Star Trek: The Next Generation (1989): S03E06 – Booby Trap


“Booby Trap” is the sixth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the 54th episode overall, first broadcast on 30 October 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 discovers a derelict centuries-old alien battlecruiser and becomes trapped along with it.


While the Federation starship Enterprise, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, investigates the asteroid-laden sector of space of the final battle between the Menthars and the Promellians, it receives a distress call from a Promellian battlecruiser: Captain Picard directs the ship to investigate. They find the ancient battlecruiser adrift but intact, and Picard, anxious to see the ship for himself, joins the away team as they transport over. They find the crew – all long dead, but still at their posts – while a recording by their captain suggests the ship was caught in a Menthar trap.

With their investigation complete, the away team returns to the Enterprise to continue on, when they begin to suffer a series of power losses that prevent the use of either impulse or warp drive, and are bombarded by radiation that threatens to drain their shields and kill the crew. Picard orders Chief Engineer La Forge to find a way to restore power while a second away team searches for more clues on the Promellian vessel. They discover that the Menthars had previously used aceton assimilators to absorb an enemy ship’s energy and redirect it back as hazardous radiation, and that the Enterprise is stuck in the same trap.

La Forge realises that the only way to restore power is to reconfigure the warp drive and traces the warp drive’s design back to the Enterprise’s construction and blueprints created by Dr. Leah Brahms. La Forge enters the ship’s holodeck to help figure through the engine reconfiguration, whereupon the computer takes an off the cuff remark by Geordi literally and creates a holographic representation of Brahms herself to assist him in his work. As Geordi does so, he asks the computer to update the hologram with Dr. Brahms’ personality profile, and slowly gains romantic feelings for her. Despite the holo-Brahms’ help, La Forge is unable to find a way to safely manoeuvre the Enterprise away, and when Picard orders all extraneous power systems (including the holodeck) shut down to conserve power, La Forge convinces the captain to allow the holodeck to continue to run.

After power is restored, the simulated Dr. Brahms recognises a solution which is to allow the computer to take control of the ship, allowing it to make rapid adjustments to compensate for the trap. La Forge then finds an alternate solution to the problem which is to completely reduce the power output from the Enterprise and manoeuvre it out of the field by manual control with only two thrusters. Picard and La Forge decide that computers cannot account for human intuition and elect to go with the manual approach. Picard takes the helm himself to skilfully carry out the operation, successfully moving the Enterprise from the trap. Once free and with power restored, the Enterprise destroys the Promellian craft to prevent others from falling into the trap.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Gabrielle Beaumont.
  • Writer(s): Michael Wagner and Ron Roman.
  • Release Date: 30 October 1989.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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