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Galaxy's Child (episode)

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"Galaxy's Child"
TNG, Episode 4x16
Production number: 40274-190
First aired: 11 March 1991
89th of 176 produced in TNG
89th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
196th of 728 released in all
Junior is born
Teleplay By
Maurice Hurley

Story By
Thomas Kartozian

Directed By
Winrich Kolbe
44614.6 (2367)
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La Forge finds out that a scientist is hardly what he imagined her to be. Meanwhile, they must work together to save the child of a space-borne alien the Enterprise has accidentally killed.

Summary

Teaser

"Captain's log, stardate 44614.6. We are approaching Starbase 313, where we will pick up a shipment of scientific equipment for transport to a Federation outpost in the Guernica system. During the journey, we will be hosting a special guest."

The USS Enterprise-D is en route to Starbase 313 in order to pick up some equipment to transport to the Guernica system. At the starbase, Dr. Leah Brahms, comes on board to study the engine modifications Geordi La Forge has made. Dr. Brahms was responsible for most of the engine design on the Enterprise, when the ship was built at Utopia Planitia. La Forge, however, previously met Dr. Brahms in a holodeck simulation, in order to get the ship out of trouble, and has also had some romantic experience with the computer-simulated female.

When Captain Picard informs La Forge of Dr. Brahms' arrival and asks him to greet the Doctor on the Enterprise's behalf, La Forge is more than happy, hoping that he and the "real" Brahms might become romantically involved.

But once Dr. Brahms beams aboard, she immediately insults La Forge and accuses him of having "fouled up my engine designs." She continues complaining all the time, and charges that the engine modifications La Forge has made are completely useless.

Act One

On the bridge, Data informs Riker that the sensors are picking up some strange readings in the Alpha Omicron system, which was then still unexplored. Riker decides that they should investigate, since "we're way ahead of schedule."

Back down in engineering, La Forge tries to get along with Dr. Brahms, reminding her that "There is no reason for us to argue, we're on the same side here." To reach a better understanding, he proposes "Why don't I take you on a little tour, show you the adjustments I made, why I think they work and we can begin pulling together on this?" La Forge then shuts down the warp core in order to show the dilithium chamber to Brahms. La Forge then suggests that the two meet later in order to "plan out our agenda for the next day or two." Brahms agrees to meet with La Forge in his quarters at 1900 hours, maybe to have a bite to eat – he claims that he can make a great fungilli. Brahms tells that she loves fungilli and smiles for the first time since she has arrived on the ship.

The ship then arrives at the Alpha Omicron System and the crew are starting to investigate the source of the strange energy readings the ship's sensors previously picked up. They learn that a lifeform is orbiting the seventh planet of the system. A lifeform, that is, as Picard puts it, "just to live between the stars, and have the entire galaxy as a home." While the ship analyzes the lifeform, it probes the ship, suddenly starts to attack it, and captures it in "an energy damping field." All of the crew's attempts to free themselves fail, and then the computer announces: "Radiation levels at 300 millirads per minute and rising. Lethal exposure in one minute." Forced to act quickly, Picard orders phasers be fired at the creature, at minimum power. But even at minimum power, the phaser fire is strong enough to kill the creature, and ruin Picard's efforts to initiate peaceful relations with a new species.

Act Two

Almost stunned by the accident, Picard wants to go to his ready room, as Data starts picking up some energy reading from the lifeform - a reading which may suggest that the creature is still alive.

Meanwhile, La Forge goes into great efforts to prepare himself and his quarters for Brahms' arrival - he struggles to teach the computer what a "cozy" light intensity is, tries to choose a good ambient music and gets into casual wear, since "uniforms are so formal." Brahms arrives on time, and they start to talk. She admits, that she is often very possessive about her engine designs – "... it's like ... they are your children." She tells that she doesn't want to be that way but sometimes she simply feels better with engine designs than with people. La Forge understands, and Brahms also sympathizes with him. When La Forge tries to make a pass at her, she cuts him off and tells him that she doesn't think it would be appropriate if she stayed – and leaves.

Back on the bridge, Data, Riker and Picard analyze the new energy reading from the body of the creature, and conclude that it is a second lifeform – a child. The parent lifeform attacked the ship because "it was about to give birth."

Act Three

Worf, Crusher, Counselor Troi, Riker and Picard meet in the Observation Lounge to discuss what to do. Dr. Crusher suggests, that the child may not be able to free itself from the body of the parent being. Riker then proposes using the ship's phasers as a scalpel to perform a Caesarean section. Worf advises against this, claiming that the child may be a threat to the ship, just as was the parent. Picard agrees, but reminds him that they have killed the parent, and so they are now responsible for the survival of the child.

