Memory Alpha

The Nth Degree (episode)

  • View history
  • 1.2 Act One
  • 1.3 Act Two
  • 1.4 Act Three
  • 1.5 Act Four
  • 1.6 Act Five
  • 1.7 Log entries
  • 2 Memorable quotes
  • 3.1 Production history
  • 3.2 Story and script
  • 3.3 Production
  • 3.4 Cast and characters
  • 3.5 Continuity
  • 3.6 Reception
  • 3.7 Video and DVD releases
  • 4.1 Starring
  • 4.2 Also starring
  • 4.3 Guest stars
  • 4.4 Co-star
  • 4.5 Uncredited co-stars
  • 4.6 Stand-ins
  • 4.7 References
  • 4.8 External links

Summary [ ]

Reg Barclay and Dr. Crusher perform a scene from Cyrano de Bergerac in the theater room before a handful of the crew, including the senior officers . Crusher's performance is great as Cyrano's love interest but who is a woman already in love with another man, Cyrano's compatriot. But Barclay's performance, as Cyrano himself, complete with long prosthetic nose, is awkward, halting, and somewhat embarrassing to watch. Despite this rather lackluster performance, the crew present claps for both Crusher and Barclay, which puzzles Data until Riker explains that " it's polite ." Afterwards, Troi compliments Barclay, saying it takes a lot of confidence to put himself out there and act, but Barclay doesn't feel too confident, awkwardly remaining on the play's set after everyone else has left.

The USS Enterprise -D arrives at the Argus Array , a gigantic subspace telescope where the computer has failed and the reactors are going critical. A huge amount of time is estimated for its repair, but of more pressing concern is the mysterious alien probe now holding station near the array, determined to be the cause of its malfunctions. Geordi La Forge is assigned to examine the probe using a shuttle , and he decides to take Barclay along to help. As the two conduct some unsuccessful scans, Barclay thanks La Forge for selecting him for the mission. La Forge assures Reg that he's one of his best engineers and deserves to get to the "interesting stuff" sometimes. La Forge points at the probe just outside the shuttle's viewport and tells Barclay that this is why he is in Starfleet. Suddenly the probe emits a super-bright flash that knocks Barclay unconscious.

Act One [ ]

The Enterprise tries to tow the probe with them back to a starbase to examine it.

Barclay, in sickbay , awakens to the news from Crusher that the flash overloaded his optic nerves , and that was what knocked him unconscious ; La Forge's VISOR must have filtered out the bright light. As he is leaving, in an uncharacteristic show of self-confidence, Barclay makes a suggestion about how Dr. Crusher could more quickly get a read-out of his sero-aminos if she used her scanner 's global mode . She brushes him off because she thinks that his suggestion is something that can be applied only to isolinear circuits and not Human cells , but he insists it would work. Suddenly, the Enterprise goes to red alert .

The probe is beginning to follow the Enterprise . An energy field starts to form around the probe and the Enterprise leaves it because the ship may not have the shield strength to withstand the intensity of the energy field. Barclay adjusts the phasers before La Forge can tell him to do so, but they have no effect, and the ship will be badly damaged if they try firing photon torpedoes at such a close range. Captain Picard orders Ensign Anaya to take the ship to warp two, but it becomes clear the ship won't outrun the probe. Picard asks for suggestions, but nobody has any. Suddenly, the Enterprise drops to impulse as Barclay, without authorization, has diverted the power to the shields which, using a new equation he's just thought up, have been reinforced by 300%. He tells Picard to fire a full spread of photon torpedoes at maximum yield and the shields will hold. Unsure, but with no other options, Picard gives Worf the command to fire and the probe is indeed destroyed with no damage to the ship. Barclay apologizes for overstepping the bounds of authority to La Forge, but La Forge is more surprised than angry.

Act Two [ ]

Captain Picard calls a meeting in the observation lounge to discuss the repair of the Argus telescope. La Forge says that it would take approximately two to three weeks to repair the telescope. Barclay, who has been called into the meeting because of his recent success, suggests that they could repair all eighteen of the telescope's generators simultaneously, instead of one by one. Data says it would take seven weeks' preparation to implement Barclay's method of designing a new control system, but everyone is incredulous when Barclay confidently says he can do it in two days.

Barclay then rehearses another scene from Cyrano de Bergerac with Dr. Crusher. This time, his performance is so riveting that there are tears in Crusher's eyes, and she momentarily forgets her own lines. Troi, who has been watching the scene, is also very surprised. She follows him to Ten Forward , where she tells him that he has improved greatly. Barclay tells Troi that he is aware that he has changed and is now so full of confidence. He then makes a pass at Troi, who as counselor says that it would be inappropriate for them to have a romantic relationship. Barclay is still insistent that they take a walk in the arboretum , where he says the Zalnias are in bloom , but Troi ends the conversation with, " Good night, Mr. Barclay ."

Reginald Barclay with Albert Enstein

Barclay correcting Albert Einstein

The next morning, Barclay is late for the meeting that he called. La Forge finds him in Holodeck 3 where Barclay had spent the night exploring some aspects of advanced physics and discussing them with a virtual Albert Einstein and lost track of time. La Forge says that something must have happened from the probe's light in order for him to have suddenly gained the confidence as well as the intelligence and takes Barclay to sickbay for an examination. Barclay asks if they have to, as he has now become the person he has always wanted to be. La Forge responds that yes, they should.

