takei.
The sequence where Elmira kisses Radu good-bye was the first time Kristian was kissed on camera. He didn't seem to mind.
Elmira's make-up was an ongoing discovery process. We quickly decided to utilize Katie's own abundant red hair and design the headpiece so that it could be threaded through and seen. We also experimented with the notion of using contact lenses to give her an even more lizard-like appearance. Katie was a trouper as several different lenses were tried, but the bottom line was that she had such lovely eyes, and the lenses were so painful, that we abandoned the idea. Also, Elmira's tail and "bustle" were redesigned for her next appearance to give her a more svelte and streamlined appearance.
All in all, a satisfactory introduction of the series' major villains.
Episode Details provided by Tracey Rich.