The crew ferries a deaf mediator to Solais V to negotiate an end to a civil war.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Marnie Mosiman ...
Harmony / Balance
Scholar / Artist (as Thomas Oglesby)
Leo Damian ...
Warrior / Adonis
Howie Seago ...
Richard Lavin ...
Warrior #1
Chip Heller ...
Warrior #2


Worf is most anxious to meet Riva, the almost mythical negotiator who played a key part in appeasing the Klingons so they could enter the Federation. The Enterpise picks him up at his home planet and learns he's mute and comes with a 'chorus' of three who not only speak for him but also represent complementary views on things and emotions. he confidently goes about his mission, but a rogue member from the delegation of one of two centuries-warring planets suddenly murders his entire chorus. Disheartened, Riva wants to retreat altogether, only Troi hopes to persuade him to persevere and senses an angle. Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

24th century | fight | See All (2) »



Release Date:

7 January 1989 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Guest star Howie Seago, who plays Riva, is deaf in real life and had in fact petitioned the producers to create an episode involving deaf people. See more »


When Data is interpreting for Riva, he speaks the words before Riva signs the word. He also signs words to Riva before Captain Picard speaks them. See more »


[Riva is being briefed on the conflict on Solais V]
Scholar: [interpreting for Riva] There is no need to continue. The specific issues of the conflict have no relevance.
Commander William T. Riker: So, none of the background which we have provided would be helpful in understanding why they continue to fight?
Scholar: [interpreting] The portfolio will indicate that the conflict is over a piece of land or wealth or some other tangible asset. But we both know that is not the case.
Commander William T. Riker: [understanding] They have been at war for so long, it has become ...
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Edited into Star Trek: The Next Generation: Shades of Gray (1989) See more »


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

An interesting attempt at inclusion.
12 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode features a character, Riva, who is a peace negotiator-- even though he is deaf. For his language, he used three interpreters who all represent different aspect of him. Unusual to say the least. However, when these three interpreters are accidentally murdered, the peace treaty that Riva is trying to negotiate looks like it's out of the question. What's next in this highly unusual show.

Most folks wouldn't know this, but "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was actually one of the first TV shows that was closed captioned. The captioning wasn't always great back in the late 1980s, but they deserve recognition for trying. Fortunately, the newer captions included with the shows on Netflix are exceptional and very easy to read--and we use them in our home. This is because my youngest daughter is deaf--and we both sat down and watched this particular episode together. Hannah is not a regular viewer of the show but I wanted her insights. Mostly, she was just surprised how long ago this show was made, as she had assumed that deaf awareness was a much more recent issue. She also greatly appreciated the effort to make deaf people a part of any TV show.

A few things we noticed. Data's sign language is mostly gibberish, but the deaf actor Howie Seago was using American Sign Language--and my daughter laughed at that the same way we laugh when all the aliens just instantly know English in most sci-fi shows! Seago was very easy to read--especially for a non-deaf signer like me. What I noticed is that OFTEN when Data was interpreting, he was saying things BEFORE Riva (Seago) even said them!! Oops! Not perfect--- but I do appreciate the effort nonetheless. Overall, an extremely interesting episode and a great opportunity to include deaf people in a mainstream TV show. Worth seeing.

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