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The Ensigns of Command 

After 111 years of silence, an extremely litigious alien race asserts its agreed upon right to wipe out a Federation colony in its territory.


Cliff Bole


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Melinda M. Snodgrass

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Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Commander Data
Wil Wheaton ... Wesley Crusher
Eileen Seeley Eileen Seeley ... Ard'rian McKenzie
Mark L. Taylor ... Haritath
Richard Allen Richard Allen ... Kentor
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
Mart McChesney Mart McChesney ... Sheliak


After a century of silence, the Enterprise receives a message from the Shelia system informing them that they have discovered a human colony on a world in their sector. As they will be colonizing the planet themselves in four days time, they want the Enterprise to evacuate all humans from their territory. The planet in question is in a high radiation zone and no one can understand how any human could be living there. Data, immune to the radiation, is sent to the planet to arrange for the inhabitants' departure. Once there, however, he finds a population of 15,253 who firmly have no intention of leaving. While Picard seeks a way to get more time from the Sheliak, Data enlists the help of one local to convince the rest to leave. Written by garykmcd/edited by statmanjeff

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

30 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title of this episode is from the poem "The Wants of Man" by John Quincy Adams. In the context of this poem, the term "ensign" means a flag or symbol, not the Starfleet rank. See more »


When Ard'rian asks Data whether his neural pathways are duotronic, she holds her hands in front of her, but has them hanging down in the very next shot. See more »


[Data has disabled the aqueduct with his phaser]
Lt. Cmdr. Data: I can reduce this pumping station to a pile of debris, but I trust my point is clear. I am but one android, with a single weapon. There are hundreds of Sheliak on the way, and their weapons are far more powerful. They may not offer you a target. They can obliterate you from orbit. You will die - never having seen the faces of your killers. The choice is yours.
See more »


Edited into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Maquis: Part I (1994) See more »


A Little Night Music
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

Quite good.
15 November 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Long, long ago, the Shelliac and Federation negotiated a treaty delineating who owned what portions of space. However, unknown to both sides, a group of humans settled on a world in the Shelliac system. Now, many years later, the Shelliac are about to colonize this world and want the humans off NOW. And, if they aren't all removed in four days, the remaining ones will be liquidated. But there are two problems. The Enterprise expected only a dozen or so settlers--not many thousand. And, the leader of the settlers is an idiot and refuses to move--even though Commander Data informed him that they will be killed by the Shelliac. At the same time, Picard is finding it difficult to talk with the Shelliac--they are unwilling to change their plans. So what's going to happen...genocide?

This was a better than average episode for three main reasons. First, it did NOT stay on the ship and including missions to both the Shelliac and the colony. Second, Data had a relationship with a colonist that was interesting--and gives insight into him and his quest for humanity. Third, I loved watching Picard dealing with the Shelliac--he was hilarious and at his best. Overall, well worth seeing.

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