Dr. Crusher is astounded by what she finds: Barclay's intellect has increased in all areas of study, eventually reaching hypercognitive levels (Barclay estimates his IQ as being between 1200 and 1450). His new intelligence is caused by neurotransmitters hypersecreting in his brain . His corpus callosum is so active that it is as though the two hemispheres of his brain are fused. It's not just Barclay's raw intelligence that's been enhanced, as he is also exhibiting enhanced creativity, imagination and resourcefulness. Crusher says that Barclay must be the most advanced Human being ever to live. Barclay is not surprised at this.

Act Three [ ]

Riker asks Troi about Barclay making a pass

" You said he made a pass at you, but you failed to mention whether he was successful or not. "

The senior officers are called into the ready room and they discuss how to take care of this new problem that is affecting Barclay. Riker suggests confining Barclay to quarters, but Picard decides that since nothing he has done has been menacing, Barclay will still be allowed to perform his duties, especially since his immense intelligence is needed to repair the Argus.

La Forge is called to engineering because one of the Argus' reactors is about to overload. La Forge and Barclay, along with Larson and Brower , try everything they can to stop the overload, and Barclay executes La Forge's commands before he can give them. Finally, Barclay decides he needs a newer, faster interface, so he heads to Holodeck 3 to create a neural scan interface . The computer, however, does not have that kind of program on file so Barclay then instructs the computer how to build one. The Argus is seconds away from being overloaded and will take the Enterprise with it, and to make matters worse, Worf and Ensign Anaya lose control of the computer. But all of a sudden, the Argus reactors miraculously shut down and the computer comes back on. Picard asks the computer how the reactors were shut down, but it is Reginald Barclay's voice that answers. Barclay, interfaced with the computer, is now running the functions on the Enterprise and had repaired the reactors himself. In doing so, he had locked out the main bridge from using the computer. Barclay is now acting as the computer, and this causes discomfort among the crew.

Act Four [ ]

Barclay tells the senior officers why he did it. Picard instructs Barclay to remove himself from the computer at once, but Barclay says that his higher brain functions are now in the computer, and he will die if he is removed from it. Picard calls an emergency meeting, and has La Forge disconnect the audio and visual modules in the observation lounge so that the computer/Barclay cannot monitor their discussion. At this point, La Forge can't tell where the computer ends, and Barclay begins. Also, with each second that passes Barclay is further taking control of the ship. Although Picard doesn't want to hurt Barclay, he is not willing to allow himself to maintain such total control over the computer and decides he must be removed by any means necessary. The crew decide to follow La Forge's plan to bypass certain modules to allow them to at least keep control of propulsion systems to get them to the nearest starbase.

La Forge crawls into a Jefferies tube and tries to install an ODN bypass. Barclay asks why he is there, and La Forge lies about needing to do the level 3 diagnostic they discussed earlier. They get on the topic of the change in Barclay, who believes it was a gift and plans to do more for Humanity. Barclay is now trying new ways of traveling through space. Against Picard's orders, Barclay initiates a subspace distortion using the warp drive of the Enterprise . Troi elects to talk to him to try to put an end to all this.

In the holodeck, she explains to Barclay that his actions have frightened the whole crew, which he rebuffs, likening their fears as young children scared of the world. He pleads with Troi to trust him, but she warns him that Picard will do everything in his power to stop him, and leaves. The beams of the neural interface over Barclay's head accelerate.

The ship goes to red alert as La Forge is ready to install the bypass, but Barclay comes on the comm and informs him that he is too late. The bypass is blocked, meaning there is no way to stop his actions. The Enterprise accelerates and moves towards the distortion.

Act Five [ ]

With all communication between the bridge and Barclay cut, Picard has no choice but to disconnect him from the computer. He orders Worf to take a security team to the holodeck to carry it out.

Worf and two security officers enter the holodeck with mere seconds before the ship reaches the distortion. Barclay informs Worf that he will not take his actions personally and protects himself with a force field . After their phaser fire is blocked, Worf and the officers are thrown to the floor as the Enterprise enters the distortion.

Upon arriving, they realize they have traveled over thirty thousand light years, to the center of the galaxy. They then see that all functions and computer control are back to normal. Just then, a giant white-haired and bearded male humanoid head appears in front of the viewscreen to the bridge crew; he comments in fascination at their physiology and command structure. Barclay, now safely disconnected from the computer, arrives and explains that the being, who is a member of a race known as the Cytherians and his people are on a similar mission to that of the Enterprise , in that they want to explore the galaxy to learn. But instead of the Cytherians traveling away from their home, they bring those they are interested in to them . The probe they had encountered was the instrument of this "summons", but it ran afoul of incompatible Federation technology. However, it had been able to find a suitable vessel: Barclay himself. Riker grins as the crew realizes they are in no danger.

After ten days of exchanging information, which Picard notes will take Federation scholars decades to fully analyze and appreciate, the Cytherians send the Enterprise back to Federation space and restore Barclay to normal. Later, in Ten Forward, Barclay is with La Forge and Troi, and they are discussing how Barclay is back to his old self. Barclay, who can still remember everything he did, even if he can't remember quite how he did it, can't help but feel a little let down, but Troi reassures him that many people experience moments in their life when they exceed their own limits, and that it is possible to carry something from that experience with them for the rest of their lives. La Forge then reminds Barclay that he's still a valued member of the crew and asks for his help with the level 3 diagnostic. Reg appears cheerfully ready to get back to work, but Troi interrupts, telling him that he owed her a walk in the arboretum.

It appears that Barclay is back to normal, as he is nervous about the walk in the arboretum, but he goes up to a pair of officers playing three-dimensional chess and tells them how to force mate in nine moves. Troi exclaims that she did not know Barclay played chess, and Barclay, in his nervous voice, states that he doesn't.

