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

Coming of Age (12 Mar. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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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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Title: Coming of Age (12 Mar 1988)

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


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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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title refers to the tradition transition between childhood and adulthood. In some societies it is marked by ritual and can be associated with either sexual maturity or adult responsibility and is typically celebrated at the age of 17, 18 or 21. See more »


Towards the end of the episode when Picard is talking to Riker in the ready room Riker says the line, "You'll be able to shape the minds of the future leaders of Starfleet." The shot show Riker's reflection in the window but his mouth does not move. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Mr. Remmick, you've talked to every member of this ship; I think you had enough time to find out whatever it is you're looking for.
Lt. Cmdr. Dexter Remmick: Are you afraid, if I keep looking, I'll find that you're guilty?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The only thing I am guilty of is allowing this charade to go on so long.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Conspiracy (1988) See more »


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

Coming of Age
14 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This probably should be watched in a two-part double header with "Conspiracy". It seems like the conspiracy storyline involving high ranking members of Starfleet, "controlled" by a "parasitic evil from within" should have produced an over-arching influence on future seasons, but it all ends towards the end of the first season with the aforementioned, "Conspiracy". Mysteriously, Admiral Quinn (Ward Costello), an old friend of Picard's, comes on board the Enterprise with an investigative officer, Lt. Commander Dexter Remmick (Robert Schenkkan) hiding his reasons under a cloak of secrecy. What are Quinn and Dexter after—it seems to be Picard! Through a confrontational, antagonistic, bluntly authoritative manner that polarizes all those he interviews intensely, Remmick makes enemies with all of Picard's main crew, as he pursues any strange "discrepancies" or questionable decisions and behavior that would offer proof of "something wrong". Quinn later explains that this investigation is about making sure Picard was on "the up and up" so he could have the Captain promoted to Admiral and head over Starfleet Academy! Obviously Picard wasn't ready to leave the Enterprise so this will be turned down, but this will not be the last time Quinn and Remmick will be seen: fascinating enough, these two, dedicated in trying to prove the Federation was being invaded from within the most powerful positions, fall prey to the very "corrupting influence" they were after. Meanwhile, the other portion of the episode shows Wesley Crusher on a planet taking a series of difficult tests against a few hopefuls to enter Starfleet Academy. A distressed officer on board the Enterprise (Wesley beat out to win the coveted spot to take the tests on the planet) steals a shuttlecraft, with plans to meet a freighter, losing power, heading for the planet's atmosphere, certain to burn up unless Picard (Remmick watching, with plenty of questions towards his curious methods) can save him out of harm's way. Mordock, a Benzite, is one of the Starfleet hopefuls who befriends Wesley (Wesley even helps him win a test, almost breaking a record, sacrificing his own results), as a female Vulcan and a cute human girl (who calls Wesley cute with him gushing) also participate in the round of tests. Wesley's score just falls short and in disappointment doesn't think he deserves to join the Enterprise crew in the Admiral's farewell dinner, Picard admitting he himself failed the first time! It is a nice bonding moment for Picard and Wesley. The interviews between Rimmick and Picard's crew (Troi, LaForge, Data, Riker, Worf, and Crusher) are among the best scenes in the episode, strongly defending their Captain and his abilities in the position over the Enterprise. When Rimmick proclaims he would like to serve on the Enterprise when his current duties are over, it is a testament to the way Picard operates as leader and Captain.

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