Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Night Terrors”

2.5 stars.

Air date: 3/18/1991
Teleplay by Pamela Douglas and Jeri Taylor
Story by Shari Goodhartz
Directed by Les Landau

Review Text

After finding the USS Brattain, a Starfleet vessel that had gone missing, the Enterprise away team beams aboard to discover everyone dead, after having apparently gone insane and killed each other. There is a sole survivor: a Betazoid man in a catatonic state. Troi attempts to communicate with him telepathically while the crew attempts to solve the mystery of what happened to the Brattain. But then the Enterprise becomes stuck and cannot move from its current position, while members of the crew start experiencing hallucinations and unease.

"Night Terrors" initially resembles a ghost story (or, in the Trek world, a weird-alien-presence story). The episode's depiction of a silent and ominous Brattain hints at a catastrophe that must have been initiated by some sort of outside influence. What I like best about "Night Terrors" is that it begins with the strange and surreal and slowly scales it back to more real-world symptoms. The reason the Enterprise is stuck is because of a known energy-draining phenomenon called a Tyken's Rift. And the reason people are hallucinating is because they haven't gotten any REM sleep for many days. The sleep deprivation is causing fatigue among the entire crew that, Crusher reports, will inevitably end in insanity and mass violence.

It's kind of fun seeing the crew so sleep deprived that they're like the walking dead, and the hallucinations make for at least one well-executed creepy image, where Crusher is in a room full of corpses that she suddenly hallucinates as sitting up on their slabs.

Overall, it's an average outing. The way the mystery is solved by Troi and Data requires so many assumptions that one hopes guessing and logic are the same thing. And then there are the lackluster scenes of Troi's dreams (she's the only one who can dream, because she's Betazoid) where she's floating in a green space cloud and yelling at two lights. These visuals look like they were conceived for a flying cartoon superhero. And why can't the aliens who are trying to communicate simply say, "We need hydrogen," rather than concocting riddles about "one moon circling the other"? I know; I'm being a nitpicker.

Previous episode: Galaxy's Child
Next episode: Identity Crisis

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77 comments on this post

    Ugh. I don't blame you for being anti-Troi. Those scenes in Night Terrors where she's "flying" and constantly yelling "Where are youuuu?"... no, thanks.

    It was a neat idea but I thought it was handled very poorly. I think that one deserves a *1/2 at most.

    Anyways, I'm looking forward to your Season 5 reviews.

    "Night Terrors" is worth it to me for that ultra creepy morgue scene alone. That scared the crap out of me as a kid. TNG wouldn't do disturbing imagery like that again until "Phantasms."

    I am anxiously awaiting the season 5 reviews as well just so I can get on here and gush about "The Inner Light."

    Dammit Jammer! I cant believe I never thought about that in Night Terrors. They obviously could communicate with us.

    Would have been alot easier if they had simply said "Hey floating lady ... If you got any hydrogen laying around we sure could use some."

    Which brings me to point 2) Unless im mistaken; isnt hydrogen all over the place in space??

    I usually completely agree with your verdict on Star Trek episodes, but I have to disagree on this one. I found Night Terrors to be an excellent episode (relative to the average for TNG, at least). It really managed to push all of our buttons for a tense atmosphere (if you're a horror buff, I guess this was all baby stuff to you, still pretty good creepiness for Star Trek standards), and have a decent story as well.

    The show really handled the Troi-subplot well (admittedly the dream scenes got a little tiresome, but was I the only person who found them to be deliciously creepy before we knew they were a call for help, and not some creepy alien telling his victims about the eyes in the darkness), especially when it came to holding back the moment when the catatonic betazoid revealed he had the same dreams.

    Admittedly, the episode falls into the category of "good action" TNG episodes, rather than the awesome "moral story" episodes that TNG did so well (it obviously does not compare to masterpieces such as Chain of Command Pt 2). I'd settle for saying it was a really good filler episode.

    As for your question about why the aliens couldn't explicitly say "We need hydrogen", the answer is simple. First of all, the alien's language was likely very different than ours (maybe not even vocal), so they may not have been able to accurately communicate the name of a specific (and technical) thing. Perhaps their communication doesn't even have the concept of names. Secondly, I would guess that when sending a message through a telepathic dream-link, there's a lot up to how the receiving person manifests the communication in their dreams. I doubt that the whole "floating through a green mist" thing was part of the message, as it had nothing to do with it. It may just be how Troi(and the other guy)'s betazoid brain interpreted the message.

    Based off of all that, it's safe to assume that the best way to send such a message would be through symbolism based off of established shared concepts (the aliens know the enterprise and the britain are space-fairing vessels, so their occupants must know about moons and their shape). Sure, there's a decent chance the receivers won't make the connection, but I doubt it would be possible for two species who communicate in entirely different ways, to directly state such a message.

    I agree with Will on the symbolic aspect of communication. The aliens had a very tiny shared language of dream symbols to communicate technical information.

    But I still think the episode is only "fair", because it relies on Troi too heavily. She's a bad character, and giving her story focus ruins an otherwise good episode.

    Yeah, I'm a Troi-hater.

    Yeah, as said before, I think the "one moon circles" worked well, because I do think that the aliens have to communicate symbolically. It is telepathic communication -- and while Troi experiences that as language, I think it's probable that it's actually the concept of "one moon circles" being communicated, which in a lot of ways is more natural than the concept of hydrogen, even though the latter is more elementary even than moons or planets.

    I like this episode because I find it spooky and enjoy the various crew scenes -- Crusher in the morgue, Picard listening to the door chime several times through, O'Brien snapping at Keiko in another episode (like "The Wounded") which really does not suggest that their marriage was that great an idea. I like that the solution to the mystery involves no malevolence -- the aliens were trying to communicate, and the Tychen's Rift is just a rift; cooperation is again the ideal. Part of what is great about TNG is that it acknowledges how devastating the unknown can be even without anyone deliberately acting against you; it's scary out there. Troi going "where aaaare you?" was frustrating (and funny) but in general I like her role in this episode. Also nice to see Data in command, though episodes like this (and "Brothers," among others) make it clear that maybe Data should just be given his own ship, because he can basically run everything himself. (My girlfriend suggested that if Data had been trapped in the same warp bubble scenario as Crusher in "Remember Me," and had asked the computer if he had the necessary skills to "explore the universe," the computer would have said yes.)

    Still -- and hat tip to the AV Club reviewer for pointing this out -- the fears we see from the crew don't really pertain to them all that specifically. I suppose one could make something Freudian out of the somewhat sex-preoccupied Riker finding a bunch of snakes in his bed, but I think it's more generic creepiness. While pretty effective, none of this really tells us anything about the crew. What we are left with, though, is an unsettling horror story about feeling trapped, and unable to gain respite even in sleep. This is relatable and well-executed, though it still doesn't add up to much. I agree with Jammer's 2.5 star rating, though I'd say high 2.5.

