‘Lower Decks’ Teased And Improvised, “Spock’s Brain” Rebooted, And More From Star Trek: The Cruise Day 3

Day 3 of Star Trek: The Cruise VII was full of unique activities, making it hard to choose between them. The day kicked off with Star Trek’s Walter Koenig, who came down off the stage to get questions straight from the audience. The original Chekov spoke with good humor about the unique circumstances that went into creating TOS and the rest of the Star Trek franchise with a keen appreciation for how much the Hollywood TV industry has changed around him.

Walter Koenig at STTC7

Walter Koenig expressing his gratitude for the fans

Lower Decks! Lower Decks! Lower Decks!

The highlight of the day was a Star Trek: Lower Decks panel held in the Royal Theater (the ship’s biggest venue) featuring stars Tawny Newsome (Mariner), Eugene Cordero (Rutherford), and Gabrielle Ruiz (T’Lyn). The Q&A covered their careers in and out of Star Trek, along with some teasing of the upcoming fifth season of the series. When the panel was asked if there were any legacy characters they would like their characters to interact with, Newsome said:

Tawny Newsome: We got some cool ones coming up in season 5. We got some cool stuff.

Gabrielle Ruiz, who had earlier noted she has been reading books by Leonard Nimoy to become a better Vulcan, said she would like to a chance for T’Lyn to meet the original Vulcan:

Gabrielle Ruiz: I would definitely love to go to planet Vulcan, for sure. Maybe have some holodeck moments with Spock… Like she gets some inspiration from him, some knowledge, some big learning moment for her.

One thing Newsome didn’t seem interested in was portraying Mirror Mariner:

Tawny Newsome: I have such like mixed love/hate feelings for Mirror Universe episodes. I love them because Star Trek is so wholesome. It’s such competency porn. Everyone is so good at their job. I feel like the mirror episodes was an opportunity to let off some steam… like my favorite is Intendant Kira. With our show, we’re good at our job, but the whole premise is we’re not always that good and we’re kind of scruffy and kind of messed up. So the mirror thing doesn’t doesn’t play as hard against what we’re doing. I don’t know, maybe we just have to be like, boring and unfunny?

Eugene Cordero: Yeah, we just talk much slower.

A fan asked Cordero about the naming of Rutherford’s homemade ship Sampaguita (the national flower of the Philippines), and the actor talked about what it meant to him for the character to reflect his own cultural background:

Eugene Cordero: It came from the writers and Mike [McMahan], but I couldn’t have been more excited on that day that I saw it. Because it’s crazy that we get that representation now… Anytime there’s those moments where Mike and everybody just lean into it and let you be who you are—real talk, it’s not something everybody knows and not something that everybody wants to just bring in there. And just having the representation there and having the support there, just doing it is awesome.

There was a lot of talk about the craft of voicing on Lower Decks and the importance of improvisation, as many in the cast have an improv background. They even did a little improv scene. Referring back to when Tawny said she thought it was funny how much Mariner hates outpost scientists, a fan suggested the actors do a scene set at a science outpost.

Tawny first set the scene: “We’re out an outpost station. We are studying some plants and they are eating the atmosphere and all the villagers are going to die.” Then they improvised…

Mariner: Oh these creepy outpost scientists. They never do anything right.

Rutherford: Hey, is everybody here going to be okay?

T’Lyn:  Curious. I detect they will all die.

Lower Decks STTC7 Panel

Tawny Newsome, Gabrielle Ruiz, and Eugene Cordero, hosted by Robb Pearlman

And for even more laughs, later in the day Newsome and Cordero performed an improv show titled “Twovix: A Joined-At-The-Hip Improv Show.” While many improv formats call for the audience to shout out random situations and concepts and force the performers to create comedic situations out of that verbal mishmash, “Twovix” featured Tawny inviting volunteers up to the stage for a chat about their lives back home. From those stories, Newsome and Cordero would stitch together jabs and gags based on details from the volunteer’s stories placed in different contexts. Watching Eugene Cordero pretend to be a FedEx driver delivering a load of wooden teddy bears, it’s easy to see how these are the perfect actors for Lower Decks.

