Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5, Episode 17

The Outcast (14 Mar. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 709 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

While aiding an androgynous race who lost a couple of members in an unmapped region of space, Riker falls for one of them, which can lead to trouble if detected, since the alien race does not endorse gender specificity.

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Title: The Outcast (14 Mar 1992)

The Outcast (14 Mar 1992) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Storyline

The Enterprise obliges the androgynous Genai race's request to investigate a mysterious shuttle disappearance. When a probe follows an inexplicable neutrino emission, it too suddenly vanishes without a trace, possibly the first-ever documented 'null-space', which absorbs all electro-magnetic forces around it. Riker will attempt to chart it in a shuttle with the Gennai Soren. While contemplating the differences between social and biological life with or without gender-distinctions they become close. Entering the null-space, they find the shuttle and beam back with its crew of two to the Genai's green planet, where they fall in love. Soren is arrested for loving sexually and sentenced to psycho-technic perversion therapy... Written by KGF Vissers

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14 March 1992 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Rick Berman tried not to let perceptions of what the public would find acceptable "influence us too much" in the choice of Riker's opposite, adding "Having Riker engage in passionate kisses with a male actor might have been too unpalatable for viewers." Jonathan Frakes (Riker) didn't agree. He criticized the decision to cast women in the roles of the J'Naii, because he felt a love affair shared between two men would have made the statement of the episode much stronger. See more »

Goofs

Some viewers have noted that Soren tells Commander Riker that there are no 'hes' and 'shes' in Soren's species, but when she later speaks of her former classmate, she too uses the terms 'he' and 'him'. However, as Riker has said he feels uncomfortable using the pronoun "it" it's likely that Soren is simply adjusting her language to accommodate Riker. Also the classmate felt being male so using "he" would be logical choice. See more »

Quotes

[Soren has asked what kind of women Human males prefer]
Commander William T. Riker: Some like quiet, demure women; others prefer a lot of energy. Some only respond to... physical attractiveness; others couldn't care less. There're no rules.
Soren: You make it sound very complex.
Commander William T. Riker: Believe me, it is.
Soren: Well, perhaps it is that complexity... which makes the differences in the sexes so... interesting.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
Poorly Crafted Episode/Riker Can't Keep His Pants On
3 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This works initially because the androgynous race is really interesting. I do take issue with the fact that this race is so clueless about conventional male/female roles. Most of the galaxy is probably made up of flora and fauna that function this way. Obviously, there is a mystery as to how this all works and the young Jenaii (Coren) is curious. This person eventually admits that the female side has established dominance. Riker begins to find "her" fascinating. It is explained to him how dangerous it is to admit that you gravitate one way or the other. Of course, Riker falls in love, letting his lust overcome his reason, endangering the person he now loves. Many Star Trek TNG episodes find Riker stomping around like a little boy, not getting his way. He has pushed the envelope on more than one occasion, ignoring PIcard's advice about the prime directive. There is a trial where Coren makes an impassioned speech about individual rights. She finishes and instead of making an impression, she is carted away to be "fixed." Riker tries to take the blame in one of his silly pathetic speeches, but he is ignored. The point is that he never used reasoning to look at the big picture of this world. He is responsible for taking away any chance that things could eventually change. So much erratic, improper behavior really diminishes this episode.


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