Summary

The new chief medical officer, Dr. Katherine Pulaski, assumes her position, and Geordi La Forge is promoted to chief engineer. While the Enterprise is ferrying samples of a deadly plasma virus to a research station, Deanna is impregnated by an alien lifeform during her sleep. To Dr. Pulaski's surprise the embryo grows at an incredibly fast rate. After only 36 hours Deanna gives birth to a boy whom she names Ian Andrew after her late father.

The boy continues to grow rapidly and begins to talk, but does not yet reveal his origin and the purpose of his visit. Meanwhile some virus samples begin to grow and a breach of the containment module is imminent. Ian recognizes that his presence is the reason for the impending disaster, so he decides to end his existence as a human being. His intention was to experience birth, life and death of humanoids.

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

  1. When one of the plasma specimen begins to grow, there is a great deal of hand-wringing about what to do. Riker does suggest they jettison the module. (IMDB) Hester Dealt explains that it would remain harmful and endanger any ship or planet it comes into contact with.

Plot holes

  1. When transporting the specimens into the containment units in cargo bay 5 (O'Brien called it cargo deck 5) Geordi tells transporter room 3 that they were ready to proceed. The cargo bays have their own transporters which were seen in Datalore and 11001001. They probably thought it would be better to use a dedicated transporter operator in a different location.

The Nitpicker's Guide
Next Generation Trekkers
Volume 2

Plot Oversights

  1. ls Science Station Tango Sierra in the Rachelis system? Early in this episode, Picard makes a log entry stating that the Rachelis system has suffered an outbreak of plasma plague and that the Enterprise will ferry a shipment of plasma plague specimens to Science Station Tango Sierra so the personnel there can develop an inoculant. Later in the show, however, Picard makes a log entry stating that the Enterprise will take the plasma plague specimens to the Rachelis system. They may have recieved orders to deliver the specimens direct, due to an intensification of the plague.
  2. Presumably humans and Betazoids share something of the same genetic makeup. Yet, during the discussion over Troi‘s pregnancy, Pulaski states that the offspring is exactly the same as Troi in every way and that the child is a boy. Now, here on good 'ol planet Earth, each human carries two chromosomes to determine sex. Females carry two X chromosomes, and males carry an X and a Y chromosome. Since Troi is a female, she would carry an XX configuration. Yet Troi‘s child-who is the same as Deanna in every way—is a male! Presumably his configuration is XY. Where did he get the Y chromosome? Seniran Possibly from the paternal part of Deanna's DNA Wiki User 24.11.14.216 Alternatively, perhaps the sex of Betazoids isn't determined by their DNA at all. Seniram Then how is the sex (gender) of Betazoids determined? In addition, you have to remember that Troi is half human.
  3. At one point, Picard sends Data to confer with Pulaski on the manifest for the plasma plague specimens. Data walks off a turbolift and turns right. He meets Troi, who asks him to help her to sick bay. Data immediately does an about-face and starts walking with Troi in the other direction, and soon they arrive in Pulaski‘s office adjacent to sick bay. If both Troi and Data were on their way to sick bay. why were they walking in opposite directions? Troi could have been walking around before reporting to sickbay.

Changed Premises

  1. For some reason, Guinan lies to Wesley in this episode. She tells him that she didn't know Picard before she came on board the ship. Yet in Time's Arrow Part 2 we learn that Guinan first met Picard in the late nineteenth century. There is a difference between meeting someone and knowing them.
  2. There could be an explanation for this, since Ian is unusual in other respects, but toward the end of the episode he tells Troi that he can feel that people on the ship are very worried. At this point he is supposedly equivalent to an eight-year-old child. However, in Tin Man Troi states that most Betazoids don't develop their telepathic abilities until adolescence. Most, but not all - Ian could be telepathic from birth, just as Tam Elbrum was in Tin Man.

Equipment Oddities

  1. In previous episodes, such as The Arsenal of Freedom, transporter chiefs had to push a button to activate the light bars on the transporter console. In this episode O'Brien simply waves his hand over them. This could be an experimental upgrade.