Tawny Newsome and Eugene Cordero do improv

Tawny and Eugene perform “Twovix”

“Spock’s Brain” rebooted

There was plenty of comedic room for actors from other Trek series as well. One of STTC’s traditions is to have a live script reading of a well-known episode featuring current actors doing their impressions of previous actors. The episodes chosen are typically ones that were never particularly well-received. This evening’s episode was season 3’s “Spock’s Brain.” Without needing to worry about sullying one of TOS’s crown jewels, the STTC VII cast tore into it with Todd Stashwick playing Kirk, Robert Picardo as Spock, Doug Jones as Sulu, Denise Crosby as Uhura, Wil Wheaton as McCoy, Gabrielle Ruiz as Kara, and action narrated by Nana Visitor.

Although ostensibly a read-through of the script, there was considerable use of actual props and makeshift costuming, all of which seemed to be assembled from whatever the actors had been able to fit into their suitcases. The Trek actors put their own comedic spin on the story and ad-libbed on occasion. They also picked up on some of the moments that appear sexist almost 60 years later with the actors adding some pantomime to the more suggestive bits of dialogue, making this live reading an ideal late-night show. In a line that should become a fan meme, Todd Stashwick said “Allow me to Kirksplain.”

Spock's Brain Script Reading

The best version of “Spock’s Brain” ever

Observation Lounge hosts quiet events with a great view

On Deck 14, the highest passenger deck on the ship, sits “The Observation Lounge,” a small gathering area set apart from major foot traffic, surrounded by glass to give its crowd a great view of the ship’s voyage. It’s known for being an ideal place to read a book or have a pleasant chat while you enjoy coffee or a cocktail. On Day 3, The Observation Lounge was the venue of choice for a book club hosted by Robb Pearlman, in which Pearlman led a discussion of “Shadows Have Offended” by Cassandra Rose Clarke. This rolled into an impromptu writing workshop, where curious fans discussed story-building concepts.

Rob Pearlman at STTC7

Robb Pearlman leads a book club

Ed Speleers showed up next, bringing a “From the Roddenberry Archives” tote containing screen-used props from Star Trek: Picard, including his phaser. Speleers talked about how excited he was to get to use it on the show, and admired the level of detail in its construction, though he politely declined requests to pass it around the room. When asked about the future of Jack Crusher and his phaser, Speleers had little to say directly, as no future series with his character is in production. What he did say was:

“I’ve been doing a lot of that this week: unabashed plugging for Star Trek: Legacy!”

Ed Speelers with Phaser

Ed Speleers brags about getting a phaser of his own from the prop department

Heading into the evening hours, John de Lancie gave fans something to look forward to later in the week. Hosting an event called “The Story of Curtis Through a Personal Lens,” John revealed how the Curtis Institute of Music has been a huge factor in his upbringing, and he wants to share the story of the Institute with the world, starting with Star Trek: The Cruise VII. In a few days, de Lancie will have another event featuring an original composition titled “Darmok and Jalad” by Curtis Institute Dean Nick DiBerardino. De Lancie also claims to have a copy of a previously unreleased Gene Roddenberry speech from 1971 to be revealed on the same night.

John De Lancie at STTC7

John de Lancie at teases the upcoming musical “Darmok and Jalad”

Keep cruisin’ with TrekMovie

Check out cruise logs for Day 1 and Day 2. TrekMovie is also providing updates on Star Trek: The Cruise VII on Twitter and Threads.


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That reading of “Spock’s Brain” sounds like a total blast. Wish I’d been there for it.

That Spock’s Brain but sounds hysterical! And to see so many actors across all the generations involved portraying the TOS characters sounds amazing lol. Would love for that to leak on YouTube haha.

And LDS sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. T’Lyn meeting Spock would be amazing. Someone get Ethan Peck on LDS pronto.

If T’Lyn meetings holo-Spock, then Boilmer and she need to have a serious geek session about Spock LOL

Lol exactly! I would love to just see T’Lyn in live action. The character is such a treat and it would be fun to see her and Spock interact.

Yeah that would be so cool. I wasn’t sure about animation meets live action at first but last season totally convinced me!

I’d love to see a video of the Spock’s Brain skit…lol

This is how Trek comedy should be done — as skits and plays at conventions, off Broadway and community theater (great example: I saw the funny NYC production last May) and on cruises and other special events. This is where all trek comedic organized productions should take place – as non canon, parody special productions for the fans.

