Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 7 Episode 12

The Pegasus

Aired Unknown Jan 10, 1994 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
213 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: 47457.1 Riker is reunited with Admiral Pressman, his former captain, when Pressman wants the Enterprise to find his missing ship, the Pegasus. However, Riker's loyalties are tested when he's asked to keep the true nature of the mission secret from Picard, as it could destroy the peace treaty between the Federation and the Romulans.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Great story, outstanding acting, and intriguing sci-fi mystery make this episode one my favorites

    Patrick Stewart and guest star Terry O'Quinn deliver excellent supporting performances. And even though it was a minor role, I also took note of Michael Mack, who was also very good and appropriately smarmy as the Romulan commander. But this is a Riker episode, and Jonathan Frakes delivers probably his finest performance as a man struggling to resolve the conflict between his loyalty to Picard and his duty to obey Starfleet's orders.

    My favorite moment in this episode is the reaction on Riker's face as he realizes that Picard is threatening to remove him as First Officer. Bravo Jonathan Frakes!

    I also enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story, as the audience (as well as Picard) doesn't know what's so important about the Pegasus and what it represents.

    And let's not forget Levar Burton's direction, which provided some fresh camera angles, and nicely framed the actors so as to take full advantage of the previously mentioned performances. He also created a bit of a darker look, which complemented the darker storyline.

    As for the treaty, yes, the Federation did give up an important tactical advantage. But not an insurmountable one. Starfleet has a detection grid all along the Federation borders, and a similar setup was used to thwart the Romulans during the Klingon civil war. We don't know what the Federation got in return for giving up cloaking technology, but it must have been significant. And as stated in the episode, that treaty has kept the peace for 60 years.moreless
  • Blame Gene Roddenberry

    It was Gene Roddenberry's vision of an idealistic vision of a non violent Federation He considered cloaking technology goes against UFP principles. In reality it would be totally unacceptable to allow an enemy to have such a tactical advantage. This showed cracks in the Federation and Starfleet and gave reasons for The Marquis.
  • UFP has idiots for the treaty phase

    I agree with fairusers review. What kind of moron gives all the advantage to the enemy? The Romulans have never in good faith tried to help the Federation, just the opposite actually. Watch Season 5 episode "The Next Phase". The Romulans are trying to do the same thing with their cloaking device, and they try to destroy the Enterprise AFTER Picard and crew SAVE THEM FROM CERTAIN DEATH when it goes wrong. Seriously? Why is Picard so trusting of the Romulans after that? This episode reeks of a peace loving tree hugger that thinks you should always trust your enemy. If you watch Deep Space 9 then you would REALLY hate this episode, because Romulans have used the cloaking device to kill thousands of Starfleet personnel in many of the meetings that have taken place since TOS.moreless
  • Make it so, number one

    This dark Riker episode follows the same formula as "The First Duty" from the fifth season; but with a richer backstory and higher stakes. It's a mystery episode, with the audience (and Captain Picard) entering the fray a bit behind the story and having to play catch up, putting the pieces of the puzzle together as the story progresses. With this sort of secretive plot, it's important to get powerhouse acting performances, as nonverbal communication is often more important than what's in the script. Thankfully, Jonathan Frakes (who gives, perhaps, his finest performance in the series) is joined by Terry O'Quinn (who would join Ricardo Montalban in the "Star Trek Guest Star Hall of Fame" if someone ever created one). Together, with Patrick Stewart, and under the direction of LeVar Burton (in his second directorial outing and his second Riker episode) they build the drama to its breaking point before a satisfying ending that sadly never gets a sequel ... although Enterprise (the series) uses this episode as a frame to nest its finale episode.moreless
  • Spoiler alert: An episode that shows that the Federation needs some better diplomats, and that they got rolled in their non-proliferation treaty.

    So the Federation actually negotiated and signed a treaty that allowed the Romulans and Cardassians and other Federation enemies keep cloaking devices, so they can constantly sneak up on Federation vessels, and bans the Federation from developing similar technology? Who negotiated this treaty, Neville Chamberlain? And Picard's self-righteousness seems out of character, since he feels protecting his ship is all-important. Wouldn't using such a cloaking device be the ultimate protection for his ship? Also weird is after being shocked at reading of the Pegasus mutiny, hours later he is violating direct orders by the Admiral. Only in this upside down, better-us-dead-than-someone-else universe would the guys trying to make their team stronger be the bad guys, and the appeasers the good guys. Very disturbing, and exactly why I hope the USA never joins such an inter-planetary organization. The UN and NATO are bad enough!moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Terry O'Quinn

Terry O'Quinn

Admiral Eric Pressman

Guest Star

Nancy Vawter

Nancy Vawter

Admiral Blackwell

Guest Star

Michael Mack

Michael Mack

Romulan Commander Sirol

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • At time index 10:04 some woman walks behind Riker's head. Ten seconds later you see a short close-up of Will, and the same woman walks behind him in the same place in the same direction. Conclusion: it's the same shot.

