At the end of "Conundrum," Captain Picard refuses to fire on the Lysian Central Command. Because of this, "Commander MacDuff" (actually a Satarran in disguise) becomes outraged and tries to fire the weapons himself after knocking Worf down.

Worf and Riker put MacDuff on the ground with phasers, but it's unclear whether the Satarran is actually killed or not.

  • 4
    Crucially, was he of woman born??? Apr 9, 2017 at 21:17
  • 2
    @PaulD.Waite - With a boss who's obsessed with Shakespeare, how many times do you reckon he heard PIcard say "Lay on, Macduff"? That probably explains why he turned evil
    – Valorum
    Apr 9, 2017 at 21:28
  • For me this episode's weakness was that with their powers, they could have simply taken over the ship and spaced the crew. The AI is sufficiently powerful that you can point it in a particular direction, raise the shields and fire the weapons with only a single user.
    – Valorum
    Apr 9, 2017 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


It would appear not.

Per the original screenplay


[holding the phaser. MacDuff again goes for the console -- Riker again FIRES the phaser, and where it hits, the strange metallic being underneath is revealed. MacDuff stumbles back, but goes for it again -- unstoppable.]

[Worf has regained his footing, and FIRES his phaser at MacDuff, again revealing a patch of the alien corpus. Riker and Worf both continue FIRING to keep MacDuff away from the controls. MacDuff finally throws back his head and screams --]


[falls to the floor, unconscious. The others stare at him, relieved.]

  • Can't argue with the screenplay, but from a viewer's perspective: (1) the more an enemy puts up a fight to resist a phaser, the more lethal the beam is likely to be - in other words, the first shot would be to stun, but if the adversary doesn't go down, the setting goes up to kill for the next shot. (2) MacDuff was responsible for numerous Lysian deaths; "TV morality" would suggest that he'd have to atone for that, almost certainly with his own death. TOS was laced with this; leads one to infer it in TNG stories.
    – Anthony X
    Feb 5, 2022 at 23:10

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