Where the franchise has erred here in this regard was in creating a sitcom cartoon that has been stipulated to be canon. All the comedy stuff that works for some fans on LDS would have been much better placed on non-canon Trek cruises, plays, and special events. That’s what should have happened instead of this well meaning, but mistaken idea of a having a cartoon sitcom series that the studio has insisted is canon.

Well said.

Didn’t you hear? These cruises are canon…

Lol. I like it !!!

But man, you would go crazy if they were wouldn’t you? I tried…

Yeah, think of a Scanners-like head explosion and you never hear from me again. ;-)

Seriously, I am pleasantly surprised by several people coming out in support of my comment here. I suspect that there a quite a few fans who feel this way, but who are reticent to speak out on their opinions’ given the level of worship of LDS here from about a dozen very loud and repetitive fans.

Personally I don’t think it’s misguided to have made LDS canon, simply because my definition of canon isn’t as strict as yours. The general ideas are canon, not every single minute detail, like the width of the character’s necks or the silly humor… But that’s just my opinion and since you feel canon applies to everything, the point you’re making above makes sense based on that premise.

If LDS doesn’t comport with your notion of Trek canon then you shouldn’t accept it as such, but I honestly don’t understand why that designation on the part of the rights-holders would matter at all in terms of your attitude towards a show you might otherwise enjoy. Does it really matter whether LDS is ‘canon’ or not, when “Spock’s Brain” most certainly is?

Yup, totally agree with you.

If Wil rose to De’s level on delivery for several key McCoy lines in SPOCK’S BRAIN — you all know which ones! — that part of this boat ride will well and truly be a night to remember.

“Call Chekov and have him send me down my stomach” would be weirdly appropriate for a cruise ship.

Boat ride… a night to remember… are we playing connect the dots?

It’s the only movie about the Titanic I’ve ever seen from beginning to end, though I used to own the ViewMaster of THE TIME TUNNEL pilot ep set largely aboard that vessel (the text accompanying the VM slides actually indicates specifically that Doug and Tony make it home at the end after a short detour to the Jurassic or Cretaceous era.)

I remember watching night to remember on TV way back… I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. Just as the ship was about to go under my mother told me it was time for bed and carried me away crying. I so much wanted to see the ending. Never got to see it again.

Doug and Tony travel the millennia without ever having to wash their clothes, get a haircut, eat or sleep, etc. Even so, it’s probably the best of the Irwin Allen shows. No wonder it only lasted one year.

What’s weird about A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is that there’s no indication in it that the ship broke in half before sinking, which we know it did. (Nor is there a hint of it in the Arthur Clarke novel “Imperial Earth,” which takes place on America’s Quincentennial and has a scene where the dredged hull of the Titantic is sitting in the Smithsonian.) Since there were still plenty of survivors of the disaster when ANTR was made who had presumably told their stories, I’ve always wondered about that pretty big omission.

Do you know if the Clifton Webb/Barbara Stanwyck TITANIC, also from the 50s, makes the same m00istake about the ship not breaking in two? (that one doesn’t have Honor Blackman in it, so I’ve never had any significant reason to check it out.)

Not even knowing of the existence of that film until this moment, I would have to say no. 😝 Ms. Blackman would be a good reason to check out anything.

My favourite Bond girl from my favourite Bond movie. What a name she had too. Still blushing just thinking about it. Probably can’t even write it here without setting off the filter…

I have kind of always thought of her as the first (and very nearly only) Bond Woman rather than girl. One of the rare cases where when I read Bond novels I see the actress from the film rather than what is described on paper.

Interesting that you would mention that. The last scene I remember from the movie before my mother took me away was the water coming over the deck at the stern of the ship, but the ship was still upright, as if it was sinking evenly down. Still not sure if that’s just the result of over 50 years of memory erosion or if it’s a corroboration of what you’re saying, that they never showed the ship braking in half.

No, it doesn’t, trust me. 😊 There’s a shot, deliberately re-created in Cameron’s film as a tribute, of the traumatized White Star executive sitting in a lifeboat while the Titantic angles-up behind him before taking its final plunge. In TITANIC the ship splits in two shortly thereafter due to stresses the hull was never designed for, but it never happens in A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. Maybe that was due to the limited visual effects technology of the era; I have no idea.

