Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5 (1991 - 1992)


Season 5
Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Critic Ratings: 6


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User Ratings: 158

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Air date: Sep 23, 1991

Star Trek: The Next Generation inaugurated its fifth season with the conclusion of the fourth-season cliffhanger. The situation remains the same as in part one, with the Klingon Empire on the brink of a civil war. The source of the unrest is the Duras family, who Captain Picard suspects is in cahoots with the dreaded Romulans. Risking an apocalyptic war and sorely testing his friendship with his former Klingon officer Worf, Picard orders a Federation blockade on the Klingon/Romulan border. The former Next Generation regular who appeared in part one is again on hand, this time with full screen credit. Written by Ronald D. Moore, part two of "Redemption" first aired September 28, 1991.

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Air date: Sep 30, 1991

Captain Picard hopes to establish relationships with the Tamarian race, a task made difficult (if not virtually impossible) by the fact that their language is utterly incomprehensible to humans. After an abortive meeting with Tamarian captain Dathon (Paul Winfield), the situation worsens when Dathon kidnaps Picard, whereupon both men are spirited off to a hostile alien world, patrolled by a fierce beast. The only hope for the two antagonists is to forget their differences and band together, but how can this come about if they can't even communicate with one another? Originally telecast October 5, 1991, "Damrok" was written by Joe Menosky and Philip Lazebnik.

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Air date: Oct 7, 1991

Michelle Forbes plays the title character in this Next Generation episode. While investigatng a Bajoran terrorist attack on a Federation colony, Captain Picard is forced to work side by side with Ro Laren, a Bajoran ensign with a reputation for troublemaking. Despite their differences, Picard and Ro manage to uncover a conspiracy fomented by an above-suspicion Federation officer. But can Ro herself be trusted? Written by Michael Piller, "Ensign Ro" first aired October 12, 1991.

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Air date: Oct 14, 1991

A mysterious and highly dangerous crystalline entity destroys Omicron Theta, Data's homeworld. Despite this, Captain Picard hopes that the entity can be communicated with. But he'd better hurry: visisting scientist Dr. Kila Marr (Ellen Geer, who has been studying the entity for a long time, is bound and determined to destroy it. Originally broadcast October 19, 1991, "Silicon Avatar" was scripted by Jeri Taylor, from a story by Lawrence V. Conley.

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Air date: Oct 21, 1991

The Enterprise serves as host for the three winners of a grade-school science contest. Unfortunately, a rare natural disaster occurs during their visit, trapping Picard and the children in the starship's lift. Left in command, Deanna Troi holds the lives of the crew members -- including the pregnant Keiko O'Brien -- in her trembling hands. Scripted by Ronald D. Moore from a story by Ron Jarvis and Philip A. Scorzza, "Disaster" initially aired October 26, 1991.

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Air date: Oct 28, 1991

Riker's new electronic mind game proves addictive to everyone on the Enterprise. The only person resistant to the game's seductive appeal is Wesley Crusher, on vacation from Starship academy. Wesley suspects that the game is not as harmless as it appears to be, and his instincts are right on target. First telecast November 2, 1991, "The Game" was cowritten by Brannon Barga, Susan Sackett and Fred Bronson. The episode featured an early appearance from future film actress Ashley Judd.

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Air date: Nov 4, 1991

While Next Generation began its run with a two-part episode, and it trafficked in two-part season-ending "cliffhangers," this was the series' first "sweeps week" two-parter. It also represented the return of Leonard Nimoy in the role of the supremely logical Mr. Spock. Now an ambassador of the Federation, Spock curiously embarks upon an unauthorized mission to the hostile planet Romulus. Disguising themselves as Romulans, Picard and Data investigate Spock's highly unorthodox behavior. Just when it seems that an explanation is at hand, the picture freezes, and the viewer is told to return next week. Mark Lenard, who like Leonard Nimoy was a veteran of the original Star Trek, recreates his familiar role as Spock's father Sarek. First aired November 9, 1991, part one of "Unification" carried a pre-show dedication to Gene Roddenberry, who had died eleven days earlier. The episode was written by Jeri Taylor from a story by Rick Berman and Michael Piller.

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Air date: Nov 11, 1991

In the second half of this two-parter, Picard and Data learn the truth behind Ambassador Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) unauthorized visit to the hostile planet Romulus. Spock, it seems, hopes to negotiate a reunification of the Romulans and Vulcans. Regarding this alliance as potentially dangerous, Picard objects, despite the logical nature of Spock's argument. Things heat up considerably when Picard and Data discover a Romulan scheme to double-cross Spock. Dedicated to the late Gene Roddenberry, part two of "Unification" was written by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, and first aired November 16, 1991.

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Air date: Nov 18, 1991

The Enterprise rushes to the aid of the planet Penthara Four, which has just been struck by an asteroid. The mission is closely supervised by unexpected visitor Rasmussen, who claims to be a historian from the 26th century. Hoping to seek advice from his futuristic guest, Captain Picard is forced to violate a Prime Directive, an act that has never bode well for either Picard or his crew. Written by Rick Berman, "A Matter of Time" was originally telecast November 23, 1991.

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Air date: Jan 6, 1992

After several weeks of reruns, Next Generation resumed its first-run manifest on January 4, 1992, with this poignant episode. Resigned to the fact that he has a son named Alexander (Brian Bonsall), Worf reluctantly allows the boy to live with him on the Enterprise. Worf's parenting skills, which even in the best of times are hardly salutary, are put to a grueling test when Alexander begins exhibiting some markedly un-Klingonlike behavior. The inevitable climax is a showdown between father and son (described by one publicity blurb as "Fatherhood: The Final Frontier"). "New Ground" was scripted by Grant Rosenberg from a story by Sara Charno and Stuart Charno.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5 Photos

Tv Season Info

Season 5 sees the crew of the USS Enterprise try to negotiate the end of the Kilngon Civil War.

