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The Enemy (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"The Enemy"
TNG, Episode 3x07
Production number: 40273-155
First aired: 6 November 1989
54th of 176 produced in TNG
54th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
161st of 728 released in all
Bochra and La Forge on Galorndon Core
Written By
David Kemper & Michael Piller

Directed By
David Carson
43349.2 (2366)
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For the TOS episode with a similar title, please see "The Enemy Within".

La Forge and a Romulan are trapped on a planet ravaged by electromagnetic storms; Worf turns out to be the only viable donor to save the life of an injured Romulan aboard the Enterprise.


Galorndon Core away team

"Good thing we didn't bring Data. We'd be unscrambling his circuits for a week!"

The USS Enterprise-D intercepts a distress call from a craft within the Neutral Zone and Captain Picard chooses to set aside Federation diplomatic policy and quietly respond. The Enterprise is just about to reach the vessel at maximum warp when the object plummets to the surface of an inhospitable, though life-supporting planet, Galorndon Core.

Powerful electromagnetic storms on the surface are obscuring all scans and Picard orders an away team to beam down to the surface to look for survivors. Riker, La Forge and Worf are dispatched, and great care is taken in maintaining a transporter lock on them. As the team disperses, it is made clear that the atmosphere is very harmful and that it causes slow health decay.

Based on the markings on the remnants of the ship, Riker concludes that it was a Romulan vessel. As the group splits up to investigate the area, Worf locates a Romulan survivor, alive enough to feebly attack him. Meanwhile, La Forge falls into a large chasm and is cut-off from the rest of the away team. As the transport window closes, Worf and Riker return to the beam-out site with the wounded Romulan, and are forced to return without La Forge to avoid being stranded on the planet.

Crusher tries to save Patakh

"Will he survive?"

Upon return to the ship, Wesley Crusher launches a neutrino beacon that can be seen by La Forge's VISOR. He must alter its signal to alert the Enterprise to beam him up.

On the planet, La Forge melts a silver ore, fashions it into a pair of spikes, and uses it to climb out of the pit. He sees the neutrino beacon. Making his way towards it, La Forge is knocked out by a Romulan.

Back on the ship, the Romulan is dying. Dr. Crusher determines that he needs a ribosome infusion from a compatible donor to live, one too complicated to replicate. As it turns out, only Lieutenant Worf has the compatible ribosome. Citing his parents' deaths at the hands of Romulans, Worf refuses to donate his blood and the Romulan states that he doesn't want "Klingon filth" in his blood anyway. At the same time, Picard engages in dialogue with the captain of a Romulan Warbird. They agree to rendezvous in the Neutral Zone, where Picard will hand over the dying Romulan found on the planet.

Bochra captures La Forge

"You... are my prisoner."

On the planet, the Romulan, whose name is Bochra, holds La Forge at disruptor-point. La Forge attempts conversation with Bochra, however, the Romulan is very reluctant to relinquish authority or accept help, even after he is injured by falling rocks. The electromagnetic radiation has debilitating consequences for the Romulan, as he becomes paralyzed and is unable to walk. Similarly, La Forge's nervous system is compromised by the EM radiation, rendering him unable to process the signals he receives through his VISOR, and thus blind.

Their only hope is being able to sense the neutrino stream. Bochra suggests using the tricorder in conjunction with La Forge's VISOR to do so, but La Forge cannot perform this task blindly. So, Bochra offers to be his eyes while La Forge directs him as how to connect the tricorder and VISOR. Finally, they are able to detect the location of the neutrino beam and alert the Enterprise.

Picard confronts Worf

"I beg you to volunteer."

Back on the ship, the Enterprise is still waiting anxiously to hear back from La Forge, when they find out that the Romulan ship has crossed the Neutral Zone and is entering Federation space. In response to the urgency of the situation, Picard asks that Worf volunteer to donate his blood to the Romulan in sickbay because they cannot afford causing an incident if the Romulan were to die on board a Federation starship. Worf respectfully refuses to do so and Picard, without further pursuing this, lets him go. While he informs Dr. Crusher as to Worf's decision, she tells him that the Romulan has already died.

In the meanwhile, the Romulan ship approaches the Enterprise giving them one last chance to return their officer to them. When Picard informs him that he is dead, the Romulan ship powers its weapons. At this instant, the signal-pattern from the neutrino beacon modulates, indicating that La Forge found it and is alive. They also detect a second lifeform in addition to La Forge. They realize, however, that they cannot transport them with the shields up. At the same time, if they lower their shields, the Romulan vessel will strike.

Bochra and La Forge covered in mud

"I have Centurion Bochra to thank."

The EM window that allows for transport is closing, however, and they need to act quickly. Given that one of the people trapped on the planet is a Romulan, Picard hails the Romulan ship, explaining the situation and asks that they not fire on the Enterprise while it is transporting them over. Tomalak, the commanding officer on the Romulan ship, keeps ignoring Picard but he also does not fire when La Forge and Bochra are beamed right to the bridge.

Picard tells Tomalak that he can transport his man back to his own ship. Bochra assures Tomalak that he has not given them any information and that in fact La Forge saved his life. Tomalak, who until the very end still refuses to acknowledge any wrong-doing on his side, is pleased. La Forge and Worf escort Bochra back to the transporter room so that the Enterprise can escort the Romulan ship out of Federation space.

Log entriesEdit

Memorable quotesEdit

"Thank you, Wesley!"

- La Forge, when he sees the probe

"The Romulan craft is a total loss. There's nothing there to salvage, unless you wanna use tweezers."

