Star Trek: The Next Generation

Who Watches The Watchers

Season 3, Ep 4, Aired 10/16/89
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  • Episode Description
  • Stardate: 43173.5 An away team inadvertently breaks the Prime Directive and reveals themselves to a primitive culture on Mintaka III, leading the inhabitants to believe that Captain Picard is a god.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Patrick Stewart

    Captain Jean-Luc Picard

  • Jonathan Frakes

    Cmdr. William T. Riker

  • Brent Spiner

    Lt. Cmdr. Data

  • Gates McFadden

    Dr. Beverly Crusher

  • Marina Sirtis

    Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

  • Fan Reviews (6)
  • All worship The Picard!

    By Celedorian, Aug 25, 2011

  • This story should be shared with the world.

    By plasmafire44, Feb 22, 2007

  • Awesome episode showing the difficulty of maintain the prime directive

    By AvatarBlue, Aug 14, 2008

  • One of the best "Prime Directive" shows on TNG and a very clever story.

    By pharoahsdance, Jul 04, 2008

  • Picard mistaken as a god.

    By MDFandEEF, Aug 26, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (5)

    • Troi: Mintakan emotions are interesting. Like Vulcans, they have highly-ordered minds. A very sensible people. For example, Mintakan women precede their mates. It's a signal to other women. Riker: "He's taken, get your own"? Troi: Not precisely. More like, "If you want his services, I'm the one you negotiate with." Riker: What kind of services? Troi: All kinds. Riker: They are a sensible race.

    • Picard: Someone invented a hut, someone invented a bow, who taught others, who taught their children, who built a stronger hut, who built a better bow, who taught their children. Now Nuria, suppose one of your cave-dwelling ancestors were to see you as you are today. What would she think? Nuria: I don't know. Picard: Put yourself in her place. You see, she cannot kill a hornbuck at a great distance. You can. You have a power she lacks. Nuria: Only because I have a bow. Picard: She has never seen a bow, it doesn't exist in her world. To you, it's a simple tool. To her, it's magic.

    • Picard: Dr. Barron, I cannot, I will not impose a set of commandments on these people. To do so violates the very essence of the Prime Directive. Barron: Like it or not, we have rekindled the Mintakans' belief in the Overseer. Riker: And are you saying that this belief will eventually become a a religion? Barron: It's inevitable. And without guidance, that religion could degenerate into inquisitions, holy wars, chaos. Picard: Horrifying. (pause) Dr. Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the Dark Ages of superstition and ignorance and fear. No! We will find some way to undo the damage we've caused.

    • Picard: Look at me. Look at me. Feel the warmth of my hand, the rhythm of my pulse. I am not a supreme being. I am flesh and blood, like you. Nuria: Not like me... Picard: Like you! Different in appearance, yes. But we are both living beings. We are born, we grow, we live, and we die. In all the ways that matter we are alike. Nuria: But you are the Picard!

    • Troi: That's the problem with believing in a supernatural being... trying to determine what he wants.

    Trivia (5)

    • When Nuria and Picard are standing near the window, just after Nuria says, "Your powers are truly boundless", you can clearly see the boom mike dropping into view at the top of the windows.

    • The continent mentioned earlier is also used several times in the episode "Ménage à Troi" (3-24), but in that episode it is shown while the Enterprise is in orbit around planet Betazed.

    • Supposedly the model in Picard's ready room is of the Stargazer, NCC-2893. But in a closeup when he is talking to Nuria, the model number shown is NCC-7100.

    • Watch Mintaka III when Nuria is looking at it through an observation window. You can see a continent on the planet below. Then it rotates out of her sight and the camera cuts away. Then it cuts back to the window and the exact same continent rotates into view again, in the same position vertically. At the end of the episode you see the same continent(s) yet again in the same location vertically, but this time the continent is a mirror image of the one(s) we saw earlier.

    • The Mintakans are said to be at a Bronze Age level of technology, but they use modern molded compound bows.

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