Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5, Episode 13

The Masterpiece Society (8 Feb. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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The Enterprise is on a mission to warn the human colony of an artificial paradisiac biosphere on planet Moab 4's southern colony of the approach of a massive stellar fragment, which will ... See full summary »



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Title: The Masterpiece Society (08 Feb 1992)

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Episode cast overview:
Hannah Bates
Martin Benbeck
Sheila Franklin ...


The Enterprise is on a mission to warn the human colony of an artificial paradisiac biosphere on planet Moab 4's southern colony of the approach of a massive stellar fragment, which will impact with seismic force causing a tectonic disaster. However its competent, considerate leader Aaron Conor refuses to evacuate, confident their biosphere can withstand earthquakes. He does allow a small Enterprise party to visit their society, which they believe far superior after eight generations of selective breeding which nearly eliminated the remaining human risk factors. Despite their rigid rule never to leave, scientist Hannah Bates is allowed to come aboard to work out a method to deflect the approaching fragment jointly with Geordi, who as blind man would not even have been born in their society, by a tractor beam and updates to the biosphere itself. Picard disapproves of genetic 'predisposition' on principle, Troi becomes platonic intimate with Conor, who would be prepared to accept her ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

8 February 1992 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Quite a few actors in this episode would go on to appear in further Star Trek episodes. Ron Canada would appear in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995) (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Rules of Engagement (1996) and Star Trek: Voyager: Juggernaut (1999)). Dey Young would also appear in DS9 and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: A Simple Investigation (1997) and Star Trek: Enterprise: Two Days and Two Nights (2002)). This is John Snyder's second appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). The first appearance was in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Enemy (1989). See more »


As the landing party enters the lab to meet Dr. Hannah Bates for the first time, Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) is walking very fast with his head down, not watching where he's going, and almost walks into the wall to the left of the doorway. He looks up at the last moment and avoids bumping into the wall, jumping through the doorway just in time. Although his character could be smiling at the occasion of meeting Dr. Bates, it sure looks like he's trying to suppress a laugh at his near miss with the wall. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: They've given away their humanity with this... genetic manipulation. Many of the qualities that they breed out, the... the uncertainty, self-discovery, the unknown - these are many of the qualities that make life worth living. Well, at least to me.
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Fourth Prelude in E Minor.
Written by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

Biosphere 2.
26 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ST:TNG:113 - "The Masterpiece Society" (Stardate: 45470.1) - this is the 13th episode of the 5th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

This is an interesting episode dealing with a genetically engineered society who have sequestered themselves into a biosphere - so no one can get out. This is partially a commentary on the Biosphere 2 project which was began in 1991 (this episode aired in February 1992), about whether life can be self-sustaining inside an enclosed structure.

The Enterprise warns them that a stellar core fragment will pass by their colony on Moab IV, thereby destroying them, but because they are in a biosphere, they are unwilling to leave. The situation becomes more difficult when the leader of the biosphere, Conor, and Troi, become romantically involved, and several of the colonists eventually also want to leave (because now they see more than their biosphere world because of the Enterprise)!

A true example where Star Trek and contemporary reality interact.

Trivia note: it's noted by Picard that lower band frequencies were commonly used in the last century (200 years before). And, a "ship in a bottle" is mentioned here - this is an ongoing motif in the TNG series.

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