Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Encounter at Farpoint”

2 stars.

Air date: 9/28/1987
Written by D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Corey Allen

Review Text

As the new Galaxy-class Enterprise heads out on its first mission to Farpoint Station, the crew encounters a powerful being known as Q (John de Lancie), who blocks and then pursues the ship, before kidnapping four of the crew and putting humanity on trial. Captain Picard finds himself answering Q's charge that humanity is a "savage race."

Star Trek: The Next Generation launches with an uneven maiden voyage, which admittedly shows its age when compared to today's higher-tech and faster-paced world of drama. Slow and talky (which is not necessarily a demerit), "Encounter at Farpoint" suffers in part because it doesn't find the right balance between the supposed urgency of Q's ominous warnings and all the character threads that are in play as the new crew is assembled. The shifts in momentum between plot and character are at times distracting. Meanwhile, there are two overly self-impressed set-pieces involving the separation and reintegration of the Enterprise's saucer section — an action gimmick that's frankly much ado about nothing. Sure, the visual effects are impressive for 1987 television, but there's not much substance to the idea here beyond, "Look, honey! The ship can split in two!"

As a pilot and as Trek, this is adequate and absolutely no more; it establishes all the regular characters while supplying a reasonable (but ultimately disappointing) sci-fi scenario. The unconvincing planet sets and the dramatic music score give the production a definite feel of old-school TOS Trek. On the other hand, making the ship more of a luxury liner than a military vessel is a definite departure from TOS, as is the character of Picard, who is a mannered intellectual and debater. I suppose it takes a certain level of guts to make Picard the ultimate anti-Kirk, who announces an unconditional surrender in the first half-hour of the story and frequently showcases a cerebral style. And Picard's debates with Q are the first in what would eventually become one of the series' great running dialogs.

The notion of asking questions before resorting to violence is in tune with Trek's humanistic message, but the plot's solution is far too transparent and unchallenging to live up to Q's portents of earth-shaking significance. "I see now it was too simple a puzzle," Q notes at the end. Funny — that's exactly what I was thinking.

The episode has one of my favorite goofy laugh moments: Q invades the bridge and then puts a deep freeze on a threatening lieutenant with a phaser. "He's frozen!" exclaims Troi. Wow, thanks!

Next episode: The Naked Now

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

◄ Season Index

Comment Section

133 comments on this post

    The pilot was slow and talky? Ironic, because that is exactly what they said about The Cage. We probably should have known at the time better things were coming.

    I just started getting into TNG's 1st season a short time ago, after being a longtime TOS fan.

    Welllll...there really isn't much to say here. "Encounter at Farpoint" isn't too bad, but it isn't too good, either. More like just "here". Too bad, because it had a lot of potential, too. I agree with the rating, 2 stars is what I'd give it too. The music is wimpy, especially compared to TOS, and the actors lack passion and excitement at this point in time, which contributed in no small part to the overall wimpiness of this episode. The TOS actors' energy contributed in no small part to that series' success, so I guess I'm a bit spoiled.

    The plot, as Jammer said, is too ho-hum to be much of interest. The special effects (the alien ship and Farpoint station matte, for instance) also look really cheap/fake at this point in time. I'll go even so far as to say that in my humble opinion, the TOS effects and sets were much more convincing! (Even though of course I know they'll get much better)

    I find myself liking Picard, Worf and Data quite a bit, and John de Lancie as Q -- I love that guy already. I think it's his acting, it's so dramatic that everyone else looks even more dry and stilted by comparison--he almost steals the show! But not to be overly negative--there's a lot of good stuff too. I loved the scene with old McCoy and Data--a bit cloying, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Also, the NCC-1701-D exterior and interior designs look great.

    One other thing that bugged me is the new "dust-buster" phaser design. Being a long time TOS fan, I still prefer the old "gun-style" phasers--they just look more threatening and "action-y". When Tasha was walking through the alien corridors with her hand on her phaser, I could barely see it, and had to think a while before I realized what it was. Kinda ruined the whole suspense/danger factor for me. (Nitpick alert: Wouldn't phasers be quicker to draw if they weren't placed in a "cross-draw" fashion?)

    I'll try not to bash TNG too much, although that won't stop me from making TOS comparisons. I'm quite willing to go through with an open mind, and hope to watch this series take to the stars like many others have done before me.


    Guess that now that we're allowed to post in every single episode, I'll give my impressions as I go (Will take a while until I reach my recently-watched ep).

    Encounter At Farpoint! It is the only ep since I've started following TNG that I've seen twice. And not because it's uber-good, but due to a false start while attempting to make this into a regular thing on my agenda. Watched only EaF and "The Naked Now" before stopping for months.

    By the time I really came back to it, Encounter wasn't as good as I remembered it to be. It is as you say, good for a pilot and nothing else. The acting was super-lame (everyone but John De Lancie) the plot could've used more work. And the's so cheesy at times.

    Foreshadowing future events, I kind of disliked the character of Natasha Yar and felt she'd be the less interesting character of them all. Later episodes developed that idea even further...

    Not that much to add here -one of the best reviews of the TNG pilot I have read. The episode is very dialogue -heavy, which as you say, need not necessarily be a negative thing, but the sheer amount of exposition can be a chore.

    On the positive side, The courtroom scenes and the repartee between Picard and De Lancie show real promise - it's a shame that momentum is squandered by the 'Saucer re-integration' sequence, which seems to drag on forever. It's a little tricky to chide the Special Effects given it was made 25 years ago, but the sets ( as they do in some other season one episodes) seem to say 'cheap'.

    Of the actors, Stewart, De Lancie and Spiner look, for me, the strongest part of the ensemble thus far. Mention also needs to go to Michael Dorn (who would appear in more episodes across the combined series than anyone else) - originally in as a mere 'speaking extra' to illustrate that the Klingonswere no longer the emy, his character grows to become a key part of the ensemble, and he does much better with his few lines than several higher billed actors.

    The 'die was cast' in terms of 'weak links' in retrospect from ths episode. Wil Wheton is simply annoying although this episode is ar fom a Season 1 nadir for him. As Riko says, the character of Yar never really took off and Crosby's performance has to shoulder some of the blame. Marina Sirtus is also very stilted, and the lack of chemistry between her and Frakes at this point in the series makes those scenes very flat.

    Probably a 2 star rating as well from me, given some leeway by it being the pilot!

    I lol'd when Riker came aboard the Enterprise and watched the briefind video of what had happened concerning the Q's visit: the video was exactly played just like we had watched it, instead of being shown by one single bridge camera angle.

    Agreed with Van_Patten, Wes is just annoying. The producers shouldn't have him onboard from the start.

    A pretty mediocre starting, even for it's era. The plot is poor and boring, cheesy music and sometimes flat acting (especially by Tasha who went overdue a lot).

    I just watched this on Amazon Instant Watch and it was a simultaneously bizarre and hilarious experience. Somehow, the entire sound effects dub was omitted from this episode, leaving only the score and raw dialog. As a result, dialog on e.g. the bridge took place against a background of total silence, and you could clearly hear the creaks and squeaks of the set and props. Meanwhile, the space scenes were reminiscent of 2001, with ponderous action taking place against total silence.

    I would add an extra star to this version simply for being unique.

    The choice to make this pilot about a crew of strangers coming together for the first mission of a new ship gave TNG a different premise than a day-in-the-life pilot. However, TNG did less with this than Voyager did with its more high-concept premise. Apart from a few Season 1 references to 1701-D's newfangled features (so they could be explained to characters and audience alike), the premise established in the pilot served chiefly to excuse the awkwardness among the ensemble. That is, the cast & writers didn't know how the characters would interact, but that's justified in-story by having most of them meet for the first time at Farpoint.

    Nothing justifies Riker being ignorant of his new ship's most basic user interface, however. Even Chakotay was more familiar with Voyager's systems, and he was an emergency replacement!

    It's not I v'e always like this episode and its more than just "adequate" as a pilot. Its big in both scale, adventure and ideas. It introduces two of the best things ever in Trek: Q and the holodeck. The courtroom philosophical dialouge concerning humaninty was engaging and thoughtful. For me it's right up there with caretaker and emissary as great, big trek pilots. 3 1/2 stars

    @Landon - I'm not sure you want to mention "holodecks" about being the best thing about Trek! There were a lot of lousy holodeck episodes - I agree with you about Q, however.

    As for this pilot - I liked it. I didn't mind the pace. Captain Picard sure was a bit quick to surrender though. What if a US Navy Carrier captain surrendered at the first sign of trouble, do we think US Navy admirals would be as forgiving as apparently the Starfleet admirals were about Picard (since Picard kept his job). I wasn't very impressed with the acting in the pilot though, so I agree with the two star rating. And the saucer re-integration sequence was also rather laboriously long - they could have used this time to make a more involved story!

    For the first (and apparently last) time here we saw Troi turn off her empathy abilities - that sure would have come in handy in later episodes! Too bad she "forgot" she could do that...also Tam, her student (a character in "Tin Man") sure could have used that skill! Too bad for him, Troi didn't tell him he could just shut off his ability...

    A mixed bag. Probably the worst Trek pilot, but it's not a total disaster. I agree with Jammer's 2 star rating.

    Apparently the original pilot was going to be just one hour, and feature only the space jellyfish plot. The Q material was added later on to stretch it to 2 hours. Well, thank heavens, because the space jellyfish is dirt-dull, though it gives a chance for many of the cast to stretch themselves. The Q material works better, though there it is still a mess, but a much more entertaining one. De Lancie is game and the crackle between him and Stewart is already on, and I like the way Picard matches wits with Q and continues to surprise him -- offering "guilty -- provisionally," acknowledging humans' previous weaknesses, refusing to change his behaviour ("if we're going to be damned, let's be damned for who we really are"). Given how "All Good Things" plays out, my feeling is that Picard in particular and the Enterprise crew in general are meant to represent the best of humanity, and the show poses the question: is it possible to envision a future in which humans are recognizably human and yet have grown past most of the worst traits of our current society? And even then, is this best case of human society worthwhile? The show's answer, of course, is yes -- it's an optimistic show, and it's hard to be humanistic to say that humans can improve in most ways and *still* be non-worthwhile, but Q is a good character to poke holes in even this 24th-century-idealized humanity. So it's a good concept, and the acting is good from the two principals, but there is still a lot of cheese -- that net, the saucer separation (!!!), lots of Q's flashbacks to the worst of humanity's past which play out too goofy.

    As an introduction to the characters, it works fairly well, if not great. Tasha comes off worst, alas (especially the "I grew up on a place where this happened and Starfleet is awesome!" scene); Troi's ow-the-pain scene is not a good sign of things to come. Picard is most interesting right away, though at times a bit inexplicable (WHY would he ask Riker to do the manual docking?). Data is very fun to see early on.

    This episode was painful to watch, largely due to some of the characters. Troi in particular made me want to kick small children, and Yar and Riker weren't much better. The story, however, was not bad, and Q and Picard made great sparring partners from the very beginning. Two stars is accurate.

    How DARE you mere mortals make negative remarks about the legendary first episode of the 2nd greatest tv-series ever?

    This episode is perfection, do you hear me? PERFECTION!

    I'm coming direct from the DS9 pilot, and honestly I don't see how you can criticise the acting in this after that! While by no means exemplary, it is much more passable than the wodden drivel served up by Sisko and crew!

    In regards to the special effects... Again I don't see what all the fuss is about. It served its purpose and for the time is again passable.

    As an episode, "Encounter at Farpoint" needed some work (tone it down, Marina!), but as a pilot it works like gangbusters. There is such energy and passion and CONFIDENCE that courses through this entire episode it's hard for me not to smile anytime I've seen it. The Enterprise-D is off on an ADVENTURE and forging a new frontier. But, not just that! They must prove that humanity is worthy of traveling to the far reaches by an omnipotent being putting said human race on trial for its past transgressions. That's an epic premise for the first episode! And that moxy propelled a television phenomenon that lasted 18 years and 624 episodes.

    Compare that to "Broken Bow" which is technically better put together as an episode, but is such a lackluster pilot. "Well, we've got to return this Klingon back to his people. Oh, yeah, this is humanity's first venture into deep space and stuff. Check it out: people are rubbing each other down in their underwear! Tune in next week?"

    "Encounter at Farpoint" accomplished it's mission perfectly. It was a rocky start that led to better days when the show reached "The Measure of a Man" (TNG's second pilot, as I like to call it) and "Q Who" and then when the genius known as Michael Piller took the reins.

    "To the bitter end?"--Riker
    "I see nothing so bitter about it"--Picard ("EaF")

    @Patrick D: You make some good points. Even the opening shot where we zoom into Picard through a window of the Enterprise was a nice touch. The sequence where Riker manually reattaches the saucer section is nice too.

