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Stardate: 43152.4 Enterprise finds a planet that has had its surface obliterated, except for the appearance of a house and the land around it, and a retired elderly couple who live there. When Deanna senses who and what one of the couple, Kevin, truly is, her senses are blocked by the placing music from a music box into her mind. And when Picard senses trouble, Kevin tries to lure the Enterprise away by sending the evil Husnock race after them. However, Picard stays one step ahead of Kevin, and eventually figured who, or what Kevin is. Being discovered, Kevin takes the music form Deanna's mind. He also explains that he is a Dowg, a non-corporeal life form that can shape shift into any form, whom had married his wife Rishan when he was in human form. When the planet was attacked, he tried to fool the Husnock, since his own prime directive was that he would not kill, but when his wife is killed in the attack, he takes the ultimate action against the Husnock.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 3x3
Production Number: 151
Airdate: Monday October 09th, 1989

Alternate Airdates:

CA (Télé-Québec) Oct 09, 1989
UK (BBC TWO) Oct 30, 1991
FR (BBC TWO) Oct 30, 1991

Guest Stars
Anne HaneyAnne Haney
As Rishon Uxbridge
John AndersonJohn Anderson
As Kevin Uxbridge
Main Cast
Patrick StewartPatrick Stewart
As Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan FrakesJonathan Frakes
As Commander William T. Riker
LeVar BurtonLeVar Burton
As Lieutenant/Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge
Michael DornMichael Dorn
As Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFaddenGates McFadden
As Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina SirtisMarina Sirtis
As Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent SpinerBrent Spiner
As Lt. Commander Data
Wil WheatonWil Wheaton
As Acting Ensign/Ensign Wesley Crusher
Episode Notes
Log Entries:
*Captain's Log, Stardate 43152.4. We are cautiously entering the Delta Rana star system three days after receiving a distress call from the Federation colony on it fourth planet. The garbled transmission reported the colony under attack from an unidentified spacecraft. Our mission is one of rescue and, if necessary, confrontation with a hostile force.
*Captain's Log, Stardate 43153.7. We are departing the Rana system for Starbase 133. We leave behind a being of extraordinary power and conscience. I'm not certain if he should be praised or condemned, only that that he should be left alone.

(Kevin Uxbridge, actually a being of incalculable, godlike power, has indicated that, in his anger at the obliteration of the colony he'd been living with as a human, along with his human wife of many decades, has destroyed those which committed the destruction of the colony. Not just the individual attackers, but every being of their (by Kevin's assessment) exceedingly xenophobic and violent race.

Kevin: Are 11,000 people worth 15 billion? Is the love of a woman worth the destruction of an entire species? This is the sin I tried so hard to keep you from learning. Why I wanted to chase you from Rana.
Picard: We're not qualified to be your judges. We have no law to fit your crime.

The first part of Picard's statement might be debatably argued as true,as Kevin is clearly a being of resources far beyond those of humans, and thus, beyond our capacity to understand and hence, judge. The latter part, however, is undeniably false. There are many international laws which exist, already, which would clearly apply -- those which were used at Nuremberg, to prosecute the Nazi genocide of the Jews, would clearly apply, and it seems unlikely that those laws would be summarily repealed in the intervening four centuries. It is clear that Kevin's crime is an extreme example of genocide. How justifiable it is, and what punishment ought to be applied as a result of it, would certainly be a subject for lively debate.

This episode is one of the best early ST:TNG episodes as a result of this -- if does one of the best jobs SF can do -- it posits a question which has ever greater significance as humans gain the power to do more and more with the mere wave of their hand, and, rather than overtly making a judgment or claim as to what is the "proper" answer, encourages the viewer and anyone around them to ponder, and argue among themselves, questions about the moral limits of the use of force, the appropriate response to violence, and what, if any, is an excessive response. This episode is thus thought provoking and encourages the expression of a diverse set of viewpoints, and the reasoning of each individual behind them. Both SF and ST: TNG at its finest.

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