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Encyclopedia > Darmok
Star Trek: TNG episode
"Darmok"

Picard and his alien companion battle an invisible enemy in "Darmok"
Episode no. 502
Prod. code 202
Airdate September 30, 1991
Writer(s) Joe Menosky, Phillip LaZebnik
Director Winrich Kolbe
Guest star(s) Paul Winfield
Year 2368
Stardate 45047.2
Episode chronology
Previous "Redemption"
Next "Ensign Ro"

"Darmok" is an episode of the television science fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation, first broadcast in the United States on September 30, 1991. It was written by Joe Menosky. The episode contains a brief but notable recounting of the Gilgamesh epic, which is communicated by Picard to the Tamarian captain. The episode has an average rating of 4.4/5 on the official Star Trek website (as of September 8th, 2007).[1] is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... Screenwriters, scenarists or script writers, are authors who write the screenplays from which movies and television programs are made. ... Joe Menosky is the Star Trek writer credited with starting the trend of trying to work the number 47 into every script. ... A television director is usually responsible for directing the actors and other taped aspects of a television production. ... Winrich Kolbe is a German-born American television, film director and television producer, best known for his work in various Star Trek television series. ... Winfield as Captain Clark Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Redemption is the name of a two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Ro Laren. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... The current Star Trek franchise logo Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment series and media franchise. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... Joe Menosky is the Star Trek writer credited with starting the trend of trying to work the number 47 into every script. ... Gilgamesh, according to the Sumerian king list, was the fifth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II, first dynasty of Uruk), the son of Lugalbanda, ruling circa 2650 BC. He is also the central character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which says that his mother was Ninsun, (whom some call Rimat... The current Star Trek franchise logo Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment series and media franchise. ... September 8 is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...

Contents

Synopsis

A Tamarian captain abducts Captain Picard in an eager attempt to bridge their language gap through archetypal, intense shared experience. The Enterprise captain and crew must decipher the Tamarians' metaphorical language, or risk failing in the opening of diplomatic relations and, worse, losing Captain Picard to a meaningless death at the hands of an entity with the capability to disappear. Metaphorical language is a term referring to the use of a complex system of metaphors to create a sub-language within a common language. ...


The story centers on Captain Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, and Dathon of the Tamarian race, played by Paul Winfield. The Tamarian language, although "translated" by the universal translator device, is still unintelligible, because it is too deeply rooted in local metaphor to preserve information during translation. When the Tamarians realize this attempt has failed, the Tamarian captain gives the order to have Picard and himself stranded, if only for the time being, on the surface of a planet that is host to a hostile entity that disappears and reappears at will. Eventually, through the use of situational knowledge and rudimentary sign language, Picard begins to understand the semantics of the Tamarian language. The title of the episode comes from one of the metaphors Dathon uses: "Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra". In origin, this refers to the situation in which heroes must learn to trust each other so that they may work together to defeat a common foe. However, the phrase also speaks to the Tamarian's beliefs about captivity, combat, and relationships, as the phrase seems to imply by itself the inevitable forging of meaningful, positive ties between emissaries, should they also be comrades in a violent struggle. Jean-Luc Picard is a fictional human Star Trek character portrayed by actor Patrick Stewart. ... Patrick Stewart OBE (born July 13, 1940) is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated English film, television and stage actor. ... Winfield as Captain Clark Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. ... The universal translator is a fictional device common to many science fiction works, especially on television. ... This article is about metaphor in literature and rhetoric. ...


Tamarian phrases

Based upon tone, gestures, and context used in the episode, the following Tamarian phrases appear to have these meanings:

  • "Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra" (to forge an alliance against a common enemy)
  • "Shaka, when the walls fell" (to fail; to die)
  • "Temba, his arms wide (or open)" ([1] to give to another, to offer to another; [2] (accompanied by gesturing to oneself) to request to receive, to solicit, whether an object or verbal communication)
  • "Temba, at rest" (to respectfully decline an offer to give)
  • "Mirab, his sails unfurled" (to depart)
  • "Khidir beneath Mo Moteh" (to fail to understand, possibly with the context of foolishness (applied to another by the speaker))
  • "Sokath, his eyes uncovered (open)" (to understand, to have a revelation (applied to another by the speaker))
  • "Zinda, his face black, his eyes red" ([1] to be faced with death; [2] to threaten with death)
  • "The river Temarc, in winter" (keep still, be silent (an order given by one to another))
  • "Kiazi's children, their faces wet" (to express sorrow at the inevitable)
  • "Kalimash at Baha" (storytelling OR Don't worry, calm down)
  • "Uzani, his army" (to battle), "with fists open" (to spread out); "...with fists closed" (to close ranks)
  • "Ri and Jiri at Lunga. Ri of Luwani, Luwani under two moons. Jiri, of Umbaya, Umbaya of crossed roads. At Lunga. Lunga, her sky grey" (an offer of mutual interaction on a peaceful level, lacking the forged-in-battle context of "Darmok and Jalad")
  • "Darmok on the ocean" / "Jalad on the ocean" (a lone warrior without allies)
  • "Darmok and Jalad on the ocean" (to continue a friendship following a shared conflict)
  • "Picard and Dathon at El-Adrel" (a new metaphor added to the language at the end of the incident with a meaning similar to "Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra", likely intended to signify a new bond forged between the Tamarians and the Federation)
  • "Gilgamesh and Enkidu at Uruk" (Picard's metaphor about ancient Babylonian legends from Earth)

