Was Lwaxana Troi really Star Trek: The Next Generation’s best guest star?

2ND SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS EVENING (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
2ND SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS EVENING (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Lwaxana Troi was a controversial character on Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry played the part of Lwaxana Troi, and it was vastly different than her original run as Nurse Christine Chapel on Star Trek: The Original Series. She was overbearing, demanding, aggressive, flamboyant, and intent on finding love for herself and her daughter.

On the other hand, she had a wonderful sense of humor, loved her daughter immensely, and had a heart of gold. According to Screenrant, “with the possible exception of John de Lancie’s impish entity Q, no other guest star left as integral and consistent a mark on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Lwaxana Troi.”

Lwaxana Troi will always be remembered for her exuberant nature, but, to some, she came across as a bit too much.

Though certainly Lwaxana was an unforgettable role, the character could easily irritate fans (as well as Captain Jean-Luc Picard) who were looking for a more serious episode. And Roddenberry did have a few of those. “Dark Page,” where viewers learn that Counselor Troi had a sister who drowned, was an excellent example of Roddenberry’s range of acting ability, and it let us see into the heart of Lwaxana.

But there were many other guest stars/characters that left a mark on The Next Generation, perhaps even more so than Counselor Troi’s mother. Even some one-off characters packed quite the punch that, while not as funny and light-hearted as Lwaxana, were quite memorable.

Hallie Todd is one of those characters. Playing the role of Lal, Data’s daughter in “Offspring,” Todd brought a sadness to the character that was evident even before she shut down. She wanted to know everything, learn everything, and, in the end, just when she was going to be forced to shut down, her own body turned against her. Todd’s was an unforgettable episode, and though she didn’t return, she still remained in our thoughts.

And then there’s Margot Rose from “The Inner Light.” She portrayed Kamin’s (Patrick Stewart) wife in an alternate reality for Captain PIcard. Rose made viewers believe she believed the story being woven around PIcard. As their lives evolved on Kataan, their love grew, and Rose played it to perfection. Her death scene is still a haunting piece of television. And each time Picard played the flute, we were taken back to his time on the planet and with her.

I think Deanna’s mother was important to the series, but was she (Majel Barrett-Roddenberry) the best guest star? That’s a matter of opinion. Personally, I think there were others that made us cry, made us angry, and made us think. And their roles have had more staying power than that of Lwaxana Troi.

What do you think? Who was the best guest star on Star Trek: The Next Generation?

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