    "Captain Picard sure was a bit quick to surrender" Really, you think any US naval aircraft carrier captain would be daft enough to say "Do what you can" to an omnipotent being? And actually live to tell the tale?

    @Patrick D About the only person on this thread that got the 'spirit' of EoF. Sure, it looks dated, but the pilot is 2 decades old. And as for the OP & just about everyone who disses on the saucer section separation/reattachment sequence- that was a MAJOR sfx sequence for back in the 80s and hell they're tell you that massive ship CAN BE TAKEN APART & PUT BACK! But the iPhone generation & all

    @Patrick D About the only person on this thread that got the 'spirit' of EoF. Sure, it looks dated, but the pilot is 2 decades old. And as for the OP & just about everyone who disses on the saucer section separation/reattachment sequence- that was a MAJOR sfx sequence for back in the 80s and hell they're tell you that massive ship CAN BE TAKEN APART & PUT BACK! But the iPhone generation & all

    Ha, that's funny about the briefing video using all the same camera angles--hadn't thought of that (nor how the scenes at "trial" would be able to be shown).

    Picard's asking Riker to do the docking makes sense to me: here's my new first officer, let's give him a tough assignment right off the bat and see what he's got.

    I actually always liked Tasha Yar (but then, I was always a sucker for blondes with that haircut--like the girl from Wilson Phillips for instance). Wasn't crazy about Riker, and absolutely could not stand Deanna Troi. She could be more tolerable if she were a minour character (like Whoopi Goldberg's); but to have her right there in the row of chairs next to Picard and Riker on the bridge all the time...ugh.

    Not going to lie, this episode BORED me. I actually skipped the whole episode when they started the slow as molasses seperation sequence. I liked Q of course, but the episode just went downhill fast after he let the crew go. Is this an episode about Q or about Space Jellyfish? Entirely too unfocused, thank god things picked up later on or else I would've thought this show would be cancelled.

    For some strange reason (nostalgia maybe) I have a soft spot for this episode. Yeah, it's bad, yeah, acting is problematic, but it has... flair, I guess.

    I'll give one thing to Season 1: however bad it may be, and it's pretty bad, I'm rarely bored by it. It's so campy and silly and outlandish that I actually enjoy watching it. You know how some people gobble up bad ninja movies? It's something like that for me here. I will ALWAYS prefer a bad Season 1 episode over a bad Season 7 episode.

    ^ I'm with you all the way there, Paul. I remember actually counting the days back in 1987, waiting for this episode to air and The Next Generation to get under way. Fond memories.

    People tend to forget that a quarter of a century has passed. This isn't a bad episode. True, it isn't great, either. But with the massive nostalgia attached to it, I judge it to be out of contest. I'll always like it, and remember me, sitting there, watching it all for the first time.

    The same applies, essentially, to the rest of the season. Back then, we had no idea of just how good it could get. I always watch Season One with that innocence fresh in mind. And I'll always have a soft spot for it all.

    @Andy's Friend: "The same applies, essentially, to the rest of the season. Back then, we had no idea of just how good it could get. I always watch Season One with that innocence fresh in mind. And I'll always have a soft spot for it all."

    Yeah. TNG Season 1 was, I think, the first series I've ever watched, as a 7-8 year-old kid. The country I live in stopped broadcasting the show after the first season, so for a number of years that was the only thing I'd watched and loved. Years later, when I was maybe 12-13, we got cable TV and I finally watched the rest of the show on SAT1 with German synchronisation. I'll always have fond memories of this great show.

    And I learned German that way! Yay! I spent countless days with TV remote in one hand and German dictionary in the other, playing and stopping, playing and stopping.

    the folks at missionlogpodcast (who have been doing a podcast of all the star trek shows and movies) are finally getting to ST:TNG.

    Can't wait to combine the excellent reviews here with the audio commentary they provide.

    Q and Picard saved this episode... because the dialogue and script were very awkward (and am I to believe Data doesn't know the word "snoop"? Come on). It took a while before tng got the hang of things. The sound is appalling, for starters. When Troi speaks on the wide shot, the voice is coming from that far away.

    The wide shot of the bridge looks totally dated now too... there are 2 poxy looking chairs and a massive space around them. The set looks really dated.

    I don't usually fault these things, but they are so bad here, it had to be mentioned. The real failing is of course the silly jelly fish storyline.

    Season 1 was a mixed bag.

    Still watching.. here's another:

    Crusher: You've been blind all your life?

    Geordi: Hm, hmm, I was born this way.

    It's clunky. And no one would say that, especially not the way Geordi says it. Unless he had some serious condition as a baby, why would he feel the need to say he was born that way? It goes without saying.

    Better response may have been "Yeah, born that way." It sounds like something someone would say at least. It's these small clunky things that add up in Season 1.

    Very much a game of two halves, this. Q was a wonderful character, right from the off. The actual Farpoint storyline, though... There's just nothing there. No matter how many times I watch the episode, it just doesn't stick in my brain.

    As I recall, when this was first on, I got bored and switched off the TV less than half way through. I'd been really excited about it, as well.

    1 star for the Farpoint storyline, maybe 3 for Q. So 2 stars would probably be about right.

    If the Q material hadn't been grafted onto the Farpoint story to make and extended pilot, what would the story have been about? Picard's opening log says they must "examine" the station, and Data calls it a "mystery." Yet Data turns out to be correct: the mission turns out to be uninteresting and too easy, thus proving both Picard and Q wrong, despite both of their (unrelated) efforts to pump up the intrigue.

    Without Q making the mission a test, it might've gone like this:
    Picard: Any reason why Starfleet should not use Farpoint as a base?
    Crusher: Well, the shopping mall had exactly what I wanted.
    Riker: And some apples materialized after I asked for some.
    Picard: So they have replicators. Sounds ideal. I'll report our findings to Starfleet. Mission accomplished. I'm sure our other adventures will be much more interesting.

    As a fan of all things Star Trek, I would say the term "mixed-bag" sums this premiere episode up perfectly. It may not hold up well compared to today's standards but it does pretty well in setting in motion the series as a whole while standing alone as one of the best episodes of the first season (which just shows the low standard by which it's judged).

    It is not nearly as dis-jointed an experience watching this as I remember it being but it does still seem a times. Being as it is a product of it's time onscreen and behind the scenes (fresh faced cast, a premise set in a universe not heard about in decades other than TOS reruns and the occasional film, etc) it really isn't half bad overall. The banter between Q and Picard was especially a stand-out and the dialogue in said parts was pretty spot on. It was mainly these scenes that made everything else seem like a letdown. But not abhorrently so by any means.

    The remaining characters in the show had some decent screentime and some decent early character backstory for a couple of them. Nothing there, though, stood out as "horrible" or "great". Although Troi came very close to being in the former column. All in all, it definitely seemed very on par with the sense of what it is. A bunch of (mostly) stage actors quickly thrown together to act out a Star Trek premiere.

    One thing I have to give this episode proper respect for is its "larger than life" sensibility and the sense of adventure, curiosity, and the unknown. I really got that out of this episode more than anything and that's one of the greatest aspects of Star Trek.

    Overall...not great...but not bad either. Not as good as the other Trek premieres but it is still worth watching, especially for newcomers to the series.

    2.5 stars.

    I started laughing when, within the first few minutes, I heard Worf talk about the person whom Q had frozen and he called that person "Lieutenant Torres". Star Trek is just SO original. Unless... that really IS the same Torres, but I doubt it.

    Did anyone notice how Picard addressed Troi as "Commander" and then later Riker addressed her as "Lieutentant"? She got a Commander rank in Season 7, but before that I never heard any mention of her having an official rank (other than in this episode).

    Anytime she wears rank insignia before the S7 episode she's a Lt. Commander. Therefore Picard was correct and Riker was not. It's acceptable to refer to a Lt. Commander as "Commander". It's not acceptable to refer to her as "Lieutenant."

    Enough meat in here for a single episode but seems to drag its heels after the early chase sequence and never quite justifies the feature length. The Q sequences seem grafted on and never quite convince. Some characters (Picard/Data) get off to a running start - others (Troi/Riker) start slowly. But the ep starts to get the character interaction moving well. And it drops the ball at the end with a stock conclusion. "Joy and gratitude" indeed. So something of a curate's egg this one - 2.5 stars.

    Rewatching old episodes, it occurred to me just how brave a decision it was to make Picard as unlike Kirk as possible from the start - older, calmer, more talky and philosophical, a tad standoff-ish as opposed to Kirk's gung-ho, action-hero, womanizing character. I feel it would be going against the grain for shows to tinker with established/expected character formulas even today in the age of BSG, Firefly, Breaking Bad, Sherlock etc even though such shows are ultimately the ones which endure in the long run via extremely dedicated fan bases (even though I enjoyed Force awakens, for instance, I feel that it leaned too much on A New Hope right down to the sequence in which certain events occurred). For TNG to do this from the get go was a bold decision - the fact that we have a thriving Kirk vs Picard debate today is proof of how good a job they did with Picard's character, once the show got out of its shaky early seasons. Sadly, none of the other captains really broke the Kirk mold in a major way after Picard, IMO although they were still mostly solid character sin their own right.


    That's a good point, one which I think is taken for granted nowadays for new TNG viewers and of this episode in particular. This episode was the first live TV Trek in 18 years, and it brought with it special effects, set designs, music and characters that were ahead of its time, launching two sequel series and a prequel series.

    As for this episode itself, I honestly had no idea it was two shows merged into one until I read it here. Q's challenge works fairly well to set up the theme of TNG of enlightened humanity, and I think the threat of Q at least made what would have been an average story into a very good or even great episode. Of all those who criticize this episode, I wonder if you don't ever still come back to it now again, because for all its failings, it has a certain unique charm.

    It would have been better if it wasn't a 2 parter, it should have been a stand alone Q episode followed by a stand alone farpoint episode because the 2 stories just didn't fit together,
    i also noticed that the characters who had the least to say like Worf and O'brien came of a lot better than the characters with lots of dialogue.........PAIN, I SENSE GREAT PAIN, LONELINESS AND DESPERATION

    Almost 30 years after the fact, I'm beginning to wonder... how did the saucer section make it to Deneb IV without warp drive??

    Speaking of Deneb, it's an actual star, 1600-2600 light-years away from Earth (measurements vary), which puts a number on how far away the "great unexplored mass of the galaxy" is. Then again, the real Deneb is too bright & young to have any planets with indigenous life, so...

    Furthermore, unless I'm mistaken, Deneb is farther from the center of the galaxy than the Sun. Therefore, if you head out to explore in that direction, most of the Milky Way is behind you.

    I glad this series made it to 7 seasons but looking back at the early episodes im amazed that it did. I really liked all the characters after a while (except wesley) but in this episode apart from Q and picard i found them all so bad especially troi. Joy and gratitude. Joy and gratitude. Jeez. And i still to this day dont know what that anzardi or something like that was all about. Also the guy from the station was incredibly annoying. I thought the fx where ok for 1987 and didnt really find tasha any more boring than the others although the series did get better when she got gunged and more focus was put on worf.Im a really big fan of trek in general tng and im afraid to say voyager being my favorites. But overall this episode was a little lame and 2stars seems about right to me

    I have to disagree with the rating here - I give it a 2.5 out of 4 (or on a 5 star scale, 3 out of 5). 2 stars implies it's nothing more than average. I consider it above average. I just re-watched this episode for the first time in 14 years (remastered on Blu-ray) and found it enjoyable. For one, it introduces an amazing, and seemingly invulnerable new villain - Q. The scene in the primitive earth court was also well done - I only wish it was longer. Farpoint station itself was vaguely interesting - it kept us guessing as to what was actually going on, and Zorn was a decent character. On this basis alone, I think it deserves more than 2 stars.

    TOS gave us The Cage and/or Where No Man has gone before.
    TNG gives us Gene Rodenberry's unikely utopian ( and irritatatingly smug) evolved human society which robs this show of any storylines involving conflict.

    Just some background: I recently finished watching DS9 on Netflix for the first time. It was my first Star Trek series and even though it started out rough, I ended up falling in love with it over the course of the show.

    I've been watching Voyager (currently on season 2) but decided to give TNG a try as I was looking for something different.

    I have to say: first off, TNG looks beautiful and not as dated as it should. I suppose Netflix is airing HD version of the show, whereas DS9 looked really dated. Why can't they air all of the series in the highest quality?

    I didn't like Picard, Wesley, Troi (over-emotional, poor acting), or Q at all. I never liked Worf on DS9; so far, he's not as insufferable in this first episode. Data, Geordi, and Riker were ok. I was kind of excited about the Tasha Yar character - she seemed like a strong, tough Kira Nurees type, but then she started screaming in one of the scenes and it was embarrassing. Not much opinion on Dr. Crusher other than, hmm, she has some history with Picard. Hope it gets better.