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Critic Reviews for Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 5

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

In many ways, Darmok is the quintessential Star Trek episode: it's about cooperation, cross-cultural understanding and it embodies the utopian ethos that has always been at the heart of this seemingly bottomless franchise.

Oct 3, 2017 | Full Review…

After an increasingly self-assured third season, TNG upped its game in impressive fashion with one of the best cliffhangers in the history of genre TV.

Oct 2, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's full of great moments as Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Lt Cmdr Data (Brent Spiner) shanghai a Kilingon ship to go undercover on Romulas in a search for Spock.

Oct 3, 2017 | Full Review…

The Inner Light, another of the series' top episodes, once again shows off Patrick Stewart's acting range.

Oct 2, 2017 | Full Review…

It's a far cry from the current cinematic vision of the franchise, which puts spectacle before substance and gives characters little time to pause and reflect.

Oct 2, 2017 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Season Five of TNG is probably best described as the 'deep' season, due to some of the great stories that were told in this year

Oct 2, 2017 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5

  • Aug 14, 2020
    The writers and actors really hit their stride with seasons 3, 4, and 5 of TNG. Simply excellent.
  • Aug 13, 2020
    Plain simple classic. Has his ups and downs but every minute of it is still way better than anything new produced by the Kurzman folks.
  • Jul 12, 2020
    Fall asleep to this show for years, but also have actually watched every episode awake as well
  • Feb 10, 2020
    Still slow, Berman was the cause with rodenbery death, but the various plot developed still saves the show
  • Nov 19, 2019
    even better then season 3
  • Nov 01, 2019
    In my opinion this show eclipses The Original Star Trek series and should be discussed as being one of the best TV shows of all time. Now of course every episode isn't as great as others, but the series in itself leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Definitely the best Science Fiction TV show ever created!
  • Oct 14, 2018
    Just as good as the amazing and consistent season 4. Inner light is the best episode in the entire series and one of the best episodes of Trek in any series.
  • Feb 25, 2017
    The second half of Season Four of Star Trek: The Next Generation really amped up the political aspect of its episodes (conflicts, wars, hard-hitting material, etc.), eschewing the light-hearted or more one-off fare that mostly populated subsequent seasons. That political bent carries over into the first third or so of this season, but is gradually phased out again in a return to more imaginative material. Personally, I think this show thrives on the high-concept plots and character development rather than the "political stuff", so I welcomed the shift back. Suffice it to say, however, that there is a little bit for everyone in this season. Some thoughts on Season Five... -The "big episodes" of this season never did much for me. "Redemption", where Worf gets the limelight, kicks off the season on an odd note. Not longer after, "Unification" teases the return of Leonard Nimoy as Ambassador Spock, yet the concept just fizzles out over the span of two episodes. The season finale, "Time's Arrow", is also pretty weak. You can't build an entire arc premise around "Data's head found under San Francisco". So, I really felt that every time the show tried to "go big" this season, it didn't deliver (at least for me). -Fortunately, there are enough episodes "in between" that are engaging and develop the characters without some political bent making things so serious. "Conundrum" is a classic mystery, "Disaster" offers some of the best bits of any TNG episode (Worf delivering a baby, Picard interacting with children), and Ethics sees Worf go through a crisis of the highest order with his son now by his side. These are the types of episodes that TNG thrives upon...interesting plots and then letting the characters interact with each other. -A new character (Ensign Ro) is introduced. While I liked the concept of a fresh face, Ro is almost made too patently unlikeable to ever really work (at least so far). She isn't a terrible addition, by any means, but the idea works better than the execution to this point. -The last spate of episodes this season are pure gold. "Cause & Effect" is high-concept at its best (Enterprise caught in a time loop), "I Borg" brings back everyone's favorite baddies, "The Next Phase" examines a fascinating concept, and then there's "The Inner Light"....easily the best performance from Stewart's Picard on the show to this point. If able, I would bump the star rating of this Fifth Season up to 4.5 based on the quality of the close-out episodes alone. Overall, then, I thought that Season Five of TNG started off a bit stodgy/stale (much like Season Four ended), but then made a conscious effort to get back to (IMHO) what the show does best. Thus, as the season progresses, we are given episodes were different characters interact with each other and plots worthy of such an imaginative show. Beginning to end, this is probably the best season of the show so far in its run. The "bad" episodes aren't terrible (more like overcooked or stodgy), while the good episodes are all-time classics. Nothing to shy away from here...the third consecutive solid season in a row for TNG.
  • Jun 18, 2016
    Best episodes feature Spock. Try to avoid "Darmok" (snoozefest) and "Hero Worship" ( Joshua Harris as Timothy...atrocious) if possible. Best episodes: "Unification" 1 and 2 Worst episode: "Darmok" (It put me to sleep) and "Hero Worship"
  • Jan 04, 2016
    The second best Star Trek series of the 6, soon to be 7 series, after The Original Series. With Voyager very close behind. The reason I put this above Voyager, has a lot to do with it's importance in the Star Trek universe, as well as the fact that the show reaches some really high highs. However Voyager is a more consistent show, with not as many "blah" episodes, but may not have reach quite the high highs of Next Generation. Great cast, great acting, great storytelling overall and a very important and great Sci-Fi show!

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