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After diverting to a secret meeting with an old friend and some of Starfleet's finest commanders, Picard finds the Horatio blown to bits just hours after the meeting and he returns the Enterprise to Earth looking for answers.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lieutenant Tasha Yar (credit only)
Wesley Crusher (credit only)
Ward Costello ...
Ray Reinhardt ...
Jonathan Farwell ...


Captain Walker Keel, an old friend of Picard's, uses a top-secret frequency, thus excluding informing Riker, to summon him to a top-secret meeting with two other captain. The vague innuendo about a plot to take over a strategic sector of the Federation by replacing mysteriously dying Starfleet officers doesn't quite impress Picard, but he reconsiders after Keel and his crew die in an explosion. So he intends with Riker to visit Starfleet HQ, where he will dine with admirals and their aide Dexter Remmick, while Riker keeps an eye on admiral Aaron, who insists to visit the modernized Enterprise, actually carrying an alien brain-parasite. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

7 May 1988 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Close up shots of the Starfleet HQ banquet were live grub worms. The actors really ate Chinese chow mein noodles. See more »


When Data reviews all Starfleet decisions for the past six months, a camera angle shows all the information on his screen, including the image of what seems to be a parrot. The involvement of a parrot with Starfleet Command decisions may seem unlikely, yet it is not impossible. One example could be that this image is the symbol of an alien world or alliance Starfleet has dealings with. Or it could be an actual alien bird that has been recently discovered and needs further studying. In each case, its connection with command decisions would become plausible. A similar image was seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Naked Now: during the scan of the records, we quickly see a parrot with a barely distinguishable human head (Gene Roddenberry's) on a perch wearing a Starfleet uniform, complete with insignia. This is a reference to Gene's fan inspired nickname, "The Great Bird Of The Galaxy." See more »


Doctor Beverly Crusher: Captain, you must set your phaser on kill. Stun has little effect.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Doctor, one does not beam down to Starfleet Headquarters armed.
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Referenced in Star Trek Online (2010) See more »


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

6 May 2016 | by See all my reviews

'Conspiracy' is a refreshingly well-done episode and certainly my favorite of the first season. Right out of the gate, it lays on the paranoia, with Jean-Luc alerted to a plot to take over Starfleet from the inside and it never lets up. Those brain parasites, it's like he writers took the Ceti eel bit from "The Wrath of Khan" and spun it into a conspiracy flick (and threw in some xenomorph action from "Alien" for good measure.

It's deadly serious, though not so much that we can't enjoy seeing an old guy beating the crap out of Riker (and Worf even more quickly). And it shows that Captain Picard will risk his career for a friendship. The plot's twisty, the tone sinister and the ending is surprisingly dark. Great stuff.


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