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* TerminallyDependentSociety: The Aldeans have been reliant on their technology -- especially the Custodian supercomputer that provides for all their needs -- that they have basically forgotten how everything works; all the super-advanced scientific knowledge of their ancestors has more or less been stored in a computer archive somewhere and forgotten about. Even the idea that something might, say, break down and need fixing never occurs to them. It's made more literally terminal by the fact that [[ToxicPhlebotinum their technology is actually slowly killing them]], a fact that they weren't able to figure out for themselves simply because they've lost the relevant knowledge, yet Dr. Crusher -- from the supposedly less-advanced Federation -- is able both to identify the problem and the necessary treatment in a matter of days.

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* TerminallyDependentSociety: The Aldeans have been reliant on their technology -- especially the Custodian supercomputer that provides for all their needs -- for so long that they have basically forgotten how everything works; all the super-advanced scientific knowledge of their ancestors has more or less been stored in a computer archive somewhere and forgotten about. Even the idea that something might, say, break down and need fixing never occurs to them. It's made more literally terminal by the fact that [[ToxicPhlebotinum their technology is actually slowly killing them]], a fact that they weren't able to figure out for themselves simply because they've lost the relevant knowledge, yet Dr. Crusher -- from the supposedly less-advanced Federation -- is able both to identify the problem and the necessary treatment in a matter of days.

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* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The Aldeans seem genuinely bewildered as to why the ''Enterprise'' crew aren't happy with their terms. As far as they're concerned, it's simple -- the Federation will be getting valuable scientific and technological advances from them; surely a few kids are a fair price for that when they can always make more? And the kids are ''bound'' to get over their parents when they see the benefits of living on Aldea. They simply can't understand why either the parents or the kids would have a problem with that.


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* TerminallyDependentSociety: The Aldeans have been reliant on their technology -- especially the Custodian supercomputer that provides for all their needs -- that they have basically forgotten how everything works; all the super-advanced scientific knowledge of their ancestors has more or less been stored in a computer archive somewhere and forgotten about. Even the idea that something might, say, break down and need fixing never occurs to them. It's made more literally terminal by the fact that [[ToxicPhlebotinum their technology is actually slowly killing them]], a fact that they weren't able to figure out for themselves simply because they've lost the relevant knowledge, yet Dr. Crusher -- from the supposedly less-advanced Federation -- is able both to identify the problem and the necessary treatment in a matter of days.


* DidntThinkThisThrough: Besides the above example, it never occurred to the Aldeans that whatever has made them sterile might affect the children as well.

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* DidntThinkThisThrough: Besides the above example, it never occurred to the The Aldeans staunchly insist that whatever has made them sterile might affect their sterility won't become a problem for the children as well.children, but they have no way of knowing that, and they end up being wrong.



* HumansAreSpecial: A lesser example than usual, but Troi says that humans are "unusually attached" to their offspring. This could also be considered a case of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness, as most alien races are subsequently shown to have similar family structures to humans.

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* HumansAreSpecial: A lesser example than usual, but Troi says that humans are "unusually attached" to their offspring. This could also be considered a case It's unclear whether Troi is serious or if she's diplomatically trying to stress how much the crew resents the loss of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness, as most their children to an alien races are subsequently shown race who just don't seem to have similar family structures to humans.get it.



-->'''Picard:''' ''Compensation?'' You have stolen our children away from... away from their classrooms, away from their ''bedrooms,'' and you talk about compensation? You claim to be a civilized world, and yet you have just committed an act of '''[[SuddenlyShouting UTTER]] [[ChewingTheScenery BARBARITY!]]'''

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-->'''Picard:''' ''Compensation?'' You have stolen our children away from... away from their classrooms, away from their ''bedrooms,'' and you talk about compensation? You claim to be a civilized world, and yet you have just committed an act of '''[[SuddenlyShouting ''[[SuddenlyShouting UTTER]] [[ChewingTheScenery BARBARITY!]]'''BARBARITY!]]''


* ArtisticLicenseBiology: It's actually a plot point in the following season's "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS2E18UpTheLongLadder Up the Long Ladder]]" that a population of only half a dozen people wouldn't have a prayer of forming a viable gene pool. Yet the Aldeans expect just seven children to be enough to repopulate the entire planet in the longer term.

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* ArtisticLicenseBiology: It's actually a plot point in the following season's "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS2E18UpTheLongLadder Up the Long Ladder]]" that a population of only half a dozen people wouldn't have a prayer of forming a viable gene pool. Yet the Aldeans expect just seven children to be enough to repopulate the entire planet in the longer term. Presumably their ludicrously advanced technology has some solution.

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* HumanityIsAdvanced: In the opening scene, Harry Jr. is running away from his father Doctor Harry Bernard Sr. because he doesn't want to go back to his class because he hates that teacher and he hates Calculus. According to the older Bernard, "Everyone needs an understanding of basic Calculus whether they want to or not." Harry Jr. is around 8 - 10 years old!

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* ApathyKilledTheCat: Wesley discovers that the Aldeans have no interest in learning how their own technology works or how to repair it.

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* SterilityPlague: What the Aldeans are suffering from. The fact that it's being caused by the depletion of their ozone layer means that the children they abduct would fall victim to this as well, making their repopulation efforts entirely futile.


* EasilyForgiven: Actually more of a show of character than a plot convenience. The crew had every right to leave in a huff once they got Wesley and the kids back. Instead, they get rid of the radiation leaving them infertile, giving them another chance to create a society.

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* EasilyForgiven: Actually more of a show of character than a plot convenience. The crew had every right to leave in a huff once they got Wesley and the kids back. Instead, they get rid of the radiation leaving them infertile, giving them another chance to create a society.society, though likely also in the knowledge that this will give them no reason to try their child-snatching plan again in case any other spaceships happen by.