Continuity and Production Problems

  1. Diana Muldaur, who played Dr. Pulaski during the second season of NextGen, also appeared in two episodes of Classic Trek. In “Retum to Tomorrow," she starred as Dr. Ann Mulhall; and in “ls There in Truth No Beauty?" she starred as Dr. Miranda Jones. The three of them may be members of the same family tree.
  2. When Troi gets going she can really cry up a storm. After the baby is born, Riker kisses her, and her cheeks are dry. Yet, only seconds later, water drips from her upper lip. Some women get very emotional when they give birth, especially if it is their first child.

Nit Central

  1. Johnny Veitch on Sunday, November 15, 1998 - 11:26 am: This nit is also in Where Silence Has Lease. At the end of this episode the Enterprise leaves for the Morgana Quadrant. Where`s the Morgana Quadrant? The galaxy is divided into only four quadrants: Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quardrant, Gamma Quadrant and Delta Quadrant. There`s no Morgana Quadrant. Murray Leeder on Sunday, November 15, 1998 - 01:55 pm: Well, place names are confusing things. Maybe this Quadrant refers to something else entirely, like a quarter of a sector. Maybe it was named before the Alpha/Beta/Gamma/Delta system was decided upon. Maybe it was named by an alien race, and the Federation didn't both changing it. Maybe it's sort of like how Hudson Bay is really an inland sea.
  2. Keith Alan Morgan on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 08:49 am: Just as the Enterprise leaves for `audet IX the ball of light arrives and decides to board. So why didn't the entity decide to go onto the Repulse? Maybe it sensed something about the Enterprise that made it more suitable for it's purpose.
  3. Why is Wesley even on the ship, anyway? If his mom was offered her new position while still on the ship, shouldn't she have taken Wesley with her then? The other possibility is that she was off on vacation, or something, by herself when offered the job, which seems a little out of character for her. Wesley is an acting Ensign, with duties of his own. [N 1]
  4. If this Plasma Plague is so deadly, then why risk the safety of the entire ship transporting it to Science Station Tango Sierra? Why not just detach the saucer and use the Stardrive section for the actual transport? (Because then Ian and Counselor Troi would have been left on the Saucer section and there would be no threat to the ship.) Better yet, why not build some ships specifically designed for transporting hazardous materials? Starfleet prefer multifunction vessels.
  5. If these viruses are so deadly then why haven't doctors been working overtime to create cures and/or vaccines for these plagues? Why do they need to shuttle a supply over to a science station so it can look for a cure? If a planet is already suffering from a plasma plague, why not take a sample of the virus on the planet and try to come up with a cure for that specific plague, instead of shuttling 512 incurable viruses to a science station? They need to be prepared for possible mutations caused by interaction between different viruses.
  6. When Picard is making his log entry about Hesterdel having been on the ship for 14 hours, it sounds like Picard calls him "Hesterdelt". It's actually Hester Dealt - two names!
  7. Wesley tells Guinan that some crewmembers think she is from Novacron. Boy, those El Aurians are tight lipped, they don't even like to tell people what planet they come from. They prefer to listen!

Ex Astris Scientia

  1. When the specimens begin to grow, why can't they jettison the module as Riker suggests? Dealt says "It will go into a spore and remain until it comes in contact with a planet or another ship." But how slim is that chance if they do it in open space? They can't afford to risk damaging the module.
    And once jettisoned, it would be possible to destroy the container with a phaser blast. It is probably designed to resist phaser fire.

Notes

  1. I know, I know, the real reason is that Gates MacFadden was either fired or had quit, but Will Wheaton was still on the show. However, I am a Nitpicker, I don't deal in reality!


The Next Generation Season 2
The Child I Where Silence Has Lease I Elementary, Dear Data I The Outrageous Okona I The Schizoid Man I Loud as a Whisper I Unnatural Selection I A Matter of Honor I The Measure of a Man I The Dauphin I Contagion I The Royale I Time Squared I The Icarus Factor I Pen Pals I Q Who I Samaritan Snare I Up the Long Ladder I Manhunt I The Emissary I Peak Performance I Shades of Gray
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