Star Trek: The Next Generation

Shades Of Gray

Season 2, Ep 22, Aired 7/17/89
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  • Episode Description
  • Stardate: 42976.1 Riker is infected with an alien organism that takes over his mind. Dr. Pulaski must force Riker's mind back to a state where it can access primitive survival skills.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Patrick Stewart

    Captain Jean-Luc Picard

  • Jonathan Frakes

    Cmdr. William T. Riker

  • Brent Spiner

    Lt. Cmdr. Data

  • Marina Sirtis

    Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

  • LeVar Burton

    Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

  • Fan Reviews (21)

    By RandyCongdon, Jun 21, 2015

  • One good thing...

    By ktfahel, Sep 01, 2014

  • In the words of the Comic Book Guy, "WORST EPISODE EVER!!"

    By jvma7621, May 21, 2008

  • really bad

    By satellite67, Nov 24, 2013

  • All things considered, this should be worse....

    By uk6strings, Oct 31, 2012

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (3)

    • Riker: Captain, one of the things I've learned on these voyages and so on this ship and from that most lifeforms act out of an instinct for survival--not out of malice.

    • Pulaski: I just want to be certain you still know who you are. Riker: Of course I know who I am - I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. Picard: (joking) I'm delighted that you are feeling better, Captain. The Admiral and I were worried about you. Data: Captain, I do not believe you have the authority to promote me to the rank of Admiral.

    • (while Riker is scanned by a medical assistant) Riker: This bug is persistent, I'll admit that. But I'm not worried. We Rikers are ornery, too. As a matter of fact, my great grandfather once got bit by a rattlesnake. After three days of intense pain...snake died.

    Notes (5)

    • This is the only episode in the series to contain both Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher) and Diana Mulder (Dr. Pulaski), although McFadden only appears in stock footage.

    • The writer's strike affected the number of episodes shot in the second season. There were only 22 episodes made while all other seasons had 26 episodes.

    • Worf (Michael Dorn) does not appear in this episode.

    • This episode marks the final appearance of Dr. Katharine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) on the series.

    • This episode developed as a means to save time and money due to the ongoing writer's strike at the time. It is (to date) the only "clip show" - an episode that showcases clips from previous stories - within any of the Trek series. Due to its strained nature, it ranks on many fans' "least favorite episodes" lists.

    Trivia (3)

    • If you watch carefully Riker opens his eyes in the end scene when he's supposed to unconscious.

    • Three quarters of the way through the episode, Dr Kathrine Pulaski makes a Medical Log (Supplemental) entry. As she does so, although the Enterprise is supposed to be in the vicinity of a distant uncharted planet, the shot of the Enterprise in orbit clearly shows North America on the planet surface.

    • Geordi wears absolutely no protective gear when he and Data go back down to the planet to get a sample of the plant that attacked Riker.

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