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In the TNG episode "Schisms", Enterprise crew members are taken against their will (and without their knowledge, at least initially) to a subspace realm where they are experimented on by solanogen-based lifeforms (pictured below, screenshot care of Memory Alpha). For instance, Riker has his forearm detached and then re-attached. Another crew member's bodily fluids are replaced with a polymer-based substance, leading to his demise.

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At the end of the episode, the aliens launch a kind of probe from their realm into normal space. Shortly after, the senior officers speculate a bit about the probe — whether it was launched just for exploration or whether it was part of further hostilities by the creatures.

According to the Memory Alpha article for the episode (linked above), senior production staff were unhappy with the aliens' look and decided to abandon this open storyline. That being said, they may have had an idea of where to take the story.

Is there any record (from interviews, etc.) of any intention for the probe in future episode(s)? Perhaps more likely: are there any references in the Extended Universe to these creatures and specifically to their probe?

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    Like your question states, the production staff abandoned the idea therefor there is no canon answer. I cant speak to the EU, but you could(should) edit your question to reflect that.
    – Tritium21
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 4:38
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    The fact that they abandoned the storyline doesn't necessarily mean that they did not have an idea of where they wanted to take it. "Abandoned" might mean "not produced", i.e. an idea was in place, but it wasn't taken to production level. I'll clarify.
    – Praxis
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 4:42
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    I highly doubt they even made plans.
    – Tritium21
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 4:43
  • Fair enough. That side of the question was a long shot. I'm more hopeful about references in novels....
    – Praxis
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 4:44
  • I imagine television writers intentionally leave loose threads for later writers to pick up later if someone needs an idea in a hurry.
    – Joe L.
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 15:00

2 Answers 2

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The Solanogen-based entities don't appear in any future TNG episodes, nor in any of the novels but they do feature as the main antagonists in the DC Comics "Gateway" and "The Unconquered".

Gateway

Starfleet detect a small probe coming through a similar gateway to the one in TNG:Schisms. A Solanogen ship comes through the rift and attempts to peacefully retrieve the probe, refusing to return fire on a Federation vessel, the USS Hornet. A second Solanogen ship appears (evidently the ones that sent the probe through), attacks the first ship and attempts to reclaim the probe by force. When that fails, they then seize the Hornet and try to drag it through the rift.

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The Unconquered

The USS Hornet emerges on the other side of the subspace rift where it's boarded by the crew of the second Solanogen ship. They indicate that they want the information in the ship's computers, presumably to replace the information lost when they were unable to recover their probe, however the Captain and crew of the Hornet refuse to cooperate.

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After a few minutes, The Enterprise, with the assistance of the first Solanogen ship arrive through the rift and board the Hornet, killing the Solanogen boarding party. The Captain of the USS Hornet dies but the ship and its crew are saved as a result of her actions. The Enterprise and the Hornet return through the rift and the first Solanogen ship seal the rift behind them as well as offering their apologies.

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  • I had no idea about this! Amazing!
    – Praxis
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 13:25
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    @Praxis - there were a lot of loose ends tied up in the comics. Or, if not tied up, then at least pulled on some more.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 16:39
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Also, the 2015 Star Trek: Titan novel 'Sight Unseen', by James Swallow, revisits the Solonae lifeforms, a in a bit more detail. Including the appearance of a dissident group, called the Ciari.

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