Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 6 Episode 5


Aired Unknown Oct 19, 1992 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
195 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: 46154.2 Members of the Enterprise crew start suffering from a strange form of tiredness and no recollection of having slept well the night before.

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Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Brannon Braga is back, this time taking FOUR crew members into the depths of his own neurosis

    This "X Files" like alien abduction story (a Riker episode) is one of Star Trek's more effective mystery thrillers, slowly building up the tension before paying it off nicely. The episode has its dull points early, and the guest stars are as boring as wallpaper, but there's a can't miss scene that's beautifully laid out (one of the creepiest in the history of Trek), and a thrilling climax. Unlike previous TNG episodes about alien abductions (such as Samaritan Snare, Allegiance, and Darmok), this one is unique in that it's not about the aliens at all, but rather about the mindgames and weirdness our beloved Enterprise crewmembers experience throughout the course of the hour.moreless
  • A psychological thriller which somehow manages to mix both humor and creepiness to great effect.

    Following in the path of "Clues", "Night Terrors", "Cause and Effect" and "Conundrum", this episode sets itself up as a mystery. It's not clear why Riker is so tired all the time. Worf has an unsettling experience at the barber, Geordi experiences hallucinations and Data disappears with no recollection of what happened. There's a disturbing experience on the holodeck, and pretty soon the entire Enterprise is at risk. Riker saves the day, but the conclusion leaves us with more questions.

    Oddly (but effectively), this episode throws in a bunch of humor to keep the viewer off balance. Mott the barber gives Worf a lecture on Klingon hair. Data gives a hilariously awful poetry reading. (Is Picard on a date here? Weird.)

    Not quite a classic, but an enjoyable episode.moreless
  • Abductions by aliens won't necessarily stop just because we create warp drive, and are now exploring the galaxy. As far as our captors are's just business as usual.

    This episode theorizes as to how alien abductions might actually be occurring. After all, flying saucers and metallic, cigar-shaped objects flying through space and beaming us up into their UFO won't make the grade in the Star Trek universe. There has to be an entirely different mechanism to get the job done. Introducing: interdimensional abductions. Now, people can be abducted from a starship with even knowing it. And, this all seems consistent with the stories of the pig farmers and institution escapees of today's world. The episode didn't get a very high rating, but I loved it regardless, because of the element of mystery solving that the episode gives its viewers.moreless
  • Star Trek's first alien abduction story (in the conventional sense)

    Schisms is Star Trek's first look at the alien abduction phenomena as we know. It works surprisingly well and it stands up to multiple viewing.

    The episode starts out slow but becomes fast paced at the end, almost to extreme. It would had been nice if care had been taken to keep the episode more evenly paced.

    One criticism of this episode is that the holodeck appears to be "too smart". During the scene in which the abductees are recreating their alien encounter for Troi, the computer seems to be making correct assumptions when building the table that it couldn't possibly had made from the voice commands given. This was obviously done to speed up what was already perhaps too long a segment.

    Major debate ranges over why the word Schisms would be chosen for the episode's title. Memory Alpha states "A schism is a split or division. As such, the title refers to the splits in subspace that allow the aliens to abduct crew-members". It neglects to mention that the word has a strong connotation with a split in a religion. The only other place I've seen the word schism used remotely similar would be in Hell Raiser where the portal to the cenobite's world was referred to by this word. I can only guess that the title is a tribute to Hell Raiser, something not confirmed by the show's producers.moreless
  • Replicate me a sleeping pill

    A high quality filler in all but name. An episode that could potentially be the link to anew spin off show for the franchise.

    A slow beginning act wont do much to get you in the mood to watch the whole show. Yet, it would be a shame to leave and miss an amazing encounter with a transdimensional species and one that will remain elusive and unknown because its never encounter again (at least I believe so).

    The only strength of the middle act is the mystery setup by each scene. Everything else is purely mundane. One bright little event stands alone - Data is unable to use his unique attributes to work out what is going on.

    The end is a fairly low key affair, though Ryker was probably the best selected person for that role.

    To many regrets for this episode to be taken further, but it wasnt. Very low key story and episode except for what I mentioned above. They are the only reasons why it scored above a 7.moreless
Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt./Lt. Cmdr. Worf

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • During the holodeck scene, La Forge tells the computer that the light was maybe 2 or 3 meters above the table. La Forge was sleeping without his VISOR, making it impossible for him to tell them where the light was or even if there was a light.

    • Just as Riker picks up the captured female crew member and turns toward the portal, his phaser falls out of its holster. As soon as he arrives in cargo bay 4, his phaser is right back where it belongs.

    • Worf describes the exam table as inclined while they are reconstructing memories in the holodeck and the others agree. However, when we see Riker in the alien exam room, neither table is inclined, nor do they appear to have the features necessary for a table able to become inclined (footrest, as seen in the holodeck exam table, or tight restraints to keep the person from slipping off the edge). In addition, when Worf requests the table to be inclined 15 degrees, the resulting table is actually closer to a 45 degree incline.

    • In the holodeck recreation scene, Worf says "Computer, generate whispering in the shadows?" The computer generates the whispering. The female with them says "more like clicking sounds" and the computer complies with her without asking it to do so. All of the holodeck commands are preceeded with "computer".

    • When Lt. Hagler returns to the ship, Worf states that he is in his quarters on Deck 7 section 17. However, when Dr. Crusher arrivers and orders plasma for injection, she requests that it be sent to Deck 7 Section 19.

    • In the holodeck recreation scene, Troi says "computer, make this a metal table." The table goes from being a wooden table to a metal platform with a headrest. This is an unusual extrapolation of the term "table."

    • Picard says all the crew is safe and accounted for. This is pretty hard to believe, considering one of the crew is dead

    • In the scene where Picard comes to engineering to ask LaForge if he has been succesful in locating Riker's homingbeacon, you can see the blue light of the warpcore reflected in the window. Outlined in that reflection, near Geordi's chest, you can see a studio spotlight.

    • In the recreation on the holodeck, they all agreed that the table was inclined, but when Riker was abducted it was not. They also said that that they could not see beyond the table. However, when abducted, the room appeared much better lit than they had recalled. Granted, this was like them remembering a dream, but they all remembered it the same (and incorrect) way.

    • In the holodeck, when recreating their experience, Riker asks the computer to make the clicking louder, but not only do they get louder, they multiply, even before he asks for more of them.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Data: We sat on the sand for some time and observed
      How the oceans that covered the world were perturbed
      By the tides from the orbiting moon overhead.
      "How relaxing the sound of the waves is," you said.
      I began to expound upon tidal effects
      When you asked me to stop, looking somewhat perplexed.
      So I did not explain why the sunset turns red,
      And we watched the occurrence, in silence, instead.

    • Data: Ode to Spot. Felus catus, is your taxonomic nomenclature, an endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature? Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.
      I find myself intrigued by your sub-vocal oscillations, a singular development of cat communications.
      That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection for a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.
      A tale is quite essential for your acrobatic talents, you would not be so agile if you lacked its counter balance. And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion, it often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.
      Oh Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display connote a fairly well developed cognitive array. And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend, I none the less consider you a true and valued friend.

    • Data: I have written my next poem in honor of my cat, I call it "Ode to Spot."

  • NOTES (2)

    • The chair Worf sits in when he gets his hair cut is used in the Friends episode "The One that Could Have Been." The chair is seen in Joey's apartment.

    • This is the only time Ensign Rager gets to do something other than sit at Conn, push buttons and say, "Aye, sir."