    @Grumpy -- "Almost 30 years after the fact, I'm beginning to wonder... how did the saucer section make it to Deneb IV without warp drive??"

    I just re-watched this today, and that is the first time this occurred to me. The saucer section would have to have its own warp drive! I suppose it could, but as far as I know, we only ever see one warp core. Can't believe I never thought of that before!

    I remember back when this came out I couldn't get it on my TV for some reason, so I begged the few friends I knew with VCRs to tape it--but I didn't have a VCR until about 2 years later so I was way behind on watching, lol.

    I love this--a terrific start to the series, and showed them exactly what they needed to iron out, as others have noted above. I think the slow saucer separation and wide shots of the bridge are great--Star Trek hadn't been on TV in any form for a long time, so there was a bit of fan-service to show what this new Enterprise was like and what it could do.

    I also love the space jellyfish--I think the idea of a sapient creature being used as a space station is original and amazing, and I loved when the two jellies went off together into space. I wish we'd me them again. They were interesting and said "thank you" for the rescue.

    Oh dear lord I never knew Tasha Yars acting in that courtroom scene was so horrible. I mean Troi was bad but Tasha's outburst was so embarrassing it made me forget about Troi. also Q's entrance on that throne was hilarious.

    I think most people understood exactly who Tasha (the actor) was and what she stood for - and why she left the show, and why she came back to play a short-haired, Romulan commander.

    She is a great actor, but I always got a sense that her personal beliefs played a very large role is her decisions to leave and then come back later for very specific appearances.

    And bless Gene Roddenberry, who was a wonderful man and welcomed her back despite her rejection of certain aspects of the Star Trek world.

    It was a forgivable pilot. Great effects for 1987, they did a good job of introducing the characters, and I enjoyed the "court" scene.

    However, there are some unforgivable points:

    1) The saucer separation scene was far too long and they literally played the title theme in its entirety.
    2) The new station seemed very empty
    3) Crusher seemed odd in her challenge to Picard's wishes about children on the bridge with a snarky, "He's in the TURBOLIFT, not the bridge, DUH! He's just going to stand here holding up the G-Damn elevator while I give you a report."
    4) Manually reconnecting the saucer section is sold to us as risky and dangerous. Why would Picard needlessly endanger the crew?
    5) The time between Picard's order to evacuate the station and the time they shoot the energy beam is very short. They never got any confirmation that the station was evacuated. I just picture hundreds of people screaming as they're absorbed into the jelly fish creature and placed in the fancy torture chambers that make you float.

    This pilot, and the whole first season were honestly so unbearable I almost gave up on the series several times. Only my desire to complete every Star Trek series in order got me through it, and even halfway through the fourth season, I can't see why people would prefer this over TOS, but that's just my opinion.


    "She is a great actor, but I always got a sense that her personal beliefs played a very large role is her decisions to leave and then come back later for very specific appearances.

    And bless Gene Roddenberry, who was a wonderful man and welcomed her back despite her rejection of certain aspects of the Star Trek world. "

    I don't know what you are referring to here--could you expand? What personal beliefs and what rejections?

    I'd disagree that she's a "great actor" -- I've seen her in other things and have never been impressed. But I definitely think she did better playing Sela.

    When this first aired in 1987, it seemed fine. Time hasn't been kind to the story, the acting or the special effects, though. It's not the worst thing I've ever seen...and not even the worst episode of the 1st season of TNG (I'm looking at you, "The Naked Now").

    It was clear the actors hadn't grown into their roles yet and hadn't discovered who the characters were. Also obvious is that the show hadn't decided what "Star Trek" was going to be without the TOS crew at the helm. This was the first time there had been a "Star Trek" without Kirk in the Captain's chair. They spent too much time trying to copy the old series instead of breaking out on their own at first. Luckily, they recovered.

    Great comments throughout on the pilot episode.

    As for me, I can't help but watch it through the eyes that I had when it first aired when I was a college freshman. A group of us met weekly to drink and watch the latest episode - more drinking than watching if it was a repeat.

    After a childhood of TOS reruns, it was a thrill to have a Star Trek of my own! We caught and loved every nod to the old series. My favorite was the first Red Alert - I had always hated the blaring horns and unending klaxons of TOS. All of us cheered when Picard yelled "Turn off that damned noise!"

    It was and still is a campy episode. Part of it, I think, was that the actors were just starting to find their footing with the characters. By the second season the characters started to fill out better.

    Great review and great comments here. Just rewatched this and both laughed and cried. It's so good, but also so bad. I'm too nostalgic to rate it properly, but I'm at 3.5 since even the campy stuff is so enjoyable. One thing that bothered me is the repeated references to aliens as other "races", even by Data. The correct word must be other "species". Picard and Q stand out as the only performances of this episode that stand the test of time. Had this not turned out to be the greatest show of all time, watching EaF would likely be unbearable today. As it stands, it' pure joy.

    It's interesting to look back and see how raw and uncomfortable they were with each other at the beginning; it makes the rapport they later developed that much more special. I've always thought more highly of this episode than most--3 stars for me.

    So I've watched "EaF" for the first time in roughly 10 years. Thoughts:

    -- I agree with many of the comments here about how this lays the entire foundation of the series well right from the start. Think about this: They return to the pilot as a significant part of the final episode. So hat's off for philosophical and story-telling continuity.

    -- It's definitely awkward. One example: The characters have these odd little outbursts that their StarFleet training should prevent. Most of the characters do at least one rather inappropriate or downright stupid thing. Then he or she is chastised. Then he or she apologizes and does a 180. All in the span of an inconsequential 30 seconds. (Worf aiming a phaser at the view screen, for instance).

    -- It's not Marina Sirtis' fault that the script called for her to babble the same lines over and over. "Gratitude ... and joy." / "Gratitude ... AND joy." They seemed to learn to tone that down rather quickly though.

    -- Finally, I'm in the minority that liked the jellyfish-esque creatures myself. I wish they had returned. They may have made good allies against the Crystalline Entity! And do agree the Farpoint "test" was way too easy. I think Q wanted to grade humanity on a bell curve.

    Overall, the first season isn't good. But there is a sense of innocence and wonderment in the season. Like someone else said, I'd rather watch a bad season 1 episode than a bad season 7 episode.


    Who knows why but I decided to watch the pilot again tonight. It must have been years since I've taken the time, and I haven't regretted it. You know what? As an intro this is pretty darn good. It doesn't have the acting performances of Emissary, but man do they do an efficient job of introducing all the characters, the ship, saucer separation, some tech, holodeck, Q, and sets the tone for the entire series by ingeniously showing that TNG will be about this showing proving the progress of humanity. Q almost serves as judge and jury over the entire series on behalf of the viewer, as witness to the mission statement of the series to show us a hopeful future.

    Now *that* is how to set the tone and get the series rolling. And there's still a reasonable amount of time left over for the story itself, which is quaint but acceptable, and even nice scenes like those between Picard and Riker and between Data and McCoy. I'm also sad that they entirely dropped the idea introduced here that Riker and Deanna can communicate with each other using her telepathy. It could have been a beautiful thing to bring back on occasion, and would have actually served as a reason why she isn't so wonderful at verbal descriptions (what an excuse for the scripting, hah!) as they could have gone with the idea that she's more used to telepathic communication. But alas they drop the racial attribute almost entirely other than her "I sense" gimmick. The pilot in this sense is far superior to much of S1 that follows. Even Data is different here, where his innocent demeanor comes packed in with another childlike quality - precocious arrogance and occasional musing at inferior human qualities. Much of what we would eventually think of as Lore's traits can be found in Data in the pilot, which again later get dropped as Data becomes more cerebral and innocent and less whimsical (if that's the right word).

    I noticed something else too that had been nagging at me for a while. When watching S1 episodes and even some from S2 I frequently have gotten the impression that Picard was much more of a dick than he later became. By the later seasons we're even led to believe that he's a bit of a softie and prefers an informal atmosphere. But now that I'm watching the pilot again I realize that's a fairly hard retcon because it's made blatantly clear here that Picard was originally written as a hardass. This gets slowly eroded over two seasons until he settles into what he eventually becomes in S3. But I really like the idea here: Picard is the hardass while Riker is the charismatic leader who acts as the face of the command structure and keeps the morale high. Picard basically tells him point blank that he's to project a congenial image on behalf of Picard, who is anything but. I like that idea a lot! It was certainly a bold choice coming after Kirk, who was himself the charismatic center of TOS. A lot of what they seemed to want for Picard is exactly what we later see in Captain Jellico in Chain of Command; a Captain who has the know-how but isn't a people person. I actually would rather this version of Picard could have been explored more, because it could have been a potential source of growth between him and the crew. But then again Roddenberry wanted no conflict at all, so I guess that got dumpstered. That being said I really enjoyed Picard giving Riker the third degree when he first came aboard, giving him a difficult task (which even made Data wince), and then after a successful saucer connection telling Riker it was just a routine and easy task! What an asshole, it was great to watch. And then when Picard tests Riker by acting like his willfulness will be a problem and Riker sticks to his guns, another awesome scene where one really couldn't have known which way the conversation would go. In fact, Picard doesn't even come around and say "it's ok, you gave me the answer I wanted." He says nothing of the kind, but a bit later simply welcomes Riker to the ship. Boy was that some introduction between them. It really sets the stage for Picard to become his de facto mentor as of around Hide and Q.

    Overall this is a much stronger pilot than I remember, and easily one of the best S1 episodes. I think a lot of what I think of as S1's problems comes from subsequent episodes which I unfairly attributed to the pilot. And of course I don't need to mention De Lancie's excellent first outing as Q, in which his focus is incredible given the weirdness of the script as it must have appeared to him at the time. Even his shift in character as he swapped out military uniforms was very fun, and especially the goofy manner he adopts as the drug-addled 21st century soldier. I had also forgotten this detail, that they imply that by the 21st century soldiers were controlled using drugs, a prediction made by Huxley in Brave New World (and the one area where he strongly disagreed with Orwell). The darkness the show implies come between now and the 24th century are such a striking commentary about the viewers of the show not getting too full of themselves thinking they're already advanced humans. "You will get much worse before you get better" is a more sobering message than most shows dare tell even now, and yet the episode generally has a hopeful and positive tone, and that's a remarkable combination.

    Very nice episode, I'd rate it highly.

    I'll mention just one other thing I observed. Maybe this doesn't mean anything, maybe it does, but the flash effect used for Q's appearances and departures is the same visual effect for when the Enterprise enters warp. Could it be mere economy of saving on effects, or could it be an obscure message that the very wonder governing the Enterprise at it goes off to explore the galaxy is the same as that which leads to becoming a being like the Q? It's something we could continue to ask as the series goes on: what does Q really want? He states clearly in the pilot that he's trying to help them, and this is confirmed on a few occasions. I wonder whether certain guest writers may not have gotten the wrong idea about him in making him quite so impish and even clownish in episodes like Deja Q and True Q. Hide and Q, for instance, still carries the potential interpretation that Q is intrigued by Picard and Riker and is testing them, and likewise Q Who carried the thread to an extent by showing him warning them of dangers. The fact that each of these also has Q showing humor and devilishness may have been confused by some as meaning that he's just there *to be impish*, which I don't think the scripts imply but which *is* later implied in Deja Q as the script suggests he enjoys tormenting life forms. In hindsight I think that while it makes Deja Q a very enjoyable stand-alone episode that it throws out a lot of the seriousness of Q's visits and turns it into a circus. The seriousness would only later be regained in the series finale, at which point the ability to take Q seriously had been largely sabotaged. The strength of that script saved it from being another clown show but obviously based on what we see in DS9's Q-Less and all of his appearances in Voyager the damage had been done and Q was turned into comic relief. Now that I reflect back on it I think that's too bad.

    @Peter G.

    Interesting review, and I do agree "Farpoint" is fairly underrated. I might personally put it behind "Emissary" but about the same level as "Vulcan Hello / Binary Stars". I love Stewart's initial characterization and actually find it to be one of the charms of season one. It was actually pretty funny to see characters like Wesley get their comeuppance at the hands of Picard in several episodes.

    To address your second point, I think it's good the way Q is impish! I think it adds to his alienness. If we're really supposed to believe he's a supreme being that's radically different than humans, he needn't follow the rules of what humans consider etiquette. In fact, Q has his own morals, as noted in "True Q", which he calls 'superior morality'. Sure, we may see him toying with the gaseous beings in "Deja Q", but we have no idea what the context of his meddling was. Maybe he was testing those beings, but in a different manner than he'd test humanity.

