Captain Picard incurs serious wounds in a fight, even his artificial heart is gravely damaged. While Dr. Crusher wrestles with the medical consequences, his mind meets Q, who presents him ... See full summary »



(created by),

Watch Now

With Prime Video





Episode cast overview:
Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge (voice)
Lieutenant Worf
Dr. Beverly Crusher
Counselor Deanna Troi
Lt. Commander Data
Penny Muroc (as Rae Norman)
Clive Church ...
Maurice Picard
Young Jean-Luc Picard
Enterprise Computer (voice)


Captain Picard incurs serious wounds in a fight, even his artificial heart is gravely damaged. While Dr. Crusher wrestles with the medical consequences, his mind meets Q, who presents him to a parade of people who fell victim to Picard's actions and neglects, from his father and fellow cadets to himself, and offers him the possibility to have a 'second chance' without causing disaster by upsetting time. After Picard's initial refusal claim to have no regrets, Q forces him to acknowledge he made stupid mistakes and fix at least the adolescent one that got him stabbed and slapped in the face as an Academy graduate, or die and be stuck with Q for eternity. His error had been to help fellow Ensign Corey return the cheating at a pool game to a Naussicaan, a strong, badly tempered race, while ruining a friendship by having an affair. This time he stops Corey fighting and dying, but is deemed a coward, losing both friendships, and returned to the Enterprise an an inconspicuous Junior Grade ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Official Sites:


Release Date:

13 February 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In one scene at the Bonestell Recreation Facility, both a Selay and an Antican can be seen in the crowd. These races were first seen back in the season one episode "Lonely Among Us", and were deadly enemies. A script note for the same scene warned against using the Ferengi before their discovery. See more »


This version of Picard's stabbing is different than the way he described it to Wesley in the S2 episode Samaritan Snare - in that episode there was no mention of cheating at Dom-jot is what started the fight. See more »


Jean-Luc Picard: Q, even if you have been able to bring me back in time somehow, surely you must realize that any alteration in this timeline will have a profound impact on the future.
Q: Please, spare me your egotistical musings on your pivotal role in history. Nothing you do here will cause the Federation to collapse or galaxies to explode. To be blunt, you're not that important.
See more »


References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Samaritan Snare (1989) 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

Q becomes the Ghost of Starfleet Past, Present and Future in this one!
29 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite Q episodes--and it's among my favorites of the series. Part of this is because of the excellent continuity with an earlier episode ("Samaritan's Snare") and part of it is because the show clearly shows that Q IS a friend to Picard and is clearly helping him.

When the show begins, Picard is dying as a result of some sneak attack. His fake heart has given out and the Doctor is trying desperately to keep him alive. Then, suddenly, Picard awakens and he's in what could be Heaven...that is until he sees that the part of God is being played by Q! Here Q is welcoming him to the afterlife, but Picard naturally believes that this is one of Q's tricks once again.

Over the course of the show, Q allows Picard to time travel back to his impulsive period just after he's graduated from Starfleet Academy. This is because this is a HUGE regret for Picard--when he got his original heart destroyed in a foolish fight with some Nausicaans (which was alluded to in the prior episode). Picard always felt ashamed of this incident and his stupid youth--yet through the course of many flashbacks to his past and present, Picard comes to realize that his mistakes actually made him a better man and better leader.

As I mention in the summary, this episode is highly reminiscent to Dickens' "A Christmas Carole" with Picard seeing alternate paths for his life. It ends much differently and has many wonderful moments (the best is when Picard awakens after a night of hot sex--you just have to see that one!). All in all, very memorable and a great episode about who the Captain really is down deep.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Zach Braff on "Alex, Inc." and the Art of Directing

Zach Braff takes "The IMDb Show" behind the scenes of his new series "Alex, Inc." and reveals Morgan Freeman’s favorite on-set prank.

Watch now