    Just terrible. We need the most common element in the universe. She misses the most obvious symbol for days, "two of what?" They use the symbol of a moon for an electron but they can't say two suns? I suppose the eyes are a clue not to take the moon literally as well.

    The simplest solution would be to put Data in charge of the ship and place the rest of the crew in some kind of stasis or anesthetize them until outside help comes.

    A peach! A giant peach flys!

    I enjoy this episode....yeah, Troi may not be the strongest character but there are some good moments like the bit where all the corpses are suddenly sat upright. Creepy.

    I think the reason they didn't just come out and say "We need hydrogen" was because if they had they knew the other ship (Enterprise) wouldn't know they were stuck as well in the exact same freaky dream situation, as in "They need hydrogen but why, for what purpose, and our crew is falling apart, but THEY want hydrogen." The Enterprise crew had to know the other ship was communicating through dreams, because it was the only way the other ship could receive a reply. If they'd simply said "We need hydrogen" then the Enterprise wouldn't have known how to respond.

    So the crew is suffering from a lack of dreaming. This causes hallucinations, but also lack of concentration, paranoia, and general feelings of exhaustion. The other ship ended up all killing each other over it. So what do we see? Some hallucinations, and a near riot in Ten-Forward from the junior officers. And we see the senior officers tired and stumbling over words... but still courteous and respectful to each other. Really?

    I mean, take the scene where Crusher was explaining the lack of REM to Picard. She was slow, stumbling over words, and taking a rather roundabout way of explaining things. Shouldn't Picard have been getting impatient? Shouldn't he have snapped at Beverly, even if apologizing afterwards? I mean, I've never been caught in a telepathic REM-dampening field or whatever, but I have been tired on occasion. And on those occasions, I tend to be more irritable than normal. Shouldn't that be magnified for people who were suffering from a life-threatening disorder? And wouldn't that be more fun to watch? Watching people stumble over words is boring. Watching people snap at Troi for whining about having nightmares while everyone else was not dreaming to death? See arguments break out at random on the bridge? That's much better.

    I guess what I'm saying is that this was a really strong concept. A good solid sci-fi "what if" plot, one that was built on reasonably solid science and also built up a good mystery. There were some good ideas here, but the direction felt a bit bland. Same plot, better execution? Well, it may not be an instant classic, but I imagine it would have been a very good episode. Instead, we just got something decent. Some of the effects and crew reactions worked, others not so much. Still, it had its moments.

    (On the plus side, the morgue hallucination was excellent. Very very freaky, probably the best horror moment in Trek.)

    As for the "Eyes in the Dark, One Moon Circles" bit, well, I think that can be explained away, and agree with what Will said. Of course, one wonders why the Enterprise's computer has an image of hydrogen as a proton with an electron orbiting it in a circle, but, well, whatever...

    I loved this episode, especially the soundtrack, which was very eerie and effective. Must admit though, when Picard arrived at the bridge screaming in the turbolift, I laughed. For me, it was the funniest part of the episode.

    I think the characters assumed way too much though in the end, and in the end it was just lucky guessing on the part of our heroes. It kind of took away from the episode, but it was still a fun romp and for that I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

    Oooh, I love Night Terrors, it may be one of my favourite spooky, horroroid (yeah, that's the word!) TNG episodes.

    One thing I like about TNG Season 4 are these spooky mystery episodes that were quite prevalent during the seasons - Remember Me, Future Imperfect, Clues, Night Terrors, The Nth Degree, and even weaker stuff like Identity Crisis and The Loss.

    @ William

    I'm going to have to rewatch this episode very soon, so I'm addressing your point from memory. I want to respond to your point about the crews visions not saying anything about the characters.

    I perceived Beverly's vision in the morgue (of the dead coming to life)as reflective of her line of work . . . I'm sure it must be frustrating for a doctor in her day and age to be in a room full of dead people and not be able to heal them. I took it to mean when they all stood up that they were accusing her.

    Same with Picard in the turbolift . . . walking out of the turbolift into space seems to play on the fact that while the Enterprise looks a posh spa, it is in fact an incredibly dangerous place. (Well, at least 25 times a year it is.) It represents the fear aspect of the unknown.

    And of course, Riker with the snakes . . . I'll put it this way: sometimes a snake is DEFINITELY not a snake.

    His bed is a nest of vipers!!! C'mon! That's character development gold. :)

    Maybe it's because I first saw it at a fairly impressionable age, but I found this episode genuinely unsettling. For me it wasn't so much the hallucinations that were disturbing as the Enterprise crew having seen what happened on the Brittain and confronting the possibility that the same fate awaited them (i.e. eventually killing each other in fits of paranoid rage). It's been a while since I've seen the episode, but I think Picard's reaction when it initially looked like the hydrogen beam had failed was not just fatigue or disappointment, but wondering if there really was no way to avoid it.

    (On the other hand, maybe the Enterprise crew would have just been put under some sort of long-term sedation while Data looked for other solutions. I'm guessing that at the very least, Data could order the computer to mix a sedative into the ship's air supply or something along those lines.)

    I'm rewatching it now:

    Starts out with creepy music, the Brittain is adrift. Troi is unhelpful as ever: "I sense something . . ."

    The scene on the bridge of the Brittain is effective: murdered corpses everywhere. I am curious, why couldn't Troi sense the one living crew member left is a Betazoid? It would have made more sense to have her ask him mentally if he was okay.

    After the credits: Beverly seems really bothered by the symptomology of the dead crew. Meanwhile, Troi can't get through to the Betazoid (at least she's figured out he is one). She's as useless as ever.

    Later Beverly meets with Picard in his ready room: she is definitely on a tear for a cause. The personall log of the captain of the Brittain was acted well- she really seems crazy.

    Sigh . . . Troi is floating through the clouds. I hate this part of the episode. God, her questions are idiotic. "Where are you? Where are you?" And then she wakes up in bed, gasping for breath Troi-style. I love her but for realz she is not the best actress. (Her dreams have different music, more celestial and alien than the atonal nightmare music. The most effective part of this scene for sure.)

    Next scene- the young ensign freaks out at sounds on the empty Brittain. Nice how they added in what he was hearing. I think the first time I watched I was disturbed by what could still be on the ship.

    After some more boring useless Troi in sickbay, we are treated to a Miles and Keiko scene! Yay . . . even though Miles is under the influence of the alien sleep deprivation (and yes I know it's wrong),it's still nice to see him be a dick to Keiko for a change, considering how she treats him 99% of the time.