    I agree, though, that DS9 and Voyager's outings are a bit too comical, which I chalk up to bad writing. Once Q became a mere cameo villain, it almost seems like the writers didn't need to care about what the episode was about as long as there were *crazy Q shenanigans*. Still, I think "Death Wish" at least aspired to be more, even if it was campy at times.

    Finally, I think we need to recognize that DeLancie is so good at both being serious and at physical comedy (a rare genius that actors like Will Smith have). So, it's good to have some Trek scripts that utilize DeLancie's playfulness, or impishness as you call it.

    Seamlessly establishing a new cast and setting is never an easy thing to accomplish in ninety minutes of television but EAF largely manages to achieve it – all the characters are present and correct and their personalities are for the most part as they would remain for the rest of the series. There are a few rough edges here and there (perhaps most notably Picard who comes across as much more stern and abrasive than his character would become in later episodes). But the core group are there, and performances are mostly sound (but more on that later).

    Particularly engaging are the exchanges between Q and Picard. There’s an instant chemistry between John De Lancie and Patrick Stewart, one which would be maintained throughout the series’ run. Personally I’ve never been a huge fan of Q as a character but it’s impossible to deny that the relationship he and Picard share is both interesting and entertaining, particularly given that John De Lancie nails the character right from the off and plays Q with such relish it’s hard not to like. It’s only a shame that his interactions with the other members of the crew are largely restricted to cheap jibes and mockery.

    The mystery of Farpoint is kind of interesting, if a little lightweight. But this episode is more about introducing the new crew than providing a thrilling plot. For its part it ticks the necessary boxes and I liked the idea of a city that is actually a shape-shifting alien being that is being held against its will.

    The Doctor McCoy cameo is nicely done and well played by DeForest Kelly. It would’ve been very easy to take this scene down the ‘this is all very different to my day’ route but placing Bones alongside Data and having him compare him to Spock is a nice way of bridging the two series.

    The effects are pretty impressive (for the time) and there are some nice shots of the ship and Farpoint station, particularly in the blu-ray version.

    Firstly, it’s quite evident that they struggled to fill the ninety minute run time with the material they had. There’s so much filler here – Picard ordering Riker to perform a manual recoupling of the ship (for no obvious reason), followed by a long scene where we see the saucer section slowly re-dock with its other half, being the most egregious example. There’s also plenty of pointless dialogue – at one point Picard pulls Q up on his promise that their trial would be fair and even has data read the court transcript back to him, only for Q to brand it “completely irrelevant”. If it’s irrelevant then why not say so in the first place? And more to the point why do we waste time dwelling on it?

    The editing is also painfully clunky – shots hang for far longer than they should and pretty much every scene feels bloated and drawn out. You can’t help but feel that the original planned run time of sixty minutes would’ve been more appropriate for the material and allowed for better pacing.

    Secondly, some of the performances on display leave a bit to be desired. Denise Crosby’s constant overacting (particularly in evidence when she gives her “you should get down on your knees!” speech) is jarring, whilst Marina Sirtis is just plain tedious as Troi delivering her empathetic cries of “Pain! Pain!” and “Terrible loneliness!”. This isn’t a slight against either actress as they’re both better actors than this, as they would go on to prove, but you get the impression that with tighter direction they could’ve given a better account of themselves. As it is their time on screen often grates and, in the case of Troi, made me constantly want to skip to the next scene.

    I could also have done without Wesley in this episode. It seemed a little odd that Riker appeared to already know him but not Beverley – presumably if he’d have met Wes before then he’d have met his mother? His scenes don’t add anything and just add to the already overly-long run time. He could easily have been introduced in a later episode.

    As for the plot itself, it’s perfectly fine, but given that it’s supposed to be the ultimate test by which humanity can prove it has moved on from its savage ways and become a sophisticated space-faring race, it all seems rather simple and inconsequential. I figured out what was going on after the first scene with Riker and Zorn, and it stretches credibility somewhat that it takes Picard and his crew so long to do the same - Q even alludes to the simplistic nature of the puzzle at the conclusion of the episode. Now it’d be churlish to expect an intricate thriller of Crichton-esque proportions as a first episode, but the whole thing comes across as perfunctory rather than particularly smart.

    RATING: ★★

    @ Alex,

    I agree with you about Crosby's and Sirtis' acting, but in my opinion it's not just a scripting issue. To be fair it might also have been the director's fault but somehow I'm not convinced. With Crosby we never did get to see her star in great episodes so maybe she would have improved, but in S1 I really think she's weak on top of the mediocre writing for her. She barely fares better as Sela and I haven't seen her in anything else so this is all I have to go on. I'm sort of happy to she left the show. As for Sirtis I think she was severely limited as an actress and her strongest suit - being a caregiver - was almost never used in episodes, and certainly not in S1. Her main feature in Farpoint, which I guess was to be insightful and show emotion, are exactly what she's unable to do so frankly I have no idea what they were thinking casting her for this pilot. In short, I agree with you about the weaknesses here.

    Regarding the shots and editing I have to disagree, though. Do you really think they should have quickly shown establishing shots of the ship and then skipped ahead to keep the story moving, when this was the long-awaited Trek show that would be the gold standard for science fiction in TV? We needed those shots, and at the time I'm certain no one thought too much time was spent on them. It's not the same as for a S3 episode where the objective is to keep the story going. Farpoint is about getting to know everyone, including *the ship*, who's the real star of the show. Contrast this with Discovery where the directors could care less about the ship or what it looks like, and where even the fans of the show recognize that it's impossible to connect with the ship itself as being important.

    Personally I think most of the scenes they included here were essential, if now somewhat dated. The saucer separation scene, for instance: just exactly how else do you think they should have shown off the ship's new tech to set TNG apart from TOS? And at the same time they used it to show Picard being a real hardass testing his new XO. Two for one on that score and I think the reaction shots from Data and O'Brien sold it as being a feat on Riker's part. Actually I think it's one of the episode's best scenes, even though at this point in history we aren't as interested in re-watching an entire scene dedicated to introducing a piece of tech that's currently dated and which frankly ended up being mostly irrelevant to the series (SPOILER) until Best of Both Worlds.

    I agree that the plot is otherwise a bit thin but to be honest that could be chalked up (in universe) to Q wanting to see them doing stuff that isn't difficult but that other, more militant species, might use aggression to solve rather than intelligence. It's as simple as giving a monkey a square piece and a round piece and a hole that fits one of them, seeing which they'll choose. Not a complex problem but enough to run his little test. As for his histrionics I think they were mostly employed to get a rise out of Picard and see if he'd lose his focus like most Klingons would under the same circumstances. It does take a bit of retrospective hindsight to evaluate Q's behavior in this episode so I'm not impartial on this score, but overall I did think that even the 'irrelevant' scenes are deceptively relevant.

    I remember being SO excited for this show to be on the air after I heard it was in development. I remember being so thirsty for more Star Trek that I was willing to consume and claim to love just about anything that adequately bore the name. That appetite for more was so strong I was willing to endure a certain level of denial about how bad much of it was. It was "Elementary My Dear Data" and "The Measure of a Man" in S2 that finally got me sighing with relief that it was finally a show worthy of my faith. I'm so glad they finally ironed out the kinks and gave us some truly memorable TV.

    A rather unimpressive premiere -- the other 4 Trek series to follow did better jobs to varying degrees. We've got a bit of sci-fi, an half-assed intro to what the new Enterprise D can do (unnecessary saucer-separation at warp 9.x), and of course Q.

    Not sure what the story is trying to prove with Q being initially unfair about the trial. But it makes Picard have to talk his way into another chance to prove humans are not savages. Certainly here, Q doesn't show himself to be of superior morals or compassionate, dignified etc. As an omnipotent being, we just see him as an ass. So I'd have to chalk up "Encounter" as a weak Q episode. (There are, of course, good Q episodes).

    Interesting to see the crew's first interactions with each other. Picard is quite the hardass ordering Wesley and Dr. Crusher to get off the bridge and being surly with Riker upon first meeting him. Troi's telepathic abilities are key for solving the mystery although she's quite annoying, always on the verge of crying it seemed -- the quote Jammer recalls also cracks me up big time: "He's frozen!" No shit.

    I liked how this episode had some connections to TOS with D.C. Fontana co-writing it and Alexander Courage's TOS theme music. The cameo from Bones was nice but like a lot of this episode, it is just fluff and trying to keep the old school TOS trekkies happy initially.

    I recall watching "Encounter" when it premiered and just being so totally disappointed that it wasn't TOS. I didn't finish watching the whole 2 hours and that soured my appetite for the rest of Season 1. I only watched it sporadically as the season unfolded for the first time.

    2 stars for "Encounter at Farpoint" -- mediocre at best. We get all the characters including Q and an idea that Picard is very different from Kirk -- much stricter for sure. The premiere does its job but with a bland premise and resolution. It aims big although the story could have been wrapped up in 1 hour.

    Alex is absolutely right. This poor episode had a tortured gestation.

    The staff had decided on a one-hour opening episode and that's what D.C. Fontana wrote: the new Enterprise assigned to investigate the mysterious Farpoint Station. The studio wanted more of an extravaganza, so the running time was increased to two hours. The staff negotiated for a 90-minute episode plus a half-hour "History of Star Trek" segment to be written by Gene Roddenberry.

    Roddenberry then took Fontana's script and re-wrote it, adding all the Q material to bring it up to ninety minutes. Then, as was happening more and more at this time, he was unable to complete the "history" segment. But the studio still wanted a two-hour opener. So, to fill up the time, the saucer separation and reconnection, McCoy's scene with Data, and the ridiculous bit where Picard leaves the bridge during a crisis to chat with Beverly in sickbay were written as filler.

    The episode was still running under (especially with the loss of an action scene at the climax where Riker and company are on the alien ship and were supposed to be attacked by tendrils extruding from the walls - but the on-set effects were so poor, the sequence was dropped) so the editor obviously vamped with languid pacing, too many reaction shots, and overlong effects sequences.

    I don't think the episode is really that bad, but would benefit from a serious re-editing to tighten the pace.

    Oh good grief... I’m writing this during the saucer re-connecting scene, so I’ve got oodles of time.

    Perhaps it’s just aging not being kind, but this is so so so bad. haha... and yet it’s my beloved TNG!! Injust finished a run-through of Voyager, and I’ve been dreading re-watching TNG because of S1.

    The 2 stations up front by the viewscreen are just sort of out there with like 20 feet of open space around them and they’re rickety. Watching them shake when anybody used them was a nice allegory for the show itself trying to find its feet.

    Worf points a phaser at the viewscreen. hahaha... oh boy, yeah, we’re not off to a good start here. I’m glad they at least cut the scene later where they teach him potty training.

    Troi. Yeesh. Soap opera stars of the time watched this and cringed at her performance.

    And despite it all... I still kinda like it. I just need to get through S1, I think I can... I think I can...

    @ Prince of Space:

    Yeah TNG S1 is unbelievably bad, even when compared to.. *shudder*.. Voyager.

    I was in my last year of college when I saw the advertisement for a new trek series. I had a little black and white tv in my dorm and made sure to have it on in plenty of time for the maiden voyage. I fell asleep halfway through. Farpoint was so boring and cheesy that I decided it was doomed. I didn't make much time for it after that. I vaguely remember up until the Tasha's death episode and I was done.
    Cut to 1988. I was back home and my dad had a satellite dish. This was the good old days before they started scrambling stations. I stumbled across a feed that showed sttng days before the scheduled airings and thus began my years of commercial free sttng euphoria. Best tv years of my life.
    Too bad lightning won't strike twice. After watching the pilot of the new cbs drivel, nothing could get me interested in that. And I have Netflix.

    " After watching the pilot of the new cbs drivel, nothing could get me interested in that."

    And it's full of hospital episodes!

    I wanna watch all of Star Trek, I love ds9 this was my show, so I want to give the rest of the franchise a try, this episode was goofy but I still liked it, the music at the opening, the visiual effects , 2.5 for Sentiment reason

    Starting the series over from the top. This will be my third time through. Love this forum and Jammers reviews.

    I feel this was a good first entry for the series, thank God it gets better! I am struck in this episode by how little Picard and Co want to help Zorn and his people. A big ship comes by and starts blowing shit up, and their attitude is, well they must have done something to deserve this. Q is by far the best part of the episode, always love when he pops in, even if its at sherwood forest. A couple good Picard moments, like when he yells at wesley to get off his bridge. Tell him Picard!

    So here's a question for those of you still wandering back in here.

    The premise: It's 1986 and you have a year to pull together YOUR VERSION of "Next Generation."

    Our canon material is the original series and four movies up to "Voyage Home." You have same budget and limitations they had then.

    In broad strokes or in detail, what would have done (with the premiere or the first season in general)? My answer:

    My show would have been quite different (and maybe not better). In flavor, it would have been a little more like DS9 and the better parts of Enterprise.

