Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 6, Episode 10

Chain of Command: Part 1 (12 Dec. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
8.3
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Picard is replaced as captain of the Enterprise so he, Lt. Worf and Dr. Crusher go on a secret mission into Cardassian space. Meanwhile, his replacement, Capt. Jellico, meets his new command with some resistance from the crew.

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Title: Chain of Command: Part 1 (12 Dec 1992)

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Because of a feared imminent Cardassian invasion, Vice Admiral Alynna Nechayev comes to the Enterprise on USS Cairo, to replace Picard as its captain by Cairo's captain, Edward Jellico, who immediately makes his mark on crew and ship, tells Troi there's no time for a 'honeymoon' with either for he expects the negotiations with the Cardassians he's charged with to fail and hastily deploys big plans to prepare the flagship for battle. Meanwhile Picard, Worf and Crusher have a top-secret mission, to find and sabotage the presumed biological super-weapon which can wipe out all life on a whole system prior to invasion. After their training the trio bribes a Ferengi smuggler ship to reach the suspected Vardassian planet, but by the time they have intruded the subterranean installation... Written by KGF Vissers

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12 December 1992 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

First TNG appearance of Vice Admiral Alynna Nechayev. See more »

Goofs

Considering Beverly is buried in a pile of rubble in the caves, she is surprisingly clean and unhurt. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Gul Madred: In this room, you do not ask questions. I ask them, you answer. If I am not satisfied with your answers... you will die.
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Attached (1993) See more »

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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
Great acting
15 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As soon as I saw that David Warner was in the cast, I knew that there would be great acting based on a profound script in these episodes (parts I & II). Not that Warner did all of the good acting exuding malevolent gravitas with a touch of ironic and perverse bonhomie; it just seemed that his presence inspired the others to even better acting. Stewart as Picard was at his Shakespearean best. There was also the redoubtable Ronny Cox, whose acting talent has allowed us to suspend disbelief in so many movies. His portrayal of a harsh, by-the-book, unfeeling officer in command undoubtedly made audiences hate him at first. That is, until the end when his actions revealed that he cared for the welfare of Captain Picard after all.

Although broadcast in 1992, I couldn't help but be struck by the immediate currency today (2011) of the moral, legal and psychological issues put forth in the story - torture sanctioned by government, the reliability of information obtained under torture, the psychology of the torturer and the tortured.

In relating his experience under torture to Counselor Troi, Picard brought to light one of the effects of torture that had been in the peripheral vision of my mind but had never articulated: It is often said that the tortured would confess or reveal anything his handlers would like to hear just to stop his torment. But Picard shows that the victim himself would get to believe the lie that he is forced to confess. In other words, he would not be lying but telling the truth as he believes it as a form of psychological defense. In essence, therefore, brainwashing is a consequence of torture. And that is exactly, how some misguided authorities use it - to brainwash.

So in the story, it became obvious, that the purpose of David Warner's character was not to get any kind of truth from Picard, but to brainwash him to get him to confess to some kind of Federation transgression of its treaty with the Cardassian Empire. In that way, the Cardassians may be able to intimidate the Federation into ceding territory to them.

For more about brainwashing in movies, see John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate (1962) with Laurence Harvey in the anti-hero role and also the Ipcress File.


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