11 user 8 critic


Encountering the superior technology of a very ancient race creates system malfunctions for a doomed Federation starship, for the Enterprise, and for an eavesdropping Romulan warbird.


Joseph L. Scanlan


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Steve Gerber | 4 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Wil Wheaton ... Wesley Crusher
Diana Muldaur ... Doctor Pulaski
Thalmus Rasulala ... Capt. Donald Varley
Carolyn Seymour ... Sub-Cmdr. Taris
Dana Sparks ... Ensign Williams
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
Folkert Schmidt Folkert Schmidt ... Doctor


Picard and the Enterprise respond to a distress call from its sister ship, the USS Yamato, where it has faced a number of serious technical glitches, losing eighteen crew members when its computer turned off the force field on an open shuttle bay. Before the Enterprise can assist, the Yamato explodes with all lives lost. The explosion appears as the result of a failure in their matter/anti-matter pods, but Picard suspects it may have something to do with a relic the Yamato's captain obtained at an archaeological dig on a nearby planet. As they are in the Neutral Zone, they are shadowed by a Romulan warbird. With both ships now suffering technical glitches, Picard, an amateur archaeologist, leads an away team to a distant planet to investigate the remnants of that ancient race and rectify their problem - a one-way trip if the glitchy Enterprise can't beam them back. Written by garykmcd

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Captain Picard tells Geordi, "Mr. La Forge, time is one thing we do not have in abundance," when receiving his report on the analysis the Enterprise's malfunctions. This is the same line used by Mr. Spock in Star Trek: The Original Series: The Paradise Syndrome (1968) when Dr. McCoy tells him he needs more time to help Captain Kirk recover his memory. See more »


Doctor Pulaski has to explain the concept of a splint to a fellow doctor when the Enterprise's computers start malfunctioning. Given that Starfleet Academy requires its cadets to learn how to survive in a wilderness with minimal technology, it seems odd that Starfleet Medical wouldn't require its medical students to learn low-technology medical techniques. See more »


[after going through the Iconian gateway, Picard ends up on the Romulan ship, which has its auto-destruct sequence running]
Subcommander Taris: You did this! You sabotaged my ship.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Oh, no.
Subcommander Taris: I cannot deactivate the auto-destruct, but at least I have the satisfaction that you will die with us.
[Picard is being beamed away]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Not, I think, today, Commander.
See more »


References Space Battleship Yamato (1974) See more »


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

User Reviews

They've got gremlins!
13 November 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When the episode begins, the Enterprise's sister ship, the Yamato, is stuck in the Neutral Zone. Its ship systems are running amok and it's almost as if the ship has gremlins! Whatever it is, just as the Enterprise is approaching, the Yamato explodes! But, before this occurs, the captain of that ship informs Picard he might have discovered the supposedly mythical planet, Iconia, and that a variety of sophisticated weapons might be awaiting them there...weapons that COULD fall into the hands of the Romulans if they don't act quickly. So, following the explosion, Picard decides to take the ship further into the Neutral Zone towards this planet--although out there somewhere is some Romulan ship that is cloaked. Soon, however, both the Enterprise and the Romulan ship begin experiencing gremlin-like problems of their own.

This is a very good episode--with an interesting plot and resolution. Plus, you get to see a crew member die...and come back to life!

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Release Date:

18 March 1989 (USA) See more »

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Paramount Television See more »
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1.33 : 1
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