Star Trek: The Next Generation (1989): S02E19 – Manhunt


Introduction

“Manhunt” is the 19th episode of the second season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the 45th episode overall, originally broadcast on 19 June 1989.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, the Enterprise must transport delegates to a conference, one of whom is an extremely man-hungry Lwaxana Troi with eyes for Captain Picard.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood from the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac plays an Antedean dignitary in this episode.

Outline

The Federation starship Enterprise is ordered to escort two Antedean ambassadors to an important conference on the planet Pacifica. The Antedeans are transported aboard in a self-induced catatonic state – to reduce the stress of space travel – along with a plentiful food supply for when they awaken, in accordance with their custom.

En route, the Enterprise is ordered to rendezvous with a shuttlecraft carrying the Betazoid telepath ambassador Lwaxana Troi, mother of ship’s counsellor Deanna Troi, and her mute manservant Mr. Homn. Due to his previous experience with her (see “Haven“), Captain Jean-Luc Picard does not entirely welcome Lwaxana’s presence, as she tends to be overbearing and lack tact, but Starfleet’s instructions are that she be afforded full diplomatic courtesy. Lwaxana invites Picard to dinner, and he is surprised to find that rather than the formal diplomatic function for the entire senior staff that he expected, it is a romantic setting for just the two of them. Picard evades her advances, inviting android Lieutenant Commander Data to join them, and manipulating him into taking over the conversation with long-winded anecdotes.

Troi explains that her mother has entered “The Phase”: a stage in the life of a Betazoid woman when her sex drive drastically increases, and that she is searching for a new husband (having been long-since widowed). Moreover, her telepathy is clouded as a side effect, causing her to misread Picard’s thoughts as indicating sexual desire for her. Picard retreats to the Holodeck to hide from her, leaving Commander Riker in charge. Frustrated by Picard’s absence, Lwaxana targets Riker instead, and makes a surprise announcement to the bridge crew that they will be married.

The Antedeans have meanwhile revived, and Riker goes to the holodeck to notify Picard. Lwaxana follows, and having determined that Riker is not interested either, switches her attention to a character from Picard’s Dixon Hill simulation, who returns her affections. Picard somewhat reluctantly informs her that her new husband-to-be is merely a holographic projection.

When the ship arrives at the conference and collected ambassadors prepare to beam down to the planet, Lwaxana offhandedly informs the crew that the Antedeans are actually assassins. Though they deny this, scans show they are carrying explosives, just as Lwaxana indicated, and they are taken into custody. She remarks that while she did not find a new husband, at least she saved the conference, and as she is beaming away, playfully chastises Picard for having “such naughty thoughts” about her, much to his dismay.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Rob Bowman.
  • Writer(s): Terry Devereaux.
  • Release Date: 19 June 1989.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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