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Encyclopedia > Encounter at Farpoint (TNG episode)
Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
"Encounter at Farpoint"

Aliens unite in
"Encounter at Farpoint"
Episode no. 1
Prod. code 101 and 102
Airdate 28 September 1987
Writer(s) D. C. Fontana
Gene Roddenberry
Director Corey Allen
Guest star(s) John de Lancie
Michael Bell
DeForest Kelley
Colm Meaney
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Timothy Dang
David Erskine
Evelyn Guerrero
Chuck Hicks
Year 2364
Stardate 41153.7
Episode chronology
Previous episode none
Next episode "The Naked Now"

"Encounter at Farpoint" was the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was originally shown on September 28, 1987, and was the first new live-action episode of Star Trek to have been broadcast since 1969, one decade after the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Image File history File links Image from Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Encounter at Farpoint © 1987 Paramount Pictures, produced by Gene Roddenberry. ... September 28 is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Screenwriters, scenarists or script writers, are authors who write the screenplays from which movies and television programs are made. ... Dorothy Catherine D. C. Fontana, is a screenplay writer, best known for her work in the Star Trek television franchise, produced by Paramount Studios. ... Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American scriptwriter and producer. ... A television director is usually responsible for directing the actors and other taped aspects of a television production. ... Corey Allen (born Alan Cohen on June 29, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA) is an American film and television director, writer, producer and actor. ... John de Lancie John de Lancie (born March 20, 1948) is a U.S. character actor. ... Michael Bell (left, with Richard Beymer) in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode The Homecoming. Michael Bell is an actor and voice over artist, born April 10, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York. ... Jackson DeForest Kelley (January 20, 1920 – June 11, 1999) was an actor best known for his starring role as Dr. Leonard Bones McCoy of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek and six of its subsequent movies. ... Colm Meaney as Miles OBrien Colm J. Meaney ( or , a variant of Callum; born May 30, 1953 in Dublin, Ireland) is an actor widely known for his role as Miles OBrien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. ... Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (田川洋行, born 27 September 1950 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese American actor. ... Timothy Dang is an actor and the artistic director at East West Players in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, USA. He graduated in 1980 with a bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre from the University of Southern California. ... David Erskine is an actor whose most notable role was in Star Trek: The Next Generation in the episode Encounter at Farpoint as a Bandi Shopkeeper. ... Evelyn Guerrero (born February 24, 1949 in East Los Angeles, California, USA) is an American actor. ... Chuck Hicks is an actor, stuntman and boxer. ... A year is the time between two recurrences of an event related to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ... Stardate is one of the dating conventions used in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... September 28 is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Star Trek is an American science-fiction franchise spanning six television series, ten feature films, hundreds of novels, computer and video games, and other fan stories. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Paramount Pictures, 1979; see also 1979 in film) is the first feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series and is released on Friday, December 7. ...


It is Next Generation episode #1, (production #101 and #102), written by D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry, and directed by Corey Allen. It was twice the length of a normal episode, and in repeats is often shown in a re-edited two-part form. Dorothy Catherine D.C. Fontana, is a screenplay writer, best known for her work in the Star Trek television franchise, produced by Paramount Studios. ... Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American scriptwriter and producer. ... Corey Allen (born Alan Cohen on June 29, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA) is an American film and television director, writer, producer and actor. ...


The episode features a cameo appearance by DeForest Kelley as 137-year old Doctor Leonard McCoy, thus starting a tradition that the first episode of each new Star Trek series (set in the 24th century) include an appearance by a prominent character from a previous Trek series. Martin Scorsese appears briefly in an uncredited role in this scene from his feature film Taxi Driver. ... Jackson DeForest Kelley (January 20, 1920 – June 11, 1999) was an actor best known for his starring role as Dr. Leonard Bones McCoy of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek and six of its subsequent movies. ... Leonard Horatio McCoy, M.D., nicknamed Bones (as in Sawbones, an old-fashioned colloquialism for a doctor or a surgeon), is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe, played by the late DeForest Kelley. ...


Overview: The new starship Enterprise begins its maiden voyage by uncovering the mysteries of an advanced space station. The fictional starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) from Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) (or Enterprise-D, to distinguish it from prior starships with the same name) is a 24th century starship in the Star Trek fictional universe and the principal setting of the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series. ...


Plot

On Stardate 41153.7, the maiden voyage of the new starship Enterprise, NCC-1701-D, commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard, gets underway. The ship's first mission is to open diplomatic relations with Farpoint Station on the planet Deneb IV, where the United Federation of Planets is attempting to negotiate use of the station's immense energy reserves. The Enterprise is also to investigate the mystery of how the simple people of Deneb IV, the Bandi, were able to construct such an advanced power station at the heart of their primitive city. Stardate is one of the dating conventions used in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a Starfleet officer in the Star Trek universe. ... This article is becoming very long. ... This article or section may need to be cleaned up and rewritten because it describes a work of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. ... In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Bandi are a humanoid species native to the planet Deneb IV in the Alpha Quadrant. ...