Log entries [ ]

  • Captain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), 2367

Memorable quotes [ ]

" Bravo! " " Wonderful! Wonderful! " " Lieutenant Barclay's performance was adequate but clearly not rooted in the method approach. I do not understand why... " " Data... because it's polite. "

" Worf, I have an opening in my workshop. "

" It just occurred to me that I could set up a frequency harmonic between the deflector and the shield grid… using the warp field generator as a power flow anti-attenuator and that of course naturally created an amplification of the inherent energy output. " " Uh-huh, I see that. "

" You just spent the entire night arguing grand unification theories with Albert Einstein! "

" I'm sorry if I overstepped my authority. " (quietly) " Don't mention it. "

" I've finally become the person I've always wanted to be. Do we have to ask why? " " Yeah. I think we do. "

" Incredible! The production of neurotransmitters in your brain has jumped over 500%!… I couldn't even guess at your IQ level now. " " Probably somewhere between 1200 and 1450. "

" Lieutenant, you could very well be the most advanced Human being who has ever lived. "

" Has Mister Barclay done anything that could be considered… potentially threatening? " (a beat, then…) " Well… he did make a pass at me last night. " (looks from Riker and La Forge) " A good one. " " I'd hardly consider that a threat. " " No, but it's certainly unusual behavior for Barclay. "

" Tie both consoles into the Enterprise main computer core utilizing neural-scan interface. " " There is no such device on file. " " No problem, here's how you build it. "

" I'm afraid I can't do that, sir. "

" I wish I could convey to you what it's like for me now; what I've become… I can conceive almost infinite possibilities and can fully explore each of them in a nanosecond. I perceive the universe as a single equation, and it is so simple. I understand… everything. "

" Emotive electrochemical stimulus response; cranial plate; bipedal locomotion; endo-skeletal contiguous external integument. " " I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard, of the Federation starship Enterprise . " " Hierarchical collective command structure. " " Who are you? " " Interrogative! " " I am interrogative, yes, and I would appreciate an explanation. "

" How do you feel now? " " Smaller. " " Just plain old Barclay, huh? " " It always seems to come back to that, doesn't it? "

" May I? (moves a piece) Checkmate in nine moves. " " I didn't know you play chess. " " I don't… "

Background information [ ]

Production history [ ].

  • Final draft script: 25 January 1991 [1]
  • Filmed: 28 January 1991 – 5 February 1991
  • Insert shots filmed: 22 February 1991
  • Premiere airdate: 1 April 1991
  • First UK airdate: 26 October 1994

Story and script [ ]

Legato and McFadden

Director Rob Legato and Gates McFadden

  • "The Nth Degree" originated as a vehicle to allow popular guest star Dwight Schultz to reprise his role of Reginald Barclay . Michael Piller recalled, " We had sort of put in our laundry list of things we wanted to bring back fourth season . " Hollow Pursuits " was a wonderful episode last year , and [Barclay] is a very interesting character and a great actor. We were having trouble finding something that would make it worthwhile to bring him back. Joe had this concept of somebody who became super intelligent and said, 'Maybe this could be our Barclay show,' and we weren't sure what we were going to do with our premise at first, but we finally got a story together. " He added, " I think Rick came up with the idea of doing Cyrano . It was kind of a con on the audience. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 218)
  • Brannon Braga remarked, " We struggled for a year with how to have Barclay come back. We didn't want him to play the nervous chap in the holodeck again and Joe Menosky came up with the science-fiction notion of a probe which is essentially a ship in a bottle. It was a good twist on that particular character which you could only get to with a science-fiction gag. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , pp. 218-219)
  • Joe Menosky wrote the episode as a homage to the classic science fiction short story (and later novel) Flowers for Algernon . He commented, " Writing for Barclay was a bit like writing for Data – you knew you just couldn't lose. " ( Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 , p. 199).
  • According to Rob Legato , the script was constantly revised, with the final scene only delivered on the day of shooting. In earlier drafts, the Cytherian was more malevolent, but this was changed to avoid the common hostage plot. ( Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion , 2nd ed., p. 160)
  • Originally, the Cytherian would have simply boarded the ship. The staff felt that this, or an appearance on a viewscreen , was too ordinary. As Legato remembered, " What, we go all this way to see a guy on the screen ? " Instead, Legato suggested the alien's final appearance – a huge head that appears to pop out of the screen. ( Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 , p. 199)
  • The Feynman was named for physicist Richard Feynman . ( Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion , 2nd ed., p. 160)

Production [ ]

  • "The Nth Degree" was filmed between Monday 28 January 1991 and Tuesday 5 February 1991 on Paramount Stage 8 , 9 , and 16 . Insert shots with Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner were filmed on Friday 22 February 1991 on Paramount Stage 8 and 16.
  • Live lasers were used in the scenes where Barclay interfaces with the computer. According to Michael Piller, " We've used laser beams in post production for firing things and lighting effects, and we've had several meetings where we've wanted to use them in production but have never done it. Rob suggested it on this episode and it was a wonderful idea – all those beams coming down and hitting his head are all laser beams and mirrors. It's all live, it's another effect we want to use more of. It's really weird and allows you to move the camera. If it was laid down in post-production, you wouldn't be able to. It has a real immediacy and in terms of technical stuff that was a real advancement in terms of using lasers on stage...Part of it was shot at eight frames per second, and part at six frames. Then we harmonized the voice down to that speed so that the voices work within that eight frames. It was a wild effect. It was a great episode for [Rob] to do so he could draw on all of his tricks. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 218-219)
  • This episode has one of the longest teasers in the franchise, seven minutes and 21 seconds long.