    I'm pretty sure I never would have conceived of the Betazeds or Data or Q or the Ferengi, for instance.

    I definitely would have wanted a diverse crew, and maybe even more than Next Gen, I would have attempted to populate the crew with aliens.

    I would have built more from the original series in terms of plot, less in tone and flavor. As much as they would have let me, I would have done story arcs, having been influenced by successful shows such as "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law."

    My vision of the show would have had a definite focus on the Federation/Klingon/Romulan struggles. I wouldn't want every episode on that, but those would have been the most dominant types.

    In my vision, the Klingons wouldn't have been allies. If anything, back in 1986, I think the Federation had a much better chance of building bridges with the Romulans over the Klingons. TOS portrayed them as rather noble adversaries with a lot of mutual mistrust and misunderstanding. I would have kept that dynamic. I was quite surprised back then to learn peace had been made with Klingons, who were much more warlike.

    I definitely would have had a major focus on the intense threeway rivalry. I also would have had a few recurring Klingons and Romulans as adversaries a la Khan (or Gul Dukat in the future). In my Next Gen universe, the Romulans still who have thought themselves vastly superior to Klingons. But the Klingons would have been just as eager to fight the Federation, too.

    A few other tidbits:

    -- I was fascinated with Lt. Ilea from STTMP. I would have had a Deltan as part of the core bridge crew. Probably a guy to shake things up. But I definitely would have wanted to explore the Federation members more, and this was a good place to start.

    -- I would have had Vulcans around and Vulcan storylines, particularly when it came to the Romulans. But I would have avoided a Vulcan in the No. 1 or No. 2 spot.

    -- Unless the FX and makeup people said it would have been too much work, I would have incorporated Andorians and Tellerites more into the picture. Probably not as major players, but explore them more as a way to flesh out the Federation. (Perhaps some Romulan overtures to the Andorians to stoke internal Federation tensions).

    -- I would have also wanted to not lean entirely on building up from existing species and I would have wanted to introduce a few new species (though not sure on composition or characteristics.

    -- I probably would have revisited a few OS storylines and players throughout the series. Some as one-offs, some incorporated into the story arcs:

    The Guardian of Forever / The Orion Syndicate (better serving the role the Ferengi played) / The mind manipulators on Talos IV / The Doomsday Machine / A visit back to one of the planets the Federation screwed over with Prime D. Maybe the Nazi planet.

    I definitely would have had fewer Q-like beings. But I do like shows with unexpected life forms if not done too often (like the crystals that called us "ugly bags of mostly water.")

    Speaking of water, I definitely would have set a story arc either on another planet or Earth where the crew briefly serves in a submarine (if budget had allowed). And that could have been a big hit or a major flop.

    Challenge accepted!

    Without the power of hindsight, without knowing how TNG ultimately turned out...

    I would have sent the Enterprise D to the Andromeda Galaxy - have them cross the Galactic Barrier in the opening minutes of the first ep, treat it as a monumental event (which would also symbolically pass the torch from TOS and allow a TOS cameo or two). They then discover a "subspace corridor" which zips them to the Andromeda Galaxy, and then the crew goes exploring. The Enterprise D has intermittent contact with Starfleet outposts on the other side of the barrier, but for the most part, they're on their own.

    This would allow for a good mix of standalone eps and a longer story arc or two. On board the Enterprise D are representatives from many Fed and non-Fed planets, including some Klingon and Romulan representatives. The Feds, Klingons, and Romulans are not quite friends, but not quite enemies, either. Over the course of their stint in the Andromeda Galaxy, they learn to put aside their differences and trust each other. And of course, they meet many, many strange new life forms (plus the Kelvans from TOS who can serve as a recurring nemesis).

    @ NCC-1701-Z

    I like it! Sounds like a better Voyager!

    You know, I had actually thought of setting half a season or a whole season there myself. Another thing I had thought about but didn't put in my post:

    I think once the Federation/Klingon/Romulan dynamic had been set up, I'd eventually want a more alien threat, and I actually thought of the Kelvans from Andromeda as a possibility -- along with introducing race that built the Doomsday machine.

    Thanks for your reply!

    Hello @Viktor

    I'm way behind on my RSS feed, but I hope you are enjoying your foray into TNG, and the rest of Trek. I've seen them all (the 60's ones in the 70's) and it keeps me coming back to watch them again.

    Enjoy the ride, and I almost envy you, seeing some of them for the first time...


    I was VERY worried when this episode started. Three very worrisome shots in a row at the start.

    1) The first shot of the 1701-D floating into view from below and dead on in front... the multicolored deflector dish looks awful and cheap. And the ship looks very ugly and strange. Of course, we’re long used to it now, but after the quite beautiful movie era 1701, yuck.

    3) A very badly handled camera shot of Picard strolling through engineering. Very very shaky, shockingly amateurish.

    2) Picard/Stewart’s baldness and age. This one was more subjective, me being still a teenager.

    Another very early annoyance was the saucer separation. Partly the way over the top music and melodrama. But also, Data insisting it was an *extreme risk* and Picard doing it anyway. Data is a computer... really, the saucer would likely have been destroyed, and possibly the engineering hull as well.

    Lol, oh, and Q’s “freezing” of people.

    Sarjenka's Little Brother: “I was fascinated with Lt. Ilea from STTMP. I would have had a Deltan as part of the core bridge crew”

    That’s actually what Troi was! Not exactly a Deltan, but “William Riker”/Troi were reused “Willard Decker”/Ilia from TMP, reused by Gene.

    I love when this episode goes full Spaceballs. I laughed myself stupid when Riker literally watched the episode on viewscreen.

    "Pain; pain...loneliness...". Lol!!!!

    Here's the pencil animation used to create the illusion of people moving in the windows of the Enterprise during the show's opening title credits:

    @ Trent I had a good sized TV as a kid and I always thought it was just my imagination until I saw it again on a modern screen.

    I'm amazed that's how they did that!

    I was surprised at how they did it as well; it looks so good from a distance.

    The bad stuff in "Encounter at Farpoint" mostly takes place in the first 17 minutes. If you start this two parter at the precise moment the male crewman in a dress famously appears walking down a corridor, just before Picard enters the battle bridge, you have a great 65ish minute episode. This allows you to skip Q's hokey first appearance, the lame chase sequence between the Enterprise and the orb, and the horrible introductory dialogue (and lines by Troi and Data). It is these first 17 minutes which taint the two-parter and skew its pacing.

    With that bad first act ignored, the episode then pretty much delivers one cool scene after the next. Riker and Picard have great chemistry and an interesting little mini-arc, the space jellyfish arc is cute with its go-for-broke sentimentality, the two sequences where Riker and Wes are in awe of the new Enterprise and its bridge are pure Trek porn, Data's holodeck scene (Pinnochio!) is nice, Picard's trial lets Stewart chew on some good scenery, Crusher's sparring with Picard is neat, and the revelation that the "enemy spaceship" is a "living creature" is original. It's literally just that first act of the first episode which is botched.

    What's stricking, especially now that "Discovery" is on, is how professional this TNG crew feel. Everyone feels like a stable, professional, even-tempered, well-trained thoughtful adult. There are no snarky, wisecracking, unstable, overly emotive crewmen here. You really get the sense of a well oiled, scientific/exploratory/military vessel and crew.

    And, like TOS, I like how "Farpoint" firmly establishes the Enterprise as a character in her own right. As one character says here: "Well, this is a new ship, but she's got the right name. Now you remember that. You treat her like a lady, and she'll always bring you home."


    I agree that this episode is actually very good barring some unfortunately awkward dialogue in some areas and I appreciate your detailed accounting of why it's good.

    The thing is, with TNG versus DISC it's an incredibly difficult comparison because TNG was in the works for nearly a decade in different forms and had none other than the creator at the helm voicing extremely strict demands on the show. Interviews reveal that this was the show GR wanted - the one he couldn't make with the budget and low profile of TOS. And, I don't think there is anyone in Star Trek currently that could ever make the sort of demands GR did. One might argue Berman could, but he has basically retired, so they need to work with what they have.

    At least that's my assessment; that you can never go home again. Not everything works on Discovery, but I can appreciate its brash creativity. It will never be TNG or like TNG. Does it need to be? I don't think the fanbase will ever agree on that.

    I am rewatching this after thirty years (original showing on TV) although I probably saw a good many of the episodes in reruns.

    This one was pretty cringeworthy. Mostly because of the characters/actors/lines/direction; I am not sure who is responsible.

    I did like Data and Picard. It was good to see Worf and OBrien. But why do they give Yar and Troi such pathetic behaviour and lines? Everyone seems so unprofessional. I always hated Troi`s wet eyed emotions. I think I came to like her character better and never did like either Yar or Worf`s security behaviour.

    I was never a fan of the Q storylines so this episode had that against it. Testing humanity and how much it has grown.

    It was good to see McCoy!

    I had forgotten about the big Star Trek technology scenes like the saucer separating and the views of the bridge.

    I had forgotten about Wes. I really did not like how the series became about him. I didn't like how it changed him nor the focus.

    I miss DS9 which I just finished binge watching for the first time ever. It will be interesting to see how I see TNG again after this rewatch. It had been my favourite Trek....

    A good, not great opening, for the TNG crew. A lot of the terminology used is different but it does a good job of establishing all of the characters, except Beverly Crusher (who was far better established in the next episode). Marina Sirtis’ performances were thankfully reigned in for the remainder of the series. However, on a re-watch is it me or was the focus moreso on Riker than Picard? Riker seemed to get the best lines. Furthermore, what’s up with the Bandi village looking like the middle ages next to the station. Did the natives still live there? A lot of questions that would make this episode not plausible in later Star Trek, but it’s the premiere twenty-one years after the premiere of the original show so it definitely would need work. The performance of Patrick Stewart was as usual on point. The effects of the re-mastered were amazing and really gave this episode new life. Overall, I may be in the minority but I actually really enjoyed this premiere.

    Quick thought (Datalore spoilers): I have talked elsewhere about how interesting it is that Soong seems to have deliberately made Data less human, in order to avoid the psychopathy that Lore develops. What I had forgotten until thinking about this episode is that it's already hinted at in Data's *very first scene*, where he apparently does not know the meaning of "snoop," and attributes it to being perhaps because his (at this point unknown, even to Data) creator did not want him to emulate that part of human behaviour. So already the possibility that Data's limitations in imitating human behaviour are not entirely because of limitations of what was possible to program (within the TNG-era Trek universe), but because of limitations in what was possible to program without making the super-strong machine-man dangerous. Pretty neat that it comes up this early.


    Yeah, although it's later referred to as a safeguard against jealousy, I think you're right that it's far more likely intended as a set of Asimov provisions to avoid the android doing exactly what Lore does in Descent. Mankind would ban robotics altogether if there was the Terminator/Skynet fear that they would just take over. That TNG never dealt with this is...well...unfortunate, but I suppose the upside of that is they focused exclusively on the characters themselves and never on the larger-world implications of their actions or beliefs.

    For instance, Worf's dilemma between the Klingons and the Federation values has its impact on his personal outlook toward life, but we don't really see it reflected in broader Federation-Klingon relations. Picard has his regular crises of conscience where he has to do the right thing, but this is rarely set up as being either the prevailing view of humanity, or if not, as a contrasting view with the Edward Jellicos out there. Even Riker, who could have been a Q and later saved the Federation from the Borg, never seems to receive the type of acknowledgement you'd expect from Federation people meeting a celebrity. This last point especially rankles due to its lack of mention in Chain of Command.

    In conclusion, it does seem that Data's limitations act as a proxy for how we, the viewers, can try to be better people, and isn't really treated as an issue of robotics, or AI, or what happens to the rest of us when intelligent machines begin to walk around. TOS was far more interested in what I would call sci-fi questions, for instance as seen in The Ultimate Computer regarding AI. TNG seemed almost universally interested in the humanistic side of things, and no so much the societal or sci-fi issues. DS9 continued this trend, even focusing less on sci-fi topics than TNG did, which I think has led us where we are now, which is that as of around DS9 or Voyager Trek ceased really being *about* science fiction and rather began to tell adventure or humanism stories set in a sci-fi backdrop. Even the humanism began to dissipate by ENT, and by this time in history it's simply an adventure/action franchise.


    I tend to agree that TNG seemed more interested in the humanistic side than the "pure sci-fi questions" angle; while both TOS and TNG used metaphors, TOS did at times seem to be more focused on the actual implications of space travel, etc. TNG seems more about what a fully-lived, ethical life would look like in a "more evolved" humanity (which TOS also addressed, but in a different way). It does still seem to tackle larger social issues, but as you say it sort of keeps its characters a little separate from those, so that even though our characters in principle have the ability to act on the larger canvas, their actions are still a little confined to each individual story or arc.