Cecil B. DeMille built a pharaoh’s palace in 1956. It’s disappointing that they couldn’t break a model in half in 1958…

It’s not the breakage, it’s doing it convincingly in miniature without CGI or even modern model making technology. Not as easy as it sounds.

You can’t miniaturize water droplets, that’s the real problem. Though some people at O’Connor FX (Insurrection, STARSHIP TROOPERS) came up with some kind of chemical solution around the turn of the century, which was too late because everybody was going to CG.

Definitely. I think I’d read somewhere that the chemical worked by lowering the surface tension of water, but it came too late for a lot of films. THE ENEMY BELOW, inspiration for “Balance of Terror,” is a pretty good movie, but totally breaks down visually with the unconvincing destroyer/sub collision at the end.

I didn’t see THE ENEMY BELOW until a few years ago (pandemic time i think), and it was because I had seen that terrible collision shot, repurposed for a VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA episode and it was so bad I figured it would ruin the rest of the movie. It didn’t — not quite anyway — but that’s only because I’d steeled myself against movies being ruined by a bad fx shot at the end after AIR FORCE ONE and remembering how a whole revival house of film fans lost their shit during the hippity-hopping reveal of the martians in QUATERMASS AND THE PIT.

Regarding the O’Connors … I don’t recall them doing a lot of interviews, but they were very good at pyro and related matters, and I think are instrumental in causing the ship stuff in TROOPERS to turn out so well. I talked to them about how they contributed to late-in-the-game saves for INSURRECTION when some practical/physical solutions had to be implemented to fix the all-CGI approach and turn things around with virtually no time at all. Usually when I pop INS in, it is to watch the big blowup at the end (though I do sometimes watch the Stewart/Zerbe faceoff in midfilm too, as a reminder that the film could have been better.)

Sort of like your attitude towards THE FINAL FRONTIER, I’ve never been especially down on INSURRECTION, thinking of it as a somewhat okay TNG episode expanded to feature length. You can only go so wrong with F. Murray Abraham and another fine Goldsmith score, though I’m guessing I would have preferred Michael Piller’s original take on “Heart of Darkness” to what we got after Patrick Stewart started throwing his weight around.

Just OT I saw the previews for the FX remake of SHOGUN yesterday and have to say that it looks really spectacular — more like a Kurasowa film than the original miniseries that ran on NBC in 1980. The James Clavell novel was one of my favorite reads and re-reads when I was in my twenties — he’s no wordsmith, but he’s a great storyteller — the epic sweep being almost science-fictional in depicting the huge gulf between the conflicting worldviews, lifestyles, and customs of the era. But I never much cared for the miniseries, in spite of the picture-perfect casting of Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune, mostly due to the decision to drop most of the Japanese political intrigue on the assumption that American audiences wouldn’t sit still for it. That issue seems to have been solved with this version, in spades. I may have to at least temporarily add Hulu to my current subscriptions, and die the Samurai death of a thousand financial cuts.

Hulu has some great TV backlist stuff, like MOONLIGHTING, PICKET FENCES and NYPD BLUE, we added it as a package deal when we had to have Disney for an article i was doing, and now we really only want Hulu and have practically no use for Disney (esp since the latter seems to have removed a ton of original programming that was of mild interest, like the Goldblum show.) ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING is surprisingly fun too, and they seem to do at least one episode a year that is a bit off-concept and daring, too.

I remember being hooked on the 1980 SHOGUN right away, but having to miss most of the last part due to a work schedule change. Am pretty sure that except for THE TOWERING INFERNO, this is the only thing I’ve ever seen Richard Chamberlain in besides his TWIN PEAKS season3 cameo. By the time I got home, it was the last 10 minutes and I was not thrilled with the outcome. Never tried a rewatch, though often wondered if casting Sallah in RAIDERS had to have happened on account of John Rhys-Davies getting cast in this.

I usually like when TREK spends time on somewhat irrelevant stuff that is character-based (the ‘tap-dancing’ Harve Bennett often referred to), but in INS that aspect seems pushed in a way that didn’t engage me, and it seemed at odds with the general thrust of the film. I still probably rewatch it more than any of the other TNG films (except the first reel of GEN, which I’ve seen a ton of times.) I remember thinking that the ‘english tar’ bit in the shuttlecraft chase should have been made to work somehow as a parallel to the ‘my rifle, pony and me’ song in RIO BRAVO, something that bolstered the team feeling, but it felt gimmicky. And having the crew fight off hyperactive badminton birdies for what seemed like half the film just seemed ludicrous and anti-dramatic, sort of like if Kirk had a fistfight with Billy Crystal. As you say, the PIller iterations all sounded like they would have been far more successful dramatically.

