Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2 Episode 11

Contagion

6
Aired Unknown Mar 20, 1989 on CBS
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
224 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: 42609.1 A strange power source disables the Enterprise's computer systems, damages Data's programming and leaves the ship and crew vulnerable to a Romulan attack.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Enterprise and a Romulan warbird are attacked by the same computer virus that claimed another Federation starship - one of the same class as the Enterprise.

    8.0
    With shades of "All Our Yesterdays", this is a pretty interesting sci fi episode that explores the issue of messing around with something you don't understand. "Contagion" takes many familiar elements - alien technology, a Romulan threat, a problem with the Enterprise – and beautifully balances them with a well written story that has plenty of action and some interesting ideas. Had this one been done later in the series, it might have even been better. (Dr. Pulaski adds nothing to this ensemble episode, and the writers would have thought of even more ways to go with it later on, perhaps even turning it into a two parter.) As it is, it's a solid second season offering.moreless
  • An engrossing mixture of action, intrigue and...archaeology

    8.5
    'Contagion' is definitely one of the stronger second season outings, and it kicks off with one of the show's all-time greatest teasers, in which the Enterprise meets up with sister ship Yamato in the Neutral Zone, only for the Yamato to suddenly explode. And just when you think things couldnt get any worse, the Romulans arrive on the scene.



    It's an entertaining, lively episode and it's fun to have the Romulans back, particularly with the excellent Carolyn Seymour at the helm, who simply drips with all the arrogant contempt befitting a Romulan commander. While the Enterprise appears to be infected by a computer virus, Picard is led to the ruins of an ancient civilisation that possessed a technology that must never fall into the hands of the enemy.



    Overall, this is a cracker of an episode, even if there are a couple of niggling implausibilities that slightly work to its detriment.moreless
  • A very good season two episode but not a season highlight....

    7.5
    "Contagion" is a real good episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation with a good mix of suspense and humor but it holds little to really thrill or leave much of a lasting impression.



    After a bland first few minutes, the Enterprise's sister ship, the USS Yamato, is destroyed after encountering many random and wide-spread malfunctions and mechanical problems while in the Neutral Zone. It is suspected that the Yamato was dealing with a design flaw that lead to her ultimate destruction - which is bad news for the Enterprise as their ship is the same class as the Yamato. After further investigation, and after the Romulans get involved, it is learned that the captain of the Yamato had discovered some unique and very powerful ancient technology on a desolate planet in the Neutral Zone prior to the ship's destruction. Picard then goes to that planet to get to the technology before the Romulans do while the Enterprise begins to also experience the same problems the Yamato did.



    This is quite entertaining and ultimately a recommendable episode if not just for the beginning scene featuring the destruction of the Yamato and the final scenes with Picard, Data, and Worf experimenting with the ancient technology. Overall, "Contagion" is a very good Star Trek: TNG caper but cannot quite reach the bar set by other great TNG episodes.moreless
  • Will Picard step through the right door?

    8.6
    Great episode. Blends three strands of plot together to form a coherent story. Its your basic, find x against the clock plot with a subtle twist to add to the danger threat from the middle onwards.



    From the beginning the feeling of something threatening is built up to what will be a more than suitable ending (if a little anti-climatic. However, not far in one of the most spectacular of first acts completes when the USS Yamato (sister-ship of the Enterprise) blows up without and explanation. Cue a plot filled with mystery, danger and a ship wide danger that threatens to destroy the Enterprise if they dont discover the cause of the Yamato's destruction.



    With the mysterious Iconians being the cause of the malfunctions we are treated to a glimpse of their "mighty" tech as we join the crew in searching for a solution.



    Having the Romulans also suffering the same malfunctions after piggy-backing the Yamatos data signal is a very good ploy, adding and extra dimension to the danger the crew are in.



    The scene where the away team loses Data leads to Picards vital decision point - as to which door he should go through. Just when we think that he may just make it, he appears on the bridge of the Romulan cruiser. Great twist, though why did they bother to save the Romulans!!!!



