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  • T: Who Watches The Watchers
  • A: TNG
  • N: 3x04
  • P: 40273-152
  • C: 158
  • D: 16
  • M: October
  • Y: 1989
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False notion and misconception of anthropological research

From the anthropological research point, the plot is ridiculous. No ethnographic or anthropological research is conducted that way... actually, not only it wouldn't work for the advancement of anthropological knowledge, it would be unethical. Daniel 16:15, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This is irrelevant. --Gvsualan 16:54, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Links added

I am not certain how to handle terms also occuring in the References section (Mintakans in this case) - the episode template seems to say such terms should be links only either in the article body or in the references. I feel that the link I added in the first paragraph really should be there.

Same problem with the characters. For now, I linked what I came across (first occurances only), feel free to bulldoze them. ;)

Are personal titles (the doctors here) supposed to be covered by emphasis, including link spans? I used the style here I found applied to Beverly in another article.

On another note, I recall that Liko did not shoot at Picard to prove his mortality but rather his invulnerability. At this time he still believed in Picard's divine nature. --Canonball 17:45, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Yah, the episode template needs updating a bit. All references should appear in the reference section, whether or not they appeared in the main body. Links for title/name (ie "Dr. Crusher" should be linked as follows: Dr. Crusher) should be split. :) -- Sulfur 17:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Course of events

  • "Liko shoots him to prove he is not a God."

and later

  • "Only now does Liko believe in Picard's mortality."

This is contradictory. Since my memory agrees with the latter, I changed the first part.--Canonball 01:11, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Interesting bow...

I have just watched the episode again and I noted that the bow used in this episode is a very modern one, with just the arms wraped in rags, did anyone else note it too?

If so, should it be noted in Background Information? -- MstrControl talk | contrib. 07:04, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Removed bg note

The bow Liko uses to shoot Picard seems to be a modern compound bow wrapped in cloth or leather. A screw is clearly visible in the close-up, which one would assume is well beyond the technical capabilities of the Mintakans.

Removed per MA:NIT. - Archduk3 23:24, June 1, 2011 (UTC)

Oh, okay, didn't know about these guidelines. Seems like a nitpick, yes, just didn't know these were out of the scope of Memory Alpha. Sorry about that.The preceding unsigned comment was added by Alarion (talk • contribs).

Removed comment

Removed the following, as by its own admission we don't know for certain if the similarity was intentional.

The 4.21 gigawatts of electricity La Forge says the anthropologists needed may be a reference to the famed 1980s sci-fi comedy, Back to the Future.

If evidence can be found that it was, it can be put back. --31dot 23:59, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Also removed, as a nitpick:

The arrow Liko used to injure Picard would not have been accurate enough to be lethal even without Oji's interference. The arrow was loaded with the "cock" feather (or "cock" fletching) on the bow side of the arrow instead of away from the bow. The feather would have struck the bow decreasing the accuracy of the shot even at the short range fired.

--31dot 22:29, January 15, 2010 (UTC)

Quote length

Does anyone else think that the "memorable quote" recounting most of the Picard/Luria exchange is a bit too long? Perhaps the last few lines could stay, but I don't think we need the whole thing.--31dot 00:04, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Hecks, yes. That's just abusive... it's memorable quotes, not memorable screenplays. What's memorable? In my opinion, only the second-to-last one - "Perhaps one day, my people will travel above the skies" --TribbleFurSuit 00:51, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good to me.--31dot 01:01, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


Artemis, a male ?Mexican nurse or medical technician The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hilary Ryan (talk • contribs).

I'm not sure what you're asking. Can you elaborate?--31dot 22:39, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
That's Martinez. --Alan (talk) 11:47, July 16, 2019 (UTC)

Title source

Removed the following derivation of the title.

Who watches the watchers?" is the colloquial and unambiguous translation of a quotation from a satire by the Roman poet Juvenal of ancient Earth. In its original Latin, the quote is, "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" ("But who is set to protect those who are themselves protectors?"). It is perhaps best known as the catchphrase from the famous graphic novel "Watchmen," by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, which is often considered by comic book fans to be the greatest work of the genre. It was published as a mini-series between 1986 and '87, shortly before TNG began airing.

