Too Short a Season

Too Short a Season
"Too Short a Season"
Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
Too Short a Season.jpg
Admiral Mark Jameson, reversed from a geriatric to youth, before Karnas.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 16
Directed by Rob Bowman
Teleplay by Michael Michaelian
D.C. Fontana
Story by Michael Michaelian
Featured music George Romanis
Production code 112
Original air date February 8, 1988 (1988-02-08)
Guest stars
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List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes

"Too Short a Season" is the 16th episode of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.


The Enterprise must transport a legendary geriatric admiral who must once again negotiate a hostage situation.


The Enterprise brings aboard the elderly Admiral Mark Jameson and his wife Anne on request of Karnas, the Governor of Mordan IV. Karnas warns that a dissident terrorist group has taken a Federation Ambassador and his staff hostage, and demand to speak to a negotiator. Jameson, who had previously negotiated peace before on Mordan IV, is the optimal choice, even in his chair-ridden, fragile state. As the Enterprise travels to Mordan IV, they find that Jameson is becoming stronger and more able to move about on his own, and is no longer showing signs of the terminal Iverson's Disease he was known to have before he was beamed aboard. The crew discovers that Jameson has been taking an array of drugs to reverse the aging process over the last two years, and only recently has taken an overdose of the drugs to prepare himself for the difficult Mordan negotiations. Jameson begins to appear younger and full of energy, but has frequent pains as a result of the overdose. By the time they are nearing Mordan, Jameson now appears as a young adult.

As they near Mordan, Jameson begins audio communication with Karnas to learn more of the situation, but soon discovers that it is Karnas himself that has taken the Federation staff. Karnas reminds Jameson that his treachery during their last encounter on Mordan IV resulted in years of war. Against the advice of Picard, Jameson devises plans to rescue the hostages by transporting the away team, now including the captain, to the tunnels beneath Karnas' mansion, where Jameson believes the hostages are being held. Picard privately confronts Jameson about Karnas' motives. Jameson reveals that in the past, Karnas had captured a Federation starliner in revenge for the death of his father by another local tribe. Jameson had negotiated for the passengers' release by giving Karnas what he demanded, a supply of Federation weapons. However, Jameson, in his interpretation of the Prime Directive, also supplied the warring tribes with an equal number of weapons. Jameson had thought this would only lead to a short-lived skirmish, and had not expected a war that would last over forty years. Jameson is now insistent on correcting his past mistake and thus took the reverse aging drug in order to be at his best.

In orbit, the Enterprise crew and Jameson beam down into the tunnels beneath Karnas' manor, but find that their arrival was anticipated and face off against armed guards. Jameson collapses during the fight, and the crew beams back to the Enterprise, where they discover Jameson was not shot but instead the reverse aging drug is destroying his body. Karnas demands to see Jameson or he will kill a hostage every 15 minutes. Picard opts to beam himself, Dr. Crusher, Jameson, and eventually Jameson's wife Anne directly to Karnas' office. Though Karnas initially refuses to believe that the young man is Jameson, Picard shows him the images of his reverse aging over the last few days after which Jameson reveals a scar on his wrist inflicted by Karnas years ago. Karnas prepares to fire on Jameson to get his revenge, but opts to let Jameson suffer by the wracks of pain from the drug's effects. Jameson dies shortly afterward in his wife's embrace. Karnas agrees to let the hostages go, and to allow Jameson to be buried on Mordan IV at Anne's request.


  • Star Trek The Next Generation DVD set, volume 1, disc 4, selection 4.

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