Before leaving for Starfleet Academy, Wesley Crusher accompanies Captain Picard on a dangerous mission.



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Kim Hamilton ...
Mary Kohnert ...


After bringing the good news that Ensign Wesley Crusher has been accepted to Starfeet Academy, captain Picard decides to go ahead by shuttle with Wesley on a mission to appease troublesome salonite miners on Pentaurus 5, while Riker brings the Enterprise to the defenseless planet Gamelon-1, which believes to be under silent attack from a spaceship which causes immense radiation. The miner host pilot captain Dirgo's shuttle gets into trouble, having to land in a desert without working replicator or supplies, so Picard decides to walk to the nearest mountains for shelter, persisting even when sensor readings suggest possible life. Riker decides not to return for a search before dealing with the radiation source, which is found to be an abandoned barge and soon starts disintegrating while on tractor-beam to an asteroid... When Dirgo foolishly fires a phaser on a protective column, which mysteriously forms around a fountain at approach, the cave crushes on Picard, so Wesley's ingenuity is... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

17 November 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Wil Wheaton's final credited appearance as a regular. He would go on to make guest appearances in four later episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). See more »


The computer counts down the time until radiation exposure becomes fatal, but there is no magical time at which radiation becomes fatal. Death by radioactive contamination is cumulative, with many health problems occurring years after the initial exposure. Short-term effects include nausea, vomiting, and hair-loss, yet none of the crew have these problems. Long-term effects, which crop up years later, include anemia, leukemia, and dozens of different kinds of cancer. But again, every Enterprise crew member stays completely healthy. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Oh, I envy you, Wesley Crusher... You're just at the beginning of the adventure.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Samaritan Snare (1989) See more »


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

While it might not be very good, at least they're getting rid of Wesley!
18 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

On his way FINALLY to Starfleet Academy, the shuttle Wesley is in crashes on a planet and he might die. On the negative side, Picard and the shuttle's captain* are also there and they might die as well because the place is a gigantic desert and they have very little water. Too bad it's not the 24th century where they could EASILY find, wait, it IS the 24th century. So, no worries.

I noticed that there is a lot of hate directed towards this episode- - with extremely negative reviews here on IMDb. Are they merited? Well, not completely. Some of the 'mistakes' listed seem very nitpicky-- but there clearly ARE some mistakes due to sloppy writing. And, the bromance going on between Picard and Wesley in the cave is kind of nice to watch. Otherwise, the episode is slightly below average but at least of merit since it signals the end of Wesley as a series regular.

*Why were Picard and Wesley being transported on a piece of crap shuttle that is just days away from the scrap heap instead of on an Enterprise shuttle or some other Federation ship? This really made no sense. Also, the Captain of the shuttle is among the dumbest and least competent characters I've ever seen on the show...yet the pair ride with him?! This bothered me much more than all the other comments about the bad physics in the episode.

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