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Shades of Gray
Stardate 42976.1
Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode 48 (2.22)

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03

         
Cast:
Patrick Stewart   IMDB   Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes   IMDB   Commander William T. Riker
Levar Burton   IMDB   Lieutenant Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn   IMDB   Lieutenant Worf
Marina Sirtis   IMDB   Lt. Commander Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner   IMDB   Lt. Commander Data
Wil Wheaton   IMDB   Wesley Crusher
Guest Cast:
Diana Muldaur   IMDB   Chief Medical Officer Katherine Pulaski
Colm Meaney   IMDB   Miles Edward O'Brien
Music:
Ron Jones   IMDB
Director:
Rob Bowman   IMDB
Teleplay:
Maurice Hurley   IMDB
Richard Manning   IMDB
Hans Beimler   IMDB
Story:
Maurice Hurley   IMDB
Published
Laser Disc   ST:TNG LaserDisc Volume 24
DVD   ST:TNG DVD 2.6
VHS   ST:TNG VHS 2.7
Teaser
The Next Generation Teaser #048: Shades of Gray

Commander Riker fights for his life when an alien organism attacks his central nervous system - and invades his brain.
Synopsis
During a routine geological survey on Surata IV, Commander Riker's thigh is pierced by a small thorn, which causes him to lose the feeling in his leg. After beaming Riker back aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Dr. Pulaski determines that the thorn contains an unknown organism which is rapidly spreading throughout his nervous system. If left unchecked, the microbe will soon reach Riker's brain and kill him. Ironically, Pulaski has no way of decimating the organism without destroying the nerves of the being it's inhabiting.

At first, Riker's affliction seems more of a nuisance than a threat. But during a visit with Counselor Troi, his vital signs suddenly plummet and Riker loses consciousness. Although Dr. Pulaski is able to stabilize his condition, she discovers that the organism has spread to Riker's brain. In a desperate attempt to keep his brain functioning, Pulaski begins electronically stimulating his memory.

Soon, Riker's mind is filled with remembrances of his experiences aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. When a memory involving romance increases the growth rate of the organism, Pulaski surmises that if positive emotions feed the invader, negative emotions could kill it.

In an attempt to recall painful moments in Riker's past, Pulaski induces memories of Tasha Yar's death, which successfully slows the organism's growth, but only temporarily. Moments later, his vital signs plunge again.

Sensing that further stimulation of negative emotions will either kill Riker or cure him, Pulaski induces the commander's most primitive memories of survival. As his recollections grow more violent, Riker's body is wracked by a massive convulsion. Just when it appears that Pulaski will lose him, Riker's vital signs stabilize and the organism vanishes, just as quickly and mysteriously as it appeared.
Reviews

By Dark Materia on 13 Dec 2002 20:26:00
Probably the worst episode of all time. Why did they have to do this? It´s no more than a load of clips from previous shows, framed by a ridiculous and hollow plot of Riker being infected by a plant. Ooohh, how sad.

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