Type Episode
Date 1992-10-12
Tags aging, Dyson sphere


Star Trek: The Next Generation 6x04

The Enterprise encounters a Dyson sphere, and finds on the outer surface a crashed Federation transport vessel, the USS Jenolan. Strangely, its transporter is active, locked in a diagnostic cycle, with a pattern in the buffer. When La Forge re-materializes the pattern, Montgomery Scott stands before them, having been locked in the transporter for seventy-five years.

Scott has difficulty adjusting to being nearly a century out of his time. In order to help him feel useful, La Forge takes Scott back over to the Jenolan to assist in extracting information from the computer.

While La Forge and Scott are away, the Enterprise accidentally activates an automated system that draws them into the Dyson sphere. The Enterprise is damaged and in danger of falling into the star at the center of the sphere, and is just able to enter orbit around the star. The danger is not past, however: the ship's shields will only protect it for about three hours, and they have no way to get back out of the sphere.

La Forge and Scott manage to get the Jenolan back in flight, and wedge it into the entrance of the Dyson sphere, holding the hatch open long enough for the Enterprise to escape.

Finally, Scott is given a shuttlecraft, the Goddard on 'an extended loan' to replace the Jenolan, which was destroyed in the Enterprise's escape, and Scott departs.


This episode marks the fourth time characters from TOS appear in TNG: Leonard McCoy made an appearance in Encounter at Farpoint, Sarek appeared in the episode inventively titled Sarek as well as Unification: Part One, and Spock appeared in the two-parter Unification: Part One and Unification: Part Two.

Like Too Short a Season or The Deadly Years, this episode deals with aging, and more effectively, I think. The B-plot with the Enterprise being trapped in the Dyson sphere is a little simple, but the focus is really on Scotty adjusting to being out of his time, and it works well. It's a good episode for fans of TOS, with a number of references throughout, but works fine for those unfamiliar with what came before. Data's description of the unknown drink with "it is green" is great, even if you don't know it comes from By Any Other Name.

Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages has several pages about the making of this episode.

Character TypeName
Bartel NoneStacie Foster
Ensign Kane NoneErick Weiss
Waiter NoneErnie Mirich
Geordi La Forge MainLeVar Burton
Jean-Luc Picard MainPatrick Stewart
Montgomery Scott MainJames Doohan
Beverly Crusher AppearanceGates McFadden
Data AppearanceBrent Spiner
Sariel Rager AppearanceLanei Chapman
William T. Riker AppearanceJonathan Frakes
Worf AppearanceMichael Dorn
Name RoleCharacter
Alexander Singer Director
    Brent Spiner Actor
    Erick Weiss Actor
    Ernie Mirich Actor
    Gates McFadden Actor
    James Doohan Actor
    Jonathan Frakes Actor
    Lanei Chapman Actor
    LeVar Burton Actor
    Michael Dorn Actor
    Patrick Stewart Actor
    Ronald D. Moore Author
      Stacie Foster Actor


      Relation Sources
      Adapted by
      • Relics (1992-11)