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The First Duty 

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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Episode cast overview:
Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Lt. Worf
Counselor Deanna Troi
Lt. Commander Data
Lt. Cmdr. Albert
Captain Satelk
Jacqueline Brookes ...
Jean Hajar


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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TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

28 March 1992 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


If this story takes place in the year 2368, and Jean-Luc Picard graduated with the Class of 2327, that would make him between 60 and 65 years old at the time of this story. When Picard confesses to Boothby that he once considered Boothby a cranky old man, Boothby observes that he was then about the same age that Picard is now. That would make Boothby somewhere between 100 and 110 years old-- reasonable, given advances in medicine by the 24th Century. It would also mean that Boothby was probably a young child when Jim Kirk and his crew were exploring the galaxy in The Original Series. 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: Do you remember the first day you came aboard this ship? Your mother brought you on the bridge.
Wesley Crusher: Yes, sir.
Capt. Picard: You even sat in my chair. I was annoyed. Presumptuous child playing on my ship... But I never forgot how you already knew every control, every display... You behaved as though you belonged on the bridge. And then later, when I decided to make you an acting ensign, I was convinced you could be an outstanding officer. And I never questioned that conviction - until now.
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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 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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