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The Survivors (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"The Survivors"
TNG, Episode 3x03
Production number: 40273-151
First aired: 9 October 1989
50th of 176 produced in TNG
50th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
157th of 728 released in all
Kevin Uxbridge
Written By
Michael Wagner

Directed By
Les Landau
43152.4 (2366)
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For the TAS episode with a similar title, please see "The Survivor".

The Enterprise investigates two survivors living on the only undamaged patch of land on a devastated planet.

Summary

The USS Enterprise-D is en route to a Federation colony, Delta Rana IV, which sent a distress signal indicating they were under attack. When the Enterprise crew arrives, they find the entire planet devastated, save for a few acres of land and a house containing two elderly botanists, Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge. Still aboard the Enterprise, Counselor Troi senses something unusual about the two. However, she soon begins hearing music in her mind, replayed in an endless loop. The music blocks her empathic abilities and eventually begins to drive her insane.

Delta Rana warship fires

The Enterprise is attacked by an unknown warship.

The two survivors claim to not know why they were spared. The Enterprise soon is attacked by a large warship, apparently the one responsible for the devastation. Data reveals that there is no record of the ship in the vehicle identification index. The ship flees after the Enterprise fires a warning shot. After being unable to catch up with the unidentified ship, Captain Picard returns to the Delta Rana system. Upon returning, he visits the two survivors and offers them a replicator. Meanwhile, Troi is still haunted by the music, which is becoming louder. Dr. Beverly Crusher suggests moving her to sickbay, which Troi refuses. Dr. Crusher offers to induce delta-wave sleep, but Troi is convinced the music is real and that not even deep sleep will spare her from it. Back on the planet, Picard describes his encounter with the unknown ship to the two survivors who, again, claim not to know why they were spared. Picard says that there must be something different about them from the other colonists, and insists on taking the survivors back to the ship. They refuse.

Delta Rana warship repels the Enterprise-D

The Enterprise fires at the unknown ship with everything it has.

The Enterprise goes into red alert as the unidentified ship returns. Picard attempts to open a hailing frequency before being attacked again. This time, the attacks are stronger and cause much more damage than previously. As the Enterprise throws everything she's got at the attacking ship, the ship absorbs all energy and is entirely undamaged. After taking severe damage and incurring casualties, the Enterprise escapes the ship's firing range. Picard theorizes that Troi's music stems from Rishon and Kevin's unwillingness to leave. Back in the Delta Rana system, Picard expresses his belief that the unknown ship is no longer in the vicinity, and that it some how protects Kevin and Rishon, directly or indirectly. He then returns to the planet to talk to the survivors.

The survivors appear to be celebrating and are startled by Picard and Lt. Worf's sudden appearance. Picard accuses them of never expecting to see him again for some reason. He explains to the survivors his recent encounters with the ship, however Kevin refuses to believe him, calling his stories methods of intimidation. Right before leaving, Picard sternly explains that the Enterprise will remain in orbit around Rana IV as long as the two are alive.

Delta Rana warship fires on Uxbridge house

The unknown vessel seemingly destroys the house of Kevin and Rishon.

Upon beaming back to the Enterprise, the unidentified ship reappears, much to the evident dismay of Worf. Commander Riker and Worf begin preparations for a fight, but Picard calmly informs them that the Enterprise will take no action. The alien ship veers away from the Enterprise and targets the house of Kevin and Rishon. The house and plot of land are destroyed and the ship is then itself destroyed by a single photon torpedo from the Enterprise.

The crew are astounded by this turn of events, and even more puzzled as to why they remain in orbit over a dead planet. After approximately three hours, Geordi La Forge notices a change in sensor readings and informs the captain that the house is back. Picard orders Kevin and Rishon beamed directly to the bridge and confronts them over what really happened on the planet.

Kevin Uxbridge makes a startling confession – he is in fact a Douwd, an immortal being with vast powers. He met his Human wife many years before and decided to live as a Human with her. She joined the colonists in fighting the alien Husnock raiders and was killed. Though a devout pacifist, in a moment of anger towards the invaders for taking his wife's life, he annihilated the entire Husnock race. Stunned at his "sin", Kevin recreated Rishon and their house, and sentenced himself to exile on the ruined Delta Rana IV. He used the fake warship as a ruse to try and keep the Enterprise from finding out the truth. The music in Troi's mind is also his creation; her empathic powers were also threatening to reveal the truth.

Picard confesses that the Federation is not qualified to be his judge in the matter, and allows him to return to the planet. As the Enterprise departs, Picard indicates that the Douwd should be "left alone".

Log Entries

Memorable Quotes

"Sir, may I say your attempt to hold the away team at bay, with a non-functioning weapon, was an act of unmitigated gall."
"Didn't fool you, huh?"
"I admire gall."

- Worf and Kevin Uxbridge


(Worf drinks his tea and makes a face).
"Well, what do you think, Mr. Worf?"
"Good tea. (looks around) Nice house."

- Rishon Uxbridge and Worf


"If they are the only survivors of a nuclear holocaust, they can't be in very good shape."

- Beverly Crusher


"I saw her broken body... I went insane. My hatred exploded. And in an instant of grief... I destroyed the Husnock!'"

- Kevin Uxbridge


"No, no, no, no, you don't understand the scope of my crime. I didn't kill just one Husnock, or a hundred, or a thousand. I killed them all. All Husnock, everywhere."

- Kevin Uxbridge


"Are eleven thousand people worth fifty billion? Is the love of a woman worth the destruction of an entire species?"

- Kevin Uxbridge


"We are not qualified to be your judges. We have no law to fit your crime. You're free to return to the planet, and to make Rishon live again."

- Picard


"We leave behind a being of extraordinary power... and conscience. I am not certain if he should be praised or condemned. Only that he should be left alone."

- Picard, Captain's log, Stardate 43153.7

Background information

Story and script

  • According to the first draft script dated 7 July 1989, the working title for this episode was "The Veiled Planet". [1] [2]

Production

Filming the survivors

Location shooting, with Dan Koko, Dennis Madalone, and cinematographer Marvin V. Rush.

Cast and characters

Sets, props, and costumes

  • The large round window in the Uxbridge's living room previously appeared on the surface of Ramatis III in "Loud As A Whisper".
  • Deanna Troi debuts her new blue casual dress during this episode.

Continuity

Reception

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest stars

Uncredited co-stars

Stunt double

Stand-ins

References

2284; 2313; 2361; 2366; admiral; Andorian renegades; Andorians; antiprotons; aquarium; Atlantic Ocean; botanist; collaborator; Colony Operations; colony register; coma; Delta Rana IV colony; dance; Delta Rana IV; Delta Rana system; Delta Rana warship; delta sleep; Douwd; Earth; Federation; fish; fusion reactor; gigawatt; Husnock; Husnock warship; kilometer; Lagrange point; medical tricorder; megawatt; Milky Way Galaxy; moon; music box; neocortex; New Martim Vaz; nuclear holocaust; high equatorial orbit; perfume; phaser; philosophy; photon torpedo; positrons; red alert; replicator; ship; Starbase 133; symbiosis; Tao-classical music; tea; tree; Triangulum system; vehicle classification index; waltz

External links


Previous episode:
"The Ensigns of Command"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 3
Next episode:
"Who Watches The Watchers"

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