Cast and characters [ ]

Okuda and Einstein

Mike Okuda and Jim Norton

  • Jim Norton plays the holographic Albert Einstein again in Next Generation 's sixth season finale " Descent ".
  • Kay E. Kuter later plays the Sirah in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode " The Storyteller ".

Continuity [ ]

  • This is not the first Federation starship named Enterprise to travel to the center of the galaxy. In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier , the USS Enterprise -A traveled under the control of Sybok to the mythical Sha Ka Ree , believed to be located at the galactic center, where they met a god-like alien.
  • Unlike the tragic Gary Mitchell in Where No Man Has Gone Before (episode) whose ESP powers lead to his doom, Lt Barclay's expanded intelligence actually helps the Enterprise mission

Reception [ ]

  • Michael Piller remarked, " I was really pleased with the way it turned out. Joe Menosky has said he was really proud to have his name on that show, more so than any other show. That's Rob Legato's second episode and Rob did a masterful job in terms of interpreting the story. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 218)
  • A mission report for this episode by Patrick Daniel O'Neill was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine  issue 16 , pp. 58-61.

Video and DVD releases [ ]

  • Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video ): Volume 47, May 1992
  • UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment ): Volume 4.7, 3 September 2001
  • As part of the TNG Season 4 DVD collection

Links and references [ ]

Starring [ ].

  • Patrick Stewart as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
  • Jonathan Frakes as Cmdr. William Riker

Also starring [ ]

  • LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
  • Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
  • Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
  • Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
  • Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data

Guest stars [ ]

  • Jim Norton as Albert Einstein
  • Kay E. Kuter as Cytherian
  • Saxon Trainor as Larson
  • Page Leong as Anaya
  • Dwight Schultz as Barclay

Co-star [ ]

  • David Coburn as Ensign Brower

Uncredited co-stars [ ]

  • Anthony as Ten Forward waiter
  • Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
  • Majel Barrett as USS Enterprise -D computer voice
  • Karin Baxter as operations division ensign
  • Thomas J. Booth as civilian
  • Bowman as science division officer
  • Michael Braveheart as Martinez
  • Debbie David as Russell
  • Cameron as Kellogg
  • Max Cervantes as operations division officer
  • Tracee Lee Cocco as Jae
  • George Colucci as security officer
  • Cooper as Reel
  • Gerard David as operations division ensign
  • B.J. Davis as security officer
  • Denise Deuschle as science division officer
  • Elliot Durant III as operations division ensign
  • Margaret Flores as sciences officer
  • Michele Gerren as sciences officer
  • D. Kai as sciences officer
  • Mark Kosakura as operations division ensign
  • Mark Lentry as civilian
  • Marin as command division officer
  • Debbie Marsh as command division officer
  • Michael Moorehead as science division ensign
  • Teri Noel as operations division officer
  • Ivonne Perez as civilian
  • Randy Pflug as Jones
  • Brandy Pickett as science division officer
  • Keith Rayve as command division ensign
  • John Rice as science division officer
  • Denise Lynne Roberts as Patti
  • Joycelyn Robinson as Gates
  • Richard Sarstedt as command division officer
  • Curt Truman as command division officer
  • Mikki Val as operations division officer
  • Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
  • Harry Young as science division officer
  • Female operations division officer
  • Female science division officer
  • Ten Forward waiter #1
  • Ten Forward waiter #2
  • Two civilian women

Stand-ins [ ]

  • Brett – stand-in for LeVar Burton
  • Cameron – stand-in for Gates McFadden
  • Mark Lentry – stand-in for David Coburn
  • Nora Leonhardt – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
  • Lissa – stand-in for Page Leong
  • Tim McCormack – stand-in for Brent Spiner , Jonathan Frakes , and Dwight Schultz
  • Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Gates McFadden & Saxon Trainor
  • John Rice – stand-in for Jim Norton
  • Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
  • Dennis Tracy – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
  • Guy Vardaman – stand-in for Dwight Schultz
  • James Washington – stand-in for Michael Dorn

References [ ]

