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Shades of Gray 

When Commander Riker comes down with a dangerous alien infection after an away mission, the only way to treat it may be through reliving his memories.

Director:

Rob Bowman

Writers:

Gene Roddenberry (created by), Maurice Hurley (teleplay by) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

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 (archive footage)
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Wil Wheaton ... Wesley Crusher (archive footage)
Diana Muldaur ... Doctor Pulaski
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
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Storyline

Riker returns from an away team mission wounded and infected with microbes from the planet below. He is soon in a coma in sick bay, the microbes having fused itself to his sciatic nerve and impeding his normal functions. Dr. Pulaski cannot find a cure and although she can kill the microbes, it would also likely kill Riker. With only a hour or so before the spreading disease reaches his brain, Pulaski stimulates his neural impulses leading Riker to recall previous events aboard the Enterprise. The Doctor realizes that negative emotions are what will defeat the the body's invaders. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the producers made Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q Who (1989) earlier in the season, the episode went way over budget, and the money ran out at the end of the season. To cut costs, they had to do a clip show. As such, Shades of Gray is often considered the worst episode of TNG, and even the producers admitted they were embarrassed by it. See more »

Goofs

Dr Pulaski keeps talking about bringing the "growth rate" down and when she does, she stops or shows down "treatment". The pathogen is still present even when the growth rate is 0% - treatment must continue at the same aggression level until the pathogen is gone else the growth rate will just go right back up. See more »

Quotes

Commander William T. Riker: Facing death is the ultimate test of character. I don't wanna die, but if I have to - I'd like to do it with a little pride.
Counselor Deanna Troi: And a lot of impudence.
Commander William T. Riker: You bet.
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Connections

Features Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Dauphin (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Pop! Goes the Weasel
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner
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User Reviews

 
An insult to the audience and my vote for the worst "Star Trek" episode ever!
15 November 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Shades of Gray" is a pathetic excuse for an episode for "Star Trek: The Next Generation"--one that insults the audience's intelligence and just looks like a lazy attempt to fill the time slot. It is so bad and so irrelevant that I recommend you skip it completely--you really don't need to bother with this one.

When the episode begins, Riker's leg is injured while on an away team mission. However, this is no mere scratch--the thing festers and cannot be eliminated using the transporter's bio-filters. Soon, Riker is dying and Dr. Pulaski is fighting to save his life.

This doesn't sound that bad, does it? Well, no...the concept isn't bad. However, this only takes up a tiny fraction of the show. Most of it consists of clips of Riker from other episodes--and they appear to be completely random in how they are used. Relevant or not--they are tossed into "Shades of Gray" and the sum effect is a show that obviously no one gave a crap about when they made it. A complete waste of time and the worst simply because there have been episodes with dumber premises (such as the baseball game episode from "Deep Space 9"), but at least they TRIED something different with these shows. Here, it's just an attempt to re-use old footage and otherwise take the week off from production! Awful.

UPDATE: By the way, it isn't just me who hated this episode. At the 50th anniversary Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, this was voted as one of the 10 worst of all episodes from every Trek franchise! That is some ignoble designation!


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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