When an approaching alien ship wipes their memory, the crew struggles to put back together what happened.



(created by), (teleplay by) (as Barry Schkolnick) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview:
Commander Keiran MacDuff


The Enterprise is heading for the Epsilon solar system. A suddenly approaching alien ship uses scanners so strong that all crew members including Data lose most of their personal memories, even names and ranks, yet retain their operational and language skills. The external communications are down and computer data banks have been selectively wiped. Some, including the ship's manifest, are altered, so as to make a Commander MacDuff Executive Officer (rather then Riker) and the Enterprise is on a crucial mission in a war the Federation would be conducting for years against the Lysian race. The alien ship has been destroyed, they assume by the Enterprise, although there's no battle damage. While crew members behave differently, failing their normal reference patterns, MacDuff volunteers for a memory therapy Dr. Crusher suggests, so he can pretend for it to fail and press on the attack on the Lysian headquarters, but the war logic doesn't quite add up... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

15 February 1992 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Lysian Central Command was previously used in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Justice (1987), where it played the part of the Edo God. It was not as detailed in that episode. See more »


At 24:10, a boom mic is visible on the bridge between Picard and Ensign Ro. See more »


Commander William T. Riker: [about Riker] He's athletically inclined, loves to climb mountains; he's from somewhere called Alaska, enjoys exotic food... and takes his vacations on a planet called Risa.
See more »


References Lost in Space (1965) See more »


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

Questions abound
10 May 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'Conundrum' is an episode I hadn't seen before and it's greatness is due to its premise; an inventive way to shake things up on a long- running show. The crew suffer amnesia and find themselves at war with an unknown race, at the same time left to guess what positions they hold on the ship. this is how you get Word in the center chair, Picard at the helm, and data tending bar. It also (temporarily) rewrites the book on relationships; Riker shacks up with Ro while his history with Troi is nebulous. The payoff is in the final scene when both women are wise and Riker's in the doghouse.

But the episode's an inherent riddle. Why is there no intel on the ship and who's this new guy MacDuff as first officer? Why are they at war with the Lysians, and why does this feel like a dream? It's that morality Picard's struggling with that makes this entertaining.


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