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

The Outcast (14 Mar. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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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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Melinda Culea ...
Callan White ...
Krite
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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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gender | probe | shuttle craft | alien | love | See more »


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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 »

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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: My parents were pilots. I was flying with them before I could walk. As soon as I was old enough, I entered flight school. Krite was my instructor.
Commander William T. Riker: He had a good student.
Soren: "He"? Commander, there are no he's or she's in a species without gender.
Commander William T. Riker: Okay. For two days, I've been trying to construct sentences without personal pronouns. Now I give up. What should I use, 'it'? To us, that's rude.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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Dealing with sexuality.
27 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ST:TNG:117 - "The Outcast" (Stardate: 45614.6) - this is the 17th episode of the 5th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In another episode dealing with current social issues, as is prevalent during the 5th season of TNG, this one deals with sexuality and its acceptance in different societies and cultures (such as homosexuality). The Enterprise are helping out an androgynous race known as the J'Naii in attempts to rescue their shuttle craft that is stuck in a pocket of null space. When Soren, a J'Naii pilot, joins Commander Riker in locating the shuttle, a friendship is formed between them and soon they become romantically involved.

This is where the conflict arises - because the J'Naii are genderless, what Soren is doing is illegal and she must now be arrested and "cured".

Another intriguing episode in the true spirit of Star Trek.

Trivia note: Riker mentions a new unit of measurement - a millicochrane (named after Zephram Cochrane). Troi, during one of the crew's poker games, notes that the Federation was founded in 2161.


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