Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Several crew members suffer violent hallucinations and comas as alien researchers visit the ship.



Keiko's flashback

"Captain's log, stardate 45429.3. While on a mapping survey, we are conveying a delegation of Ullians to Kaldra IV. These telepathic historians conduct their research by retrieving long-forgotten memories."

Three Ullians, Inad, Tarmin, and Tarmin's son Jev, have come on board. Interviewing Keiko O'Brien in Ten Forward, Tarmin probes her memory of a cup, which she knows is important but whose context she cannot recollect. With his help, Keiko remembers that it was used by her obachan to wash brushes used in Japanese calligraphy. She thanks the Ullians for the pleasant memory. Tarmin attempts to persuade Dr. Crusher to undergo the probe, but is reminded by Jev that they are not to probe people without permission.

Act One

Data and Geordi La Forge discuss the nature of memory while walking together in a corridor. Data is puzzled over the importance of the Ullians' ability to retrieve memory, as he believes that if an event is important, it should not be forgotten. La Forge tells him that it is not that simple for Humans, as they cannot recall certain memories in an instant. Later, at a dinner for the Ullians with the senior staff, Tarmin describes the Ullians' project to build an archive of memories from many worlds, calling his group "archaeologists of the mind." However, he is stymied by the staff's refusal to undergo the procedure. He embarrasses his son with an anecdote of quickly retrieving a memory that Jev could not. Piqued, Jev leaves the dinner. Counselor Troi follows him, and sympathizes with him about overbearing parents. She then returns to her quarters. But while getting ready for bed, she has flashes of memory about a romantic encounter with Commander Riker. She gets a hot chocolate from her replicator to try to calm down. The memory turns unpleasant however, when he begins to force himself on her – and then turns into Jev, who also appears elsewhere in the room. She then falls into a coma.

Act Two

Counselor Troi in a coma

"Captain's log, stardate 45430.9. Counselor Troi has fallen into a deep coma. After a thorough examination, Dr. Crusher has been unable to find signs of illness or infection."

In sickbay, Dr. Crusher and Dr. Martin are examining Troi and bringing Riker and Picard up to date on her condition. They cannot identify the cause of the coma, standard revival techniques have failed, and Dr. Crusher does not want to attempt anything else without identifying the cause.

Riker goes to speak with Jev in Ten Forward, who reacts with a certain hostility to the questions Riker poses regarding his whereabouts and the speculations about a Ullian cause for the coma. But he consents to an examination.

Riker goes to sickbay to see Deanna and speaks with her, hoping she can hear him despite the coma. He remembers that she did the same for him when he was in bad shape. He is exhausted and emotional; Dr. Crusher tells him to get some sleep. Back in his quarters, he, like Deanna, experiences flashes of memory. He is in main engineering during a containment breach; he must order the closure of the emergency door, trapping Ensign Keller inside. A colleague of hers angrily accuses him of killing her; this officer turns into Jev. When Picard tries to contact Riker, he does not respond; Worf, investigating, enters his room and finds him unconscious.

Act Three

"Medical log, stardate 45431.7. Commander Riker is the second officer who has fallen into an unexplained coma. I have examined the Ullians and ruled out the possibility that they are carrying a harmful organism."

Crusher has found an electropathic residue in the thalamus – the memory center – of both Troi and Riker. This suggests Iresine syndrome, but that condition is ruled out because the two patients are not showing decreased histamine levels. Worf suggests quarantining the Ullians, but Picard says no.

When spoken to by Picard, Tarmin reacts with shock to the notion that the Ullians could cause the comas. Inad, however, agrees to such monitoring for the next morning. In the meantime, Dr. Crusher and Dr. Martin scan Keiko, who does not show any unusual signs, not even the electropathic residue that the others present; and Geordi searches for agents that can cause electropathic residue, finding nothing aboard the Enterprise.

Crusher and Picard in 2354

Picard by Jack Crusher's body in the morgue

Beverly continues to research Iresine syndrome in her office; but as she works, she experiences the same memory flashes. In her case, she sees a younger Picard accompanying her in a morgue to see the body of her husband Jack. Picard turns into Jev, as does Jack – horrifyingly opening his eyes. In fear she turns to Picard, who is also Jev; and lets out a frantic scream.

Act Four

When La Forge and Data come to deliver La Forge's report to Beverly, they find her in a coma. La Forge rushes to check on her while Data signals a medical emergency to her office.

As La Forge and Data report the incident to Captain Picard in his ready room, he orders Data to investigate the other planets that the Ullians have visited for unexplained comas. He also decides to restrict the Ullians to their quarters, though La Forge questions the effectiveness of this measure on telepaths. They are interrupted by the news that Troi has awakened. In sickbay, she reports that she cannot remember the circumstances of falling into the coma.

The Ullians react with irritation to being asked to stay in their quarters; even Inad reacts, asking for permission to help clear their name by conducting a memory search on Troi. Picard, despite his concern for exposing Troi to telepathy after her ordeal, agrees but will discuss the request with Troi first.

Data and La Forge have not found any unexplained comas in their search; the Epsilon Nel system has yet to report. However, La Forge suggests seeking cases of Iresine syndrome, thinking that it might have been misdiagnosed. Indeed, two cases of Iresine syndrome turn up on Hurada III while the Ullians were present.

Troi agrees to the memory search, which Jev conducts. She revisits the memory that provoked her coma – but this time, Jev is replaced in her memory by Tarmin.

Act Five

Jev being arrested

"Captain's log, stardate 45433.2. We have set a course for Starbase 440 where the Ullians will disembark and return home."

