The Enterprise encounters a planet long dead, but technical equipment still functions for the purpose of selling off its arsenal, along with self sufficiency.



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Episode cast overview:
Wesley Crusher (credit only)
The Peddler
Chief Engineer Logan
Ensign Lian T'Su
George De La Pena ...
Lt. Orfil Solis


The Enterprise encounters a message from a planet offering to sell them arms. The messenger, essentially a holographic image, invites them to the planet below. There, the away team led by Commander Riker comes under attack from a myriad of weapons leading Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher to also beam down to the planet. They too are attacked and Dr. Crusher is seriously wounded. Aboard the Enterprise, Lt. Laforge is left in command for the first time in a crisis situation. He not only has to deal with being under attack from these unknown weapons systems, but also deal with a colleague who feels he should be given command of the ship. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

9 April 1988 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is based upon "The Arsenal of Democracy," one of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt fireside chats where he proposes to help countries threatened in World War II and keep American neutrality. "We must be the great arsenal of democracy." See more »


In the wide shot where the probe encases Riker in a forcefield, the probe appears to have a clear line of sight to the away team. After the probe encases Riker in a force field, Yar fires at the probe, destroying it. However, when it is destroyed, the probe is now hovering behind some branches and leaves, and these are not affected by Yar's phaser beam. This shows that the leaves and branches were added later, and were not considered when the phaser penetrates them to the probe. See more »


[Riker and Yar are faced with the imminent threat of a deadly weapon]
Lieutenant Tasha Yar: We could split up.
Commander William T. Riker: What good would that do?
Lieutenant Tasha Yar: Confuse it, delay it, something.
Commander William T. Riker: It would still get us; it would just take a little longer.
Lieutenant Tasha Yar: It might give one of us time to get out of range.
Commander William T. Riker: Out of *range*?
Lieutenant Tasha Yar: Forget I said it. These devices wiped out an entire planet. I don't think it has a range.
Commander William T. Riker: Then what does that leave us?
[Yar bites her lip]
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References Bright Eyes (1934) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Very simple and straight forward.
11 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Arsenal of Freedom" is a very simple episode--good but with a simple plot. The Enterprise is looking for what's left of another ship, the Drake. The trail leads to a dead planet...and yet the planet makes contact with them! It seems to be an automated message by some arms merchants who own the planet--and it IS a dead planet indeed. But when the away team lands, the planet becomes VERY hostile and begins attacking. Why then the Captain and Doctor beam down, I have no idea. Soon, all five crew members are in a life or death struggle and they cannot beam back aboard. In the meantime, Laforge is in command and this offers him a huge challenge, as the planet soon begins attacking the ship as well. Basically it's a tale of survival as well as of growth for Laforge. Very simple, very direct and yet very enjoyable. Worth seeing.

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