Wait, what's that big window on the back of the bridge bump on the top of the saucer? There's no huge picture window on the back of the bridge.
Enterprise checks in with a base of terraformers, but the reply to their hails is slow. Troi senses the base director is hiding something, which makes Picard decide to have an away team beam down to take a look around.
Hmm, the guest cast, apart from the director, are appallingly bad. Also, this section feels like a terraforming textbook. We didn't really need terraforming gone into in this detail. Finally Troi interrupts the lecturing with the news one of the guest cast is in trouble. And, indeed, there's some screaming and they find him fried by a laser drill.
They cut the power to the drill and some of them beam up, leaving Geordi and Data on the base with one of the terraformers. Data observes that the laser drill appeared to have been acting with a will of its own. They power it up again, and it starts shooting at Data. Fortunately Data's too fast for the drill and manages to destroy it.
There's speculation over which of the three surviving terraformers programmed the drill, and then Crusher says there's nothing she could do for the chap who was attacked by the laser. Data and Geordi beam down again to do investigation, and observe flashes of light in the rock which the laser drill was zapping into.
They beam one of the flashy lights onto the Enterprise and start to examine it to see if it's alive. They notice the light hums when humans come near it, and the computer theorises(!) it's alive.
There's some discussion over whether the terraformers have broken the Prime Directive. Riker goes and comforts the female terraformer. *cough*
The wee light duplicates itself, and Data pronounces it alive. Then it ties into the computer and starts fiddling with the translators. The terraformers say they knew about the lights, but didn't think they were life forms.
The life forms become ornery and finally get the communication circuits working. They're understandibly annoyed that the terraformers killed their kind, and have declared war.
Ooo, look, Prime just spoiled the cliffhanger resolution to Rise of the Cybermen in their advert for Age of Steel.
They attempt to beam the life forms down, but it disrupts the transporter and takes over the computer. It grows to the size of a football. Data and Geordi work out that it may be photoelectric, and Riker kills the lights in the lab. The life form surrenders and agrees to be transported back down. Teh end.
So... have we done remaking Encounter at Farpoint yet? Seriously, that was almost the same plot! And coincidentally ended the same way as the TOS episode which screened before it (Arena also ended with the local aliens telling the Enterprise to piss off and come back in a few centuries when humans have evolved a bit more).