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*This is the first time that we see a [[system interlock]] used with an alien transporter system showing that it is possible to interlock two different types of transporter beams. The only previous time that we see a Federation transporter working in ''conjunction'' with an alien beam is when the ''Enterprise'' intercepted an alien transporter beam and redirected it to their transporter pad in {{e|Assignment: Earth}}.
 
*This is the first time that we see a [[system interlock]] used with an alien transporter system showing that it is possible to interlock two different types of transporter beams. The only previous time that we see a Federation transporter working in ''conjunction'' with an alien beam is when the ''Enterprise'' intercepted an alien transporter beam and redirected it to their transporter pad in {{e|Assignment: Earth}}.
 
*At the very beginning of the episode, when Picard makes a shipwide announcement, it is preceded by an old-style TOS hailing whistle. This does not usually occur in TNG.
 
*At the very beginning of the episode, when Picard makes a shipwide announcement, it is preceded by an old-style TOS hailing whistle. This does not usually occur in TNG.
  +
*This is the only season one episode that doesn't have a stardate.
   
 
===Video and DVD releases===
 
===Video and DVD releases===

Revision as of 01:44, 27 October 2010

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Two alien races struggle over a major pharmaceutical shipment. The dominant race claims the drug will treat a deadly disease, but instead it has been used to keep the weaker race addicted and powerless.

Summary

The USS Enterprise-D is investigating unusual solar flares and magnetic activity in the Delos system when they receive a distress signal from the Ornaran freighter Sanction orbiting the fourth moon of the system. The bridge crew is perplexed by the apparent incompetence of the freighter's crew.

When they try to rescue the freighter and beam the occupants over, the cargo of the freighter is beamed over instead. Yar and Riker are able to beam four onto the Enterprise in the nick of time.

When the crewmembers, two Ornarans and two Brekkians, arrive, they are very anxious to see the cargo. Even though two of those aboard the freighter have been lost, the primary concern of all four is the cargo. The Ornarans claim that they have paid for the cargo, therefore it belongs to them. The Brekkians argue that since the payment was lost on the destroyed freighter, the cargo still belongs to them. They begin to fight, using their natural electric charges, until Yar breaks it up.

Later, the Ornarans reveal that the cargo is felicium, medicine that their planet needs. Captain Picard realizes that the "plague" they have may infect the entire ship. He puts the ship on medical alert.

As the Ornarans suffer from their lack of medicine, the Brekkians continue to refuse them the cargo. Crusher reveals that she cannot find a cause of the signs of infection. The Ornarans entreat Picard to give them the felicium, and Picard offers to talk to the Brekkians, asking them to give enough for the Ornarans' needs. The Brekkians agree to "two doses for immediate use."

It is revealed that Brekkian society is entirely dependent on the trade of felicium with the Ornarans. When they use the free medicine, the Ornarans act as if they are experiencing a drug high. Crusher deduces that the "medicine" is really an addictive drug. Data and Riker research the history of the drug. Though it had cured a plague on Ornara two hundred years before, it is now just being sold as an addictive narcotic.

When Wesley Crusher wonders about how people become addicted to drugs, Yar explains the draw of drugs for people in desperate circumstances. She alludes to her possible use of drugs on her home planet. She says that, though drugs may seem to solve problems, they do not in reality make anything better.

The Enterprise receives a signal from Ornara. Margan demands that the Ornarans on the Enterprise must get the felicium to Ornara. One Ornaran then attacks Riker and demands that the Enterprise send the felicium to the planet.

The Brekkians then decide to "give" the drug to the Onarans, rather than risk the Onarans losing their addiction. Picard realizes that they have been purposely exploiting the Ornarans. Picard cannot tell the Ornarans without violating the Prime Directive. To correct the situation, Picard refuses to repair the Ornarans' freighters. Without a method of transport, the Ornarans will begin to withdraw from the drug.

Memorable Quotes

"We are losing our professional detachment, Doctor."

- Captain Picard to Doctor Crusher


"... Beverly, the Prime Directive is not just a set of rules; it is a philosophy... and a very correct one. History has proven again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous."
"It's hard to be philosophical when faced with suffering."
"Believe me Beverly, there was only one decision."
"I just hope it was the right one."
"And we may never know."

- Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher


"Captain, my console seems to be overloading."

- Wesley Crusher


"Drugs... make you feel good."

- Tasha Yar


"Destination, sir?"
"I don't care. Let's just get some distance between us and this system."
"Course 970, Mark 318, Speed: Warp Three."
"Where will that take us, Mr. La Forge?"
"The Opperline system."
"An interesting choice. Why?"
"Curiosity. We've never been there."

- La Forge, Picard, and Riker


"Captain, we are beaming over a replacement coil."
"Great... and that'll fix us up?"
"Yes, once it's installed."
(pause) "And how do we do that?"

- Picard and T'Jon


"What is the matter with these people?"

- Picard


"Captain, how long have you been in command of this freighter?"
"Seven years, with 26 trips to Brekka."
"And you don't know how to align a controller coil?"
"It's never come up."

- Picard to T'Jon

Background Information

Denise seen waving "goodbye"

  • In the scene with Crusher and Picard leaving the cargo bay at the end of the episode, Denise Crosby can be seen waving goodbye in the extreme background. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, p. 56)
  • Merritt Butrick and Judson Scott, who had appeared in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (as David Marcus and Joachim respectively), are in this episode as well. However, this is Butrick's final Star Trek role before his death from AIDS in 1989. Judson Scott later appeared in VOY: "Message in a Bottle" as the Romulan Commander Rekar.
  • Behind-the-scenes footage (and bloopers) for this episode appeared on a 1988 episode of the LeVar Burton-hosted Reading Rainbow.
  • This is the first time that we see a system interlock used with an alien transporter system showing that it is possible to interlock two different types of transporter beams. The only previous time that we see a Federation transporter working in conjunction with an alien beam is when the Enterprise intercepted an alien transporter beam and redirected it to their transporter pad in "Assignment: Earth".
  • At the very beginning of the episode, when Picard makes a shipwide announcement, it is preceded by an old-style TOS hailing whistle. This does not usually occur in TNG.
  • This is the only season one episode that doesn't have a stardate.

Video and DVD releases

Links and References

Starring

Also starring

Guest stars

Co-star

Uncredited co-stars

References

2164; 2357; biofilter; Brekka; Brekkians; Cargo Bay 11; Delos; electromagnetic coil; Federation scout; felicium; med alert; narcotic; Opperline system; Ornara; Ornarans; plague; Prime Directive; ship's stores; solar flare activity; system interlock; Turkana IV; x-ray bursts


Previous episode:
"The Arsenal of Freedom"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 1
Next episode:
"Skin of Evil"
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