When the Bough Breaks (Episode)

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When the Bough Breaks
"When the Bough Breaks" (TNG 118)

"When the Bough Breaks" (TNG 118)
Series Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 1
Episode 17
Production Number 118
Release Date 15 Feb 1988

Stardate 41509.1: Several children from the Enterprise, including Wesley Crusher, are kidnapped.

The Enterprise stumbles upon the planet Aldea, a world completely hidden from outsiders by a powerful cloaking shield. But the find is no accident: the seemingly friendly Aldeans kidnap seven children, including Wesley Crusher, from the ship in order to perpetuate their race. Parents begin to panic as every attempt to negotiate fails. The Aldeans, convinced they are permanently sterile, stubbornly offer only to trade for the children. As a show of force, their defense system knocks the Enterprise three days' distance with a single blow.

But Wesley finds holes in the Aldeans' technology: their age-old Custodian computer shows wear and tear, and no one knows how to maintain it. When Wesley organizes a hunger strike, Picard and Dr. Crusher are asked to come to the planet to help. A secret scan by Dr. Crusher shows the race is dying from radiation poisoning due to an ozone leak caused by their shield. Riker and Data use the opportunity to secretly beam into the Custodian's chamber, and, backed with control of the cloaking shield, the Enterprise crew is finally able to convince the Aldeans to listen, and explain the true nature of their problem. Picard pledges Federation aid to help them regain their ecology and their health.

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