So here’s a thing: when I sat down to try and refresh my memory of the backstory of Miles and Keiko’s relationship, I figured I’d need to check out two or three episodes of Next Generation prior to their wedding in the middle of season four (in Data’s Day).
There aren’t any. I’d gotten so used to the O’Briens as fixtures on Deep Space Nine that I’d sort of internalized their presence on the Enterprise in TNG and assumed that there were just a lot of little Keiko tidbits I’d forgotten about. Like, hey, they were on the Enterprise together, she was in a bunch of episodes, some of that had to be courtship stuff, right?
But, no! We only meet Keiko Ishikawa on the day she gets married. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but man that’s sort of weird to think about in retrospect. Her defining character introduction to the Star Trek viewership is as “that lady who got all hysterical and threatened to call off her wedding”.
When did Miles and Keiko meet? Who knows! How long have they known each other? Beats me! The one bit of canonical backstory I could find was a reference in Data’s Day to the idea that Data is the person who introduced the two of them, though how and when and where and why is left totally unclear.
There may be further hints in later episodes of TNG and DS9, though if so even the folks who collectively maintain the encyclopedia specifically dedicated to Star Trek TV trivia didn’t bother to mention it. And I have already spent more time trying to research the issue than I have any number of actual historical events, so I’m not going to try any harder at this point.
Aside from being sort of weird and disappointing in retrospect, though, this is also super duper convenient for me, because it means I’m beholden to just about nothin’ in writing any Keiko-and-Miles stuff at the point in Star Trek: The Next Generation history where this is all happening. So thanks, TV writers! Your abrupt mid-series introduction of a secondary character for a secondary character has paid off.
More about Miles and Keiko on Friday. Because there’s always more to say about Miles and Keiko.