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Rascals (episode)

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(written from a Production point of view)

Captain Picard, Ensign Ro, Guinan, and Keiko O'Brien are regressed physiologically to age 12 by a transporter accident, but retain their adult memories, resulting in different reactions from each. When rogue Ferengi hijack the Enterprise, the young crewmembers, along with Alexander Rozhenko, lead the revolt.



"Captain's Log, Stardate 46235.7. Ensign Ro, Keiko O'Brien, Guinan and I are returning to the Enterprise after a fascinating visit to the planet Marlonia."
Young crew

As twelve year olds

Returning to the USS Enterprise-D from a botanic and archaeology expedition on the planet Marlonia--where Keiko O'Brien had found a specimen of Draebidium calimus, and Captain Picard had found 700-year-old crockery with inscriptions somewhat resembling early Taguan but more closely resembling Barolian designs, the Enterprise-D shuttlecraft Fermi carrying Ro Laren, Captain Picard, Keiko, and Guinan is enveloped by an energy anomaly. The emergency transport to the Enterprise is difficult – Chief O'Brien having been puzzled by the implication of a forty percent drop in mass of the transportees –and, upon being beamed aboard the Enterprise-D, O'Brien and the away party themselves are shocked by the materialization on the transporter platform of a twelve-year-old captain, bartender, botanist, and Bajoran ensign, instead of their adult selves.

Act OneEdit

Despite their new appearances, the crew is determined to continue their duties. However, they all find it hard to do so. Picard gives the command to head to Ligos VII, from where they received a distress signal, once they are done salvaging the remains of the Fermi, the shuttlecraft he was in, but the bridge crew is slightly intimidated to be under the command of a twelve-year-old captain. Picard attempts to make the change work, despite Dr. Crusher's suggestions, but soon realizes the wiser course of action. He hands over temporary command to his first officer, Commander Riker, and retires to his quarters.

Elsewhere on the ship, Guinan and Ro are trying to adjust to their new lifestyles. Ro just wants to return to duty, while Guinan is enjoying this experience. She tells Ro she has not been this young in a very long time and she intends to enjoy every minute of it. Ro complains constantly about how much she hates being a child, and Guinan insists how fun childhood is. Ro leaves to contemplate her current situation alone in her quarters and young Guinan joins her in a turbolift.

Also, Keiko is having some trouble of her own. Being a mother now, it is hard for her husband, Miles to accept the fact that she resembles the image of a twelve-year-old girl. He says that he will adjust but it will be difficult. However, Miles and Keiko's daughter, Molly, does not respond the same. She does not recognize her mother when she comes to read her a bedtime story. Miles, not having the heart to break the news to Molly, offers to read the night's story.

Act TwoEdit

"First Officer's Log, supplemental. The Enterprise has reached the Ligos system, and we have begun to search for the missing Federation science team. Doctor Crusher reports no progress on a cure for the members of the shuttle crew."

Counselor Troi suggests alternatives for Captain Picard should Starfleet not accept a child Captain, such as getting another degree at Starfleet Academy or taking a sabbatical, and studying geology or archaeology.

Meanwhile, Guinan finally persuades Ro to have a little childhood fun, which apparently allows Ro to relax and enjoy herself: they jump on a bed, each trying to go higher than the other.

Dr. Crusher compares genetic sequences of tissues taken from Picard prior to the event and afterwards. The same effect happens to Keiko's plants.

Act ThreeEdit

Enterprise-D under attack by 2 Birds of prey crewed by Ferengi renegades

The Enterprise-D under attack by the Ferengi renegades.

Meanwhile, Dr. Crusher thinks she has found a solution to the problem. After using a rapid growth mechanism, she discovers that the missing genetic codes that dictate the officer's appearance can be replaced in the transporter beam. Before she can attempt her plan, though, the ship is taken hostage by renegade Ferengi who have already taken command of two Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Riker manages to lock out the computer's command functions. All adults, with the exception of Commander Riker, who is needed to remove the encryption of the computer, are transported to the surface for slave labor.

