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Wesley's latest science project escapes the lab, threatening the Enterprise and an eminent scientist's life-long project.


Winrich Kolbe


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Michael Piller (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Wil Wheaton ... Wesley Crusher
Ken Jenkins ... Dr. Paul Stubbs
Whoopi Goldberg ... Guinan
Mary McCusker ... Nurse
Randal Patrick Randal Patrick ... Crewman #1


The Enterprise brings eminent scientist Dr. Paul Stubbs to the site of a binary star system, expecting a massive stellar explosion to occur in a few hours. He has waited many years for this event and has devoted his entire life to its study. The Enterprise, however, begins to suffer a series of malfunctions, some minor but others far more serious. Wesley may be responsible for all the problems on the ship due to his experiment in nanotechnology escaping the lab. Fearing that the attack on the ship might prevent him from completing his experiments, Stubbs takes matters into his own hands, making matters worse. Meanwhile, Dr. Beverly Crusher, returned to the Enterprise after a year at Starfleet Medical, is concerned over her presence limiting son Wesley's development. Can a 17-year-old boy develop normally if his mother is always around him? Written by garykmcd/edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This takes place in 2366. See more »


Captain Picard and others oppose killing the nanites because they consider it immoral to kill an intelligent life form. However, the point of view is never raised that as an artificial life the procreates abundantly, they have created an invasive species, which by definition could threaten natural life forms. See more »


Counselor Deanna Troi: Dr. Stubbs, I know how much this means to you...
Dr. Paul Stubbs: My dear Counselor. No insult intended; but please turn off your beam into my soul.
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References Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Writers made one character so irritating that it ruined the episode.
17 March 2014 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

In this episode, the first show of season three, Wesley class project goes wrong when he accidentally releases some small nanos (bug like) items throughout the Enterprise. What is happening is that the nanos are eating the ships computer and making the Enterprise perform in an awkward manner. Getting rid of the nanos is very simple but Picard believes that this may be a new life form and will not harm the nanos until more is learned. But communicating with the nanos will take some very odd turn when Data is used as a voice for the small bug-like items.

There is also another situation on board when the Federation sends Dr. Paul Stubbs on a mission to a star that is set to explode. Mr Stubbs lifetime work has been on this subject and now the nanos may make his life's work for naught. Stubbs is against protecting the nanos as it will halt something he will never again experience in his lifetime.

Ken Jenkins plays the stiff Doctor Stubbs but it seems that the writers made the character quite irritating. Why in the world Captain Picard let him in all the commander's meeting is beyond comprehension. The character was snobby, bitter and uninteresting. The character sucked most of the entertainment value out of the story making the episode less interesting. Due to its complicated conception this was not the best episode to start the season. Not one of the better episodes.

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Release Date:

23 September 1989 (USA) See more »

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Paramount Television See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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