    I think with Data, part of what's being depicted, albeit subtly, is the way in which imposing "moral constraints" too rigorously can cause distress; the limitations of Data's parameters and room to experiment lead him to be isolated. Because he's "not emotional" this does not appear to cause him despair, but even Data's self-conception as completely unemotional appears to be partly a design choice as a response to Lore, to avoid Data prioritizing his wants and needs over others'. That Lal develops emotions but in a way that kills her, when her net is based on his, is partly about children overcoming their parents, but it also suggests that it's something Data is capable of, but is unable to "access," and I think it's notable that Lal had a better father than Data did, one who didn't burn through multiple failed models and one psychopathic one before getting to Data. The emotion chip is often derided as a plot device and, well, I'm not saying it's dealt with great (particularly in Generations), but given how closely it's associated with Soong and Lore (and, implicitly, Data's background), I think of it as a bit of a symbol for allowing Data out of the box he was forced to be in, rather than introducing something entirely new to him.

    I think this is partly why the Spock comparison is interesting. Vulcans, we are told over and over again, have an intensely violent nature, and use logic to overcome it. What if a person "begins" with a purely logical nature -- but then is, as a result, somewhat empty? How difficult would it be for them to incorporate the best of humanity without taking on the worst? Given the basic "programming" (parental) restrictions, how can he become a complete person? And what would it take to overcome that initial parental restriction?

    @ William B,

    The Data/Vulcan comparison only comes up during Unification, and although short it's a sweet exchange.

    But my point more broadly was that Data is a deliberately neutered humanoid, with negative (and positive) emotions removed for the safety of all. The closest sci-fi I can think of that deals with exactly this is Equilibrium (if you haven't seen this film do so immediately). What happens if humanity is such a danger to itself that the only remedy seems to be to remove its dangerous parts? And in a way this may hearken back to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In Data's case he's left curious but empty, being in some sense a pitiable figure even though we admire him as well for his reliability. And I think this aspect of future humanity could have been shown through him: that future humans are very tame, and thus reliable, despite having lost something wild that made them exciting in the past. One could potentially even view such a 'lobotomy' as dystopian in that sense; or at least it would be interesting to explore the ways in which it *might not be* dystopian. Therefore a case has to actually be made that humanity is tamer but still not neutralized as something interesting, and I think this is where Riker is supposed to come in; as the compromise between TOS and TNG. Anyhow they don't go in this direction at all, and Data is treated as a one-off anomaly rather than a statement about how future humans might look to us by our modern standards.


    I more meant that fans often compare the two (Data/Spock), but yes.

    I'll check out Equilibrium soon! I generally agree with the possibilities there for comparing Data to the others; in fact maybe I would say that the show does make similar stories of how each main character's strength - - which is a specific value humanity should emulate - - leads to a weakness of some sort. I think rather than focusing on the emotional issue, with other characters they focus on some other element. In Data the absence of negative emotions means the absence (or at least inaccessibility) of positive emotions. In Picard the dedication to principle blots out some of his personal life. Geordi's better living through technology comes at the cost of his interpersonal relationships when not mediated by tech (mostly shown with women). Troi's emotional sensitivity leads to her competence outside that field being weak. This is partly just character writing, but the characters' strengths are mostly ones that are meant to show off some positive attribute of the show's philosophy, so the weaknesses do work as an acknowledgement that there are challenges that come with any "improvement."

    Ok. So I'm starting my TNG rewatch. I confess I watched this with half a brain while I was doing chores around the house. It's not a bad start at all, but it is lengthy and ponderous in places.

    This episode is about humanity and relationships and emotions - it's about love, with our aliens and our imzadis and more. But there's negative stuff too, like anger and sadism, as Q tortures Picard and co mostly for fun, Zorn tortures the alien for profit, and the alien mate tortures Zorn for revenge.

    I wonder if our lonely, not-very-social captain is a little despairing in his loneliness as well. I think there's more than meets the eyes going on in this episode, clues about our characters and their relationships, but the story just wasn't engaging enough for me to pay close attention.

    I loved the part with 137 year old Bones, and Data. Perfect.

    Not spectacular, though some of the footage really was spectacular for its time. But it passes muster. Onward.


    Nice to see you’re watching this. :-) Some people complain about the first season, but if you look at it through the hands of time like you did with TOS, I think you’ll end up appreciating it more.

    You’re right about Picard. I believe the character bible for him is that he lost a best friend in duty and a few old flames before he was given this command. Perhaps the idea was that Picard used to be like Kirk but went through some tough times and learned to be tempered and thoughtful in his command. However, this clearly isn’t the best place for him and I agree the captain’s loneliness often shows through the cracks of his stern exterior.

    Hey, I'm looking for a review for a TNG episode. It's the one where Picard lives out another life on that one planet and loves the flute afterward. If anyone could tell me the season or episode number, that'd be awesome.

    Not the greatest way to start the series, “Encounter at Farpoint” is thinly plotted with showpieces that are unnecessarily dragged out. The separation and reintegration of the Enterprise serves no purpose other than to show off the ship’s new feature. And there are one too many extended shots of someone looking at the bridge in awe for my taste.

    However, the characters are all introduced well and allowed to contribute in some fashion. Q is intriguing with the Humanity on Trial storyline containing promise. Though the mystery of Farpoint hardly lives up to the hype, the aliens are certainly unique and beautiful to behold. A rocky start.

    ⭐️ ⭐️

    My memories of this episode from my first viewing were not positive: I found it downright confusing, and Q was just a pain. I have since developed a warmer attitude to it. Of course the performances are stilted, yes even Patrick Stewart's, but mein gott, the actors were given almost nothing to work with. The lack of writing is painful. Beverly comes through it the best IMO. Troi, as a partial telepath plays the role that Spock played in TOS, but because she has emotions, her telepathic "reads" just sound awful. Too gushy. Spock was never burdened by emotions. Consequently, the results of his telepathic experiences were not only informative, they were entertaining, even humorous. He could just raise an eyebrow and say to Kirk and McCoy: e.g. 'the mother Horta thought pointed ears were the best aspect of humanoid appearance....I didn't have the heart to tell her that only I...."

    When asked what the celestial invertebrates were feeling as they sailed away Troi should have said something like "they'd rather be in Philadelphia".

    Humor between the characters is pretty limited in Farpoint. Data going on and on like a dictionary was Ok; Beverly exiting quickly in the turbolift saying Wesley was right, as she escapes Picard's irritation, was kinda cute, but otherwise, the pilot was a humorless outing.

    On the other end of the spectrum I actually liked Yar's angry ouburst at the trial. Despite what others have said, it was well-acted. Yar is often a spokesperson for a kind of rage, sad rage but valid....that role is later played by Ro Laren, but Ro never unseated Yar as a sympathetic figure. Yar = pathos. Loyal to the last.

    I have to tell ya that the death of Q's guard (who is dispatched by his own comrade) is still hard for me to digest. It mars Farpoint more than anything else in the episode- yes even the interminable saucer section docking scene. The death of that poor guy reminds me of how violent the period was, not the Post-Atomic one, but the creative period in which TNG was developed. Fortunately, the writers soon rejected gratuitous violence and recalibrated the humanistic message of the series. Farpoint it is certain, is not a work of art, but neither is it a muddle, and it is fun to watch it side by side with the series finale. 6/9 and recommended.

    Why is it "impressive" that Riker did the docking? He didn't do anything. Data was supposedly impressed but why?

    I know that's a nitpick, but you're absolutely right.

    If Elon Musk can get a reusable rocket to land on a tiny pad in the ocean in our time, the entire docking process should be completely automated.

    This episode has a claim to being the worst Trek episode ever, and lacks almost all the absurdity that makes garbage like “Sub Rosa” tolerable. “Spock’s Brain” is more fun, and “Threshold” is not composed entirely of salamander- people; it has some good ideas. “Encounter at Farpoint” is a chore to get through. It is truly dire, as bad as the abysmal “Emissary”.

    At least the holodeck did not grate in this episode as much as usual; perhaps because it had the charm of novelty. OTOH, the odious Q make a too-early appearance; the character is out of place in ST, whicb is supposedly a *science* fiction series - he (and his kind) belong far more in Star Wars. For some reason, Q is much less tiresome and insufferable in Voyager than in TNG - but a very little of the character goes a very long way.

    No stars for this overlong and tedious mess.

    Rewatching this after many years I did appreciate certain aspects of it more. For instance, I do enjoy Q throwing in Picard's face mankind's abysmal history - the use of the post atomic horror as a backdrop for the court proceeding was inspired. I also saw Q's conduct in forcing Picard to "confess" humanity's guilt (at the barrel of a gun) interesting. Q was right and I am glad the show (and Q) did not permit Picard to weasel out of the charges. Picard had to say "guilty" before any progress was possible but like Kirk before him, Picard is clever enough to appreciate that the past, while relevant, cannot entirely bind our present (we can choose not to kill, today). Picard's solution to the dilemma (test us!) is a brilliant gambit on his part.

    I also appreciate more the test itself. Here you have this alien attacking the planet and killing people very much like Picard and his crew. Much like in our world, the very first response is to counter with force to protect the human(like) inhabitants from an inhuman attacker. Indeed, this is what Q expected them to do. This is what humanity's history dictates it should do. But Picard will not privilege human(oid) life over the other, and instead approaches the situation in an even-handed unbiased manner. He is even prepared to let some of the inhabitants die rather than risk perpetuating a greater injustice by blindly using force to settle an unknown dispute. Nice.

    Of course other aspects of the episode rankle. Denise Richards is just embarrassingly bad. Troi sounds like she's going to break into hysterics every 11 seconds. And by the way, did anyone notice that 5 minutes before Q's deadline and while the colony was being bombarded by the alien ship, Picard takes 10 minutes to have chat with Beverly about whether she wants a transfer because of mixed feelings over serving under Picard? Setting aside the inappropriateness of the conversation (ummm, she knew who you were when she signed up buddy so why are you second-guessing her?) is it really reasonable to have that kind of conversation in the middle of a life or death crisis? WTF!

    @ Jason R,

    Nice review of some key points, and I agree entirely. In fact, I think that EaF does something that TNG starts failing to do fairly soon after, which is to hold humanity's feet to the fire and to demand they hold themselves accountable for their own weaknesses. To me that is very much in the spirit of TOS, where there was no hiding our own dark side, but rather a continual overcoming of it. Too often in subsequent TNG the crew gets the easy way out by on the one hand having to overcome great technical problems, but always being right morally and just having to stick to their guns. I also like how in EaF there is no hiding behind the "but we're evolved now!" mantra, and to whitewash the darkness in human nature that can never go away. To those who criticize DS9 for sullying to perfect Trek tone, I think it keeps best with TNG's pilot where there is no pretense that humanity is all angelic even in the 24th century; just that by then we know what we need to do to be better.

    Regarding Picard and Crusher, I guess I would add in that they appeared to be going for Picard as the cantankerous, non-people person, who is stiff, gruff, can't deal with kids, or with emotions, and who is a hardass on his XO. I think there's something of a Captain Bligh thing going on there, almost bordering on Captain Jellico at times when he's quite gruff with Riker. Between the actual cast breaking Stewart's will and requiring him to have fun on set, and him starting to realize that the gig wasn't an embarrassment to him and his career, Picard softens into the Captain we now know. But at this early stage I could totally see him actually being the one not to be able to handle Crusher's presence and their tension, and being sort of 'professional' (i.e. nervous) about it. Now as to the timing of when that conversation happens, haha, yeah, that's at best an editing or scripting error.

    One thing I will say againt EaR, however, is that their character bibles appear to me to have been rather sparse and one-note, so that Worf is "the Klingon", and Geordi is "the blind guy" and the script doesn't offer anything at all about their personalities. Crosby at the very least interpreted her character as being spirited and feisty, which I'm not even sure the script implies so that would be something she added (albeit badly, since her delivery is poor). So good idea on her part, but terrible execution. Then again, maybe she had no clue how to perform in a sci-fi show and was genre confused about the stylistic portrayal. Picard gets soft-reconned, Crusher is sort of stunted in the series anyhow, and Troi here is maximally annoying, so really in terms of character only Riker comes out of the gate swinging with his charisma; the rest of the cast doesn't quite work for me in the pilot. In contrast, at least a few members of DS9's cast in Emissary were right on the money from the word go, such as Auberjonois, Shimmerman, and Visitor (I also think Brooks too, but I won't get into that battle here).

    The main problem with EaF is that parts of it are plain boring. But then again, that's praise in hindsight considering that *all* of Broken Bow is boring.

    @Peter G.

