(written from a Production point of view)
Captain Picard, Ensign Ro, Guinan, and Keiko O'Brien are regressed physiologically to age 12 by a transporter accident, but retain their adult memories, resulting in different reactions from each. When rogue Ferengi hijack the Enterprise, the young crewmembers, along with Alexander Rozhenko, lead the revolt.
- "Captain's Log, Stardate 46235.7. Ensign Ro, Keiko O'Brien, Guinan and I are returning to the Enterprise after a fascinating visit to the planet Marlonia."
Returning to the USS Enterprise-D from a botanic and archaeology expedition on the planet Marlonia – where Keiko O'Brien had found a specimen of Draebidium calimus, and Captain Picard had found 700-year-old crockery with inscriptions somewhat resembling early Taguan but more closely resembling Barolian designs, the Enterprise-D shuttlecraft Fermi carrying Ro Laren, Captain Picard, Keiko, and Guinan is enveloped by an energy anomaly. The emergency transport to the Enterprise is difficult – Chief O'Brien having been puzzled by the implication of a forty percent drop in mass of the transportees – and, upon being beamed aboard the Enterprise-D, O'Brien and the away party themselves are shocked by the materialization on the transporter platform of a twelve-year-old captain, bartender, botanist, and Bajoran ensign, instead of their adult selves.
Despite their new appearances, the crew fortunately still have the mental capacity and memories of their former bodies. Since he seems physically fit enough, Picard immediately heads to the bridge to handle the situation. While dealing with the crew's discomfort at his appearance, he gives the command to leave a probe to study the area and head to Ligos VII once they are done salvaging the remains of the Fermi. Privately, Doctor Crusher tries to convince him to relieve himself of duty in case the transformation becomes more serious. He reluctantly agrees and retires to his quarters.
Elsewhere on the ship, Guinan and Ro are trying to adjust to their new lifestyles. Ro just wants to return to duty, while Guinan is enjoying this experience. She tells Ro she has not been this young in a very long time and she intends to enjoy every minute of it. Ro complains constantly about how much she hates being a child, and Guinan insists how fun childhood is. Ro leaves to contemplate her current situation alone in her quarters and young Guinan joins her in a turbolift.
Also, Keiko's situation is at odds with her family life, what with her being a wife and mother. Her husband Miles is confounded by fact that she now resembles the image of a twelve-year-old girl. In the course of a difficult discussion with Keiko, who is worried about their marriage, he eventually reassures her that they will make it work but admits he does not know how. Their daughter Molly does not recognize her mother when she comes to read her a bedtime story. Rather than telling Molly what has happened, Keiko leaves the room and Miles tells the bedtime story.
- "First Officer's Log, supplemental. The Enterprise has reached the Ligos system. We have begun to search for the missing Federation science team. Doctor Crusher reports no progress on a cure for the members of the shuttle crew."
Counselor Troi comes to see Picard. Exploring the possibility that he must grow up again, she suggests alternatives for him should Starfleet not accept a child Captain, such as getting another degree at Starfleet Academy or taking a sabbatical, and studying geology or archaeology. He admits the options have an appeal, but still seem like a big step, and feels like moving backward, instead of forward.
Dr. Crusher compares the rybo-viroxic-nucleic sequences of tissues taken from Picard prior to the event and afterwards. It appears that the new sample is missing several key viroxic sequences. She explains to Riker that somehow these sequences were lost during transport. The same effect happened to Keiko's plants. By accelerating the growth, the plant became a normal older plant, which means, if they do nothing, the crew will grow up again like normal. She wonders if they can use the transporter pattern buffer since she has their patterns on file.
La Forge arrives in the cargo bay with the sensor report to meet O'Brien where they study the shuttle debris. It looks like tritanium's molecular structure on the starboard side has completely broken down and can be easily crushed with the hand. He decides to run a metallurgical analysis on it in engineering.
Meanwhile, Guinan finally persuades Ro to have a little childhood fun, which apparently allows Ro to relax and enjoy herself: they jump on a bed, each trying to go higher than the other.
La Forge and O'Brien report to Riker their theory: a molecular reversion field caught the shuttle and threw off the transporter lock, reconstructing them as children when it missed the RVB sequences. Crusher starts to confirm her transporter option with O'Brien when Riker is called to the bridge since they have arrived at Ligos VII.
The crew start their investigation when two Klingon Birds-of-Prey decloak and start firing.
The Enterprise is able to fire briefly, but quickly loses systems. Soon, they are boarded by Ferengi at multiple locations, including the bridge. Fortunately, Riker manages to lock out the computer's command functions. They begin transporting all adults to the surface of the planet.
