6.23 Tranquility Base

 

 

 

 


Original Air Date: July 26, 1995 Production number: 77821
Written by:
Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess and Jeff Melvoin Directed by: Mike Fresco


Rabbi Schulman: There's an old Yiddish proverb--When you don't know where you're going, every road will take you there.

Maggie and Chris
Picture originally captured by Joseph in the My-Cicely list.
Log line (1): Cicely's couples converge on Maurice's summer lodge - Tranquility Base
Synopsis (1):

The whole gang's on their way to Maurice's Tranquility Base, Cicely's Disneyland without the monorail. Okay, so it's not a theme park, but it does have a theme -- it's a sprawling summer lodge dedicated to America's astronauts, complete with rooms named after noteworthy spacemen (no, there's no "E.T." room) such as Chuck Yeager, Alan Shepard and Buzz Aldrin. Barbara Semanski's there, too -- and Maurice intends for this to be a very special weekend for them -- he's going to propose to her.

The only principal Cicelian not in attendance is Maggie, who is off to Greenland to see Bubbleman Mike Monroe. Chris is disappointed, naturally, but, trooper that he is, he perserveres. Holling's not quite himself, either -- he's in rut, as Walt explains to Phil, having picked up the sexual biorhythms of the caribou bull, so Holling and Shelly spend most of their vacation in their room. The others, however, are enjoying nature walks, fishing, and just plain relaxing.

Michelle has gone off on a little walk of her own, and decides to rest against a tree. Lo and behold, she wakes up, and who should appear before her but -- Rabbi Schulman! He thinks he's been sent there for another episode with Joel, but when Michelle informs him that Rob Morrow has left the series, he questions what his mission is. But, in the end, the Rabbi helps Michelle understand herself better, offers her some sage advice, and even teaches her a little Yiddish.

Meanwhile, Maurice and Semanski have gotten into several little tiffs, so his plan to pop the question has been put on indefinite hold. Finally, though, he asks for her hand, and she says...Yes!! Barbara Semanski-Minnifield. Oh, well. She probably won't hyphenate, anyway. (Does this mean she now goes in the opening credits?)

At the end of the show, after everyone returns to Cicely after their lovely vacation, we see a montage of our regulars over Iris Dement's song, "Our Town." (See words below.) Yes, you will shed tears as you see Maurice and Semanski in Maurice's house, Ruth-Anne and Walt closing up Ruth-Anne's shop, Michelle and Phil hugging in their house and doing the polka (no, just kidding), Maggie and Chris dancing together in her living room (not doing the polka), Marilyn pulling down the shade in her house, and a long, establishing shot of Cicely, Alaska -- possibly the final shot of one of the most brilliant hour-shows ever on television.

Details
(Production Bible):

Maurice's summer lodge consists of the Chuck Yeager, Buzz Aldrin, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Jim Lovell suite, and is nestled on 1500 plus acres of old growth forest complete with fresh mountain streams and a glacial melt lake.

Champagne of choice: Krug Clos de Mesnil '83

Holling spent so much time in the bush that he picked up the sexual biorhythms of the caribou bull and experiences annual rut.

Most Memorable Quote: "I owe you an apology, Barbara. I tried to change you into something you're not. You're no gentle lady. You're a warrior, a dogface, 100 percent U.S. prime."

Most Memorable Moment: Series regulars coming home to Iris Dement's "Our Town"

And ya know the sun's settin' fast
And just like they say, nothing good ever lasts
Go on now and kiss it goodbye
But hold on to your lover 'cause your heart's bound to die
Go on now and say goodbye to our town, to our town
Can't you see the sun's settin' down on our town, on our town
Goodnight.

Up the street beside the red neon light
That's where I met my baby one hot summer night
He was the tender and I ordered a beer
It's been twenty years and I'm still sittin' here.

And ya know the sun's settin' fast
And just like they say, nothing good ever lasts
Go on now and kiss it goodbye
But hold on to your lover 'cause your heart's bound to die.
Go on now and say goodbye to our town, to our town
Can't you see the sun's settin' down on our town, on our town
Goodnight.

It's here I had my babies and I had my first kiss
I've walked down Main street in the cold morning mist
Over there is where I bought my first car
It turned over once but then it never went far.

And ya know the sun's settin' fast
And just like they say, nothing good ever lasts
Go on now and kiss it goodbye
But hold on to your lover 'cause your heart's bound to die
Go on now and say goodbye to our town, to our town
Can't you see the sun's settin' down on our town, on our town
Goodnight.

