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

Encounter at Farpoint (26 Sep. 1987)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,212 users  
Reviews: 22 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:
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Q
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Battle Bridge Conn
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Mandarin Bailiff (as Cary-Hiroyuki)
Timothy Dang ...
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Storyline

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 »
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26 September 1987 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The transporter effect is a glass globe paperweight Peter Lauritson and Rick Berman improvised for the Zimmerman and the effects team. See more »

Goofs

When Q appears on the bridge as a 20th-century US military officer, he is wearing the rank insignia of a Captain, probably in an attempt to portray Picard's rank. However, in the branch it is supposed to depict, Captain is equivalent to a full Lieutenant, since Starfleet uses the Navy's rank system, not the Marines' or Army's. See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hide and Q (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
(uncredited)
Written by Jerry Goldsmith & Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

A so-so start for a terrific series.
7 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

** out of ****

Star Trek: TNG was one of my favorite TV shows growing up. Space adventures always appealed to me, but it was the cast and the concepts the show explored that often won me over. After having seen the pilot episode, a two-parter entitled Encounter at Farpoint, I see many of the qualities I enjoyed about the series, but this is a fairly subpar episode that's only occasionally compelling.

Set some 80 years after the original Star Trek (thus placing it, if I'm not mistaken, in the 24th century), the new crew of the starship Enterprise is headed by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). The crew's assignment: to investigate Farpoint station, but before they can reach their destination they're intercepted by a god-like entity who calls "himself" Q (John De Lancey). Q has deemed the human race savage beasts and puts the Enterprise crew on trial. Their test is Farpoint and if they fail to uncover the dark secret of the station, then well...they'll assumingly receive a dreadful fate.

The first part of Encounter at Farpoint is pretty good, the characters are nicely introduced and mostly well-played by the cast. Patrick Stewart immediately stands out as the stern but well-meaning Picard. Brent Spiner is fantastic as Data, and Jonathan Frakes makes a likeable first officer as Commander Riker. Noticeably different from the original Star Trek is a larger female cast. Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, and Denise Crosby are all fairly attractive (Sirtis would later be a full-blown hottie by season two, and McFadden is actually the best-looking of all the Star Trek ladies right now, talk about aging gracefully; sorry, Jeri Ryan and Jolene Blalock just don't do it for me).

Unfortunately, the plot, while initially intriguing, ultimately doesn't really go anywhere and there's the certain feeling that fitting the whole story into two parts is really stretching it out. A lot of the material, obviously played for introductory purposes, could still have been cut out. In fact, all the stuff focusing on the mystery behind Farpoint barely adds up to a half-hour, excluding the really lengthy climax, which is just plain boring. When the secret of Farpoint is revealed (which you'll probably figure out before the cast does), all the conjecture and facts are messily spouted in one of those silly coversations where each character continues the sentence after the previous speaker has finished.

But Encounter at Farpoint works adequately enough as an intro to one of the best sci-fi television series, right up there with Stargate: SG-1 and the first two seasons of Sliders. Watch for Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Q's bailiff.


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