Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 6, Episode 2

Realm of Fear (26 Sep. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 573 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

Overcoming his fear of transporter, Lt. Barclay joins an away team, only to find something in the beam with him.



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Title: Realm of Fear (26 Sep 1992)

Realm of Fear (26 Sep 1992) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Episode cast overview:
Renata Scott ...
Thomas K. Belgrey ...
Crewmember (as Thomas Belgrey)


The Enterprise locates the scientific research ship USS Yosemite, which went missing while exploring plasma streams. Geordi assigns reluctant engineer Lieutenant Reg Barclay, whose idea it was, to help him bridge both ships' transport systems and join Riker's away team, but after a deconstruction phobia-caused hesitation and anxiety counseling with Troi, Barclay goes later, alone. Riker's team finds victims of an explosion, which may fit the Ferengi report Picard receives of an allegedly Cardassian attack. While Barclay beams back, he notices an eel-shaped entity which floats to him and touches his left arm in the phased matter stream, but a full transporter diagnostic finds no problem, so he fears to be a victim of incurable transporter psychosis, although none was reported on modern models for years. Geordi realizes either would fit with the same ionic fluctuation phenomenon suggested by in se acceptable abnormal transporter readings. Worried about Barclay's mental condition, Troi ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century




Release Date:

26 September 1992 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The creatures seen in the transporter beam were designed by Dan Curry and built by modelmaker Cary Howe. See more »


When Barclay is just about to return from the Yosemite his rank insignia is the wrong way round. It should be black then gold however it is gold then black. See more »


[last lines]
[O'Brien has introduced Christina, his pet spider, to Barclay]
Barclay: She's... very large.
Chief Miles O'Brien: I found her on Titus IV. Almost stepped on her by accident.
[Barclay starts to feel uneasy]
Chief Miles O'Brien: Oh, I'll... get us a couple of drinks, okay? Keep an eye on her, will you?
Barclay: Sure.
[O'Brien leaves. Christina meanwhile climbs on Barclay's arm]
Barclay: Er - Chief...?
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Genesis (1994) See more »


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

Realm of Fear
9 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Enterprise is investigating the mystery behind the USS Yosemite's communication silence, a science vessel studying a remote "Plasma Streamer", having been pulled into the streamer after getting a bit too close. Most of the crew is missing from the ship except a badly burned engineer, with heavy damage to the transporter on the Yosemite. Neurotic Systems Engineer, Reginald Barclay (Dwight Schultz), is overwhelming afraid of transporters, and when Geordi wants him to accompany the away team to the Yosemite, he just can't bring himself to do it. With help from Counselor Troi, Barclay may be able overcome his mortal terror, but, sure enough, when he finally does go through with it, he encounters microbes floating in the molecular stream, including what looks like a giant worm with only a mouth that seems to bite him! While Dr. Crusher tries to understand what happened to the engineer (his heart and pulse rate both temporarily surging back to life), she will also have Barclay's physical health to worry about as something has begun to affect his molecular structure, ionic disturbance right around the arm where the worm perhaps touched him. As the story is structured this is about confronting your ultimate fear so you can overcome it, the ability to function better as result of the process. Because Schultz has a knack for parlaying nervous anxiety and innate fear, this story works especially well. And the tailor-made episode especially suited to his character also allows Barclay to become a hero in the possible rescue of the missing crew members. I'm not sure why there haven't been more suspenseful stories centered around the transporter, horrifying things can happen, going back as far Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Plenty of dialogue does revolve around how safe the transporter is as a way to travel, even though Barclay's complaints on the dangers have validity/merit. One small mistake could mean disaster. This episode proves it when the bio-filter doesn't catch the microbes in the stream; this transportation process isn't fool-proof. This episode also has a nice part for Colm Meaney's Chief O'Brien whose record of transporting officers without loss is impeccable, and he does get a bit defensive when Barclay rattles on about the possibilities of tragedy that could result in the slightest miscalculation or problem. His sharing to Barclay of an arachnophobic fear, talking about having to deal with it in order to complete an assignment provides some insight in the O'Brien character. He was on his way to Deep Space Nine.

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