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Up the Long Ladder 

When Starfleet receives an Earth-like distress signal from deep in space, the Enterprise is sent to investigate. Picard suspects the Earthlings in question may have originated with SS ... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
... Cmdr. William Riker
... Lt. Geordi La Forge
... Lt. Worf
... Counselor Deanna Troi
... Lt. Commander Data
... Wesley Crusher (credit only)
... Doctor Pulaski
... Danilo Odell
Jon DeVries ... Prime Minister Granger (as Jon de Vries)
... Brenna Odell
... Chief Miles O'Brien


When Starfleet receives an Earth-like distress signal from deep in space, the Enterprise is sent to investigate. Picard suspects the Earthlings in question may have originated with SS Mariposa which carried a group of Utopians hundreds of years before. He is intrigued at the odd mix of equipment they carry. When they arrive, they realize that solar flares from the planet's sun will kill them and the Captain orders the colonists removed to the Enterprise for their safety. When the refugees mention there is another group from which they've separated for hundreds of years, the ship travels to the Mariposa colony which is made up entirely of clones of the original inhabitants. Meanwhile, Worf collapses at his station on the bridge and Dr. Pulaski tries to diagnose what may be wrong with him. He's less than pleased when she tells him that he has the Klingon version of the measles. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

20 May 1989 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is part of the traditional Irish expression "Up the long ladder and down the short rope", i.e. being executed by hanging. See more »


Dr. Pulaski is asked if her title of doctor is medical or scientific. Medicine is a science. See more »


Danilo Odell: Sir, would you happen to be married?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: No, why?
Danilo Odell: No. Er, well, er, you see, sir, I have a daughter.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Felicitations!
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Featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Shades of Gray (1989) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

The Irish among us...this one seems a bit silly and insulting.
14 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

It's funny that one of the most politically correct shows of its day would make VERY broad and probably insulting stereotypes in one of its episodes-- but that's what occurs in "Up the Long Ladder".

The Enterprise finds something they do not expect--an Earth colony where no one thought there was one. However, when the crew reads through the ship's manifest which brought the people to the planet, some of the things don't fit--as if there were two totally different colonies. And, it turns out there are two. The first is made up of a group of very uncouth Irish people--seemingly straight off the set of "The Quiet Man" or a Lucky Charms commercial. I am pretty sure Irish folks seeing this show would NOT be pleased that they are shown as a bunch of drunken slobs...but that's is how they behave. As for the other group on a nearby planet, they are scientific and much more advanced...but they are also dying as a race. What's next? A love connection...

This was a rather poor episode. First, it didn't really make any sense why a group of ignorant boobs would go on such a long space voyage. Second, there is really no subtlety or finesse about the show--it is VERY broadly written and rather stupid.

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