Picard turns down the tempting offer of his old archeology professor, Richard Galen, to accompany him on a quest that could have an impact on the whole galaxy. Galen leaves, only to be deadly injured after an Yridian attack. Picard traces Galen's journey, and he finds a puzzle composed of DNA fragments Galen has been collecting from various planets in the galaxy. There is something like a coded message in these fragments. Not only the Enterprise, but also Cardassians, Klingons and eventually Romulans are seeking for the missing fragments to decode the message, which could be the plan for a weapon or something equally powerful or valuable. When finally the different parties meet on a desert planet and struggle for the possession of the code, Picard and Crusher feed a tricorder with the last fragment, which they find in the ground of this long-dead planet, and a message is replayed. A humanoid appears and declares that their race was the first to emerge in the galaxy. They found themselves alone, but they preserved their legacy by spreading DNA fragments on many planets, to trigger a development that would finally lead to the formation of humanoids just like them. In a way, Klingons, Cardassians, Romulans and humans are all related to each other. The message of peace, however, isn't received very well by the various species. Only the remark by the Romulan commander who was obviously impressed and is looking forward to future common missions is a sign of hope.
Errors and Explanations
Internet Movie Database
- Picard regarded the Kurlan Naiskos as being one of the most rare and precious artifacts of all, especially as it contained all of the interior figurines. The writers of Star Trek: Generations (1994), which was released the year following The Chase, completely forgot the value of the item. When Picard is rummaging through his damaged ready room, he picks up the Kurlan Naiskos and then casually throws it aside. The version seen in Generations could be a replica, made at Picard's request so that the original could be placed ion the relative safety of a museum.
- Why did the Yridian ship blow up when Worf fired phasers at it? He said himself it wasn't high enough to destroy it. This is never specified by the story. Perhaps the ship was vulnerable to even low level phaser beams.
- An ancient species with the technology to explore the stars, seek out new life and new civilizations across the galaxy, seed the primordial oceans of many worlds with their own engineered DNA varieties, and produce software that adapts to any piece of hardware created now or in the far future in any planet in the universe to project a hologram with full audio, video and shadows, surely had the technology to prevent its own extinction. How come none of them survived? What disaster could possibly erase them from all of their locations in the galaxy? They may have chosen to make themselves extict, to prevent their abilities being abused.