The Survivors (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2013)|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Les Landau|
|Written by||Michael Wagner|
|Featured music||Dennis McCarthy|
|Cinematography by||Marvin V. Rush|
|Original air date||October 9, 1989|
|List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes|
"The Survivors" is the third episode of the third season of the syndicated science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the 51st episode overall, first broadcast on October 9, 1989.
In this episode, the Enterprise reaches a Federation colony where all but two of the 11,000 inhabitants have been killed by a mysterious attacker. The two survivors, Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge, an elderly couple (played by John Anderson and Anne Haney) refuse assistance and do not want to be rescued. The crew of the Enterprise must determine why only two survivors remain on an otherwise obliterated planet.
The episode is inspired by concepts from "The Society of Friends" Colloquially, Quakers. The phrase "Special Conscience" is part of Quaker theology, referring to the fragment of god that each of us has within us. The pacifism, the ethics, the lack of action in response are also part of the theology.
The Federation starship Enterprise, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, responds to a distress call from a Federation colony on Delta Rana IV and discovers the planet to be completely devastated and devoid of life, save for one small patch of land containing a single house and surrounding vegetation. Transporting to the surface, the away team meets the human occupants of the house, Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge. The android Lt. Cdr. Data relates personal information about the couple; much impressing them. They witnessed the attack that destroyed the colony, but are unaware that they are the only survivors. Though Kevin would rather have the Enterprise leave them in peace, Rishon allows the team to stay and check the house for any reason why they might have been spared. The team, finding nothing of interest save for a small music box, insists the Uxbridges return to the Enterprise for safety, but they refuse. Aboard the Enterprise, Counselor Troi begins hearing the music from the music box in the Uxbridge home in her mind over and over, which begins slowly driving her insane.
An unknown spacecraft appears in orbit and starts to attack the Enterprise, then turns and leaves orbit at high speed. The Enterprise gives chase, but eventually Captain Picard orders the ship to return to the planet. Picard transports to the surface with Worf to visit the Uxbridges, trying to learn more about the situation over tea; Kevin suggests they were spared because they were pacifists. Again, the Uxbridges refuse to be transported to the Enterprise for safety. Upon the away team's return, the spaceship appears in orbit again, but Picard orders the Enterprise to leave the system first, believing that the crew is being toyed with.
When they return to the planet, the ship is nowhere in sight, and Picard again transports to the surface to plead that the Uxbridges leave with him as well as to tell them about Troi's dementia. After being refused again, Picard tells them the Enterprise will remain to protect them as long as they live, and returns to the ship. The alien spaceship shortly appears again and attacks and destroys the Uxbridges' home. Picard orders an attack on the craft; unlike the previous encounter, this time the ship is easily destroyed by the Enterprise's firepower. Playing on a suspicion, Picard has the Enterprise move to a higher orbit and continue scans of the planet; after a short time, the Uxbridges' home reappears.
Picard orders the Uxbridges beamed up to the Enterprise, and confronts Kevin with the details he has deduced: Kevin and Rishon's house was destroyed in the attack and Rishon was killed, but Kevin, who is not human, has somehow recreated them both. The alien warship is a device of Kevin's to make the Enterprise go away: in the last attack it seemed to destroy the Uxbridges because then the Enterprise would no longer need to stay and defend them. Kevin now admits the truth, and the illusory Rishon disappears. He now goes to Troi to remove the torturous music that he had placed in her mind to keep her from telepathically identifying him.
Kevin now reveals that he is a Douwd, an immortal energy being with vast powers. While traveling in human form, he had met Rishon and fallen in love with her, and eventually settled with her on Rana IV. When the planet was attacked by an aggressive, destructive species called the Husnock, he refused to join in the fight (in accordance with his species' strict pacifism), but Rishon did, and she died with the rest of the 11,000 colonists, never having known that he was not human.
Stricken by grief and giving in to his rage, Kevin used his powers to destroy the Husnock. Kevin didn't just destroy the attacking vessel and its crew, he explains, but "all Husnock, everywhere" -- annihilating the entire species, over 50 billion. Horrified by his crime, he chose self-exile to the planet, creating the replicas of Rishon and their house with which to spend the rest of eternity, and using a recreation of the Husnock ship as intimidation to keep their privacy. Picard feels it is not his place to judge Kevin's actions, so he decides that the best course of action is to allow the Douwd to continue his exile. The Enterprise leaves Kevin and his illusion in peace, and Picard warns that he be left alone.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation DVD set, Vol. 3, Disc 1, Selection 3.
- "The Survivors" at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Survivors" at TV.com
- "The Survivors" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "The Survivors" at StarTrek.com
- "The Survivors" rewatch by Keith R.A. DeCandido
- Husnock at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)