While en route to Farpoint, the Enterprise is stopped by a wall of energy, and a powerful being, dressed in Shakespearean garb, appears, and identifies himself as "Q". Q demonstrates omnipotent powers, teleporting about the bridge at random, and even freezing solid a security officer who steps up to protect the captain. Q promptly commands Captain Picard to turn the ship around and return to Earth, claiming that humans are savage beasts and have tread too far into space for his liking. Picard defends his race by stating that humanity has matured since their barbaric times and wish only to explore the unknown. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is the power to do absolutely anything. ... Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, the World or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ...


The captain continues that the human race has learned not to persecute and judge what they do not understand. Intrigued by Picard's words, Q decides to put the captain on trial as a representative of the human race who now must prove its worth or face extermination. Q announces he must prepare for the trial and leaves in a flash of light. Picard decides to remove the Enterprise from the threat posed by the energy wall as quickly as possible and turns course to flee. The energy wall becomes a fiery sphere and gives chase. The sphere continues to gain on them, so Picard decides to riskily separate the ship while travelling at high warp speed, dividing the saucer section (which contains the ship's living areas) and the stardrive section (which contains the ship's auxiliary bridge and primary weapon systems.) This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Once the detached saucer is safely away, Picard, along with a skeleton crew now operating from the Battle Bridge in the stardrive section, turns the remaining ship about to face off against Q. The sphere engulfs the section, trapping it inside, at which point Picard issues a surrender message. Picard and his bridge crew (which consists of the android Mr. Data, ship's empath and counselor Deanna Troi, and security officer Tasha Yar) are immediately transported to a strange and barbaric court room before an audience of angry humans dressed in rags. Order is marginally maintained by drug-addicted machine-gun-toting soldiers. The Battle Bridge is from the fictional Star Trek universe. ... The android Data, portrayed by Brent Spiner, from the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation An android is a robot made to resemble a human, usually both in appearance and behavior. ... Data, portrayed by Brent Spiner, is a character in the Star Trek fictional universe. ... For the fictional character, see Empath (comics). ... Commander Deanna Troi is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe, played by the actress Marina Sirtis in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise (the latter two only in guest appearances), and in several Star Trek films. ... Lieutenant Natasha Yar, played by Denise Crosby, is a Starfleet officer in the fictional Star Trek universe. ...


A red-and-black robed Q appears from a dark hallway seated atop an ornate throne. The crew identifies their setting as a ruthless post-World War III courtroom of Earth's mid 21st Century. Q announces to the jeering crowd that the crew members are on trial for crimes against humanity. Picard debates Q's accusation that there is no hope left for the human race. Picard suggests that Q observe and judge the crew on their current mission in order to prove that humans are now a peaceful and respectable people. Again, Q is intrigued with the idea and decides to let Picard and his crew go, but warns that Picard will nonetheless fail. The four officers are then returned to the Enterprise. However, helmsman Chief O'Brien remains unaware that they had ever left, as no time had passed in his and the Enterprise's reality. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The 21st century is the present century of the Gregorian calendar. ... Miles OBrien Miles Edward OBrien is a character in the fictional Star Trek universe, played by Colm Meaney. ...


Meanwhile, Picard's first officer William Riker, chief medical officer Beverly Crusher, and engineer Geordi La Forge, await the arrival of the Enterprise at Farpoint. Their host, Groppler Zorn, guides the group through a marketplace, inviting Riker to sample some native Earth fruits at one of the stalls. Riker wishes for an apple, but sees none available. He looks away for a second and then looks back finding a basket of red apples has now suddenly appeared out of nowhere. William Thomas Riker is a character in the Star Trek universe played by Jonathan Frakes, who appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) and all the movies focusing on the TNG characters. ... Dr. Beverly Crusher, played by actress Gates McFadden, was a character on the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation and the films which followed. ... Geordi La Forge is a regular character in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, played by LeVar Burton. ...


Zorn dismisses the odd occurrence and moves on as Riker takes an apple. Once Riker walks ahead, Zorn looks to the ceiling and strangely shouts aloud, "You have been warned never to do that".


Riker meets up with Dr. Crusher and her young son Wesley, both of which experienced a similar situation when a bolt of fine cloth desired by the doctor, suddenly appeared from nowhere. The two suspect something odd is going on, but Geordi breaks their discussion when he appears to inform the group that the Enterprise's stardrive section has arrived in orbit, and Captain Picard is waiting for them. Wesley Eugene Crusher is a character on the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. ...