The next morning in engineering, Brahms and La Forge go through a list of discrepancies which Brahms has found in the engine modifications. They crawl into some Jefferies tubes in order to inspect the power-transfer conduits. Brahms quickly notices that the sound of the engines is not correct, and La Forge shows her the cause: he has added a so-called mid-range phase adjuster. Brahms is quite overwhelmed by this technical refinement and tells La Forge that he should write a scientific paper on it, as she feels that this improvement should be shared. La Forge refuses and claims that he isn't good at writing. Instead, he proposes, that "we could collaborate. Writing is one of your strong points." When Brahms hears that, she asks him how he knows her so well, that he knows things about her – even though they never met before. He lies, and claims that he admired her work and so he studied her for years and is a great fan of her – and wanted to meet her a long time ago. Brahms realizes that La Forge is seriously interested in her, and tells him that he should know that she is married – one fact about her of which La Forge had not been aware.

On the bridge, the crew do as planned, and place an incision in the dead body of the parent, clearing the way for the child creature. This creature then makes its way out of the body, and the captain is very relieved.

Meanwhile, in Ten Forward, a depressed La Forge plays a game of chess with Guinan, and speaks his mind. He says that he is quite disappointed in the 'real' Leah Brahms, as the holographic simulation of her was so very different. Guinan points out that the computer may have been able to give the holo-Brahms personality from her Starfleet records, but when it came to the relationship, "you filled in the blanks. And you had a perfectly wonderful, marvelous little fantasy." She advises him that he should take a good look at her, and see for who she really is, and not for what he may want her to be.

Back on the bridge, the crew make sure that the child being is okay, and then set to resume their course to Starbase 313. Riker suggests, that "it might be wise to put some distance between us before we go to warp." Picard agrees and orders the ship to be moved away from the newborn at a gentle velocity. The newborn however, starts to follow the ship, not letting off it. Troi reveals that it now thinks that the Enterprise is its mother. They increase speed, but the creature just won't let go. Ultimately, it attaches itself to the hull of the Enterprise and starts draining the ship's power directly from the fusion reactors. Again, Troi has the answer: "It's feeding off the energy from the Enterprise as it would from its mother." Picard decides that they should not try and remove the child from the hull by force.

Act Four

"Captain's log, supplemental. Since the newborn has attached itself to the hull, it has been making greater and greater demands on the ship's energy. But we have been able to stabilize our power systems temporarily."

In the observation lounge, the crew discuss what action to take. Data states that he may be able to determine the destination of the parent being – Dr. Crusher claims that "perhaps it was on its way to provide a safe and supportive environment to its newborn." The Captain decides to head for this destination, and to leave the child alone there. Dr. Brahms, who is part of the discussion, suggests that Junior could be removed from the hull by opening the door to shuttle bay two. The pressure from inside the bay might push the child away from the hull, as it is nearly completely covering the bay door. The Captain agrees to this plan.

On their way to engineering, La Forge and Dr. Brahms discuss how they could fit the engines for continually rising demands of power of the child-lifeform. Dr. Brahms asks La Forge whether there is a complete list of the modifications he has made. Captain Picard then summons La Forge to the bridge. La Forge asks Dr. Brahms to proceed to engineering alone, and tells her that Ensign Pavlik can show her the computer file which contains the list with the engine modifications. There she discovers the holographic simulation in which La Forge met her for the first time.

When La Forge returns to engineering and Pavlik tells him that Dr. Brahms has gone to the holodeck, he immediately runs away to intercept her. He arrives too late, and Dr. Brahms has already seen most of the program. She is outraged by what she has seen and shouts angrily at La Forge. He claims that nothing intimate happened and insists that it was just a professional collaboration. Ultimately, he lets loose and tells Dr. Brahms what he really thinks about her: "Alright, look--ever since you came on board you've been badgering me--and I've taken it! I've shown you courtesy, respect and a hell of a lot of patience." He says angrily that he regrets having offered her his friendship, and leaves the puzzled Dr. Brahms alone in the holodeck.

Meanwhile on the bridge, Data has managed to determine the destination of the parent being, an asteroid belt and the ship is set to head there. Upon its arrival, Data suggests that some chemical compounds in the asteroid field may provide sustenance for this lifeform and that the child would have a good supply of food there. Now in shuttle bay two, La Forge opens the external door and deactivates the atmospheric force field – but the child does not let go of the hull. Instead, it increases its power drain and starts emitting radio transmissions to communicate with other beings of its species. Three other creatures in the asteroid belt immediately head for the Enterprise – leaving some ten minutes until intercept. Riker orders main power to be shut down to compensate for the increasing power drain of the child.

Act Five

Down in engineering, the crew is desperate to find a way to get the child-creature off the ship's hull. Dr. Brahms shows up, and tells La Forge that she has an idea. She suggests that they need to look for a way to "sour the milk." However, since the ship is already running on auxiliary power only, this plan seems impossible to accomplish at first. But then La Forge has an idea and suggests adding "vinegar" to the baby's milk. Since all matter in space vibrates in a 21 cm radiation band, he suggests that they could try and "alter the power frequency so that it's completely foreign to the baby's natural vibrations." Dr. Brahms agrees and La Forge informs the bridge that he and Dr. Brahms together have a plan.

