Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 1, Episode 1

Encounter at Farpoint (26 Sep. 1987)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,949 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 11 critic

On the maiden mission of a new Enterprise, the God-like being known as Q challenges the crew to discover the secret of a mysterious base in a truly intelligent & civilized fashion.



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Title: Encounter at Farpoint (26 Sep 1987)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Battle Bridge Conn
Mandarin Bailiff (as Cary-Hiroyuki)
Timothy Dang ...


In the 24th Century, Captain Jean-Luc Picard assumes command of the Federation's state of the earth, more luxurious flagship, the fifth U.S.S. Enterprise, and its new crew, with more non-humans, such as psychic counselor Deanna Troi, a former of lover of the first officer, commander William T. Riker. Medical chief Beverly Crusher comes with her bright, inquisitive adolescent son, Wesley. On their maiden voyage, to Farpoint space station, on the primitive Bandi planet, they come under the apparently inescapable control of alien Q, representative of a technologically superior civilization. He calls humanity backward savages, but accepts to put them to the test at the station. Bandi leader Zorn offers full use of the apparently adequate facilities, but no answers to the key questions, how the station was built, and what agonized feelings Troi is picking up. Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 September 1987 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first time the saucer separation sequence is used for the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D. The saucer does not get separated again until Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Arsenal of Freedom (1988). See more »


The "Q bubble" is meant to surround the Enterprise, but when the saucerless Enterprise surrenders, the near edge of the bubble is clearly behind it. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Captain's log, stardate 41153.7 - Our destination is planet Deneb IV, beyond which lies the great, unexplored mass of the galaxy. My orders are to examine Farpoint, a starbase built there by the inhabitants of that world. Meanwhile, 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. As for my crew, we are short in several key positions, most notably a first officer. But I'm informed that a ...
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The First Duty (1992) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

The worst of all Star Trek pilots
14 September 2008 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

First of all, I love Star Trek and especially "The next Generation". But it seems that TNG is the only ST series that needed two full seasons to (really) get started. I mean, there are some all time classics in the first two (most prominently the introduction of the Borg, several Q appearances etc.) but honestly: there was a lot of anachronisms, too, that were clearly oriented on TOS-like concepts which a bit too often led to involuntary comedy (remember "Justice"?).

I don't want to try figuring out the reason but to mention a mere symptom of this hesitant start of a great SF series. I do believe, the pilot is an original problem of this series. To me it suffers from a really bad script (not only the story but the wooden dialog as well), which confronts the Enterprise with a totally absurd scenario which is created around a couple of scenes to introduce each crew member with one or two remarks on his background or abilities. I mean, does it really satisfy a such highly developed creature like a Q to provoke some humans? Is it possible to develop to such a high state by acting on prejudice? The human race on trial for its past sins? Star Trek always had a moral point (one of its definite strengths to me) but this seems to lead in almost theological spheres and the far too sentimental and naive way of dealing with it doesn't suffice a topic of this dimension.

Roddenberry just wasn't willing of letting go of his model image of the Federation and Starfleet. Surely, mankind in Star Trek has advanced in many important aspects. But if you take a look at Captain Kirk, the Starfleet pioneer, he surely had a savage air to him (he was quite fond of the opposite sex and he definitely knew when to fight, even when that included breaking a whole bunch of Starfleet regulations). Otherwise his opposite Spock never would made have made any sense. So to make a long story short, the point that the human strength often lies in its most obvious weakness (the conflict between reason and emotion) was always a main theme in Star Trek and three seasons of TOS plus five feature films (we're in 1987) made that clear. So why again having to point out that we're dealing with a new (or farther developed) mankind? To gain a new, ST-inexperienced audience, I guess. But a new crew, a new ship and all the possibilities coming with that offer so much more than making a wallpaper out of Star Trek's omnipresent but always subtly woven into the plot leading concept...

But among those many flaws, there are some highlights here. First of all Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) who delivers a quite remarkable performance (even if he has some silly lines and is only giving a glance at what is to come). John de Lancie's "Q" is the only one on the set, who can compete with him. Riker's quite sympathetic and Data is played OK but suffers a bit from his underdeveloped character (he refers to the way he feels, but he should not be capable of emotions besides a self diagnosis program). The rest of the cast do quite well, too, except of Troi, who's performance was way below the demanded level of her empathy scenes.

All in all, only the sensitive viewer, who was able to penetrate the surface and take a look at the great potential which lay deeply hidden in the leads, was able to guess how this second ST series would eventually develop. This pilot doesn't seem the right solution to recommend a new TV-Series. Bad script, bad direction (there wasn't a single shot that really convinced me) and a sometimes ridiculous artwork (most prominently the costumes) almost blew it. I guess without its prestigious title, this clearly would have been dropped by paramount. To me this pilot is one of the reasons that lay base for the vicious circle that left Star Tek TNG's first two seasons with a quite low budget and almost no chance to improve beyond the scripts and the eagerness in the acting...

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