Stardate: 45156.1
Rating: *** 1/2

Edited Length: 45:29
U.S. Airdate: November 3, 1991
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [12.3/2]

Guest Stars
Rosalind Chao: [Keiko Ishikawa O'Brien]
Colm Meaney: [O'Brien]
Michelle Forbes: [Ensign Ro Laren]
Erika Flores: [Marissa]
John Christian Graas: [Jay Gordon]
Max Supera: [Paterson]

Co-Producer: Joe Menosky
Co-Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay by: Ronald D. Moore
Story by: Ron Jarvis & Philip A. Scorza
Directed by: Gabrielle Beaumont

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

[closing credits]
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss

Cameron Arnett: Ensign Mandel
Jana Marie Hupp: Ensign Monroe


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

The Enterprise is between missions and is struck by a quantum filament, trapping everyone more or less where they are, killing intraship communications, and knocking out primary life support and the warp engines. Picard, trapped in a turbolift with three elementary school children, is injured when the lift first falls. Meanwhile, on the bridge, the three relevant characters are O'Brien, Ensign Ro, and Troi, who as the senior officer is placed in command. In Ten-Forward, Worf is left to take care of the wounded (and a very pregnant Keiko O'Brien) while Riker and Data head through a crawlway to try to get to Engineering. Finally, Bev and Geordi are trapped in a shuttle bay-and a plasma fire is spewing radiation into the bay, threatening both the people and some canisters of chemicals, which are likely to explode.

Riker and Data end up with their retreat cut off by a coolant leak and their advance stopped by a huge current arc. Data volunteers to use his (non-conducting) body to block the circuit, claiming that his head will survive and can be detached for use in Engineering. Riker, having no other options, approves. While Picard tries to get the children working together to get them all out of the lift, Ro manages to power up the Engineering console and finds that the warp containment field is slowly failing, which will eventually lead to the entire ship exploding.

Once the lift's hatch is open (and the children refuse to leave the injured Picard behind), the group begins working on ways to leave and climb up to an open deck. Meanwhile, Bev and Geordi decide the only way to both keep the chemicals safe and put out the plasma fire is to depressurize the shuttle bay. And, as if things weren't bad enough, Keiko suddenly goes into labor.

While Troi decides not to follow Ro's advice (namely, to separate the saucer and get the hell away from the warp engines, assuming there's no one left alive in the drive section) and sends enough power down to Engineering so that anyone there can at least realize there's a problem, Picard and the children leave the lift (just in time, as its emergency clamps fail and it falls) and begin climbing to a door that will open. Bev and Geordi depressurize the bay, putting out the fire, and Bev manages to repressurize it just in time.

Riker and Data's head reach Engineering and manage to restore the containment field just before it collapses, Picard and the kids make it to an open deck, and a very inexperienced Worf manages to successfully deliver Keiko's daughter. Later, once everything is running smoothly again, the children give Picard a commemorative plaque to thank him for all his help.

Highlight Listing:
"Disaster" - The lives of the crew are in Troi's hands when a natural disaster forces her to take over as captain of the seriously damaged Enterprise.
Advertising Headline:
RELUCTANT LEADER! A crippled ship. An injured crew. And only Troi can save them!
TV log listing:
Disaster leaves Troi in charge of ship/STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
Operation SNAFU
In the scene where Dr. Crusher and Geordi are evacuating all the air out of the cargo bay, Geordi hits the button that closes the cargo bay. The pushing of the button and resulting door closing are audible, even though sound doesn't travel in a vacuum. (Probably dramatic reasons) Also, when the ship starts shaking, they cut to Ten Forward, where the stars are shaking right along with the ship. (V) Also, while in the turbo lift, when Picard gives out the pips to the girl (whose name escapes me), look closely (actully it's fairly obvious once you notice it). Her collar has two small holes where the pips go, before the pips were put on. Either they punched some holes to make it easier to put them on (since the collar looks fairly stiff) or it's a product of having to do the shot in several takes. (UV) In the last scene, Picard is leaving the bridge heading for his ready room, the door closes too early, and the sound comes too late. (UV)

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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