Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5, Episode 2

Darmok (28 Sep. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Picard must learn to communicate with a race that speaks in metaphor under a difficult set of circumstances.



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Episode cast overview:
Richard Allen ...
Tamarian First Officer


The Enterprise approaches the uninhabited Eladrel solar system, near the territory of the enigmatic, presumably pacific race known as the children of Tamar, which is now establishing contact. Picard expected fairly easy diplomacy, but the Tamarians first have a row at their side, then transport Picard and their own captain Dathon down to the nearest planet surface, which they make impenetrable behind a particle shield, to pit them for a duel, which Picard is unwilling to engage. Both the captain and his crew on the bridge desperately study the Tamarian language, which they find to be unusually focused on mythical narrative, notably the epic of Darmac, which holds the key to its metaphorical 'code', and thus to the whole situation... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

28 September 1991 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Paul Winfield (Captain Dathon) and LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) have both played Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. Winfield played the title character of King (1978) and Burton played King in Ali (2001). See more »


As Picard shivers in the cold, watching the sleeping Captain Dathon by the campfire, a strong wind can be heard whistling and howling in the background, yet the trees, bushes, etc., all remain perfectly still. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Captain's log, stardate 45047.2 - The Enterprise is en route to the uninhabited El-Adrel system. Its location is near the territory occupied by an enigmatic race known as 'The Children of Tama'.
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Game (1991) See more »


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

Another winner from "Next Generation's" landmark fifth season
15 April 2006 | by (Camilla, GA) – See all my reviews

Paul Winfield makes his second appearance in a Trek production (the first being the theatrical "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan") as "Captain Dathan," the leader of an alien species never encountered before by the crew of the Enterprise.

He and Capt. Picard find themselves allies on a planet, facing a malevolent and invisible presence. Adding to their situation is the fact that neither is able to communicate with the other, for Dathan's language is based solely on symbolism, making it almost impossible for the captain to make his wishes or strategies known. However, the two finally are able to "talk" to each other and the subsequent communication becomes a lesson in diplomacy and the importance of understanding language in forming relationships, political or otherwise.

"Darmok" is one of my top ten all-time favorite "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episodes.

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