First aired April 26, 1993
Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Six - Stardate 46731.5
Lessons - The Chase - Frame of Mind

Richard Galen, Picard's old archaeology professor, visits the Enterprise and tells Picard that he's on brink of a monumental discovery in the field of microarchaeology and asks Picard to leave the Enterprise to help finish his research. Picard refuses and Professor Galen leaves on his shuttle only to be attacked by a Yridian destroyer. The Enterprise rescues the professor, destroying the Yridians, but Galen has taken a disrupter beam point-blank and dies. It's discovered that the Yridians had been trying to download data from the professor's computer.

LaForge and co. downloads what's left of the professor's memory banks (a bunch of numbers) and Picard sets a course for the planet where the professor had last been to see if they could find anything. They find no animal life on that planet.

Then they go to where the professor was planning on heading next only to find somebody has destroyed all life on that planet. Realizing that the numbers must have something to do with biology Picard and Crusher tell the computer to search only the biology databases and it finds a match, showing the numbers to be from the DNA of seventeen species from different planets, all matching in a way that they can be organised into an algorithm, though not a complete one.

Then Picard remembers that the gift Professor Galen gave him earlier was from a far away place and that he had said that he was "in the neighborhood". Picard and Crusher discover that there's a planet near there--Loren III--that may have another piece of the program and head there, only to find two Cardassian ships already there. While Picard is talking with the Cardassian captain, Gul Ocett, a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaks nearby.

Picard convinces the Klingon captain--Nu'Daq--and Gul Ocett to put all the pieces together 'cause they sure as hell aren't going to solve the puzzle otherwise.

(Nu'Daq, by the way, has weird shoes that curve up in a point at the toe.)

When they put the three pieces together it turns out that there's one piece missing. It takes several hours for the computer to extrapolate where that piece is and in the meantime the Gul Ocett plans to attack the Klingons and the Enterprise once they've found where the piece is. LaForge discovers this and Picard and Nu'Daq trick the Cardassians, having the computer show them a false location for the DNA and then having the ship appear hurt when the Cardassians attack. Once the Cardassians leave the system, Nu'Daq goes with Picard on the Enterprise, his own ship having been damaged, to the real planet.

When they get there they find the only place where there's life on the planet is a fossilised seabed. Picard, Crusher, Worf, and the Nu'Daq beam down to collect the DNA. Then Gul Ocett beams down. Then the Romulans beam down and explain that they had intercepted a transmission from the Yridians and while the Gul Ocett, Nu'Daq, and the Romulans are arguing, Crusher collects some DNA and Picard adds it to the program in his tricorder.

The program runs and causes the tricorder to emit a holographic projection of an alien female.

The projection explains that four billion years ago her race created the DNA strands on many planets in hopes that later the different species that would evolve from it would come together and solve the puzzle, as a monument on the old species' existence. (This episode is used as an explanation of why so many species in Star Trek are humanoid, the lady alien stating that that the DNA strand was designed to make the daughter species look like them.)

The Nu'Daq is disgusted, having hoped it was an ueberweapon, and Gul Ocett is disgusted that Cardassians could have anything in common with Klingons.

Later, just before the Romulans leave the system, the captain hails Picard and comments that it seems their species are not completely dissimilar. Maybe someday...

One of the coolest endings to a TNG episode.

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes as William T. Riker
Brent Spiner as Commander Data
LeVar Burton as Geordi LaForge
Michael Dorn as Worf
Gates McFadden as Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi
John Cothran, Jr. as Nu'Daq
Linda Thorson as Gul Ocett
Norman Lloyd as Professor Richard Galen
Salome Jens as Humanoid
Maurice Roeves as Romulan Captain
Directed by Jonathan Frakes
Story by Ronald D. Moore & Joe Menosky
Teleplay by Joe Menosky

Previous Story....Doctor Who....Next Story

Doctor Who story number 16

Yet another Dalek story. The BBC was determinted to mine this rich vein of fandom for all it was worth, particulary in the 60's. The problem is, Terry Nation still owned the rights - and he insisted on writing every Dalek story himself if possible.

Like The Keys Of Marinus Nation opted for making a serial - literally. The plot jumps through many different locations, and the central idea is like something Universal Pictures would have used for two years worth of matinee serials.

Unfortunately the whole thing is less than the sum of it's parts - Six individual one-episode stories tied together with "Oh no, the Daleks are after us!" does not make for good Doctor Who. Even the episode titles are silly. The two alien planets are certainly interesting, though the whole robot/city thing is just a recycling of the theme from The Daleks. The idea of landing in a horror movie and it turning out to be a robotised funhouse also could have been worth a two part story on it's own. It's a shame the whole thing was done at such a quick pace.

Vicki the future girl says she visited the Beatles Memorial in Liverpool - life later imitated art. How Ian knows a song released two years after he left Earth we will never know (Perhaps Vicki brought some of her classical music tapes with her.)