Without proof that the writers knew this, it is merely speculation or an uncited similarity. For all we know, they came up with the title on their own. If there is proof that any of the following sources were used by the writers, the relevant info can go back.--31dot 01:47, October 12, 2009 (UTC)

Episode image: spoiler

I'm not sure what MA's policy on spoilers is, but it's worth noting that the image selected for this episode is a spoiler, since it depicts a scene of Cpt. Picard interacting with the Mintakans. It spoiled the episode for me, personally, I regret to say. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

I'm sorry about that, but you may wish to review the spoiler policy. Basically, everything here assumes one has seen or viewed the episodes/movies that have been released so far. If you don't want an episode to be spoiled for you, I would suggest not viewing the article about it.--31dot 00:11, April 1, 2010 (UTC)

While I can understand embedding spoilers in the body of the articles, which gives the reader the option of scrolling over whatever he doesn't want to read, I would humbly argue that displaying a spoiler graphic is something of a different story, because in the case of the graphic there's not much of a choice for the reader. I came looking for info on one of the guest actors, which is something I do often while watching episodes, and there was that picture glaring at me.... The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

The episode was 20 (now 30) years old. That's a hard expectation to have. --Alan (talk) 11:47, July 16, 2019 (UTC)

Peaceful, rational proto-Vulcans humanoids?

At the beginning of the episode, Troi mentions that the Mintakans are "Proto-Vulcan humanoids at the bronze age level - quite peaceful and highly rational"

Then Picard chimes in, "Which is not surprising considering how closely their evolution parallels Vulcan."

But weren't Vulcans an extremely violent and emotional race from before their own Bronze Age right up until Surak and the Time of Awakening? And this only came about once their technology had progressed to a point where they could wipe themselves out if they weren't careful. Seems to me that another race following the same evolutionary path as Vulcans would have to be extremely lucky to begin the same cultural movement that started Vulcans on being "quite peaceful and highly rational."

Perhaps this should be mentioned as a continuity error.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

That would be a nitpick, which is not permitted unless discussed by Trek staff. I also don't think it's correct, as he didn't say the two civilizations were exactly alike. --31dot 04:26, February 12, 2012 (UTC)

Removed, Part II

I removed the following comment.

Ray Wise is best known for his portrayal of Leland Palmer in the TV series Twin Peaks. In this episode, one of the Federation scientists is named Palmer, but this is purely coincidental, as Twin Peaks first aired after this episode.

This information can be found on the article about the actor and the second part explains itself. Tom (talk) 18:03, December 4, 2012 (UTC)

Blu-ray Edition - Partially Missing Boom Mic

In the Blu-ray version of this episode, when Nuria is taken to the Observation lounge by Picard to see her world from above (around minute 31...when Picard face palms), the once obvious Boom Mic has been partially edited away. It appears in the footage of the window, but on the paneling it is absent. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Dismantling the observation post

At the end of the episode in the captain's log, Picard says that La Forge is supervising the dismantling of the observation post. In the next scene, Picard shows the locals the observation post and tells them it will continue to operate. 07:51, July 1, 2015 (UTC)

In the future please ask plot questions at the Reference Desk as talk pages are for discussing article changes only; but to answer you, he did not tell them it would keep operating, he was showing it to them to explain what they had been doing. 31dot (talk) 08:53, July 1, 2015 (UTC)


I removed the following nits:

When Picard is showing Nuria her home planet from the observation lounge, a boom mic can be seen above Picard just before he rubs his head. This happens again in TNG episodes "Conundrum" and "I Borg".
Additionally, from the observation lounge, the Enterprise appears to be orbiting the planet backwards when compared to the exterior scenes.

--Alan (talk) 11:39, July 16, 2019 (UTC)

I removed the following - I'm not aware of any other Pulaski in this or any other episode:
Interestingly enough, one of the early victims in this episode happens to share the last name "Pulaski."
--Cleanse ( talk ) 00:50, April 8, 2020 (UTC)