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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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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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The idea for this story passed through six writers altogether. They couldn't figure out how to define a genetically engineered society. See more »


Reflected in the black panel behind Geordi as he approaches the wooden rail on the Bridge in the show's opening scene. See more »


[Hannah and a few other colonists have asked to be allowed to leave their planet, but are facing strong opposition from their leaders]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: [mediating] In five days, you've seen only the most superficial evidence of what life is like outside this biosphere.
Hannah Bates: Would you ever choose to live aboard a ship in a bottle, Captain? You are in command of a starship. You live to explore the unknown. We ask for that same privilege.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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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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