Riker beams up to the Enterprise and meets Picard on the battle bridge. He is debriefed about the encounter with Q, then Picard leaves him on his own to initiate a difficult manual reconnection of the saucer section which has just arrived. The procedure goes well, and Picard has a more formal meeting with his new first officer to commend him on his professionalism. The Battle Bridge is from the fictional Star Trek universe. ...


Later, Picard, Riker, and Troi beam down to the station to meet with Groppler Zorn, who seems very reluctant to answer questions concerning the construction processes of the station's power plant. Troi begins to sense powerful, yet despairing emotions, coming from an unknown nearby location. Zorn seems further agitated by this, and denies knowing anything about it. Meanwhile, Yar, La Forge, and Data conduct a search through a maze of puzzling catacombs below the station; their findings, however, are as mysterious as the emotions detected by the counselor.


Suddenly, a large flying saucer-like craft, many times the size of the Enterprise, moves into orbit above the station. It scans the Enterprise for a moment, then redirects its attention at the planet below. Picard returns to the Enterprise and attempts to make contact with the alien ship. Picard's hail is ignored and the craft begins to fire beams of energy at the old Bandi city, avoiding Farpoint Station entirely.


Picard orders phasers to target the alien ship, but suddenly Q appears. Q questions Picard's action and accuses him as not engaging in "clear thinking". Picard assures him that the phaser lock is only a precautionary measure. When Q accuses him of ignoring the civilian casualties of the bombardment, Picard is able to momentarily trump him by contacting Dr. Crusher to confirm she and her staff is already preparing to render assistance planetside. In the Star Trek fictional universe, a phaser is a beam (or directed-energy) weapon most commonly used by the Federation Starfleet. ...


Down on the planet, Zorn pleads for Picard to help him and cowers under his desk. Riker and Data rush in to rescue him, but witness the man being whisked away by a strange transporter beam. Once Zorn is taken, the alien ship then ceases fire, and Troi senses satisfaction coming from "much closer" than the planet.


Q suggests sending an away team to the alien craft to investigate and Riker concurs. Despite some reservations, Picard agrees. The team observes that the interior of the alien ship is a maze of tunnels similar to the ones discovered under the power station. The away team finally locates Zorn, who is being tortured in an energy field and screaming for release. Riker and Data use their hand phasers to disable the field, but their action causes a response from the entire ship. The vessel begins to change form, becoming transparent and glowing with energy.


Back on the Enterprise, Q taunts Picard, preventing him from beaming back the away team. Picard pleads with Q, promising that he'll do whatever Q says if they are saved. Suddenly, the away team along with a frantic Groppler Zorn materializes on the bridge informing Picard that the ship itself is a life form which had returned them safely. Q and Zorn attempt to goad Picard into a violent reaction against the ship, but Picard attempts to ascertain the reality of the situation. To their amazement, the alien saucer changes into a gigantic, glowing, jellyfish-like entity.


Picard begins to suspect what is going on and accuses Zorn of capturing and exploiting as Farpoint's power source an entity similar to the jellyfish entity before them, one able to convert energy into matter. Zorn pleads with Picard to evacuate the station, fearing a violent end to the situation for his people. Q attempts one last time to push Picard towards barbarism, countering that Picard should let the citizens of Farpoint die for their treachery. Picard refuses to concede, ordering the station evacuated. The crew pieces together the puzzle of what has been going on, realizing that the space entity was attempting to punish the Bandi people for enslaving its wounded kin and forcing it to change itself into the form the Bandi desired - that of Farpoint station itself.


Picard decides to give what he hypothesizes is a weakened entity on the planet's surface the energy it needs. He orders the ship to beam a stream of power upon the station's tower. The tower absorbs and stores the energy and a change occurs. The impressive center complex of Farpoint Station transforms into a living creature, floating up into space to meet what Picard guesses is its mate.


The two creatures greet each other fondly as Picard and his crew proudly watch. Q on the other hand, seems unimpressed, but it is clear Picard has proved humanity's worth. Regardless, Q announces that humanity may have passed this test, but is destined to fail eventually. Picard tells him to get off his ship, and Q warns they will meet again.