    Gillespie's tale of ghost in Engineering with the old Starfleet uniform is kind of spooky. O'Brien casually dismissing the "shades and spirits" is pretty funny, and shows a good understanding (by the director) of the fine line between humor and horror.

    Picard's Ready Room: I like the bit with the door buzzing and no one there, but I found Picard's dismissive attitude of Crusher and Troi's concern kind of surprising, considering neither one of them are prone to being dramatic.

    Of course, the next scene confirms their suspicions. They are adrift as they go the commercial, and I'm digging the rhythmic synthesizers.

    Conference room: I get to learn about a scientific phenomenon . . . a Tychen's Rift. I don't know if that's a real thing or not (sounds like it isn't) but it's a cool concept.

    I do find it kind of unbelievable they don't have enough energy to replicate complex molecules. People are still eating, aren't they? (That was nitpicking, I confess.)

    Picard and Riker in the turbolift: they are both weirded out, it is obvious. Picard definitely is worried about the safety of his ship. Which dovetails with my earlier comment: he seems to be having a panic attack on the lift.

    And then we get Riker getting ready for bed, but he hasn't changed yet (see above).

    I remembered wrong, Picard didn't walk into space, he was getting crushed against the light! Gravity in reverse . . . not sure what that signified, haha.

    Now we get Riker and the snakes, yes! Nice usage of the atonal "crazy" music to build tension.

    Next scene: a nice call-back to BOBW and using the deflector dish. I also like seeing Patrick Stewart's performance here as a Picard on the edge of sanity. So much is expressed by phrasing and posture. Less is more.

    The morgue scene: scarier than I remember. My roommate almost ruined the scene by saying it looks like a Lady Gaga video. He's an ass.

    Next scene: Picard and Beverly unhinged, discussing the lack of sleep. Excellent acting . . . I read somewhere where this was dismissed as "just talking slow". I find this portrayal actually to be realisitic and believable. I'm also noticing a pattern. There actually isn't TONS of music in this episode, it is saved for the moments when reality is unhinged.

    Troi asks more stupid questions: "Double? Is something doubled?" God, she is dumb.

    10 Forward: the crew is getting antsy. Guinan pops up! They cut away to the deflector dish failure . . . they have energy for this, but they can't replicate complex molecules? Sorry, nitpicking again.

    Next scene: What is it with Worf and suicide?! How many times did the writers go to this well? More of the same: he is weak so he must die. How did he ever pass the Starfleet psych test?! ;) (I also like how his scene gets the atonal music, this time with lush strings included. The stakes are raised as much in the music as on the screen. Nice touch.)

    More Troi in sickbay: She is just the worst person to be trying to get information from someone. It took her over a week to put all this together?! Talk about obtuse.

    In the ready room: The explanation for Troi's nightmares is surprisingly un-technobabbly for a TNG episode. Yes, it is unscientific ("Counselor, we have no way to stop telepathic transmissions") but the explanation is graspable and believable. Good storytelling. The next scene with Data and Troi also is very logically played out.

    So now, from my memories, I know I have to endure one more floating Troi scene, but at least Data was helpful enough to remind me it'll only be two minutes before it's too late. Nice callback to earlier seasons by using the comm system.

    10 Forward: I liked the mob getting unruly, and I'm amused by Guinan's reaction. Her Mangus was pretty strong for setting one. ;) (I wonder who fixed the ceiling?)

    Ugh, Troi is asleep. Please be over already! I wish the music during this cloud scene was easier to here, great tension building. If only Troi could say what she was sent there to say and then shut the fuck up!

    The Enterprise escapes . . . the music is a little too quiet through this whole scene. They also should have used the effects shot from the episode preview, it looked more interesting than the typical one they went with here. (I feel like something was edited out here).

    Data orders Picard to bed, and we get the only major key happy music in the episode, a refreshing seabreeze on a hot day. Episode over.

    Final thoughts: creepy, well-acted, surprisingly plausible without relying on goofy logic and technobabble cheats. An effective musical score. Only marred by the ridiculous denseness of Counselor Troi floating around in her pajama uniform.

    *** stars

    I'm really enjoying revisiting TNG for some reason. Bit of trivia:

    The ship's name is correctly spelled "USS Brattain" --- even though it's misspelled on the hull of the ship itself. You can see a screen grab of the typo here:

    This happens around 5 minutes into the episode. A few minutes later, Beverly and Picard review the Captain's Log from the Brattain and the entry is stamped "USS Brattain - NCC-21166."

    Hope you found that interesting!

    My favorite part of this episode is the idea that Worf has a suicide table all set up and ready to go at all times.

    "Overall, it's an average outing" .... "I know; I'm being a nitpicker."

    That's the risk that any average episode runs - it opens itself to nitpicking far more easily than a really great or really horrible episode. And I agree that "Night Terrors is a slightly below-average episode. It's greatest sin is that it falls apart from a death by a thousand cuts with the nitpicks. 1.) Seriously, just say "we need hydrogen." 2.) Why is Troi the only one not affected? She says that Betazoids have a different REM frequency than most humanoids, but that's rather convenient. I guess it's a good thing, story-wise, that Klingons, the Vulcans on board and the other non-human crew members all have the same frequency across their species. 3.) Why was the Betazoid Brattain crew member comatose, but not really comatose. The closest explanation we get is that Troi will eventually be like him. Why? 4.) Good God, could security have taken any longer to get to Worf's quarters?! 5.) Why does Data continue to defer to Picard even after Picard relinquishes command to him?

    However, this episode does have an absolutely excellent atmosphere to it - very creepy. But, I can also say that "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" has an absolutely excellent atmosphere as well. The problem is that both the movie and "Night Terrors" only have their atmospheres, and precious little else, to fall back on. And, when an episode is compared to "The Motion Picture," that episode has problems.

    Still, I'm going to put a +1 bonus on my score for three truly enjoyable scenes - Picard screaming in the turbolift, Crusher among the corpses and Guinan breaking up the fight in Ten Forward (I guess it's a good thing that the Federation doesn't believe in gun control, lol).


    "I feel fear", as Worf puts it. A notable episode in that it takes on a very different feel from the beginning - about as close to horror as TNG can go, with a suitably spooky soundtrack and a sinister atmosphere. The morgue scene is pretty creepy. And the Troi dream sequences are also a new element (if poorly delivered).

    The only problem is it's all a bit sterile. Apart from the abortive brawl in ten-forward - settled amusingly by Guinan's heavy artillery - there's no real sense of a crew about to meltdown and kill each other. Rather they just seem a bit frazzled. So it was a good premise, but a flawed execution. 2 stars.