47 ; acting ; acting ability ; alien ; allergic reaction ; alpha-numeric console ; ångström ; anti-attenuator ; arboretum ; Argus Array ; audience ; audio pickup ; authority ; baron ; bee ; behavior ; Bergerac ; bio-cellular disruption ; bipedal locomotion ; blackboard ; bloom ; body ; bone ; brain ; brother ; bypass ; calculation ; cell ; central processing unit ; cerebral hemisphere ; chain reaction ; checkmate ; chess ; children ; close down sequence ; collision course ; command structure ; computer ; computer control ; computer core ( main computer core ); computer system ; conduit ; confidence ; confined to quarters ; contiguous external integument ; control system ; core memory ; cornea ; corpus callosum ; cosmological constant ; courage ; course ; cranial plate ; creativity ; crib ; Cyrano de Bergerac ; Cytherian ; Cytherian homeworld ; Cytherian homeworld system ; Cytherian probe ; data : date ; de Bergerac, Hercule-Savinien De Cyrano ; de Neuvillette, Christien ; death ; decade ; deflector ; device ; devil ; dimension ; distance ; duelist ; electro-chemical stimulus response ; electromagnetic band ; electromagnetic signature ; emitter ; endoskeletal ; energy ; energy field ; energy output ; energy source ; energy surge ; engineer ; engineering ; engineering subsystem ; equation ; experience ; experiment ; explanation ; explosion ; Federation ; Federation space ; Feynman ; field intensity ; force field ; French Guards ; frequency harmonic ; fusion reactor ; galactic center ; Galilei, Galileo ; general relativity ; German language ; gift ; global mode ; Grand Unification theory ; graviton field ; Greek alphabet ; hand ; heading ; " hello "; helm ; hierarchical collective ; higher brain function ( primary cerebral function ); holodeck three ; holographic program ; home ; Human ( Humanity ); hundred ; iconic display console ; idea ; imagination ; infinity ; inspiration ; intelligence ; intelligence quotient ; interrogative ; isolinear chip ; isolinear circuits ; Jefferies tube ; kilometer ; Kohlan system ; knowledge ; lake ; length ; lesson ; level 3 diagnostic ; light year ; liquid helium ; location ; " locking a man up "; main shuttlebay ; maximum speed ; memory ; meeting ; meter per second ; Method acting ; Midsummer Night's Dream, A ; Milky Way Galaxy ; minute ; mission ; Moon ; mourning veil ; muon ; music school ; musician ; nanosecond ; neighborhood ; neural scan interface ; neurotransmitter ; neutron densitometer ; neutron emission ; neutrino ; night ; nu ; number one ; observation ; ODN ; online ; opinion ; optic nerve ; order ; oscillation ; " out of my league "; outsider ; overload ; paradise ; parents ; park ; passive high-resolution series ; percent ; performance ; phaser ; phaser power ; philosopher ; photon torpedo ; plan ; planetary cluster ; plasma ; playing ; poet ; Porte de Nesle ; positron emission test ; post synaptic membrane ; power emission ; power flow ; presynaptic membrane ; probe ; production ; professor ; progress ; propulsion ; propulsion system ; quantum electrodynamic ; quantum model ; quantum principle ; question ; radiation pattern ; red alert ; reed ; regiment ; rehearsal ; repairs ; report ; respect ; result ; Roxane : running ; scanner ; scene ; scholar ; Science Station 402 ; scientist ; second ; security team ; semiset ; sero-amino readout ; shield grid ; short range scan ; shunt ; shutdown ; Socrates ; soul ; speed ; stabilization procedure ; stabilizer ; stage ; " stand by "; standard isolation procedure ; starbase ; starboard ; Starfleet ; status ; sting ; summer ; subatomic ; subspace ; subspace antenna cluster ; subspace continuum ; subspace distortion ; subspace field distortion ; subspace flow matrix ; subspace telescope ; suggestion ; summer ; sword ; teacher ; tear ; terawatt ; theater ; thermal level ; thought ; thousand ; threat ; three-dimensional chess ; tow ; truth ; unconsciousness ; universe ; value ; veil ; visual pickup ; violin ; violin technique ; VISOR ; visual wavelength ; wall ; warp ; warp field generator ; warp nacelle ; warp power ; week ; weep ; workshop ; workstation chair ; x ; zalnias

External links [ ]

  • " The Nth Degree " at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • " The Nth Degree " at Wikipedia
  • " The Nth Degree " at , a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
  • "The Nth Degree" script  at Star Trek Minutiae
  • " The Nth Degree " at the Internet Movie Database
  • 1 Daniels (Crewman)
  • 2 Jamaharon

Screen Rant

Who is lieutenant barclay star trek: tng’s favorite lower decker explained.


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Star Trek: TNG’s 10 Best Lower Deckers

25 best star trek: tng episodes of all time, star trek: tng forgot about worf's other "brother".

  • Lt. Barclay was an awkward yet lovable engineer who struggled with confidence but eventually excelled on the Enterprise.
  • Initially meant to be unlikable, Barclay evolved into a relatable character overcoming social anxiety and insecurities.
  • Barclay's journey continued in Star Trek: Voyager, where he became a key figure in helping the USS Voyager crew return home.

Dwight Schultz's Lieutenant Reginald Barclay became a surprising fan-favorite character on Star Trek: The Next Generation . Following the adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the USS Enterprise-D, TNG typically focused on the main crew members aboard the Galaxy Class starship. From Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) to Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn), the bridge officers of the Starship Enterprise were all confident and accomplished officers who excelled in their positions. Although brilliant, lower decker Lt. Barclay had difficulty in social situations and lacked confidence in his own abilities .

Introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 3, episode 21, "Hollow Pursuits," Barclay was originally meant to be an unlikeable character who aggravated the other crew members. The initial script for "Hollow Pursuits" was changed, however, to make Barclay more relatable and likable. While many viewers relate to Barclay 's apparent social anxiety, the character is offputting to others . Barclay's Holodeck recreations of his crew members border on creepy (particularly the way the women crew members are treated), and he sometimes comes across as a caricature of anxiety, rather than a realistic representation of it.

Dwight Schultz was a fan of Star Trek: The Original Series and wanted to be on TNG . When he worked with Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) on a project, he mentioned wanting to be on Star Trek , and he was later offered the role of Barclay.

Star Trek: TNG may have focused on the bridge officers of the USS Enterprise-D, but there were plenty of Lower Deckers who made quite an impression.

Lieutenant Barclay On Star Trek: TNG Explained

"just shy. sounds like nothing serious, doesn't it you can't know.".

