The Enterprise reaches out to an alien being, while dancing around with the Romulans, who want to attack it in an act of vengeance.



(created by), (as Dennis Putman Bailey) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview:
Captain Robert DeSoto
Peter Vogt ...
Romulan Commander


While the Enterprise is on a mission to a future supernova, they get a visit from Tam Elbrun, well-acquainted with Counselor Deanna Troi and a specialist in contacts with aliens. Their actual target is 'tin-man', a space vessel which is believed to be an organic creature, yet no manufactured cyborg, but can't be contacted except hopefully telepathically, a task even Elbrun failed at so far, which seems to work dangerously on his temper, while he has the rare medical condition that his mind-reading ability is by default on, which progressively builds up excessive stress, so he finds only android Data relaxing company. Meanwhile the Romulans, who monitor every probe in the space zone, have already sent two space ships, and then the Enterprise senses a ship of unseen power. Troi finds out more about Elbrun and 'tin man' and Data about the Romulans' ruthless orders... Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

24th century | See All (1) »




Release Date:

21 April 1990 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although this isn't the first episode to feature the D'deridex-class Romulan warbirds (their first appearance being on Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Neutral Zone (1988)), this is the first episode to refer to this class of warbird by its name. See more »


Before the star goes supernova, Tin Man hurls the Enterprise 3.8 billion kilometers away, a distance of 1.46 light-days. Once they stop, approximately 30 seconds later, they see the star explode on the main viewing screen. From that distance it would take nearly a day and a half for the light of the explosion to reach them. See more »


Tam Elbrun: All my life I have waited for this - a chance to find peace. Finally all the voices are silent. Only Tin Man speaks to me now. Don't you see, Data? This... is where I belong.
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References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


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

A Unique Sentient Being
18 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Betazoid sense walks a delicate balance in these episodes. With Deanna, it has to do with emotional signals and body sense; with others, it's almost like mind reading. Tam Elbrun, the young empath aboard the enterprise, is a super reader of life forms, almost to the point of insanity. He has a checkered history which leads people to fear him, but he is a master at first contact. He has hooked up with "Tin Man," the name given to an entity that looks like a large pine cone. It used to be ship with a crew but circumstances have ended that. The thing has immense power and thinks on its own, but like so many one-of- a-kind creatures, it is filled with dread and loneliness. Tam-Elbrun, being empathic, feels the creature's pain. There is an issue in that the Romulans, who attacked Tin Man are set on revenge because the thing destroyed one of their war birds. Data is taken in on this whole thing because he does not send out any human baggage. This is a really thoughtful episode and well worth the viewing.

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