(written from a Production point of view)
|TNG, Episode 4x05|
Production number: 40274-179
First aired: 22 October 1990
|←||78th of 176 produced in TNG||→|
|←||78th of 176 released in TNG||→|
|←||185th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
|←||Arc: The Traveler (2 of 3)||→|
Following an anomaly in a warp bubble experiment, Dr. Crusher finds that crewmembers are beginning to disappear, while she is the only one who seems to notice.
- "Chief medical officer's log, stardate 44161.2. We are docking at Starbase 133 for scheduled crew rotation. I look forward to welcoming aboard my mentor and dear friend, Doctor Dalen Quaice, who will be traveling with us to his home planet, Kenda II."
When Dr. Quaice, an elderly man, beams aboard, he and Dr. Crusher begin talking about his life. Dr. Quaice's wife has died recently, so he is giving up his post in Starfleet and retiring. He tells Dr. Crusher that the worst part of growing old is that all of one's friends, all the people from one's life are gone, and that one never takes the time to appreciate them in their lifetime. Dr. Crusher agrees, telling him that even though she and her late-husband, Jack Crusher, only had a few years together, she feels the same way. She continues contemplating what Dr. Quaice said.
Meanwhile, in engineering, an eager Ensign Wesley Crusher performs an experiment with the ship's warp engines. Dr. Crusher comes to see him, standing right before the warp core. Suddenly, due to Wesley's experiment, there is a short flash, emitted from the warp core. Chief engineer Geordi La Forge impatiently demands to get "his warp engines back", as the experiment fails. Wesley returns the engines to normal control, and when he looks up to talk to his mother, she is gone. Wesley thinks that she simply walked away.
The USS Enterprise-D leaves Starbase 133 as scheduled.
Dr. Crusher calls Worf, who agrees to order a search for Dr. Quaice immediately. However, both are puzzled; Worf, because he was not informed of Dr. Quaice's planned arrival, and Dr. Crusher, because she thought that Worf was to be informed of the presence of all guests.
In Captain Picard's ready room, a puzzled Dr. Crusher learns that there really is no Dr. Quaice aboard the ship. Furthermore, in the privacy of the ready room, Picard indicates that he was also not informed of Dr. Quaice's planned presence aboard ship. Dr. Crusher, astounded, protests that she had submitted her request weeks prior and received approval, while the two try to speculate how this could have happened. When Data checks Starfleet records, he reveals that no hint of the existence of a Dr. Dalen Quaice whatsoever. Even O'Brien can't remember beaming a Dr. Quaice aboard.
Dr. Crusher decides to perform a medical check on the Chief, and when she calls for Dr. Selar and Dr. Hill, she learns that the two of them and four other medical staff have vanished. Picard asks her if they were associates of Dr. Quaice, apparently having no memory of their presence on Dr. Crusher's staff. Wesley Crusher, then in engineering, tells the Captain that his experiment with the warp drive may be connected with the disappearances. Even though it all doesn't fit together, the Captain insists that Wesley Crusher continues to examine his theory.
When Dr. Crusher returns to duty in sickbay, all of her personnel have vanished, and sickbay is completely abandoned. She returns to the bridge to tell Picard, Commander Riker and Data, but they are not surprised by the news at all. Dr. Crusher asks Data if it would make any sense that she is the sole medical officer for more than 1000 people, he tells her that the entire crew count is 230. Dr. Crusher talks to Picard in his ready room and she agrees to talk to Counselor Troi to see if she is mentally unstable, but asks the Captain to return the ship to Starbase 133. He agrees to do so.
Dr. Crusher returns to sickbay and attempts to work, but is distracted by a series of violet flashes and a strange noise. Investigating, Dr. Crusher finds a bright vortex that begins to draw in the objects in sickbay, including her. She grabs on to one of the walls until the vortex collapses.
When the senior staff meet in the Observation Lounge to discuss what happened, she learns that the crew now numbers 114 people. Even Lieutenant Worf has disappeared, and nobody but Dr. Crusher is aware that he ever existed, even though he has served aboard the ship for more than three years.
Dr. Crusher rushes to engineering to see if her son, Wesley, has also disappeared, but he is in engineering just as he should be. Wesley asks her if everything is all right, but Beverly replies "no" for they may have very little time left. Wesley claims he's already spoken to Kosinski via subspace, and even he can't figure out what's happening. Wesley suggests the mysterious Traveler might be able to help them. As he and Beverly move to exit engineering, Beverly realizes that her son has also disappeared.
Rushing to the bridge, Beverly is horrified to find the room empty, save for the red alert lights blinking and Captain Picard sitting in his chair. Beverly pleads with Picard to try and remember them all; Riker, his first officer, who is very good at playing poker, loves to cook and play jazz; Deanna Troi, the counselor who loves chocolate and has a mother that makes Picard shudder; Commander Data, the android who sits at ops who dreams to be human and never gets the punchline of a joke; O'Brien; Geordi; Worf; Wesley; who have been the living, breathing heart of the Enterprise for three years; Picard remembers none of them.
