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"Who Watches the Watchers?" is the 51st episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the fourth episode of TNG's third season, airing the week of 16 October, 1989. The story dealt with a planet where the primitive inhabitants mistake Federation observers for gods.

While the aired episode bore titles in a display font that rendered the name, typographically, as "Who Watches The Watchers" (entirely in title case without punctuation), The Star Trek Encyclopedia and other licensed sources render the title more correctly as "Who Watches the Watchers?".


Captain's log, stardate 43173.5
We are en route to Mintaka III where a three-man Federation anthropological field team has been studying the inhabitants. Our mission is to resupply the outpost and repair their malfunctioning reactor.
First officer's log, stardate 43174.2
Counselor Troi and I are beaming down to Mintaka III to locate Dr. Palmer and to determine the extent of the cultural contamination. Dr. Crusher has temporarily altered our features and skin color. She's also implanted subcutaneous communicators so that any transmissions we receive will be inaudible to the Mintakans.
Captain's log, supplemental
Dr. Crusher has repaired my injury with her usual skill. Mr. La Forge will supervise the dismantling of the observation post after I make one last visit to Mintaka III.



BaileyBarronBeverly CrusherDataFentoDiana GiddingsHaliHoyGeordi La ForgeLikoMartinezNuriaOjiPakiTimothy T. PalmerJean-Luc PicardWilliam T. RikerDeanna TroiMary WarrenWorfYari
Referenced only
Katherine Pulaski

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise-D (Galaxy-class explorer)


Mintaka III (Mintaka system)

Races and cultures

Referenced only

States and organizations


Science and technology

androidanimalanthropologybatterybow and arrowbraincommunicatorelectromagnetismfusion reactorhologramholographic masking systemhornbuckhumanoidimpulse enginelifeformlysosomememory wipeminutenorepphaserphaser bankplanetplantproto-Vulcan humanoidreactorskinspacestarstardatestar systemstarshipsubcutaneous communicatorsubspace relay stationsundialsynapsetechnologythalliumtopographytricordrazinevulcanoidwarp drivewattweaponzenith

Ranks and titles

captaincommanderchief engineerchief medical officercounselordoctorengineerensignfirst officerflight controllerlieutenant commanderlieutenantnurseoperations manageroverseerrecord keepersecond officersecurity chief

Other references

away teamBronze Agecaptain's logduck blindfirst officer's logholy warinquisitionKarst topographylog entryMintakan tapestryobservation teamoutpostphilosophyPrime Directiveraces and culturesreligionsickbaytextiles


13th century
Doctor Katherine Pulaski's memory wipe technique is used on the Dreman Sarjenka. (TNG episode: "Pen Pals")
2366 (stardate 43173.5)
The Enterprise-D is called to Mintaka.


Related media




Published Order
Previous episode:
The Survivors
TNG episodes Next episode:
The Bonding
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Chapter 4 (section 4), Chapter 6 (sections 6-7), & Chapter 14 (section 13)
Pocket Books Timeline Next adventure:
Doomsday World
Previous adventure:
Chapter 4 (section 4), Chapter 6 (sections 6-7), & Chapter 14 (section 13)
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Forbidden Fruit
Previous adventure:
Forbidden Fruit
DC Comics Timeline Next adventure:
Doomsday World

External links