Star Trek: The Next Generation (1991): S05E07 – Unification, Part 01


Introduction

“Unification” is a two-part episode of the syndicated American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, from the fifth season, which features Leonard Nimoy as Spock.

It earned a 15.4 household Nielsen rating, drawing over 25 million viewers, making it one of the most watched episodes in all seven seasons of The Next Generation’s run.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, hearing that legendary Starfleet officer Spock may have defected to the Romulan Empire, Picard travels to Vulcan to talk to Spock’s father, former ambassador Sarek, who is near death from the ravages of Bendii Syndrome. In a rare lucid moment, Sarek discloses that Spock has long harboured hopes of peacefully reuniting the Vulcan and Romulan peoples, who once were part of the same civilisation. Rather than committing treason, Spock actually may be initiating steps to achieve that peaceful goal.

Determined to find the truth, Picard and Data, disguised as Romulans, set out for the Romulan homeworld. Upon finding Spock, Picard learns that the Vulcan is indeed on an unauthorised mission to reunify his people with the Romulans. Spock counts among his allies a Romulan senator named Pardek and the Romulan proconsul Neral.

This episode has been praised for the “novelty and nostalgia” of seeing Spock, but also for introducing a peace-loving Romulan faction.

Outline

Starfleet Admiral Brackett informs Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) that Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) has gone missing and an intelligence scan has placed him on Romulus, raising fears that he may have defected. Picard orders the Enterprise to Vulcan to speak to Spock’s ailing father, Sarek (Mark Lenard), with whom Picard shares a close bond. Sarek gives Picard the name of Pardek, a Romulan Senator that he knew Spock had been maintaining a dialogue with for several decades. Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) discovers a visual record of Pardek from a trade conference and confirms him as being the figure seen on the intelligence scan of Spock on Romulus.

Picard calls in a favour from Chancellor Gowron (Robert O’Reilly), speaking to one of his aides and convincing him to lend them a Klingon ship that could take them to Romulus while cloaked. Picard and Data board the ship, with Picard ordering Riker to investigate the T’Pau and try to find a link to the Romulans. En route, the Klingons inform Picard that they intercepted a message of interest to him: Sarek has died.

The Enterprise crew find the remains of a decommissioned Vulcan ship, the T’Pau, in the debris of a Ferengi ship which crashed in the Hanolin asteroid belt. On Romulus, Picard and Data (surgically disguised as Romulans) locate the spot where the record of Pardek and Spock was taken, which Data determines is an intelligence bureau building. They wait until Pardek arrives, but when they approach him, they find themselves met by soldiers and taken to a cavern. Pardek arrives, explaining that Romulan security knew they were on-planet and they have been brought underground for their safety. Picard states that he is looking for Ambassador Spock, who emerges from a nearby tunnel.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Les Landau.
  • Writer(s): Rick Berman and Michael Piller.
  • Release Date: 04 November 1991.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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