Riker has to quit his birthday party during a so far uneventful patrol voyage at the Neutral Zone to head an away team when a Romulan secret base is found on a planet which was believed ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Ensign Wesley Crusher (credit only)
Chris Demetral ...
Todd Merrill ...


Riker has to quit his birthday party during a so far uneventful patrol voyage at the Neutral Zone to head an away team when a Romulan secret base is found on a planet which was believed uninhabited. He awakens 16 years later, as widowed captain of the Enterprise, just cured after 9 years of viral amnesia, with a son Jean-Luc. Even Picard, now an admiral who came to conduct with Riker, given his forgotten dealing with them, historical peace negotiations with the Romulans, loses all authority over him when he finally finds his late wife's image on the strangely slow-responsive computer... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

10 November 1990 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The song Riker plays on his trombone is called Misty. See more »


Shortly after Riker first wakes from his coma, Dr. Crusher explains that the computer has been slow all day, and that LaForge is running a Level 1 diagnostic to locate a faulty "processing attenuator." Later, after Riker sees the visual of Minuet and determines that this is all a scam, he confronts LaForge on the bridge and berates him for taking so long to track down a "processing accelerator." See more »


[Riker has given a rather mediocre performance on his trombone at his birthday party]
Counselor Deanna Troi: [after Riker has blown out the candles on his cake] So, what did you wish for, Will?
Commander William T. Riker: Music lessons!
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References Lost in Space (1965) See more »


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

A bit like "36 Hours"?!
18 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Altarian Encephalitis--16 year gap

Riker is on an away team mission when they're beaming back to the ship. The beam-out appears to be going badly. Suddenly, Riker finds himself in the sick bay...and when he looks in the glass, he sees gray in his hair. He's now 16 years older...with no recollection of the last 16 years. Most of the crew looks familiar but older. There are also a few changes--such as a Ferengi bridge officer and Picard is an Admiral on a Romulan ship!! Obviously things have changed a lot...or, perhaps someone is just jerking with Riker for some ulterior motive. What's next?

As I watched this show, I kept thinking of the wonderful James Garner film "36 Hours". In it, Nazis capture and allied soldier and try to convince him that the war is over...in order to trick him into betraying secrets. It's all very complex and very exciting...as is this "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode. So what is REALLY happening in this case? Watch it yourself--it's well made and very interesting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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