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Trivia / Star Trek: The Next Generation S2E5 "Loud As a Whisper"

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  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: The actor who portrayed Riva, Howie Seago, was actually deaf. In fact, he had petitioned the producers of the show to make an episode about deaf people, mostly to dispel myths about them. He suggested the resolution after the initial script had a quite different ending, which had Riva learning to speak overnight after being unable to use a translator.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Howie Seago was a huge fan of Trek and a regular on Usenet newsgroups.
  • Shown Their Work: More of the fact that the actor involved is truly deaf, but the episode features real American sign language, as confirmed in a reddit thread by deaf individuals and interpreters. After Riva's Chorus is slain by a rogue soldier... (All text featured here for Riva is signed, not spoken, and as such, not understood by the hearing characters):
    Riva: So conceited, always doing things to get people killed...
    [rambles on with hands out of view]
    Riva: Over and over...and now they're dead! What will we do now?
    Picard: How did this happen?
    Riker: A total surprise. Apparently a member of one of the factions didn't like the idea of peace.
    Riva: I need time to think...
    [runs hands through hair in frustration]
    Picard: I don't understand what you're trying to say. [turns to Troi] Counselor?
    Riva: I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to myself!
    Troi: Riva, go slowly.
    Riva: What?!
    Troi: Slowly.
    Riva: I'm not talking to him anyway.
    Picard: Can you write it out?
    Riva: No! Leave me alone!
    Picard: I am so sorry that your friends were killed.
    Riva: I don't need your pity!
    Riva: I'm tired of all of you hearing people not understanding me! I'm not talking to you anyway.
    Picard: I'm sorry, I-I don't know what you are trying to tell me. We have to find some way to communicate with him.
    Riva: I'm tired of you hearing people! AGH!
    Picard: Data, he knows some kind of gestural language. Find out which one and learn it.
    Data: Aye, sir.
    Picard: Counselor, take him to Sick Bay. Maybe Pulaski can help.
    Riva: I - my friends are dead!
    [Picard grabs Riva's head]
    Picard: Listen to me! You are not alone! Do you understand?! We are all in this together!... Now!
    [Riva calms down and nods]
  • You Look Familiar: This is the first appearance of Randy Oglesby, who would have numerous roles in the TNG era shows before recurring as Degra in Season 3 of Star Trek: Enterprise.