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

Where Silence Has Lease (26 Nov. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 755 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 5 critic

The Enterprise encounters a mysterious void in space and when they move in closer to investigate further, it envelops them and they can't get out.



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Title: Where Silence Has Lease (26 Nov 1988)

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Episode cast overview:
Nagilum (voice)
Charles Douglass ...


While en route to the Mogana quadrant, the Enterprise comes comes across a unique phenomena for the first time. It appears as a black void, with no matter or energy readings of any kind. As the Enterprise approaches the entity, it envelops the ship completely. They find however that they are unable to leave and when a Romulan vessel suddenly appears, Picard and the crew realize that something is amiss. Unable to move or leave and facing a lifetime as a prisoner of Nagilum, who wishes to experiment on them, Captain Picard decides there can be only one solution to set them free. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century




Release Date:

26 November 1988 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nagilum was originally supposed to have been played by Richard Mulligan. That's how the character's name was developed. See more »


When Worf and Riker are on the bridge of the Yamato, the dedication plaque is still that of the Enterprise. In the remastered HD version, the name on the plaque has been digitally removed. See more »


[first lines]
Counselor Deanna Troi: You're worried.
Capt. Picard: With reason.
Counselor Deanna Troi: About Worf or Commander Riker?
Capt. Picard: Both. I think it is perhaps best to be ignorant of certain elements of Klingon psyche.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Contagion (1989) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Star Trek TNG- Where Silence Has Lease
30 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Why do I get the feeling this was not the right time to join this ship?"

I have mixed feelings about "Where Silence Has Lease". I think the episode, before the threat's "face" is revealed, is absolutely fascinating. The Enterprise crew encounter a mysterious void, absent dimension and has no readings on Data or Wesley's monitor--it seems to exist, yet doesn't provide any readings to prove that it is a "lifeform". Worf mentions the Klingon myth of a space creature that devours starships and could not be too far from the truth. Anyway, the Enterprise decides to "take a closer look" with the void "enveloping" the ship! So the next thirty minutes has Picard strategizing as to what the void is. The appearance of a Romulan vessel, instantly attacking (and destroyed after return torpedo way too easily), the presence of the USS Yamato (replicated but not exactly the same ship, not operated by a crew, as Riker and Work board it noticing that the bridge and other locations are "off"), and the inability to exit the void despite warp speed to the max, each incident further perplexes Picard and crew, growing more concerned until the void finally shows its face (eyes, nose, and mouth, looking like a cartoon character, not menacing at all) and speaks perfect English. Deanna Troi and Dr. Pulaski feel that the Enterprise crew is like a rat in a maze, a laboratory experiment, their lives inconsequential to the Nagilum (that is what this void calls itself). When a member of the crew is killed by the Nagilum, interested in seeing death first hand, coldly/clinically determining that it will experiment with murder for over 50% of the Enterprise, Picard will decide to self destruct the starship instead of watching as the creature slaughters his crew. How will Picard get his people out of this situation?

To be honest, once I saw the Nagilum for the first time, I was taken right out of the episode. It looks too silly for serious science fiction, something a child doodles on paper out of boredom during math in the third grade elementary. The idea of a void, a kind of "hole in space", simply engulfing sensor probes sent into it instantly, with the ability to duplicate ships, containing a degree of superior intelligence, not known through any historical text, Data unable to define what it is, offers a really fascinating story, yet with one visible image of the void's face totally diminishing the results of such a compelling developing plot. That said, I was gripped by this episode for a good duration. The Nagilum wanting to learn about the Enterprise crew, seeing what they would do when faced with a number of tests, disappointed with its findings, even using the likeness of Troi and Data, at one point, to ask Picard about the meaning of death, "Where Silence Has Lease" definitely has an alien entity perfectly identifiable in the Trek universe. Aliens have shown up during the many Trek series wanting to learn about us, often using experimentation as a means to gain knowledge about how humans handle a crisis or difficult, perilous ordeal. I don't imagine this episode, however, will be viewed by Trek TNG fans as a particularly memorable episode, which is a shame because it initially had a lot of potential. Funny, many might remember the hologram program where Worf introduces Riker to a battle program (he calls it "calisthenics"!) he spends time in during his off-hours! This is significant in that Riker and Worf board the replica Yamato and we again see how the latter responds under duress, with his Klingon half surfacing possibly to his detriment (during the hologram exercise, Worf, so worked up, almost attacks Riker!).

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