Who Watches the Watchers

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"Who Watches the Watchers"
Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 4
Directed by Robert Wiemer
Written by
Featured music Ron Jones
Cinematography by Marvin V. Rush
Production code 152
Original air date October 16, 1989 (1989-10-16)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"The Survivors"
Next →
"The Bonding"
List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes

"Who Watches the Watchers" is the fourth episode of the third season of the syndicated science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the 52nd episode overall, first broadcast on October 16, 1989.

Plot[edit]

The Federation starship Enterprise, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, arrives at the planet Mintaka III to resupply and repair a Federation outpost being used to monitor the Mintakan people, a proto-Vulcan race near a Bronze Age of cultural development. As the Enterprise assists the outpost, an accident causes the holographic rockface to disappear, exposing the outpost to Liko, a Mintakan. Liko attempts to approach and is hit with an electrical shock, causing Chief Medical Officer Dr. Crusher to have him transported to the Enterprise for treatment despite the action violating the Prime Directive. Dr. Crusher is able to heal Liko and then wipe his memory of the incident before returning him to the planet. The crew continue to monitor Liko and discover the mind wipe was not complete as he recalls an image of "the Picard", and has convinced other Mintakans that the Picard must in fact be their god.

First Officer Riker suggests that he and Counselor Troi disguise themselves as Mintakans and subtly try to dispel the myth of the Picard, while looking for a member of the outpost who has been missing since the accident. The two are able to find the missing researcher, but are caught by Liko and other Mintakans. While Riker and the injured researcher beam away, Troi is kept under guard. Picard is forced to take steps to rectify the situation without further violation of the Prime Directive. He transports Nuria, the leader of the village where Troi is being held, to the Enterprise and attempts to show her that he and the rest of the crew are mortal, including having her witness the death of a crewman in Sickbay. Picard returns with Nuria to the surface in the middle of a thunderstorm, which Liko has taken as a sign of the Picard's anger. Nuria attempts to rationalize with Liko, but Liko demands his own proof of Picard's mortality and aims an arrow at Picard. Picard insists that if that is the only proof that Liko will accept, then Liko should shoot. Liko does, but his daughter pushes him so that he only wounds Picard. Nuria shows Liko Picard's blood from the wound, and Liko and the others come to accept that Picard is not a god. Picard and Troi return to the Enterprise, and after he is treated, Picard returns to the surface one last time, and explains to the Mintakans that they will be removing the outpost and allowing them to develop on their own. Before Picard leaves, Nuria's son gives Picard a Mintakan tapestry as a gift.

See also[edit]

  • "The Drumhead" - a fourth season episode where events of this episode are used in an attempt to smear Captain Picard's reputation and brand him as a traitor
  • "First Contact" - a fourth season episode involving first contact with an alien society
  • "The Paradise Syndrome" - an original series episode where the captain of the Enterprise is mistaken for a deity
  • "Star Trek: Insurrection - The ninth Star Trek film, the plot of which revolves around a Federation research outpost studying an apparently undeveloped alien culture from behind holographic concealment

References[edit]

External links[edit]