Star Trek: The Next Generation/When the Bough Breaks

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When the Bough Breaks
Season 1, Episode 17
Airdate February 15, 1988
Production Number 40270-118
Written by Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed by Kim Manners
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When the Bough Breaks is the seventeenth 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 Stars: Jerry Hardin (Radue), Brenda Strong (Rashella), Jandi Swanson (Katie), Paul Lambert (Melian), Ivy Bethune (Duana)

Co-Stars: Dierk Torsek (Dr. Bernard), Michele Marsh (Leda), Dan Mason (Accolan), Philip N. Waller (Harry), Connie Danese (Toya), Jessica and Vanessa Bova (Alexandra)

Uncredited: Amy Wheaton (Tara), Jeremy Wheaton (Mason)


Plot Overview

After following a faint energy trail. The Enterprise encounters Aldeia, a mythical civilisation supposedly thousands of years more advanced than the Federation. The Aldeians have been experiencing problems maintaining their population, and have not been able to reproduce for many decades. They propose a trade of technology for children.


Arc Advancement





The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • Wil Wheaton's brother and sister (Jeremy and Amy) appear uncredited.

Allusions and References

There are two Grimm fairy tale allusions in this episode. The Enterprise crew refer to a "trail of bread crumbs" which is originally from Hänsel and Gretel. Later the children being removed is an allusion to The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Memorable Moments