The third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation commenced airing in broadcast syndication in the United States on September 25, 1989 and concluded on June 18, 1990 after airing 26 episodes. Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the crew of the Starfleet starship Enterprise-D. Season three featured the return of Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher after she was replaced by Diana Muldaur for the second season. The season also saw the debut of several actors who would reappear in the same roles and others throughout the franchise, such as Dwight Schultz as Lt. Reginald Barclay, and Tony Todd as Kurn. Further changes occurred to the writing staff, with Michael Piller brought on board as executive producer after Michael I. Wagner held the position for three weeks. Ronald D. Moore also joined the staff following the submission of a script for "The Bonding". Hans Beimler, Richard Manning, Melinda M. Snodgrass and Ira Steven Behr all left the staff at the end of the season. Actor Wil Wheaton also asked to leave following the way his character, Wesley Crusher, was written during the season – a decision he later regretted. Other changes included a modification to the opening sequence, and changes to the Starfleet uniforms on the show, which resulted in the creation of Patrick Stewart's "Picard Maneuver".
Stardate: 43125.8 A system-wide computer malfunction places the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise in grave danger while they are escorting a scientist to a star in the process of exploding.
Stardate: 43133.3 A human colony is forced to evacuate a planet when the original inhabitants return and threaten the colonists with annihilation if they do not leave within four days.
Stardate: 43152.4 The Enterprise discovers a planet that has had all life eradicated, except for two mysterious residents and their home, which has been left in perfect condition.
Stardate: 43173.5 An away team inadvertently breaks the Prime Directive and reveal themselves to a primitive culture on Mintaka III, causing the inhabitants believe that Captain Picard is a God.
Worf and Wesley must help a 12 year old boy cope with the death of his mother; an archaeologist killed during an away mission to a deserted planet.
Stardate: 43205.6 While investigating an ancient ship left adrift in space, the Enterprise accidentally trips the ancient booby trap that disabled the old vessel over 1000 years ago.
Stardate:43349.2 A blind Geordie is trapped on a hazardous planet with a paranoid and severely injured Romulan. In orbit, a Romulan Warbird is preventing the Enterprise from attempting a rescue mission.
Stardate: 43385.6 The Enterprise hosts the negotiations for the rights to a newly discovered, stable wormhole to the Delta Quadrant. One of the negotiators, Devinoni Ral, becomes attracted to Deanna Troi, but he holds a dubious secret.
Stardate: 43421.9 The Enterprise crew tries to mend the relationship between a race known as the Acamarians and a faction known as the Gatherers.
Stardate: 43462.5 A defecting Romulan warns the Federation about an impending attack by the Romulans, who are secretly establishing bases within the Neutral Zone.
Stardate: 43489.2 A potentially new member of the Federation enlists the help of the Enterprise to track down a wanted criminal who has a reputation for his excessive violence. However, the fugitive's actions may not be of his own will.
Stardate: 43510.7 Dr. Crusher is abducted by a group of terrorists while delivering crucial medical supplies to a planet ravaged by civil war.
Stardate: 43539.1 A Calamarian starts attacking the Enterprise while seeking revenge on a powerless Q.
Stardate: 43610.4 Riker is accused of murder when a scientist is killed in an explosion. Picard must recreate the recent events in the holodeck to prove his commander's innocence.
Stardate: 43625.2 A rift in the space/time continuum brings the U.S.S. Enterprise - C forward into the 24th Century, and alters the timeline. In this future, the Federation is at war with the Klingons, Tasha Yar is on the bridge, Worf did not join the Federation, and only Guinan's unique perception of reality may restore the timeline.
Stardate: 43657.0 Data becomes a father when he creates a Soong-type android in the form of a daughter named Lal. Issues are complicated when Lal starts showing signs of a more evolved consciousness, including the ability to feel emotions, which attracts the attention of Starfleet scientists who want to take her away from Data and examine her advanced systems.
Stardate: 43685.2 Worf is reunited with his long-lost brother when their father is charged with treason for helping the Romulans. Together they make an appeal to the Klingon High Council to challenge the charges, and have them revoked.
Stardate: 43714.1 Picard is secretly abducted and switched with an alien double. The crews' suspicions are raised when he starts exhibiting unusual behaviour, and is relieved of command.
Stardate: 43745.2 While on vacation on Risa, Captain Picard encounters two Vorgons from the 27th Century who claim they are searching for a powerful weapon hidden somewhere on the planet.
Stardate: 43779.3 The Enterprise encounters a 'living' ship in the Neutral Zone, and risks breaking the Romulan Federation alliance in order to bring it into contact with a Betazoid emissary.
Stardate: 43807.4 A nervous and insecure officer, Lt. Reginald Barclay, places the Enterprise in great danger when he neglects his duties in Engineering, and instead spends his time acting out his fantasies on the holodeck.
Stardate: 43872.2 The crew are shattered by the apparent death of Data in a shuttle explosion, and are prevented from carrying out a detailed investigation when Starfleet gives them orders for a new mission elsewhere. However, the crew don't realize that he was actually abducted and placed on display as part of a collection of rare and valuable items held by a disreputable character.
Stardate: 43917.4 Spock's Vulcan father, Sarek, boards the Enterprise to negotiate political relations with the Legaran. However, Sarek has contract Bendii syndrome, which causes a Vulcan to gradually lose control, and become overpowered with emotions.
Riker and Deanna, both on shoreleave, are unexpectedly joined by Deanna's mother, Lwaxana, on Betazed. Shortly, all three are kidnapped by the Ferengi who want to study Lwaxana's telepathic abilities.
Stardate: 43957.2 Dr. Crusher becomes attracted to an injured alien with mysterious powers, who is being tracked down by his government like a wanted criminal.
Stardate: 43989.1 An Starfleet expert on the Borg, Lt. Cmdr. Shelby, is assigned to the Enterprise to investigate the disappearance of a Federation colony. Picard is abducted by the Borg and assimilated into the Collective, which forces Riker to attempt a rescue mission.