- MA files from this episode (8) • MA remastered files from this episode (63)
- Template:Titles/The Neutral Zone yields The Neutral Zone (TNG 1x26)
For general discussion on this episode, visit the TNG forum at The Trek BBS.
Doctor Who Edit
- Nope, all six are present - William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker - (although the TNG effects people continue that annoying habit of adding a second 'd' to Peter's name). -- Michael Warren | Talk 13:59, 11 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Sorry, didn't notice them! zsingaya 14:11, 11 Apr 2005 (EDT)
While the Borg are never mentioned in this episode, it could be said that this is the first evidence of their existence which appears on the show; while the episode's focus is on the interaction with the Romulans and with the survivors of the cryonic satellite, the missing outposts are described as having been scooped out of the ground; reference the opening scenes of 'The Best of Both Worlds, Part I', where the Jouret Four colony has been likewise scooped away. The Borg would also provide a convenient explanation for the cryonic satellite having been 'rummaged'; it could be argued that they'd been aboard, had breached some of the cylinders and taken at least one occupant away somewhere, but hadn't found the technology worth any further attention. (I didn't want to edit this into the article out of nowhere. If you find it worthy, please feel free to do so.) – The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk).
- The fact that the Borg were responsible for the destruction of the outposts was established in "Q Who", I believe. --From Andoria with Love 22:49, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
- No, not in the episode. Background info in that article and this one describes the writer's intent, but, to say that the episode established it is not right. This episode doesn't establish the Borg, and the other one doesn't establish the Neutral Zone attacks. Not onscreen, anyway. Not at all. 188.8.131.52 01:55, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
- Actually, Q Who establishes the Borg for this episode. Data says something like "The Effect (scooping of Delta Quadrant Cities) is identical to that which we saw in the Neutral Zone"--Nmajmani 23:41, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Eye of the Needle Edit
I wanted to add this background note, but I am not sure it fits in here. Could someone please advise.
Although official first re-contact occurred in this episode, Voyager made contact with a Romulan Science vessel from 2351 through means of a micro-wormhole which had a 20 year phase variance. --Nmajmani 23:41, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Not sure if this belongs here, but did anyone else find it odd that the Replicator made a good martini in this episode. In all other examples of the replicator producing an alcoholic beverage the results have been disappointing: Scotty's scotch in "Relics", Odell's scotch in "Up the Long Ladder" – The preceding unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk).
- Well, either L.Q. Clemonds has less sophisticated tastes than Scotty or Odell or a martini is easier to replicate than scotch.– Cleanse 23:55, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
"At the time of this episode it had been 53 years, 7 months and 18 days since the Federation last had contact with the Romulans. The last known Romulan to have contact with the Federation onscreen was Ambassador Nanclus."
In the beginning of 'Star Trek: Generations', it says that 78 years separate Picard's dealings with the Nexus and Kirk's death. How is this possible? – The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk).
- It's really two different things incorrectly put together as if to say the Nanclus was the last Romulan contact with the Federation, when this episode establishes that the actual last contact with the Romulans was a good 18 years later, and simply that Nanclus was the last Romulan from that era that we, the viewers, are aware of. It's really not all that relevant, actually. --Alan 07:00, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Moving and removing Background Edit
I'm moving the alternative "the neutral zone" to this page, that seems more fitting to me.
Not sure what to do about this, but i don't think that it has something to do with this article background...
- In the early DC TNG six-issue miniseries, a comment written by one of the editors mentioned that a script had been written which would have shown the Enterprise recovering a derelict sleeper ship only to find Harry Mudd on board. While Harry would have recognized the Enterprise, no one on board recognized Harry. This script was meant to be put in production but the actor Roger C. Carmel passed away before the episode could be made. Purportedly that script was rewritten into what became "The Neutral Zone".
Visual Gene Roddenberry cameo? Edit
The person displayed on the computer screen for the file on Thomas Raymond (at roughly 42'56" into the episode) does look an awful lot like Gene Roddenberry. I wonder if this would be noteworthy. 18.104.22.168 18:49, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
- It is not Roddenberry, it is Peter Lauritson.--31dot 18:54, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
- I happily stand corrected, thank you. Is mine a common mistake, due to the (obviously only superficial) visual resemblence? 22.214.171.124 00:23, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
- There could be a slight resemblance. I haven't heard anyone state that before, but that doesn't mean others haven't seen it. :)--31dot 18:07, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Invest in yourselfs Edit
"What do you invest in?" "We invest in ourselves."
- Comment- these quotes were removed by the above user.--31dot 11:43, September 18, 2010 (UTC)
Citation needed Edit
- The original Hungarian dubbed version of this episode (in the 1990s) changed Sonny's line about TV and baseball to "Is Dallas still on the air? I bet they're doing at least the 1000th episode." as local viewers weren't familiar enough with American baseball teams.
Clare Raymond Family Tree Edit
I have done as much as I can on this tree in the remastered edition. Maybe others can help? I know that most of the names belong to people that Michael Okuda knows or works with at CBS or at Paramount.
