After being fired upon by a Cardassian vessel, Picard races against time to find out the facts behind the Cardassian commander's claim that the Federation attacked one of their outposts.



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Episode cast overview:
Dr. Beverly Crusher (credit only)
Glin Telle


The Federation is on the verge of war with the Cardassians after a Starship under the command of Captain Benjamin Maxwell attacks a Cardassian science outpost, destroying it and killing everyone there. Captain Picard is ordered to find Maxwell and take whatever steps necessary to stop him. The Cardassians are cautious and their captain, Gul Macet, doesn't quite believe Picard will hunt down one of his own. Picard for his part will do his duty but finds it hard to believe that a Starship captain would attack without reason. Chief O'Brien served with Maxwell and knows that his family was killed many years before in a Cardassian attack. He also knows that Maxwell is a very able captain who would not seek revenge. When Maxwell destroys a Cardassian cargo ship, Picard realizes he must be stopped before there is all-out war. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

26 January 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The ridge in the center of the Cardassians' faces is modeled after a spoon. See more »


When Captain Picard orders Worf to continue firing phasers, you hear the sound of photon torpedoes being fired instead. See more »


Glin Daro: We're going to your 'Ten Forward'. Will you join us?
Chief Miles O'Brien: If my Commander tells me to discuss the transporter with you, I will. If Captain Picard orders me to tell you everything I know about Ben Maxwell, I will. But who I choose to spend my free time with, that's my business.
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Referenced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Tribunal (1994) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

The first appearance by the Cardassians is a glimpse into the future of this series and "Deep Space 9"
18 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is an important episode because it's the first one involving the Cardassians--an enemy which will become very important later in "Star Trek:The Next Generation" and even more important on "Star Trek:Deep Space 9". And, like in so many later episodes, the same actor plays the Cardassian baddie---though here Marc Alamo plays Gul Macet instead of the familiar Gul Dukat.

The show begins with a Cardassian ship attacking the Enterprise. They are easily rebuffed but Picard demands to know why they were attacked--after all, there is a peace treaty between the two empires. It turns out that this attack was in response by an attack by a Federation ship on the Cardassians. Picard finds this very hard to believe but agrees to investigate. When he learns that this is TRUE, he has no choice but to help the Cardassians seek out this rogue ship.

While nothing super-exciting happens in this one, it's an important and must-see episode because so much follows this one. Well worth seeing for a glimpse into the future of the show.

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