While Riker, Data, Crusher and various other crew enjoy a recreational day on an earth-like human colony, they are hit by an electrical storm but succeed in hiding safely in a cave they ... See full summary »



(created by), (teleplay by) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

With Prime Video



Episode cast overview:


While Riker, Data, Crusher and various other crew enjoy a recreational day on an earth-like human colony, they are hit by an electrical storm but succeed in hiding safely in a cave they make collapse after Riker recognizes it's an attack of the feared crystalline entity. After their release, xenologist Dr. Kila Marr is brought in, who specializes in studying the creature which needs to destroy an entire community to feed on given its immense energy consumption. Picard forces her to take Data in the investigatory team, although she suspects he might be in league with it as his brother was, but comes to appreciate his objective scientific input and even takes a liking to him after learning he has and can evoke many memories of the victims of an earlier crystalline attack in which her son Remi perished. Despite a new crystalline attack destroying a space-ship, the crew decides to attempt communicating and works out to do so by graviton beam, in which experiment Dr. Marr takes part... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century | See All (1) »




Release Date:

12 October 1991 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The painting or print on the easel in Data's quarters is in the style of Dutch painter, Pieter Cornelis "Piet" Mondriaan. See more »


At one point when Dr. Kila Marr is scanning the cave with Data, she holds the tricoder upside down. See more »


[last lines]
Dr. Kila Marr: [addressing her son through Data] Tell me... that you understand, Renny. That... that you know I d... I did it for you. 'cause I love you. Because I wanted to give you peace at last.
Lt. Commander Data: I do not find such a file in your son's journals, Doctor. However, from what I know of him, by his memories and his writing, I do not believe he would be happy. He was proud of your career as a scientist. And now you have destroyed that. You say you did it for him. But I do not believe he would have ...
See more »


References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Datalore (1988) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

I felt like socking Picard on the nose!
22 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode begins with Riker about to get his groove on with yet another alien when out of nowhere comes that dreaded Crystaline entity. It kills some of the settlers (depriving Riker of some more nookie) and the rest miraculously survive and are rescued by the Enterprise.

Soon, Dr. Kila Marr (Ellen Geer--daughter of Will Geer, by the way) comes to the Enterprise to monitor the entity as they pursue it. It seems that in addition to knowing more about the killing machine that anyone, her son was also killed by it--and she is ticked! However, Picard soon makes it clear that his goal is NOT to kill it (even though it basically eats planets) and wants to try to establish contact with the crystalline entity). Naturally Dr. Marr is NOT pleased with Picard's namby-pamby attitude. What's next?

This episode was unusual in that I really found myself hating Picard. I understand about the Federation's whole Prime Directive thing, but the creature eats planets...and he wants to try to be it's pal! He also seems indifferent to the thousands (and perhaps billions) of folks it's killed. And, at the end, SHE is seen as a baddie because Dr. Marr wants to kill it. I say KILL IT!!! A strangely unsatisfying episode.

6 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page