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



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


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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Release Date:

14 October 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ray Wise who plays Liko, is searching for Dr. Palmer and "the Picard." A year later Wise began to appear in Twin Peaks (1990) as one of his most famous roles, Leland Palmer, who knows a family named Packard which sounds a bit like Picard. See more »


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 »


[Liko is about to shoot Picard to prove that the latter is a supernatural being]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: If you believe I am all-powerful, then you cannot hurt me. If, however, I am telling the truth, and I am mortal... you will kill me. But if the only proof you will believe is my death... then shoot.
See more »


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


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

If it upsets the fundamentalists...
28 August 2011 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

The outrage of Christian extremists is the best testimony of this episode's necessity and of its continuing validity, 22 years after first airing.

Sadly, fundamentalists will always miss the point. Rather than realise the foolishness of resorting to extraordinary explanations when easy ones are unavailable (as the Mintakans briefly do, believing "Picard is a god" to be the only explanation to the feats they've witnessed); they'll claim outrage and talk of "offense".

"I'm offended" is the newest way dogmatic people have found to avoid thinking, and they'll ride it out for as long as we tolerate it. They'll make up oxymora like "militant atheism" to defend the dogma, because it's easier to throw nonsensical accusations than to actually start being rational about something.

Religious shows can be counted in dozens, atheist shows are pretty rare (there's Star Trek, Star Trek and, at a push, maybe Star Trek), yet that's already too much. Any view that contradicts the precious dogma is anathema, it must be purged from our screens!

Of course, they do look for opportunities to be offended, as often as possible. If atheism is so intolerable, so vile to them; there's an easy solution, one I personally adopt towards all religious shows: not watching.

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