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The Nth Degree 

When assigned to investigate an unknown probe, Lt. Barclay is electrocuted through a shuttlecraft's computer, where he receives an unexplainable boost of confidence and a vast increase in his knowledge.


Robert Legato


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Joe Menosky | 4 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Commander Data
Jim Norton ... Holodeck Albert Einstein
Kay E. Kuter ... Cytherian
Saxon Trainor ... Lt. Linda Larson
Page Leong ... Ensign April Anaya
Dwight Schultz ... Barclay
David Coburn ... Ensign Brower


The Enterprise checks on the Argus array, a giant Federation outskirts astronomical telescope, which stopped signaling data months ago. Geordi and mentally rehabilitated engineer Lieutenant Reg Barclay, try to repair it but an intense energy surge from an alien probe of unknown technology electrocutes Barclay and even causes serious damage on board the ship. Barclay soon recovers while the probe follows closely, building up a dangerous field but unresponsive to full phasers. Now Barclay demonstrates surprising insight and knowledge, saving the situation by repairing power and getting photon torpedoes ready which destroy the probe. Reg's useful but inexplicable erudition proves invaluable for telescope repairs too. Even his theatrical, romantic (towards Troi) and formerly inexistent violin performances improve suddenly , thanks to a confidence boost. When Dr. Crusher finds his brain improved more then any human causing unprecedented intelligence, he is also considered a potential risk.... Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

30 March 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?


This is not the first Federation starship named Enterprise to travel to the center of the galaxy. In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the USS Enterprise-A traveled under the control of Sybok to the mythical planet Sha Ka Ree, located in the galactic center, where they met a god-like alien. See more »


Barclay: The Cytherians are exploring the galaxy, just as we are. The only difference is that they never leave their home. They bring others here. Their only wish: an exchange of knowledge. They want to know us!
See more »


Featured in Top 10 Star Trek Technobabbles (2008) See more »


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

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User Reviews

The return of Broccoli
20 November 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

A season ago, in "Hollow Pursuits", the character Reg Barkley was introduced. Barkley is a character who is painfully shy and self- conscious and who had a habit of retreating into the holodeck instead of interacting with real people. Here in his return, Barkley has changed a bit. While he is still very shy, he's trying- -and the show begins with him performing on stage with Doctor Crusher for an audience on the ship. While his performance wasn't exactly brilliant, the fact that he's expose himself to others this way is a huge step. However, the next step he's about to take is beyond anything anyone could have anticipated. During a mission aboard a shuttle craft, Barkley is hit by a beam from an alien probe. Soon, he begins to show amazing intellectual prowess. Additionally, his confidence now seems to know no bounds. At first, all this is great and he becomes a much more valuable member of the crew. But, when he's assuming almost god-like abilities, it scares the crap out of everyone. And, by this point, can anyone stop him?!

Apart from how incredibly stupid the crew was in this one (it took WAY too long for anyone to suggest that contact with the probe is what changed Barkley), this is a great episode. I'd like to say more, as the way all this works is wonderful, but I don't want to spoil it. Enjoyable, a bit funny but also very clever.

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