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The Drumhead 

A retired admiral boards the Enterprise in an effort to determine the actions aboard the ship surrounding an act of sabotage and possible treason.


Jonathan Frakes


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Jeri Taylor | 4 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
Bruce French ... Sabin Genestra
Spencer Garrett ... Simon Tarses
Henry Woronicz ... J'Ddan
Earl Billings ... Adm. Thomas Henry
Jean Simmons ... Adm. Nora Satie
Ann Shea Ann Shea ... Nellen Tore


A Klingon traitor is arrested: engineer Lieutenant J'Ddan, who passed secrets to the Romulans via fluid in a medical syringe, sabotage is feared. Retired female Federation Admiral Satie and her former assistants arrive to take charge of the investigation, with security chief Worf. Meanwhile Data and LaForge look into the sabotage risk. J'Ddan's denial of sabotaging the vital dilithium chamber is credible, which implies another traitor aboard, so the crew is grilled, starting with medic Simon Tarses who gave J'Ddan his injections. After a paranormal counsel believes Tarses a liar, he's tricked by lies into acting guilty, even though the 'sabotage' was in fact found to be an accidental failure, and confesses he lied about his ancestry to hide a Romulan grandfather. Picard objects against the unethical procedure, Satie calls upon Starfleet chief of security Admiral Henry to look for an even wider conspiracy, starting with Picard himself, based on his long-term record, and Worf, based on ... Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This takes place in 2367. See more »


In the first act's captain's log entry, Picard says that Admiral Satie was the one who uncovered the alien conspiracy from three years prior ("Conspiracy"). However, it was Picard and Riker who shot the infected officers and ultimately killed the mother creature that was hiding inside of LCDR Remmick. That sounds more like an uncovering than any investigation an elderly admiral would've undertaken. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I am deeply concerned by what is happening here. It began when we apprehended a spy, a man who admitted his guilt and who will answer for his crime. But the hunt didn't end there. Another man, Mister Simon Tarses, was brought to trial and it was a trial, no matter what others choose to call it. A trial based on insinuation and innuendo. Nothing substantive offered against Mister Tarses, much less proven. Mister Tarses' grandfather is Romulan, and for that reason his career now stands in ruins. ...
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Theme
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Fear in the name of righteousness
21 March 2017 | by Mr-FusionSee all my reviews

"We think we've come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches, it's all ancient history. Then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly it threatens to start all over again." - Jean-Luc Picard

That's the essence of 'The Drumhead' and really what makes it so good; it's got McCarthyism written all over it, even in the reaches of deep space. Patrick Stewart again owns the stage (in full somber proselytizing mode) after the witch-hunts zero in on the good Captain. But you've also gotta give Jean Simmons credit as the famed Judge for playing a morally righteous character who's willing to go to vile lengths to expose subversion.

It's a courtroom drama, but the acting (and Frakes behind the camera) keep it fresh.

Powerful stuff.


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Release Date:

27 April 1991 (USA) See more »

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Paramount Television See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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