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* HumansAreSpecial: A lesser example than usual, but Troi says that humans are "unusually attached" to their offspring. This could also be considered a case of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness, as most alien races are subsequently shown to have similar family structures to humans.


* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Wesley brings one of the children up to the bridge at the end so she can thank Picard for saving her. When she gives him a hug, her Tribble-esque stuffed animal sticks to his back, and the whole bridge crew has to smother their giggles as he orders the ''Enterprise'' out of orbit.

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* EasilyForgiven: Actually more of a show of character than a plot convenience. The crew had every right to leave in a huff once they got Wesley and the kids back. Instead, they get rid of the radiation leaving them infertile, giving them another chance to create a society.
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Played with. Wesley brings one of the children up to the bridge at the end so she can thank Picard for saving her. When she gives him a hug, her Tribble-esque stuffed animal sticks to his back, and the whole bridge crew has to smother their giggles as he orders the ''Enterprise'' out of orbit.



-->'''Picard:''' ''Compensation?'' You have stolen our children away from... away from their classrooms, away from their ''bedrooms,'' and you talk about compensation? You claim to be a civilized world, and yet you have just committed an act of '''[[SuddenlyShouting UTTER BARBARITY!]]'''

to:

-->'''Picard:''' ''Compensation?'' You have stolen our children away from... away from their classrooms, away from their ''bedrooms,'' and you talk about compensation? You claim to be a civilized world, and yet you have just committed an act of '''[[SuddenlyShouting UTTER UTTER]] [[ChewingTheScenery BARBARITY!]]'''


[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tng_whentheboughbreaks_hd_431.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"Come, child, and I shall tell you the 3,047th time I TeenGenius'd the ship out of certain disaster."]]



-->'''Picard:''' ''Compensation?'' You have stolen our children away from... away from their classrooms, away from their ''bedrooms,'' and you talk about compensation? You claim to be a civilized world, and yet you have just committed an act of '''UTTER BARBARITY!'''

to:

-->'''Picard:''' ''Compensation?'' You have stolen our children away from... away from their classrooms, away from their ''bedrooms,'' and you talk about compensation? You claim to be a civilized world, and yet you have just committed an act of '''UTTER BARBARITY!''''''[[SuddenlyShouting UTTER BARBARITY!]]'''


* StockholmSyndrome: A few of the children are a bit reluctant to leave, especially when the Aldeans awaken their potential for artistic pursuits.

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* StockholmSyndrome: A few of the children are a bit reluctant to leave, especially when the Aldeans awaken their potential for artistic pursuits. As they soon realize though, this isn't quite enough to overcome missing their true families.

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* FreezeFrameBonus: Dr. Crusher's rapidly flickering rejected diagnoses for the Aldeans' symptoms include everything from esoteric carcinogens to "bad personal hygiene."

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* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Wesley brings one of the children up to the bridge at the end so she can thank Picard for saving her. When she gives him a hug, her Tribble-esque stuffed animal sticks to his back, and the whole bridge crew has to smother their giggles as he orders the ''Enterprise'' out of orbit.


The planet Aldeam, formerly existing only in legend, uncloaks and requests help from the Enterprise. Aldea's inhabitants are sterile and want to adopt children from the Enterprise. By force, if necessary.

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The planet Aldeam, Aldea, formerly existing only in legend, uncloaks and requests help from the Enterprise. ''Enterprise''. Aldea's inhabitants are sterile technologically advanced, but sterile, and want to adopt children from the Enterprise. ''Enterprise''. By force, if necessary.
necessary. But the Aldeans are certain that sharing their advanced knowledge is a perfectly reasonable compensation for cradle-robbing! Naturally, Picard disagrees.

Seven children chosen for their "special" potential, including Wesley, are beamed straight out of their classrooms and quarters. The rest of the episode concerns both their own and the ''Enterprise'''s efforts to convince the Aldeans that this really isn't a workable solution to their problems, honestly, and to subvert their technological advantage in the meantime.



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* ArtisticLicenseBiology: It's actually a plot point in the following season's "Up The Long Ladder" that a population of only half a dozen people wouldn't have a prayer of forming a viable gene pool. Yet the Aldeans expect just seven children to be enough to repopulate the entire planet in the longer term.

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\n* ArtisticLicenseBiology: It's actually a plot point in the following season's "Up The "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS2E18UpTheLongLadder Up the Long Ladder" Ladder]]" that a population of only half a dozen people wouldn't have a prayer of forming a viable gene pool. Yet the Aldeans expect just seven children to be enough to repopulate the entire planet in the longer term.



* StockholmSyndrome: A few of the children are a bit reluctant to leave.
* TeleportInterdiction: The Aldeans have a planetary DeflectorShield that they can beam through, but the ''Enterprise'' cannot at first. After studying the shield they find a way to slip through it.

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* StockholmSyndrome: A few of the children are a bit reluctant to leave.
leave, especially when the Aldeans awaken their potential for artistic pursuits.
* TeleportInterdiction: The Aldeans have a planetary DeflectorShield that they can beam through, but the ''Enterprise'' cannot at first. After studying the shield they find a way to slip through it.it.
* ToxicPhlebotinum: Turns out it's the Aldeans' DeflectorShield and [[InvisibilityCloak cloaking device]] that are causing all the trouble, degrading Aldea's ozone layer and exposing the inhabitants to ultraviolet radiation sickness. Beyond being sterile, they're quite close to death before Dr. Crusher is able to treat them and the ''Enterprise'' "reseeds" the ozone layer (somehow).
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