    Geordie does get a pretty cool moment beyond being blind although it is connected with his disability. It is in EAF in a scene with Crusher that we discover that his visor causes him constant pain yet he refuses to accept treatment. Now it is also implied that treating the pain would interfere with his visor's function and (presumably) render him fully blind. But the way Burton plays the scene I got the feeling that what they were really going for was the idea that disabled people don't need to be corrected or changed - that the future has room for people to be what they are on their terms not society's. Not to mention it gives Geordie a kind of personal integrity that I like.

    I also like a scene with Data where Riker asks him in a worried fashion if he thinks himself superior to humans and the answer is yes - but how he would give it all up to be human. Kind of poignant and of course the essence of Data's lifelong quest.

    "I also like a scene with Data where Riker asks him in a worried fashion if he thinks himself superior to humans and the answer is yes - but how he would give it all up to be human."

    Now that you mention it, this question comes back with a vengeance in Hide and Q.

    @Jason and Peter,

    I agree in general with your respective comments on this episode, which I appreciate more over time. I think what I'd say is that it makes many interesting choices, many of which don't come off (Crosby as you mention), but some of which do. The scale of Q's putting mankind on trial is really ambitious, and while there is a lot of silliness in the courtroom and in the actual "test," this gets points for tackling such a big topic, and Stewart and De Lancie really sell it (even if, as mentioned, Stewart's performance is a bit at odds with the eventual characterization).

    @ Jason R.,

    I'd actually like to revisit one point you made, that Picard passed the test by being evenhanded and treating non-humanoid life as being equal. True, Q's indictments have a moral color, but I suspect that behind this isn't a problem with humanity's ethics but rather with its self-control. I somehow doubt whether Q actually cared if the entity survived or now, but it seems the test was actually to see if Picard would bother trying to solve the puzzle - or even to realize there was a puzzle - before just blasting the creature, or worse, never figuring out it even was a creature. It strikes me as being a sort of intelligence test, but specifically one where the intelligence isn't moral but rather one of awareness. This ends up being revisited in All Good Things, where overcoming historic instincts is, to the Q, about expanding mental horizons more so than being good people.

    So no else mentions that Wesley falls into the water on the Holodeck and is still wet when he leaves. Considering the water on him isn't real. When he leaves the holodeck, shouldn't he be bone dry?


    Presumably, when it comes to such things as liquids and other edibles, it's not so much the Holodeck, but replicators wired into the holodeck as well.

    "Presumably, when it comes to such things as liquids and other edibles, it's not so much the Holodeck, but replicators wired into the holodeck as well."

    We have also seen objects like scraps of paper leave the holodeck. It would be trivial for the computer to simply replicate these. But costumes have to be worn from outside it seems, hence officers walking down the corridors dressed like 19th century noblemen. I guess superimposing holographic clothing on a person is tricky. But then the computer could just vaporize your existing clothing and superimpose new clothing directly on you with the transporter.

    “I guess superimposing holographic clothing on a person is tricky.”

    Not at all. We are shown that the Holodeck can create perfectly fitting attire in at least three different episodes, each from a different series.

    DS9: “Our Man Bashir” - the holodeck creates several James Bond appropriate costumes for Garak to wear. VOY: “Human Error” - it creates holographic costumes for Seven (we even see it disappear when the program is ended, revealing her normal clothes underneath). ENT: “TATV” - when we first see that it’s all Riker’s holoprogram, he ends the program and his holo-costume vanishes off his body, revealing his Starfleet uniform underneath.

    Tasha’s outburst in Q’s court is extreme, but oddly, when she jumps up, behind Picard, Picard says “Tasha, no!” Uh... he’s known her for a few days at most... house in the world would he know she was about to flip out?

    An early episode oddity: Beverly buying a bolt of fabric. So, Bevs sews in her free time?

    Encounter at Farpoint

    TNG season 1 episode 1

    "Using print-out only, notify all decks to prepare for maximum acceleration.”

    - Picard

    2 1/2 stars

    After almost 20 years, Star Trek came back to the small screen with a series that in many ways far exceeded the original. It is true that individual TNG characters may not have risen to the level of their TOS counterparts -

    Beverly is no Bones,
    Data is no Spock,
    Geordi is no Scotty,
    Wesley is no Chekov,
    Troi is no Rand,

    though to be fair, Tasha was better than Dickerson, and Worf will go on to a far more illustrious run on Star Trek than Sulu.

    The point is that TNG was a group effort and that group effort paid off superbly.

    TNG went on to have a long and glorious complete 7 year run, something no other Star Trek show has managed (both DS9 and VOY had truncated first seasons). TNG also has the highest grossing Star Trek movies. And at it’s peak, more than 11 million people tuned in to watch every week. Nothing else with Star Trek even comes close.

    So how does this pilot work? Not too bad.

    First the music: the show wisely took the theme song from the TOS movies - not the TOS show - and ran with it for a dramatic and iconic start to the weekly hit of Star Trek. Although I personally like the DS9 theme song more (taken, as it was, from the classical 1942 Aaron Copland number “Fanfare for the Common Man”),

    there is nothing quite like the TNG intro to get you into the mood for Star Trek!

    Next the opening montage, with wonderful music, and the money shot of the brand new Enterprise. In many ways, the opening minutes of “Encounter” play much like the opening of The Motion Picture. It sets exactly the right mood for the episode and for the series. The mood is awe and wonder. Picard’s voice over gives us the rest:

    PICARD: I am becoming better acquainted with my new command, this Galaxy Class USS Enterprise. I am still somewhat in awe of its size and complexity.

    Unlike the TOS movies, which always had some crisis that forced Kirk to take a barely functional ship with a skeleton crew out for some insane adventure, here TNG takes the opposite tack, a small and simple mission (evaluate the Farpoint station for use as a base) to provide a soft start to the marathon that is the mission ahead. What’s the rush?

    Indeed, the hallmark of TNG is going in all the opposite directions of TOS. Sometimes this is taken to a ridiculous extreme. What’s that old saying, if you have to surrender something, find a frenchman to do it for you ;) And to be honest, I find Picard’s command style to be quite jarring after Kirk. Kirk was an insanely good leader of men. Kirk has his finger on the pulse of every crew member, and took them as human beings. He liked them. He smiled. He clearly loved his crew. Picard comes across as a cold bureaucrat for much of TNG’s run, but as I said above, TNG is a testament to group work, not individual prowess.

    The show also takes an opposite tack on alien crew members. Bones has a cameo where he explains to the audience that Data is as close to a vulcan as they are likely to see on this show. And Worf is just about as far in the opposite direction they could have gone. This show also has zero sex appeal. Whereas Kirk had to deal very early on for Charlie X’s teenage hormonal attraction to the sultry Rand, never once on TNG do we get any hint that Wesley is polishing his nacell to holos of Troi or Tasha.

    Speaking of Charlie X, let’s talk briefly about Q. TNG gets preachy right from the get go, judging humanity for its history of apparent savagery,

    Q: But you can't deny that you're still a dangerous, savage child race.

    PICARD: I agree we still were when humans wore costumes like that.

    For the record, the uniform is for a U.S. Marine Corps captain. Real classy. But then that’s hardly surprising, given that unlike TOS, which had many armed services veterans, including Nimoy, Scotty, Bones, Pike - and of course Gene himself on the show - TNG had no one who had ever served.

    Riker comes across as something of a prick when he’s curt with both Geordi,

    RIKER: Is this an official report, Lieutenant?

    LAFORGE: Sorry, Commander.

    and Data,

    RIKER: Your file says that you're an-

    DATA: Machine, Correct, sir. Does that trouble you?

    RIKER: To be honest, yes, a little.

    DATA: Understood, sir. Prejudice is very human.

    Wesley is annoying from the get-go, which is an unfortunate choice. Weirdly, Tasha comes across best. Here is a brief exchange on the battle bridge,

    TASHA: Will we make a fight of it, Captain? If we can at least damage their ship we'll have a chance-

    PICARD: Lieutenant, are you recommending we fight a life form that can do all those things? I'd like to hear your advice.

    TASHA: I spoke before I thought, sir. We should look for some way to distract them from going after the saucer.

    It’s unfortunate that Tasha doesn’t quite live up to this level of introspection and growth in her short run on the show.

    Don’t even get me started with Troi. What a joke.

    All in all, a bumpy start to an incredible ride. But it gets us going, and that is a big fucking deal.

    Let's see what's out there.

    Also reviewing it after some years. I liked it but what would the comments have been if the Discover had such appearance ;-) ?

    The Nostalgy bias is significant.

    Notable is also the dress code. Men in mini skirts where visible. Glad they removed that. The female uniform ... although understandable that it dissapeared ... bit I miss it.

    Jammer said: Q invades the bridge and then puts a deep freeze on a threatening lieutenant with a phaser. "He's frozen!" exclaims Troi.

    ^ 7 years of this shit

    I think describing this as "adequate" is being generous. The story drags, the dialog is sub par, and the acting is wooden. You can chalk it up to the era in which it was produced, but how does it explain the two excellent TOS pilot episodes?

    As bad as this ep was it's still one of the stronger episodes of the first season.

    Interesting question, why did TOS have two solid pilots and TNG, DS9 and Voyager rather lousy ones.

    Hard to say. The Cage was good, Where No Man Has Gone Before was spectacular. Perhaps because the TOS pilots were drawn from full cloth.?

    The success they ultimately managed with TNG was likely harder than people think. By then, Trek had TOS, the Animated Series (which Jammer should review, because they are surprisingly close to TOS quality) and four movies.

    When you're making a new show 20 years later, how much like the original shoulder it be? After all, you're making "more" of that successful thing. What do you keep? What do you change? Should it be corny and bombastic like the original? Should there be a Vulcan? An Enterprise? Three focal characters? Should the Captain be "my way or the highway" or collaborative?

    There's really quite a lot to consider.

    They must not have decided that the current year is 2364 yet here, if Data is "Class of '78", unless Data is supposed to be nearly a century out of the Academy.

    The series bible actually said that the show takes place in the early 24th century, which fits that reference. it also says that 78 years have passed since TOS. I guess that number stuck in someone’s head.

    Started rewatching TNG a few months ago after many years. I started with season 5 and now I've just made my way back round to season 1.

    EAF is not terrible. There is enough intrigue with the characters, the ship, the technology. I felt as if it was a decent springboard for the rest of the series.

    It was too long though. The pacing and editing is awful. Too much filler. That scene with old Mcoy went absolutely nowhere and in my opinion was there just to pander to/satisfy TOS fans.

    I did like the music half the time, but the other half of the time I felt like it should be toned down.

    I thought the acting from everyone was fine. Troi comes across badly more because of the writing than the performance I think. I don't get why everyone hates Wesley, I always thought he was alright. Never bothered me.

    If I was a Trek fan in 1987 seeing this for the first time I don't think I would've been terribly disappointed.

    I watched TNG from its inception here in the UK and at various (Far) points since. My mission now is to boldly watch the entire series, in order, and no skipping episodes! Eek.
    Encounter at Farpoint is strangely dated now but feels like a natural progression from TOS. I think they pulled this off; it was a big task to introduce a new crew that you had to invest in immediately allied with a big storyline. There are clunky bits, but Picard is a commanding presence and even back then I knew the Enterprise would be in safe hands. I rate this a 3/4
    Favourite bit is that Starfleet office checking out Riker's butt after showing him the holodeck operation. And finally a big thumbs up to Jammer for this huge and rather wonderful resource.

    ** 1/2 for me.

    I enjoyed all the Q stuff. Good chemistry between Q and Picard right from the beginning, and even some world building talking about the history of Earth and Ferengi name drops. Troi is tough to watch with all her feeeeeeelings. But Data, Riker, Picard, Worf, and even Crusher come across well. Tasha is pretty close, she has a badass takedown at the trial, though unfortunately she's pretty impulsive for someone running the weapons station. Glad she doesn't ever accidentally fire torpedoes at something.

    The music is bombastically over the top much of the time (though I'd take this over the monotones of season 7). The SFX are pretty good and there's a decent budget on screen.

    The events on the station are fairly slow. Yes the puzzle is too simple. However it's interesting to watch this episode in retrospect. For all the rest of the series, especially the finale, we see Q is always trying to help Picard find the answers. I imagine it's more the Q continuum that wants to wipe out humanity, but Q dances around the edges of the continuum's directives and schemes ways to help humanity save itself. So in this situation I sort of feel Q was helping Picard along, just like the finale.

    Other neat bits, Picard not liking kids / not having a family. That's the seed for his character arc over the whole show. Evolving in episodes like Disaster, Family, The Inner Light, All Good Things, and even Generations. The McCoy cameo is touching. Back in the day, it was such a novel thing to have a crossover.

