Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Neutral Zone

TNG Season 1 Episode 26
Air Date: May 16th, 1988


While waiting for Captain Picard to return to the Enterprise from a Starfleet captains conference, the Enterprise encounters a satellite or ship of some kind. it resembles a typical satellite used today with solar cells. Data and Worf beam aboard and find cryogenics tubes with three people still in good condition. Data decides to bring them to the Enterprise where they are revived by Doctor Crusher. They all had major issues that eventually caused their death, such as a aneurysm. But with medical technology they are all cured in the 24th century.

When Captain Picard returns he immediately calls for the Enterprise to head to the neutral zone. When they arrive they find all the listening outposts and colony along the neutral zone missing. It appears as if something or someone scooped them up. They suspect the Romulans whom they have not had contact with for decades, but when a Romulan war bird shows up saying the same thing happened on their side, it gives the Federation and Romulan empire some comon ground. The Captain of the Romulan ship finishes by saying "We're back"


I remember this episode well, but I didn't realize it was a season finale. To me it is a good setup for a finale but felt a bit lacking. Though I always thought that it was the Borg that was scooping up the colony and outposts. Doing some research shows that this was the plan but a writers strike during season 2 changed the plan and it isn't until Q sends them to the Delta quadrant that they find out about the Borg.

The story of the three people out of time due to cryogenics was interesting but didn't feel like it added to the plot. It could have been it's own episode with more story involving these characters.


"They were frozen. I thawed them." - Doctor Crusher

"This is the worst run ship I have ever been on. You should take some lessons from the QE2. Now, that's an efficient operation!" - Offenhouse
"Data, identify: what is a QE2?" - Picard
"It was a passenger liner, which mostly traveled Earth's Atlantic Ocean during the late 20th and early 21st centuries." - Data
"He's comparing the Enterprise to a cruise ship?" - Picard

"A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We've eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We've grown out of our infancy." - Picard

"This is the 24th century. Material needs no longer exist." - Picard
"Then what's the challenge?" - Offenhouse
"The challenge, Mr. Offenhouse, is to improve yourself. To enrich yourself. Enjoy it." - Picard

"Captain Picard, because your actions are those of a thoughtful man, I will tell you this. Matters more urgent caused our absence... now witness the result. Outposts destroyed. Expansion of the Federation everywhere. Yes, we have indeed been negligent, but no longer." - Tebok
"Commander, we've made some progress. Let us not ruin it with unnecessary posturing." - Picard
"Your presence is not wanted. Do you understand my meaning, Captain? We are back!" - Tebok

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