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The Enterprise encounters two neighboring cultures, one suffering from a plague, the other marketing a cure, and learns that nothing is as simple as it seems.


Win Phelps


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Robert Lewin (teleplay by) | 7 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Geordi La Forge
Denise Crosby ... Lt. Tasha Yar
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Wil Wheaton ... Wesley Crusher
Judson Scott ... Sobi
Merritt Butrick ... T'Jon
Richard Lineback ... Romas
Kimberley Farr Kimberley Farr ... Langor (as Kimberly Farr)


While observing a solar flare, the Enterprise happens to pick up distress calls from a breaking-down freighter. Two of the six people aboard get killed as there's no time left to beam aboard properly because the cargo was sent first, yet the other two crew members seem to care only for the freight. Their passengers, from their neighbor planet, contest ownership because their agreed payment aboard the freighter was lost. It's their only produce, vital for the other planet since it was struck by a general plague, yet Dr. Crusher soon realizes it's not really medicine as they have no plague symptoms, yet suffer immensely without it. Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is the first time that we see a system interlock used with an alien transporter system showing that it is possible to interlock two different types of transporter beams. The only previous time that we see a Federation transporter working in conjunction with an alien beam is when the Enterprise accidentally intercepted an alien transporter beam and redirected it to their transporter pad in Star Trek: The Original Series: Assignment: Earth (1968). Note: The Enterprise did try to intercept a Ferengi transporter beam and redirect it back to the Enterprise's transporter pad in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Bloodlines (1994), but was unsuccessful. See more »


When the Enterprise approaches the sun they intend to study, Picard announces they will be running with full deflectors up. Surely he meant shields as deflectors are used to clear matter whilst the ship is in motion? See more »


Lieutenant Tasha Yar: [the crew are trying to rescue a freighter from burning up in a planet's atmosphere] Captain, the tractor beam is available... if you want it?
Commander William T. Riker: At least we could pull them out of orbit before they enter the atmosphere.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: [to the viewscreen] Freighter, we're going to lock on the tractor beam and pull you out of orbit.
T'Jon: Hey, that... that's great.
[Picard can't quite hide his bemusement with Captain T'Jon's cavalier attitude in this crisis situation]
Lt. Worf: [...]
See more »


Featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Shades of Gray (1989) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Good episode but...
19 September 2006 | by johnny-squaresSee all my reviews

A good story about exploitation and utter dependency. I thought the whole "why do drugs" bit by the annoying Wesley Crusher was silly, but all in all a good episode from season one. What I don't get is this: The transporter works by turning every molecule of a thing into energy then back again...right? So it stands to reason that once something has been transported, there is now a record of what it's made of. So once the "medicine" was beamed on board (then again to the cargo hold) making more would be a simple matter. I don't care how "rare" the main ingredient is, when you have transporters and replicators...just make as much as you want and get on with it! That's my point.

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Release Date:

16 April 1988 (USA) See more »

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Paramount Television See more »
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1.33 : 1
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