Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 2, Episode 15

Pen Pals (29 Apr. 1989)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 861 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 6 critic

On arriving at a newly identified planetary group, the crew finds that the entire system is unstable. As the person in charge of Wesley Crusher's training and education, Commander Riker ... See full summary »

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Title: Pen Pals (29 Apr 1989)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Nicholas Cascone ...
Ensign Davies
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Sarjenka
Ann Gillespie ...
Ensign Hildebrant (as Ann H. Gillespie)
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Whitney Rydbeck ...
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Storyline

On arriving at a newly identified planetary group, the crew finds that the entire system is unstable. As the person in charge of Wesley Crusher's training and education, Commander Riker wants to put him in charge of the planetary mineral survey, the results of which should explain why the system has become so unstable. He has to command a team for the first time, all of whom are older than himself. Data meanwhile has a pen pal of sorts when he establishes radio contact with Sarjenka, a young girl from a nearby planet. They exchange information for several weeks when Data finally realizes that Sarjenka's world isn't aware of extra-terrestrial life and as a result, he has broken the Prime Directive. Written by garykmcd

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29 April 1989 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This takes place in 2365. See more »

Goofs

Picard orders Data to sever contact with Sarjenka. Data responds to Picard's order by piping the transmission from Sarjenka into the captain's quarters, violating a direct order. See more »

Quotes

[Picard has suggested to Troi that she try a little horse-riding]
Counselor Deanna Troi: No, I prefer a mode of transportation that doesn't have a mind of its own.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Strange. I would expect Betazoids to be outstanding animal trainers.
Counselor Deanna Troi: We become too involved in the thoughts and shifting passions of the beast. We lose our way and get swept up in the emotion.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: [indicating himself] I would have thought the shifting passions of this beast would be far more terrifying.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
Perhaps Data is the most humane of all...
14 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode shows a situation where the Prime Directive is a really annoying thing! The ship has arrived at a very unstable star system-- unstable because the planets are tearing themselves apart! The ship is there to monitor---but Data ends up changing the purpose of the mission all by himself. It seems that on the planet below which is being destroyed, Data has established voice contact with a scared little girl--and Data would like to do something to help. But, during a conference, many of the crew (including the Captain) recommend doing nothing to help, since the Prime Directive guarantees no intervention in the normal evolution of a planet and its people. So, in essence, they recommend that the Enterprise do nothing. But, Data is insistent...and the child begins calling out for help. What's next?

I liked this episode because it is a wonderful example where Data shows more humanity and compassion than most of his crewmates. It helped to establish his compassion and decency and, at times, the show touched my heart. Well done and worth seeing.


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