    I watched this episode late at night, all alone, in the dark. It spooked me more then I thought it would. That morgue scene was absolutely brilliant - I didn't remember that at all from years ago. I was very impressed. The two eyes in the dark was also sufficiently creepy. WTG, TNG for giving me the willies!

    I watched this episode back to back recently with Schisms and I find Night Terrors to be by far the better episode. In fact, I find the episode has really held its own over the years and remains a creepy, unsettling outing even now. My rating would be 3.5 stars.

    Two scenes stand out in my mind in particular: Crusher in the morgue with the bodies, which is just plain scary, and the scene with Worf with the knife. That latter scene, in particular affected me. When Worf said "I am no longer a warrior" and "I feel fear!" he was practically sobbing. Seeing this character behave that way was incredibly unsettling, as I don't think we've ever seen anything like that from this character, before or since.

    I also enjoyed the overall story and how there was this two pronged mystery to solve: the physical problem of what was holding the Enterprise in place and how that related to the more mysterious and sinister problem of the crew gradually losing their grip on reality. The solution to both problems was cool without falling into technobabble territory (the rift absorbs energy, so you need to overload it with a big bang!) and Troi's revelation at the end about the meaning of her nightmares worked well for me. I also enjoyed the nod to Best of Both Worlds when they tried that Deflector Dish trick to break the rift's hold on them - which worked about as well the second time as the first.

    When I compare this to Schisms, it's clear to me that Night Terrors is the better episode. In Schisms the mystery is pretty simple and it's almost immediately apparent what's going on. That episode ends up being resolved more by a technobabble solution and the mystery is pretty well solved about halfway through. The ending just turns into an action piece with Geordie doing his techno thing in engineering. While there is some great atmosphere and some unsettling scenes (the scene in the holodeck where the crew reconstruct their abduction) I don't think it can hold a candle to what we see in Night Terrors, which stubbornly holds its mystery to the very conclusion.

    "The only problem is it's all a bit sterile. Apart from the abortive brawl in ten-forward - settled amusingly by Guinan's heavy artillery - there's no real sense of a crew about to meltdown and kill each other. Rather they just seem a bit frazzled. So it was a good premise, but a flawed execution. 2 stars."

    I guess there's only so far you can go with a G rated show. But yeah, it wouldn't have bothered me if the crew had gone a little "Event Horizon". Sadly, Wesley Crusher was no longer on board by this point, but one can only imagine what might have been.

    Good episode for the performances of the cast, the skillful unfolding of the mystery, and the general creepiness that is so unlike TNG yet so well-done. Very entertaining and engaging; as a child, when I first saw the series, this was always one of my favorites.

    However, I have to agree with those who have criticized the aliens' attempt at dream communication. "Eyes in the dark - one moon circles" is a terrible, unforgivable way to describe hydrogen. First of all, it's not even an accurate metaphor. Real electrons do not "circle" atomic nuclei; they exist as clouds of probability surrounding the nucleons. We arbitrarily (and incorrectly) choose to refer to the various shapes of electron motion probability as "orbitals"; aliens would probably not do this, nor would they have any way of knowing that we do.

    Secondly, there is simply no need for them to be so circumspect with all this dream imagery. Even if they have a radically different, non-vocal means of communication (something I do wish TNG had explored more often, though that's a separate point), as a spacefaring race, they must understand mathematics and chemistry. Instead of showing Troi an ominously imprecise image of what might be a (again, wrong) depiction of a hydrogen atom, it would have been a lot easier to show her the periodic table - the basic shape and form of which is a universal fact - and simply call her attention to the first element. One way to do this would be to show her the table while simultaneously communicating "1": the atomic number of hydrogen. So the floating eyes in the dark become an image of the periodic table, and rather than yammering on about moons circling, the voice just repeats "one" over and over again. Troi doesn't win any awards for genius in this episode, but assuming she didn't sleep through high school chemistry, even she couldn't miss that message.

    A minor point: if I recall correctly, every "element" named in this episode, other than hydrogen, is fictitious. And finally, an even more minor point: the text written under the ship's archived image of hydrogen begins with the sentence "stored as deuterium". Yet, the actual picture depicts protium.

    Yes, I am a nerd.

    Two and a half stars? Are you mad? This season 1 or 2 materiaal. Ons star at most. Terrible episode. The idea, execution, everything is terrible! Sorry for the shouting but after seeing the quality of the episodes increasing since season 3 this is a major setback. The dream scènes, the implausible plot, the assumptions made. All so terrible it makes me cry...

    I'd like to say that this is as bad as Next Generation gets - but it isn't. It isn't even the worst episode I can think of.
    Why would a doctor be afraid of dead bodies? For some reason, that bothered me more than the hydrogen thing.
    I loved Guinan pulling out the big gun behind the bar.

    Sean you're asking why a roomful of corpses from people who went mad and murdered one another might make a doctor uneasy? :)

    For the record, I don't practice or advocate violence aainst women (or against anybody). But after about the fifth time Troi called out, "Where are you?" I wanted to smack her.

    Saw this again last night, I really like it. Yeah I know the Troi cloud scenes are silly however overall it's pretty memorable.

    I'll agree with the others here about the creepy music- They outdid themselves here and it sets a great atmosphere.

    Wow, people are really divided over this. I thought it was a good episode, a solid 3 out of 4 stars. Yes, Troi was annoying, but the biggest part of the episode is the horror/mystery element, which was well done. I don't get why people are so frustrated with the alien communication. Seriously? Of all the improbabilities in this series, this is suddenly a serious problem? It can easily be explained away, too. Maybe the aliens did say: one proton, one elektron, but Troi's brain was unable to make sense of the alien telepathic information, so this riddle is what was produced at the receiver's end. The solution to the mystery is a whole lot more satisfying than some dude using thoughts to travel through space. Just saying...

    Seems like I don't agree with some of the reviews on this site, I found "Devil's Due" to be entertaining, for example, but this episode to be a boring mess. The crew might not be able to get REM sleep, but this episode nearly gave it to me.

    Pretty dull episode, slow paced with a final solution that seems like a leap of faith.

    At first with seeing all the dead people on the Brattain I thought of "The Tholian Web". But TNG is more sci-fi-y than TOS and after a lot of scenes with crew getting irritated and hallucinating, it comes down to not being able to dream/achieve REM sleep.

    It was well done with how the crew all appeared as if they hadn't slept in days. But unfortunately, it was a Troi-heavy episode and that means weak and somewhat annoying acting.

    Some alien ship or entity is communicating that it wants hydrogen to start an explosion to free themselves from the energy-draining field -- how Troi/Data realize this is a bit of a stretch. The scene where they are looking at various elements involving a text description and then there just happened to be a diagram of a hydrogen atom makes it clear to Troi what her nightmares are all about. I guess this type of realization is fairly typical TNG but I'm not a huge fan of it.

    "Night Terrors" gets 2 stars. Episode kind of drags for long stretches, was annoying watching Troi try and communicate with the other Betazoid who was in a catatonic state. Would have been better to spend more time understanding the other alien communicating with Troi through dreams and preventing humans from achieving REM sleep. A ho-hum TNG episode.

    This could be far-fetched but I see a parallel here to Modern Life that maybe is or isn't there. When people get bogged down and succumb to stress or chemical dependence, they really do quit being able to remember their dreams.

    These people slowly lose touch with reality and create their own worlds. The fatigue, irritability, and delusions aren't far behind. The inability to break an unhealthy lifestyle will ultimately drive a person insane, as long as another health issue doesn't halt everything.

    They used a phenomenon in space to sort of symbolize a darker side of humanity.

    It's funny because I hated this episode at first. For some reason I watched it again from a different perspecrive and it really seemed to resonate.

    "A minor point: if I recall correctly, every "element" named in this episode, other than hydrogen, is fictitious. And finally, an even more minor point: the text written under the ship's archived image of hydrogen begins with the sentence "stored as deuterium". Yet, the actual picture depicts protium.

    Yes, I am a nerd."

    I am going to outnerd you and point out that it is inconceivable that an explosion generated from a chemical reaction with hydrogen, no matter what weirdo fictitious element the aliens had, could possibly equal even a fraction of the explosive force of what the Enterprise could already produce using its fusion reactors to say nothing of a matter anti matter explosion like what their photon torpedoes produce or what powers their warp core.

    I don't know why everyone hates this episode, but I REALLY liked it as a kid. This one scared me (in a good way-I mean the tingles up my spine when I watched it with my friends (we would all get together to watch the latest episode)) and was so memorable! A few episodes caused that thrill tingle-this one and the one with Data dreaming and Freud saying "Kill them before it's too late!" to name a few

    I remember once staying up for 6 days, and yes, I began hallucinating too! (Not something I'd recommend)

    Another thing, someone here said that the crew (senior officers) weren't being annoyed enough at each other. While that may be true, no one mentioned Riker's look when Picard told him to take a rest and releave him 4 hours later-he looked SERIOUSLY ticked (I thought it was odd until I realised he was irritable from lack of sleep)

    As far as the aliens go, I think it is true that they are so...well, alien compared to other aliens that they couldn't communicate without symbols. At the end when their ship flies away, it seems to be made of just light unlike the other metal ships one sees on Star Trek. That clued me in to the fact that they are completely unlike anything else. What surprised me is that after our heroes left the danger zone, they didn't try to communicate with those aliens. At least to thank them

    Ok, those are my random thoughts


    Something I forgot to mention:

    This may have been unintentional on the writers part, but to me it always seems as if El-Aurians (Guinan's race) don't sleep like humans or maybe need less REM sleep. She seemed VERY coherent in this episode unlike everyone else! I actually thought that they would mention that in the episode, but they didn't. I could see Guinan as backup counselor permanently, and in this episode, acting first officer to Data's acting Captain as everyone else descends into madness and anarchy!

    This is one of the TNG episodes that I dread the most. It just has too many flaws to be any good.

    - First of all, I am not a horror fan, in general. I am just bored by scenes like the one where dead bodies are sitting upright in the morgue. It's like watching a C-grade horror flick.

    - More importantly, I just don't think that becoming anxious and paranoid is a logical consequence of getting no REM sleep. It doesn't ring true. I believe that people who are seriously deprived of REM sleep will become extremely passive and "psychologically broken". They won't be able to do much of anything. I once stayed up for like 60 hours and simply was a wreck. Patrick Steward is the only actor who gets it right in this episode: He has serious concentration difficulties, all his mental abilities are coming apart.

    I guess my main problem with this episode is that I don't buy into the notion that "the whole crew will kill each other like on the Brittain". REM deprivation just doesn't lead to this. I find it utterly unbelievable.

    And the whole trope is worn out anyway. Didn't the crew in "The Naked Now" (season 1) kill each other as well? And wasn't it done on TOS, too? In each of those instances, it was far more believable that the crew would turn violent.

    So my beef with this episode is that everyone acted like they're in a run-of-the-mill "crew turning violent" episode (also thinking of Genesis from season 7 here, which had a higher sense of danger to me, even though its premise sucked), although all of them should have acted simply like they're losing their cognitive abilities and turning in some sort of imbeciles or autists. This episode was a misfire. Troi flying didn't convey a huge sense of horror either, because Marina Sirtis played too stiffly. Honestly, the only thing that saves the episode is the clever resolution that the aliens were trying to communicate what they need all along.

    2 stars, objectively, although subjectively it's one of my most dreaded stories and I want to give it a lower score.

    > I watched this episode back to back recently with Schisms and I find Night Terrors to be by far the better episode. In fact, I find the episode has really held its own over the years and remains a creepy, unsettling outing even now. My rating would be 3.5 stars.

    I guess this is exactly where we differ. I see it just the other way around. The idea that aliens are experimenting on you, severing your bones, possibly injecting you with mind-altering substances etc. and you wake up the next morning, unsettled, but unknowing of what went on, is true horror to me.

    "Night Terrors" on the other hand didn't have any substance; there was no real danger, the horror didn't have a face. The horror remains extremely abstract, being a vague "fear of a mental breakdown", while the crew cognitively knows that actually NOTHING is going on. They should KNOW that it's all just in their heads (because Beverly discovers the medical condition early enough, and by that point the whole crew would be informed). How is it interesting for the audience to watch people battle NO ACTUAL ENEMY? Well, it isn't.

    I just fail to see how "Night Terrors" constitutes "good horror". Sure, the idea to lose your cognitive abilities is very frightening - and in one of the few good scenes of the episode, Picard talks about how one of his relatives lost his mental capabilities when he grew old and turned into a fragile shell of a man. This struck the right cord, and the episode should have been developed more along those lines. Forget all the stupid horror and paranoia stuff; if the episode had shown us how everyone turned into imbeciles (hard to act, admittedly), it would have realized its potential.

    The episode should have been more about the fear of turning into an invalid person, and much much less about paranoia and violence.

    Concept/Potential: 3.5 stars
    Execution: 1 star

    There were some really creepy scenes-Riker thinking something was in his room and the morgue scene-which equalled some of Kubrick's work in The Shining.
    Unfortunately I share the views about Super Troi flying through a green cloud yelling 'Where are you?'
    I thought all she was supposed to do was yell;'Now!'

    Not so sure that I would object to the one moon bit for a hydrogen atom-as the aliens are probably not supposed to be versed in our language but then again they are telepathic.

    I think this was an ok episode.

    This episode made me realize that I would not be comfortable living on the ship with Worf. Not only is he the first Klingon at all to serve in the federation which in itself has a lot of uncertainties, he has so many issues. He’s an angry powerful time bomb. I guess I’d be one of these xenophobic semi villains but when you think about it the guy really is unhinged

    As others said, very good on atmosphere. Otherwise, it does not stand up to scrutiny.

    Two timing issues really bothered me watching this, and I'm surprised no one brought them up.

    No. 1: They are on the other ship. Engines are fine. They try to move it. It won't go. So what does the Enterprise do? It just sits there for FOUR DAYS. And it doesn't occur to Geordi or anyone else that maybe if everything checks out on the other ship, something is going on in space? Maybe the Enterprise crew ought to see if their ship can move ...

    That's just sloppy.

    No. 2: Troi has two minutes to communicate before the hydrogen runs out. So why do you release the hydrogen the very second she enters R.E.M.? Would you give her say 30 seconds or one minute to kind of get her bearings in the dream? They really jumped the gun on that.

    I was kind of dreading it, but overall, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Still kind of middling, especially for a Season 4 episode.

    Anyone else though notice how similar this is to dead space the game? I mean the music and feel is perfectly matched to the game just before the dead became necromorphs.

    Idk. My 2 cents.

    Finally, an anomaly of the week episode I found thoroughly compelling. Very effective tension building throughout: the first dream sequence, as another commenter put it, was "deliciously creepy". The Crusher morgue scene I had no memory of from the first time round, really got to me for some reason; in that situation I'd be utterly horrified.

    I'm prepared to forgive the main "we need hydrogen" nitpick, as this is clearly symbolic telepathic communication. It's quite plausible that an abstract concept of hydrogen is being communicated and interpreted Troy's (somewhat basic) mind.

    3 stars from me!

    This episode earns 4 stars
    Music stands out
    It has a great spooky atmosphere
    It has a novel mystery and avoids going someplace mundane with its revelations thankfully. I love the way the episode has multiple mysteries from why the ship won’t go to crew’s odd behavior to Troi’s bizarre dream. The twists were well placed such as The ship not going and finding itself in same situation as Brattain Lots of effective creepy moments—the ghost of Starfleet officer, Picard hearing chimes but no at his door, morgue scene, young ensign hearing noises, Riker feeling something in his room etc

    Was relieved that tyken rift was no responsible for behavior. That would have been underwhelming
    I loved the idea by writers to use idea of dream deprivation to explain odd occurrences. That’s novel. That’s fun. That’s clever! A rather ingenious answer to what was going on
    And the jeopardy plot was tense with ship unable to get away from whatever was interfering with dreaming
    I also loved what writers came up with as cause of interruption to dreaming-/aliens communicating telepathically an SOS. Which makes sense since they’d be without way to send a conventional message via subspace due to power drain. How were they to know it’d wreak havoc on others sleep patterns

    Also liked how troi’s bizarre dream came into play with its real meaning and the clever hydrogen clue with the one moon circles describing the electron circling a proton. That’s smart

    I appreciate things and writing in this episode more and more every time I watch it

    Might have been cool in hindsight to have Borg appearing on ship as part of Picard hallucinations
    Liked seeing the bussard collectors emitting hydrogen
    Perfect ending episode data ordering everyone to bed

    Plus everybody got to contribute. Data discovering tyken s rift. Beverly discovering dream deprivation. Troi realizing message from aliens and using directed dreaming to contact them

    I have always liked this episode, and I agree with others who say that it holds up. I think the plot is more than just serviceable, and the atmosphere is top notch. It also really benefits from music by Ron Jones.

    I was going to complain that the hallucinations/symptoms begin right away (before any nights have passed): from the young Ensign's hearing sounds on the bridge of the Brattain to O'Brien snapping at his wife, to Gilespie's ghost stories. I remembered them arriving in the episode *before* the log entry in which Picard says it's been 10 days. So I thought it was plot hole. But I went back and watched those scenes again, only to find that there was an *earlier* log entry in which Picard mentions it's been *four* days. So the writers really covered their bases: all the stuff I mentioned above happened four days in. It's plausible that lack of REM sleep could start to have effects by then (although it's strange that no one reported feeling extra fatigued).

    For all the people complaining that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe so it was ludicrous that the aliens were asking for it -- bear in mind that the average density of hydrogen in the interstellar medium of our galaxy is one measly *atom* per cubic centimetre. (Compare to 30,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules per cubic centimetre of air you breathe on Earth). Besides, how are they supposed to fly around collecting these atoms with no functional propulsion systems?

    While Troi's dream sequences were silly and repetitive, I don't' understand the rest of the Troi hate. She wasn't stupid/obtuse the way other commenters implied. If somebody just said "double" with no context, then asking "what do you mean? Is something being doubled?" is a *perfectly* logical way of seeking clarification.

    Stopped watching at the godawful Worf suicide scene. Hackneyed horror cliches, bad acting, recycled plot lines. Not quite as anger producing as "conspiracy" but by god I've had enough. Next episode!

    I really liked this one. I liked the fact that I didn't remember it (well I remembered the eyes in the dark two moons a smidgen when that showed up later in the episode).

    Troi was good in this one. It was a bit of a stretch her solving it and making the leap to beings etc. but I was willing to overlook that.

    I loved the spooky suspense in the first half. And something that incapacitated almost the whole ship. Its good to see panic take hold( more realistic): well some help to exhaustion and others go to the bar and get belligerent.

    Short notes: We got to see the Captain's shoes for the first time. Space age PJs, linens and beds are ridonkulous. The closed captioning said the other ship was the Brattain. Really? are you sure it wasn't the Brittain?


    4 of 4 Stars. One of the best episodes in season 4.

    Starts out like TOS Naked Time and the TNG Naked Now in season 1, but becomes unique for its horror atmosphere. Brilliant. I watched it alone at night first time not knowing what to expect and it really creeped me out - especially the morgue scene was well done.

    So this is a basically a haunted/ghost story and should be watched and rated as such - and it delivers the atmosphere.
    I feared that the explanation would not work like in clues, which I would rate 4 Stars for delivering the mysterious setting until the point of the reveal and 1,5 stars afterwards... but having no R.E.M. sleep was a great idea and the telepathic communication explanation was reasonable enough for me.

