Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 19

The Nth Degree (30 Mar. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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When assigned to investigate an unknown probe, Lt. Barclay is electrocuted through a shuttlecraft's computer, where he receives an unexplainable boost of confidence and a vast increase in his knowledge.



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Episode cast overview:
Kay E. Kuter ...
Lt. Linda Larson
Page Leong ...
Ensign April Anaya
David Coburn ...
Ensign Brower


The Enterprise checks on the Argus array, a giant Federation outskirts astronomical telescope, which stopped signaling data months ago. Geordi and mentally rehabilitated engineer Lieutenant Reg Barclay, try to repair it but an intense energy surge from an alien probe of unknown technology electrocutes Barclay and even causes serious damage on board the ship. Barclay soon recovers while the probe follows closely, building up a dangerous field but unresponsive to full phasers. Now Barclay demonstrates surprising insight and knowledge, saving the situation by repairing power and getting photon torpedoes ready which destroy the probe. Reg's useful but inexplicable erudition proves invaluable for telescope repairs too. Even his theatrical, romantic (towards Troi) and formerly inexistent violin performances improve suddenly , thanks to a confidence boost. When Dr. Crusher finds his brain improved more then any human causing unprecedented intelligence, he is also considered a potential risk.... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

30 March 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


47-reference: Data reports that the probe's energy output will cause failure of the Enterprise's shields in 47 seconds. See more »


Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Reg, ever since our run-in with that probe, something's different about you.
Barclay: What? Because I'm beginning to behave like the rest of the crew? With confidence in what I'm doing?
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: You just spent the entire night arguing grand unification theories with Albert Einstein!
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Parallels (1993) See more »


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

The return of Broccoli
20 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A season ago, in "Hollow Pursuits", the character Reg Barkley was introduced. Barkley is a character who is painfully shy and self- conscious and who had a habit of retreating into the holodeck instead of interacting with real people. Here in his return, Barkley has changed a bit. While he is still very shy, he's trying- -and the show begins with him performing on stage with Doctor Crusher for an audience on the ship. While his performance wasn't exactly brilliant, the fact that he's expose himself to others this way is a huge step. However, the next step he's about to take is beyond anything anyone could have anticipated. During a mission aboard a shuttle craft, Barkley is hit by a beam from an alien probe. Soon, he begins to show amazing intellectual prowess. Additionally, his confidence now seems to know no bounds. At first, all this is great and he becomes a much more valuable member of the crew. But, when he's assuming almost god-like abilities, it scares the crap out of everyone. And, by this point, can anyone stop him?!

Apart from how incredibly stupid the crew was in this one (it took WAY too long for anyone to suggest that contact with the probe is what changed Barkley), this is a great episode. I'd like to say more, as the way all this works is wonderful, but I don't want to spoil it. Enjoyable, a bit funny but also very clever.

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