    Another episode with very good dialgoue, mostly focused around the Enterprise and some interesting locations on the Iconians colony world, esp. those portal to other world! *Stargate anyone*!



    An action packed, tense, danger filled episode without much combat. Youll enjoy it!moreless
  • Another excellent season 2 episode - the kind of intense thriller that would become more commonplace later in the series.

    8.0
    It's difficult not to draw a parallel between this episode and its season 1 sibling "The Last Outpost" since so many of the plot elements are the same. But in every possible way, this episode exceeds its predecessor.



    Though as usual Patrick Stewart takes the lead role, this is very much an ensemble episode where nearly all the characters play an important role. The plot is well paced and has very few dead spots.



    At this point the writers decide to introduce Picard's fondness for archeology and Earl Grey tea. Despite the seriousness of the episode, the writers manager to throw in a few more light-hearted moments.



    This is not the kind of episode that will make the viewer think, but it does give an action-packed, riveting story. Recommended!moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt./Lt. Cmdr. Worf

Thalmus Rasulala

Thalmus Rasulala

Captain Donald Varley

Guest Star

Carolyn Seymour

Carolyn Seymour

Sub Cmdr. Taris

Guest Star

Dana Sparks

Dana Sparks

Tactical Officer

Guest Star

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Miles O'Brien

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

    • When the Romulans decloaked over Iconia, why is Riker ordering Wesley to raise shields? That is the job of Tactical and not the helmsman.

    • When the second probe is launched at the Romulan vessel, Picard says "Commander, if you have phasers I suggest you use them", but Romulan ships have disruptors, not phasers - a fact that Starfleet is well aware of.

    • Trivia: This episode marks the first time we hear Picard order, "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot" from the replicator.

    • It seems rather silly that another doctor has to have Dr. Pulaski explain what a splint is. Even in the 24th century, one would expect medical training to include historical methods and alternatives to technology for emergency situations.

    • While the turbolifts do travel sideways, the Bridge is at the top-most level of the main hull, therefore there are no "sideways" tubes for the turbolift to travel in a sideways direction at the level of the Bridge. Geordi is travelling upwards to the Bridge, so he could not possibly be thrown sideways in this instance. The holding areas would only move the turbolift no more than 10-15 feet at the level of the Bridge, certainly not enough to throw Geordi sideways; anyways, he was moving up in the turbolift, not sideways, on his way to the Bridge.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Worf: We do know the Iconians were conquerers.
      Picard: But that knowledge was passed down by the descendants of those who attacked this world. The victors invariably write the history to their own advantage. There is an unfortunate tendency in many cultures to fear what they do not understand.

    • Riker: Status of torpedo banks?
      Ensign: They're down, too.
      Riker: If it should become necessary to fight, could you arrange to find me some rocks to throw at them?

    • Riker: Fate. Protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The Yamato, sister-ship of the Enterprise, is destroyed in this episode. By this time, only three ships are known to exist in the Galaxy class: Galaxy, Enterprise, and Yamato. Galaxy is only known because naval tradition dictates the first ship of any type bears the same name as its class. Yamato was mentioned and "seen" in the previous episode, "Where Silence Has Lease."

    • One of the buildings seen through the Iconian gateway is Toronto City Hall.

    • Sadly, this would be the last television role for Thalmus Rasulala. He performed in a few more movies before dying of heart failure in 1991.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Ship Name: Harkonnen
      The Romulan ship bears the same name as that of the enemy House that opposed the House Atreides, in the 1965 science-fiction novel, Dune.

    • USS Yamato
      The Enterprise's sister ship is named after a World War II Japanese battleship, itself named for ancient Japan. The Yamato and its sister ship, the Musashi, were the largest battleships ever built. They carried guns which fired ammunition 18 inches in diameter (again, the largest deck guns ever built). It's ironic that a ship named Yamato has the designation USS, since its namesake was designed specifically to outclass anything in the United States Navy. The original Yamato was sunk by torpedoes and aerial bombardment on 6 April 1945 while on its way to support Japanese forces at the battle of Okinawa with a loss of 2,475 hands.

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