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Stardate: 41636.9 The Enterprise is sent to make a belated effort to find the possible survivors from a lost freighter that crashed seven years earlier. There, they find the planet that the freighter crashed on is ruled by women, with men in the subservient position. The crew then learns that there were survivors, but that they became outcasts, who were forced to go into hiding. The outcasts are now considered enemies of the state, and threatened with execution if found.
Meanwhile, to make matters worse, a virulent virus outbreak has occurred aboard the Enterprise. Most of the crew has become incapacitated to the point that the away team is not even allowed to return, except for Data.
Matters become even more critical when the Enterprise is desperately needed at the neutral zone, to fend off several threatening Romulan Warbirds.
*Captain's Log, Stardate 41636.9. As feared, our examination of the seven-year-old overdue Federation freighter, Odin, disabled by an asteroid collision revealed no life signs. However, three escape pods were missing suggesting the possibility of survivors.
*Captain's Log, supplemental. Our away team has beamed down to an unusual matriarchal society where the female is as aggressively dominant as the male gender was on Earth for hundreds of years ago. Here, the female is the hunter, soldier, larger and stronger than the male, an arrangement considered most sensible and natural.
At the end of the episode, Riker is the one required to say “engage,” as Capt. Picard is too hoarse to speak.
The matte painting used for the cityscape in this episode will become the most used matte painting in Star Trek, making appearances a few more times in the series as well as in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.