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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




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. 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

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Did You Know?


During this episode the dedication plaque for the Enterprise is seen. This is different from the reproductions available for sale online. The main text reads. "U.S.S. Enterprise Galaxy Class Starfleet Registry NCC1707-D Utopia Planetia Fleetyards, Mars Fifth Starship to Bear the Name". This is followed by a single, narrow column of five lines of text (the names and 'ranks' of the creators of Star Trek). At the bottom is the line, "... to boldly go where no one has gone before."

The reproductions available also include the dedication date and "United Federation of Planets", as well as between three and six columns of names beneath the main section, depending on the version. As such, the reproductions are not accurate, at least not through the third season. See more »


Picard orders Riker to keep the Enterprise nose-to-nose with the Sheliak, and to move as they move. This order should've been given to the conn officer, whose job it is to move the ship. See more »


Counselor Deanna Troi: Captain, when the treaty was first negotiated, the Federation sent 372 legal experts. What do we have?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Thee and me.
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 »

User Reviews

Another annoying episode
25 October 2019 | by wesleyprangSee all my reviews

TNG continues to struggle with the concept of non-human sentient beings.

Data is sentient. He is not creative, but by every accepted definition, he is alive. Yet year after year, TNG tries to force Data to be more Human, instead of accepting him as he is.

Then an entire colony of 15,000 reject Data, just because he's not Human. They're all willing to die, knowing full well that he is a representative sent by Humans, simply because Data himself isn't Human.

And the Shelliac (spoiler alert: more non-humans!) are portrayed as the bad guys, even though they had the right to wipe out the colony the moment the moment they discovered it, without mentioning it to the Federation.

Then there's the romantic aspect. Women keep throwing themselves at Data because he's everything Humans aspire to be: kind, compassionate, rational, reasonable, dedicated, incorruptible. Everything but emotional.

Data is pure good. But that's not enough for selfish, irrational, stubborn, malicious Humans. Data must also feel every emotion, play the violin with soul, and be a fantastic lover.

Those are things Data is not, and cannot be. It's too bad that we cannot accept Data, and tell him every day that he is inadequate, just because he is different.

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Release Date:

30 September 1989 (USA) See more »

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Paramount Television See more »
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1.33 : 1
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