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Encyclopedia > The Child (TNG episode)
"The Child"

Star Trek: TNG


Deanna and Ian in 'The Child'.
Episode #27
Prod. #127
Air date November 21, 1988
Writer(s) Jaron Summers,
Jon Povill,
Maurice Hurley
Director Rob Bowman
Guest(s) Diana Muldaur,
Whoopi Goldberg,
Seymour Cassel,
Colm Meaney,
R.J. Williams,
Dawn Arnemann,
Zachary Benjamin,
Dore Keller
Stardate 42073.1
Year 2365
Prev: The Neutral Zone
Next: Where Silence Has Lease

"The Child" is the first episode of the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It first aired on November 21, 1988. It is episode #27, production #127, written by Jaron Summers, Jon Povill, and Maurice Hurley and directed by Rob Bowman. Image File history File links ST-TNG_The_Child. ... November 21 is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) is a leap year starting on a Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Screenwriters, scenarists or script writers, are authors who write the screenplays from which movies are made. ... A television director is usually responsible for directing the actors and other taped aspects of a television production. ... Rob S. Bowman (Born: May 15, 1960 in Wichita County, Texas, USA) is an American prolific filmmaker most notable for his work on sci-fi series such as The X-Files and Star Trek. ... Diana Muldaur (born August 19, 1938 in New York, New York), is an American television actress. ... Sarafina movie poster featuring Whoopi Goldberg Caryn Elaine Johnson, better known by her stage name, Whoopi Goldberg (born November 13, 1955 (although many sources indicate 1949), in New York City), is a well-known American movie actress, comedian, and singer. ... Seymour Cassel (January 22, 1935 –) is an actor. ... Colm Meaney as Miles OBrien Colm Meaney (born May 30, 1953 in Dublin, Ireland) is an actor widely known for his role as Miles OBrien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and most recently as Francis Griffin, Peter Griffins father, in... Stardate is the dating convention used in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... A year is the time between two recurrences of an event related to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ... The Neutral Zone is the finale of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... An episode is to television and radio what a chapter is to a book: a part of a sequence of a body of work. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... November 21 is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) is a leap year starting on a Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Plot

The plot of the episode deals with two distinct stories. First, the Enterprise is charged with responding to a plague in the densely populated Rachelis System. To do so, the ship must transport samples of this extremely dangerous plasma plague from a Federation research station at Odett 9 to a site in the Rachelis System where an antidote can be developed. Lieutenant Commander Hester Dealt, a Federation scientist, works with Geordi La Forge to ensure that the containment devices for the plague samples are safe. After a thorough inspection, the ship embarks. However, soon after, growth is detected in one of the specimens, and the lives of everyone on board the ship are threatened. Captain Picard orders the crew to prepare for emergency saucer separation. Geordi La Forge, a character in the Star Trek fictional universe, holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander, and is the Chief Engineer of the USS Enterprise-D and later the USS Enterprise-E, both under Captain Jean-Luc Picard. ... Jean-Luc Picard is a character in the Star Trek fictional universe, the captain of the USS Enterprise-D and the USS Enterprise-E. He was played by British actor Patrick Stewart in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) and resulting films. ... In the Star Trek fictional universe, saucer separation is the term used to describe when the saucer section on certain types of Starfleet starship disengages from the stardrive section. ...


Meanwhile, a non-corporeal lifeform impregnates Deanna Troi. Strangely, her pregnancy develops at an accelerated rate. The crew debate whether to terminate the pregnancy for security reasons, but Troi insists that she will have the child and does so just days after conception. After birth, the lifeform continues to grow extremely quickly, soon reaching age eight. However, the crew soon determines that radiation emitted by the lifeform is causing the growth of the disease strains. Upon realizing this, the lifeform informs the crew that it wanted to learn about them by experiencing life as a human and it departs to ensure their safety. Commander 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. ...


Significance

"The Child" is not highly regarded by fans of the series. Its quality may have suffered because it was filmed during a writer's strike and the producers were forced to recycle an episode from the aborted Star Trek: Phase II project and adapt it to the series. Star Trek: Phase II was a planned television series set to air in Spring 1978 on a proposed Paramount Television Service (which eventually became United Paramount Network) based on the characters of Gene Roddenberrys Star Trek. ...


Nevertheless, the episode includes many significant developments for the characters in the series. The episode features the first appearance of Guinan, the ship's El Aurian bartender and Picard's confidant. She offers advice to Wesley Crusher about doing what he wants instead of submitting to the desires of others. He takes her advice and requests to remain aboard the Enterprise after the departure of his mother, and the crew obliges. Also during this episode, La Forge is promoted to Chief Engineer, Worf is seen in a yellow uniform for the first time, and Riker is shown sporting a beard. Guinan is a character in the Star Trek universe played by Whoopi Goldberg. ... El Aurians are a humanoid Race of from the science fiction television show Star Trek. ... Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher Wesley Crusher is a character on the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. ...


Most notably, "The Child" features the first appearance of a new Chief Medical Officer aboard the Enterprise, Doctor Katherine Pulaski, who would serve in the position for the entire second season. The episode commences with a shuttlecraft leaving the Enterprise's shuttlebay carrying Beverly Crusher, who decided to leave the ship to become head of Starfleet Medical. Doctor Crusher would return in her original role at the start of season three. In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Chief Medical Officer is a medical professional, typically a physician who is the highest ranking member of a Starfleet installation or vessels medical staff. ... Katherine Pulaski was the replacement Chief Medical Officer for Beverly Crusher during the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... Shuttlecraft can represent: Shuttlecraft (Star Trek) - Star Trek: This class of ship are small space vehicles which are stored and launched from large starships when personal navigational control is required or when heavier equipment and or a longer range is required than the transporter can accommodate. ... In the Star Trek fictional universe, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) is the Galaxy class starship that is the principal setting of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). ... Beverly Crusher, a character in the Star Trek fictional universe, was the Chief Medical Officer onboard the USS Enterprise-D and held the rank of commander; upon the destruction of that ship, she has continued in that post and rank on the USS Enterprise-E. This character first appeared in... Starfleet Medical is the medical branch of Starfleet in the fictional Star Trek universe. ...


Pulaski's appearance may have contributed to fans' negative reaction to the episode. More businesslike and less friendly than Doctor Crusher, Pulaski was one of the series' least-liked characters among fans. However, her personality creates an interesting conflict with Lieutenant Commander Data, as she is wary of technology and he must prove his worth to her. This theme becomes evident when Troi requests that Data be present for the birth of her child and Pulaski is skeptical. The conflict between the two characters would be explored throughout the second season. Data, played by Brent Spiner, is a character in the Star Trek fictional universe. ...


In this episode, the proper pronunciation of Data's name is established – "dayta", as opposed to the alternate pronunciation "datta" – when Data corrected Dr. Pulaski who used the latter pronunciation.

Pronunciation refers to: the way a word or a language is usually spoken; the manner in which someone utters a word. ...

Preceded by:
The Neutral Zone
Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes Followed by:
Where Silence Has Lease

The Neutral Zone is the finale of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

Resources

  • The Child (TNG episode) article at Memory Alpha, a Star Trek wiki
  • Startrek.com Episode Summary
  • Star Trek: TNG Episode Summary
  • TV Home Next Generation Episode Guide

 
 

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