They make the necessary preparations and implement the plan. Dr. Brahms lowers the wavelength down to 2 cm, but the lifeform's power drain is unaffected. After taking the wavelength down to 0.2 cm, the creature begins to drain more and more power, and notifies the other creatures, which immediately accelerate their approach and prepare to attack the Enterprise. However, when Dr. Brahms lowers the wavelength even further to 0.02 cm, the child disengages and is welcomed by the other creatures, which cease their plans to attack the ship. Riker orders main power to be restored and the ship piloted away. Picard then complements La Forge and Brahms for having "weaned the baby." Down in engineering, the two look at each other and congratulate each other for their cooperation.

Having struck up an authentic friendship, Brahms and La Forge share a drink in Ten Forward, laugh and speak their minds, La Forge noting that "the computer is notorious for not volunteering information!" She apologizes for being so impolite, saying, "I wouldn't change a thing. Except for the way I acted." He apologizes for having lied to her and admits that he's glad "to know you. The real you." They agree to remain friends. A message from her husband then summons Dr. Brahms and she walks out of Ten Forward.

Memorable Quotes

"I'm Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, chief engineer."
"La Forge... so you're the one who's fouled up my engine designs."

- Geordi La Forge and Dr. Leah Brahms


"Computer, subdued light."
(the lights go completely out)
(laughs) "No, that's too much. I don't want it dark, I want it cosy."
"Please state your request in precise candlepower."
"See, it's not a matter of precision, Computer, it's a matter of mood. Brighter than this."

- La Forge and the Computer


"No wonder it attacked us... it was about to give birth."

- Picard


"The acoustic signature doesn't sound right."
"You're probably the only other person in the galaxy who could pick that up."

- Dr. Leah Brahms and Geordi La Forge


"Commander La Forge, ever since I came on board ... there seems to be something a little ... peculiar about your attitude. You seem to know things about me ... even though we've never met."

- Dr. Leah Brahms


"Captain, I'd like to announce the birth of a large baby ... something."

- Dr. Crusher, to Picard


"She's probably done the most horrific thing one person can do to another: not live up to your expectations."

- Guinan, to La Forge


"Take a hard look through your VISOR, La Forge... see her for who she really is... not what you want her to be."

- Guinan, to La Forge


"It thinks the Enterprise is its mother."

- Troi


"Sir. Is the appellation 'Junior' to be the lifeform's official name?"
"No, it is not!"

- Data and Picard


"Captain, the creatures are accelerating their approach. They are changing color!"

- Worf

Background Information

Story and script

Production

Dan Curry with junior

Dan Curry with the junior mold.

Junior concept sketch

A concept sketch for junior.

Continuity

  • Dr. Leah Brahms (and Geordi's infatuation with her) reappear from the episode "Booby Trap."
  • La Forge mentions that writing isn't his strong suit. However, in an alternate reality he becomes quite the proficient novelist, as mentioned in "All Good Things...".
  • La Forge tells Scotty the story of this episode as an anecdote in the season 6 episode "Relics".
  • Before finding the holoprogram, Leah Brahms reviews an engineering log of modifications made to the ship by La Forge. The last entry on the list which is only seen very briefly is "Tonight on HBO".
  • This engineering log is unlike any other LCARS screen seen in the different series. It is green and features a completely different font.
  • This is the first appearance of the Jefferies tubes as they would appear throughout the run of the series and on other starships of the 24th century. Jefferies tubes appeared before, in "The Hunted" but looked completely different.
  • Footage of the Alpha Omicron asteroid belt will later be reused for the Pelloris and Devolin asteroid fields.

Reception

  • Rick Berman remarked, "They're two great stories. First, that of the fantasy woman Geordi thinks he's met, but didn't, and now he actually has to meet her; and the simultaneous story of the space baby latching onto the ship. They were two very nice stories that worked well together." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest stars

And

Special guest star

Co-star

Uncredited co-stars

Stand-ins and photo doubles

References

actinide; Alpha Omicron asteroid belt; Alpha Omicron system; Alpha Omicron VII; antimatter; antimatter containment; asteroid belt; auxiliary power; Brahms, Johannes; bussard collector; Caesarean section; candlepower; carbonaceous chondrite; Circassian plague cat; classical guitar; dampening field; degauss; deuterium; dilithium; dilithium chamber; Dilithium articulation frame; Drafting Room 5; emergency level-7; emergency power generator; engineering log; Federation; force field; fungilli; fusion reactors; Template:ShipClass; gamma particle; Guernica system; holodeck; holo-program; intermix ratio; Jefferies tube; Junior; Junior's mother; kefnium; level-5 probe; magnetic containment field; magnetic plasma transfer; matter-antimatter reaction assembly; meklinite; mid-range phase adjuster; Milky Way Galaxy; millirad; Menthars; milk; MTBF unit; music; optical nanoprocessor; outpost; personnel review; phase coil; phaser; piano etude; plasma; plasma energy; plasma inducer; plasma injection throttle; power tap; power transfer conduit; radiation; radio transmissions; red alert; scalpel; science station; shuttlebay; silicate; soft jazz; spaceborne species; spacesuit; star; Starbase 313; Starfleet Command; Theoretical Propulsion Group; Three-dimensional chess; tritium; Utopia Planitia; Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards; vinegar; warp field; warp field generators

External link


Previous episode:
"First Contact"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 4
Next episode:
"Night Terrors"

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