When a new torpedo guidance system malfunctions, Picard and Data go chasing after it into an asteroid field, while the crew is left behind to deal with their own strange behaviors.



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Episode cast overview:
Ensign Dern


After some arboretum visits Dr. Crusher diagnoses nothing serious, but soon dozens of crew members get behavioral deviations, affecting appetite, memory and emotions. Reg Barclay takes care of Data's cat Spot, who is pregnant like nurse Alyssa Ogawa. Worf first fails testing or diagnosing his new guidance system, so Picard and Data chase a lost torpedo, then bites Deana and turns into an erratic beast due to a bite a sprays venom himself. By the time Picard and Data return, everyone aboard seems mutating and/or molested: the Enterprise has become a 'de-evolution zoo', Data believes by a virus reviving dormant genes from ancestral species. Picard is also infected, causing growing prey-anxiety. Nevertheless he must lure monstrous Worf away so Data can develop a retrovirus from genetic material after finding Spot's kittens remained perfectly feline when ma turned iguana. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

19 March 1994 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The chair in Worf's quarters was also seen in the episodes "Peak Performance", "Family", "Reunion", "Redemption", "New Ground", "Cost of Living", "A Fistful of Datas", "Birthright, Part I", "Parallels", and "Firstborn" and was used as the command chair aboard the Tarellian starship in the first season episode "Haven". See more »


When Picard and Data find Troi in her quarters and Data scans her, he tells Picard that "she is no longer human", but Troi never was entirely human; she's half-Betazoid, which is why she's got some degree of ESP. Knowing how exacting and technical-minded Data is, it doesn't make sense for him to say this line as if Troi is a normal human. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: [after immobilizing Worf-turned-prehistoric beast with an electroshock] Well, Mr. Worf - let's hope that when you wake up you're a new man.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Realm of Fear (1992) See more »


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

The series devolves.
6 December 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The show's prologue involves Lt. Barkley acting like a worried whiner in the sick bay. Dr. Crusher gives him something for a fever. After the credits, the Enterprise soon becomes a mess! Slowly the members of the crew begin devolving into lower life forms. Fortunately, the Captain and Data are not aboard and when they do find the ship is a very sorry state, they set about correcting this problem.

This is a mildly entertaining episode. While it was pretty cool seeing the cool primordial makeup on a few crew members, a few things seemed odd. Shouldn't many of the crew members have been eaten by some of the more aggressive changelings? And where is all the manure and territory that the creatures would have 'marked'? In addition, the show never became enthralling...only interesting.

By the way, Data the living computer made a mistake in this one! He used the term 'de-evolution' whereas the correct term is 'devolution'. Look it up if you don't believe me.

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