The DaiMon, Lurin, enters the bridge and the Ferengi crew report they have secured the ship but don't have command access. Lurin addresses Riker and declares the ship to be a loss and open for claim to salvage, demanding they help or they will start killing them.
Act Four Edit
The Ferengi decide to keep the children aboard the ship. One takes Picard to one of the schoolrooms and leaves him. Ro, Guinan, Keiko and Alexander are already there. Ro knows they have engineering and several decks, and they have to assume they have the bridge. With command functions locked out, they have limited options.
Lurin is enjoying the ready room and tells Riker they are not affiliated with the Ferengi Alliance. He reveals their plan to use the crew as additional slave labor in extracting vendarite from the planet, the Federation science team already being used. Lurin wants to sell the Enterprise to the Romulans and threatens to kill them all unless Riker helps him.
Picard and Guinan wrestle with the children's computer, which won't allow normal schematic information, but they do get a decent representation of the ship in general. Ro and Keiko open up a panel to a Jefferies tube and they all head in to start their plan. Picard and Keiko lure the Ferengi in the transporter room out with a toy car, obtain phasers, and set up a force field around the transporter pad while Alexander steals two hyposprays from sickbay and Ro and Guinan head to main engineering and wait.
Next, Picard needs to talk to Riker. By tricking Berik, the Ferengi guard outside the room in which he is held captive by acting petulant (as a child might), Picard manages to get him to bring him to Riker, under the pretense that Riker is his father. Riker is surprised, but immediately plays along.
Act Five Edit
Pretending to want to play computer games, Picard conveys the message while sitting in the observation lounge to Riker to activate the LCARS net in the schoolroom which would give them full access to the computer systems. Once Picard is back in the classroom, Lurin threatens to harm the children if Riker does not unlock the computer and teach his lieutenant Morta how to operate the Enterprise. Riker pretends to instruct the Ferengi officer but only speaks in nonsensical technobabble. On the side, Riker unlocks the computer in the classroom.
When the "children" gain control to the transporter, they start using combadges to beam the Ferengi behind the force field on the transporter pad and the weapons deactivation program to disable their sidearms. With the majority of the Ferengi confined, and with help from Riker, Picard disables the Ferengi on the bridge and confronts Lurin in the ready room with a phaser, thus ending the siege.
- "Captain's Log, Stardate 46236.3. We have taken Lurin and his men into custody. The Ferengi Alliance has quickly disavowed any knowledge of these renegades. With the mining operation closed and our crew back on board, we can now turn our attention to other problems."
After the Ferengi are taken into custody, the doctor and Chief O'Brien use the transporter to change Picard, Keiko, and Guinan back into adults. However, at Guinan's suggestion, Ro stays a child a little longer so she can finally learn to enjoy her childhood.
Log entries Edit
"Look at these fragments. They're... they're very nearly in perfect condition, and yet they're seven hundred years old."
"So is my father."
- - Picard and Guinan
"So what the hell am I supposed to do now?"
- - Young Ro, getting used to being a child again
"You are asking me to step down."
"You are still Jean-Luc Picard. What do you think you should do?"
- - Young Picard, recommended to hand command of the Enterprise to Riker by Crusher
"Well, I should be doing something, instead of just standing around, waiting for them to find a cure!"
"You're right. Let's go play."
- - Young Ro and young Guinan
"[Childhood] was a long, depressing period of my life and I was grateful when it was finally over. I'd rather not relive it."
- - Young Ro
"I haven't been young for a long time and I intend to enjoy every minute of it."
- - Young Guinan
"It's... I don't know, but this feels wrong somehow."
"Miles Edward O'Brien, I am still your wife."
"- Technically, yes. "
"No, I-I mean, of course you're my wife. But you're also ten years old."
"Beverly said it's actually closer to 12."
"- That's not the point. -"
"So what is the point? – Is our marriage over?"
"- I didn't say that. But until they find a way to reverse this effect, it's hard to ignore the fact that you're a little girl."
- - Miles O' Brien and Young Keiko
"You could return to the Academy. Take another degree. Brush up on your Latin."
"And be Wesley Crusher's roommate?"
- - Troi and Young Picard, discussing Picard's choices while waiting for his body to mature again
"[...] I've spent my life looking forward [...]"
- - Young Picard, about his attitude toward life
"It's a child's computer, remember? Computer, can you show me a picture of the inside of the Enterprise?"
"Yes, I can. The Enterprise is a Galaxy-class starship. Can you spell Enterprise? E-N-T-E-R-..."
