``The Nth Degree''
Working Title: "To The Nth Degree"
Stardate: 44704.2
Rating: ****

Edited Length: 45:31
U.S. Airdate: April 14, 1991
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [11.0/3]

Guest Stars
Jim Norton: [Einstein]
Kay E. Kuter: [Cytherian]
Saxon Trainor: [Lt. Linda Larson]
Page Leong: [Ensign April Anaya]

Dwight Schultz: "Barclay"

Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written by: Joe Menosky
Directed by: Robert Legato

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman

[closing credits]
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: Ronald D. Moore
Executive Story Editor: Joe Menosky
Story Editors: David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll

David Coburn: Ensign Brower


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

The Enterprise has come to fix the Argus Array, a cluster of subspace telescopes at the edge of Federation territory. After they find a small probe that is presumably responsible for the Array's computer shutdown, Geordi and a much improved Barclay head out in a shuttle to check it over. While they're doing this, it flares up: Geordi is unharmed, but Reg is knocked unconscious.

He seems to be fine once they get back to sickbay. The situation, however, is not: the probe starts moving towards them, they're too close to use photon torpedoes, they can't outrun it, and phasers don't seem to have any effect on it. (It's also sending out some kind of energy field which is in all probability threatening.) The day ends up being saved by Barclay, who channels warp power into shields in a previously unknown way, and strengthens the shields enough for the ship to be able to fire photon torpedoes safely and destroy the probe.

But Barclay's intuition, intelligence and confidence don't stop there. A short time later, he proposes reprogramming the Argus central computer virtually singlehandedly in two days, rather than fixing each reactor individually (a task of at least 2-3 weeks' length). He gives a virtuoso acting performance, wowing both Beverly and Deanna, and later makes a pass at Deanna in 10-Forward. Finally, Geordi finds him arguing grand unification theories with Albert Einstein in the holodeck (and holding his own, at the very least). This is enough to set him worrying, and he takes Barclay to sickbay, where Beverly finds that his brainpower has increased incredibly, making him "the most advanced human being who has ever lived."

Since Barclay's hardly done anything that could be considered menacing, Picard decides to let him do his work. This only changes when Barclay decides the normal computer interface is too slow to let him stabilize the array properly (which is true, as the reactors are about to all go critical), and hastily constructs in the holodeck a device which allows him to directly patch into the computer. In effect, he becomes the Enterprise computer-and by the time it's clear what has happened, his mind has expanded enough that forcing him back into his own body would be fatal.

Geordi, after hurried consultations with the bridge crew, gets to work on rigging a bypass that would at least let them move the ship to a starbase. Barclay, however, decides to use his newfound knowledge of speed and distance to manipulate subspace, creating a never before seen disturbance. He ignores Deanna's pleas to stop, and blocks Geordi's attempts just in time. He then manages to repel the attempt by Worf and a security team to forcibly remove him, and sends the Enterprise hurtling smack into the center of the disturbance he's created.

After a major shake-up, the Enterprise emerges right by the center of the Galaxy. The face of an alien appears, babbling nonsense, but a reconstituted Barclay explains: their race, the Cytherians, also explore the Galaxy, but they do it by bringing other civilizations to them, rather than traveling themselves. In effect, they "reprogrammed" Barclay in such a manner as to let him bring the Enterprise here-but they're benevolent, and only want to exchange information for a while. Several days later, the Enterprise returns to its own space intact, and Barclay settles down to being "plain old Barclay again," with Deanna's and Geordi's help.

Highlight Listing:
"The Nth Degree" - A crew member is endowed with super human intelligence by an alien probe and threatens the fate of the Enterprise.
Advertising Headline:
CHANGE FOR THE WORSE? A shy man's transformation into a super-intelligent being endangers the ship.
TV log listing:
Alien probe transforms crew member/STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
Operation SNAFU
In the holodeck scene where Troi attempts to talk Barclay out of the neural net device he has concocted, the holodeck doors don't close properly. A section of light is visible for a minute or more at about waist level.

Editor's Note:
The four second bumper that is used for the second through fifth commercial breaks has changed. While the length is still the same, four seconds and 15 frames, the music has changed. Now the music starts right when the logo starts to appear, which means that the 10 frames that contained the star field have been removed. In order to keep the length the same, 10 extra frames of black have been added to the tail of the bumper. The new music extends into the new black area. The new bumper has even been added to the repeats of episodes shown after this episode (184 through 192).

[ Mr. Video Productions ]

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