Gilgamesh, according to the Sumerian king list, was the fifth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II, first dynasty of Uruk), the son of Lugalbanda, ruling circa 2650 BC. He is also the central character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which says that his mother was Ninsun, (whom some call Rimat... Enkidu and Gilgamesh, cylinder seal from Ur III Enkidu (𒂗𒆠𒆕 EN.KI.DU3 Enkis creation) appears in Sumerian mythology as a mythical wild-person raised by animals; his beast-like ways are finally tamed by a courtesan named Shamhat. ... Uruk (Sumerian Unug, Biblical Erech, Greek Orchoë and Arabic وركاء Warka), was an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates, on the line of the ancient Nil canal, in a region of marshes, about 140 miles (230 km) SSE from Baghdad. ... Babylonia was a state in the south part of Mesopotamia (in modern Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ...

Gilgamesh retelling

As the alien captain (Dathon) lies dying from wounds received as he and Picard fought together against their attacker, he appears to ask Picard to tell him a story from his own culture. Reluctantly, Picard agrees, telling a highly condensed version of part of the Epic of Gilgamesh that underscored the universal theme of their encounter: Gilgamesh, according to the Sumerian king list, was the fifth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II, first dynasty of Uruk), the son of Lugalbanda, ruling circa 2650 BC. He is also the central character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which says that his mother was Ninsun, (whom some call Rimat...

Gilgamesh, a king. Gilgamesh, a king. At Uruk. He tormented his subjects. He made them angry. They cried out aloud, "Send our king a companion! Spare us from his madness!" Enkidu, a wild man from the forest, entered the city. They fought in the temple. They fought in the street. Gilgamesh defeated Enkidu. They became great friends. Gilgamesh and Enkidu, at Uruk. The new friends went out into the desert together, where the Great Bull of Heaven was killing men by the hundreds. Enkidu caught the Bull by the tail; Gilgamesh struck him with his sword. Killed him. They were victorious. But Enkidu fell to the ground, struck down by the gods. And Gilgamesh wept bitter tears, saying, "He who was my companion through adventure and hardship, is gone forever ..."

Trivia

  • This episode is featured on the "Star Trek: The Next Generation - Jean-Luc Picard Collection" DVD set. It is one of seven episodes featured on the two-disc set. It is also included in the "Star Trek: Captain's Log - Fan Collective" DVD set.
  • This episode is actress Ashley Judd's first credited appearance in front of the camera. She plays a small role, Ensign Robin Lefler, reprised four episodes later in "The Game"
  • In a rare special effects blooper, phaser fire is seen to emit from the forward photon torpedo launcher. This was not seen before or since on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • The quasi-invisible entity found in this episode is similar to both the "Beast" creature featured in the "Epiphany" episode of the Stargate Atlantis series, and also to the "Id" creature from Forbidden Planet, the sci-fi film which heavily influenced the original Star Trek pilot, "The Cage"
  • It is likely that this language was derived from a similarly-crafted language appearing in Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun. In this series, those speaking the language could only communicate by quoting government-approved texts.

Winfield as Captain Clark Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. ... In the Star Trek science fiction universe, Clark Terrell ( ? - 2183) was a Captain in the United Federation of Planets Starfleet. ... Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Paramount Pictures, 1982; see also 1982 in film) is the second feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ... Ashley Judd (born Ashley Tyler Ciminella on April 19, 1968) is an American actress. ... Ensign Robin Lefler is a character who appeared in two episodes of the tv show Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Epiphany is an episode of the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis. ... Stargate Atlantis is a Canadian-American science fiction television program, part of the Stargate franchise owned by MGM. Developed by longtime SG-1 producers Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, it is a spin-off from the television series Stargate SG-1. ... Forbidden Planet is a 1956 science fiction film and a subsequent novelization by W.J. Stuart. ... The starship Enterprise as it appeared on Star Trek Star Trek is a culturally significant science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s. ... The Cage is the original pilot episode of the original Star Trek science fiction series and resulting franchise. ... Gene Wolfe (born May 7, 1931, New York, New York) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. ... The Book of the New Sun is a novel in four parts written by science fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe. ...

See also

Metaphorical language is a term referring to the use of a complex system of metaphors to create a sub-language within a common language. ... Biblespeak is a euphemism for a kind of discourse which frames concepts and language in highly Biblical or otherwise religious terms. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Darmok

  Results from FactBites:
 
Darmok (episode) - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki (1289 words)
Picard noticed that Dathon repeatedly uses the phrase "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" but he does not understand who or what they were.
Darmok and Jalad were two legendary travelers, strangers who faced and defeated a common enemy on the island of Tanagra.
Picard recites a story from Earth, very similar to that of Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra, about Gilgamesh and Enkidu at Uruk.
TNG Episode: ``Darmok'', Stardate 45047.2 (859 words)
The Tamarian captain, after a brief and heated discussion with his first officer about "Darmok and Jilad at Tanagra," beams off his bridge-and Picard is beamed off the Enterprise at the same time.
It also has many meanings-but the meanings for a particular planet combine nicely ("Darmok" is a mythical hunter-hero, and "Tanagra" is a mythical island).
"Darmok" - The crew is rendered helpless when Picard is kidnapped and forced to go to war with an alien captain.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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