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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

27 April 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?


Considering that Admiral Nora Satie relied heavily on the advice given to her by her Betazoid assistant, it is surprising that Captain Picard did not require the assistance of Counselor Deanna Troi throughout the interrogations and trial. See more »


Admiral Nora Satie: Captain. May I tell you how I've spent the past four years? From planet to starbase to planet. I have no home. I live on starships and shuttlecraft. I haven't seen a family member in years. I have no friends. But I have a purpose. My father taught me from the time I was a little girl still clutching a blanket, that the United Federation of Planets is the most remarkable institution ever conceived. And it is my cause to make sure that this... extraordinary union be preserved.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Conspiracy (1988) See more »


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

A witch hunt...it's good but also very obvious.
20 November 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I think the episode "The Drumhead" is a lot more important than most episodes because it is so timely--and probably always will be. However, on the other hand, the show is VERY obvious and familiar.

When the show begins, you learn that there has been sabotage aboard the Enterprise. Some Klingon exchange officer has deliberately damaged the engines to serve his Romulan overlords. It's not surprising that the Federation would send a big-wig to investigate, but Admiral Satie (Jean Simmons--the actress, not the guy from KISS) turns out to be an evil slug who is more interested in conducting a witch hunt than learning the truth.

Considering all the similar situations we've experienced over the years (not just the Red Scare but more recent events as well), this is a good message. But I worry for two reasons: this message is so obvious and lacks subtlety and most folks are sheep and simply don't care. But I do appreciate the writer's attempt to educate us through the episode. And, it was nice to see Miss Simmons once again.

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