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I read What is the largest (engineered) physical object dreamed of in science fiction? and it reminded me of an episode in Star Trek where the Enterprise faces a giant wall in space. So big that it would take a very long time to pass it even at Warp speed.

I recall that the wall was solid metal, had many round-shaped hatches that could be opened with a mechanism, but the crew were unable to trigger it. The wall protected a specific part of the galaxy.

Which episode is this?

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    It'd help if you could verify which Enterprise encountered the wall - NCC-1701, or 01-A, B, C, D, E... – Tango Jan 3 '13 at 22:46
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    It was an episode of TNG. – juergen d Jan 3 '13 at 23:12
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I have a feeeeling you may be thinking of the Dyson sphere from TNG 6x04, Relics.

The doors were indeed opened by a mechanism - scanning the sphere triggered it. However, there weren't thousands or millions of doors, nor was it too large to go around. The Enterprise specifically went to investigate.

Here's two screenshots from that page - an exterior shot of the sphere: Exterior

And the USS Jenolan using it's shields to hold open a closing door: Door

  • Had it differently in mind, but that's the one. Thanks. – juergen d Jan 4 '13 at 0:26
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The very first one, in The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint

It was created by Q.

  • I just reviewed the pertinent scene (starting at about 4:30 in the episode). I didn't notice any attempts to define the scale of the wall, nor any attempt to go around it (generally typical of space dramas). The Enterprise simply turned around, at which point the wall collapsed into a sphere and began pursuit. – Iszi Jan 3 '13 at 22:14
  • I don't think that was the one. But I have to check that scene. – juergen d Jan 3 '13 at 22:44
  • Did the crew have to be put to sleep in order to pass through the "wall"? I seem to dimly recall an episode like that. – Force Flow Jan 3 '13 at 22:47
  • All I can recall if that they could not get around it because it was so big. And they had to find a way to get through it. There where some round-shaped "doors" where ships could go though, but unable to open them. – juergen d Jan 3 '13 at 22:49
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    @ForceFlow you might be thinking of the Langoliers where they passed through a rift in time but only those who were asleep could make the jump. – Michael Brown Mar 11 '13 at 10:23
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Your description of metal with round doors sounds like the Dyson sphere encountered in Relics. (The one with Scotty.)

It wasn't as big as you describe, but it enclosed a star.

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