This Day in Television History – November 21st, 1988 – Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “The Child” Airs

The new Chief Medical Officer of the Enterprise is tested when one crewmember becomes pregnant from a mysterious alien presence.

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As the episode begins, a shuttlecraft from the Excelsior-class USS Repulse, departs the Enterprise to soaring music scored by Dennis McCarthy. Courtesy: Paramount / Viacom / CBS

“The Child” is the 1st episode of the 2nd season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Written by Jaron Summers, Jon Povill, and Maurice Hurley, and directed by Rob Bowman, the episode first aired on November 21st, 1988 in syndication.

The Enterprise is on a mission transporting samples of deadly diseases for possible research into a cure for a spreading disease. As this mission is going on, Counselor Troi is visited by an alien presence and becomes pregnant, giving a quick and painless birth to a quickly-growing boy.

The episode introduced many changes to the show for its second season. LeVar Burton’s Geordi La Forge became the Chief Engineer and Commander Riker sported a beard for the first time that he would keep for the remainder of the show. Diana Muldaur’s Dr. Katherine Pulaski debuts in this episode, but would only stay for the remainder of the 2nd season. Also making her first appearance is Whoopi Goldberg as the alien 10-Forward bartender, Guinan.

“The Child” is actually based on a script for the aborted Phase II Star Trek series that was put into production into the 1970s before it was changed into Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

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