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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Who Watches the Watchers?

Stardate: 43173.5 A primitive race, known as Mintakins, discovers a hidden federation outpost set to observe their planet and culture, when there is a explosion at there outpost. The Federation scientists signal for help and the Enterprise responds. However, Enterprise must walk a dangerous path, to try to fix this “too early” first contact.


Episode Info


Episode number: 3x4
Production Number: 152
Airdate: Monday October 16th, 1989


Alternate Airdates:

CA (Télé-Québec) Oct 16, 1989
IE (SETANTA IRELAND) Oct 30, 1991
FR (BBC TWO) Oct 30, 1991
UK (BBC TWO) Oct 30, 1991

  • Currently 9.3/10
9.3/10 (4 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
James Greene (2)James Greene (2)
As Dr. Barron
John McLiamJohn McLiam
As Fento
Lois HallLois Hall
As Mary Warren
Ray WiseRay Wise
As Liko
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
Episode Notes
Log Entries:
*Captain's Log, Stardate 43173.5. We are en route to Mintaka III where a three-man Federation anthropological field team has been studying the inhabitants. Our mission is to resupply the outpost and repair their malfunctioning reactor.
*First Officer's Log, Stardate 43174.2. Counselor Troi and I are beaming down to Mintaka III to locate Dr. Palmer and to determine the extent of the cultural contimination. Dr. Crusher has temporarily altered our features and skin colour. She's also implaneted subcataneous communicators so that any transmissions we receive will be inaudible to the Mintakans.
*Captain's Log, supplemental. Dr. Crusher has repaired my injury with her usual skill. Mr. La Forge will supervise the dismantling of the observation post after I make one last visit to Mintaka III.

Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) does not appear in this episode.



Cultural References
Title: Who Watches the Watchers?

A question of great importance -- the Romans had a term for it: "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?" more often stated as "Who Watches the Watchmen?" (also the source for the title of the graphic novel/movie, "Watchmen"). Dealing with the essential problem of how to monitor the behavior of those who monitor everyone else's behavior. How do you handle it when police, or politicians, or lawyers go bad? What can you do to prevent, or at least inhibit, those with special power from abusing that power?



Warning: Star Trek: The Next Generation season 3 episode 4 guide may contain spoilers
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