I'm looking for a Star Trek episode, I think it's from Voyager, where the crew encounters an alien race where the elderly have to die. I know of one scene where Janeway (?) talks to a healthy and intelligent man who has to die because of this law.

I've been poring over all the Voyager episode summaries, but didn't find anything. Does anyone know which episode I'm talking about?

  • 3
    LOL - even though I know what the question is asking, I'm pretty sure you'd be hard-pressed to find a corporeal race where the elderly don't die.
    – Omegacron
    Jan 23, 2015 at 19:41
  • @Omegacron: In a sense, VOY: Innocence might count, as long as you define "elderly" not as "having spent a long time living" but "showing physical signs of prolonged existence". (No, it does not make sense in context and it was probably one of those ideas that sounded interesting on paper, but turned out silly the way they were presented.) Nov 9, 2020 at 21:16
  • Janeway — very much the Lwaxana Troi of Voyager? Nov 9, 2020 at 21:33

4 Answers 4


You're referring to TNG "Half a Life".

Per wikipedia;

""Half a Life" is the 96th episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the 22nd episode of the fourth season.

Lwaxana Troi falls in love with Timicin, a scientist who is participating in an experiment to test his theories of stellar ignition. Timicin hopes to use the technique to save his world's dying star, but the experiment fails. Although Lwaxana encourages Timicin to continue his research, the scientist reveals that he can't. It's time for him to go home for "Resolution"- a ritual suicide invoked at the age of sixty to save children from the burden of a parent's aging."

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    That's it! Now I remember Lwaxana as well. Thank you for your very quick and informative answer!
    – Dave
    Aug 7, 2014 at 21:12
  • Can we have this in real life please? I love my elders dearly by the aging population is a nightmare. This episode is a great commentary on the issue.
    – Gusdor
    Aug 8, 2014 at 9:57
  • Instead of getting rid of old people, let's start with the truly useless members of the population. So politicians, lawyers, door-to-door salesmen.... Aug 8, 2014 at 10:34
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    @JamesSheridan That's what the 'B' Ark was for. Aug 8, 2014 at 14:26
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    @Gusdor Except that the entire point of the episode was to show what a completely atrocious and abhorrent idea such a policy would be. Mar 27, 2017 at 18:03

It is a Next Generation episode Half a Life. And it is not Janeway, it is Lwaxana Troi.


I'm slightly late to the party here... But there's also a Voyager episode that matches your description: Emanations (S01E09). In this episode, Kim gets sucked into some sort of subspace portal that links a burial site (discovered by Voyager) to a sarcofagus on a planet where living people are killed and then sent through it into the 'next Emanation'.

Script here: http://www.chakoteya.net/Voyager/108.htm

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    You are mistaken. The aliens die and are sent through a subspace vacuole into our dimension. The big twist is that when they get to "the other side" they just stay dead. This boggles the mind of the aliens who thought that they were sending their loved ones to heaven/valhalla/eden. The second twist is that the aliens are actually surviving beyond death (as energy beings).
    – Valorum
    Feb 22, 2016 at 18:07
  • My bad. This quote specifically resonated to me very much with your question: " NERIA: No, of course not. She didn't die until the cenotaph was activated. That's the purpose of the cenotaph. It terminates a person's life just before the appearance of a spectral rupture [...] "
    – steenbergh
    Feb 22, 2016 at 18:16
  • I guess you could argue that they're on the verge of dying, rather than actually dead and that the machine kills them. The principle is very much the same.
    – Valorum
    Feb 22, 2016 at 18:34

there is this one too, from the original series:


  • 2
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Please include a description of how this matches the question instead of just an uninformative link.
    – DavidW
    Jun 12, 2020 at 1:44

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