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

Pen Pals (29 Apr. 1989)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
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 »



(created by), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video


IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 7663 titles
created 18 Apr 2012
a list of 22 titles
created 11 Aug 2012
a list of 59 titles
created 14 Nov 2012
a list of 22 titles
created 08 Oct 2013
a list of 679 titles
created 17 Oct 2013

Related Items

Search for "Pen Pals" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Pen Pals (29 Apr 1989)

Pen Pals (29 Apr 1989) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
« Previous Episode | 40 of 176 Episodes | Next Episode »


1 video »


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


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

29 April 1989 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This takes place in 2365. See more »


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 »


[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.
See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Borg question bbnj62
The future Enterprise in "All Good Things... " digenis80
poor old Geordi in Galaxy's Child cambus741
Would The Federation ever be able to fully explore the Alpha Quadrant? Matthew7819
Did Klingons steal Warp Drive technology instead of inventing it? Matthew7819
What was with Rikers beard and Word having long hair? Matthew7819
Discuss Pen Pals (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: