Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 22

Half a Life (4 May 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 701 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 6 critic

Counselor Troi's mother visits the Enterprise and becomes infatuated with a man whose culture forces him into a suicidal ritual called "The Resolution."

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Title: Half a Life (04 May 1991)

Half a Life (04 May 1991) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Storyline

The Enterprise has two special visitors: first Counselor Deanna Troi's terribly flippant, meddling mother, Betazoid ambassador Lwaxana Troi, then also top researcher Dr. Timicin, who comes to try help his home planet Kelon 2 revitalize its since generations dying sun with helium emission and photon torpedoes. Both guests prove meeting opposites, falling in love. The experiment is a partial success, only promising scientific progress without immediate results. Alas the minister in charge refuses to allow Timicin to continue: their law dictates he must commit ritual suicide, called 'the resolution' when he turns 60 in a few days being then considered a burden for the younger generations, despite his excellent condition of mind and body. Picard has no choice but accept under the Prime Directive, Lwaxana tries to convince her flame by emotions and reason, as nobody is better qualified to continue the crucial research, which strikes a cord... Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG
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4 May 1991 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode was likely inspired by the novel "Pebble in the Sky" by the famous sf author Isaac Asimov, which depicts a future Earth in which the inhabitants were also required to end their lives at the age of 60 as depicted in the alien world in this episode. See more »

Goofs

When Lwaxana welcomes Timicin in the transporter room, Picard - behind her - has his hands folded in front of him. When the camera changes, his arms are hanging down. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Counselor Deanna Troi: Counselor Deanna Troi, personal log, stardate 44805.3 - My mother is on board.
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Connections

References M*A*S*H (1972) See more »

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

 
Still relevant today...
11 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode is just another example of what STAR TREK always did so well - take a relevant issue and explore it through the lens of an "unbiased" third-party - ie, the future generations. Sure, it is written by modern-day authors ... even so, it's informative to see how a more "enlightened" generation might handle a topic like euthanasia.

Incidentally, this concept is based loosely on a novel written in the 1880s by British novelist Anthony Trollope called THE FIXED PERIOD. In that novel, the leader of a new (fictional) British colony has passed a law requiring men at the age of 67 be put away into a tenement, and later euthanized before the age of 68 - for the same reasons, that the elderly burden the young. The story of the novel follows his attempt to carry this law out for the first time. Fascinating read, and recommended if you liked this episode.


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