- Riker

"You're my prisoner!"
"Right... congratulations. Surely a strategic triumph for the Romulan Empire. "

- Bochra and La Forge when first meeting

"You're lying!"
"I never lie when I've got sand in my shoes, Commodore."

- Bochra and La Forge

"Welcome to Galorndon Core. Where no good deed goes unpunished."

- Geordi La Forge, when Bochra pulls a weapon on him after Geordi helped him

"I'm blind."

- Geordi La Forge

"Worf, you are the only one who can save his life."
"Then he will die."

- Dr. Crusher speaking to Worf about the Romulan

"We do have a right to detain him, Captain."
"Without clear evidence of intent, it would not be a simple matter."
"This was obviously not pilot's error, Captain... it requires a response from us."
"We must measure the response carefully, Number One. Or history may remember Galorndon Core alongside Pearl Harbor and Station Salem-One... as the stage for a bloody preamble to war."

- Riker and Picard debating their response to the Romulan Incursion on Galorndon Core

"How did this happen?"
"I was born that way."
"And your parents let you live?"
"What kind of question is that? Of course they let me live!"
"No wonder your race is weak. You waste time and resources on defective children."

- Bochra and La Forge discuss the latter's blindness

"For what it's worth, I understand your bitterness."
"With respect, sir, you cannot. I am asked to give up the very lifeblood of my mother and my father to those who murdered them."
"Must you blame all Romulans for that?"
"Forever? What if some day the Federation made peace with the Romulans?"
"That's what your people said several years ago about Humans. Think how many died on both sides in that war. Would you and I be here now like this if we hadn't been able to let go of the anger and the blame? Where does it end, Worf? If that Romulan dies, does his family carry the bitterness on another generation?"

- Riker attempts to convince Worf to save Patahk's life

"Lieutenant, sometimes the moral obligations of command are less than clear. I have to weigh the good of the many against the needs of the individual and try to balance them as realistically as possible. God knows I don't always succeed."
"I have not a cause to complain, Captain."
"Oh. Lieutenant, you wouldn't complain even if you had cause!"

- Picard attempts to convince Worf to save Patahk's life

"You see - they have no way of knowing how accurate our sensors are... Put on your best poker face, Number One!"

- Picard, to Riker

"Commander Tomalak. It would appear our away team has rescued a second man from your one-man ship."

- Picard hails Tomalak

"Commander, both our ships are ready to fight. We have two extremely powerful and destructive arsenals at our command. Our next actions will have serious repercussions. We have reason to mistrust one another but even better reason to set those differences aside. Of course, the question is, who will take the initiative? Who will make the first gesture of trust? The answer is, I will. I must lower our shields to beam those men up from the planet's surface. Once the shields are down, you will have the opportunity to fire on us. If you do, you will destroy not only the Enterprise and its crew, but the cease fire that the Romulans and the Federation now enjoy."

- Picard to Tomalak

"Close call."
"Too close, Number One. Brinkmanship is a dangerous game."

- Riker and Picard, after narrowly avoiding war with the Romulans

Background information Edit

Story and production Edit

  • In early drafts of the script, Troi was also trapped on Galorndon Core. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, p. 107)
    • Marina Sirtis saw this an example of her character remaining underutilized and underdeveloped. She recalled, "In the original draft which I happened to read which we're not allowed to see so we don't make conversations like this, it was Troi and Geordi stranded on the planet and because Geordi was blinded by the electromagnetics preventing his visor from working when we came across the Romulan it was actually Troi who incapacitated him. I felt very excited about this. I finally got to do something interesting and different and, of course, when the final script came not only was I not on the planet, but I had one line at the end of the show – and that was actually cut. That's the kind of thing that happens and I wish it wouldn't." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 202)
  • The plot point of Worf letting Patahk die by refusing blood met great resistance among some of the writing staff and Michael Dorn when it was suggested by Michael Piller. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, p. 107)
    • Dorn commented, "I called the producers and said I didn't agree. I thought [giving blood] was the honorable thing to do. I thought people would look at [Worf] as a murderer. The producers felt that Worf was getting to be too human...just a guy with a big head. When the opportunity came for them to show that Worf was not human, that he is not bound by the same morals as we are, they felt it was a wonderful opportunity." In hindsight, however, Dorn saw the wisdom of the decision, remarking how it revealed the different sides of Worf. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 188)
    • Piller noted, "Rick Berman knew instantly it was the right thing to do. Once he was behind me, it was a race to the finish line. And it was absolutely the right thing to do. You knew the audience was waiting for Worf to come around, because they always do that in television. But the character wouldn't do that and I think we made a really good decision. At first though, it was quite a shock and a controversial decision. But you end up talking about survival and survival among enemies. I think it was just a natural character development." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 188)
  • According to LeVar Burton, this episode was Star Trek's homage to the 1958 film The Defiant Ones with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. ("Memorable Missions - "The Enemy"", TNG Season 3 DVD special feature)
  • First UK airdate: 27th November 1991

Continuity Edit

Reception Edit

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-star Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins Edit


Anti-grav lift; centurion; class-3 probe; D'deridex-class; distress signal; Federation; Galorndon Core; geiger counter; La Forge, Edward M.; La Forge, Silva; meter; Mogh; neutrino; Pearl Harbor; Pi; positron; ribosome infusion; Romulans; Romulan Neutral Zone; Romulan scout ship; security team; Station Salem-One; Tomalak's Warbird; tricorder; ultritium; VISOR; Vulcans

External linkEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Previous episode:
"Booby Trap"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 3
Next episode:
"The Price"

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