“. . . sort of like if Kirk had a fistfight with Billy Crystal.” LOL, see, that’s why you’re the writer. Though it might be even better to have Kirk duke it out with “Bob,” the ventriloquists’ dummy Crystal co-starred with on ‘Soap.’

How’s this for being in that ballpark? I wrote and came pretty close to doing a second Bond parody in 79, that I called MoonRiver in dishonor of the about-to-release MOONRAKER. Since MAGIC had come out a year or so before, I had Bond interrogate a ventriloquist, who is resistant to talking until Bond starts slapping the guy’s dummy around. I also had a nod to SUPERMAN. Bond is equipped with James West style pop-out fans inside his sleeves, so as to keep cool and collected at all times, according to Q. But when he gets thrown out of a copter, he uses the fans as makeshift wings.

I had space shuttles free-fall dogfighting to the song ‘afternoon delight’ and a guy I had known in highschool had done a gorgeous job on the big Revell shuttle model — he’d even painted all the instrument panels on the interior, so I could get pretty close and it still looked good. What I found looked very good — and played VERY funny — was that if you turned the camera sideways and filmed while tossing a smaller shuttle model in an arc, it would look like the shuttle was making a u-turn. I only ever shot a long trailer for it — including Bond racing through the CBS television city building in L.A., confronting the main villain on his space station (the Bonaventure Hotel seen IN THE LINE OF FIRE and BUCK ROGERS) and shooting it out with a baddie in front of the Bank of America building in San Fran — and am still amazed we got away with doing as much stuff out in the world as we did.

That sounds like something I’d want to see. I hope you kept that stuff for posterity, if only to show your children or young relatives. FX dude Mike Jitlov finally got his independent project THE WIZARD OF SPEED AND TIME (which had the the only other appearance of “Gamesters of Triskelion”s Angelique Pettyjohn I’ve ever seen) done in ‘83, but I thought his best stop-motion work was for the short he did for Disney and some aborted experiments that never went anywhere.

An internet acquaintance thinks I should fix up all my remaining films and let him digitize them at the SanFran archive place he sometimes works. There’s nobody to show them to, but it’d be nice to have to not worry about maintaining the film after all these years.

I think Angelique has a very brief appearance in REPO MAN as one of the repo wives.

I actually duped off a VHS copy of WIZARD from the laserdisc over 30 years back, but don’t know what happened to it, just recall it was full of all sorts of inventiveness.

Have always wanted to see a Neil Young movie that Mike Minor worked on called HUMAN HIGHWAY because it is full of in-camera magic too.

Jitlov was the original scary ‘clicker guy’ in GHOST but his back gave out partway through production … he was basically ‘performing’ in stop-motion mode, pixilation, which is an insanely strenuous thing to try and do.

I agree with Tawney about Mirror. I mean I think I get why previous shows did it. TOS had it because obv it was just a one off thing never really meant to go anywhere. I always felt that DS9 did it partially to have fun but also to get the characters and story away from the war. ENT did it in S4 when practically the entire season was setting up TOS while they still could. I enjoyed each in their own way but I think it’s time to let Mirror go now unless they can come up with something great.

I agree with Newsome as well but I would be curious to see how McMahan handled it.

I actually learned literally yesterday with Enterprise they were thinking about doing a full season of the MU if it got a fifth season, but decided against it. I really liked it in fourth season but that would’ve been overkill.

Agreed. DS9 made it fun with 3 eps and ENT with 2. But 20+eps of the MU? I mean frankly they are not just that interesting and designed to be 2 dimensional characters. It’s was fun for a bit to see evil versions of our heroes but been there. Maybe a 2 parter in S5 of ENT showing Hoshi taking over the Empire might have been fin but def not a season. It should always have been the Romilan Wars with the United Earth Space Probe Agency as a precursor to the Federation following the series finale speech.

There’s a whole episode on Steve Shives’ YouTube channel about whether the Trek franchise has gone to the ‘Mirror’ well too often. He comes to your conclusion, as do I.

