Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 15

First Contact (16 Feb. 1991)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Commander William Riker has been on an acculturation mission under an alias for months on the Arkonian planet, surgically altered to appear like a local, but he gets badly wounded, beyond ... See full summary »



(created by), (teleplay) (as Dennis Russell Bailey) , 5 more credits »
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Title: First Contact (16 Feb 1991)

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Episode cast overview:
Mirasta Yale
Steven Anderson ...
Dr. Tava


Commander William Riker has been on an acculturation mission under an alias for months on the Arkonian planet, surgically altered to appear like a local, but he gets badly wounded, beyond their medical skills because his internal organs are unknown to them. Captain Jean-Luc Picard decides to speed up his official diplomatic approach, formally the First Contact, and intercede on Riker's behalf, but they are told by a fascinated open-minded Atkonian scientist that her planet's culture is particularly xenophobic so they reject any alien being as being unequal to them. The Arkonian government keeps the matter secret but is internally divided: while the chancellor Durken is in favor of Riker's release without the people finding out and establishing friendly relations with the Federation, his powerful security minister Krola is prepared to go to any length to preserve their traditional way of life, so he finds Riker and fakes his own murder.... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

16 February 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2367. See more »


Picard made first contact with Mirasta so she would help him locate and rescue Riker. Picard could have given Mirasta a combadge/tracker device that she could have activated as soon as she found Riker at the medical facility. See more »


Chancellor Durken: My people are not ready to accept what you represent. Everything that happened in the hospital proves that. And Krola is the best evidence of all. We must slow down, and allow those who are like him to join us in the present, before we can move into the future.
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Referenced in Star Trek: Enterprise: Broken Bow: Part 1 (2001) See more »


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

Politics at the Cosmic Level
26 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a decent episode because it takes into account the realities of a culture facing a quantum leap into the future. Riker is the focus. He has been genetically altered to look like an inhabitant so he can keep track of a group of similar agents. Unfortunately, he is caught in the middle of a riot and badly injured. This planet has been selected for First Contact and his presence may compromise this. At the top of the planetary political system are doubter and zealots. They are seriously at odds. It is obvious that the people of the planet are reactionary and suspicious. Debate goes on. Picard beams down and meets a woman who is spearheading the use of Warp Drive. She is brought on board the ship. Meanwhile, the leader of the council must balance on a political tightrope, carefully watching what is going on with Riker. Things go from bad to worse. One of the opposition is frightened of the Federation taking over the planet and will do anything to stop the process. Picard must use all his diplomatic wiles to try to get the show on the road, but there are big obstacles. Still, this is really an episode about the realities of new human encounters. Good episode.

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