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Rating: ** 1/2
Edited Length: 45:29
U.S. Airdate: Febuary 17, 1991
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [13.0/3]
Marta Dubois: [Ardra]
Paul Lambert: [Dr. Clarke]
Marcello Tubert: [Jared]
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay by: Philip Lazebnik
Story by: Philip Lazebnik and William Douglas Lansford
Directed by: Tom Benko
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: Ronald D. Moore
Executive Story Editor: Joe Menosky
Story Editors: David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll
Thad Lamey: Devil Monster
Tom Magee: Klingon Monster
[William Glover: Marley]
Currently, this feature is disabled... Sorry.
The Enterprise rushes to Ventax Two after Dr. Howard Clarke, head of a science station there, reports that the station is under attack by panicking Ventaxians. As they reach the planet, however, the mob breaks in. The Enterprise crew manages to beam up Clarke, but only Clarke. He tells Picard that the Ventaxians are panicking because the next day, they expect the mythical "Ardra" (the devil, more or less) to arrive and claim their world.
After communications are reestablished, Picard beams down to talk to Jared, the Ventaxians' leader. However, he, like the others, firmly believes in the contract their ancestors made with Ardra (a thousand years of peace and prosperity in exchange for their servitude thereafter), and expects her to come. Their conversation is interrupted, however, by an earthquake (one of the prophesied signs of Ardra's return), and Ardra's arrival.
When asked who she is (by one of the Enterprise crew), a very cocky Ardra claims to have many names, including that of "Fecklar", the Klingon version of the devil. Picard, however, is skeptical to say the least, and asks that Data be allowed to inspect the ancient scrolls on which the contract was made. A short time later, in conference, Picard says that he's convinced Ardra is a simple magician, using Ventax for her own ends. As they return to the bridge, however, she's there. After taunting them all for a short time, she claims that her rights to the planet include anything in orbit about Ventax at the time of her arrival-namely, the Enterprise and crew.
Later, Picard orders Data to look through the scrolls again, and search Ventaxian law for any possible loopholes. Then, later that night, a sleeping Picard is awakened by a seductive Ardra. He rejects her offers, however, and she angrily transports him down to the planet. When Data comes to get him in a shuttle (transporters are being blocked), they see the Enterprise literally disappear in front of them.
Back on Ventax, Geordi and Dr. Clarke tell Picard that with a few more of Ardra's tricks, they might be able to pinpoint her power source. When Ardra arrives again to gloat, Picard demands arbitration, according to ancient Ventaxian precedent. She agrees, but only on the terms that if Picard loses, she wins his soul. Picard agrees, and they settle on Data as arbitrator.
Initially, the session does not go well. Ardra proves her identity to the court, and shows off her powers to convince Picard that she is who she says she is. Before long, though, Geordi shows up and tells Picard privately that they've discovered her power source: a cloaked ship. Picard, thinking fast, stages a scene in the courtroom where he "steals" Ardra's abilities, and explains both to Data and Jared that an Enterprise team has commandeered Ardra's ship-and the crew have confessed that Ardra is a crook. The contract is abolished, and Ardra is taken away by Ventaxian authorities.
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