This sounds very cool. Maybe the best Trek cruise ever? I don’t know, but I am sure the Trek fans onboard had a great time.

Side-note: one of the coolest things about Picard Season 3 was Jack’s phaser, and that he got to keep it once he became a Starfleet crew member. A little detail, but extremely cool.

Maybe I am biased about this since I wrote a Star Trek fan-fic 25 years ago that featured a character that had a similar phaser he got to keep.

It sounds like one of the best cruises. Wish I was there!

Why would he want to keep that hunk of junk? Worf’s phaser was the only one that ever worked.

Sentimentality, maybe? But you mentioned Worf, which is precedent for a Starfleet crew member to use a personal weapon among their Starfleet-issued gear, such as Worf’s mek’leth in the movie First Contact.

Jack probably used that TOS phaser many times while on the run. In fact, we saw a brief image in the first episode of Picard Season 3 of that TOS phaser taken apart. Perhaps Jack modded and improved it somehow, perhaps better than the current Starfleet phasers. Either way, it just looks cool. Just like Worf’s phaser hidden in the hilt of his new sword.

 I think he did a little too much LDS.

With respect to Spock’s brain powering a whole planet, since I’m grasping at straws right now … I just went onto sora’s ai page and looked at it for the first time. Then I sent a link to my wife in the other room. Our heads are hurting. It’s like they didn’t just solve most of the tech/aesthetics issues, they have reproduced (at least in some dog videos) what I can only describe as ‘soul.’ I don’t know what to think anymore, this just leapfrogged past the ‘looks so CG’ arguments I’ve had so many times.

It’ll be interesting to see what Chris Nolan has to say when weighing in. I’m an analog guy through and through, but this … I’m hitting the ‘any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’ line and finding myself more concerned with what I can only envision as downright evil uses of this magic. I’m not processing, and I don’t think I even want to try. I don’t think I’ve ever hit a wall like this in my whole life before, even with extreme family health issues. It’s like they successfully threaded a needle with a sledgehammer.

And you wondered why I said, “We’re so screwed.”

The words ‘it came upon him heavily, in belated, sudden total realization’ pop into my noggin. I don’t know where the words came from, but they fit perfectly. Also the moment in TUC when Spock suggests that he and Kirk have grown so old and inflexible so as to have outlived their usefulness.

Naahh, as Stephen King characters would probably say, that’d be going p___y.

I only learned very recently who John de Lancie’s father was, and what he did.

So long as he wasn’t picked up near the grassy knoll …

Never heard of that one. I was reading about composer Richard Strauss, and Wikipedia gave me this:

“In April 1945, Strauss [who was not at all a fan of the Nazis, but it was a bit complicated -N] was apprehended by American soldiers at his Garmisch estate. As he descended the staircase he announced to Lieutenant Milton Weiss of the U.S. Army, ‘I am Richard Strauss, the composer of Rosenkavalier and Salome.’ Lt. Weiss, who was also a musician, nodded in recognition. An ‘Off Limits’ sign was subsequently placed on the lawn to protect Strauss. The American oboist John de Lancie, who knew Strauss’s orchestral writing for oboe thoroughly, was in the army unit, and asked Strauss to compose an oboe concerto. Initially dismissive of the idea, Strauss completed this late work, his Oboe Concerto, before the end of the year.”

Aaaaaannnnndddd…*wait* a minute. “John de Lancie”? I clicked on his name too. Yup: The actor is actually John de Lancie *Junior*. Strauss actually assigned US premiere rights to this piece to de Lancie Sr., who then gave them to Mitch Miller for technical reasons.

History can be wild sometimes.

Was with you in amazement right up tlil the words ‘mitch miller’ and then befuddlement and rage took hold. Maybe it would have been better if he turned out to be one of the shooters in texas.

I always found MIller to be insanely creepy looking and when I was 5 or so, I’d actually freak out if he was on the TV. Of course that was back when I thought the people on the TV could see me as well as I could see them, so, you know, learning curve …

Sorry! My main knowledge of Miller comes from a reference in an Allan Sherman song.

I imagine the connection is that Miller, like de Lancie Sr., was an oboist, so they probably had a few personal and professional connections.

Apparently de Lancie Sr. couldn’t premiere a piece himself because he was only a junior member of his orchestra at the time. So he gave them to a friend instead.