(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise crew is affected when they are adrift in a remote area of space, and find themselves unable to dream.
The USS Enterprise-D is given orders to find a lost Starfleet vessel, the USS Brattain. They come upon the ship adrift in an unexplored binary star system. Beaming on board, an away team finds the entire crew murdered, except for a Betazoid, Andrus Hagan, the Brattain's scientific advisor who is catatonic.
Act One Edit
In sickbay, Doctor Beverly Crusher informs Captain Picard that some of the Brattain's crew were found barricaded in their quarters, some who obviously fought hand-to-hand. They identify Hagan, but Counselor Troi cannot get through to him. As Crusher and Picard leave, however, she then hears him describe voices "out there."
Crusher reports to Picard in his ready room that there is no indication of a psychological or physiological disease based on the autopsies of the crew, leaving the growing madness on board the Brattain, as detailed in the last log entry of Captain Chantal Zaheva unexplained. She had her first officer, Commander Brink, "eliminated" for suspicion of mutiny. All 34 of the crew killed each other, with no alien presence.
In the meantime, Counselor Troi has entered a rather intense dream. Spoken to by an unidentified voice, she asks the speaker "Where are you?". The voice repeats the phrases "eyes in the dark" and "one moon circles" as Troi is drawn toward two lights that are reminiscent of the binary star system in which the Enterprise is currently stationed.
Act Two Edit
With little progress, Picard decides to tow the Brattain to Starbase 220. Unfortunately, now the Enterprise crew begins to experience her own problems, marked by an inexplicable increase in irritability and fatigue. On the Brattain, La Forge has to reassure a crewman who apparently heard some noises when no one was there, acknowledging that the thirty-four dead people found aboard would make anyone uneasy. And on the Enterprise, conflict is spreading all over the ship; when Keiko O'Brien enters the O'Briens' quarters, she and Miles quarrel, during which Miles displays a great deal of envy towards one of his wife's co-workers, Tom Corbin. Miles leaves their quarters and enters Ten Forward, where he is warned by Chief Gillespie about the current events. O'Brien brushes the warning off, dismissing it as "ghost stories".
In the meantime, Picard is in his ready room when the door chimes. He says "Come" several times, but no one enters, and yet the chimes repeat. He finally goes to the door and sees no one there. The door continues to chime and finally someone knocks. At the door are Troi and Crusher. They say that the occurrences of violence aboard the Enterprise are continuing to escalate. Captain Picard gives the order to tractor the Brattain and move away from the area, only to find that all propulsion systems fail to operate, rendering the ship unable to move, like the Brattain.
Act Three Edit
The Enterprise has been adrift for ten days, and due to their isolated and distant location will not get assistance for at least two weeks. In the observation lounge, Data reports that it is actually trapped inside a space-time anomaly known as a Tyken's Rift, named after a Melthusian named Bela Tyken who had escaped a similar rift by detonating his cargo of anicium and yurium. However, they don't have the energy to reproduce the situation. Furthermore, a Tyken's Rift is not known to cause the unusual behaviour that is becoming more and more widespread among the crew.
Picard and Riker talk in the turbolift while going to the bridge and Riker says that sometimes he feels like someone is in his quarters, waiting for him. With grave importance on keeping their faculties intact, Picard relieves Riker for a few hours, telling him to get a nap. Riker obeys but as soon as he leaves and the door shuts, Picard thinks the turbolift ceiling is coming down on him. The door opens and the crew see him screaming. It's only a hallucination, but it's enough to make him feel that he needs Data for their continued survival while they try to find a solution to leave the Tyken's rift.
Meanwhile, Dr. Crusher is taking brain tissue scans of the dead Brattain personnel in the morgue, with the intention of comparing them to a random cross-section of the crew. As she does so, she fights off the hallucination that the bodies are moving and even sitting up. Later, in Picard's ready room, Dr. Crusher hypothesizes that the rampant outbreaks of violence aboard both ships are due to lack of rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, leading to fatigue, loss of concentration, extreme irritability, hostility, and ultimately, insanity. However, its not clear that this is not being caused by the Tyken's Rift but another force at work. Crusher notes that Troi can sleep, and Troi notes that she is the only person aboard the ship who continues to be able to dream, perhaps due to her being Betazoid, but that all of her dreams are nightmares. She believes the crew will eventually meet the same fate as the Brattain.
Act Four Edit
Troi, fatigued due to her nightmares, continues to listen to Hagan without any more information. She remarks to Dr. Crusher about the contrary situation the Betazoids and Humans have, but still with a dire ending. She takes a break to go to the bridge. Data and La Forge in engineering signal to the bridge to execute their earlier plan of using a deflector burst to disrupt the Tyken's Rift. La Forge is losing his concentration, so Data helps him out. However, though it is unsuccessful since the energy was still absorbed into the Rift.