    Space Jellyfish holding hands...must have been an interesting writers' meeting talking about the end of the episode. The 80's were a different time.

    For a pilot it's reasonable, for season 1, it's above average. As a standalone

    You know things are getting serious when Troi says, "this is real."

    I think I've written too many posts in this thread already, so I'll try to keep it brief. Just watched it again, and a few things came to mind.

    First, I like that Q's initial appearance comes in the form of different military outfits. He is already indicting humanity for its barbarism in his choice of attire and accent; very economical writing, and a natural bonus that it's so theatrically fun. This would later be subverted into Q taunting Picard by wearing a Captain's uniform, but here his choice of costume is pointed.

    There's a nice touch that I think is subtly implied in the Data/Riker scene, which is that after Riker asks if Data's rank is honorary, implying that Data's isn't really an officer (and therefore isn't 'real'), they talk about the holodeck, where Data disabuses Riker of the notion that everything he sees around him *is* real. So we have a juxtapose of Riker assuming something is real that isn't (the trees) while assuming Data isn't a real person, when in fact he is.

    One nice detail that hints at the ending is our first glimpse of the Bandi village, which looks like a primitive Wild West ghost town. In fact the set is probably recycled from just that. In other words, there is no way the Bandi were advanced enough to build a station of this type, with or without income from energy exports. Even Zorn looks like he comes from a culture hundreds of years younger than the Federation. There is mention earlier in the episode at the incredible speed at which they supposedly built this new station, but I think the writing shortchanges how big a deal that was supposed to be. The mystery would have been a lot more interesting if more mythos about the Bandi and their wondrous new station had been offered prior to us meeting Q. Since they had time to fill anyhow I wonder why they told us so little to set up the mystery.

    Another thing that I find kind of interesting is that Q has decided to make his appearance with humanity just now, at Farpoint station. Granted, it's the pilot so there's an external reason. But in-universe we meet the first corporeal being we've met that can transmute matter and energy innately, which is in itself pretty crazy. Maybe it's no accident that a Q would have some interest in what would befall this creature? Maybe I'm overthinking it.

    Funniest moment of the episode by far:

    PICARD: The forward viewscreen is controlled from the ops position there
    WESLEY: Which uses high resolution, multi-spectral imaging sensor systems
    PICARD: How the hell do you know that, boy?
    WESLEY: Perimeter alert, Captain!
    CRUSHER: Wesley!
    WESLEY: I'm sorry.
    CRUSHER: You shouldn't have touched anything
    PICARD: Off the bridge! Both of you.

    This moment is really sold by Wheaton, in fact it may be one of his best moments on the show. The quickened timing on the final lines got a big laugh from both me and my wife.

    Unintentionally funniest moment:

    PICARD: Using print-out only, notify all decks to prepare for maximum acceleration.

    HAHAHA! My wife and I almost talked over the entire ensuing scene as we joked about the crew standing over 1980's dot matrix printers and having to delay going to warp due to printer jams, and those perforated edges with the holes tearing off. And of course it comes up again:

    PICARD: Now hear this. Print-out message, urgent, all stations on all decks. Prepare for emergency saucer sever. You will command the saucer section, Lieutenant.

    If they're not using comms, who can hear him to make these print-outs? LOL.

    Overall I haven't changed my thoughts about this pilot too much from before, but with one exception: I feel like Denise Crosby was one of the most gung-ho out of the gate of all the cast, going for broke with every line and movement she had. I still think the execution was sub-par, however upon reflection I'm tempted to now think it was lack of direction and some of the lines themselves being clunky. I kind of feel she was more talented than it appears from her performance here. God knows it's possible for decent actors to look terrible in the wrong hands. One more character thing I noticed is that LeVar Burton is *by far* the most relaxed of all cast members in the pilot. His short scene with Crusher in sickbay is exemplary in portraying a touchy human situation quickly and without overplaying it. I think it really shows that he had the most TV experience of everyone here.


    I do think the meta story of why Q intervenes now is that it's Picard's first mission on the Enterprise. There are hints that this is intended even here, but I think it feels even more real later on.

    Thinking in those terms, your point about Bondi and the Zorn being a backwater western stage sets the stage for what Q's argument really is, in part. Zorn is a rube who lucked into massive power very quickly. Picard, we soon learn, lost his last ship, and yet is now captaining the flagship of the Federation, the most powerful scientific, military, you name it, vessel imaginable on a 1987 budget. Zorn gets ahead by enslaving a new life form. And hey, Riker immediately asks if Data is a real boy. What are we talking about here? (From The Measure of a Man: "there it sits.") Picard is better than Zorn, and humanity further along from the Bondi, but are they further enough to handle what they've got? Picard orders Riker to do that manual dock, surely, partly to make sure that Riker can work not on autopilot. That's what Q is, maybe, trying to get Picard to realize, too.

    @ William B,

    I agree that Q is testing them, and the lure to power is a test Zorn failed. But it seems to me Q's lesson is in the realm of curiosity rather than virtue in this case. Is humanity enlightened enough (in Q's view) to apprehend something new and to understand it for understanding's sake, rather than to react to it or to make use of it; to remake your mind in the image of the thing you encounter, to know it, not for what it will let you do but for what that process does to you. That's my thesis, anyhow. Zorn saw in the creature utility, but missed the awesome reality of a creature that can transmute matter and energy like a god. And *I think* Picard's experience of putting aside all pragmatic urges in an effort to simply understand what was happening on Farpoint Station, as an end in itself, is supposed to function as a bridge to how to approach a Q. The question of how to deal with them, or how to react to them, would be better replaced with the endeavor to simply learn from their mere presence and existence. But needless to say if this is what the story is hinting at, no one got the hint because this isn't what happens later on. Or at least not for the most part.

    I agree that curiosity and open mindedness is more what Q is testing rather than virtue. That's a good way to put it. Or rather I think that is the virtue that Q values.

    For an episode tasked with so many introductions and ground work, I’d say Encounter at Farpoint does a pretty solid job. Is it a good episode? Well, sorta. Is it a great episode? Well, not really. Is it a successful episode? Well, yeah, I’d say so. All the characters get their moments, the ship and its new deconstructable design is established, Q is introduced, a few people get popsicled, and the entire fate of humanity is put in the balance. Not a bad days work.
    The main thing that kinda bugged me was that Q’s test felt both basic and disingenuous. Q repeatedly suggests that the road ahead is going to push Picard to his limit in ways he can’t possibly imagine, but the TNG crew never does anything they wouldn’t normally do, and the Federation isn’t really known for being on board with violently exploiting unwilling intelligent species, so outside of the possibility that Q is just being a jerk, the whole test feels a bit off. Even Captain James T. “build an anti-Gorn bazooka first, ask questions later” Kirk would have easily passed this one. As a conundrum, “would you keep a space creature captive if it suited your needs?” seems like an obvious hard no for any Federation ship not named Discovery. Additionally, Q’s insistence that Picard and co should have already solved the “puzzle” they were facing furthers this contrived feeling of the overall challenge. I don’t think the logical answer to the question “what’s up with that space station?” is “obviously it’s a cosmic, psychically powered space jellyfish with a people-pleasing complex.” This is, ultimately, a minor issue however. Making an effort to view this one objectively, ie, free from the rabid enthusiasm of a 1987 sci-fi nerd starved of televised Trek, or the calm certainty of a 21st century sci-fi nerd who knows that TNG will get pretty darn good, EaF comes across as an entertaining, albeit gravely earnest, foundation to build on.
    With the crew all assembled, here are some notes on our various characters:

    -clearly they intended Picard to be more of a taskmaster than he would later develop into. This Picard is a straight up grouch sometimes. It also seems like he was being set up as a bit socially inept. His line about it being important his “officers know each other’s abilities” while Riker and Troi ogle each other’s 80s haircuts was crazy tone deaf. I mean, ew Picard, read the room buddy. That being said, he still has the command presence and Shakespearean diction of a true captain, so all told, good intro.

    Tasha Yar:
    -Denise Crosby doesn’t give a great performance here. Sadly, of all the character introductions in this episode, Tasha Yar has aged the worst. A brief summary of my impressions of her:
    ~she has the temperament of an angsty teen.
    ~she seems like someone for whom electroshock therapy would actually be beneficial.
    ~she doesn’t seem to really “get” her job.
    ~she has the impulse control of an Intoxicated rhinoceros.
    ~she sometimes behaves like someone *not* trying to not get fired.

    -overall a solid introduction, Micheal Dorn does a good job with limited material. Although, some of the character beats are somewhat inorganic and clumsy. Worf literally at one point says “I am a Klingon…”, it’s like, yeah bro, we know. It’s basically written across your forehead. But the character definitely leaves the audience curious for more.

    -another character whose introduction is a bit wonky, partly because they put her in that space-age cheerleader getup. But also because her function on the ship is all over the place, one minute she’s yapping about emotions and powerful minds and the next she’s giving tactical assessments and readouts. Pick a lane you touchy-feely 80s goober! I think, like most characters, there wasn’t a clear idea of the exact role Troi would play, so they kind of splashed her around until “ship’s counselor/town crier of the emotionally obvious” emerged.

    -he suffers from chronic headaches, but…he has x-ray specs that really work! So, all good I guess. Seems they had a plan to make him a sort of tragic character, but, other than his love life, they later backed off that. Also, he says “see you” to crusher. Get it? ‘Cause he’s all blind and stuff. Guy’s got a dry sense of humor, I like him. Good character intro all together. Lavar Burton is also clearly one of the better actors in the ensemble, and I’m not just saying that because I watched copious amounts of Reading Rainbow when I was a kid, I mean it.

    -right out of the gate, this is the clear breakout character for the series. Data not only makes you want to know more, but his character demands we know more. Also, the scene between him and super old Bones was very smart. It both grounded and expanded the universe being introduced while developing data and giving the audience some character continuity/world building. Some of the most appropriate fan wanking ever achieved.

    -is he a by-the-book disciplinarian or a plays-by-his-own-rules maverick? What kind of weirdo chooses apples as their favorite fruit? Why is he so impressed by fruit suddenly appearing when he lives in a world full of transporters and replicators? Where’s his beard?? I’m not sure I’ll ever get answers to these questions. So so character intro.

    Lt. Torres:
    -we hardly knew ye.

    -she speaks her mind and stands up for herself, is obviously good at her job and is well respected in her field. This is all good. She gave birth to Wesley. This is bad. Pobody’s nerfect I guess.


    TOS inspiration: a heavy dose of Squire of Gothos, with a dusting of Arena.
    Score: 3/4 cranked out 21st century soldiers.

    I always really liked the character of Wesley since the beginning. He's was a very highly driven kid who wanted to learn and understand everything regarding the ship and Starfleet.

    It ultimately worked out that he left the show and then had the writers take him in another direction after his return.

    Now Wil Wheaton and his political beliefs.........SHUT UP WIL WHEATON, not Wesley Crusher.

    The whole Picard testing out his crew, being strict the little smiles and the sparse good-feel score is clearly reminiscent of Star Trek TMP and thats a good thing

    @LP30 I've always liked Wesley too-I don't get the animosity towards the character that many feel.

    I can't speak about the actor-I am politically neutral, and have no idea about what his thoughts are (and don't want to-I usually am disappointed when I learn about actor's personal lives)

    When I watched the show when it was new, I'd say Wesley was in my top 3 favourite characters. This is the show I know the best as I watched it frequently when it came out

    @ldh2023 But what is wrong with Wesley being "hyper-privileged"? It is shown in the show that he is hyper-gifted with intelligence. As long as that doesn't amount to arrogance, why not use his God-given gifts? Must everyone be on the same level? Each does according to their gifts-Wesley's intelligence and interests put him on the fast track to Starfleet. Some of the other kids may not want to join Starfleet, or may not have the aptitude to go as far. Besides which, another episode shows that Wesley is the oldest kid aboard (the episode where advanced humanlike aliens kidnap the kids)

    It's like the Doogie Howser analogy-not every kid could be a doctor. But Doogie could because of his gifts and interests.

    @ldh2023 Wesley did get 'bridge time' to get him going, but he also immediately knew all the controls and made it clear to Picard that he had been studying all of the technology/procedures on his own.

    The writers also made it clear that he worked for it - He did enormous amounts of work/study behind the scenes (outside of his normal education) to become familiar with both bridge and ship operations. He was also constantly doing projects on his own and collaborating with other crew mates.

    Wesley also had the courage to stand up to Picard and other officers which immediately set him apart.

    There are many other kids that could have been brought onto the bridge who just stood there doing nothing, afraid to talk to anyone or go outside of their comfort zone.

    Yes, Wesley was 'inorganic', and thankfully many things were throughout the Star Trek series, which is what made it great back then.

    Submit a comment

    ◄ Season Index