"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Conspiracy (TV Episode 1988) Poster

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Interesting episode
russem3113 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
ST:TNG:25 - "Conspiracy" (Stardate: 41775.5) - the second to last episode to air for the first season of The Next Generation, this was a continuation of an episode a few episodes back called "Coming of Age" - both starred Ward Costello as Admiral Gregory Quinn and Robert Schenkkan as the hated Lt. Cmdr. Dexter Remmick as the "conspiracy" proposed in that episode is brought to full force here. The conspiracy turns out to be real and Picard decides to take the Enterprise back to Earth (the first time to see Earth in TNG) to confront the very heart of the matter. Won't give away the details but the "conspiracy" was meant to be a new threat to the Federation but didn't pan out (you don't see the conspirators in future episodes of TNG, DS9, VOY or ENT). And this is probably one of the gorier of Star Trek episodes. See it to believe it.
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Even though it's not exactly original, it is the best episode of season one.
MartinHafer11 November 2014
The plot for "Conspiracy" is pretty much taken from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", so it's hardly original. However, it's such a HUGE departure from the usually overly cerebral episodes of season one that it's a welcome breath of fresh air!

A few episodes back, an admiral and his henchman, a commander, were introduced ("Coming of Age") and at the time, why they were in the first episode seemed a bit unclear. Here, the final portion of that story is about to play out in "Conspiracy".

It seems that Starfleet has been behaving oddly and several other Federation captains have called Picard to a secret meeting to discuss this. They are not sure what is happening--but SOMETHING is afoot. They warn Picard to be on his guard. This paranoia seems well founded when shortly after the meeting adjourns, one of the captains' ships explodes! Obviously SOMETHING is happening. What? See the show.

This is good old senseless paranoia and violence--things that made the original "Star Trek" series so much fun. And this episode is indeed fun--something the series occasionally forgot to include and a welcome relief here. This is the one to see during the first season.
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Great stuff
pdelamore26 November 2009
After reading HNSampat-2's review, I had to respond. Sampat writes that the episode should be disowned, but it's the 39th best rated TNG episode out of 176 on IMDb. It's the highest rated episode out of the first season. And if we consider the people who are taking the effort to rate each episode, it's obvious that it's the fans who think it deserves a 7.9.

So I put it to you Sampat - how is it not Star Trek? That's a load of rubbish. This show made Star Trek what it is today.

And this episode DOES relate to space. In fact, it's a prelude to what should have been a future space adventure episode relating to these beings. Instead they were replaced by the Borg.

The episode is very enjoyable. There's some dodgy direction in the fight scenes, but outside of that it's a joy to see the actors begin to gel with their characters. I could always remember this episode from when I was younger due to the beeping of the beacon sent out - chilling stuff.

Also, watch out for horror specialist Michael Berryman (Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes) making a guest appearance. 9/10
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Wish that there had been a sequel
Reginald D. Garrard15 April 2006
"Conspiracy" ranks as one of the most disgusting installments in episode television history. The story line involves an infiltration of Star Fleet by "intelligences" bent on the destruction of the Federation. A longtime friend of Beverly Crusher visits the Enterprise and brings with him a sinister secret, revealed in a stunning confrontation with Worf.

As the conspiracy widens, Capt. Picard and Ryker return to Earth and come face-to-face with the "mother" of the conspiracy, setting the stage for one of the most dramatic and jaw-dropping scenes in Trek history.

'It's too bad that the producers didn't decide to continue with a follow-up episode that would tie up some of the loose ends from this memorable show.
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Not for kids!!
gritfrombray-113 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The Enterprise is en route to Pacifica, a world I would very much like to have seen! Picard is in his quarters resting and he receives a private transmission on code 47, Captain's eyes only. A first for the series, never to be used again. After communicating and then meeting with an old friend, Walker Keel and meeting several other Captains, all Starfleet's finest including Tryla Scott who made Captain faster than anyone else in Starfleet history, and never seen in a subsequent episode, an oversight. Picard beams back. Pacifica is put on hold, they leave orbit. Shortly later it is discovered Walker's ship has been destroyed. There is a conspiracy at work! Arriving at Earth, at Data's suggestion Admiral Quinn beams on board whilst Picard handles the planet side problem whilst the Enterprise are left to deal with 'Quinn' who is later discovered to be controlled by an organism. Riker beams to Earth and eventually destroys the mother creature with Picard which was within Dexter Remmick in an unnecessarily bloody scene. It is later discovered that Remmick sent a signal into space near the end. The episode was never followed up. Only complaint. I really enjoyed this as there had been some bad episodes in the first season...
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The genesis of the Borg?
newsjunkie356-117 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This has long been one of my favorite episodes.

And I've long wondered if this episode didn't have some influence on the Borg plot-lines. After all, both alien species' M.O. is basically the same: instead of political conquest, "conquer" the enemy at the individual level. To reverse a cliché, "If you can't beat 'em, make 'em join you." Of course, the very last episode of S1, foreshadows "Q Who?" et al, tho' we're given no information as to who destroys the Federation and Romulan bases and the thrust of that episode, of course, is the "return" of the Romulans after decades of isolation.

