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Edited Length: 45:29
U.S. Airdate: February 28, 1988
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.2/5]
Jerry Hardin: [Radue]
Brenda Strong: [Rashella]
Jandi Swanson: [Katie]
Paul Lambert: [Melian]
Ivy Bethune: [Duana]
Co-Producer: Robert Lewin
Co-Producer: Herbert Wright
Producer: Maurice Hurley
Supervising Producer: Rick Berman
Supervising Producer: Robert H. Justman
Written By: Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed By: Kim Manners
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Associate Producer: Peter Lauritson
Executive Story Editor: Hannah Louise Shearer
Dierk Torsek: Dr. [Lt.] Bernard
Michele Marsh: Leda
Dan Mason: Accolan
Philip N. Waller: Harry [Bernard]
Connie Danese: Toya
Jessica and Vanessa Bova: Alexandra
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The Enterprise, having followed an energy trail, finds the legendary planet of Aldea, home to an advanced civilization able to cloak its entire planet. As they arrive, Aldea reveals itself, and they speak to one of the Aldean leaders, Rashella. She asks permission for the two groups to speak in person, and once permitted, appears almost immediately on the bridge with Radue. The two invite them to come to Aldea, leave, and Riker, Troi, and Beverly are taken down.
Suddenly, a strong scanner hits the ship, focusing on the children. Down on the planet, Radue tells the away team that the Aldean race is dying and cannot have children to replenish itself. He proposes untold knowledge and assistance in exchange for several of the Enterprise's children. The three immediately refuse, and are sent back, at which point Wesley and six other children vanish.
The children are placed with families according to their special talents: Harry, who likes art (but hates the dreaded Calculus), is placed with sculptors, for example. Up on the ship, Picard reassures the parents of the children that the Enterprise will not leave without the children. Meanwhile, the crew discovers that the Aldean shield (through which Enterprise transporters cannot penetrate) has random fluctuations, through which they might be able to send someone.
Picard and Bev go down to the planet to "negotiate" for "proper compensation". While there, Bev slips Wesley a med-scanner, which he quickly uses on Duana and returns to Beverly. After again insisting on the return of the children, the two are sent back, and the ship is hit by a bolt from Aldea which sends them three days away at warp 9.
As even the younger children start getting lonely and homesick, Beverly finds the reason for the Aldeans' troubles: the shield has weakened the planet's ozone layer, giving them a kind of radiation poisoning. Wesley leads the children in passive resistance, and Riker and Data secretly beam through one of the holes in the shield and neutralize it. Dr. Crusher explains to the Aldeans what has happened, and they accept that the children must leave, and then resolve to learn the lessons of their technology all over again.
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: July 12, 1999