The crew of the Enterprise must race against various rival powers to uncover an archaeological secret that explains the predominance of humanoid life forms in the galaxy.



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Episode cast overview:
Humanoid Progenitor
Captain Nu'Daq (as John Cothran Jr.)
Gul Ocett
Professor Galen


On mission to observe the development of protostars in the Volterra nebula, Picard is visited by his old Academy archeology professor Galen, who invites him on a long expedition he claims to be of historical importance. Being refused again in favor of fleet duty, Galen goes alone, but his shuttle is captured by Eurydians, who sell his vital findings, which Data, laForge and Crusher help decipher as an incredible DNA sequence,common to at let 19 independent life geneses - as it turns out, it was sold to the Klingons and Cardassians too, who arrive simultaneously at the planet where they suspect the common source, which included a 'program'. Yet this setting holds further surprises from still other races... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

24 April 1993 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode's premise was inspired by Carl Sagan's novel Contact (later filmed as Contact (1997)), in which clues to the nature of the universe are discovered in a long calculation of Pi. See more »


When the Enterprise is supposed to be at warp, we can see through the viewscreen on the Bridge that it clearly isn't. See more »


Doctor Beverly Crusher: [referring to Professor Galen] If it hadn't been for you, his dream to solve that puzzle would never have been realized. You left him a wonderful legacy.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Yes, but it would have been a more fitting legacy if the message had not fallen on such deaf ears.
Doctor Beverly Crusher: Hm... You never know.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Gambit: Part 1 (1993) See more »


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

One of the most important episodes ever, which should have been a movie!
26 November 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have just watched this episode, and as usual all the things I wanted so say have already been said in various other reviews but here goes any way.

It starts very well with the introduction of a mystery that seems to be of galaxy-shattering importance, so it gets your attention straight away, and for me at least, i'm glad to say it keeps it all the way to end. The "chase" element of the story is handled very well, many different species enter the race to discover the secret, humans, Klingons, Romulans and more, and it's a credit to the writers that they did this without it becoming a mess.

So we have an original and very promising start to the episode, I was getting really excited to see the outcome but even by the half way point I was starting to realise there couldn't possibly be enough time within 43 minutes for an ending that was worthy of the excellent premise.

I was right and wrong. It suffers from the common TNG problem of great pacing in first two acts, only to have a lack of time for a proper conclusion in the final act, so the end is rushed. That issue is more apparent than usual here because the significance of the premise is extremely high in the star trek universe, as others have said, this is the origin story of almost all the major reoccurring species in the entire history of Star Trek, all TV series AND movies! So why the hell wasn't this made into a movie, or at least a two-parter??

So I will say that this is still an excellent episode, one of the best ever and although it was too short to do itself complete justice, it leaves you thinking about the thousands of mind-boggling possibilities that it postulates and surely that is the goal of all good sci fi at the end of the day. I hope that they re-visit this episode one day and make a full movie adaptation, although I doubt that will happen in these days of Abrams' style-over-substance directorship.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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