Trivia

  • The only episode in which the closing credits scroll and in which the episode title consists of all capital letters.
  • This is the only episode where miniskirted "skant" uniforms from all three divisions - science (blue), security (mustard), and command (crimson) - are seen; it is also one of the few, Season One episodes in which both men and women are seen wearing the "skant" uniform. This version of the uniform was largely abandoned by Season Two.
  • This is the only episode where Counselor Troi wears the "skant" version of the Starfleet uniform; by the next episode ("The Naked Now"), she has switched to casual clothing. (Troi is also seen wearing the "skant" uniform in flashbacks to the 2364 Farpoint mission in the series finale, "All Good Things...".)
  • In a single scene, Tasha Yar is seen wearing the "security" version of the "skant" uniform while standing at the bridge security station; during the rest of the episode, she is wearing a standard Starfleet jumpsuit uniform.
  • Parts of Groppler Zorn's office were constructed from the Klingon Bird of Prey sickbay set from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and the Enterprise reactor room from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Added to the room is a stained glass window which spells out "Zorn"; this is shattered during the alien attack on the old Bandi city.
  • The scene after Data and Admiral McCoy part, which shows the starship USS Hood pulling away from the Enterprise is reused often throughout the series.
  • The only Next Generation episode to play the entire main theme music, combining the elements of the Alexander Courage-composed Star Trek: The Original Series fanfare with those of the Jerry Goldsmith-composed Star Trek: The Motion Picture theme, during the show itself - specifically, during the warp-speed saucer seperation scene.
  • This episode would set the foundation for the rest of the first season and the second season to follow, which is basically a dramatic and space operatic tone, along with a stricter following of military protocol. Later seasons are much more subdued and casual.
  • At one point, the character of Wesley Crusher was a girl but Gene Roddenberry wanted a character named after his son.
  • Tim Russ (Commander Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager) was one of two candidates chosen to play Geordi La Forge. He did not get the role but did remain good friends with the casting staff and the producers.
  • Even after Riker reviews the logs of the encounter with Q - where Q kidnaps Troi, Picard, Tasha, and Data - he's unaware that Troi is a member of the crew. However, Troi is barely shown in the log scenes shown on the viewscreen; she might have escaped Riker's attention.
  • This episode hints very strongly at the romantic past of Riker and Troi, and at Troi's continued romantic interest in Riker. It is also one of several episodes where the two use the Betazoid term "imzadi" - in this episode, Troi refers to Will Riker in a telepathic statement as "imzadi", while in the episode "Second Chances", it is Thomas Riker who refers to Troi as "imzadi".
  • The original script for the episode, included as part of Star Trek: The Scripts Vol. 1 - Q, seems to imply that each "version" of Q seen in this episode is a separate entity in its own right. This is debunked (or possibly retconned) in future episodes.
  • Q reacts to a helmsman's drawn phaser by freezing the man in place. When Picard objects to the overreaction, showing Q that the phaser was set on stun, Q responds by saying "Knowing humans as thou doth, Captain, wouldst thou be captured helpless by them?" As later episodes clearly establish that a hand phaser is harmless to a Q-being, Q's response is likely a simple mind game or tease designed to gauge Picard's emotional reaction.

A woman modelling a miniskirt The miniskirt (often hyphenated as mini-skirt) is a skirt with a hemline well above the knees (generally 20 cm - about 8 inches - or more above knee level). ... The Naked Now is an episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... All Good Things . ... Bird-of-prey is a common name for various makes of Romulan and Klingon warship in the Star Trek fictional universe. ... Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Paramount Pictures, 1986; see also 1986 in film) is the fourth feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ... Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Paramount Pictures, 1984; see also 1984 in film) is the third feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ... Strictly speaking, stained glass is glass that has been painted with silver stain and then fired. ... Alexander Courage (born December 10, 1919) is a 20th century American composer of music, primarily for television and motion pictures. ... 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. ... Jerrald King Goldsmith (February 10, 1929 – July 21, 2004) was a famous American film score composer from Los Angeles, California. ... Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Paramount Pictures, 1979; see also 1979 in film) is the first feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series and is released on Friday, December 7. ... Tim Russ as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok. ... Lt. ... The starship Voyager (NCC-74656), an Intrepid-class starship. ... A word from the science-fiction television series Star Trek The Next Generation. ... Telepathy from the Greek τηλε, tele, distant, and πάθεια, patheia, feeling, is the supposed ability to communicate information from one mind to another, and is one form of extra-sensory perception or anomalous cognition. ... Second Chances is a sixth season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... In the fictional Star Trek universe, William Thomas Tom Riker, played by Jonathan Frakes, is a duplicate of William Riker created by a transporter accident when Riker served as second officer aboard the USS Potemkin. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

External links

Preceded by:
none
Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes Followed by:
"The Naked Now"

  Results from FactBites:
 
Encounter at Farpoint (TNG episode) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2257 words)
It was twice the length of a normal episode, and in repeats is often shown in a re-edited two-part form.
Farpoint Station absorbs and stores the energy of the beam, and a change occurs on the planet and the impressive center complex of Farpoint Station transforms into a living creature, floating up to meet what Picard guesses is its mate.
This episode would set the foundation for the rest of the first season and the second season to follow, which is basically a dramatic and space operatic tone, along with a stricter following of military protocol.
List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2330 words)
If the two multi-part episodes that were aired as continuous two hour episodes ("Encounter at Farpoint" and "All Good Things...
Riker encounters a clone of himself stranded on a planet because of a transporter accident.
The Enterprise is caught in temporal stasis, and on the brink of destruction by the Romulans.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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