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Investigating a rogue comet that's been traveling throughout the universe for over 87 million years, Picard discovers alien beings within the comet, which infest the computer systems on the Enterprise, as well as Data.


Robert Wiemer


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Joe Menosky | 2 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Rickey D'Shon Collins Rickey D'Shon Collins ... Eric


While the Enterprise makes an astronomical study of a 87 million year old rogue comet, it discovers a ship-like construction, possibly the nucleus, which contains alien artifacts constituting the 'archive' of an Ancient culture. From then on the aliens take over, 'possessing' Data's positronic network to give him several of their personalities, including the talkative Ehad and the feared queen Musaka. Alas they also transform matter and even genetics aboard, so as to turn the ship into a city their style. Picard resolves to stop that by understanding and playing the key alien characters. Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Director Robert Wiemer is not fond of this episode. He said: "I always look to find a meaningful subtext of some kind in all the shows I do. More often than not they're little morality plays. I didn't find that here. It ended up an exotic adventure story, but it didn't have any heart." See more »


In the Observation Lounge briefing, above Troi's head a little to the right. See more »


[first lines]
Counselor Deanna Troi: How's it going, Data?
Lt. Cmdr. Data: I have finished. The dimensions are accurate to within 1.3%.
Counselor Deanna Troi: I'm sure they are.
Counselor Deanna Troi: Data, you obviously don't have a problem with realism. But, you're here to work on your imagination. Maybe you should try something a little more... abstract. Here.
[takes his work from the table]
Counselor Deanna Troi: I want you to start a new piece. I'd like you to sculpt...
Counselor Deanna Troi: Music.
See more »


Featured in Mr. Plinkett's Star Trek 2009 Review (2010) See more »


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

User Reviews

Too much like "The Inner Light" but not nearly as good.
6 December 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

One of the final episodes of season five, "The Inner Light", is according to myself and many others, is the best in the series. Here, the same idea is repeated with much less satisfying results. Part of it is because it is just a copy and part of it is because the show didn't seem to do much with what it did.

When the show begins, the Enterprise finds a rogue meteor flying through the galaxy. Within is found a structure--and soon weird stuff starts happening on the ship. Odd objects appear and Data becomes possessed. Soon, more objects appear on-board and the ship appears to be transforming into a ship for this alien species. Can they stop this?

The transformations and Data's weird possession seemed pretty threatening but were dealt with amazingly easily. And, who and why this occurred is straight from "The Inner Light" but done with so little finesse that I just recommend you see that earlier episode and skip this one.

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Release Date:

19 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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