On a rescue mission to an alien shipwrecked training mission, they discover one of its trainees to be a human.



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Episode cast overview:
Captain Endar
Barbara Townsend ...
Admiral Connaught Rossa


The Enterprise rescues a small group Talerian adolescents, all wearing uniforms. They were on a training mission and one of them, Jono, turns out to be human. A medical scan reveals several healed injuries leading Dr. Crusher to believe Jono may have been abused. Data identifies the boy as Jeremiah Rossa, grandson of Federation Admiral Connaught Rossa. His parents were killed when the Talerians attacked their colony and the boy was apparently taken prisoner. Although a human, the boy has been fully assimilated into the warlike and highly patriarchal Talerian culture. When the Talerian Captain Endar, who claims Jono as is son, demands the boy's return, Picard refuses. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

13 October 1990 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


47 reference: The Talarian observation craft the Enterprise responded to is in Sector 21947. See more »


Data clearly checks his cards when playing the card game. As an android, he would not need to check what cards he has - they would be committed to memory. He could, of course, be 'mimicking' human behaviour. In reality he was checking so that viewers at home could see his hand. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Ever since I was a child, I've always known exactly what I wanted to do: be a member of Starfleet. Nothing else mattered to me. Virtually my entire youth was spent in the pursuit of that goal. In fact... I probably skipped my childhood altogether.
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Edited into Star Trek: The Next Generation: Force of Nature (1993) See more »


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

Picard tries his hand at being a surrogate daddy!
17 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

When the episode begins, the Enterprise comes upon a disabled Talerian ship. All the soldiers on board are a mess and close to death, so they're brought to sick bay. However, this is a very odd lot--as they're all children--teens pushed into the tough job of being soldiers. But something is REALLY odd about one of the teens--he's NOT a Talerian but a human. How he got to be with the Talerians is initially a mystery, but soon they learn through DNA tests that his family was wiped out by Talerians and the young boy was raised thinking he was a Talerian. The task is now to bring him back to his extended human family, but clearly he's too militant and too damaged to possibly be returned at this time. But, oddly, he will listen to no one but Captain Picard. So, the Captain is given a task he surely hates--to be the surrogate father to a very annoying and difficult young man. And, given that the Captain has almost no paternal instincts at all, this is indeed a HUGE problem! An even bigger problem develops when the Talariens arrive and demand to get the boy back...or else.

This episode touches on many contemporary issues, such as child soldiers (a serious problem in some African conflicts), post-traumatic stress disorder and adoption difficulties. And, it touches on the BIG issue...that Picard hates dealing with children--though he really wasn't that bad with this initial effort. All in all, despite being rather 'touchy-feely', it's a pretty good episode--mostly because it was well written and acted.

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