Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 1, Episode 20

The Arsenal of Freedom (9 Apr. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 782 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 7 critic

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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Title: The Arsenal of Freedom (09 Apr 1988)

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

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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9 April 1988 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This is the second time the saucer separation sequence is used for the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D. The saucer does not get separated again until Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds: Part 2 (1990). See more »

Goofs

When Dr Crusher is injured, Captain Picard tends to her injury. Only later when she believes she has lost a lot of blood does she tell the Captain of her leg injury. See more »

Quotes

Chief Engineer Logan: In view of the present crisis, I believe you should relinquish command to me.
Lieutenant Geordi La Forge: No.
Chief Engineer Logan: I outrank you.
Lieutenant Geordi La Forge: Mr. Logan, I'm in command.
Chief Engineer Logan: The Captain did not anticipate the Enterprise would come under attack. If he had, would he have left the bridge to you?
Lieutenant Geordi La Forge: If he had, he wouldn't have left the ship!
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
The Arsenal of Freedom
21 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Arsenal of Freedom" is pure awesomeness. Lt. Geordi LaForge gets to sit in the hotseat as Picard, Dr. Crusher, Commander Riker, Lt. Commander Data, and Security Officer Yar are on a planet with a history of supplying weapons for war. No human lifeforms, just advanced weaponry the Enterprise crew has never encountered left to contend with. Both the Enterprise and those on the ground have to deal with superior weaponry, and how to get out of dodge will be top priority for all involved. Picard and Crusher fall into a hole while flying machines fire laser blasts towards the away team. Each machine they destroy, the next is improved; Riker and company know that they cannot continue to do battle with them because eventually their phasers will have no effect. Meanwhile, LaForge must tolerate an officer from Engineering challenging his authority while having to deal with a weapon with cloaking capabilities, slowly deteriorating the Enterprise's shields the longer they remain in orbit of the planet. This episode really exhilarates me because it such a refreshing change of pace; Picard goes down to the planet, Crusher (who suffers lacerations, bruises, and broken bones thanks to the fall; how Picard survived unscathed is anybody's guess) is the one who needs tending to, and Geordi decides to separate the saucer driving the battle section back to the planet, keeping the 1000 people from certain doom if the Enterprise were to remain in orbit. The solution to the entire ordeal is a hoot because it is so ridiculously simple and a nearly unconscious Crusher comes up with it out of the blue! Vincent Schiavelli (Ghost) is hilarious as a "projected salesman", a "peddler program" used by the now extinct Minos people to sell weaponry, killed off by the very machine they built. He actually helps Picard figure out the machine's weaknesses and understand how it works. This is Geordi's finest moment (and he had some good ones in the coming seasons as Chief Engineer, but this was his turn to shine; I would be shocked if this wasn't Levar Burton's favorite episode, or at least one of his favorites), getting to command, sit in the Captain's chair, and what he is saddled with is quite a responsibility/burden. Seeing young con personnel and a game Worf going to battle with Geordi (okay, granted, it is against a similar machine that you see on the ground of the planet, but its cloak and dagger routine is quite difficult for even the most seasoned Captains, appearing, disappearing, and reappearing) is really a thrill. You don't see the saucer separating very much but when it does, the episode really needs to deliver something of note and this one does feature Geordi, taking solid advice from the wisdom of Troi, leading the nervous officers with confidence and level-headedness. Just a great episode altogether, with lots of action, survival strategies, and difficult challenges for all of the principle characters. There is a bit of mourning for me inside because this is really a fine example of why Denise Crosby's decision to leave the show (just two episodes later, Skin of Evil would feature the Yar character's demise) was the wrong one because she is right in the thick of it on the ground, helping to dictate the next move against those pesky laser machines.


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