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Coming of Age 

Picard finds himself facing a strenuous test of his loyalty to Starfleet, one which the other members of the crew are struggling to cope with, whilst Wesley faces an equally challenging entrance exam at Starfleet Academy.


Michael Vejar


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Sandy Fries | 4 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Geordi La Forge
Denise Crosby ... Lt. Tasha Yar
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Wil Wheaton ... Wesley Crusher
Ward Costello Ward Costello ... Adm. Gregory Quinn
Robert Schenkkan ... Lt. Cmdr. Dexter Remmick
John Putch ... Mordock
Robert Ito ... Lt. Chang
Stephen Gregory ... Jake Kurland
Tasia Valenza ... T'Shanik


Wesley is off to complete his Starfleet entrance exams and testing and makes friends with Mordock, another of the four candidates seeking admission. Only one of the four will be accepted into the Academy and the competition will be strong. Wesley is particularly worried about the psychological evaluation which will focus on what he fears most. He has no idea what that is, however. Picard's old friend, Admiral Gregory Quinn requests to be beamed aboard and arrives with Commander Remick from the Inspector General's office. Remmick is there to conduct a complete investigation of the ship's operations. His very presence is unnerving to both the Captain and the bridge crew and his questions to the senior officers all seem to indicate that it is Captain Picard who is under investigation with his decisions, judgment and reliability all in question. Written by garykmcd

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Robert Ito would later play Harry Kim's father John Kim in Star Trek: Voyager: Author, Author (2001). See more »


When Jake steals the shuttlecraft, he somehow manages to get beyond transporter and tractor beam range, despite the fact that he is still between the Enterprise and the planet, which is well within the range of both. See more »


Mordock: [pondering over a test about dealing with other species and cultures] Zaldans have webbed fingers... Phh... I wouldn't have passed.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Conspiracy (1988) See more »


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

Starfleet Academy Logistics and Recruiting
27 October 2018 | by jurificSee all my reviews

A good episode for season 1. But I want to talk about this Starfleet Academy admittance procedure. This episode explains that only 1 (one*!) person per year is admitted to Starfleet from this planet. Now unless admission is based on world population, with an appropriate ratio, the implication seems to be one person per planet per year. Wesley has no connection to this plant, he just seems to be around here when the test is happening. In fact, AT LEAST 3 of the 4 applicants are certainly not born on this world (1 Vulcan, 1 Benzite, Wesley and another human), so already the logistics are confusing.

Now, I looked this up and there are 183 member species, and 895 Billion individual lives in the Federation. Lets assume each of those species have on average a few different well colonized planets - populous enough to merit academy testing. Now this episode means to tell us, that only one person per planet is able to START the training for Starfleet. if we multiply 183 member species by 4 colonised planets we get about 730 worlds. that is slightly over a billion lives per world so probably its being generous. So Starfleet, which is responsible for hundreds of billions of lives, is allowing 700 people maximum per year to go to Starfleet academy? Surely not everyone passes. If 600 of them graduate each year, is that really enough personnel to staff an organisation that has influence and responsibility over a quarter of the galaxy? I think not.

Does this mean Earth gets one applicant per year? How outrageous. Imagine if every country on Earth only hired one new policeman, one new fireman, or one new solider every year. Laughable. They even sound remorseful at the end when they declare its too bad because they would all make good candidates. Why would this system ever exist? What if Earth had 1000 great applicants and Vulcan's best 10 were all lesser applicants?

By my numbers it is safe to assume that even with a more generous future retirement ages (humans live to be older in Star Trek), there are only about 50,000 total active Starfleet officers. 50,000 for 895 Billion lives! For reference there are almost 1 Million Police officers in the United States of America, for only 300+ Million people. To say nothing of other services.

It's season one and the universe had not been as fleshed out but come on Gene. You invented this intergalactic Federation, and you invented its intergalactic military/police/exploration/diplomacy arm. This system is bogus and I am pretty sure Wesley does something different later anyway.

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Release Date:

12 March 1988 (USA) See more »

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Paramount Television See more »
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1.33 : 1
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