While the humorless Captain Jellico leads the effort to prevent a Cardassian invasion, Picard is captured and tortured by a ruthless interrogator in an attempt to break him.



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Episode cast overview:
John Durbin ...
Heather Lauren Olson ...
Jil Orra


Picard's team has been lured to the Cardassian planet Celtris III's fake biological weapon-installation where he is captured and interrogated at the threat of death and truth-drugged. The Enterprise's present Captain Edward Jellico believes the negotiations with the Cardassians are heading for war, especially now Picard's failed intrusion is reported by the scandalized Cardassians. Picard is stripped naked and suspended by the wrists for a thirsty night before torture by a pain-inducing implant made with a geminite knife. The Cardassians prove to Jellico that Picard is captured but deny the agent POW status, so he will suffer a terrorist's fate unless the Federation admits starting a war or retreats from the sector. After scanning the Cardassian ship for indications where they were, Jellico, Data and Geordi guess right Picard was tricked to betray the Federation defense plans for Minos Kordas and get permission to make a bold countermove, requiring best pilot Riker, who openly ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

19 December 1992 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Patrick Stewart prepared for the scenes of torture by reviewing tapes provided by Amnesty International. He agreed to perform the first torture scene naked, but only as long as it was on a closed set. See more »


When Madred tells Picard "the Enterprise is burning in space", he probably uses a figure of speech rather than the literal meaning of "burning". See more »


[Riker has barely avoided a Cardassian warship in the nebula]
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Do I wanna know how close that was?
Commander William T. Riker: No. Get ready to deploy the mines.
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Gambit: Part 1 (1993) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

There Are Four Lights!
25 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the conclusion of this episode, we are toggled between the Enterprise and the imprisoned Picard, kept by Cardassian torturers on the surface. Picard is first drugged and then stripped and subjected to horrors. I came to realize that this was not unlike Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984. The Cardassian commander is seeking information from Picard and he uses every bit of subterfuge he can, including a torture device implanted in the Captain which sends him into agony. He continually asks Picard how many lights are above him. There are four and Picard continues to affirm this. But the commander wants him to change his mind (true brainwashing). Patrick Stewart gives the performance of a lifetime (and he has been good in lots of performances). Meanwhile, the crew is trying to figure out how to outfox the evil Cardassians. Picard begins to sense little bits of weakness in the commander and his race and plays on that. While it just results in more pain, he is making inroads into his psyche. The conclusion is excellent and sets up future encounters. There is also a great scene between Commander Riker and Captain Jellico.

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