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The Enterprise receives a distress signal from a 75 year old Federation vessel, and discovers it has crashed on a Dyson Sphere, an enormous structure where a shell is artificially created which surrounds a star at roughly the same distance as the earth is from the sun. Investigation of the crashed transport finds that one of the ship's passengers has actually survived the intervening time looped inside the ship's teleporter, and it turns out to be an old friend of the Enterprise...

Episode Info  

Episode number: 6x4
Production Number: 230
Airdate: Monday October 12th, 1992

Alternate Airdates:

CA (Télé-Québec) Oct 12, 1992
FR (BBC TWO) Aug 02, 1995
UK (BBC TWO) Aug 02, 1995

Special Guest Stars
James DoohanJames Doohan
As Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott

Guest Stars
Erick WeissErick Weiss
As Ensign Kane
Lanai ChapmanLanai Chapman
As Ensign Sariel Rager
Majel BarrettMajel Barrett
voiced Computer
Ernie MirichErnie Mirich
As Waiter
Stacie FosterStacie Foster
As Engineer Bartel
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 Entry:
*Captain's Log, Stardate 46125.3. Starfleet has dispatched two science vessels to study the Dyson Sphere while we proceed to Starbase 55.

The footage of the unmanned U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 bridge was taken from the Star Trek episode "This Side of Paradise (01x24)."

On the holodeck bridge of the old Enterprise, Picard tells Scotty that a U.S.S. Enterprise is in the Starfleet Museum. It's not specified which Enterprise it was, since both Kirk's and Archer's Enterprises were retired from service, but, from the context, one would be led to assume it was the one Scotty had created on the holodeck, if it wasn't both.

Cultural References
The Dyson Sphere is an actual concept that pre-dated this episode by more than 30 years, and is named after pioneering theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson. Dyson himself acknowledges that the overall notion actually dates back to some SF stories in pulps of the late 1930s, but he was the first one to do a substantial theoretical analysis of it.

The Dyson Sphere itself is part of a class whimsically called Big Dumb Objects, or more formally, a megastructure, which includes the far more famous Ringworld (aka "Niven Ring") as well as the ring-shaped structure used in the FPS game Halo.

Episode References
In-Joke: Data's line regarding the Aldebaranian whiskey of "It's... green" harks back to the ST:TOS episode By Any Other Name (02x22) when Scotty describes an unidentified bottle of liquor using the same words.

Long time fans of Star Trek will notice that Scotty at different times refers to events from the ST:TOS episodes The Naked Time (01x04), Wolf in the Fold (02x14) and Elaan of Troyius (03x13)."

Geordi: So this alien space baby. which is about the size of a four story building, really thought The Enterprise was its mother...

Geordi is relating to Scotty the events behind Galaxy's Child (04x16).

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