Picard and the Enterprise respond to a distress call from its sister ship the USS Yamato. It has been facing a number of serious technical glitches and they lost 18 crew members when the ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Capt. Donald Varley
Subcommander Taris
Folkert Schmidt ...


Picard and the Enterprise respond to a distress call from its sister ship the USS Yamato. It has been facing a number of serious technical glitches and they lost 18 crew members when the computer turned off the force field on an open shuttle bay. Before the Enterprise can assist however, the Yamato is destroyed with all lives lost. The explosion is apparently the result of a failure in their matter/anti-matter pods but Picard suspects it may have something to do with a relic the Yamato's captain obtained on an archaeological dig on a nearby planet. They are in the Neutral Zone and are being shadowed by a Romulan ship but Picard, an amateur archaeologist, leads an away team to the planet to see what is causing the problem. When the Enterprise's shields inexplicably activate, they have no means to beam the away team back on board. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

18 March 1989 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the episode with Riker's iconic line: "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise." This is based on a statement by 19th-century German Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck: "God loves children, drunkards, and the United States of America." See more »


Data says to Picard that the ETA to reach the Iconian's planet at warp 8 is 12 hours and 16 minutes, then Picard command to reach the planet at warp 8. After the Enterprise arrive at the planet, Data says that the virus has managed to reprogram the computer to this point in less then 7 hours, but the virus infection happened when they were connected to the Yamato, so before the Enterprise jumped to warp, and so it would had been at least 12 hours that the virus is working to reprogram the computer, probably more. See more »


[despite his programming failing, Data tries to tell Picard how to destroy the Iconian technology]
Lt. Commander Data: Key blue-amber-amber-red.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: That's the launch sequence?
[Data nods awkwardly]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: How do I override the doors?
Lt. Commander Data: Blue-blue-blue.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I hope that's not a stutter.
See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Good Confrontational Sci Fi
7 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Picard enters the Neutral Zone to meet up with an old friend Varley, the Captain of the Yomato, a ship nearly identical to the Enterprise. This is dangerous because the dreaded Romulans are in the vicinity and don't like others imposing on the Neutral Zone. As Picard dialogues with his friend, it is revealed the the Yomato has been functioning strangely. There are ripples and vibrations. Something is missing in Captain Varley's explanation of things. He does hint at a kind of quest for a culture that existed eons ago. Before he can say much more, there is a breach of some kind and the Yomato is destroyed. All aboard are killed. Soon a Romulan War Bird uncloaks and the confrontation begins. The commander of this ship insists she had nothing to do with the explosion, and had she done this, she would not have stopped at one starship. What ensues is an effort to figure out precisely what has happened. Picard insists on going down to the mysterious planet, putting himself in danger. The Enterprise begins to be compromised by whatever forces there are. To their benefit, the same thing is happening to the Romulans. Data and Worf,go down with Picard and what ensues is quite fascinating. He does some translating of ancient languages and is able to start up the computer. He discovers a portal which includes a quick trip back to the bridge of the Enterprise. Unfortunately, he receives a major jolt from the ancient machine and is disabled. PIcard feels he must destroy this device but has to find a way out. Excellent episode.

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