    I really cant hear all the Troi hate anymore. In season 4 shes far better than in season 1-2. Don't see the problems with the dream scenes... I can also fly in my dreams, you not? And repeating thoughts and not exactly doing what you want is totally reasonable as youre not really in control. found that aspect actually quite realistic.

    This whole alien communication critic is a bit silly, isnt it? Troi received the message in her dreams and her brain interpreted the delivered message in that cryptic way, and we dont know how different the telepathic communication of the aliens is. in the end a creative idea to give that creepy dream message a reasonable meaning.

    Haven't been able to find this anywhere. Whose voice (actor's name) was used to say "two eyes in the dark"?

    "Haven't been able to find this anywhere. Whose voice (actor's name) was used to say "two eyes in the dark"?

    More importantly, was Keiko really cheating on O'Brien? Just because he was paranoid delusional at the time, doesn't he wasn't right.

    I have to disagree with the overall assessment of the dream imagery in this. I hadn't seen the episode since it first aired, but it was some of the most distinctive imagery from TNG for me.

    Upon rewatch, I find it effective, beautiful, scary (particularly the "eyes in the dark" line as spoken by the voice they used), and visually sophisticated in the echoing of the twin star system shown in the opening images of the episode.

    The sequence itself has the same analog visual charm as something like Hellraiser 2, or the beginning of Coccoon. Underrated.

    The Mom-watch of TNG continues with this frankly embarrassing episode. Episodes like First Contact made me proud to introduce my mom to Trek yet shows like Night Terrors make me cringe to watch with my mom. As if she's thinking "He likes THIS?" Macabre feeling. However we both got a great laugh out of Troi's constant, pointless "WHERE ARE YOUUUUUUUU"s when all she had to do was say "detonate chemical now." Truly great unintentional comedy.

    I'm not a fan of this one. It's not creepy or clever enough to work very well in a Twilight Zone sort of way, but it doesn't have much else going for it. The solution to the puzzle seems poorly thought-out and implausible, in a genre where implausible is the norm.

    Guinan seems unaffected by the inability to dream affecting the rest of the (organic) crew. Odd that she's allowed to keeps an energy weapon behind the bar and even discharges it on board the ship.

    I found Picard's hallucination in the lift (that's possibly "elevator" for some readers) quite powerful. I sometimes have those out-of-control lift dreams myself. Sometimes they accelerate upwards out of control, sometimes they move sideways.

    Here's a nit-pick - when Picard steps out of the lift onto the bridge, there is no gap at all in the carpet between the bridge and the lift. Yet later in the episode, you can see that there's a gap in the carpeting between the bridge and his ready room. Later still, as Data orders him to bed, there's a gap between the bridge carpet and the lift carpet! No, it's not an important point.

    Sometimes the future technology imagined when TNG was made looks improbably old-fashioned, like those tablets they carry around that are two inches thick. But the device that Beverley has in her hand in the mortuary looks like an iPad or Android tablet. A device like that would have seemed ultra-cool and futuristic in the early '90s; now it looks mundane.

    I don't really like the way that the Enterprise turns out to have a function to dispense hydrogen. Feels like rather convenient lazy writing, a bit like more or less every scene involving a sonic screwdriver in Doctor Who.

    Anyway - this one just about scrapes an "OK" from me.

    "Night Terrors" grabbed me. I really enjoyed this tight drama of a ship in crisis.

    First of all, the music developed by Ron Jones for the episode deserves special mention. From the very beginning it set up an effectively unsettling vibe. It was dissonant, eerie and suspenseful, and helped to convey the psychological tension of the Enterprise crew attempting to understand the deaths of 32 of their comrades on the unfortunate Brittain.

    A ghostly story indeed, and a decent mystery. I particularly liked the bit about Picard's doorbell sounding off repeatedly in the ready room until he is driven nuts, unexpectedly followed by a knock at the door.

    The morgue scene with Beverly was unforgettable.

    IMO the model for the Brittain is the Demeter in Stoker's novel Dracula. The Demeter's crew is divided by its own psychological instability, and so is vulnerable to attack. No surprise that the full complement is dispatched piecemeal by a strange presence. The ship eventually sails into Whitby harbor with the captain lashed to the tiller.

    I thought about the Demeter when watching the 'immanent mutiny' scene set in 10 Forward with the lowbrow Gillespie mouthing off and destrying morale (perfectly played). 'This is going south fast' I thought, and loved Guinan's presence of mind in restoring the peace.

    @ Jammer
    It's a cheap shot IMO to reduce the score because of Troi's dream sequence. It was repetitive to be sure, but I think that it added to the menace. Also, if we accept the language barrier in Darmok, why should we expect the word "hydrogen" to trip lightly off the tongues of a never-before encountered alien species?

    Night Terrors" an average outing? Hardly. I rate it a solid 7/9, with both Riker and Troi looking like they both woke up two seconds before as a bonus.

    Lousy pacing in a lousy episode. Only reason I liked this episode were the gratuitous yet completely unflattering butt shots of Deanna. I mean, you could see straight up to Tonsilville if you follow.

    This is one of those really polarizing episodes when it comes to reviews. Partly because some parts of its execution weren't the best, but the premise behind it was brilliant if you ask me. There you have your, by this point standard, anomaly-of-the-week where the engines can't run coupled with mysterious and never seen aliens on the other side.

    One funny thing that crossed my mind upon rewatching it today - the paranoid ramblings of that crewman in Ten Forward is reminiscent of a great chunk of 2020's internet dwellers.

    Useless fact:
    The other ships name is Brattain, not Brittain. The subtitles are correct because one of the pads shows it too and crew says indeed Brattain. However, in one exterior shot of the ship it is spelled as Brittain. Whatever. Engaging episode and Picard and Riker genuinely looked sleep deprived.

    Felt like an attempt at a Hallowe'en episode even though it was first broadcast in March.

    While I do enjoy abandoned drifting starships and eerie mysteries, and very much enjoyed seeing all those lovely fly-by shots of the most infamously mis-spelled Miranda-class vessel in Starfleet, I find poorly acted paranoia (and even well-acted sleep deprivation) less enthralling to watch for a solid hour.

    Nevertheless, I thought the notion of having to communicate (or interpret, depending upon your perspective) the co-ordinated injection of volatile elements with unseen aliens in a different realm in order to create (by total chance) a very-last-second one-shot chemical explosion based on nothing more than sheer conjecture and guessing (and funnelled via an actual sleeping crew member) to be rather novel, to put it mildly.

    Lucky it worked, eh?

    The highlight of the episode for me was when Riker and Picard are in the turbo lift, and Riker admits needing to hold back from snapping at people.

    Does Riker not watch the fucking show? Every other line of dialogue is him unnecessarily yelling at someone. I can’t imagine what “holding back” looks like to that buffoon.