However, the senior officers who were transformed into children are still allowed to remain on board with all the other children. Picard and Keiko lure the Ferengi in the transporter room out with a toy car, obtain phasers, and set up a force field around the transporter pad while Alexander steals two hyposprays from sickbay. By tricking Berik, the Ferengi guard outside the room in which he is held captive by acting petulant (as a child might), Picard manages to contact Riker, under the pretense that Riker is his father. Pretending to want to play computer games, Picard conveys the message while sitting in the observation lounge to Riker to activate the LCARS net in the schoolroom which would give them full access to the computer systems. Once Picard is back in the classroom, the lead Ferengi, DaiMon Lurin, threatens to harm the children if Riker does not unlock the computer and teach his lieutenant Morta how to operate the Enterprise. Riker pretends to instruct the Ferengi officer but only speaks in nonsensical technobabble. On the side, Riker unlocks the computer in the classroom.

When the "children" gain control to the transporter, they start using combadges to beam the Ferengi behind the force field on the transporter pad and the weapons deactivation program to disable their sidearms. With the majority of the Ferengi confined, and with help from Riker, Picard disables the Ferengi on the bridge and confronts Lurin in the ready room with a phaser, thus ending the siege.

"Captain's Log, Stardate 46236.3. We have taken Lurin and his men into custody. The Ferengi Alliance has quickly disavowed any knowledge of these renegades. With the mining operation closed and our crew back on board, we can now turn our attention to other problems."

After the Ferengi are taken into custody, the doctor and Chief O'Brien use the transporter to change Picard, Keiko, and Guinan back into adults. However, at Guinan's suggestion, Ro stays a child a little longer so she can finally learn to enjoy her childhood.

Memorable quotesEdit

"Look at these fragments. They're... they're very nearly in perfect condition, and yet they're seven hundred years old."
"So is my father."

- Picard and Guinan

"So what the hell am I supposed to do now?"

- Young Ro getting used to being a child again

"You are asking me to step down."
"You are still Jean-Luc Picard. What do you think you should do?"

- Young Picard is recommended to hand command of the Enterprise to Riker by Crusher

"Well, I should be doing something, instead of just standing around, waiting for them to find a cure!"
"You're right. Let's go play."

- Young Ro and young Guinan

"[Childhood] was a long, depressing period of my life and I was grateful when it was finally over. I'd rather not relive it."

- Young Ro

"I haven't been young for a long time and I intend to enjoy every minute of it."

- Young Guinan

"It's... I don't know, but this feels wrong somehow."
"Miles Edward O'Brien, I am still your wife."
"- Technically, yes. "
"- Technically?"
"No, I-I mean, of course you're my wife. But you're also ten years old."
"Beverly said it's actually closer to 12."
"- That's not the point. -"
"So what is the point? – Is our marriage over?"
"- I didn't say that. But until they find a way to reverse this effect, it's hard to ignore the fact that you're a little girl."

- Miles O' Brien and Young Keiko

"You could return to the Academy. Take another degree. Brush up on your Latin."
"And be Wesley Crusher's roommate?"

- Troi and Young Picard, discussing Picard's choices while waiting for his body to mature again

"[...] I've spent my life looking forward [...]"

- Young Picard, about his attitude toward life

"It's a child's computer, Remember? Computer, can you show me a picture of the inside of the Enterprise?"
"Yes, I can. The Enterprise is a Galaxy-class starship. Can you spell Enterprise? E-N-T-E-R-..."
"Delete audio!"

- Young Guinan, elementary school computer, and young Picard

"This is the first time these Jefferies tubes haven't seemed cramped."
"How much farther do we have to go?"
"About fifty meters. Don't tell me you're tired."
"I'm not as young as I used to be." Shared chuckle

- Young Ro and young Guinan

"I need to see my father. ... I need to see him right now! ... I need to see him now! Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, N – Stop it; you hurt me! I want my father! I want my father!"

