Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 2, Episode 5

Loud as a Whisper (7 Jan. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century | fight



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 »


At his introduction, Riva he says that he is deaf due to a genetic mutation similar to the House of Hanover "all of whom had hemophilia". Actually hemophilia showed up first in Queen Victoria's son Leopold, almost 200 years after the origination of the House of Hanover in 1636, and two of her daughters (Alice and Beatrice) were known carriers of the gene but it appears to have not effected any of her other seven children. However, the subsequent marriages and lineages from Leopold, Alice, and Beatrice carried it throughout the royal families of Europe and Russia giving it the nickname "The Royal Disease". It is considered one of the great mysteries of royalty as to why Queen Victoria had the gene for hemophilia as neither her father or mother had the gene for it. See more »


[a welcoming party is preparing to meet mediator Riva on his planet]
Counselor Deanna Troi: Have your sensors indicated any problem down there, Lieutenant?
Lieutenant Worf: None.
Counselor Deanna Troi: But you're feeling a certain confusion about this mission.
Lieutenant Worf: No.
Counselor Deanna Troi: Yes! I've never known you to have such strong emotions, except when you're expecting to do battle.
Lieutenant Worf: I am not expecting battle.
Commander William T. Riker: Then what is bothering you?
Lieutenant Worf: [taking a moment] Riva.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Ah. Riva negotiated several treaties between the Klingons and the Federation.
See more »


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

Loud as a Whisper
13 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Loud as a Whisper" comments on disability and how one comes to terms with the loss of one sense, turning a disadvantage into an advantage. Loss seems to be a major emotion that speaks dramatically and thematically in this episode about two factions of Solari people on a planet called Solais, both warring with each other for centuries, on the verge of extinction, reaching out, however reluctantly, to renowned, reputed peachmaker Riva (it is made known in a scene with Worf, in the transporter room when he feels certain unease, brought to light by Troi, that Riva was responsible for peace talks between the Federation and Klingon). Riva is deaf and has a "chorus" of individuals who work in concert as his thoughts, feelings, words to others and a tragedy involving one out-of-control Solari warrior shakes the confidant mediator's resolve and belief in his abilities to end war/conflict, placing an incredible strain on Capt Picard and his crew. The idea that one man, with help from a highly trained, and well in-tune, accompaniment, can end centuries of war is certainly fascinating, understanding his methods will be of focus in this episode as Deanna Troi (who Riva has become profoundly moved by) tries to change his mind when the senseless murder of his chorus may potentially halt Riva's desire to stop the possible slaughter of an entire world's populace. I love this final scene where a relieved Picard thanks Troi for her work with Riva; it is a moment where her importance to him is celebrated/applauded. A fascinating development involving Geordi's eyesight is also featured as Dr. Pulaski offers to perform surgery and perhaps give him the ability to see, although straight-forward that it is not for certain that it will work. I thought Howie Seago was extraordinary as the deaf, mute Riva and his scenes with Troi are the heart and soul of this episode's story. The death of Riva's chorus is shocking and horrifying, as it should be to drive home the point that it will not be easy to settle the ongoing, personal war between these people. I love how this episode incorporates the theme of deafness as it relates to the crew's difficulty with him once his entourage is killed. And Data's learning of the sign language also adds much to this wonderful episode. "Loud as a Whisper" is yet another nice discovery as I make my way through the early seasons of The Next Generation.

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