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 »

Watch Now

With Prime Video



1 video »


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

16 February 1991 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bebe Neuwirth was working on Cheers (1982) at the same time. In order to dovetail her schedule it was sometimes necessary for her to go through makeup with Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), then skip across the lot to rehearse with Cheers (in alien makeup), then return to TNG to finish makeup and shoot. She reported that the Cheers cast appreciated the humorous distraction (glued to her face). See more »


If the Federation has been observing the Malcorians for some time, including with field agents on the planet for several years, then why does it come as such a surprise and concern that the Malcorians consider themselves supreme beings at the center of the universe? See more »


Mirasta Yale: If you tell the Chancellor about Commander Riker, you will undermine everything that you hope to accomplish here. Durken will assign Krola, our Minister of Security, to find him. And Krola has his own political agenda. He will perceive you as the greatest threat that our people have ever known. And he will not hesitate to use Riker, to prove that he is correct.
See more »


References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Family (1990) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Chanin of Command: Dr. Crusher's womanly wiles ScreenFanMH
Unanswered questions dr-kandimba-1
Most Hated Episode mckee_d
Could "Yesterday's Enterprise" be credible? mckee_d
Why did Data never take the bridge officer's test? mckee_d
What if the Independence Day Aliens encountered The Federation? riddick-11114
Discuss First Contact (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: