Riker returns from an away team mission wounded and infected with microbes from the planet below. He is soon in a coma in sick bay, the microbes having fused itself to his sciatic nerve and... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Lieutenant Worf (archive footage)
Wesley Crusher (archive footage)


Riker returns from an away team mission wounded and infected with microbes from the planet below. He is soon in a coma in sick bay, the microbes having fused itself to his sciatic nerve and impeding his normal functions. Dr. Pulaski cannot find a cure and although she can kill the microbes, it would also likely kill Riker. With only a hour or so before the spreading disease reaches his brain, Pulaski stimulates his neural impulses leading Riker to recall previous events aboard the Enterprise. The Doctor realizes that negative emotions are what will defeat the the body's invaders. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

24th century | clip show | See All (2) »




Release Date:

15 July 1989 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2365. See more »


As the doctor puts the probes into Riker's head, we see that the probes are actually telescoping in on themselves. See more »


[Dr. Pulaski reluctantly mounts the transporter platform]
Chief Miles O'Brien: I hope these are the right coordinates...
[she gives him an alarmed look]
Chief Miles O'Brien: Just kidding, Doctor. I know how much you love the transporter.
Dr. Kate Pulaski: About as much as I love comical transporter chiefs.
See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Understandably bad episode
16 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While we all know now that the reason for "Shades of Grey" being a "clip episode" was due to the 1988 writers strike and the production running out of money at the end of the 2nd season, I still can't excuse it on that basis.

There should have been ways to tell this same story without delving into the scene vault every 2 minutes. The entire amount of time devoted to new scenes (largely, those with Diana Muldaur, Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes on the sickbay set) is about 15 minutes. The rest is all clips from previous episodes. Surely the director could have found a away to squeeze out of the budget a few extra "new scenes" that would have been "Riker specific" flashbacks. Perhaps they could have used alternate takes or different camera angles of those same previous scenes (I'm sure at least some existed), or possibly even re-filmed some of the same scenes with the actors.

Frankly, I just see this episode (when it was first broadcast and still today) as a complete mess, a real cop-out, and a very depressing way to have ended the 2nd season..

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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