Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 2, Episode 7

Unnatural Selection (28 Jan. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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The Enterprise is en route to Star Station India when receive a distress signal from the USS Lantree, a Federation supply ship. When they arrive, they find everyone aboard the Lantree dying... See full summary »



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Title: Unnatural Selection (28 Jan 1989)

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Episode cast overview:
Patricia Smith ...
Dr. Sara Kingsley
Scott Trost ...


The Enterprise is en route to Star Station India when receive a distress signal from the USS Lantree, a Federation supply ship. When they arrive, they find everyone aboard the Lantree dying of what seems to be old age. They proceed to the Lantree's last port of call, the Darwin genetic research facility on Gagarin IV only to find that they too are suffering from rapid aging. Picard and Dr. Pulaski clash when she brings aboard one of the children from the station and in order to complete her examination, takes him aboard a shuttle craft in order to isolate him from the Enterprise crew. She is soon infected however and seems doomed to die of old age but Picard may have a solution. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

24th century




Release Date:

28 January 1989 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Despite having been on the ship since Farpoint, this is the first time that Chief O'Brien's name is used. See more »


When the doctor on the station guides Data and Dr Pulaski up the stairs to see the children, as she is moving her right hand up to gesture them up the stairs take a look and you will see where her 'old woman' makeup ends and her real skin begins. See more »


[Data is examining Dr. Pulaski's physical condition]
Lt. Commander Data: All systems are functioning within normal specifications, Doctor.
Doctor Pulaski: The "manufacturer"'ll be pleased to hear it. I appreciate your help, but your bedside manner needs work.
See more »


Edited into Star Trek: The Next Generation: Shades of Gray (1989) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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Unnatural Selection
29 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A genetic research station, Darwin, has created perfect human telepaths, immune to disease, advanced in intelligence, gifted physically and intellectually, mature, yet they have a system to fight off illness by way of antibodies that affect human dna, causing those infected to age at a rapid rate. Before this was known, Dr. Pulaski decided to risk being exposed to what killed a crew on another ship, by examining one genetically created child on a shuttlecraft, Data operating the controls, becoming infected with the old age disease. Picard and company are in a race against time (in more ways than one) to find a "cure" for the disease or else lose Pulaski and the other Darwin geneticists to certain death. Once again, scientists fooling around with genes/dna, playing God, pay a price for doing so. The very beings they create will have to remain in isolation the rest of their lives because the bunch is "too perfect". Fascinating use of the transporter (and amusingly points out Pulaski's repulsion for the device) as a possible cure due to a bio-filter system that "weeds out" any known diseases that might threaten to harm the crew of the Enterprise. A sample of Pulaski's dna will be detrimental to this experiment's success and salvation of other lives not just hers. This episode is what you might call a Diana Muldaur vehicle as she becomes the Chief Medical Officer replacing Dr. Crusher and her stubbornness and traits similar to Bones obviously intentionally pays homage to the iconic McCoy character; she gets center stage as the story is catered to the Pulaski character. Her disputes and debates with Picard (and the revelation that she jumped at the chance to work on the Enterprise because of the opportunity to serve with Picard) are really what make this episode, Unnatural Selection, such a treat. One could poke and prod at potential scientific flaws that might expose themselves, but ultimately I watch the show for the stories and the characters. This episode would make a nice companion piece to the Star Trek Original Series second season classic, The Deadly Years.

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