In which ST:TNG episode was the Enterprise in some kind of phaser battle without the saucer section? I remember Picard was on the bridge and there was a massive phaser attack.

  • 3
    Can you provide any more details? Possible season?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 19:08
  • I'm not sure why people are mentioning episodes in which Picard is not in command. The OP clearly states that Picard is supposed to be on the bridge. Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 21:33
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    Because the querent's memory is faulty. I cited every instance of separation. Picard on the bridge, phaser fire, and saucer separation do not occur at the same time.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 21:39
  • Hrmm... Answered and accepted almost exactly a year ago, then the acceptance moved. I don't care about the rep - I'm more curious what it is about early August that could bring a user around once a year. :)
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 12:49

4 Answers 4


I suspect you are thinking of Yesterday's Enterprise. There is a major Klingon engagement with a significant exchange of phaser fire. The saucer section is not separated, but the battle includes the Enterprise-C. So you have an Enterprise saucer travelling apart from the Enterprise D. The main bridge's dim lighting also resembles the battle bridge. So it would be easy to mistakenly recall Picard commanding from the battle bridge without the saucer section.

Or you may have Guinan-like intuition and recall an episode existing in an alternate timeline. :)

enter image description here

  • 1
    Good point! We should ask OP how Berenstain Bears is spelled...
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 1:43
  • 2
    IIRC, the bridge in this episode is a redress of the battle bridge set.
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 1:45
  • @politsnk-z Yeah, the Enterprise-D battle bridge started as the Enterprise-A bridge. It was redressed multiple times.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 18:19

Saucer separation was prominently featured in a very small number of episodes of the series and one film. There are a few others where it was mentioned and/or attempted, but cancelled before it actually took place.

In TNG S1 E1 - Encounter at Farpoint, Picard was aboard, but there were no extended phaser battles. There was a brief running battle that involved photon torpedos.

In TNG S1 E21 - The Arsenal of Freedom, the ship was separated. There were no extended phaser engagements, just a few shots, and Picard was not in command.

In TNG S4 E1 - The Best of Both Worlds, Part II, massive volleys of phasers and photon torpedoes were used against the Borg. They also used a unique antimatter spread, fired from the phaser arrays on the saucer. However, Picard was not on the Enterprise at the time.

In Star Trek: Generations the Enterprise performs a saucer separation before it is destroyed. Again, Picard is not aboard.

I don't think the scene you're recalling exists as you recall it.

  • 7
    If I were showing confirmation of what the querent is asking for, sure... but I'm saying it doesn't exist. Pictures do not enhance every answer.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 21:37
  • 1
    The OP is trying to identify a scene from memory. So far your answer proves that they aren't remembering all the details correctly. But it isn't an awful lot of help in finding the scene the OP is (somewhat incorrectly, it would seem) remembering. Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 22:01
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    @approachingdarknessfish Those are ALL the episodes with saucer separation. It is the most unique element of the memory - Picard on the bridge and the use of phasers are commonplace.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 0:26
  • 3
    Honorable mention: In Brothers, they tried to separate the saucer section, failed to do so, Picard was aboard but not on the bridge, and there were no space battles of any kind. So, basically, the exact opposite of what OP is asking for.
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 4:05
  • I suspect OP is thinking of "Arsenal of Freedom". That was my first thought reading their title and post, anyway. Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 22:21

Since it seems there never was an episode of The Next Generation that matches, perhaps you are misremembering.

There is a Voyager episode called Message in a Bottle where the Doctor Hologram (possibly a stand in for Picard with similar hair...) is sent to an experimental ship that separates for battle. You can see the separation around 0:55 and the Doctor on the bridge fighting Romulans around 3:00.


The Season 1 episode "The Arsenal of Freedom" has the drive section firing phasers, however, Picard is not on the bridge at that time

enter image description here

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