Genesis (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

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Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
Episode no.Season 7
Episode 19
Directed byGates McFadden
Written byBrannon Braga
Featured musicDennis McCarthy
Production code271
Original air dateMarch 19, 1994 (1994-03-19)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Eye of the Beholder"
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"Journey's End"
Star Trek: The Next Generation (season 7)
List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes

"Genesis" is the 171st episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the 19th episode of the seventh season. It was directed by series cast member Gates McFadden.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Data return to the USS Enterprise to discover the rest of the crew de-evolved into primitive forms of life, including spiders, amphibians and cave men.[1]

This episode was broadcast on March 21, 1994.[2]


Worf fires a torpedo that veers off course during weapons exercises, and Picard and Data leave in a shuttlecraft to retrieve it from space.[3] Data leaves his pregnant cat, Spot, with Barclay. Barclay, a hypochondriac, visits Crusher, who gives him a synthetic T-cell to activate one of his dormant genes. However it has the undesired side-effect of activating all his dormant introns. The crew begin to experience strange symptoms.[4] Worf becomes aggressive and feels hot, while Deanna Troi feels cold, and William Riker has difficulty concentrating. Crusher examines a silent Worf in sick bay and notices a venom sac on his neck, whereupon Worf sprays venom in Crusher's face, injuring her severely. As a result of her injuries, Crusher is placed into stasis. Nurse Ogawa warns the senior staff that everyone on the ship is in danger.[5]

Several days later, when they have retrieved the torpedo from space, Picard and Data return to find the ship adrift, with the main power off-line. One of the bridge officers is dead, torn open in his seat,[6] and most of the crew are de-evolving. Worf has reverted into an aggressive predator attempting to mate with Troi; Riker an Australopithecine (Caveman); Troi an amphibian; and Barclay a spider.[5] Picard is soon overcome by irrational emotions of fear and anxiety, indicating that he has been infected, and Data suggests he might soon de-evolve into a primate similar to a lemur or marmoset. Picard and Data return to Data's quarters and find Spot and her kittens. Spot herself has changed into an iguana; however, the kittens are normal.[7] Data recommends that they locate Nurse Alyssa Ogawa who is recently pregnant, on the theory that the amniotic fluid of a pregnant woman surrounding her baby hedges out the infection, like it did with the kittens. While in sickbay, Worf attempts to break through the doors searching for Troi. Data concocts a pheromone spray from one of Troi's sebaceous glands, and Picard uses it to distract Worf and lead him off through the ship, so Data can work on the cure. Worf eventually catches Picard in a Jefferies tube and the Captain uses a power cable to incapacitate him. Meanwhile, Data finishes the construction of the modified retro-virus and releases it into the air which returns everyone to their original state. At the conclusion, Crusher names the condition "Barclay’s protomorphosis syndrome", after its first sufferer.[4][5][8]


"Genesis" employs heavy make-up use, and 1994 saw 10 Emmy nominations for The Next Generation for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup for a Series. This includes one for Michael Westmore,[9] who served as the make-up supervisor for Genesis.[10]

In 2017, Io9 noted "Genesis" for being one of the more bizarre science-fiction stories of the franchise, noting how different characters devolved into frightening creatures, such as Worf turning into a giant super-klingon that hunted other crew members.[11]

In 2018, TheGamer ranked this one of the top 25 creepiest episodes of all Star Trek series.[12]

In 2020, GameSpot noted this episode for having some of the most bizarre moments of series, such as spider-Barclay, Worf's venom spray, and ape-Riker.[13]

In 2020, the senior curator at the Museum of Pop Culture listed this among four Star Trek franchise episodes they suggested watching during the Pandemic.[14]

Video releases[edit]

This was released in Japan on LaserDisc on October 9, 1998, as part of the half-season collection Log.14: Seventh Season Part.2.[15] This set included episodes from "Lower Decks" to Part II of "All Good Things", with English and Japanese audio tracks.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Okuda, p. 170-171.
  2. ^ DeCandido, Keith R. A. (2013-03-12). "Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: "Genesis"". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  3. ^ "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Genesis (1994)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-07-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b Okuda, p. 33-34.
  5. ^ a b c "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Genesis (1994)". Retrieved 2009-07-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Okuda, p. 113.
  7. ^ Okuda, p. 460.
  8. ^ Star Trek The Next Generation DVD set, volume 7, disc 5, selection 3
  9. ^ "Awards for Star Trek: The Next Generation". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-07-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Full cast and credits for Star Trek: The Next Generation: Genesis (1994)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-07-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Whitbrook, James. "The 15 Weirdest Missions Star Trek: The Next Generation Boldly Went On". io9. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  12. ^ "25 Creepy Star Trek Scenes That Set Phasers To Stun". TheGamer. 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  13. ^ "The 11 Most Bizarre Moments Throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation". GameSpot. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
  14. ^ "Four 'Star Trek' Episodes to Watch During a Pandemic". Museum of Pop Culture. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  15. ^ a b "LaserDisc Database - Star Trek Next Generation: Log.14: Seventh Season Part.2 [PILF-2438]". Retrieved 2021-02-26.


External links[edit]