    Well, we can thank this episode for introducing the "single simple message" concept that was employed far more effectively in Cause and Effect.

    This wasn't a bad episode. But it was a SLOOOOOOW episode. I liked the premise with the grisly remains on the Brittain, and the idea of a gradually building mystery usually appeals to me, but somehow it was too slow here. The hallucinations and other symptoms were somewhat random, and didn't seem to be getting "worse" in a tangible way (compare with Schisms, for example). For example, O'Brien's menacing behavior toward Keiko happened almost immediately.

    For this to be effective, you'd want more benign hallucinations at first, and then more terrifying or deadly, and more frequent, hallucinations/paranoia scenes later on. Of course, there was the attempted "mutiny" in 10 Forward, but it was very poorly executed and as the viewer I didn't feel any sense of impending chaos. especially when everyone calmed out immediately just because Guinan fired a shot from that ridiculous weapon. In real life, I suspect a large group of delusional/paranoid people would have simply become more enraged.

    After about half an hour, it really started to fizzle out and I just wanted to get to the resolution already, and didn't really care what it was.

    I will say that although Troi's dream-flying was hokey, the visuals around the voice and also the lines that were delivered by the alien -- "Eyes in the dark" and "A moon circling," etc. -- were effectively spooky. Almost reminded me of the deadlights from "IT."

    Maybe two stars.

    Ok, so I'm watching this episode again in 2021. To set the stage, I am in the middle of an insomnia spell, having been awake for 62 hrs straight now. I definitely hand-picked this episode to watch tonight, pushing aside everything that's on Hulu and Vudu. Maybe it's nostalgia; maybe I really understand what they're going through. Either way, I really enjoyed this episode. I hope I can get myself away from the telepathic aliens and finally get some rest tonight.

    A good idea spoiled by a clumsy treatment, making the basic story ridiculous. The only moment I really enjoyed was where Picard had the hallucinations in the turbo lift and when the doors opened, he was sprawled on the floor being stared at by the bridge crew. He took a long moment to stand up, walk out of the lift, perform the Picard Manoeuvre, and say “As you were” as if nothing had happened!

    1.5 stars.

    I thought it was well done.

    The crew gradually looking exhausted worked well. Lots of subtle details, like the ensign that got spooked on the Brittain seen later in Enterprise's engineering in the background just staring at Data and Geordi.

    Also, Worf just suddenly fleeing the bridge, and a believable breakdown for him.

    Deanna flying was quite goofy, but Sirtis and the production were aware of that. It was a dream so it doesn't matter, though it might have been better to have her just walking around in there like at the very beginning.

    It's pretty bizarro that they figured out they needed hydrogen, but whatever.

    The biggest flaw is that nobody said "Hey, this seems a whole lot like what happened in 'The Naked Now'." The situation parallels that so closely in the beginning and most of these people were there...

    I really like this episode. The subtle nuance of sleep deprivation effects was done so well by almost all the actors and was very believable. I once had an awful experience and as a result i was unable to sleep for a little over 3 entire days despite taking sleeping pills to desperately try to sleep on the third night...and let me tell you...their acting was SPOT ON. I almost constantly could hear voices that sounded like the TV was on and volume set where It was just barely audible but I was unable to make out any actual words. I was completely alone in my house not even my dog or cat was there but I constantly heard things walking around. I had feeling of being watched and I was seeing things...large things and movement just at edge of my peripheral vision and I'd turn in a panic to see nothing there. It WAS awful and Ill never forget it. Their performance is so good it brought back all those memories....and yet I do actually like this episode

    Yes, and if you can watch this while a tad sleep deprived (wake up at 4am or whatever), it can be strikingly effective.

    Maybe not top shelf, but the actors nail it, and it's very Twilight Zone creepy in the right mind set.

    I almost didn't make it past Troi's Narnia dream nonsense but wanting to know what had happened to the marooned vessel made me stay.

    I'm glad I did.

    Yes, a lot of the story was recycled from at least two previous installments but them figuring out the symptoms and the root cause, and getting themselves out of the whole pickle, made for a pretty compelling viewing. The "10 second left!" canard again though...AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    Troi looked real cute all disheveled and makeup-free. She can be super annoying but this reminded me why I had a massive...crush...on her when first viewing this as a budding teen in the 90s.

    I don't understand how any chemical explosion could be more powerful than a matter/anti-matter explosion from their torpedoes? Also, I think star trek writers twist the meaning usage of "power drain" to absurd levels. That's not how physics works. The energy isn't created until AFTER the explosion happens. The torpedoes wouldn't produce the energy until they are detonated. It is ridiculous that every "energy drain" totally incapacitated and paralyzes them, when so many of the ships systems could probably be controlled manually. Also, I find it hilarious that they think enough energy could "overload" a rupture in space. What does that even mean?:With that logic, could you overload the singularity of a black hole? Not to be nit picky but that was a little bit of a lazy physics plot attempt. The same with the stupid assertion that Hydrogen could produce a chemical explosion stronger than energy weapons or matter/anti-maytter reactions. Maybe they were thinking of the Hydrogen bomb, but in the context of this episode, they were talking chemistry, not nuclear explosions, so even that doesn't work. And as someone said, the deflector shouldn't have been able to fire if the energy drain was that severe. Just deploy the torpedoes like mines if you can't launch them.

    The whole floating in the void dream thing was a little annoying, but who knows, maybe telepathic communications aren't exact. The physics was much worse than the characters in this episode.

    What I found intriguing about the episode was the implications of the aliens needing hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, making up 75% of the universe. If the aliens don't have hydrogen, this implies that the physics in the universe where the aliens are from is so radically different that hydrogen is difficult or even impossible to obtain. It may be that something like the atoms of our universe are bizarre theoretical particles from the perspective of the beings from this other universe. Since we don't know the physics of the other universe, we don't really know what really happened when the hydrogen from our universe interacted with whatever came from the other universe.

    "Star Trek TNG" is The Best of All Star Trek Series.
    And To Clear Something Up The Alien Entity who is asking for Hydrogen doesn't know That Hydrogen is the Actual Name of the Element.. so "One Moon Circles" is the Best way of Describing What, "The Element They Need", Looks Like.

    And As For Worf Feeling "Fear" is An Excellent Way Of Showing The Only Thing a Klingon Will Only Be Paranoid of.....and That is "Weakness" itself...

    The "Writers" For Star Trek TNG are Some Of The Best To Ever Provide Viewers With Great Stories and Entertainment...

    The creepy scene in sickbay where Crusher is surrounded by the dead rising around her was taken from the Buck Rogers episode Space Vampire which was just as creepy

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