Sunday, March 24, 2019

When the Bough Breaks

TNG Season 1 Episode 17
Air Date: February 15th, 1988


The Enterprise found some bread crumbs to a system that they think might contain the hidden planet of Aldera. It is similar to the city of Atlantis. A planet that is very advanced but doesn't want visitors so they hid their planet with a cloaking shield. When they arrive the planet de-cloaks and the Aldeans scan the Enterprise and kidnap some children. They are an honorable race and want to give the Federation knowledge in exchange. They can't reproduce and hope to keep their dying civilization going by getting new children in their society.

While the Aldeans are technologically more advanced, due to their stagnation of remaining on their planet and having everything they needed provided by their computer, they lost their ability to do stuff for themselves. This is how the Enterprise was able to break through their shields and disable the computer.

Doctor Crusher discovers that the cloaking shield that the Aldeans used is causing their ozone to deteriorate which causes infertility. The Enterprise infuses new ozone into the atmosphere but Aldea won't be able to cloak anymore.


Most episodes of TNG I can recognize in the first 30 seconds of the episode and know what the main plot is. This one I was thinking I had never seen before, and only starting remembering it about 20 minutes in.

The Aldeans take children based on their aptitudes in different areas of study, Music, Art, Science, etc... We learn that they can make music by thinking about it, or carve a statue out of wood by imagining the statue and letting a machine make it happen. It shows how technology can make things easier but it diminishes the things we used to be able to do by hand.


"We do not condone your actions. You're attempting to salve your conscience by offering us goods in exchange for our children." - Picard
"Why do you want them back so badly? You can always have more." - Radue
"You are trifling with the primal instincts of our species. I must warn you that human parents are quite willing to die for their children." - Picard

"Data, find a way to defeat that shield." - Picard
"That may be impossible sir." - Data
"Things are only impossible until they're not!" - Picard

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