    • Riker tells Pressman that he decided to start growing a beard four years ago. It's closer to six years ago.

    • Riker says there was a massive explosion in the Engineering section of the Pegasus, but when they beam in to that area there's no damage.

    • Picard tells Pressman he'll abort their trip into the asteroid if the tunnel narrows to 500 meters - however, according to various official technical specs the saucer section is 560 meters wide.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Admiral Blackwell: Captain Picard Day?
      Picard: Oh... ehm... Yes. It's for the children. I'm... ehm.. I'm a role model. (laughing)
      Admiral Blackwell: (dead serious) I'm sure you are. Starfleet out.

    • Riker: So, who won the contest?
      Picard: Oh, Paul Manague, a 7-year-old. He did a most interesting clay sculpture of my head.
      Riker: Was that the orange one? With the lumpy skin?
      Picard: (dead-serious) Yes. Oh, you'll be interested to know that I've arranged for a Commander Riker Day next month. I'm even considering making an entry myself.

    • Riker: (holding a Picard doll and in a Picard-like voice), I don't know, the resemblance is rather striking, don't you agree Number One?
      Picard: Isn't there something else that you have to do?
      Riker: (in a Picard-like voice) I'll be on the bridge.

    • Picard: I was going over Will's file when I was looking for my first officer, and his was very much like all the others. I was about to put it aside and move on to another file, when something caught my eye. Apparently, there was an incident on Altear III when Will was first officer of the Hood. He refused to let Captain Desotto beam down during a crisis. He disobeyed a direct order, and he risked a general court martial because he thought he was right. Now when I read that, I knew I had found my number one.
      Pressman: You wanted someone with a history of disobedience?
      Picard: I wanted someone who would stand up to me. Someone who was more concerned with the safety of the ship and accomplishing the mission than how it might look on his record.

    • Admiral Pressman: I'm sure it hasn't been easy for you, keeping your Captain and friends in the dark like this.
      Commander Riker: I haven't enjoyed it, if that's what you mean.

    • Admiral Pressman: These people tried to shut down an experiment they didn't understand. Something went wrong and it killed them.
      Riker: No. We killed them.
      Admiral Pressman: Now that doesn't sound like the same man who grabbed a phaser and defended his captain twelve years ago.
      Riker: I've had twelve years to think about it, and if I had it to do over again, I would've grabbed the phaser and pointed it at you instead of them.
      Admiral Pressman: So, on reflection, you'd rather be a traitor than a hero.
      Riker: I wasn't a hero, and neither were you. What you did was wrong, and I was wrong to support it, but I was too young and too stupid to realize it.

    • Riker: There's a piece of equipment in Admiral Pressman's room under guard that might get us out of here. It's a prototype for Federation cloaking device.
      Pressman: You just ended your career, Will.
      Picard: That's what it's about. A cloaking device. In the treaty of Algeron, the Federation specifically agreed not to develop cloaking technology.
      Pressman: And that treaty is the biggest mistake we ever made. It's kept us from exploiting a vital area of defense.
      Picard: That treaty has kept us at peace for sixty years! And as a Starfleet officer, you're supposed to uphold it.

  • NOTES (5)

    • The name Pegasus for the lost ship is a reference to the "lost ship" on the original Battlestar Galactica. Writer Ronald D. Moore went on to make a new version of Battlestar Galactica and included a ship called Pegasus in it.

    • The shot of the Enterprise and other Excelsior-Class ship recycled from "The Best Of Both Worlds (1)".

    • This episode attempts to lay to rest the recurring questions about why the Federation never developed cloaking technology of its own. The episode states that this was the result of a treaty perhaps similar to the ABM treaty in which the United States and the Soviet Union agreed not to develop defenses against each other's ICBMs.

    • The finale of Star Trek: Enterprise, "These Are the Voyages...", is derived from this episode. In it, Riker visits the holodeck in-between scenes occurring in this episode as he attempts to resolve his inner conflicts over Pressman's orders.

    • The Pegasus was supposed to be an Ambassador class starship, but the budget would not allow it. Thus the Grissom model was used.


    • Ship name: Hood
      The Hood (the ship Riker served on before) shares its name with a British battleship that served in World War II. The Hood was destroyed by the German ship Bismark.

    • Title, ship name Pegasus
      The vessel was named for Greek mythology's famous winged horse who is supposed to have sprung from the severed neck of Medusa.

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