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 873 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

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

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Cast

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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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24th century


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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

Dr. Barron: Picard, I must protest. You're endangering Palmer with this delay!
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I am aware of that. But each of us, including Dr. Palmer, took an oath that we would uphold the Prime Directive - if necessary, with our lives.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
great story
18 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was watching back through the first three seasons to select episodes that would make a good sampling for a friend of mine; this episode is the one (out of the first three seasons) that I would be absolutely certain to recommend to anyone. It requires little to no background information and tells an engaging story. Also, to my recollection, no other episode conveys so well the wonder of reason and cultural progress.

Just as another reviewer observed about The Inner Light (my personal favorite), this episode shows that sci-fi, at its best, is not so much about the technology as it is about good storytelling.


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