Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 20

Tin Man (21 Apr. 1990)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 849 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 6 critic

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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Title: Tin Man (21 Apr 1990)

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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century | See All (1) »




Release Date:

21 April 1990 (USA)  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chosen as the feature for the September 2013 premiere of "Trek Theater", an event in author David Bischoff's hometown of Eugene, Oregon: amateur actors who love Star Trek (1966) gather to put on faithful reenactions of favorite episodes for a live audience. See more »


Capt. DeSoto's first name is "Robert" here, even though he is referred to as Captain Jonathan DeSoto in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint. Possibly his initials are "J.R.". See more »


Tam Elbrun: All right, all right! I should've... brought up the Romulans earlier, but I was... distracted.
Tam Elbrun: [suddenly, to Riker] And no, Billy-boy, I wasn't distracted on Ghorusda. If Darson had listened to me, no one would have died!
[he is about to leave, but turns around to Riker once more]
Tam Elbrun: No? Well, I don't care whether you believe that or not!
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
See more »

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User Reviews

17 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A gigantic organic spacecraft has come to the attention of both the Federation and Romulans--and the craft is dangerously close to a star that is about to explode. Attempts to contact it have been unsuccessful and so the Federation wants to have Tam Elbrun make contact. After all, he's the greatest of all the Betazoids when it comes to reading thoughts. Howevrer, Elbrun's gift is also a horrible curse, as he reads EVERYONE and cannot shut them out--a rare condition that often drives Betazoids like him insane. He's on edge and Picard and the rest of the crew are worried that he's losing it. Their confidence seems real, as Elbrun once was in therapy with Counselor Troi and suffered a nervous breakdown during one disastrous assignment. Can Elbrun keep his sanity and help the Federation?

This is an extremely static episode and like the duller episodes, it's set completely on the Enterprise. It's extremely talky, slow and the overall theme is shockingly uninteresting.

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