``The Neutral Zone''
Stardate: 41986.0
Rating: ** 1/2

Edited Length: 45:27
U.S. Airdate: May 29, 1988
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.2/3]

Guest Stars
Marc Alaimo: [Commander Tebok]
Anthony James: [Sub-Commander Thei]
Leon Rippy: [L.Q. "Sonny" Clemens]
Gracie Harrison: [Clare Raymond]
Peter Mark Richman: Ralph [Offenhouse]

Co-Producer: Robert Lewin
Consulting Producer: Robert H. Justman
Co-Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Co-Executive Producer: Maurice Hurley
Television Story and Teleplay By: Maurice Hurley
From a Story By: Deborah McIntyre & Mona Clee
Directed By: James L. Conway

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry

[closing credits]
Associate Producer: Peter Lauritson
Line Producer: David Livingston
Executive Story Editor: Hannah Louise Shearer
Executive Story Editor: Tracy Tormé
Story Editors: Hans Beimler & Richard Manning


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Extended Synopsis (by Tim Lynch) ------------------------------------

While Picard is at an emergency conference, the Enterprise finds an 20th century Earth craft. Data and Worf beam over to inspect it, and find three frozen humans, still alive.

As Picard's shuttle docks, Data and Worf return with the bodies. Picard calls a meeting shortly thereafter. Two Federation outposts have been destroyed in the Neutral Zone, and the Romulans are suspected. The Enterprise has been sent to meet them, and to reason first, fight second. On his way back from the meeting, Picard meets with Bev, and hears for the first time about the three humans, who have now been thawed and cured of the ailments that originally led them to be cryonically frozen.

Picard heads back to the bridge and puts Riker in charge of the three, who have now revived and are understandably confused. One of them, Ralph Offenhouse, a financier, is overbearing to the extreme, and insists on contacting his lawyer immediately. As all three acclimate, Troi briefs Picard, saying that although the Romulans are arrogant, they will not initiate the conflict, but rather will counterpunch.

After a brief, brusque conversation between Picard and Ralph, in which Picard informs Ralph of just how much has changed in the past 370 years, Clare, one of the other 20th century people, starts crying over her sons. Picard sends Troi in to comfort her, and Troi starts helping Clare find out what happened to her children. The third person, Sonny Clemens, a singer, has befriended Data by now, but as he suggests starting a party, Data is called back to the bridge, as they're about to enter the Neutral Zone.

They find that not only has the first outpost they find been destroyed, but it's as though it's been completely scooped out. The second outpost is gone as well, and Picard takes the ship to Yellow Alert (over the objections of Riker and Worf, who prefer Red Alert). Ralph, meanwhile, tired of not knowing what's going on, heads for the main bridge. On the bridge, Worf detects a disturbance, but there's no real lock. Picard does not fire, and the disturbance vanishes. As Ralph makes his presence known, the Romulans return and decloak.

Picard opens hailing frequencies, and finds that outposts on the Romulan side of the zone have disappeared as well, in precisely the same manner. He offers an ongoing exchange of Federation on this one issue. The Romulans agree, but "only if it is convenient, and appropriate, at the time." They leave, after Commander T-Bok tells Picard in no uncertain terms that the Romulans are back. Shortly afterward, the Enterprise rendezvouses with the U.S.S. Charleston, and transfers the three survivors of the 20th century there, to be dropped off at Earth.

Highlight Listing:
"The Neutral Zone" - While traveling to a meeting with hostile Romulans, the crew discovers a ship containing three frozen Americans from the 20th century.
Advertising Headline:
ROMULAN WAR GAMES The crew faces an explosive showdown in the Neutral Zone!
TV log listing:
Romulan war crisis on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.

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Andrew Tong

Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010