While visiting a planet under civil war, Dr. Crusher is taken hostage by an opposing faction of the planet's ruling government.



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Episode cast overview:
Alexana Devos
Kyril Finn
Fred G. Smith ...


When most away-teams are visiting the Ruthian planet under civil war since 70 years between two continents, Dr. Crusher is taken hostage while attending local wounded by an Ensata (western continent) autonomist faction of the ruling government which uses terrorist techniques such as bomb attacks. Her son Wesley Crusher is assigned to Lieutenant Worf's technology team, and spots radiation traces indicating the use of life-threatening dimension shift techniques abandoned by Federation research because of the health toll, which fit perfectly the Ruthian government's nightmare, 'inverters' used by the Ensata revolt to dodge all scans. Her keeper Kyril Finn, the Ensata leader, shows the great need for medical aid their side is not getting from the Federation, alas the inverter causes DNA warping she can't treat, and explains how he hopes to make the Federation end the bloody conflict at last. Discussions and attacks go on... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

27 January 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to a line from Data, in reference to the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Reunification of Ireland in 2024, the episode was originally banned in the UK and Eire, not airing in the usual running order on BBC television. In 2006, it showed on Sky One (who had assumed the broadcast rights) with the 'offending' line edited out. It was eventually shown unedited on BBC2 in September 2007 in the after-midnight repeat slot. See more »


When the first attack happens, Dr. Crusher "orders" Worf to get bandages. Her superior rank is not in his chain of command and his standing order to protect her comes from their superior, Captain Picard. Worf should have gotten her to a secure location with or without her consent. See more »


Doctor Beverly Crusher: You've scared the hell out of me, Finn! You've controlled me through fear, just like you've tried to control this whole continent!
Kyril Finn: You haven't tasted real fear yet, Doctor.
Doctor Beverly Crusher: Is that the best you can do? Is fear the only weapon you have?
Kyril Finn: No, but... it's a good one.
Doctor Beverly Crusher: You know what scares me the most, Finn? It scares me to think that you might win this fight, and gain real power!
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Its parallel to today is obvious.
16 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It's obvious that this episode is based on various terrorist organizations of the day--such as the IRA and PLO. This isn't surprising, as all the Star Trek franchises have a history of making episodes with contemporary parallels.

In this episode, the Enterprise is visiting the Ruthian planet--a place which has been plagued with terrorist attacks for many, many years. It seems that the Ensatan separatists want their own homeland and they seem willing to do just about anything to bring about this change--including kidnapping Dr. Crusher. But there is another reason for taking her prisoner, as the Ensatans are experiencing serious genetic damage due to their use of dimensional shifting--a practice long abandoned by the Federation since it will eventually kill those who use it.

Naturally the Enterprise want the Doctor back but they also don't want to be picking sides or get pulled into the conflict. Unfortunately, the Ensatans don't see it that way and soon are targeting the Enterprise and its crew.

Overall this is a decent episode, though some might be offended at the moral relativity. In other words, terrorists and those fighting them in this one are basically the same. This is sometimes true...sometimes not in real life. But its message is compelling nevertheless.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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