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Encyclopedia > Descent (TNG episode)
Star Trek: TNG episode
Episode no. 152 (Part 1)
#153 (Part 2)
Prod. code 252 (Part 1)
#253 (Part 2)
Airdate June 21, 1993 (Part 1)
September 20, 1993 (Part 2)
Writer(s) Jeri Taylor (Part 1)
Ronald D. Moore (Part 1)
René Echevarria (Part 2)
Director Alexander Singer
Guest star(s) Brian Cousins
Jim Norton (Part 1)
Natalija Nogulich (Part 1)
John Neville (Part 1)
Stephen Hawking (Part 1)
Alex Datcher (Part 2)
James Horan (Part 2)
Jonathan del Arco (Part 2)
Year 2369
Stardate 46982.1 (Part 1)
47025.4 (Part 2)
Episode chronology
Previous episode "Timescape"
Next episode "Liaisons"

Descent is a two-part episode from the sixth/seventh season of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Image File history File links ST-TNG_Descent_Part_1. ... June 21 is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 193 days remaining. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... September 20 is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years). ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Screenwriters, scenarists or script writers, are authors who write the screenplays from which movies and television programs are made. ... Jeri Taylor is an American television series, movie and video game director, television producer and screenwriter. ... Ronald Dowl Moore (born 1964 in Chowchilla, California) is a screenwriter and television producer who is known for his work on Star Trek and is currently executive producer of the new Battlestar Galactica series. ... René Echevarria is a television writer and producer. ... A television director is usually responsible for directing the actors and other taped aspects of a television production. ... Jim Norton (born 1938), is an Irish actor, whose roles are often of clergymen, especially as Bishop Brennan in the sitcom Father Ted. ... Natalia Nogulich (born Natalija Nogulich on October 1, 1950) is an American actress. ... John Neville was a UK Theatre and film actor, popular in the 1950s but enjoying a resurgence in the 1980s as a result of his starring role in Terry Gilliams The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. ... Professor Stephen Hawking Stephen William Hawking CH, CBE, FRS, (born 8 January 1942), is considered one of the worlds leading theoretical physicists. ... James Horan (b. ... Jonathan del Arco (March 7, 1966 in Uruguay) is an American actor. ... A year is the time between two recurrences of an event related to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ... Stardate is one of the dating conventions used in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... Timescape is an episode from the sixth season of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... Liaisons is a episode from the seventh season of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ...

Plot summary

The Enterprise encounters a group of Borg. As they battle, the Borg do not act like normal Borg and instead fight like guerrila warriors. During the confrontation Data feels an emotion: anger. He and the rest of the crew do not know how this is possible. He tries to experience emotion again through simulations of the event, but does not succeed. He speaks with a Borg whom the Enterprise has captured and flees with it to a planet. Nearly the whole crew of the Enterprise searches for Data on the planet, and finally Picard, Troi and La Forge discover a building. Upon entering, they are surrounded by Borg. Lore, Data's brother, appears and tells Picard that he and Data will fight the Federation. Lore has found a way to give Data emotions, and Data has turned on the Federation. Lore plans to lead these breakaway Borg to destroy all organic life; they believe that Lore and Data are perfect lifeforms. The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), in the Star Trek fictional universe, is the Galaxy class starship It is the fifth Federation starship to bear the name Enterprise. ... The Borg or Borg Collective is a race of cybernetic organisms in the Star Trek fictional universe. ... Data is a character in the Star Trek fictional universe. ... Captain Jean-Luc Picard was the main character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the four films which followed. ... Deanna Troi is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe, played by the actress Marina Sirtis in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise (the latter two only in guest appearances), and in several Star Trek films. ... Geordi La Forge is a character in the Star Trek fictional universe. ... In the fictional Star Trek universe, Lore is the name of a prototype for the android Data, often referred to as his evil brother and was played by the same actor: Brent Spiner. ...

