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When The Bough Breaks 

A planet that was able to cloak itself for thousands of years suddenly reveals itself, with its inhabitants proposing peace. But, after initial negotiations, children of the Enterprise are kidnapped due to the infertility of the inhabitants.


Kim Manners




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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
Jerry Hardin ... Radue
Brenda Strong ... Rashella
Jandi Swanson ... Katie
Paul Lambert ... Melian
Ivy Bethune Ivy Bethune ... Duana
Dierk Torsek Dierk Torsek ... Dr. Bernard


The Enterprise is delighted with a rare chance to visit a technologically advanced planet which long prevented access by means of a perfect cloaking technique. Prime administrator Radue shows how their people lead a life of leisure, trusting their central computer takes care of all necessities. But they can't solve a medical nightmare: endemic infertility, so they need to 'adopt' earthling children. Negotiations failing, they suddenly snatch Wesley and several younger, also gifted crew kids. Picard can barely keep negotiating credibly enough to avoid being chased too far in space ever to return, but Wesley manages to study and befriend the locals while planning a minimal risk revolt. Written by KGF Vissers

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Did You Know?


The Enterprise-D being blasted away from Aldea is similar to the original Enterprise being hurled 990.7 light years away from the Kalandin outpost (minus the earthquake effect) in Star Trek: The Original Series: That Which Survives (1969). See more »


Right after the Aldeans beam off the Enterprise bridge, a tear or seam in the carpet is visible. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The legend will die. But the people will live.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

A perfect world
13 March 2019 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This TNG story has the Enterprise going to what was thought a mythical world. Aldea is a planet with a cloaking device that has kept it hidden from outside interference. With no threat of invasion the Aldeans have created a society where the super computer tends to their needs and they engage in leisure 24/7 to use the earth phrase.

But they kidnap the Enterprise children because the whole planet has become sterile. They may live for centuries, but they do die.

The same theme of a perfectly ordered world was used in such science fiction classics as Forbidden Planet and Zardoz. The Krells faced similar problems though the Aldeans haven't gotten as far as monsters from the Id.

The Crushers mother and son dominate the episode. Gates McFadden discovers what is wrong with them and Wil Wheaton organizes the kidnapped Enterprise kids.

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Release Date:

13 February 1988 (USA) See more »

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Paramount Television See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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