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:
Lt. Worf
Richard Allen ...
Enterprise Computer (voice)


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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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


47 reference: The linguistic database of the ship's computer holds 47 different entries for the term "Darmok". See more »


When the Enterprise fires phasers at the Tamarian vessel, the phasers are being fired from the opening where photon torpedoes are launched, and not from the phaser banks on the saucer section. This mistake was fixed for the Blu-Ray release. 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 Legends of Tomorrow: Invasion! (2016) See more »


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

He said what now?
5 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

'Darmok' is a a prime candidate for the Interpersonal Communication classroom. The grappling between two people to overcome their language barrier; perfectly encapsulated in Picard's being stranded on a distant planet with the captain of a race who speak only in metaphor. Naturally, while being attacked by a hostile creature (it's great seeing Picard's shirt getting slashed; this starts to feel eerily close to Kirk and the Gorn in 'Arena'). It's his struggle to decipher the other man's nonsensical language that gives the story its dramatic push and Stewart is perfectly at home with these scenes . . . but Paul Winfield's got the tough job of conveying emotion and intensity using nothing but proper nouns. Both are impressive actors, but this one deservedly goes to Winfield.

It's easy to poke holes in this episode (like, why do the metaphors use the English language?), but it's also easy to seal them right back up: the writes have 45 minutes to set the stage and the words, and get us to the point of resolution. Considering that, the writing is top-notch, and the feelings of puzzlement, frustration and (ultimately) triumph are palpable.


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