- - Young Guinan, elementary school computer, and young Picard
"This is the first time these Jefferies tubes haven't seemed cramped."
"How much farther do we have to go?"
"About fifty meters. Don't tell me you're tired."
"I'm not as young as I used to be." Shared chuckle
- - Young Ro and young Guinan
"I need to see my father. ... I need to see him right now! ... I need to see him now! Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, N – Stop it; you hurt me! I want my father! I want my father!"
- - Young Picard, to Berik
"Thanks, number one."
(A Ferengi guard eyes Picard and Riker with suspicion)
"- He's my number one dad!"
(Picard and Riker embrace, grinning widely)
- - Young Picard, plotting with Riker to recapture the Enterprise
"Okay, Morta. The Enterprise computer system is controlled by three primary main processor cores, cross-linked with redundant melacortz-ramistat 14-kiloquad interface modules. The core element is based on an FTL nanoprocessor with 25 bilateral kelilactirals. With twenty of those being slaved into the primary Heisenfram terminals. Now, you know what a bilateral kelilactiral is?"
"Of course I do, Human. I am not stupid!"
"No. Of course not. This is the isopalavial interface which controls the main firomantal drive unit. Don't touch that – you'll blow up the entire firomantal drive."
"Alright, wa..wa..Wait! Wha..what is a, a ferromactal drive? Just explain it to me!"
"That is the firomantal drive unit, it controls the ramistat core and keeps the ontarian manifold at 40,000 KRGs. The firomantal drive is powered by..."
- - Riker, spouting gibberish (and just a hint of real treknobabble) about the inner workings of the Enterprise computer to Morta (Riker repeatedly says 'firomantal', Morta mispronounces it)
"I believe you're in my chair."
- - Young Picard, as he points a phaser at Lurin in his ready room
"How do you feel?"
"I feel fine. Everything... seems a little smaller."
- - Crusher, after Picard is returned to being an adult by the transporter
"Did you do this one, too?"
"Uh-huh. I did that one, all of them!"
- - Adult Guinan and young Ro, discussing Ro's drawings
Background information Edit
Production history Edit
- Writers' first draft script: 10 November 1991
- Final draft script: 4 September 1992
- Premiere airdate: 2 November 1992
- First UK airdate: 23 August 1995
Story and production Edit
- Ronald D. Moore commented: "When Michael [Piller] bought the premise I thought he was completely insane: An Away Team rematerializes on the transporter as children — with adult minds! I tried again and again to bury this idea, which of course meant that I would get saddled with the inevitable rewrite when the script came in. I just thought it was a ludicrous idea and wanted nothing to do with it. That said, once I got the assignment, the professional writer in me had to commit to the material and do the best with it that I could, so I tried very hard to bring humor and humanity to the proceedings, chiefly through the Guinan/Ro story that I did end up liking in the end. I still cringe when I think of the episode (the Ferengi capture the Enterprise in a couple of broken down Birds of Prey???) but many people have told me how much they like it." (AOL chat, 1997)
- As originally scripted, when the Ferengi begin to board the Enterprise, both Worf and Data would have been attacked by the intruders. By the time the episode went to production, Data was allowed to remain uninjured and can be seen held captive along with the rest of the bridge crew.
- Jill Sherman Donner is credited as co-writer on the shooting script, but not the actual episode. 
- This episode is directed by Adam Nimoy, the son of Leonard Nimoy. He also later directed "Timescape".
- This is the last episode of the series, chronologically, in which Miles O'Brien (Colm Meaney) appears. Soon after he transfers to Deep Space 9. In fact, this episode was filmed after the DS9 pilot, "Emissary" (although it aired two months earlier). He does appear in "All Good Things..." in the scenes set in 2364.
- This episode also marks the final appearance of Rosalind Chao (Keiko O'Brien) and the only appearance of Hana Hatae (Molly O'Brien) on the series. Both make their first Star Trek: Deep Space Nine appearances in "A Man Alone".
- Mike Gomez and Tracey Walter previously appeared together as different Ferengi, Tarr and Kayron, respectively, in "The Last Outpost". Michael Snyder also previously played a different Ferengi, Qol, in "The Perfect Mate".
- The young Picard is played by the same actor, David Tristan Birkin, who played René Picard (Captain Picard's nephew) in the episode "Family". David was actually 15 when "Rascals" was filmed.
- The actress who played young Guinan, Isis J. Jones also played the young version of Whoopi Goldberg's (adult Guinan) character in the movie Sister Act, which was released the same year as this episode aired.
- There is a reference to this episode in the Deep Space Nine fourth season episode "Bar Association". In that episode, Odo cites the case of the Ferengi invaders as an example of a security breach aboard the Enterprise-D.