In Star Trek: The Next Generation 's "Hollow Pursuits," Commander Riker and Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) grow annoyed by Barclay's failure to get to his shifts on time and his apparent incompetence. With encouragement from Captain Picard, La Forge and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) begin helping Barclay work through some of his anxieties and insecurities. Barclay slowly grows in confidence and becomes one of the best engineers on the Enterprise . In "The Nth Degree," Barclay gains an incredibly enhanced intellect after an encounter with an alien probe. He eventually connects his mind to the Enterprise-D's computer and leads the ship to a friendly advanced alien race.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation 's "Ship in a Bottle," Barclay helps create a simulation to trick the sentient hologram, Moriarty (Daniel Davis), and keep him from taking over the Enterprise (again). In his final appearance on TNG , in "Genesis," Barclay is infected by a disease that causes him to mutate into a giant spider-like creature. After his adventures on TNG , Barclay appears in Star Trek: First Contact , as he helps warp drive creator Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) repair his ship, the Phoenix. As an engineer, Barclay is incredibly excited to meet the historic inventor, and La Forge has to remind him to focus on his work.

Barclay Also Appeared In Star Trek: Voyager

"i've lost myself, deanna... in voyager. i've become obsessed with voyager.".

After becoming such a popular character on Star Trek: The Next Generation , Lt. Barclay was brought back as a recurring character on Star Trek: Voyager . In 2374, Barclay is transferred from the USS Enterprise-E to work on the Pathfinder Project, whose main goal is to find a way for the USS Voyager to return home from the Delta Quadrant. Barclay creates a holographic version of Voyager to test out his various theories and ideas, and he eventually finds a way for Earth to communicate with Voyager.

Barclay continues to meet with Counselor Troi, as she helps him with his anxiety and encourages him to make connections with real people rather than holograms.

As Earth and Voyager begin sending communications back and forth, Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram, The Doctor (Robert Picardo) visits Earth and works with Barclay. Barclay later helps fight for the Doctor's rights as the author of the holonovel Photons Be Free . When Voyager finally makes it home from the Delta Quadrant in 2378, Barclay is one of the first Starfleet officers to welcome the crew home . The Lt. Barclay of Star Trek: Voyager has come a long way from the overly anxious officer he was in his first appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation .

Star Trek: The Next Generation & Star Trek: Voyager are available to stream on Paramount+. Star Trek: First Contact is available on Max.

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

'Star Trek: Picard' season 3 episode 5 features the brief return of another 'TNG' favorite

Fans will squeal as a beloved B-character makes her 'Trek' encore — and then just as quickly makes her 'Trek' exit.

She's bad, she's Bajoran and she's back, baby. Her return could've easily been spread over two episodes

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 3, episode 5

So far, Douglas Aarniokoski and Johnathon Frakes have shared the directorial duties of "Star Trek: Picard" equally, but this week is the turn of a gentleman named Dan Liu. 

In fact, Liu is also at the helm of next week's installment, an interesting two-episode-per-director approach. Liu was also responsible for a singular episode of "Strange New Worlds" — S01, E04, entitled " Memento Mori " — and two episodes from Season 3 of " For All Mankind ." And it's worth noting that the directors in a show like "Picard" are very often selected because they're deemed suitable by the showrunner for particular types of episodes.  

The quality dipped a little in last week's episode, but this remains the best season of "Picard" so far without a doubt. And it should come as no surprise then that this week sees the return — and subsequent send-off — of another of " The Next Generation 's" favorite B-characters, Ro Laren, played once again by Michelle Forbes. 

While Forbes' debut on TNG was actually playing a character called Dara in "Half a Life" (S04, E22), she then appeared as the series semi-regular Bajoran Ensign in a total of eight episodes, with six in Season 5, one in the sixth season and then the most notable one, which preceded the series finale, "All Good Things." Even Q only appeared in eight episodes.

Related: 'Star Trek: Picard' season 3 episode 4 is fun, but not at the warp caliber we've seen so far

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Forbes made a name for herself in television science fiction and was even offered the chance to play the same character in " Deep Space Nine ." However, she declined, and the character was rewritten as Major Kira Nerys and played by Nana Visitor. But she rocked our worlds once again in 2005 playing the reimagined Admiral Cain in arguably three of the very best " Battlestar Galactica " episodes. Lest we forget, the original character, Commander Cain, was portrayed by Lloyd Bridges in 1978.

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Laren was a female Bajoran national who formerly served in Starfleet aboard the USS Enterprise-D under the command of Jean-Luc Picard before finally sympathizing with, and later defecting to, the Maquis. This was a resistance group who organized against the occupation of their homes after their colonies were ceded to the Cardassian Union by Federation-Cardassian Treaties in the late 2360s. Starfleet considered them to be traitors, while Cardassia considered them to be terrorists. 

So, you can imagine then, fans gasping with delight as such a potentially interesting character makes her "Trek" encore and then, within the same episode, makes her "Trek" exit. Who's going to get wheeled out next week? Keiko O'Brien perhaps, or how about Lt. Reginald Barclay? Given we already know of the return of Lore, the other son of Soong, plus the return of the holodeck character Professor Moriarty (played once again by Daniel Davis), who appeared as the antagonist from the Sherlock Holmes stories in the TNG episodes "Elementary, Dear Data" (S02, E03 and "Ship In A Bottle" (S06, E12), quite frankly, at this point, anything is possible.

Meanwhile, Jason Bourne Jack Crusher is turning out to possess sleeper agent-style, long forgotten or preprogrammed skills in hand-to-hand and close quarters combat. You know, like we've seen in so many movies and television episodes — such as "A History of Violence," "The Long Kiss Goodnight," even "Nobody" to a slightly lesser extent, and "The Man From Nowhere" — that it practically has its own sub-genre. 

However, despite cruising quite close to a couple of colossal clichés, this remains a well-written installment and that, in association with good dialogue, well-thought-out character interplay and effective, even pacing, make it reasonably enjoyable. 

