Picard falls for the new head of the stellar science services department, but has feelings of misgivings when he's forced to assign her to a dangerous mission.



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Wondering why an experiment at stellar cartography has most of the ship's resources reserved for hours, Picard goes see the stellar sciences section's obnoxiously assertive new head, Lieutenant Commander Nella Daren. Spending some time together they find they share several interests and enjoy playing music together. The relationship gets tested by balancing his authority and her tendency to sort of abuse his feelings for her. Then she suggests a way to help colonists about to suffer a severe stellar storm, and joins one of the rescue teams, which is badly hit... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

3 April 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the first instances where crosstalk is heard over communication channels. Daren and Riker talk to one another while Picard listens in from the Bridge. See more »


When the Enterprise is travelling at warp, we can see through a window in the Captain's ready room no stars streaking by that we normally get during the warp effect. It can also be seen when Commander Riker is about to leave and the viewscreen is visible on the Bridge. See more »


[Picard tells Lt. Cmdr. Daren of his life on Kataan from "The Inner Light"]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: ...And when I awoke, all that I had left of that life... was the flute that I'd taught myself to play.
Lt. Cmdr. Nella Daren: Why are you telling me this?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Because I want you to understand what my music means to me... and what it means for me to be able to share it with someone.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Inner Light (1992) See more »


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

Delicate Episode
29 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Patrick Stewart is a great actor in any sense of the word. Here, his Jean-Luc Picard is smitten with an attractive woman who is multi-talented, both in her vocation and her avocation. She is a masterful musician, a pianist of great skill. One of Picard's few opportunities for artistic fulfillment, comes from a flute he was given in the episode where he lives an entire lifetime on a doomed planet. He plays along with computer generated music all by himself. He is immediately attracted to this woman and the loneliness of his position becomes a force with which he must deal. He is her superior on the Enterprise and there are understandings. Just because her role is research doesn't mean she may be required to perform a dangerous mission given the right circumstances. This episode is so beautifully done, with so much hurt and heart, that it really grabs us. Eventually, of course, those decisions are going to be made, and the role of Captain must be recognized. It's sad and poignant.

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