Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5, Episode 22

Imaginary Friend (2 May 1992)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 769 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 5 critic

Young Clara Sutter, like many girls her age, has an imaginary friend. She recently come on board with her father, an engineering officer, and hasn't yet made any real friends. Counselor ... See full summary »



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Title: Imaginary Friend (02 May 1992)

Imaginary Friend (02 May 1992) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
Noley Thornton ...
Clara Sutter
Jeff Allin ...
Ensign Daniel Sutter
Sheila Franklin ...
Ensign Felton


Young Clara Sutter, like many girls her age, has an imaginary friend. She recently come on board with her father, an engineering officer, and hasn't yet made any real friends. Counselor Troi assures Clara's father that it's perfectly normal and he has nothing to worry about. While playing one day, Clara is shocked to see her friend Isabella suddenly appear before her. In fact, Isabella is a sentient being that has taken human form only to scout the ship and learn more about it. For Picard and the crew, determining the being's intent is key to determining the next step. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

2 May 1992 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2368. See more »


When Troi confronts "Isabella" and Clara tells Troi "Isabella's" threatening response, Clara is clearly scared--and Troi, being an empath, should be able to sense Clara's fear. Yet in the next scene, she acts as if Clara was just acting out. See more »


[first lines]
Clara Sutter: I like to cook all kinds of stuff. Like yoghurt and raisin salad, chocolate chip pancakes and... purple omelettes.
Counselor Deanna Troi: [disgusted] Purple omelettes?
Clara Sutter: You put grape juice in the eggs. Isabella doesn't like it very much. She says it tastes funny.
Counselor Deanna Troi: I can see her point.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Voyager: Collective (2000) See more »


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

Tiresome, Preachy, Episode
4 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love children. I was a teacher for over forty years. I don't like this episode. Every tired bromide that one can use finds its way here. The little girl who is alone (even though she has a father who loves her and people who treat her with great joy) who has an imaginary friend. She eats with her friend and talks with her to the point her father calls in Troi to intervene. So when some force (as usual, a kind of Tinkerbell of light, enters the ship, it takes on the role of her friend. Apparently, she is visible to anyone who happens to be around when she shows up, but the bad, mean Enterprise crew forgets what it is like to be a child. This "child" proves to be a bad seed and has designs on the engineering section. She becomes furious, threatening the lives of the crew. She is annoyed that the little girl, Clara, can't do whatever she wants. She is domineering and pushy and possessive, yet she decides to punish them. She is part of a force in the nebula that is investigating the worthiness of the crew. Are all of them merely children, shortsighted and selfish. Anyway, the conclusion is absolutely as bad as anything I can imagine. I did think the choice of the little girl to play the nasty friend has a great face and a formidable presence.

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