Meanwhile, the rest of the crew are behaving irrationally. Gillespie expresses desire to fight instead of waiting until he meets the Brattain. Worf feels so helpless after the deflector burst attempt that he tries to commit suicide in his quarters. He feels that he is no longer a warrior because he is afraid of whatever is causing their sleeplessness. Troi fortunately runs to his quarters and manages to convince him to put the knife down, telling him that whatever is tormenting them is just an illusion. He agrees to go to sickbay, and it is a sign of the bizarre atmosphere aboard the ship, to see the hulking Klingon warrior being led by the hand like a frightened child by the diminutive Betazoid.
Act Five Edit
Data has assumed command of the Enterprise since Picard, like most of the crew, cannot function. Fortunately, Troi has a breakthrough with Hagan, and reports to Picard in his ready room that she thinks there are aliens trying to communicate telepathically because they are also trapped. Data says it's plausible there's another ship caught by the Tyken's Rift and, if so, they could free themselves by working together to create an explosion.
At the bridge science station, Data investigates elements to use for creating an explosion, though Troi realizes one of her message "one moon circles" refers to a hydrogen atom. If the Enterprise releases hydrogen toward the other ship, and Troi sends the message to act, they could produce the necessary explosion.
Troi goes to sickbay to be put to sleep; Data says she only has two minutes to send the message. Data prepares the release, and assumes the role of acting captain of the Enterprise when he finds Picard slow to respond, ejecting the hydrogen into the space immediately in front of the ship through the Bussard collectors.
To get more power, Data orders all crew to go to designated emergency shelter areas so unoccupied parts of the ship can be taken off of life support. The crew in Ten Forward thinks the situation is an experiment and want to mutiny, led by Gillespie. Guinan realizes that something might happen and calls security. As soon as security enters, a fight breaks out. Guinan takes a weapon she acquired from Magus III from behind Ten Forward's bar and fires it into the ceiling. The shock value of the sight is enough in stopping the fight.
Just after there is no longer sufficient power to maintain the hydrogen stream leaving the Bussard collectors, an explosion erupts in front of the ship, indicating that Troi was successful. Power and life support are restored to normal, allowing the Enterprise and the alien vessel to escape the rift, although the Brattain is apparently left behind. As his last duty as acting captain, Data orders Picard and the rest of the crew to their quarters to sleep. Data leads the Enterprise to Starbase 220.
Log entries Edit
Memorable quotes Edit
"Eyes in the dark... one moon circles."
- - Counselor Troi's recurring nightmare, later determined to be a telepathic message from another vessel trapped in the rift
"First officer Brink and his men were behind it. They got to the engines, they don't work anymore. Had to eliminate Brink!"
- - Chantal Zaheva, commanding officer of the Brattain during her captain's log
"All 34 of them appear to have killed each other."
"What could have caused such an event? Drugs? A virus? Poison?"
- - Beverly Crusher and Jean-Luc Picard
"There is an inevitable conclusion to this pattern and if I can't find a way to stop it... we will all go insane."
- - Crusher, on the crew's lack of REM sleep
"I will need to rely on you from now on. We may need to count on you for our very survival."
"I will do my best, sir."
- - Picard and Data, as the situation aboard the Enterprise continues to deteriorate
"I am no longer a warrior! I am no longer strong! I feel..."
"What? What do you feel?"
"...I feel fear."
"To admit that you're afraid gives you strength."
- - Worf and Troi
"What is that?"
"This is a little souvenir I picked up from Magus III. That was setting number one. Anyone wanna see setting number two?"
- - Gillespie and Guinan, regarding her phaser rifle
"Sir... as my final duty as acting captain... I order you to bed."
- - Data, to Picard
"Pleasant dreams, sir."
- - Data, as Picard goes to his quarters to sleep
Background information Edit
Production history Edit
- Revised final draft script: 17 December 1990 
- Filmed: 7 January 1991 – 15 January 1991
- Additional blue screen shots filmed: 22 January 1991
- Premiere airdate: 18 March 1991
- First UK airdate: 12 October 1994
Story and production Edit
- Teleplay writer Jeri Taylor noted, "This was a real tough episode. It was convoluted, it was a little mysterious, technical, quasi-supernatural. It was all over the map and there were a lot of different episodes to try and make cohesive. I rewrote and rewrote it, and I never thought we were ever going to put that one to bed. It was strange. Troi's dream sequences are not something you get to see every week." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Michael Piller noted that the pace of the show was so slow that the episode ran nine minutes over and had to be severely cut. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion) According to the call sheets there were scenes planned but cut which were filmed on the engineering set, in front of Troi's office, in sickbay, and on the main bridge.
