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

Too Short a Season (6 Feb. 1988)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 922 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 7 critic

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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Title: Too Short a Season (06 Feb 1988)

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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)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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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 leaves the bridge to go greet the admiral, he uncharacteristically contorts his face just before walking into the turbo lift as though stretching his jaw or speaking. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The quest for youth, Number One - so futile. Age and wisdom have their graces, too.
Commander William T. Riker: I wonder if one doesn't have to have age and wisdom to appreciate that, sir.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I hope not, Number One.
See more »


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

Weak due to a contrived script and bad makeup.
10 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode as well as "The Conscience of the King" from the original Star Trek series both make me laugh when it comes to showing advances in medicine. In "Conscience", the governor has a giant black patch on his face--nice plastic surgery, huh? In "Too Short a Season", the admiral is elderly and is in a gigantic and klunky looking wheelchair sort of device. To top it off, the actor playing him is wearing some of the worst old man makeup I've ever seen--and he just looks ridiculous--as if they producers gave the makeup team the week off! Wouldn't you think that by the 24th century they might have advanced just a bit more?!

This episode seems very contrived. An ambassador and his team have been taken hostage on a far away planet and for some inexplicable reason, the hostage-takers only seem to want an ancient a decrepit old admiral to negotiate with them. This makes no sense and why folks didn't balk at this is beyond me--and the writer didn't do a great job in setting this story line in motion. Regardless, on the way, the admiral undergoes an odd metamorphosis--becoming young again thanks to a miracle cure he's discovered. All this works together to produce a very weak show--one of the weakest of the first season. It's also VERY odd that Picard and the rest of the crew would go along with this nutty guy! And, Karnas' behavior at the end is just bizarre. However, it's NOT 100% terrible and is worth a look especially since the admiral's wife is played by Marsha Hunt---a 1940s actress who is always a delight to watch. And, incidentally, at age 96 she's still going strong and attended one of the recent Turner Classic Movies film festivals. Good luck to you Ms. Hunt!

By the way, as the episode progressed towards a hostage rescue, I wondered WHY the Federation used such crappy and ineffective weapons! The phasers were worthless and a bunch of hand grenades, some gas or a few machine gun would have done wonders! Heck, even water balloons might have worked better!!!

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