Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 1, Episode 18

Coming of Age (12 Mar. 1988)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,001 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 8 critic

Picard finds himself facing a strenuous test of his loyalty to Starfleet, one which the other members of the crew are struggling to cope with, whilst Wesley faces an equally challenging entrance exam at Starfleet Academy.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ward Costello ...
Robert Schenkkan ...


Wesley is off to complete his Starfleet entrance exams and testing and makes friends with Mordock, another of the four candidates seeking admission. Only one of the four will be accepted into the Academy and the competition will be strong. Wesley is particularly worried about the psychological evaluation which will focus on what he fears most. He has no idea what that is, however. Picard's old friend, Admiral Gregory Quinn requests to be beamed aboard and arrives with Commander Remick from the Inspector General's office. Remmick is there to conduct a complete investigation of the ship's operations. His very presence is unnerving to both the Captain and the bridge crew and his questions to the senior officers all seem to indicate that it is Captain Picard who is under investigation with his decisions, judgment and reliability all in question. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

12 March 1988 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


T'shanik is the first Vulcan with a speaking role to appear in ST:TNG. See more »


Bouncing a spacecraft off the atmosphere of a planet operates on the same principle as skipping a stone on the surface of a pond - in other words, it requires that the ship/stone approach the surface at an extremely shallow angle. The shuttle in this episode is seen to be pointing toward the planet at far too steep an angle to bounce off the atmosphere. See more »


Jake Kurland: Thank you for, for... for saving my life.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: That's my job, young man.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Matter of Honor (1989) See more »


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

Interesting but Not So Original
30 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Until I started re watching this series, I didn't realize what a dominant presence Wesley was early on. He has already done two or three things that have saved the bacon of the crew. In this one he is about go to a place where he and three other candidates will vie for a single entry into Star Fleet Academy. Of course, the things they do are beyond our understanding (as well as the script writers). It's hard to imagine him having so much punch on board, but that's entertainment. The other, more serious, plot involves an investigation on board the Enterprise the object of which is completely hidden from us. An over-zealous investigator with no sense of humor and no tact begins to grill the crew. Everything seems to center around Picard's competence. The mysterious nature of this will apparently be explained at a later date, as my fellow reviewers have indicated. The Academy test is interesting with four candidates, one a Vulcan and the other a guy who apparently needs a tray under his chin to breath in some vapors. There is also the other earthling, a very attractive young woman who Wesley has a Crusher on (bad joke). Anyway, the final test, while interesting, has been done to death in other settings on other shows. Pretty easy to see it coming.

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