Contemplating the 'Next Generation'


* Well, that was certainly a brief glimpse of the legendary Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" last week. Are you ready for a fuller appearance in tonight's conclusion of the two-part "Unification" episode? (It's at 9, WBFF-Channel 45.)


In time-honored TV tradition, the much ballyhooed appearance of Nimoy -- in the role he made famous on the original "Star Trek" TV and movie series -- was just a teaser in Part One.

Oh, the show was all about Spock, who violated Federation rules to visit the planet Romulus. But we saw maybe 15 seconds of him at the very end, not counting the preview plugs for tonight's conclusion. (Actually, the show was pretty well done, despite the unfulfilled plugs.)


But true to this series' tradition of setting new TV trends, viewers should know this episodic sequence also has an unusual connection to the upcoming movie, "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." Can anyone remember when a TV series preceded the release of a film with story-related material?

The developments of "Unification" reportedly follow and help explain some of the action due in the movie, scheduled for release Dec. 6.

Confused? Remember: "The Next Generation" supposedly takes place in the distant future of the "Star Trek" movies. Thus, in the TV series developments unfolding tonight, part of Spock's past is still to be seen in the movie.

Got it?

* In a reverse kind of TV/movie connection, CBS is saying that tonight's screening of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (at the unusual time of 8:45 p.m., Channel 11) will include footage that was not seen in the film during its theatrical run.

* Another TV tradition already much in evidence this season -- the old birthing babies scenario -- gets a double workout tonight on ABC's "Full House" (8 o'clock, Channel 13).

Rebecca (Lori Loughlin) produces twins in an hourlong episode, the milestone 100th installment of the show, which features flashback highlights of previous seasons.

And here's a related trivia pause, in deference to last week's passing of actor Fred MacMurray: Triplets were once born on one well-remembered old sitcom. Do you remember?


The on-screen mother was Tina Cole, who was Katie in "My Three Sons" (married to Robbie, played by one-time Mouseketeer Don Grady).

* He's been among the biggest surprise stars of the last couple seasons, but youthful actor Jaleel White has a chance tonight to shake the nerdy image of his character Steve Urkel, of ABC's "Family Matters" (seen Fridays at 8 p.m., Channel 13).)

White is a scheduled guest of Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" (at 11:35 p.m., Channel 2). Previous talk show outings have revealed a serious performer at sharp contrast with the "Urkster" persona that has pretty much taken over the family series.