- "Night Terrors" was filmed between Monday 7 January 1991 and Tuesday 15 January 1991 on Paramount Stage 8, 9, and 16. Additional blue screen shots were filmed on Tuesday 22 January 1991 on Paramount Stage 13. This was the first episode filmed in 1991.
- The explosion of the "rift" is reused footage of the explosion of the Genesis Device from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- Brian Tochi (Peter Lin) previously played Ray Tsing Tao in TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead".
- John Vickery later played Rusot in three episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's final season and the Klingon Orak in the Star Trek: Enterprise second season episode "Judgment".
- While trying to escape the Tyken's Rift, Picard and Data both reference the use of the Enterprise's deflector dish to defeat the Borg in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds" as a possible solution.
- A room is finally seen behind a seldom used sickbay door that doesn't lead to a corridor or the medical lab. Right after the teaser, Picard and Crusher leave this room which seems to be the morgue and enter the main sickbay room.
- As mentioned in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, this episode is considered to be one of the weakest of the fourth season and many members of the production staff were unhappy with it. The scenes with Troi "flying" were said to be a "terrible" mistake by Jeri Taylor and Robert Legato described them as "horrible". Marina Sirtis commented that her desire for more action scenes had backfired; she had to grapple with an intense fear of heights in order to film them. Sirtis recalled, "The terror on my face was actually real. I was absolutely terrified." (Selected Crew Analysis: Year Four – Crew Profile: Counselor Troi, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- Jonathan Frakes remarked, "That was a yawner, wasn't it? That was a shitty piece of special effects work when Troi was flying with those cloud[s] around her. That was below our standard." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Marina Sirtis opined, "I liked the storyline of that episode because it was about the dreamworld, and I'm of Greek descent so I totally believe dreams mean something. And not the Freudian thing, all this hocus pocus. So that was another one that I could relate to really strongly. But I did hate the flying." (Selected Crew Analysis: Year Four – Crew Profile: Counselor Troi, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- Rick Berman commented, "The sleep disorder was that our people were not getting enough REM sleep [and] they were all going mad which, in fact, is what would happen. It was all medically accurate, but it was kind of hard to follow and got convoluted. I don't think there was anything very terrifying in it." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Michael Piller concluded, "[I]t was the first show right after Christmas hiatus and I don't think everybody was quite back on their feet yet. As a result, the energy level was way down and the timing was off and the nature of the problem made everybody start reading slowly... The bottom line was that it was no longer a script because they were dream deprived. They were all talking slowly and after a while that gets pretty boring, and the middle of that show sagged and was slow, boring and disappointing." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- A mission report for this episode by John Sayers was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 16, pp. 42-44.
- Director Les Landau blocked this episode out and prefers not to discuss it, for reasons he won't elaborate. It had something to do with Troi floating in space. (The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 21, p. 45)
Video and DVD releases Edit
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 46, May 1992
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 4.6, 6 August 2001
- As part of the TNG Season 4 DVD collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- 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 Edit
- Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
- John Vickery as Andrus Hagan
- Duke Moosekian as Gillespie
- Craig Hurley as Peeples
- Brian Tochi as Peter Lin
- Lanei Chapman as Sariel Rager
- Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien
Special guest star Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
- Michael Braveheart as Martinez
- Clark as USS Brattain crewmember
- Tracee Cocco as Jae
- George Colucci as security officer
- Gerard David, Jr. as USS Brattain crewmember
- B.J. Davis as security officer
- A. Flores as science division officer
- Margaret Flores as science division officer
- Keith Gearhart as science division officer
- Michele Gerren as civilian
- Kai as science division officer
- Kast as command division officer
- Kim as operations division officer
- Ampy Koran as civilian
- Ken Lesco as civilian
- Loska as command division officer
- Marin as command division officer
- Debbie Marsh as command division officer
- James McElroy as command division officer
- Lorine Mendell as Diana Giddings
- Michael Moorehead as science division ensign
- Moran as USS Brattain science division officer
- S. Moriarty as Joseph A. Longo
- Terry Noel as operations division officer
- Frank Orsatti as science division officer
- John Rice as civilian
- Noriko Suzuki as operations division ensign
- Talbot as Ten Forward waitress
- Thompson as USS Brattain scientist
- Truman as USS Brattain scientist
- Val as USS Brattain crewmember
- Unknown performers as
Stunt double Edit
Stand-ins and photo doubles Edit
- David Keith Anderson – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Brett – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Candace Crump – stand-in for Whoopi Goldberg
- Margaret Flores – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Nora Leonhardt – stand-in for Marina Sirtis & Deborah Taylor
- Tim McCormack – stand-in for Brent Spiner, Craig Hurley, John Vickery & Duke Moosekian
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in and hand double for Gates McFadden
- Randy Pflug – stand-in for Colm Meaney
- Rayna – stand-in for Lanei Chapman
- Joyce Robinson – stand-in for Lanei Chapman
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Dennis Tracy – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Guy Vardaman – hand double for Brent Spiner
- James Washington – stand-in for Michael Dorn
anicium; antimatter pods; autopsy; autopsy report; Balthus; Betazed; Betazoid; binary star system; biology; boatswain's whistle; Borg; brain tissue; Brattain, USS; Brink; Bussard collectors; calendenium; Cardilia; catatonic state; chemical imbalance; coffee; Corbin, Tom; cortical scanner; deflector dish; deuterium injector; directed dreaming; distress call; drugs; electron; energy; entorhinal cortex; field generator; frequency; ghost story; headache; hydrogen; impulse engine; isozyme; Kaladian thorn flower; Kenicki; laticifer; life support system; Magus III; Magus III energy weapon; magnetic containment; matter valves; Melthusian; Melthusian starship; Miranda-class; mutiny; Number one; ontogeny; phaser; photon torpedo; plant biology; plant biology lab; PGO signal; poison; polymorphism; positron emission sensor; power coil; propulsion system; proton; rat; REM sleep; scientific advisor; snake; somatic drug; Starbase 220; Starfleet ghost; suicide; telepathy; theta wave; thruster; tractor beam; turbolift; Tyken, Bela; Tyken's crew; Tyken's Rift; Tyken's Rift being; virus; visual cortex; warp drive; warp tow; yurium
Okudagram references Edit
Adams Research Group; antimatter (antideuterium); avitable compound 283; Balter compound 298; Balter detonator; bio-genovesium; bioneutralization; Bishop/P 374; Blitmanite; Blitmanite 834; brown tricobalt 126; carbon; Cervantes fusion explosive; clancium oxide; class H; class K planet; class N; class R; deuterium; electrolytic fractioning; electrolytic recycling; electronic pulse actuator; emergency disconnect explosive bolt; emergency jettison thruster; engineering; Evora oxide; firefighting; fuel; fusion reactor; gamma pulse ignition device; Grant thermite 893; Gronerium compound 3983; Hoffmeisterite compound 239; hutzelite 27; hydrogen; impulse propulsion system; laser detonator; Lauritson solid 451; Lichfield suspension; long-range impact probe; Ludovko IX; magnesium; magnetic confinement pod; medical tricorder; microfusion device; microwave pulse ignition device; microwave pulse detonator; mining; molnar composite (thermal); mooride polyronite B; moyerite (synthetic); neussite 283; nuclear explosive; organic waste; oxygen; pastorium liquid 342; Pl cohesion; plutonium; plutonium ryanite; radioisotope; remote spectroscopy vaporization device; Rossium-K; R'M'Yr B'rneht Institute; Ryan Crystals 8489; sarium krellide; saurium krellide 024; shelf life; specific impulse; standard year; Starfleet Regulations; sodium; solid rocket motor device; sternbachium; takemurium 9839; terraforming; thermal grantium compound; thermal pulse ignition charge; toddtracium; toxicity; tricorder; tri-nikolas powder; type VI reactor; type 12 Hillebrand detonator; type 43 fusion detonator; ullage thruster device; ultritium; ultritium 283; ultritium 342; ultritium compound 902; vernier thruster device; walkerite 342; warp propulsion system; Wynsdey III
Dedication plaque referencesEdit
40 Eridani A Starfleet Construction Yards (40 Eridani A); Advanced Technologies Division; Brownfield, Dick; Chamberlin, Mandy; Chess, Joe ; Exploratory Division; Fleet Administration; Fleet Operations; Fleet Yards Operations; James, Richard; Landau, Les; Legato, Robert; Mission Operations; Nesterowicz, John; Orbital Operations; Peets, Bill; Rush, Marvin; Simmons, Adele; Sordal, Bob; Starfleet Academy; Stellar Imaging Division; Tactical Command; Yacobian, Brad; Yoyodyne Division
- "Night Terrors" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Night Terrors" at Wikipedia
- Night Terrors at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Night Terrors" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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