Ro's death, though, is spectacularly underwhelming, and despite efforts to be creative, like making her Worf and Raffi's handler, you really have to wonder: If the technology exists to create hard light that feels like it's solid and has mass and can fill hard-light-generated receptacles with replicated matter, rather than just having a damn bar onboard, surely something could be done for Ro. Why couldn't she just use the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator? 

Worf has always had a way with the ladies (Deanna Troi, Jadzia Dax) and this relationship is fun too

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 —   'Star Trek' movies, ranked worst to best

This season remains entertaining and is a vast, vast improvement on the previous two. It is very far from the very best of "Star Trek," however. So far, the cast reunions have been well handled, but if we're going to get a token return appearance only for each one to disappear or die after just one episode, it will ultimately prove to be a wasted opportunity. Also, why isn't teleportation used more frequently as a torture device?

"Star Trek: Picard" and every episode of every "Star Trek" show currently streams exclusively on Paramount Plus in the US. Internationally, the shows are available on Paramount Plus in Australia, Latin America, the U.K. and South Korea, as well as on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. They also stream exclusively on Paramount Plus in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In Canada, they air on Bell Media's CTV Sci-Fi Channel and stream on Crave.

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When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space.

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Published Feb 2, 2021

How Star Trek Helped Me Accept A Trying Truth

Barclay served as inspiration for one fan to accept difficult circumstances.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Despite having openly discussed the ways in which Star Trek has helped me cope during my struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety in “ Engaging My Collective ,” I recently came to the realization that I’ve still been deceiving myself regarding my mental health’s true impact on who I am as a person. Unsurprisingly, Star Trek (specifically the episode “Hollow Pursuits”) played a vital part in my decision to make a very personal admission to all who are reading this. I’m neither an expert nor a medical professional, but I must accept that my clinically diagnosed OCD is a mental health disability that often impedes me in my daily life. I hope you’ll indulge me as I explore this revelation, and perhaps we can foster awareness of the individual challenges we all face.

Reaching Out to Reginald

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

Before I report on my discovery, let’s look back on its Star Trek connection. In “Hollow Pursuits,” Reginald Barclay was portrayed as a nervous and unreliable officer whose obsession with escaping reality in the holodeck inspired ire among the senior staff, most notably Riker and La Forge. After characterizing him as an outsider, Riker and La Forge’s compassionate demeanors were replaced with frustration, as the two casually adopted the disdainful and insulting nickname “Broccoli” as a way to demean Barclay. While their displeasure with his work is understandable, the pair did not try to observe the universe from Barclay’s perspective.

My own situation does not precisely parallel Barclay’s experience, as I’m often seen as a dedicated and resourceful person with a strong attention to detail. Public speaking and social interactions do not instill me with dread, and I’m regularly able to conceal the obsessions, compulsions, and anxiety-ridden thoughts that plague me. However, certain behaviors that set me apart from society do manifest themselves and cause serious harm to my daily activities. I’ll dive into those details in a moment, but let’s first finish highlighting Barclay’s role in energizing me to speak up.

Although fans typically remember Captain Picard erring and accidentally referring to Barclay as “Broccoli” in an unfortunate slip of the tongue, my most vivid recollection centers on the U.S.S. Enterprise-D ’s commanding officer standing up for Barclay in the ready room. Meeting with Riker and La Forge, Picard insisted that his subordinates try to understand the junior engineer, find ways for him to make positive contributions, and cease using the derogatory nickname. Picard recognized that we must embrace our differences and, to Riker and La Forge’s credit, the two eventually accepted and befriended Barclay. For someone who typically dealt with strange new worlds, Picard astutely advocated for a fellow human’s well-being.

Correlating the Confusion

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

I catalogued my phobias in “Engaging My Collective,” but I did not examine the repercussions that radiate out from my obsessive and compulsive behaviors like ripples on an unsteady pond. When attempting to communicate with the Sheliak in TNG’s “The Ensigns of Command,” Picard and Counselor Troi mulled over the way people can derive divergent meanings from the same action. Holding up a cup of tea and speaking an unfamiliar phrase, Troi wisely pointed out that a person could translate the wording in a multitude of ways: liquid, clear, brown, hot.

While the Sheliak dilemma is not an exact equivalent to my situation, I’ve learned that I perceive things in an eccentric fashion. I sense that my statements are frequently lost in translation, and I fail to accurately interpret other people’s intentions. This often causes me to obsess over whether or not I will accurately convey the true meaning behind my words and actions. I may become laser-focused on completing a certain task, yet to an outsider I might appear to be impatient or overbearing. Assembled together, these traits have resulted in more misunderstandings than I can count and harmed numerous friendships and professional relationships.

Compounding my internal chaos, I am driven to do everything in my power to try and right a wrong when I feel as if I’ve made an error. The more severe the blunder, the more devoted I become to correcting it, inevitably worsening the situation. Of course, this does not absolve me of my gaffes in any shape or form. I constantly endeavor to learn from my interactions with others and seek to view the world from their perspective, yet - regardless of therapy, medication, and personal growth - my OCD will always be a part of who I am. I must recognize that truth, but I will not avoid opportunities where I can hope to better myself.

Coming to Terms With the Term

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -

Placing the events of “Hollow Pursuits” into the context of my own life was not difficult, but learning to accept my mental disability proved challenging. As someone who is fortunate enough to have their sight, hearing, and mobility, I felt it would be disrespectful to use the term “disabled” to describe myself. As a straight, white, cisgender male, I worried that my mind had subconsciously sought out a way for me to be unique. After all, I’m not Melora Pazlar bravely adapting to new circumstances in DS9’s “Melora” or Worf confronting a serious injury in TNG’s “Ethics.” Am I merely looking for attention or attempting to supply excuses for my mistakes? I fought with those questions for a very long time.

