Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 1, Episode 15

Too Short a Season (6 Feb. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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The Enterprise transports an elderly Starfleet Admiral to negotiate a hostage crisis. When the Admiral takes a de-aging drug, he endangers both his life and the mission.



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Episode cast overview:
Wesley Crusher (credit only)


The Enterprise travels to the planet Persephone 5 to collect Admiral Mark Jamieson and transport him to Mordan IV to again lead a hostage negotiation on the planet where he had achieved a successful negotiation 40 years before. The Admiral makes it quite clear that he is in command the mission, but not the ship. En route, Jamieson, who is quite elderly and suffering from the incurable Iverson's disease, takes an alien rejuvenation drug that makes him younger. It soon becomes apparent that the hostages are being held by the planet's ruler, Karnas, not a terrorist group as he had claimed. When it also come to light that Jamieson's success was not brought about in the manner recorded in Federation history books, it becomes clear that it is the Admiral himself Karnas is after. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

6 February 1988 (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?


Actor Michael Pataki, who plays Karnas in this episode, also appeared in the original "Star Trek" series as a Klingon named Korax in Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967). Scenes in which he appeared in 1967 were also used in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations (1996), so in a way, he appeared in three Star Trek series in three different decades. See more »


When Picard enters the bridge from the turbolift with the camera following behind him, the picture jiggles a bit, as if the cameraman missteps. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: [referring to Jameson] You blamed your war on him. And there's no doubt he had a lot to do with it. But you had the weapons and you used them. You could have tried for negotiations for peace on your planet long ago. Instead you chose to fight. How many of those forty years of civil war are on your head, Karnas?
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Too Short a Season
3 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Captain Picard is to allow a crippled Admiral Mark Jameson (suffering from what is called Iverson's Disease) to take command of a hostage negotiation mission where a dangerous leader of one of the cities of a war-ravaged planet, Mordan IV, Karnas (Michael Pataki, full of sound and fury) claims that unless this specific mediator is present murder is certain. There's more to this than meets the eye and Karnas, in particular, could have hidden ulterior motives regarding Jameson, a possible revenge for a scandalous incident some 45 years ago. Karnas had demanded weapons provided to him due to his father ambassador's assassination at the hands of rival city, and what took place the day Jameson went to negotiate with him could not have been accurately conveyed to Starfleet. To deal with Karnas, Jameson has ingested a chemical compound that is causing his body to reverse in aging, his cell structure changing, but because he felt the need to take more than the required dose he has endangered his health. Intense pain and cell/organ failure result as the body continues to try to get younger and such stress is too much for Jameson to withstand. Such themes as the quest to recover youth, vitality, and strength and the seething desire for revenge are applied to this episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Too Short a Season". Neither produces positive results as Jameson and Karnas realize that such quests/desires are futile. While Karnas thought that seeing Jameson suffer for his role in 45 years of Civil War would be pleasurable, once this happens before his eyes it doesn't satiate or satisfy as he had assumed. If anything, it forces him to see the error of his ways and acknowledge that the price of that terrible day in the history of Mordan IV has been subjected on them in more ways than one. This episode includes a phaser fight between Jameson, Picard, and the Away team with Karnas' ground terrorists, as well as, Jameson's aging process, quite a shock to those on board the Enterprise, including his wife.

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