Wesley Crusher's team has an accident at Starfleet Academy. Picard offers to help a Starfleet investigation as to what happened, and begins to suspect they are hiding something.



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Captain Picard is delighted to be the commencement speaker at Starfleet Academy on earth, but even before the Enterprise arrives for graduation, he must deliver the news to Dr. Crusher that her son cadet Wesley's Nova squadron has had an accident during Saturn maneuvers, in which his teammate Josh Albert was killed. While Picard remembers with grounds keeper Boothby a potentially career-breaking incident during his own training, the official investigation he is part of soon discovers Nicholas Locarno's team is trying to cover up what really happened, for one thing deviating from the original flight plan and blaming the deceased panicking. Picard has Data and Geordi partake in the flight recorder analysis. A random Saturn satellite sensor sweep shows they lied by omission, and Picard realizes their cocky intent. They can get off with a formal reprimand for lack of proof... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

28 March 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The uniforms worn by the cadet crew resemble the "DS9-style" uniforms though without the gray undershirt. See more »


When Captain Picard is talking with Groundskeeper Boothby, Picard's breathing is clearly visible, and fog can also be seen in the background, but Boothby's breath cannot be seen. Apparently their lines were filmed in different climates. See more »


Capt. Picard: The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based. And if you can't find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened, you don't deserve to wear that uniform!
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Lower Decks (1994) See more »


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

An unhappy reunion
31 March 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's been years since I'd originally seen 'First Duty', and I guess the reason I'd always written this off (to some extent) is because I didn't like Nova Squadron; especially Nick Locarno (Robert Duncan McNeill), although they do go to some lengths to soften him in the end.

But the rest of the team are just background players. This is all about Wesley; his guilt, self-doubt and ultimately his reconciliation with the truth during a hearing over a flight accident. I do like that this has him painted in an unsavory light and there's an effort here to show him struggling against expectation and peer pressure. His implied father/son relationship with the Captain is truly put to the test here (resulting in one of the great - and wrathful - Picard speeches).

There's a ray of hope in the end, but with serious restrictions.

Yeah, I'd say this episode has grown on me.


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