- Young Picard to the Ferengi guard outside the classroom

"Thanks, number one."
(A Ferengi guard eyes Picard and Riker with suspicion)
"- He's my number one Dad!"
(Picard and Riker embrace, grinning widely)

- Young Picard, plotting with Riker to recapture the Enterprise

"Okay, Morta. The Enterprise computer system is controlled by three primary main processor cores, cross-linked with redundant melacortz-ramistat 14-kiloquad interface modules. The core element is based on an FTL nanoprocessor with 25 bilateral kelilactirals. With twenty of those being slaved into the primary Heisenfram terminals. Now, you know what a bilateral kelilactiral is?"
"Of course I do, Human. I am not stupid!"
"No. Of course not. This is the isopalavial interface which controls the main firomantal drive unit. Don't touch that – you'll blow up the entire firomantal drive."
"Alright, wa..wa..Wait! Wha..what is a, a ferromactal drive? Just explain it to me!"
"That is the firomantal drive unit, it controls the ramistat core and keeps the ontarian manifold at 40,000 KRGs. The firomantal drive is powered by..."

- Riker, spouting gibberish (and just a hint of real treknobabble) about the inner workings of the Enterprise computer to Morta (Riker repeatedly says 'firomantal', Morta mispronounces it)

"I believe you're in my chair."

- Young Picard, as he points a phaser at Lurin in his ready room

"How do you feel?"
"I feel fine. Everything... seems a little smaller."

- Crusher after Picard is returned to being an adult by the transporter

"Did you do this one, too?"
"Uh-huh. I did that one, all of them!"

- Adult Guinan and young Ro discussing Ro's drawings

Background information Edit

Whoopi Goldberg and Cosmo Genovese

Goldberg and script supervisor Cosmo Genovese on set

Story and production Edit

  • Ronald D. Moore commented: "When Michael [Piller] bought the premise I thought he was completely insane: An Away Team rematerializes on the transporter as children — with adult minds! I tried again and again to bury this idea, which of course meant that I would get saddled with the inevitable rewrite when the script came in. I just thought it was a ludicrous idea and wanted nothing to do with it. That said, once I got the assignment, the professional writer in me had to commit to the material and do the best with it that I could, so I tried very hard to bring humor and humanity to the proceedings, chiefly through the Guinan/Ro story that I did end up liking in the end. I still cringe when I think of the episode (the Ferengi capture the Enterprise in a couple of broken down Birds of Prey???) but many people have told me how much they like it." (AOL chat, 1997)
  • As originally scripted, when the Ferengi begin to board the Enterprise, both Worf and Data would have been attacked by the intruders. By the time the episode went to production, Data was allowed to remain uninjured and can be seen held captive along with the rest of the bridge crew.
  • This episode is directed by Adam Nimoy, the son of Leonard Nimoy. He also later directed "Timescape".
  • First UK airdate: 23 August 1995

Cast Edit

Adam Nimoy and David Tristan Birkin

Adam Nimoy directs Birkin

Continuity Edit

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest stars Edit


Special guest star Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins and photo doubles Edit

References Edit

adolescence; anesthizine; archeology; auxiliary power; bilateral kelilactiral; bioscan; B'rel-class; Buranian; calcium; class 4 probe; crayon; Crusher, Wesley; DaiMon; doll; Draebidium calimus; Draebidium froctus; drawing; Earl Grey tea; elements; Federation; Ferengi Salvage Code; Fermi; firomactal drive; FTL nanoprocessor; Galaxy-class; Humuhumunukunukuapua'a; inertial damper; interface module; Jefferies tube; jumper; keiyurium; kiloquad; Langford; Latin; Ligos VII; Ligos system; Lurin's Bird-of-Prey; Marlonia; Marlonian; melacortz ramstat; mercury (element); microfracture; Midsummer Night's Dream, A; molecular reversion field; Number one; phase inducer; plant biology; primary heisenfram terminal; quad; red alert; refugee camp; Ro Talia; Romulans; rybo-viroxic-nucleic; sabbatical; security access code; shore leave; square root; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Suvin IV; tag; Taguan; Tarcassian razor beast; tin; tissue sample; transporter; tritanium; turbolift; type 6 shuttlecraft; Vendarite; vocabulary

Library computer references Edit

External links Edit

Previous episode:
"True Q"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 6
Next episode:
"A Fistful of Datas"

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