Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 2, Episode 17

Samaritan Snare (13 May 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 721 users  
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With Picard away for routine surgery, the Enterprise responds to an apparent distress call from a Pakled vessel.



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Title: Samaritan Snare (13 May 1989)

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Episode cast overview:
Chris Latta ...
Captain Grebnedlog (as Christopher Collins)
Leslie Morris ...
Biomolecular Physiologist


The Enterprise is en route to base 515 where they will leave Wesley Crusher for a short time to undergo Starfleet Academy exams. Dr. Pulaski also wants Captain Picard to stop there and undergo a medical procedure he would prefer no one know about. The two of them set off for the base in a shuttle craft and along the way form a bond. Riker and others are puzzled by Picard's sudden decision to go to the base but the ship is soon off responding to a distress call sent by a Pakled vessel. They seem to have only limited knowledge of engineering and how to make the necessary repairs to its engines. The Enterprise is more than happy to help out but the Pakled are not as simple-minded as they seem and have their own plans for the Enterprise. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

13 May 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Wil Wheaton and Patrick Stewart came up with the gag where Wesley Crusher encounters a non-automatic door for the first time. They approach the door, which Wesley stares at. Picard looks at Wesley, as if thinking "Aw kids!" and opens it for him. See more »


At one point, a shot shows the dome above Riker's head on the bridge. The view appears to be dense with stars, although the shot just prior to this one shows Enterprise and the Pakled ship sitting in an area of space that contains far fewer stars. On closer inspection, the dome is more likely to be a proper ceiling consisting of glass that includes bubbles; these bubbles reflect the light from the bridge, which creates the effect of a star-strewn dome. Real stars would be next to invisible anyway, as their light intensity would be far lower than the illuminated bridge's. See more »


Commander William T. Riker: What brings you so far from home?
Pakled Captain Grebnedlog: We look for things.
Commander William T. Riker: What were you looking for?
Pakled Captain Grebnedlog: Things we need.
Commander William T. Riker: Can you be more specific?
Pakled Captain Grebnedlog: Things that make us go. We need help.
Commander William T. Riker: What is the nature of your mission?
Pakled Captain Grebnedlog: We look for things.
Commander William T. Riker: [to La Forge] Did you hear an echo?
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Tapestry (1993) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
See more »

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User Reviews

Quite good.
14 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Picard to get surgery, Wesley to take SF exam Pakled ask for help and seem simple-minded but NOT --don't really want help but are devious

When the episode begins, Captain Picard announces that he's heading to the nearest starbase and Wesley, who needs to go there for the Starfleet exam, will be accompanying him. However, exactly WHY Picard is temporarily relinquishing command is unknown--and he's being very cagey about it.

Shortly after the Captain leaves, the Enterprise receives a distress call from the Pakleds. When Riker and the crew arrive to help, they are a bit bemused, as the Pakleds seem incredibly simple-minded and harmless. How they were able to obtain a spacecraft seems like a real puzzler. But, happy to be of service, LaForge goes to the Pakled ship to offer help--and soon gets the ship running well. However, when Troi learns that they are dealing with the Pakled, she is worried as she sees these beings as very deceitful and they are NOT as dumb as they've been acting. What's next?

Overall, this was both an entertaining episode as well as one that furthered Picard's character development--something sorely needed for the normally super-stoic leader. Well done and one of the better episodes of season two.

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