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Encounter at Farpoint 

On the maiden mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), an omnipotent being known as Q challenges the crew to discover the secret of a mysterious base in an advanced and civilized fashion.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mandarin Bailiff (as Cary-Hiroyuki)
Timothy Dang ...
Main Bridge Security


In the 24th Century, Captain Jean-Luc Picard assumes command of the Federation's state of the earth, more luxurious flagship, the fifth U.S.S. Enterprise, and its new crew, with more non-humans, such as psychic counselor Deanna Troi, a former of lover of the first officer, commander William T. Riker. Medical chief Beverly Crusher comes with her bright, inquisitive adolescent son, Wesley. On their maiden voyage, to Farpoint space station, on the primitive Bandi planet, they come under the apparently inescapable control of alien Q, representative of a technologically superior civilization. He calls humanity backward savages, but accepts to put them to the test at the station. Bandi leader Zorn offers full use of the apparently adequate facilities, but no answers to the key questions, how the station was built, and what agonized feelings Troi is picking up. Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

26 September 1987 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Piller liked the story structure of the episode introducing Riker, Crusher, and La Forge later in the episode so much that, when writing "Emissary," he chose to introduce Jadzia Dax and Julian Bashir later in that episode in a similar way. Piller commented: "One of the tricks I learned from watching "Encounter at Farpoint" again was that they didn't introduce Riker and Geordi and Crusher until two or three acts in. See more »


In the Holodeck, Data tells Riker that he graduated Starfleet Academy with the "Class of '78". A later episode, Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Neutral Zone, establishes that Season One is set in the year 2364. It is likely that this early in the season, the 2364 time line had not yet been established by the show's producers, otherwise this would create a plot hole that would imply that Data had graduated with the Class of 2278 and served in Starfleet for 86 years. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Captain's log, stardate 41153.7 - Our destination is planet Deneb IV, beyond which lies the great, unexplored mass of the galaxy. My orders are to examine Farpoint, a starbase built there by the inhabitants of that world. Meanwhile, I am becoming better acquainted with my new command, this Galaxy-class USS Enterprise. I am still somewhat in awe of its size and complexity. As for my crew, we are short in several key positions, most notably a first officer. But I'm informed that a ...
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Referenced in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) See more »


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

Revisiting Encounter at Farpoint
26 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

I am giving this a 10, not for this episode in itself, but for what the series eventually became.

In fact, many mistakes were made in this episode. Paramount had insisted to Gene that this be a two-hour pilot. Initially, it was to be just about the "Starbase" built on "Farpoint" and the deception of the alien race who built it. But the added hour caused Gene to add the "B" Story (Or, "A" Story, I've never figured out which story was the main story here) about the being named "Q" putting Picard on Trial for the "Crimes of Humanity".

This was not needed, the original "alien" story could have been expanded to be made interesting. But despite this, this episode provided the formula for rest of the series, each episode having an "A" and B" storyline- Compressed into a 45-minute format, this works. But as a 2- Hour pilot, it was hard to watch.

It was as if all of the new gadgets of Trek had to be all exploited in this pilot. We know from the books written about Trek and The Making of it, that even the original Enterprise had a Holodeck and the Saucer Section could separate from the Drive Section. Had The Original Series gone on to more seasons, we would have seen these things- They just never came up in the 80 episodes of TOS (Including the great Original Pilot with Jeffrey Hunter).

I just thought it was rather dumb to separate the Saucer Section immediately - In all of the rest of the series, this had happened only three additional times: In "Arsenal of Freedom" where Geordi fights the Leggs-Container-in-space, when Riker fought the Borg, and then the Drive Section blew up in "Generations". However: We had to get Riker over to Farpoint while the Q thing was happening, and this was the only way to do it.

My first impressions of Data, Worf, Troi, Tasha, and especially Dr. Crusher were particularly bad. And to have BONES show up for a Cameo, was almost senseless. But I did enjoy seeing DeForest talking to Data and looking at his Ears. I just thought these new crew characters were weak.

Not to mention, we had Data, Worf, Geordi, and Riker all as the Primary Bridge Crew. Too Many Bodies, too many Lieutenants- too many things to keep track of and to go wrong.

But the BEAUTY of this pilot, everything looked very good. The Special Effects were Feature Film Quality, and I thought, "If they can do this on practically a weekly basis, I'll keep watching".

Watching the extra features on the 2003 DVD set, Gene himself knew of these shortcomings, and they were addressed immediately. Geordi slowly graduated to Engineering, Worf logically took over Security.

I Could never finger down why I never liked Dr Crusher and Tasha Yar. Neither of them acted like what they were representing. I could tell they were great actresses, but often I would go "What...?" - Tasha just wasn't Tough enough it seemed. And Crusher never really made us believe she was a Doctor - Not until she came back in the 3rd Season after Dr. Polaski's female version of Bones left. And when Tasha came back for "Yesterday's Enterprise" she was much more believable in the role.

Changes in Writing Staff and Production Crew had to be established before any of these changes could occur, it is not that the original Writers, some of them David Gerrold and DC Fontana from TOS - These are fantastic writers - But something different had to be done, and it was not until they hired Ronald D Moore and the Beimler-Manning production team, things started clicking.

But in this pilot, things drift too much. Troi is wearing what looks like a modified TOS Miniskirt, but they immediately stuck a bun on her head and gave her the suit her shapely figure was poured into for season 1. As a matter of fact, we saw many of these Miniskirted Crewmen - Some Men! Wandering Around the ship! I noticed that they were given regular crew uniforms almost immediately.

I am giving all the reasons why I should hate this, but I could tell even when I watched this for the first time, this could be great. And it did become great. And "Q" just had to come back, he was a great pivoting point from which to kick the stories into a whole new direction.

This Pilot actually became the Blueprint from which Paramount made three other shows: Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise- But Enterprise drifted away from Canon- FAR from Canon. It was a look back when in fact most of the Trek Fans wanted more of the Future Following the ends of DS9 and Voyager. But we had Three SHows which lasted the full seven years, and they all came from this original Pilot, which was the basis on which everything looked: If you watch Deep Space Nine and Voyager, regardless of what you think of those shows - You can tell you are in the same Universe as The Next Generation.

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