Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 17

Night Terrors (16 Mar. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 695 users  
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The Enterprise has finally tracked the missing starship USS Brittain. Counselor Deanna Troi senses trouble with the life on board and joins Riker's boarding party. The crew was slashed to ... See full summary »

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Title: Night Terrors (16 Mar 1991)

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John Vickery ...
Andrus Hagan
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Ensign Gillespie (as Duke Moosekian)
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Ensign Peeples
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Ensign Kenny Lin
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Storyline

The Enterprise has finally tracked the missing starship USS Brittain. Counselor Deanna Troi senses trouble with the life on board and joins Riker's boarding party. The crew was slashed to death; the only survivor, Betazoid Counselor Andrus Hagan, is in shock. Doctor Beverly Crusher 's autopsy concludes 34 crewmen killed each other with phasers and other weapons, even bare hands; a tape recorded a paranoiac fear among them. While the Enterprise tows the Brittain to the nearest starbase, its own crewmen starts sensing another presence and experiencing rising fear, plausibly working up to dangerous paranoia. The ship itself gets stuck in a rift in space; Data finds the Brittain tried to escape from the same with a blast, the technicians have a hard time finding a better alternative, at Picard's request with (fear-immune android) Data temporarily in command. Meanwhile Dr. Crusher gets nightmarish hallucinations herself but concludes from a chemical imbalance that all the humans have ... Written by KGF Vissers

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24th century


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16 March 1991 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) and Lanei Chapman (Ensign Sariel Rager) reunited ten years later in Rat Race (2001) playing mother and daughter. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Crusher is giving her report of the autopsies, she shows a file from the Captain's Log of the Britain. This assumes that Picard had not already been watching them. Giving what had happened on the ship, Captain Picard should have been watching those logs himself to learn what had happened to the other Captain's ship. See more »

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Ensign Gillespie: Picard owes us some answers!
[punches O'Brien and thus initiates a mass riot]
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
Slick, Cool, and Loads of Fun
6 June 2013 | by (Dallas, TX) – See all my reviews

Coming off the disappointing resolution of Clues, TNG bounces back with another mystery that has a much more satisfying conclusion. But I'll get to that (no spoilers in this review).

It starts off with the Enterprise arriving on the scene of a derelict ship: the Brattain. The Brattain's engines have no power, and all its crew are dead (save one, who only has a single vital purpose for the plot) -- it turns out they killed each other. The Brattain's logs indicate an increase in paranoia and erratic behavior in the weeks leading up to everyone's demise. What happened?

The lack of power to the engines is also a mystery. Geordi says everything should work, but nothing does. They decide to put the Brattain in tow, but then the Enterprise starts experiencing engine problems, as well.

The crew also starts to have issues with aggressive behavior, hallucinations, memory loss, and the like. Even when Crusher discovers the cause, there isn't anything they can do about it. Meanwhile, Troi is having nightmares about floating through space and hearing voices. And as Picard realizes that he, too, is not immune, he confides in Data that he may be the one crew member that can keep them from ending up like the Brattain.

All this sets up for a nice, tight resolution to the mystery, but there are also some neat little touches along the way. For example, as the days progress, Troi's hair looks more disheveled. Picard looks visibly older. Crusher fumbles in search of her communicator pin. They sell it. And we buy it.

This is an all-around enjoyable episode. It's everything that's good about Star Trek, rolled up into a suspenseful hour-long episode. Easily one of the best of the season, if not the series.


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