Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 21

The Drumhead (27 Apr. 1991)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 986 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 6 critic

A retired admiral boards the Enterprise in an effort to determine the actions aboard the ship surrounding an act of sabotage and possible treason.



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Title: The Drumhead (27 Apr 1991)

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Episode cast overview:
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A Klingon traitor is arrested: engineer Lieutenant J'Ddan, who passed secrets to the Romulans via fluid in a medical syringe, sabotage is feared. Retired female Federation Admiral Satie and her former assistants arrive to take charge of the investigation, with security chief Worf. Meanwhile Data and LaForge look into the sabotage risk. J'Ddan's denial of sabotaging the vital dilithium chamber is credible, which implies another traitor aboard, so the crew is grilled, starting with medic Simon Tarses who gave J'Ddan his injections. After a paranormal counsel believes Tarses a liar, he's tricked by lies into acting guilty, even though the 'sabotage' was in fact found to be an accidental failure, and confesses he lied about his ancestry to hide a Romulan grandfather. Picard objects against the unethical procedure, Satie calls upon Starfleet chief of security Admiral Henry to look for an even wider conspiracy, starting with Picard himself, based on his long-term record, and Worf, based on ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

27 April 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jonathan Frakes (William Riker) and Jean Simmons (Admiral Nora Satie) were both stars in North and South. Frakes as Stanley Hazard and Ryan as Clarissa Main. See more »


Admiral Nora Satie: [to Picard] There have been others in the past who doubted me. They came to regret it.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

A witch's good but also very obvious.
20 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I think the episode "The Drumhead" is a lot more important than most episodes because it is so timely--and probably always will be. However, on the other hand, the show is VERY obvious and familiar.

When the show begins, you learn that there has been sabotage aboard the Enterprise. Some Klingon exchange officer has deliberately damaged the engines to serve his Romulan overlords. It's not surprising that the Federation would send a big-wig to investigate, but Admiral Satie (Jean Simmons--the actress, not the guy from KISS) turns out to be an evil slug who is more interested in conducting a witch hunt than learning the truth.

Considering all the similar situations we've experienced over the years (not just the Red Scare but more recent events as well), this is a good message. But I worry for two reasons: this message is so obvious and lacks subtlety and most folks are sheep and simply don't care. But I do appreciate the writer's attempt to educate us through the episode. And, it was nice to see Miss Simmons once again.

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