Terry Nation

This story has 6 episodes with individual titles:

  • The Executioners
  • The Death Of Time
  • Flight Through Eternity
  • Journey Into Terror
  • The Death Of Doctor Who
  • The Planet Of Decision

Plot Overview
This one picks up a few minutes after the end of The Space Museum. The Doctor, having got his new space/time visualiser to work and watched the Gettysburg Address and a performance by The Beatles (on Top of the Pops, 1965), discovers that the Daleks have built a time machine of their own and are coming after the travellers to exterminate them (I blame Ian's dancing to Ticket to Ride).

The TARDIS gets hopped around the cosmos, with the Daleks in pursuit. The initial landing site is a twin-sunned desert planet called Aridius, which was once covered in seas but is now drying up, with the amphibious natives living in mouldy caves. From there it's off on a comic run through various places on Earth: the Empire State Building, the Marie Celeste, a horror movie mansion (a funhouse), and then they land on a jungle planet for the final showdown.

The jungle planet is home to a giant city built on huge pylons - made by a legion of robots called Mechanoids, sent by humans to prepare the planet for colonization. Forgotten, they tend their city in a rather deranged, crazy-robot way, holding a crashed starship pilot, Steven Taylor, prisoner.

Well, when the Daleks arrive they naturally try to exterminate everything, and in the ensuing battle all the humans escape. The Doctor reluctantly sets the Dalek time machine to return Ian and Barbara home, and leaves with Steven and Vicki in his TARDIS.

Main Cast

  • Robert Marsden - Abraham Lincoln
  • Hugh Walters - William Shakespeare
  • Roger Hammond - Francis Bacon
  • Vivienne Bennet - Elizabeth I
  • Richard Coe - TV Announcer
  • Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr - Some minor band
  • Jack Pitt - Mire Beast, Stewart, Mechanoid
  • Ian Thompson - Malsan
  • Hywel Bennett - Rynian
  • Al Raymond - Prondyn
  • Arne Gordon - Guide
  • Dennis Chinnery - Albert Richardson
  • David Blake Kelly - Captain Briggs
  • Patrick Carter - Bosun
  • Douglas Ditta - Willoughby
  • John Maxim - Frankenstein's Monster
  • Malcolm Rogers - Dracula
  • Roslyn de Winter - Grey Lady
  • Edmund Warwick - Robot Doctor
  • Murphy Grumbar, Ken Tyllson - Mechanoids
  • David Graham - Dalek Voices, Mechanoid Voices
  • John Scott Martin - Dalek, Mechanoid
  • Gerald Taylor, Kevin Manser, Robert Jewel - Daleks
  • Peter Hawkins - Dalek Voices
  • Derek Ware - Bus Conductor
  • Notes

    • Robots everywhere! Daleks, Mechanoids, Robot Dracula, Robot Frankestein's Monster, Robot Doctor. Robot scriptwriter perhaps?
    • We finally have new Dalek designs - they have solar panels in this story, though this is never explained properly.
    • The three pillars of the Mechanoid city are referred to in the script as.... Gubbage Cones!
    • One nice touch to add some character is Steven's mascot - a toy panda called Hi-Fi
    • The Beatles were going to be filmed in old-age makeup in a reunion concert. Brian Epstein didn't approve, but apparently they thought it was a good idea

    We're trying to defeat the Daleks, not start a jumble sale! - The Doctor

    Once again, I find myself prowling the streets near the train station. The sun is setting, and I am no closer to my objective than I was at the State Fair. I'm never sure how my feet keep me moving forward, it seems they must step of their own accord. I look at the mugshot once again, at that face I have memorized so many times. Yes, the oversized glasses and the smug look, I will know him when I see him.

    I catch a glimpse of the perp's last-known clothing. I rush forward only to find my eyes were playing a trick on me. I need sleep but I can't - not yet - not after those children he killed.

    It is a closed casket. Her parents are directly behind it. I want to go over to comfort the mother but there is nothing I could say. Nothing but the killer dead will alleviate their grief. The man who did this, the man that killed this little girl, he must pay.

    I shake my head of the memory. I cannot afford to dwell on the past. Again, I see a flash of what could be his shirt. I am second-guessing myself at every turn; I imagine him in every stripe I see. Still, I must be getting closer. I must press on.

    This time I've got him, his back is to the ocean. There are other people on this beach but that won't stop me, can't stop me. He is not going to get away; I've found him. I sneak up on that red and white shirt, the ridiculous hat, that jovial smile. It makes me sick to see him smile like that after what he did to those children.

    I know that I should have just slapped cuffs on him - and I would have, for any other criminal. Not this time; he needed to feel pain, or maybe I needed to cause him pain. Either way, we've stopped him now. I don't regret what I've done.

    Where's f****n' Waldo? On his way to hell.

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