Beverly realizes that this entire situation is totally logical to the captain; the two of them roaming about the galaxy in the flagship of the Federation with no crew at all, and indeed, it is logical to Picard, who claims they've never needed a crew before. Beverly orders the computer to monitor Picard's life signs until he disappears, to which Picard agrees. As the computer audibly reads out his vital signs, Beverly prepares to tell Picard something she had been meaning to say for a long time, but before she can say anything, the computer stops monitoring and Picard is gone.
Beverly intones to herself that she won't forget any of them. She then stands up and looks toward the rest of the bridge. Then sounds fill the bridge. Beverly turns towards the viewscreen to find the source as winds begin pulling the sides of her hair forward. The same vortex that appeared in the sickbay reappears in the center of the viewscreen. The vacuum quickly gains, pulling the console toward it. Dr. Crusher is drawn toward the vortex, but manages to grab onto Data's chair. She is pulled horizontally, almost into the vortex, but is able to hold on until it dissipates once more.
On the other side of the disturbance, La Forge and Wesley furiously input commands into an engineering console, but before too long, Wesley notices that the warp bubble on his monitor has vanished. Believing his mother to be dead, Wesley claims that "it's over." But, before he can give up hope, an unseen voice speaks "It's not over, Wesley." As he looks over, Wesley is surprised and pleased to see The Traveler once again aboard the Enterprise.
Meanwhile, Captain Picard reports to the captain's log that two attempts to retrieve Dr. Crusher have failed. It is revealed that she is actually the one who has disappeared, into a parallel universe.
Back aboard the warp bubble Enterprise, Beverly attempts to examine the phenomenon of disappearing crewmembers as she would a disease, proceeding from the assumption that she is not insane. Though she catches the computer in several logical contradictions (notably that she is the only crewmember, even though she doesn't possess the skills necessary to complete the Enterprise's mission), she doesn't come any closer to determining how to find any of the crew. Deciding that one of The Traveler's race may be able to help her, she sets course for Tau Alpha C, but immediately upon engaging, she discovers that the entire planet has disappeared. When she tells the computer to turn the view screen on, there is a mist in front of it, and the computer says it is a energy field. She knows there is nothing wrong with her and figures something is wrong with the universe. She asks the computer the nature of the universe. Surprisingly, the computer answers with specifics: it describes the universe as a spheroid structure 705 meters in diameter.
In the real world, the Enterprise has returned to Starbase 133 and Wesley, with The Traveler's assistance, has succeeded in recreating the warp bubble, by "seeing beyond the numbers." However, the Traveler is disconcerted, because the warp bubble has begun to collapse.
The Traveler and Wesley begin to work on creating a gateway between the real world and the warp bubble, with both 'phasing' in and out of real space and time; they have less than four minutes before the bubble collapses.
Beverly finally realizes that it is she that is trapped inside the warp bubble upon seeing a computer-generated visual image of the universe that looks identical to Wesley's experiment. As the bubble begins to collapse, destroying sections of the ship, Beverly continues to query the computer about warp bubbles, until she discovers that the vortex that she has encountered twice may be her means of escape. She decides that the vortex will probably be in engineering, since that is where Wesley would be working trying to create it. She races through the halls of the ship outrunning the collapsing warp bubble, finally arriving in engineering to the sight of the vortex. She jumps through, and lands back in the real world engineering just as the warp bubble collapses. Wesley is exhausted from 'seeing beyond the numbers' and collapses on the table, while Jean-Luc goes to help Beverly to her feet. Beverly sees the Traveler and asks him if he was the one who brought her back. She and Wesley hug, and just to make sure everything is okay, she asks Jean-Luc how many people are aboard the Enterprise. The answer of 1,014, including Dr. Quaice, relieves her.
"Worf. Chief of Security. [pause] The big guy who never smiles? [pause] The Klingon!"
- - Beverly Crusher, talking about Worf to the senior officers about finding the missing members of the crew
"It's all perfectly logical to you, isn't it? The two of us roaming about the galaxy in the flagship of the Federation. No crew at all."
"We've never needed a crew before."
- - Beverly Crusher, Jean-Luc Picard
"Is she alive?"
"As long as she thinks she is alive, she is alive."
"What the hell does that mean?"
- - Picard, The Traveler and Riker
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe!"
- - Beverly Crusher
"If this were a bad dream, would you tell me?"
"That is not a valid question."
"Like hell it's not!"
- - Beverly Crusher, The Enterprise computer
"What is the primary mission of the starship Enterprise?"
"To explore the galaxy."
"Do I have the necessary skills to complete that mission alone?"
"Then why am I the only crew-member? (the computer takes a moment to process and makes a strange noise) Aha, got you there."
"That information is not available."
(waves the last response off)
- - Beverly Crusher, The Enterprise computer
"Here's a question you shouldn't be able to answer: Computer, what is the nature of the universe?"
