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Samaritan Snare 

With Picard away for routine surgery, the Enterprise responds to an apparent distress call from a Pakled vessel.


Les Landau


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Robert McCullough (as Robert L. McCullough) | 1 more credit »

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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. Commander Data
Wil Wheaton ... Wesley Crusher
Diana Muldaur ... Doctor Pulaski
Christopher Collins Christopher Collins ... Captain Grebnedlog
Leslie Morris Leslie Morris ... Commander Reginod
Daniel Benzali ... Surgeon
Lycia Naff ... Ensign Sonya Gomez
Tzi Ma ... Biomolecular Physiologist


The Enterprise is en route to base 515 where they will leave Wesley Crusher for a short time to undergo Starfleet Academy exams. Dr. Pulaski also wants Captain Picard to stop there and undergo a medical procedure he would prefer no one know about. The two of them set off for the base in a shuttle craft and along the way form a bond. Riker and others are puzzled by Picard's sudden decision to go to the base but the ship is soon off responding to a distress call sent by a Pakled vessel. They seem to have only limited knowledge of engineering and how to make the necessary repairs to its engines. The Enterprise is more than happy to help out but the Pakled are not as simple-minded as they seem and have their own plans for the Enterprise. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

13 May 1989 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This takes place in 2365. See more »


When Riker demands to the Pakled captain that Geordi be released, the Pakled responds with "Request denied" and shoots Geordi with his phaser. But Geordi's arms flail outward and he's yanked back before the Pakled even shoots him. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: There's no greater challenge than the study of philosophy.
Wesley Crusher: But William James won't be on my Starfleet exams.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The important things never will be. Anyone can be trained in the mechanics of piloting a starship.
Wesley Crusher: And Starfleet Academy...
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Takes more. Open your mind to the past - art, history, philosophy. And all this may mean something.
See more »


Featured in Star Wars: The Last Plinkett Review (2018) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A handy man
12 December 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Two parallel stories are happening in this TNG episode. First Captain Picard is going to a star base for an operation. Making the voyage with him is Wesley Crusher who has been doing OJT on the Enterprise and if he can pass this Star Fleet entrance exam he'll get some credits for the Academy.

But while Patrick Stewart and Wil Wheaton are on board a shuttlecraft going to the star base, the Enterprise answers a distress call from a Pakled space ship.

The Pakleds are a roving band of nomads who act real dumb, but aren't as dumb as they look. They steal and scavenge and when their cobbled together ship breaks down they decide to keep Geordi LaForge who has come over to effect repairs. He's probably a handy fellow to have around they reason.

Leaving quite a dilemma for Jonathan Frakes as he tries to get LeVar Burton back from these bottom feeders.

Captain Picard and Wesley Crusher get to really know each other finally on that voyage. We learn for the first time that Picard has an artificial heart that needs repair and maybe replacement. Something he did not want the crew to know. And Picard is full of sound advice for Wesley for the academy and for life.

I really did enjoy the Pakleds, they make this story.

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