8 user 7 critic

Up the Long Ladder 

When Starfleet receives an Earth-like distress signal from deep in space, the Enterprise is sent to investigate. Picard suspects the Earthlings in question may have originated with SS ... See full summary »



(created by), | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

With Prime Video





Episode complete credited cast:
Wesley Crusher (credit only)
Jon DeVries ...
Prime Minister Granger (as Jon de Vries)


When Starfleet receives an Earth-like distress signal from deep in space, the Enterprise is sent to investigate. Picard suspects the Earthlings in question may have originated with SS Mariposa which carried a group of Utopians hundreds of years before. He is intrigued at the odd mix of equipment they carry. When they arrive, they realize that solar flares from the planet's sun will kill them and the Captain orders the colonists removed to the Enterprise for their safety. When the refugees mention there is another group from which they've separated for hundreds of years, the ship travels to the Mariposa colony which is made up entirely of clones of the original inhabitants. Meanwhile, Worf collapses at his station on the bridge and Dr. Pulaski tries to diagnose what may be wrong with him. He's less than pleased when she tells him that he has the Klingon version of the measles. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 May 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In a meeting with Prime Minister Granger, Dr. Pulaski asks how they overcame replicative fading. This is explained as a problem when making a copy of a copy. To get around this problem, they could have just kept making clones from the DNA of the 5 original colonists. See more »


When transporting several Bringloidi and their animals and livestock from the planet surface, they appear on the transporter pad on the Enterprise standing atop a layer of hay. This is clearly a goof, in that when crew members transport up from the surface of a planet, they do not bring with them dirt, grass or the like that they were standing on during the transporter process. See more »


[Picard has just discoverd the source of the beacon: the SS Mariposa]
Lt. Commander Data: Mariposa. The Spanish word for "Butterfly".
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Thank you, Data.
Lt. Commander Data: I thought it might be significant, sir.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: It doesn't appear to be, Data.
Lt. Commander Data: No, sir.
See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Irish among us...this one seems a bit silly and insulting.
14 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

It's funny that one of the most politically correct shows of its day would make VERY broad and probably insulting stereotypes in one of its episodes-- but that's what occurs in "Up the Long Ladder".

The Enterprise finds something they do not expect--an Earth colony where no one thought there was one. However, when the crew reads through the ship's manifest which brought the people to the planet, some of the things don't fit--as if there were two totally different colonies. And, it turns out there are two. The first is made up of a group of very uncouth Irish people--seemingly straight off the set of "The Quiet Man" or a Lucky Charms commercial. I am pretty sure Irish folks seeing this show would NOT be pleased that they are shown as a bunch of drunken slobs...but that's is how they behave. As for the other group on a nearby planet, they are scientific and much more advanced...but they are also dying as a race. What's next? A love connection...

This was a rather poor episode. First, it didn't really make any sense why a group of ignorant boobs would go on such a long space voyage. Second, there is really no subtlety or finesse about the show--it is VERY broadly written and rather stupid.

12 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

"This Is Us" Star Chris Sullivan and TV to See in 2018

"This Is Us" star Chris Sullivan gets emotional about Season 2. Plus, "The IMDb Show" looks at the most highly-anticipated TV shows of 2018 and talks to Lena Waithe about "The Chi."

Watch the show