Star Trek: The Next Generation

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/SYN/1987-94 (Shalaft’s Syndrome)

Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart/costar), the commander of the Federation starship USS Enterprise-D first introduced on the two-part episode “Far Point” in the fall of 1987.

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In the Star Trek movie spin-off Star Trek Nemesis (2002), we learn that Jean-Luc Picard suffered from Shalaft’s syndrome (hypersensitivity to sound) in his youth.

In the film, the Romulans recreate an identical image of Jean-Luc Picard with plans to substitute their copy of Picard and infiltrate the high command of the Federation.

However, with a change of government, the new Romulan officials discard the plan as well as Shinzon, the youth genetically grown to be Picard. They condemn him to the rigors of the Remian mines, but Shinzon survives and rises to power as the new and ruthless Praetor of Romulus.

Because Shinzon shares the same DNA as Jean-Luc Picard, he also experiences a nasty bout of Shalaft’s Syndrome as he develops. Shinzon also discovers that his genetic programming is breaking down and he is dying. His only hope of survival: a complete blood transfusion from the real Jean Luc Picard. Thus, his ploy to lure Picard to Romulus under the guise of peace negotiations.

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At the film’s conclusion, Shinzon’s plan to harvest Picard’s vital fluids to restore his own health fails and Shinzon goes up in a blaze of glory as his predator starship Scimitar explodes in space.

Before the ship explodes Picard transports aboard the Scimitar, hunts down Shinzon, and impales him on a piece of wreckage. Dying, Shinzon disregards the shaft in his body, pulls himself closer to Picard and clasps his dying hands firmly around Picard’s throat. But Picard dematerializes and transports back to the Enterprise.

Shinzon’s last words: “I’m glad we’re together now — our destiny is complete.”

An excerpt of the film’s script follows:

Shinzon: Allow me to tell you a story that I hope will clarify my position. When I was very young I was stricken with an odd disease. I developed a hyper-sensitivity to sound. The slightest whisper caused me agony. [Picard watches him carefully]. No one knew what to do. Finally I was taken to a doctor who had some experience with Terran illnesses and I was finally diagnosed with Shalaft’s syndrome. Do you know of it, Captain?
Picard: You know I do.
Shinzon: Then you know it’s a very rare syndrome. Genetic. All the male members of my family had it. Eventually I was treated. Now I can hear as well as you can, Captain. [Shinzon steps toward Picard who holds his ground.]
I can see as well as you can. I can feel everything you feel. [He stops right before Picard] In fact, I feel exactly what you feel. Don’t I, Jean Luc? [Picard stares at him and marvels that Shinzon’s face is nearly identical to his own at that age]. Do you trust me now?
Picard: We need to talk, just you and I.
Shinzon: Come to dinner on Romulus tomorrow. Just the two of us. Or just the one of us.
Picard: You know I need to verify this .
Shinzon: I know. [Shinzon calmly pulls out a Reman knife and cuts his arm, drawing a little blood. He hands the knife to Data.] Tomorrow then, Captain. We have so much to discuss.
Picard: [Picard touches his communicator pin] Picard to Enterprise. Five to beam out. [Picard’s eyes never leave Shinzon as the transporter effect ripples around him.]

See also: Star Trek: The Next Generation (2)

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