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Star trek: The next generation 1.09a - When the bough breaks

Stardate 41509.1
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

Having followed an energy trail, the Enterprise finds the legendary planet of Aldea, home to an advanced civilisation able to cloak its entire planet. The Aldean leaders, Rashella (Brenda Strong) and Radue (Jerry Hardin) ask for the two groups to speak in person.

Radue tells the away team that the Aldeans are unable to have children. He offers knowledge and assistance in exchange for several of the Enterprise's children. When the team refuse they are sent back, and Wesley, Harry Bernard (Philip N Waller), Katie (Jandi Swanson), Alexandra (Jessica Bova and Vanessa Bova) and other children vanish from the ship...

Persons of interest

  • Patrick Stewart .... Captain Jean-Luc Picard
  • Jonathan Frakes .... Commander Will Riker
  • Michael Dorn .... Lieutenant Worf
  • Brent Spiner .... Lieutenant Commander Data
  • Gates McFadden .... Commander Doctor Beverly Crusher
  • Marina Sirtis .... Lieutenant Commander Counsellor Deanna Troi
  • LeVar Burton .... Commander Geordi La Forge
  • Wil Wheaton .... Wesley Crusher
  • Denise Crosby .... Lieutenant Natasha "Tasha" Yar
  • Majel Barrett .... USS Enterprise-D computer voice
  • Brenda Strong .... Rashella
  • Jerry Hardin .... Radue
  • Philip N Waller .... Harry Bernard
  • Jandi Swanson .... Katie
  • Paul Lambert .... Melian
  • Ivy Bethune .... Duana
  • Connie Danese .... Toya
  • Jessica Bova .... Alexandra
  • Vanessa Bova .... Alexandra
  • Dierk Torsek .... Doctor Bernard
  • Michele Marsh .... Leda
  • Dan Mason .... Accolan
  • Hannah Louise Shearer .... Screenwriter
  • Kim Manners .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

The Frankenstein complex.

Technology is often portrayed in science fiction as a panacea for all society's ills or as a dangerous creation just waiting to backfire. When the bough breaks is one of the latter, a Frankenstein complex (Frankenstein's monster came back to haunt and ultimately destroy him). The episode is also a global warming warning: there's only one ozone layer and if we destroy it we will end up destroying ourselves. It's true, but it's all very earnest. The story is more about the situation in which the people find themselves than it is about the people in them. That makes for a fairly bland tale.

There is also a warning about isolationism, something which many USAmericans feel they ought to be doing to protect their way of life. What this episode says is that any culture that turns inward becomes inbred and incestuous (on the gross physical level) and incompetent (on the metaphysical level). The human entity requires a certain amount of conflict to create the conditions necessary for progress; those who would live in "splendid isolation" are inevitably doomed. And it's a whole lot less interesting, but you're Trekkies: you live for infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

FYI: The title comes from a wonderfully gory English nursery rhyme:

    Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top,
    When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
    When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
    And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Security censorship classification

PG (Low level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Out now

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