The Ba'ku are a peaceful, nature-oriented community of 600 people who do not use technology and live contentedly with a slowed-down pace of life. They are being surveyed by Federation Admiral Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) and his Son'a ally Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham) because their planet is bathed in a metaphasic radiation that reverses aging. When Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) of the Enterprise discovers that these two have hatched a scheme to relocate the Ba'ku so that everyone else can benefit from their "fountain of youth," he decides to act boldly in defense of the Federation's Prime Directive — non-interference with the natural development of other cultures.

Jonathan Frakes directs Star Trek: Insurrection with an admirable mix of ethics, drama, humor, and outer space dogfights. The Enterprise crew is affected by the atmosphere of the Ba'ku planet. Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) sees the beauty of a sunset with natural eyesight. The Klingon Worf (Michael Dorn) battles the storm and angst of adolescent acne and aggressiveness. The android Data (Brent Spiner) befriends a Ba'ku boy and discovers the importance of play.

Picard is drawn to Anij (Donna Murphy), a beautiful young woman who is actually 309 years old. She teaches him about being present: "A single moment of time can be a universe in itself." In the course of defending the Ba'ku's way of life, the Federation officers learn practices valuable in other situations as well.