Back on point: Making "Conspiracy" a two-parter might have worked, but I'm not sure exactly how. More cloak-and-dagger? Battles between starships controlled by the alien creatures and the Enterprise-D? Discovering compromised members of the "Enterprise"'s crew (Wesley, perhaps? Been funny to have seen HIM throw Worf around like "ragdoll.") As it is, I'm sure that the "Mother Alien" creature and its death are probably the most expensive single effect shot in the whole seven year series.

I do agree that the preceding shot, where the, ah, "soldier" aliens are crawling up Remmick's legs is clumsy, certainly by later series standards. But we should always keep in mind that, as with The Original Series, NexGen was done on a relatively low budget--though larger than TOS which was had the lowest budget of any drama during its 1966-69 run.

Also, computer animation was in its infancy, Pixar's legendary short, "Luxo" had only been created around this time--and the cost was astronomical. it would be the late 90s before computer animation would be advanced enough to realistically replace entire ships, people, aliens, etc.

To comment on ewf58's commentary: I've never seen the "edited" version of this episode. I believe it was originally broadcast in "unedited" form, at least that's my memory. But it's been 22 years...

The "full" version is on the DVD (S1 D7). And every time I've seen it on syndication, it's been the unedited one.

And it is pretty gory. I'm surprised that Roddenberry would have gone that far over 20 yrs ago. Today, such things are seen all the time on TV. "Battlestar Galactica"'s had some pretty hard core moments. Think of Starbuck stabbing Leoben through the neck on New Caprica; or Caprica Six's murder of the baby in the mini...

(Lastly, guess the aliens were sexist, notice that they all refer to each other as "brother" and never "sister"...)
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Welcomed horror element
amesmonde22 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The Enterprise-D returns to Earth to stop an alien invasion from taking over Starfleet Command.

With alien parasites reminiscent of scifi film Puppet Masters and the paranoia of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing, director Cliff Bole, writers Robert Sabaroff and Tracy Tormé offer an entertaining episode which breaks the TNG mould by injecting a horror element.

Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker get some action scenes and Henry Darrow as Savar along with the other seasoned guest cast offer some weight to the proceedings, even when eating maggoty looking grub worms.

There's a memorable scene where Picard has a secret meeting oozing suspicion and conspiracy with other captains, notable is Hills have Eyes' Michael Berryman as Captain Rixx. There also some comic relief where Enterprise's computer becomes frustrated with Data. It's another dialogue driven episode that Bole breaks up with intermittent phaser action, glass tables and icky alien close ups.

While the stunt doubles stand out like a sore thumb and the parasites CGI and design is questionable, this if offset by a Scanners-like exploding head, blasted phaser body remains and a mother alien creature design that deliver some thrills in a slow first season.

Overall, an interesting episode with enough protruding gills and creature swallowing to possibly creep out the casual viewer.
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Watched "Conspiracy" after reading ST DS9 "Lesser Evil" "Unity"
hhuling22 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I had just finished reading the DS9 relaunch novel "Unity" (for the second time) and thought that I would see if I could find the incident with the "symbionts" one of which took over First Minister Shakaar of the planet Bajor and Commander Montenegro of ST DS9. After some research I found this episode and watched it from the point of view of someone who had read "Unity", and the correlation was nicely done. It put a face on the parasites and allowed me to imagine them more easily. Naturally the DS9 novel "Lesser Evil" (part of the Mission Gamma series of the DS9 relaunch and the book that brought back the parasites) was more effective in describing the effects that the parasite had on the body, from the dead, loathing eyes that had disdain for any other life, to the incredible speed and extremely high tolerance for pain.

From that point of view, (or any, to be sure) I liked the episode. While I was doing my research, I also read that it was one of the only episodes of ST to display a warning about the content. (Since I knew halfway what to expect, I was not surprised). I just can't help but wonder what that warning did to the viewer-ship of the episode, but as I said earlier, I primarily liked it for the backstory of the parasites featured in the DS9 relaunch.
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Do All Old Starfleet Guys Look the Same?
Hitchcoc2 August 2014
This carries on the conspiracy theme where suspicions arise about a coup taking place behind the scenes. A friend arrives on the Enterprise and Jean-Luc comes to realize that he is not acting as he should. The good captain finds himself meeting with what may or may not be friends of the federation. They are a surly lot and see destruction ahead. On board a series of events take place, finally sending Riker into a state of shock. He becomes catatonic. Captain Savar fights with Worf and nearly dismantles him. He has powers beyond human capability and enjoys his superior strength to no end. Meanwhile, Picard beams to the meeting room for a discussion of the future of Star Fleet. From there, things get really dicey as we realize that there are things at work here that are alien in nature. It seems the deck is badly stacked and subterfuge is going to be necessary. There are wonderful twists and turns, analytical subtleties, and excellent premises to tie together. For some reason, there are those who are incredibly disappointed in this effort, that somehow there are a set of rules that episodes are supposed to follow. I have seen this episode several times and still enjoy it.
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Mr-Fusion6 May 2016
'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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