- Two shots of the battle against the Birds-of-Prey were reused from "Yesterday's Enterprise".
- Captain Kirk and crew had undergone a similar change (reverting to children) in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Counter-Clock Incident".
- Picard pretending to be Riker's son recalls the episode "Future Imperfect", in which Riker had a son named Jean-Luc in a holographic simulation of the Enterprise-D.
- This is the final installment of "Marriage Counseling with the O'Briens" for TNG after this episode they will move to DS9.
Video and DVD releases Edit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 67, 17 May 1993
- As part of the TNG Season 6 DVD collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
Guest stars Edit
- Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien
- Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
- Michelle Forbes as Ro Laren
- David Tristan Birkin as Picard, age 12
- Megan Parlen as Ro, age 12
- Caroline Junko King as Keiko, age 12
- Isis J. Jones as Guinan, age 12
- Mike Gomez as Lurin
- Tracey Walter as Berik
- Michael Snyder as Morta
- Brian Bonsall as Alexander Rozhenko
Special guest star Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Lena Banks as operations division ensign
- Michael Braveheart as Martinez
- Carl David Burks as Russell
- Tracee Lee Cocco as Jae
- Tony Cruz as Lopez
- Grace Harrell as operations division officer
- Christie Haydon as command division ensign
- David B. Levinson as Ferengi
- Adam Lieberman as Ferengi
- David Jeffries as Ferengi
- Michael Moorehead as science division ensign
- Keith Rayve as command division ensign
- Victor Sein as command division officer
- Noriko Suzuki as operations division ensign
- Unknown performers as
Stunt doubles Edit
Stand-ins and photo doubles Edit
- David Keith Anderson – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Carl David Burks – stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Tracee Cocco – hand double for David Tristan Birkin
- Michael Echols – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Nora Leonhardt – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Dennis Tracy – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
adolescence; anesthizine; alloy; archeology; auxiliary power; bearing; bed; bilateral kelilactiral; bioscan; B'rel-class; Buranian; calcium; childhood; central computer; class 4 probe; coffee; crayon; cream; Crusher, Wesley; cup; DaiMon; DNA; doll; Draebidium calimus; Draebidium froctus; drawing; Earl Grey tea; elements; Federation; Ferengi Salvage Code; Fermi; firomactal drive; FTL nanoprocessor; Galaxy-class; Humuhumunukunukuapua'a; inertial damper; interface module; intruder alert; Jefferies tube; jumper; keiyurium; kiloquad; Langford; Latin; Ligos VII; Ligos system; Lurin's Bird-of-Prey; Marlonia; Marlonian; meter; mercury (element); microfracture; Midsummer Night's Dream, A; molecular reversion field; Number one; pattern buffer; preadolescence; phase inducer; plant biology; primary heisenfram terminal; puberty; quad; red alert; redundant melacortz ramistat; refugee camp; remote controlled toy; Ro Talia; Romulans; royal blue; rybo-viroxic-nucleic; sabbatical; secondary generator; security access code; security field; shore leave; spelling; square root; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; sugar; Suvin IV; tag; Taguan; Tarcassian razor beast; tin; tissue sample; torsional stress; toy; transporter; Transporter Room 3; transporter signature; transposition matrix; tritanium; turbolift; Type 6 shuttlecraft; Vendarite; vocabulary
Library computer references Edit
- Table of Elements: Accurentum; Averyonium; Babaloo; Beium; Bermanium; Brownfieldium; Bugsonian; Californium; Cavorite; Chanockian; Cheeseium; Chico; Chronister; Cosmoium; Craftium; Curly; Daffyduckium; Dentium; Dilithium; Disneyium; Drapanas; Duckdodgers; Estonianium; Exitstageleft; Fieldium; Franconium; Freedonia; Gamma series; Groucho; Grouchoian; Harpo; Hawkeye; Hobbes; Hydrogen; Hypersonic series; Jamesium; Johnsonium; Jonesium; Keiyurium; Kryptonite; Lithium; Magnumium PI; Mazdaium; Meeseian; Mega series; Monty; Neskoromnium; Omega series; Paramount; Pillerium; Poi; Potatoeium; Princessium; Purseronite; Quarkian; Redskinium; Rhubarbium; Smutkoian; Snarkium; Sodium; Stimsonium; Stoogeian; Stoogeium; Sufferin'sucat; Thomsonian; Tngonian; Transonic series; World series; Yacobian; Zeppo
- "Rascals" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Rascals" at Wikipedia
- "Rascals" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Rascals" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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"A Fistful of Datas"