Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 4

Who Watches the Watchers (14 Oct. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 900 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 7 critic

A proto-Vulcan culture worships Captain Picard and prepares to offer Counselor Troi as a sacrifice.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Wesley Crusher (credit only)
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James Greene ...
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Oji (as Pamela Segall)
John McLiam ...
James McIntire ...
Lois Hall ...
Dr. Mary Warren
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Storyline

The "Enterprise" is to provide technical assistance to a 3-man anthropological field team on the planet Mintaka III, which is observing, in hiding, the Vulcanoid Bronze Age native population. When the holographic hiding place is ravaged by an explosion, the landing party and its advanced technology are observed by two natives, one of whom, Liko, gets hurt badly and is beamed up for life-saving treatment; Picard orders his short-term memory wiped out to prevent a breach of the Prime Directive, but that fails as Commander William Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi find out, after they are beamed down again, temporarily altered to resemble Mintakans, to look for missing anthropologist Palmer: this culture now revives an abandoned belief in a supernatural overseer, worships the Picard, and soon ponders to offer Counselor Troi as a human sacrifice.... Written by KGF Vissers

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14 October 1989 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The title is related to the phase Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, a Latin phrase from the Roman poet Juvenal, variously translated as "Who watches the watchmen", "Who watches the watchers", "Who will guard the guards", "Who shall watch the watchers themselves", or something similar. See more »

Goofs

(at around 3 mins) When Captain Picard shows Nuria the view of her planet from the Enterprise, what appears to be a boom mic is visible on the top of the screen. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Nuria: I wish you good journeys, Picard. Remember my people.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Always.
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Connections

References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Pen Pals (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
one of the best of Star Trek
20 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a super episode of Star Trek, a true classic.

What is so great about this episode? The answer is simple. This episode illustrates one of the great flaws of human beings, namely the insanely extreme actions they will take to force others to believe whatever nonsense they themselves decide to believe.

This massive flaw in human being is at the root of endless billions of instances of humans mistreating other humans. Happens every day, in endless ways.

This understanding is not some religious or atheist lesson. People behave this way about endless issues, not just whether god exists or not. People mistreat others for not accepting socialism or communism or democracy or fascism or any number of political systems (all of which are bogus). People mistreat others for not accepting certain kinds of medical treatments. Hell, people kill each other for supporting "the wrong" sports team!

So yeah, the lesson this episode takes on is far more general than religion. The lesson is intellectual independence... or lack thereof. Shall we deal with other humans by intimidation and force, or should humans simply have conversations with each other, and let each draw their own provisional inferences, and update them as they accumulate more and more experience.

Great idea. Great story. Great writing. Great episode.


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