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Night Terrors 

The Enterprise gets trapped in a Tyken's Rift, an energy-absorbing rupture in space, where all but Data, Troi and Guinan experience rising hallucinations and paranoia.


Les Landau


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Pamela Douglas (teleplay by) | 6 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Commander Data
Rosalind Chao ... Keiko O'Brien
John Vickery ... Andrus Hagan
Shaun Duke ... Ensign Gillespie (as Duke Moosekian)
Craig Hurley ... Ensign Peeples
Brian Tochi ... Ensign Kenny Lin
Lanei Chapman ... Ensign Sariel Rager
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
Whoopi Goldberg ... Guinan


The Enterprise finally locates the missing starship USS Brittain, twenty-nine days after its distress call. Counselor Troi, sensing trouble, joins Riker's boarding party. Among the brutally annihilated crew, only its Betazoid counselor, Andrus Hagan, survived but in shock. Dr. Crusher's autopsies conclude that thirty-four crewmen killed each other or themselves with either phasers, other weapons, or even bare hands, with the Captain's last log revealing a paranoiac fear rising among them. As the Enterprise prepares to tow the Brittain to the nearest starbase, its own crew starts sensing other presences and exhibiting rising mistrust, ramping up towards full-blown paranoia. With the Enterprise itself unable to leave, Data finds themselves, as was the Brittain, stuck in a rift in space. With nearly all the crew affected, Picard puts the immune android Data in temporary command. Dr. Crusher herself experiences a nightmarish hallucination but discovers a chemical imbalance signifying that... Written by KGF Vissers/revised by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

16 March 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The USS Brattain was named after Walter Houser Brattain, an American physicist, who, along with John Bardeen and William Shockley, invented the transistor. See more »


When Doctor Crusher enters the room with the body bags, you get a clear view of the third body bag in the middle. The bag is clearly folded at the feet; however, after the hallucination when Crusher says "go away," you can see the bag has been flattened. See more »


Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Okay, all power's been channeled to the, um... the...
Lt. Commander Data: The main deflector dish.
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Yes! Right, the... deflector dish.
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: So... um... What do we do now?
Lt. Commander Data: Data to bridge. Mr. Worf, activate the deflector.
See more »


Referenced in After Trek: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad (2017) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Slick, Cool, and Loads of Fun
6 June 2013 | by RestlessRustSee all my reviews

Coming off the disappointing resolution of Clues, TNG bounces back with another mystery that has a much more satisfying conclusion. But I'll get to that (no spoilers in this review).

It starts off with the Enterprise arriving on the scene of a derelict ship: the Brattain. The Brattain's engines have no power, and all its crew are dead (save one, who only has a single vital purpose for the plot) -- it turns out they killed each other. The Brattain's logs indicate an increase in paranoia and erratic behavior in the weeks leading up to everyone's demise. What happened?

The lack of power to the engines is also a mystery. Geordi says everything should work, but nothing does. They decide to put the Brattain in tow, but then the Enterprise starts experiencing engine problems, as well.

The crew also starts to have issues with aggressive behavior, hallucinations, memory loss, and the like. Even when Crusher discovers the cause, there isn't anything they can do about it. Meanwhile, Troi is having nightmares about floating through space and hearing voices. And as Picard realizes that he, too, is not immune, he confides in Data that he may be the one crew member that can keep them from ending up like the Brattain.

All this sets up for a nice, tight resolution to the mystery, but there are also some neat little touches along the way. For example, as the days progress, Troi's hair looks more disheveled. Picard looks visibly older. Crusher fumbles in search of her communicator pin. They sell it. And we buy it.

This is an all-around enjoyable episode. It's everything that's good about Star Trek, rolled up into a suspenseful hour-long episode. Easily one of the best of the season, if not the series.

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