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In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Nth Degree, the Enterprise is transported to the centre of the galaxy, where they meet the atypical explorers, the Cytherians - who mean no harm and are explorers themselves (atypical in that they 'summon' alien species of interest to them for an exchange of information).

In Memory Alpha (2nd link above), the Cytherians are described as an 'advanced species' - of which the evidence is clear. I understand that the age of a civilisation does not always mean that the civilisation is old.

How old is the Cytherian civilisation?

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    The ST: Encyclopedia is no help, nor is the TNG Companion. – Valorum Nov 7 '15 at 9:15
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Main Canon

We don't know. There's absolutely no indication how old their civilisation is, not least because they only make a two minute appearance in a single episode, don't even reveal their true form and are promptly never mentioned again.

Checking the script, the transcript, the ST: Encyclopedia, the TNG Companion, the Captain's Logs books and the StarTrek.com page on the Cytherians has revealed nothing of any use.


EU Canon.

Within the novel Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown, Riker refers to the Cytherians as "ancient" when speaking to Troi:

"I think," Riker said, "I may be done with the metaphors." She smiled warmly. "I'm just telling you you're not alone. Others have gone through this." He released her hand and looked away. "Maybe we can start a parrises squares league. Those controlled by ancient spirits can be on one team, alien voyeurs on another."

Quite what constitutes 'ancient' is not explained but based on its use elsewhere in the show, the best guess is that the Cytherian civilisation is hundreds of thousands (or millions) of years old, rather than mere thousands (or tens of thousands) of years old.

  • It may seem unlikely, but in the world of Star Trek anything is possible. The "giant head" appearance may be the Cytherians' true form. – Ham Sandwich May 23 '16 at 19:44

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