Picard, Troi, and La Forge are taken captive. Geordi's visor allows him to see a carrier wave being beamed from Lore to Data, and they hypothesize that this is the source of Data's emotions and Lore's control over Data. For this reason Lore orders Geordi's visor removed. Lore intends to perform experiments on Geordi's brain which may kill him. Geordi tries pleading with Data, but he ignores this and follows Lore's orders. In their prison cell, the away team constructs a device which they believe will reactivate Data's moral subroutines, in the hopes that he will question his unethical actions, as well as the intentions of his brother.

Meanwhile, Riker and Worf encounter Hugh, who tells them that Lore is the leader of this Borg group. He says that at one time Lore's help was necessary, but that he has since destroyed many Borg through brutal experimentation. Hugh's group are "rebel" Borg, wanting to remove Lore from power. William Thomas Riker is a character in the Star Trek universe played by Jonathan Frakes, who appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) and all the movies focusing on the TNG characters. ... Worf (Klingon: worIv) is a Klingon Starfleet officer in the Star Trek fictional universe. ... Hugh, otherwise known as 3rd of Five, is a Borg that appeared in The Next Generation episodes I, Borg and Descent. ...

The away team manages to reactivate Data's ethical programming just as Data is about to enact the experiment that runs a 60% chance of killing Geordi. Geordi pleads with Data, asking him to check his 'conscience.' Data falters, and claims that there are anomalies in the experiment and postpones it.

Lore begins to doubt Data's devotion, and attempts to exercise more control over him with the threat of removing the emotions he had provided. Lore orders Data to kill Picard to prove his loyalty. Data refuses, as the rebooting of his morality subroutines is complete. Two Borg seize Data and Lore is about to execute his "very own brother" when Riker, Worf, Hugh and some of Hugh's rebel Borg arrive and throw the scene into confusion. Lore flees but Data follows him and, with a phaser blast and some circuitry tinkering, deactivates him. Data also deactivates his own emotion chip.

Back on the Enterprise, Data is about to destroy his emotion chip, but Geordi stops him, saying, "Maybe someday, when you're ready." About a year later, Data activates the chip again in Star Trek: Generations. Star Trek: Generations (Paramount Pictures, 1994, see also 1994 in film) is the seventh feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ...


The situation in the episode shows very strong parallels with the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s--the Borg are self-described by Hugh as helpless and lost, needing a strong leader to unite them; Hugh goes on to say that Riker could not possibly understand being so lost that they would unite to follow any leader that helped them. To make the comparison between Hitler and Lore more complete, Lore believes that artificial lifeforms are superior to all other forms of life and so endeavors to transform the Borg into entirely artificial forms while destroying all (inferior) organic lifeforms.


Hawking as himself on Star Trek: The Next Generation
Hawking as himself on Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Stephen Hawking was on the Paramount lot for the video release of the film A Brief History of Time. He was given a tour of the set, and when they reached the bridge set, he began tapping out something he wanted to say through his voice synthesizer. After about a minute, it said "Could you take me out of my chair and put me in the captain's chair?" Now, Hawking never asks to be taken out of his chair, so this was clearly a very big deal. Someone did, and a few days later the idea of a quick cameo came up for "Descent". At the beginning of the episode, Data is seen playing poker with holographic depictions of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein. Hawking portrayed his own hologram for this episode, making him the only person in any Star Trek series to play himself.

  Results from FactBites:
descent - OneLook Dictionary Search (314 words)
descent : The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language [home, info]
Phrases that include descent: unilateral descent, gradient descent method, infinite descent, matrilineal descent, a descent into the maelström, more...
Words similar to descent: ancestry, blood, bloodline, decline, declivity, downslope, extraction, fall, filiation, line, lineage, origin, parentage, pedigree, stock, blood line, line of descent, rappelling, more...
Descent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (200 words)
Descent (novel), first novel (2004) of Sabrina Broadbent, a thinly veiled account of her marriage to Michael Winterbottom
Descent (TNG episode), a two-part episode (sixth-season finale and seventh-season opener) of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Descent (aircraft), the decrease of an aircraft in altitude during flight
  More results at FactBites »



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