(written from a Production point of view)
|TNG, Episode 6x22|
Production number: 40276-248
First aired: 10 May 1993
|←||147th of 176 produced in TNG||→|
|←||147th of 176 released in TNG||→|
|←||269th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
Joe Menosky and Naren Shankar
Dr. Crusher violates Starfleet regulations and medical ethics when she investigates the death of a Ferengi scientist.
A Ferengi scientist, Dr. Reyga, has created a metaphasic shielding technique, but his unorthodox methods have left most scientists in the field ignoring his work. Dr. Crusher decided to play "scientific diplomat" and invite other scientists in the field to come to the USS Enterprise-D and view a demonstration of the doctor's prototype. A shuttle is to be fitted with Dr. Reyga's shield and flown into a nearby star. As they are all skeptical, they decide that someone other than the Ferengi should pilot the shuttle. Jo'Bril volunteers.
At the test flight, they all watch from the bridge as Jo'Bril enters the star. Everything seems to be going as planned until suddenly Jo'Bril becomes short of breath, and barely pilots the shuttle out of the star before dying. Everyone considers Reyga a failure, but he cannot accept that something went wrong. No one can find any trouble with the shuttlecraft. Also, Dr. Crusher cannot determine the cause of Jo'Bril's death. In fact, she cannot understand his physiology at all, especially why his cells seem to be decaying at such a slow rate. However, he is judged dead. Reyga pleads with the other scientists to allow him a second test. Dr. Crusher refuses, but he seems determined to prove himself. A few hours later, he is found dead from a plasma discharge. It is judged a suicide by Worf, but Beverly is incredulous.
Dr. Crusher discusses how unusual this seems with Captain Picard. She is determined to perform an autopsy, but the captain informs her that it is out of the question, as the family insists the body not be desecrated before they can perform the Ferengi death ritual. Frustrated, Dr. Crusher decides to perform an investigation. She confronts Christopher and T'Pan, and Christopher becomes incensed. Eventually, he mentions that Kurak and Reyga had a fiery argument. Dr. Crusher then confronts the Klingon scientist, much to her own peril. As she determines Kurak also did not murder Reyga, she finds herself stumped. Knowing she will be disobeying a direct order, she performs an autopsy on Reyga... and finds nothing. She informs Picard, who is extremely disappointed. Picard has no choice but to relieve her from duty.
Guinan encourages Dr. Crusher to continue her investigation, as she has nothing left to lose. After a brief interlude with William T. Riker, urging Beverly to not do anything stupid, she takes Dr. Reyga's shuttle into the star herself. Picard urges her to come back, but to no avail even as the temperature rises. In the shuttle, Jo'Bril emerges from his hiding place, and tells Dr. Crusher that his species is able to control their metabolic function to the point where they can simulate death. He admits that the metaphasic shield is a reality, and that he plans to simulate a warp core breach in the shuttle, wait until the Enterprise leaves (as its sensors cannot penetrate the star's coronasphere), and then take her and the shuttle back to his homeworld, where he will perfect the technique and sell it as his own. Beverly then engages him in hand-to-hand combat over a phaser. Dr. Crusher's female defense skills prove superior to Jo'Bril's self-defense skills, as she delivers a painful kick, causing him to fall down. After Jo'Bril is down, Beverly grabs the phaser. She then blows a hole in Jo'Bril's torso with the phaser, and to her shock this doesn't slow him down at all, only serving to annoy him. She finally has to completely vaporize Jo'Bril in order to defeat him.
She returns the ship, happy to have vindicated Reyga, and unafraid of the court martial. She replicates a tennis racket for Guinan to never get tennis elbow again – but Guinan admits she has never played tennis.
"I saw... the sun!"
- - Dr. Jo'Bril, saying his "last" words
"I don't want you to get involved in this."
"Is that an order, doctor?"
"Too bad you're not my boss anymore."
- - Beverly Crusher and Alyssa Ogawa
- First UK airdate: 6 December 1995
- This episode marks the final appearance of Guinan on the series, though she remains on the Enterprise-D. She plays an integral role in Star Trek Generations, and has an appearance in Star Trek Nemesis.
- The metaphasic shield technology was later be used by the Enterprise-D under the command of Dr. Crusher in "Descent, Part II" to combat the Borg. James Horan also guest starred in that episode, but as an Enterprise-D crewmember.
- In this episode it is stated that Ferengi are buried after death. On Star Trek: Deep Space 9 a death ritual for Ferengi is shown.
- Stock footage from the fourth season episode "Final Mission" is used including Mary Kohnert as Ensign Tess Allenby.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 74, 22 November 1993.
- As part of the TNG Season 6 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
- Patti Yasutake as Alyssa Ogawa
- Tricia O'Neil as Kurak
- Peter Slutsker as Reyga
- James Horan as Jo'Bril
- John S. Ragin as Christopher
- Joan Stuart Morris as T'Pan
Special guest star
- David Keith Anderson as Armstrong
- Carl David Burks as Russell
- Tracee Lee Cocco as Jae
- R. Cox as Marquez
- Hal Donahue as command division lieutenant
- Christie Haydon as command division ensign
- Arvo Katajisto as Torigan
- Mary Kohnert as Tess Allenby
- Ron Large as command division officer
- Michael Moorehead as science division ensign
- Joyce Robinson as Gates
- Richard Sarstedt as command division ensign
- Unknown actor as Alfonse Pacelli
- David Keith Anderson - stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Carl David Burks - stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Michael Echols - stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Nora Leonhardt - stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Lorine Mendell - stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Richard Sarstedt - stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Dennis Tracy - stand-in for Patrick Stewart
Altine Conference; autonomic functions scan; baryon; Board of inquiry; Brooks; Celsius; Earth; Ferengi; Ferengi death ritual; formal inquiry; Template:ShipClass; Justman; kelvin; medical tricorder; metaphasic shield; Mintakan tapestry; morgue; painting; phased ionic pulse; plasma infuser; rad; science lab; science station; Selar; sextant; sickbay; Starbase 23; Starfleet Medical; subspace morphology; Takara; Takaran; tennis; tennis elbow; tennis racket; tetryon; tetryon radiation; type 6 shuttlecraft; Vaytan; Vulcan Science Academy
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