Ironically, my breakthrough occurred when I began to consider how I would react if someone suffering from the same issues as I do came to me for advice. If I wanted other people to see the world through my eyes, why shouldn’t I also shift my outlook? I pondered the way Picard offered his support to Barclay in the ready room, recognizing that I would also react with empathy and understanding. I could never envision categorizing someone’s mental troubles as unworthy of my compassion. Nevertheless, even as I write this article, you may notice that I qualify my disability as a mental one. I’m clearly still wrestling with the idea of equating my own struggles with people who endure physical impediments. Perhaps one day I’ll come to terms with how I define myself.

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

Star Trek: The Next Generation -

Quite frankly, I’ve never been as unsure about articulating something as I am at this very moment, especially in regards to the portrayal of mental health in popular culture. I’m a straight, white, cisgender male, which is a category that has historically been overrepresented in our nation’s positions of power. While mental disabilities transcend race, gender, and orientation, I believe it is crucial to point out that women, BIPOC, the LGBTQ community, and other marginalized groups who suffer from the same conditions as myself are ostracized on an even greater scale. The intolerance and bigotry embedded in our society amplify the obstacles that those citizens encounter to an extent that I will never be able to comprehend, nor could I ever claim to speak for them.

In addition to those concerns, I genuinely fear that divulging this medical information will cause potential friends and future employers to be wary of socializing or collaborating with me. It is not unheard of for people to publicly offer their support while privately contemplating whether they wish to “deal” with someone’s differences. Then it dawned on me. Concealing this would be tantamount to demonizing the condition and everyone else who faces it. I may waver when it comes to empathizing with myself, but I will not shy away from showing benevolence to those who can relate to what I have written.

I must once again stress that this is neither a scholarly article nor an expert analysis, as I can only explain these events from my own viewpoint. I strongly encourage that anyone dealing with OCD, anxiety, or other mental health situations seek professional medical treatment. Last but not least, if you run across a Reginald Barclay at some point in your life, take a breath and try to choose kindness over hostility. It may seem like a small step, but it will mean the world to that person.

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Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer who has contributed articles to the official Star Trek website and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and the official Star Wars website. Jay also serves as a part-time assistant and consultant advising many actors and creatives who work on his favorite sci-fi shows and films. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @StobiesGalaxy.

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  1. Reginald Barclay | Memory Alpha | Fandom

    Captain Picard, however, refused to simply transfer him away from the ship, and it was because of Picard's support and Geordi La Forge's encouragement (at Picard's behest) that Barclay's confidence began to increase.

  2. Reginald Barclay - Wikipedia

    Reginald Endicott Barclay III is a fictional engineer from the Star Trek media franchise. On television and in film, he has been portrayed by Dwight Schultz since the character's introduction in the Star Trek: The Next Generation third season episode " Hollow Pursuits ."

  3. Every TNG Character Not Returning For Picard Season 3 (And ...

    Desperately unlucky holo-addict Reg Barclay traveled with Picard's Enterprise-D crew until Star Trek: The Next Generation's final season. Following the show's end, Barclay moves from Enterprise-D to Jupiter Station, where he puts that holodeck obsession to good use by developing new VR technology, receiving a promotion to "Lieutenant Barclay ...

  4. Captain Shaw's Best Picard Moment Turned Him Into TNG's Barclay

    Captain Shaw Geeking Out Over Geordi Turned Him Into Picard Season 3's Barclay. Captain Shaw's icy exterior melted when he got to meet Commodore Geordi La Forge. A self-described "grease monkey" engineer, Shaw's reverence for Geordi makes a certain amount of sense.

  5. Hollow Pursuits (episode) | Memory Alpha | Fandom

    Barclay claims he is self-taught, sardonically offers to teach Picard, and defeats him with his swords against Picard's throat. Picard mentions the real La Forge behind Barclay, who disbelieves him at first, but La Forge clears his throat.

  6. The Nth Degree (episode) | Memory Alpha | Fandom

    Picard asks the computer how the reactors were shut down, but it is Reginald Barclay's voice that answers. Barclay, interfaced with the computer, is now running the functions on the Enterprise and had repaired the reactors himself.

  7. Who Is Lieutenant Barclay? Star Trek: TNG’s Favorite Lower ...

    Barclay's journey continued in Star Trek: Voyager, where he became a key figure in helping the USS Voyager crew return home. Dwight Schultz's Lieutenant Reginald Barclay became a surprising fan-favorite character on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Following the adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the USS Enterprise-D ...

  8. How Reginald Barclay Changed Starfleet for the Better - Star Trek

    In Star Trek: Voyager's final season, Starfleet attempts to transmit a holographic version of Barclay to Voyager in order to help create a geodesic fold in space that would allow them to reach Alpha Quadrant. However, the transmission is hijacked by the Ferengi.

  9. 'Star Trek: Picard' S3E5 features the return of another 'TNG ...

    Fans will squeal as a beloved B-character makes her "Trek" encore in the latest episode of "Star Trek: Picard" — and then just as quickly makes her "Trek" exit.

  10. Star Trek Helped Me Accept A Trying Truth">How Star Trek Helped Me Accept A Trying Truth

    Picard recognized that we must embrace our differences and, to Riker and La Forge’s credit, the two eventually accepted and befriended Barclay. For someone who typically dealt with strange new worlds, Picard astutely advocated for a fellow human’s well-being.