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

The Outcast (14 Mar. 1992)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 824 users  
Reviews: 10 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)

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Episode cast overview:
Melinda Culea ...
Callan White ...


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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Release Date:

14 March 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Melinda Culea is the third The A-Team (1983) regular or semi-regular to guest star on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). The first two were Lance LeGault who played Captain K'Temoc in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Emissary (1989) and Dwight Schultz who played Lieutenant Barclay in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hollow Pursuits (1990) and several reappearances. See more »


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 »


Commander William T. Riker: [about split pea soup] It's very healthy. Helps to keep you warm on cold Alaskan nights.
Soren: We prefer to stay warm by sleeping with a friend.
Commander William T. Riker: I see...
Soren: Not to mate. Just to sleep together - for warmth.
Commander William T. Riker: It still sounds better than pea soup.
See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

At times, EXTREMELY preachy but also ahead of its time.
24 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode probably wasn't received well by many when it was first aired in 1992, as it addresses homosexuality and inter-sex beings-- topics that were rarely talked about on American TV in the early 90s. Because of this, it was rather groundbreaking. The only serious problem with the show is that at times, especially near the end.

Riker, the intergalactic playboy, is working with a person from Genai. Soren is from a planet where everyone is androgynous--and she is quite curious about human sexuality. She and Riker talk about this quite a bit during their mission together and you eventually learn that Soren is unusual for one of the Genai, she has sexual urges towards males. However, she MUST keep it a secret, as on her planet inter-sex is the only option. And, she is attracted to Riker...and vice-versa. What's going to happen if anyone on Genai learns about Soren's 'perversion'?

The show had a lot of good points and the relationship between Riker and Soren was very interesting. My only complaint is that the show was incredibly unsubtle and preachy near the end--with Riker speechifying instead of uttering dialog. Still, it's well worth seeing.

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

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