Jev apologizes to Picard for Tarmin's behavior and offers the support of the Ullian legal system. Although Picard says the Federation has no law against telepathic memory invasion, the Ullians do and the penalty is severe, even though the practice has been unheard of for centuries. Picard notes that Tarmin is maintaining his innocence.

Meanwhile, Data and La Forge receive a transmission from the Nel system, reporting unexplained comas. Tarmin is cleared when they discover that he was on the Ullian homeworld at the time, between stardates 45321 and 45323.

Jev goes to visit Troi in her quarters to apologize. As he does so, however, he begins to make alarming remarks about her beauty. Abruptly, she starts to have the flashes of her previous memory. She realizes it was actually him in the memory, not Tarmin, and fights back physically. He throws her across the room, but Worf, Data, Kellogg and another security officer burst in and overpower him. Data tells Troi they have discovered that Jev, not Tarmin, was the only Ullian present at all the incidents of coma.

The situation resolved, Tarmin promises the assistance of Ullian physicians, but warns that no incidences of this form of rape have occurred in over three hundred years, and these physicians might be somewhat out of practice. Tarmin himself is badly shaken by the thought that any Ullian, much less his own son, could have committed acts that have not been known since a dark time in Ullian history was resolved. Picard notes that, although Earth experienced such times and is now peaceful, it is important for both Humans and Ullians to recognize that the seed of violence remains within all of them. To forget that is to risk allowing such a seed to grow and consume them, as it did Jev.

Memorable quotes

"How about you, commander? Got any memories you feel like digging up?"
"None that I'd care to share with an audience."

- La Forge and Riker

"What is the last thing you do remember?"
"My hair. I was brushing my hair."

- Picard and Deanna Troi

"Klingons do not allow themselves to be… probed."

- Worf

"I miss you. Please don't stay away too long."

- Riker to a comatose Troi

"I'm not implying that you did anything intentional. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of the mystery."
"We have nothing to hide. If you wish to spend time examining us…"
"Fine. Thank you."

- Riker and Jev, while Troi is in a coma in sickbay

"It's not easy having an overbearing parent, believe me, I know how you feel."

- Deanna Troi, to Jev

"I've learned to remind myself that my mother and I are two separate individuals."
"Mm-hmm. And have you enjoyed much success with this approach, counselor?"
"No. But I do keep reminding myself."

- Deanna Troi and Jev

"I've heard doctors say that even when someone's in a coma, they may be able to hear when people talk to them… that it might help stimulate the brain and speed the healing. In fact, I think you did that for me once, when I was in pretty bad shape."

- Will Riker, making a reference to "Shades of Gray"

"Why do you have to be so nice? So… so lovely."

- Jev, as he prepares to telepathically rape Troi

"But I think no one can deny that the seed of violence remains within each of us. We must recognize that, because that violence is capable of consuming each of us, as it consumed your son."

- Captain Picard, last line of the episode

Background information

Production history

Story and production

Stewart wears a hairpiece during a flashback sequence

  • The story originated from the initial outline for "Night Terrors".
  • The writing staff created memory flashbacks for every major character before Troi, Riker, and Crusher were chosen. One involved Ro's actions on Garon II. Another, involving La Forge's traumatic childhood experience of a fire, was used by Joe Menosky in "Hero Worship". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
  • This episode was filmed between Monday 28 October 1991 and Wednesday 6 November 1991 on Paramount Stage 8, 9, and 16. Second unit inserts shots were filmed on Monday 25 November 1991 on Paramount Stage 8, and several reshoots were filmed on Wednesday 27 November 1991 on Paramount Stage 9.
  • This is the first episode to be produced following creator and executive producer Gene Roddenberry's death. The call sheet for Thursday 31 October 1991 features a note that, on Friday 1 November 1991, the production would shut down at 1:00 pm and that the Gene Roddenberry Memorial Service would be held at 2:00 pm.
  • For the flashback scenes, special cameras were used: Panastar high speed cameras with a low angle-wide angle prism and 14910 mm lens and another one with a 100 mm macro lens. ("Violations" call sheet)
  • On Wednesday 30 October 1991, the investors had a walk-through Paramount Stage 8 at 7:00 pm. ("Violations" call sheet)

Sets and props

The cast and crew between takes



Video and DVD releases

Links and references


Also starring

Guest stars


Uncredited co-stars

Stunt double



As You Like It; Betazoid; bilenium; biofilter; brain; byproduct; calligraphy; cerebral cortex; chrysimite; Circassian cat; coma; CPK levels; cup; dardilion; diencephalon; dizziness; Earth; Epsilon Nel system; ferrazene; Genton; Genton contingent; Gentonian trade wars; hairbrush; headache; hippocampus; histamine; histamine count; hot chocolate; Hurada III; hylanatine; imzadi; ink brush; Iresine Syndrome; isolation door; Japanese; Japanese brush writing; Jefferies tube; Kaldra IV; Keller; Klingons; manzene; medical database four-delta-one; medical facility; medical personnel; Melina II; Melina II Planetary Medical Database; morgue; Nel III; neurological disorder; neurotransmitter; nightmare; nilizene; obachan; personnel review; poker; resurrection; Starbase 32; Starbase 440; Stargazer, USS; storehouse; strain; telepathic memory invasion; telepathic memory retrieval; tarrisite; thalamus; transporter log; Troi, Lwaxana; turbolift; Ullians; Ullian homeworld; Ullian physicians

Other references

Unused production references

Sector 22139

External links

Previous episode:
"Hero Worship"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 5
Next episode:
"The Masterpiece Society"
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