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 »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: If there is to be a lasting peace, Gul Macet, neither you nor I must allow any one man to undermine our efforts.
[Macet smiles enigmatically]
Gul Macet: There are those who... crave war. Who need it. I am not one of them, Captain. And I'm beginning to see... that neither are you. We have had our full measure. The lasting peace begins here - with the two of us.
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Referenced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Tribunal (1994) See more »


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

Here Come the Kardassians
24 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an episode that gets at the real dirt of entrenched enemies. It must have been hard for war veterans of World War II to embrace the Japanese after the conflict ended. In this one we are introduced, for the first time, to the Kardassians. They have formed an alliance with the Federation but are now seeking retribution for the actions of a rogue Starfleet Captain. A supposed, Kardassian "scientific" outpost has been obliterated by a Federation starship. Picard has orders to investigate and to solve it by peaceful means. This, of course, ties his hands but in the meantime, the same vessel destroys two other Kardassian crafts. The Captain is intercepted and ordered to bring his ship in and surrender himself to his superiors. At first he acquiesces, but soon alters course and heads for another Kardassian supply ship. Now, Picard must negotiate or open fire on a ship like his own. As a show of good faith, the Kardassian captain and two of his aides have had a limited run of the ship. They are at odds with the crew and acting victimized. I believe that Patrick Steward as Jean-Luc Picard gives his best performance in this episode. It is about balancing the threat of reprisal versus the future of the bond between these two entities. Later, in other Star Trek incarnations, we come to know the Kardassians quite well and know them to be anything but trustworthy. They have a certain charm that the Romulans don't have that allows them to slime their way into situations that benefit them.

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