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

Who Watches the Watchers (14 Oct. 1989)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Reviews: 15 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The episode's plot bears some similarities to some aspects of Erick Von Daaniken's premise concerning extraterrestrials visiting Earth in ancient times. In this case, Liko mistook the Enterprise's use of technology to beam Liko to Sickbay and heal his wounds as magic due to their technological frame of reference only being at a Bronze Age level, as well as Liko mistaking Picard's name for that of a god (or "Overseer" in the Mintakan culture) and the scientist Palmer as a servant of "the Picard". See more »

Goofs

The bow used in the show is a compound bow, a bow that has wheels or cams to increase power. A species at this point in their evolution would still be using a standard straight or re-curve bow. See more »

Quotes

Nuria: You have taught us there is nothing beyond our reach.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Not even the stars.
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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

 
A True Challenge for Those That Do the Right Thing.
14 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Living under the prime directive should preclude carelessness. The people researching a race of people (who look like Vulcans) end up blowing their cover. This draws the Enterprise crew into the mix and they are observed by the inhabitants. Beverly, following her Hippocratic oath beams up a native who falls from a precipice when startled. When he awakens on board the Enterprise he sees Picard in a soft light and assumes he is a god who has used his powers to save him. Of course,things get truly complicated because the confusion that ensues presents complex moral situations that need to be remedied.To complicate things, Riker and Troi, dressed like the inhabitants, are stuck on the planet. As they bide their time, trying to convince these people that their beliefs are simply superstitions, a man is captured who had disappeared when all hell broke loose. Since "the Picard" is seen as a god, they have to figure out what to do with this incapacitated stranger. Jean-Luc beams the female leader aboard to do what he can to try to show her that they are not gods, the Enterprise isn't Valhalla, and he is only a human at a different stage of history. The prime directive certainly complicates things. It's sort of like the U. S. Bill of Rights. It may not allow you to do what you interpret as right, but at its foundation it is right and proper. Without it, all sorts of bad stuff can happen and civilizations would be changed forever. It also keeps those who think they have all the answers in check. Excellent episode.


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