At the Federation's first encounter with the hostile, thievish Ferengi race, both the Enterprise and their 'daimon' (captain) Tarr's spaceship are immobilized by a force field from a ... See full summary »

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(as Richard Colla)

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Wesley Crusher (credit only)
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Jake Dengel ...
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Darryl Henriques ...
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Storyline

At the Federation's first encounter with the hostile, thievish Ferengi race, both the Enterprise and their 'daimon' (captain) Tarr's spaceship are immobilized by a force field from a dead-presumed planet. It turns out to be the 'portal', a gatekeeper, last survivor of a superior civilization wiped out by their star's supernova. He captures both races' scouting teams and test if they deserve to be spared or put down as hopeless barbarians. The Ferengi try blaming the humans, Riker brutal, yet noble honesty. Written by KGF Vissers

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17 October 1987 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

One of only two Star Trek productions where the Ferengi use energy whips. The other is Star Trek: Enterprise: Acquisition (2002). Thus, the energy whips only appear in the very first and (as of 2014) very last Ferengi episodes ever made. See more »

Goofs

Geordi begins giving orders in engineering as if he were the chief engineer. He has not yet been promoted into this position. It is possible that the ship doesn't currently have a qualified chief engineer and Geordi's attitude seems to indicate he was already training for this upcoming promotion. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Worf: Immobilized by the damn Ferengi!
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Connections

Featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Shades of Gray (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Gymnopédie No. 1
(uncredited)
Written by Erik Satie
Performed by ????
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User Reviews

 
Loved this episode, not cos of the Ferengi...
31 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...But due to this last outpost of the tKon Empire. It was simply, a cool 50's type Science Fiction story stuck in the midst of Trek.

The Ferengi steal a "Worthless T-9 Energy Converter" and The Enterprise D gives chase. They pass a planet and it seems that the Ferengi have got the D in some kind of energy suppressor beam. "We push, they push back" as Geordi tells Riker. This is also a hint that Geordi will eventually be on charge of Engineering, any time we had a 1st season engineering conundrum, Geordi solved it. But here, it's a hint of things to come.

My favorite part of this episode was when they had finally turned their attention on the planet, Data pulls up a rotating stellar map in an ancient language. We can all ask, "If the tKon Empire is out of business, how did Starfleet ever find out about it?" - Well, we forget the United Federation of Planets, of which there are over 150 member worlds. So we can assume one of them had this information that Data pulls up before he gets stuck in an odd "functional Impasse" due to misuse of a Chinese finger-puzzle.

In fact we never saw that same Stellar map ever again, it was used in this episode and only here.

When it becomes plain that The Ferengi are not the cause of the power drain, Picard suggest both ships send away teams down to the Planet. I just loved this planet, it was an image of something truly "alien".

And this is our first view of The Ferengi, Armin Shimmerman who would become Quark is there, but we forget Tracy Walter, who was in an early 80's movie called "Repo Man" - And too bad Tracy only had about 2 lines. Now these original Ferengi, these must have been the "Ferengi Shock Troops" - In Deep Space 9, Quark refers to these original Ferengi as "Marauder Moe" - Adorned in animal skins with cool Phaser-Whips. We never saw the whips, or the uniforms, ever again. Maybe the Uniforms in "The Battle". I see one and only one continuity error- These Original Ferengi show interest in the Gold which encases the Comm badges. Ferengi have no use for worthless gold except for Gold Dust to make bars of latimum which is their main currency. "Gold Pressed Latinum".

But the problem was, these scrodsuckers were just too danged FUNNY for us to believe they were any kind of serious threat to the Federation! Hold that thought, the humor aspect was greatly enlarged, until delved into in Deep Space Nine, where we finally got to see their home planet, and their rules of acquisition, and their leader, Grand Nagus Zek.

And so these buffoons confront the Enterprise away team on this eerie planet, it is a comedy of caricatures.

But mostly I liked this guy named "Portal" who is the guardian of the planet. He swings a mean Axe on Riker! I thought his makeup not up to Westmore's par.

I guess it was just the idea of a forgotten planet, and a sleeping guardian with unmeasurable power that was the attraction for me. If not for Riker's composure, Portal would have obliterated both ships and that would have been the end of the show right there. But Riker's solution to facing Portal was similar to the Chinese finger puzzle, the less effort used, the quicker the release from the dilemma.


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