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



(created by), (teleplay by) (as Dennis Russell Bailey) | 5 more credits »

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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 Malcorian 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 Malcorian scientist that her planet's culture is particularly xenophobic so they reject any alien being as being unequal to them. The Malcorian 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 episode marks the first instance of an actor (Bebe Neuwirth) from the acclaimed sitcoms Cheers and Frasier, also distributed by Paramount, guest-starring on TNG. Neuwirth's scene was written in late with her in mind for the role. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion) The next was in the fifth season episode "Cause and Effect", with Kelsey Grammer appearing as the captain of the time-trapped USS Bozeman. The two had starred together on both Frasier and Cheers as husband and wife, and later ex-husband and wife. The entire principal cast of Frasier, except for Kelsey Grammer, later did a skit with Kate Mulgrew spoofing Star Trek: Voyager for the Star Trek 30th anniversary special. See more »


On the bridge, when Capt. Picard introduces the chancellor and Mirasta Yale to Data, he introduces the latter as "Marista Yale." Moments later, when Minister Yale excuses herself to return to the planet, the chancellor warns her, "Not a word of this to anyone, Mirasta." See more »


Chancellor Durken: [about his people] I will not allow them to remain in the dark ages. The warp program will proceed as you have outlined, Mirasta. And then we will slow down, Krola, to let everyone catch their breath - including you.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Family (1990) See more »


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

We come in peace...
19 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Commander Riker is observing the Arkonians. However, to do so and remain unobserved, he's had cosmetic surgeries, as the society does not yet realize that there are any other beings out there in space. But, this society soon will have warp drives and will be able to learn for themselves about the Federation and other worlds. So, in anticipation of this, Riker is observing. Unfortunately, he's badly injured...and the Arkonian doctors are astonished to see that he's not one of them! This forces the Federation to speed up first contact, and so Picard lands and meets with one of their top scientists and then their leader. But, amazingly, the leader is NOT that excited about first contact. It seems that his society is very ego-centric and the notion that anyone else could exist in the universe is something many will not accept. So, he is torn--between publicly acknowledging that aliens indeed do exist or remaining willingly ignorant of the outside worlds.

So much of this episode has parallels to Earth since the late 1940s when stories of UFOs first began circulating. This, and the odd reaction to aliens of the people make this one well worth seeing.

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