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


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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Release Date:

28 January 1989 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chief O'Brien was a last-minute addition to the episode's teleplay. Originally, the story featured a young engineering genius named Rina, whose beauty causes her male colleagues to repeatedly experience pratfalls, and who also had a romantic subplot with La Forge. Showrunner Maurice Hurley found the character obnoxious and deleted her when he rewrote the teleplay, replacing her with Colm Meaney's until-then nameless character, who was finally named and had his personality expanded upon. See more »


The research facility uses cathode-ray tubes. See more »


Doctor Pulaski: The children will survive, but the rest of us are just about out of time.
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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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User Reviews

An interesting idea...too bad that so much of the episode seems overly familiar.
13 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Much of "Unnatural Selection" is quite good. It's sad, then, that the show starts off with a serious deficit because so much of the show seems like a remake of one of the original "Star Trek" shows, "The Deadly Years".

The Enterprise receives a distress signal from a Federation ship. But, by the time they arrive to help, the entire crew is dead-- killed by some disease that turned young and healthy people into old folks who died from 'natural causes' due to age. This certainly isn't good but is worse because it looks identical to the earlier show (and I hate repetition).

Fortunately, what follows is still an interesting episode. HOW the virus occurred and how they come up with a solution is all very fascinating. My only other complaint, though, is that the scientists at the Gagarin Station seemed amazingly stupid and unscientific in their thinking...and this didn't make a lot of sense. Flawed but worth seeing.

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