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



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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)  »

Company Credits

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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 »


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 »


Counselor Deanna Troi: Captain, may I come with you to greet Tam?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: You know him?
Counselor Deanna Troi: I do. He was at the university on Betazed when I was studying psychology there.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Oh, I see, he was a colleague of yours?
Counselor Deanna Troi: No - he was a patient.
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.

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

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