Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 5

The Bonding (21 Oct. 1989)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 933 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 6 critic

A startling surprise awaits the crew of the Enterprise when a mission costs the life of a crew member, who left her son behind.



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Beaming down to the ruined planet of the Quaenonians, a race extinguished by self-destruction, an Enterprise landing party loses in an explosion the life of the crew archaeologist Lt. Marla Aster, who leaves behind a teenager son, Jeremy. After Lieutenant Worf, the Klingon orphan raised by humans who commanded his mother's landing party, talked with Jeremy, while Wesley Crusher, the crew member closest in age to the boy, still needs to consider how to share the experience of being orphaned, suddenly a woman appears, who pretends to Jeremy to be his late mother, coming to take him to their new home on the planet, where some activity is observed, which even taps into the ships own energy. When Deanna Troi convinces the boy neither his mother nor a safe home on the planet can be real, she disappears, the ship is attacked, she reappears and an energy form intrudes the Enterprise. Maybe persuasion works better in his interest on Jeremy's would be-substitute mother, who explains the ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

21 October 1989 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ronald D Moore's original idea was for Jeremy Aster to recreate his mother on the holodeck, however Gene Roddenberry nixed the idea, believing in the 24th century children would have a greater acceptance of death. See more »


While Jeremy is looking around his apparent home on Earth, he calls the cat "he". The cat is a calico, three coloured cat. All three coloured cats are female. See more »


Wesley Crusher: Do you ever think about him, Mom?
Doctor Beverly Crusher: Your father? Sure I do.
Wesley Crusher: Sometimes... I can't even remember what his face looks like. It scares me.
Doctor Beverly Crusher: It happens to all of us, Wes. Sometimes... I can't get his face *out* of my mind.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Great! if you can suspend your disbelief
10 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Interesting philosophical questions about loss and suffering and a different and moving dimension to the characters and acting of most episodes. It all seems a bit silly because any kid, even a Starfleet kid would just totally freak out at the events in this one. However, like most trek episodes, there is enough in the story to make a feature length movie. It stands to reason therefore, that a lot of potential character and story development has to be cut down to make it fit into 45 minutes. Understandably, it can seem a bit unrealistic at times. Still, great sci-fi provides insights into the human condition by exploring fantasy scenarios, which this episode does, if you can just suspend your disbelief.

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