"The universe is a spheroid region, 705 meters in diameter."
- - Beverly Crusher, The Enterprise computer
"My thoughts created this universe. Can they get me out of it again?"
"That information is not available."
"I'm not talking to you!"
- - Beverly Crusher, The Enterprise computer
"Jean-Luc, if I may ask, how many people are there on board?"
"One thousand fourteen, including your guest, Dr. Quaice."
"Is there something wrong with that count?"
"No, that's the exact number there should be."
- - Beverly Crusher, Jean-Luc Picard and Geordi La Forge
Story and production
- This story originated as a subplot for "Family", in which crew members were to have disappeared due to a wormhole. However, it was felt that there was not enough room for both plots, so the premise was developed as a separate episode. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- The Traveler was added at the last minute. According to Michael Piller, "The first two drafts did not have the Traveler in it. The first draft ended with the realization of what had happened turning out to be a dream episode. We didn't find that satisfying, so we decided at the end of act three to pull everything from the first 60 pages into the first three acts and tell the audience what's going on on the other side of the warp bubble and how they're trying to get Beverly back. We spend the next two acts deciding how to get her back. At the beginning of the year we said we wanted to bring the Traveler back for something, so why not use him in this episode to help Beverly back." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Director Cliff Bole commented, "They added him because he's big at the conventions. He was just a walk-on." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Gates McFadden did all her stunts for the vortex effects sequences. Shortly after performing the stunt where she is thrown from Data's ops console chair, McFadden learned she was pregnant. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- Footage of Starbase 74 from "11001001" was re-used in this episode to represent Starbase 133.
- When Doctor Crusher is walking next to Doctor Quaice it can be seen very clearly, that the sciences uniform exists in various shades of blue, as Dr. Quaice's uniform is a little "greener" than Dr. Crusher's. Of course this could merely be due to differences in laundering. Also, in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", Crusher's uniform had been noticeably lighter than the uniforms worn by other science officers.
- In a deleted scene, Dr. Crusher talks to Dr. Richard Hill's wife Cara who doesn't remember her husband.
- First UK airdate: 4 May 1994
- The Traveler's make-up was modified slightly for his second appearance. Here, and in "Journey's End" his make-up appears much paler than in his first appearance in "Where No One Has Gone Before".
- The VOY episode "Projections" features a similar plot device, in which the Doctor finds himself alone on board and must try to determine what is going on.
- When Dr. Crusher is pulled into the static warp bubble, she is not wearing her coat. While in the bubble, she puts on the coat. However, when she returns from the bubble, she is still wearing the coat from the bubble. Thus, it can be assumed the bubble contained a physical reality and not simply a manifestation of Crusher's thoughts.
- Rick Berman remarked, "That was a very interesting high concept episode. I thought it was possibly a little bit overly confusing. You're fooling the audience a little and I don't like to do that. They were looking at one world when, in fact, we were dealing with parallel universes and that was potentially confusing." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- A mission report for this episode by Patrick Daniel O'Neill was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 15, pp. 24-26.
Video and DVD releases
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 40, 9 March 1992.
- As part of the UK VHS collection Star Trek: The Next Generation - 10th Anniversary Collector's Edition, under the "Crusher" section, 29 September 1997.
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 4.2, 7 May 2001.
- As part of the TNG Season 4 DVD collection.
Links and references
- 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
- Wil Wheaton as Ensign Wesley Crusher
- Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
- Majel Barrett as USS Enterprise-D computer voice
- Michael Moorehead as science division ensign
- Marilyn Rockafellow as Cara Hill (deleted scene)
- Noriko Suzuki as operations division ensign
- Unknown actor as operations division officer
- Nora Leonhardt - stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Tim McCormack - stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Lorine Mendell - stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Randy Pflug - stand-in for Colm Meaney
- Richard Sarstedt - stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Dennis Tracy - stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Guy Vardaman - stand-in for Wil Wheaton
- James Washington - stand-in for Michael Dorn
antimatter containment; Betazoid; bulkhead; breakfast; chocolate; communicator; crew roster; Crusher, Jack; death; Delos IV; diagnostic; Durenia IV; Earl Grey tea; EM field; Federation; Ferengi; flagship; galaxy; Hill, Cara; Hill, Richard; hull integrity; jazz; joke; Kansas; Kenda II; Klingon; Kosinski; life support; life support ductwork; light; mass spectrometer; mathematics; medical officer; Milky Way Galaxy; millicochrane; nurse; poker; Quaice, Patricia; radiation; red alert; Selar; sickbay; shuttle drone; spacetime continuum; star chart; Starbase 133; Starbase 133 planet; Starbase Command; Starfleet; subspace; subspace radio; Tau Alpha C, The Traveler, The Wizard of Oz; thruster; transporter ID trace; Troi, Lwaxana; trombone; turbolift; umbilical port; universe; Wellington, USS; warp bubble; warp field
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