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I'm re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, and noticed Deanna Troi missing in a few episodes. The first time it happens, there is mention of having dropped her off at a starbase.

The next couple times I noticed her missing, I didn't notice an explanation, she just wasn't in the episode.

Is there an in universe explanation for the episodes where Deanna Troi is missing?

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    Every series has even main characters missing from scattered episodes. This hardly seems out-of-place. – Kevin Jan 28 '13 at 23:37
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    She was in the bathroom. – Flimzy Jan 28 '13 at 23:42
  • By the way, this is called an ensemble cast. Also Ensemble Cast on TVTropes. – Izkata Jan 29 '13 at 3:48
  • @Kevin I find it out of place because I noticed it. I suppose it was noticeable for two reasons. Firstly because the first time it happened, there was an explanation given. Secondly because since the setting is on a ship there aren't many places for her to hide (maybe Flimzy should make his comment an answer?). – tugs Jan 29 '13 at 22:40
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    the Enterprise-D is huge - it's a flying space city. There are tons of places she could hide. Good grief, it took 7 years for them to find a dead body in one of the nacelles - memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Eye_of_the_Beholder – NKCampbell Jul 22 '16 at 14:36
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None of these answers actually address his actual first question. Here is what I found on Marina Siritis' Wikipedia page:

Initially, the writers found it difficult to write for Troi and even left her out of four of the first season episodes. Sirtis felt her job was in jeopardy after the first season but was overjoyed when Gene Roddenberry took her aside at Jonathan Frakes's wedding and told her that the season two premiere episode, "The Child", would center on Troi.

  • The accepted answer here gives some credence to this. – PiousVenom Mar 22 '13 at 13:38
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    I'm going to accept this answer as being the best I'm going to get. I was hoping for an in universe answer, but in looking into TNG season one, there are so many discontinuities it looks like the writers simply didn't have time to care. – tugs Mar 22 '13 at 22:16
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Kevin's comment is well stated. Not every character appears in every episode of any long running series. Too look for an in-universe explanation of why Deanna is not in a particular episode isn't something that you're probably going to find an answer for. As some data points, according to Wikipedia, there were a total of 178 episodes over 7 seasons. If you check IMDB , they state that the Deana character appeared in 176 of those episodes. Also appearing in 176 episodes were Captain Picard, Commander Riker, Geordi LaForge, Lieutenant Worf and Commander Data. Dr. Crusher was in 154 episodes, Wesley Crusher in 86.

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    I'm sorry, but those numbers are unhelpful. A quick scan of imdb.com/name/nm0000642/filmoseries#tt0092455 shows Troi is credited for 176 episodes, which is all of them, but 10 are marked (credit only). The mismatch between wiki and imdb seems to be that imbd counts "Encounter at Farpoint" and "All Good Things..." as one episode each whereas wiki counts them as two each. – tugs Jan 29 '13 at 21:58
  • The point I was trying to make is that there are also other 'main' characters that don't appear in every episode and there's no 'in universe' explanation for many of those absences either. Sorry to have not explicitly stated that. – Stan Jan 30 '13 at 2:24
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    I understand your point, but I find it difficult to accept the answer when the "data points" show that all of the episodes were credited to all of the main characters. (save the Crushers, who were both missing for complete seasons with full in-universe explanations) – tugs Jan 30 '13 at 18:42
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    They were credited because they appear in the credits. The whole start sequence where it shows the character and the name of the actor/actress would result in a credit hit according to IMDB standards. The answer is valid, she simply didn't figure in the plot for that episode. – JohnP Feb 1 '13 at 17:42
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Deanna's role as counsellor for the hundreds of people onboard means that she was not always involved in the main story, like every other character, if the main story does not involve the character, then the character does not appear. Every character can be explained by they are doing their job, or not on shift, or on leave, or even on sick leave. The episodes where Deanna's character does not appear, she is quite simply in her office doing her role as ships counsellor as she is not needed for the current mission. She only appears on the bridge if she is called by the bridge crew, or for her shift she has no counselling appointments.

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The beginning captain's log of season 1 episode 22 states the enterprise is headed to rendezvous with a shuttlecraft carrying Troi, who is "returning from a conference." Ostensibly, this is the in-universe explanation for her absence from the previous few episodes. Since there's no saying what the conference was, or how long it took, we could just assume it was really, really long.

Her previous absence earlier in series one was explained as her visiting her home.

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