Star Trek: The Next Generation/The Naked Now

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The Naked Now
The Naked Now
Season 1, Episode 3
Airdate October 5, 1987
Production Number 40270-103
Teleplay by J. Michael Bingham
Directed by Paul Lynch
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Star Trek: The Next GenerationSeason One

The Naked Now is the third episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Starring: Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Commander William Riker)

Also Starring: Levar Burton (Lt. Geordi La Forge), Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar), Michael Dorn (Lt. Worf), Gates McFadden (Doctor Beverly Crusher), Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi), Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data), Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher)

Guest Star: Brooke Bundy (Chief Engineer Sarah MacDougal)

Co-Starring: Benjamin W.S. Lum (Jim Shimoda), Michael Rider (Transporter Chief)

Featuring: David Renan (Conn), Skip Stellrecht (Engineering Crewman), Kenny Koch (Kissing Crewman)


Plot Overview

The Enterprise is sent to investigate why the USS Tsiolkovsky, a science vessel which is monitoring a collapsing star, has been sending strange messages back to Starfleet. Upon arriving at the Tsiolkovsky, the Enterprise receives a transmission, in which an explosion is heard. An away team beams over and discovers the crew are all dead, some frozen because of tampering with the environmental controls, while many were blown out into space when an emergency hatch on the bridge was blown. The away team returns to the episode, but while they are being examined by Dr. Crusher, Geordi starts behaving strangely. Dr. Crusher confines him to sickbay, but he sneaks out while she's not looking.

Slowly, the entire crew becomes infected with the virus that caused the deaths of the Tsiolkovsky crew. Riker recalls a record of someone showing in their clothes (which is how a member of Tsiolkovsky's crew was found), and asks Data to try to find it for him. They discover something similar happened on the original Enterprise, and pass the information, including the cure used, to Dr. Crusher. Unfortunately, the cure does not work. To make matters worse, an infected Wesley Crusher and Assistant Chief Engineer Shimoda block off Engineering, and Shimoda removes the Isolinear chips for the engines, rendering them non-functional. The dilemma increases when a piece of the nearby collapsing star is sent hurtling towards the Enterprise.

Riker and Chief Engineer MacDougal manage to get past Wesley's forcefield and back into Engineering. However, it will take several hours for a human to replace the Isolinear chips. Wesley suggests that Data could do it faster, so an infected Data sets out to get the engines back. However, he informs the crew he will need a few minutes more than they have. Dr. Crusher manages to use the old Enterprise's cure to create a cure for this new form of the virus, while Wesley turns the ship's tractor beam into a repulsor beam, pushing the Enterprise off the Tsiolkovsky and giving them the extra time they need. Data replaces the chips and the Enterprise escapes.


  • Stardate: 41209.2

Alien of the Week

  • There is no Alien of the Week in this episode.

Arc Advancement


  • Tsiolkovsky Virus: The Enterprise crew is infected with a virus where complex strains of water molecules acquired carbon from the body and acted on the brain like alcohol. It is a mutated form of a virus that infected the crew of the original Enterprise.


  • Geordi: Under the influence of the virus, Geordi laments his blindness and tells Tasha that he wants to see like she does.
  • Tasha: Tasha tells Data about her life growing up. She was abandoned when she was five, and says that she found ways to dodge the rape gangs on her world, before she escaped at age 15. This is expanded on a little in 4x06 - Legacy
  • Tasha and Data: While intoxicated, Tasha and Data have sex. Later, Tasha makes it clear that she doesn't want to talk about it ever again.
  • Picard and Crusher: The Captain and Dr. Crusher flirt with one-another after being infected with the virus.
  • Wesley: Wesley's intelligence is again visited, when he quickly turns the Enterprise's tractor beam into a repulsor beam, after Chief MacDougal said it would take weeks of laying out new circuits.


The Show

  • Changing Engineers: This episode features the first of several Chief Engineers throughout the first season. In Season 2, Geordi takes over as Chief Engineer.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • The Naked Now: The title of this episode refers to the Original Series episode The Naked Time, which featured the original form of the Tsiolkovsky virus. This episode refers back to the original episode several times.


  • Picard: Number One, it seems our Security Chief has the equivalent of a snootful.
Data: Inquiry, sir: Snootful?
Picard: (Begins to explain it, then gives up) Forget it.
  • Data: There was a rather peculiar limerick being delivered by someone in the shuttlecraft bay. I am not sure I understand it. There was a young lady from Venus, Whose body was shaped like a...
Picard: (Interrupting) Captain to Security, come in!
Data: (To himself) Did I say something wrong?
Worf: I don't understand their humour either.
  • Tasha: What I want now is gentleness, and joy, and love. From you, Data. You are fully functional, aren't you?
Data: Of course, but...
Tasha: (Interrupting) How fully?
Data: In every way, of course. I am programmed in multiple techniques, a broad variety of pleasuring.
  • Picard: Ah, good, Data. At least you're functioning.
Data: (Intoxicated) Fully, Captain.