-Iris DeMent

Guest stars (9): Rabbi Schulman - Jerry Adler (Also appeared in 5.18 and 6.3)
Owen - George Barril (Also appeared in 5.6, 5.10, 5.17, 5.18, 5.19, 6.2, 6.12, 6.15, and 6.17)
Walt - Moultrie Patten
Officer Barbara Semanski - Diane Delano
Hayden Keyes - James L. Dunn
Elaine - Kia Sian
Stunt Double - Michelle Sebek (Also appeared in 6.20)

Music:
(Note music listed is from the original TV airings. The DVD may differ. * Indicates correct song on the DVD.)

• Instrumental when the Rabbi drops in on Michelle.

Fly Me To The Moon - Astrud Gilberto
[Maurice proposes to Barbara.]

• banjo tune when Chris and Ed talk about Chris missing Maggie and no longer being a bachelor.

Our Town - Iris DeMent*
[Do I have to tell you??]

Shelly's Earrings:

Can't see them but they must be swinging ...

Additional Notes:

Original airdate listed as May 17, 1995 in the Production Bible, however the show was put on hiatus and the last three episodes didn't air until July 1995.

Was this episode filmed to be an series finale or not?
Reposted by Danny on the newsgroup:
<<The show had already been filmed, including the Our Town montage, BEFORE the show was actually cancelled. But they knew the outlook was grim, so I'm sure that's why they included that ending.

Some context: The show had been off the air since the beginning of April, rumors were running rampant, and everyone was tensely awaiting CBS' decision on its Fall(95-96) schedule, which was expected on 5/25/95. As had been feared, NX was cancelled. The last episode, scheduled as an afterthought it seemed, aired on 7/26/95. A note by an anonymous(he thought) poster had been posted to the newsgroup on 5/23/95 giving a detailed plot summary of the final episode. I discovered his identity and asked what his affiliation was to the show and why we should believe him.(See? I'm always stirring up trouble. 8-)) In an effort to hide his identity, he canceled his note as well as my reply. The former is okay...the latter is a usenet no-no. Fortunately, I'm a packrat and had saved his original note and reposted it the next day.

Here's my reposted note: START The following note is from a guy named Dave (evad@oz.net) at SenseMultimedia online service in Seattle, WA. As with anything posted to the 'net, please take with a boulder-grain of salt. 8-)

______________________________
well folks, its all over and we're sure some of you out there would like to know how the whole thing kinda ends and we happen to have some news on the final script so, if you don't wanna know, don't read any further... "Tranquility Base" is the title. it refers to a lodge that maurice has bought as sort of a family compound, a la the Kennedy on Hayannisport.

PROLOGUE... maurice, semanski and ed are all at tranquility base preparing for a big weekend retreat maurice has set up for all the residents of cicely (well at least all the lead characters). it is here we learn that maurice plans on proposing to semanski.

ACT ONE... the gang readies themselves for the weekend retreat. we learn that holling is in a rut, phil and michelle are bickering, maggie isn't coming along cause she's gone to visit the bubble boy, chris wants to persuade hayden to go out and be a wildman with him searching for woodnymphs, ruth-anne and walt are there and finally, that maurice wants semanski to ease up and not be a cop all weekend.

ACT TWO... michelle runs into rabbi schulman in the woods, actually he almost parachutes into her. holling and shelly keep a 'do not disturb' sign on their door. the whole gang plays charades. semanski punches maurice in the nose. chris wants to go fishing in the middle of the night and while looking for bugspray ends up finding maurice's pricy bottle of champagne he purchased for the big question popping, needless to say, he polishes it off.

ACT THREE... the next morning. breakfast is served. everybody prepares for a big mushroom hunt. michelle gets lost in the woods, runs into the rabbi again. semanski organizes a search party. holling wallows in mud. chris pines for maggie.

ACT FOUR... the search party is on. michelle is found, she and phil are a couple again. that night everyone is having a grand ole time. semanski says yes. maggie shows up outta nowhere, she and chris embrace. the song "our town" begins to play till the end. and then we are taken to each character's home for that final glimpse, ending with the last ever shot of main street in the town of cicely, alaska. thats it. we don't know of the broadcast date, but we hope this overview will ease your pain or joy, whatever the case may be. END
______________________________

As you can see, much of what was said seemed so far-fetched that we newsgroup users were highly suspicious. But since he'd gone to so much trouble to cover his tracks, I thought he might be on the level. It's never been determined who Dave Curry is or what his affiliation with the show was. Anyway, since everything else he said came to pass, I believe that Maggie going to see the Bubble boy must have been in a script or partially edited episode that he saw. For whatever reason, the explanatory scene was eventually deleted or cut, possibly due to Janine's fragile condition. Prior to Dave's note, it had been rumored in the newsgroup that Janine Turner wouldn't appear in the final episode due to recent gall bladder surgery. Several years later Janine revealed that her pregnancy was something of a miracle since she'd also had an ovary removed during gall bladder surgery. Maggie's wan/brief appearance in the final episode makes a bit more sense now. >>

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