I was unable to determine these names:
- Screen 4, First Column : Kelly  Raymond – the middle name is unreadable
- Screen 4, Second Column: Marian  Raymond – the middle name is unreadable
- Screen 4, Second Column: Demitre (?) Ganza (?) Raymond – I am not sure on the first two names
- Screen 4, Second Column:   Raymond – the first and middle names are unreadable (under James Holt Raymond)
- Screen 4, Second Column:   – the first and surname are unreadable
- Screen 4, Second Column: sana Noa Raymond – most of the first name is unreadable
- Screen 5, Second Column: Monica  Raymond – the middle is unreadable
- Screen 5, Second Column: Jeff  Raymond – the middle is unreadable
- Screen 5, Second Column: Scott  Raymond – the middle name is unreadable
- Screen 5, Second Column:   Raymond – the first and middle are unreadable
- Screen 5, Second Column: Robert (?) Netmyer (?) Raymond, I am not sure on the first two names
- Screen 5, Second Column:   Raymond, the first and middle name are unreadable
Removed essay Edit
This episode constitutes an apparent complex intersection of continuity errors. The main premise of the episode of an orbital satellite accidentally breaking Earth orbit and straying into deep interstellar space appears to border on impossibility, given what is known of the laws of physics and of the Star Trek universe.
There is no explanation for how the satellite may have accidentally broken orbit from the planet, or when that may have happened. More perplexing is how the satellite managed to travel to its discovered location. Despite the fact that the precise location is unknown, there is adequate information available that, when taken in combination, implies that the satellite's journey would have been impossible at sub light speeds.
The satellite was discovered near Starbase 718. The location of this Starbase is not known, however it is clearly reasonably close to the Romulan Neutral Zone. The distance from Earth to the Neutral Zone is not clearly stated at any time. But knowing that the Sol System is located in sector 001, and given the known sectors containing some portion of the Neutral Zone, it would appear that sector 004 is likely to be the area where the Neutral Zone comes closest to Earth. Therefore, even the most conservative assumptions placing Earth on the border of sectors 001 and 002, while placing the Neutral Zone at the border of sectors 003 and 004, the absolute closest reach between Earth and the Neutral Zone is two full sectors.
The size of a sector is not clearly defined at any point in Star Trek, however there are several clues that offer guidance. When the USS Voyager used a graviton catapult, the device was able to transport the ship across thirty sectors of space in less than an hour, a journey that would have otherwise taken three years. This implies that Voyager was able to travel 10 sectors in a year's time. Within the scope of Voyager's broader journey, the ship began in the Delta Quadrant near Ocampa, at what was estimated to be approximately 70,000 light years from Earth. This journey was estimated to take 75 years to complete. This would make for approximately 933 light years per year. It would therefore appear that a sector of space is approximately 93 light years across.
According to Dr. Crusher the passengers of the cryogenic satellite were preserved some time in the late 20th century. If we conservatively assume that the satellite broke orbit from Earth in the year 2000, that would make for 363 years of interstellar travel. Even if we conservatively assume that Starbase 718 lies on the line between Earth and the closest point of the Neutral Zone (a distance of no less than two sectors), and further assume that Starbase 718 is exactly equidistant from Earth and the Neutral Zone (ie one sector of 93 light years) then the satellite would have needed to maintain a speed of slightly more than one quarter the speed of light, or the full impulse speed of the USS Voyager.
Considering the fact that 20th century Earth technology was not capable of producing such velocities, and that an orbital satellite would not have been equipped with such a propulsion system in the first place, it would therefore appear that something or someone intervened at some point to subject the satellite to significant acceleration in order for it to be discovered by the Enterprise-D near Starbase 718.
This however, leads to additional continuity problems, as Worf and Data are seen transporting onto the satellite, presumably from the Enterprise. Transporters of the time had a maximum range of 40,000 km. At a speed of one quarter the speed of light (approximately 75,000 km per second), the Enterprise would have needed to match the satellite's velocity in order to complete the transport. However, when giving permission to Data to explore the satellite Commander Riker ordered him to be back before Captain Picard returned. Riker's order implies that Picard's return was expected possibly at any time. It also implies that Picard would be arriving by way of some other vessel, such as a shuttle craft. Shuttles are known to have a lower top impulse speed than star ships. Therefore, by matching the satellite's velocity, the Enterprise would either be traveling in a direction away from Starbase 718 at a speed impossible for Picard to overcome in the first place (making Riker's order out of place), or in a direction roughly toward Starbase 718. If the latter were true, the satellite, and the Enterprise while matching course within transporter range, would be expected to overtake the Starbase in relatively short order (given the limitations of shuttle speeds the Enterprise could not have been very far from the Starbase at the time) only to again be on a trajectory that would make it impossible for Picard's shuttle to catch up.
It is of course possible that Picard was to be transported by another star ship (after all, he was attending an emergency meeting regarding the recent destruction of several outposts, and it is likely that other star ship captains were also in attendance) however that raises the question as to why the Enterprise itself would not have simply returned to the Starbase to pick up Picard. The continuity problems surrounding the need for the Enterprise to match the satellite's velocity are further complicated due to the fact that the one quarter light speed presumes that the accelerating event that the satellite experienced occurred almost instantly after breaking the Earth's orbit. The more likely scenario would be for the satellite to have traveled for decades, leaving the solar system, eventually accelerating by some means to a final speed faster than one quarter light. All the same, the exchange on the bridge appears to suggest that instead of traveling at a high rate of sub-light speed, Riker and Data seem to perceive the satellite as drifting along an a relatively leisurely manner.