Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 77
Season: 2
First aired in: 1989
Stardate: 42823.2

Starfleet receives a strange signal from the Ficus Sector. They identify it as a distress signal used by the European Hegemony between 2123 and 2190, just after World War 3. But there is no record of a colony their, so the Enterprise is send to investigate.

Worf faints on the bridge and Dr. Pulaski diagnoses him with rop'ngor, the Klingon form of measles. Because this is a childhood disease Worf is very embarrassed. Dr. Pulaski tells Captain Picard that Worf's fainting is due to a ritual Klingon fasting. Worf expresses his thanks by performing a Klingon Thea Ceremony for Dr. Pulaski, who is familiar with the concept and is very honored that Worf is the first one to perform such a ceremony for her. The tea is deadly to humans and not so good for Klingons. The tea is a "test of bravery" and a reminder that "dead is an experience best shared, like the tea".

En route, Data suggest that a record of the ship probably got lost in the chaos at the time, but suggest looking for a cargo manifest. They find a ship called SS Maripose bound for the Ficus Sector with a odd combination of cargo sophisticated computers and communication equipment and spinning wheels and life stock.

When they arrive in the Ficus Sector they find the sun going through a period of extreme activity, resulting in solar flares that will make the planet totally inhabitable in 6 hours. 30 meters under the surface they find 223 people (and 2 unborn babies) which have lived their simple lives in total isolation for 300 years. They insist on bringing their lifestock with them. Captain Picard is not at all happy with the mess they make and orders Chief O'Brien to beam the evacuee directly to cargo hold 7.

Danilo O'Dell they leader of the Bringloidis is grateful for the rescue and tries to connect his strong-headed daughter Brenna. While trying to prepare food they set off the automatic fire suppression system, because no-one told them about replicators.

While Riker is attracted to Brenna, Danilo Odell tells Jean-Luc Picard about another group of high-tech settlers. They set course for an other Class-M planet close-by and find the other colonists there.

They have called their planet Maripose after their starship. They are greeted by prime minister Wilson Granger a "descendant" from Captain Walter Granger from the SS Maripose. The away team soon finds out that the entire population consists of clones. The prime minster tells them that there ship crashed on the planet and only 5 colonists survived (3 men and 2 women), which is not enough to create a healthy gene pool. So they resorted to cloning, suppressing their natural drive for reproduction with chemicals and punishments. Later they find sexual reproduction repulsive.

But after 300 years they fall victim to replicative fading, which will cause the entire population to die in 2 or 3 generations. They ask the Enterprise to supply fresh DNA for their cloning. But the crew members refuse because they want to stay unique and this solution would only work for another 15 generations before the problems would return. The Enterprise crew agrees on helping with repairs.

When down on the planet Riker and Dr. Pulaski are stunned and the Mariposians extract a epithelial cell for cloning. Back on the Enterprise they discover this with help from Geordi. They beam down to the planet and destroy the clones with a phaser blast.

Back on the Enterprise Counselor Troi suggests that the Mariposians act on a natural instinct to survive. Picard suggests combining the nature-loving Bringloidi, without a home but with a healthy population, with the technically advanced Mariposians, with a planet but without a healthy population. This proposal causes protests especially from the Mariposians, but finally they prefer this option above dieing.

To get a healthy population every women needs to have 3 children from 3 different men for the next few generations. Brenna O'Dell doesn't like the idea of becoming "Eva" at all, but wants to stay with her father and Jean-Luc Picard convinces her that her leadership skills will be necessary in the new colony.

Guest Cast:
Colm Meaney as O'Brien
Barrie Ingham as Danilo O'Dell
Rosalyn Landor as Brenna O'Dell
Jon DeVries as Wilson Granger

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